There are currently openings for Adult and Children students. Interested candidates are invited to observe a class. The dojo is co-located with the Toledo Zen Center at 6537 Angola Road Holland, OH 43558

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.

Spreading the word....

In February this year a former religion professor had asked me to speak to her spirituality class, about spirituality in the martial arts.  I agreed and thought what an opportunity for me to talk about something so passionate to me.  The talk was on Tuesday the 18th of March.  I started the conversation off with the history of the incorporation of Zen into the martial arts.  Elaborating on the history of the samurai exploring through their zen masters the still point.  Immediately it began to resonate with the crowd of students.  They were sitting there like deer in headlights but with a smile.  I continued to speak about the ethics of aikido and how we are not out let the mind of ego control our actions.  But rather, how we are set to train against the enemy within ourselves first.  We meditated for about 5-7 minutes, then the therapist in me got the better, and we shared how we felt afterwards.  I spoke  to the crowd for a little over 1.5 hours.  It really put into perspective for me what aikido has evolved into for me.  I really think that if we have the opportunity to share with a friend or a colleague about what it is we do in the dojo we need to not pass it up.  When O'sensei aikido is for everyone, he meant just that.  Everybody in that class room could identify with the energy and feeling of watching out for our fellow man, and togetherness.  The professor is actually making it mandatory that the students who missed the talk have to attend and sit in on a keiko sometime.  I thought this was fantastic.  Respectfully,

1 comment:

Muketsu said...

Awesome, Phil-san! If you have not read it already, may I recommend "The Zen Way to the Martial Arts" by Taisen Deshimaru Roshi. It is an excellent book that explores the incorporation of Zen Buddhism to Budo.


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