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

Back from NC and had a wonderful time making music with some very talented young people. Made it back to the mat and in Aikido class following the warm up we worked on some kokyu nage and then practiced with the shinai. It is always fascinating how much the weapons relate to the empty hand technics. In the class we examined taking uke’s center. With shinai you can really whack them into each other since they have a bamboo center and one thing I noticed for me, was that when I was going for the cut, if I missed my target (uke’s shinai) I would lose my balance. I would become so fixated on “making “contact happen with the shinai that when his/her shinai wasn’t where I expected, my center was thrown off as I missed. For me, make the proper cut and remain balanced regardless of the outcome. If contact is made great, if not, great but remain centered and balanced. A good lesson in life actually, remain balanced and centered regardless of the circumstances.

Wednesday is Aikido and Zendo time at the dojo for me. I appreciate the combination of working on the martial side and then to have the introspection of the meditation. During the meditation class Sensei takes part of the time to share a lesson with us which is followed by a discussion with the Sanga (participant community). The discussion is always interesting to hear the different perspectives of what other people heard and it usually helps me to understand the lesson better following this discussion. I believe that the central message that I received from the class was that opposites are unified. One might fail to see the connection between the physical nature of what we do on the mat versus the introspective quality of what happens in the Zendo and yet the two are closely united. Also the importance of zazen meditation. There was a phrase that Sensei used last night about the mind that I can’t recall at this time but it has to do with allowing the mind and spirit to teach us and guide us. The knowledge of what we need to grow is inside of all of us and it is a matter of being sensitive enough to listen and hear it. Zazen helps one to find that way by serving as a mirror to a person’s spirit.

Again, these are just some impressions of my experiences and these thoughts are open for discussion. There are times I wish I could take notes during class but I believe that this “Way” is more about understanding through experience. When someone asks me what is Aikido, I often just say come watch a class and even better get on the mat.

That is all for now. Peace.

The Maestro

1 comment:

Jay Chikyo Weik said...

Chelsea -

Nice posts, thank you for this. See if you can add a pic of yourself in your Gi for these...

- Jay


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