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 jayrinsenweik@gmail.com

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.

Vic's Gasshuku Refllections

This weekend's Gasshuku was incredibly beneficial to my practice. We focused specifically on kokyu practice and with Sensei's guidance we all had a more in-depth experience with the breath. We started our breathing practice on the cushion and progressively applied this to Ikkyo practice. As I recall what we were introduced to this weekend I begin to realize how the breath has been an untapped gateway for the majority of people in Western culture. For us to take such an intimate look at the life "force" that all of us share and to use this gift as a teacher is truly a blessing.

Sensei helped us to see that when we released our breath completely (in the exercises we we were working on) our conditioning wants us to immediately inhale as much air as we can as fast as we can. So we were instructed to take our time with this experience and inhale while keeping the breath smooth and controlled. We began to research this practice just as we would with any of the techniques we practice on the mat, keeping our mind in our center and maintaining verticality with the relationship between the "third eye" and the "one point". When we took our practice to the mat and applied it in our Ikkyo technique, my experience was unlike any I've had up until now. I was ACTUALLY having an experience of receiving Uke's attack into my center with the breath, my body was moving harmoniously while staying vertical, I could feel Uke's weight in my center as I moved, and I was beginning to understand the space around me.

All in all, I feel Sensei was maintaining his transmission of what Aikido is truly about in "feeling" rather than letting us get tripped up by intellectual conceptions. I am very grateful for my experience and encourage those people who didn't make it to ask Sensei about the breathing exercises, they are helpful. In fact, I am going to go practice right now.

Bows,
Vic

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