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.

My Martial Journey

Hey Y'all, (down in NC right now)

Several months ago I began to write a journal on my computer after every Aikido class to just help me to recall what took place in class and reflect. From time to time I would like to share my reflections with everyone and my thoughts are certainly open for discussion as it will help me to distill my experiences in Aikido. This is the first time I have ever done anything like this so here we go.

I am down in NC right now visiting my folks and conducting some concerts with student orchestras. I always find it refreshing to work with youth because they are so open and free. This element of freedom is something that I struggle with in Aikido. Before I left Toledo on my travels we had an advanced Aikido class that was very intense. Sensei kept saying to me “You need to be willing to die” another words (I hope) that I need to let go. It is hard to find that line. I invariably, would “try harder” but that is not the solution.

The other common thread that came out of the class was that I need to connect better to my partner’s hara and center. I disengage too soon. There were different feelings that were happening that I didn’t know how to stay connected. But that connection point is critical in order for me to stay safe.

It was a hard class because everyone was so skilled at Aikido. There was a certain amount of frustration that was building up for me during the class. I wasn’t “Getting It” but do we ever really get it. This is the path and not a destination.

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