Aikido is a non-competitive martial art that can be practiced by almost anyone. Aikido techniques do not rely on physical strength but rather develops relaxed power through the focus of intention and Ki. The result is a creative method of non-destructive conflict resolution.
Aikido is practiced on many levels. The first level is includes the development of stamina, flexibility, and learning how to focus one's intention. The second level is built on the first and stresses self-defense techniques that teach the natural order of movement. In this process the students also become adept at ukemi, the art of rolling, falling and protecting oneself. Aikido provides the opportunity for the development of the entire person. It is a workout of the entire body and mind and results in increased strength, overall physically fitness, flexibility and centeredness.
At the third level students are gradually introduced to the secrets of receiving and harnessing the power of ki, they also develop spatial awareness and learn to judge proper timing and distance. During this training the goal is to establish and maintain an energetic connection to your partner and to lead them off balance. This eliminates the need for more destructive means of resolving situations.
The highest level of aikido is mind over matter. This involves the use of visualization techniques, the power of intention and ki, breath control and meditation. Aikido is truly a spiritual martial art that explores themind - body - spirit connection. This advanced level of training at Shobu Aikido reaches a level not easily found elsewhere. The student learns how to manifest power and effectiveness by the focusing of intention alone. This level depends on and can only be reached through the refinement of technique and the students own deepest feeling. For this reason it alternates between the physical and the spiritual.
In the process of practicing aikido, students inevitably find themselves less stressed and more energetic, better equipped to manage life's many conflicts with calm control. Aikido is great for adults and kids alike because practice encourages respect for self and others, self control, cooperation and responsibility.
Gasshuku or weekend long intensive seminars with William Gleason Sensei are available seasonally.
Children's aikido classes provide a friendly, non-competitive environment for students to become more physically fit, agile, flexible, aware, focused, and relaxed. They learn how to safely fall, roll and perform a variety of self-defense techniques in a supportive, comfortable setting, and parents like Aikido because kids learn how to be powerful without becoming destructive.
We will be taking up a collection at the dojo to help Mary Heiny Sensei pay for a hip replacement operation. Mary Sensei spent her early years of training in Japan (some of the same time Gleason Sensei was there) studying with all of the Shihan at Hombu Dojo as well as Hikitsuchi Sensei at Shingu. Click the title for more information about her and the procedure. Thank you in advance for your support.
Jay Sensei presents a retreat workshop at the Toledo Zen Center on January 20th, 2008.
"Entering through practice refers to four all-encompassing practices: the practice of requiting animosity, the practice of accepting one's circumstances. The practice of craving nothing, and the practice of accord with the Dharma."
Download the Drinking Gourd Podcast on iTunes, or at www.thedrinkinggourd.org
This workshop begins with a historical overview of Bodhidharma's time and the teachings ascribed to him as they relate to other spiritual teachings of the day. After this, Chikyo begins working with the text: "There are many avenues for entering the Way, but essentially they all are of two kinds: entering through Principle and entering through Practice..."
Available on iTunes as "The Drinking Gourd Podcast" or Here.
We just signed an urgent petition calling on the
Chinese government to
respect human rights in Tibet and dialogue with the
Dalai Lama. This is
really important, and I thought you might want to
After nearly 50 years of Chinese rule, the Tibetans
are sending out a global
cry for change. Violence is spreading across Tibet
and neighbouring regions, and the Chinese regime is right now making a crucial
choice between tougher
crackdown or dialogue.
President Hu Jintao needs to hear that 'Made in
China' exports and the
upcoming Olympics in Beijing will have the support
of the world's people
only if he chooses dialogue. But it will take an
avalanche of global people
power to get his attention. Click below to sign the
petition – in just 3
days, the campaign is almost half way to the goal of
1 million signatures!
Click Here to sign.
- Jay and Karen
Author of the book The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido, featured instructor of the video Aikido and Japanese Sword, student of the great Aikido master Seigo Yamaguchi Shihan, and teacher of our very own Jay Chikyo Weik Sensei; Bill Gleason Sensei, 6th Dan, is finally coming back to Toledo. It has been about 3-4 years since Gleason Sensei had conducted a weekend seminar with us as he has been occupied with the Okugyo retreats and publishing his new book, not to mention there is a second video in the works. It has also been quite some time since we had a guest instructor at our Gasshukus. Do not miss the opportunity to learn from such a well respected teacher and practitioner. It is especially important that we have a large showing at this particular Gasshuku so that we may honor his visit with our presence. Therefore, please make time in your schedules for what will be a valuable experience. Gassho.
Here are some articles on Gleason Sensei and his experiences:
"My Experience with Yamaguchi Sensei"
"Sharing Aikido's Life Lessons"
Domo arigatou gozaimasu for your hospitality at the dojo on Saturday. It was so nice of Sensei and you all to have us in your session. Please send best regard to Jay sensei and all for us.
Thanks to everyone who participated with the Owens folks this past Saturday. This is the second year they have been here, and it has been a positive experience for them each time.
You are invited to a pot luck at our home on Easter Sunday (March 23rd this year) at 4pm.
All are welcome, let me know if you will be coming or if you need my home address.
- Jay, Karen and Isabella
After Thursday morning keiko, Taisho and I began our 20 hour trip to the Aiki Shrine.
When we finally arrived at the "Aiki Corral" we were happy to see the training area had removable walls allowing the sounds of the surrounding bamboo to fill the dojo as the cool breezes came through. There were about 30 of us in attendance and we were treated to an excellent training session focusing on the ki extension and precise irimi. Sensei gave us some nice gems to enrich our study and Taisho and I were fortunate to be used for ukemi several times. When we took lunch break on saturday, Taisho was recruited to cut some wood for the evening's fire. He was the only person to not change out of his dogi and when he finished with the work, was covered in a nice layer of sawdust from his face to his knees. After the days keiko, we celebrated Saotome Sensei's birthday and were treated to some excellent food, beer and the best birthday cake I've ever tasted. There was a very friendly, easy energy throughout the entire experience and we got to talk story with some of Saotome Sensei's original students, some serious characters and great story tellers. Sensei came out sunday morning in all white with a black haori and laughed as he told us he nearly forgot about the hour we lost to daylight savings time. We had a very rich keiko after which we were able to take a photo with Sensei and hang out before the long trip home. If you ever get the chance to train at the Aiki Shrine, 1) do not miss it & 2) for god's sakes do not drive.
click on the title for more photos.
This pic is from a recent workshop I held at the dojo for my university guitar students. We worked on Shin KoKyu breathing and saw how being centered in the moment is critical to the performing musician! Jazz is Randori in another context...
My guitar students have their own blog, viewable here.
Jiddu Krishnamurti speaks with a talk show host of the 60's. Expressing the Art of Peace in another voice...
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