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.

Attention: Schedule Change

In the interest of maximizing the training of those of us students who participate in weekday morning keiko, we are changing the schedule from tuesday and thursday from noon - 1:00 to monday and thursday from 11:00 - noon. This will go into effect on 10-6-08. All are welcome and encouraged to attend. Saturdays will remain the same.  

Gasshuku this Weekend!

The fall seminar will be held this weekend. Please help clean the dojo when you are in for class to help prepare the space.

The focus for this seminar will be on the relationship of traditional swordsmanship to Aikido practice.

The schedule is:

Friday 6-8 Keiko
Saturday 8-9am Zazen
9-10am Kototama
10-noon Keiko
3-5pm Keiko
Sunday 10-1pm Keiko

We will have a party on saturday night as well.

All are welcome to come and practice, I hope to see you there.

- Jay

New Kashima Bokken Ready For Order

A new batch of Kashima bokken are finished and available for purchase. Part of the proceeds from any Shobu member's bokken order will go directly to the dojo. More info about this and other supplies at

Let us always practice with a burning intensity to brighten the world and light the true path for all.

Acceptance and Resorption

In the sword there is no sword;
make a sword of the body.
In the body there is no body;
make a body of the spirit.
Like a firefly, round; by its
radiance, apparent.
Waiting not, scheming not,
thinking not, pausing not,
As if turning circles on a stage,
As if pressing a gourd in water.
-Kunii Zen'ya

Space: the final frontier

Pretty good for a cheesy TV show. But perhaps it should read more like this:

"Space: the only frontier.
These are the voyages of the awakened:
To seek out and explore their own life form, 
To boldly go where they've ever gone before."

Let me explain. Consider matter: all of it, form solids to liquids to gases is simply a bunch of cells bound together by gravity; more dense in the case of lead and less with helium. Since they make up all matter, what then is a cell? Quite simply, a cell has a membrane, a nucleus, and some protons and electrons. But when observed under a microscope these four elements are dwarfed by the space in which they exist. So, if all matter from lead to helium is mostly space, and humans are carbon based life forms, this means that we too are mostly space. Quite interesting when one considers that a human being completely sheds it's cellular structure every seven years much like a snake shedding it's skin every few months. This means that the person you are today is physically one hundred percent different than the one you were seven years ago. 
So what is it that makes you you? The answer is that you are the space within your cells. This is the part that never changes. This is the common thread that connects us to everything else. This is the Holy Spirit: God within you. This is what was and what always will be. This is what can not be destroyed because it was never created. This is you and all. The Buddhists express it thus: "One. Just one. That's it."
This is what one tries to realize through keiko. Uke exhales and becomes empty and concentrates their life-space into a laser-like beam of energy for nage to inhale and merge with and then redirect. So in keiko one is not really working on their own physicality but rather the space within it. The only thing that matters is what matter tries to contain, but can't. This is why Aikido, not Ai-body-do. The way of merging our souls with the Universal spirit. When one sees the truth, that there is space within everything, and that space is all there really is, then things will appear as they really are: infinite.
So in closing, I'd like to end with a quote from another cheesy space show. This one takes place during another keiko a long, long time ago... in a galaxy far, far away...

"Size matters not.
Look at me.
Judge me by my size, do you?
...And well you should not, for my ally is the Force...
And a powerful ally it is.
Life creates it...
Makes it grow.
It's energy surrounds us...
Combines us.
Luminous beings are we.
Not this crude matter.
You must feel the Force around you.
Here... between you, me...
The rock, the tree, everywhere.
Even between the land and the ship."

- Master Yoda


Thank you to Ken Nisson Sensei for coming back through Toledo yesterday and teaching a great class on receiving. Ken Sensei is one of the co-founders of Bond Street Dojo in NYC & Aikido of Burlington, Vt. and is currently Chief Instructor at Aikido of Modesto, Ca. We wish you safe travels and hope to see you again soon.

My Martial Journey

Hey All,

Tonight’s class was led by Danny Kline Sempai. It was an examination of kokyu nage (breath throws). It is interesting as the season changes outside comes a different feeling in the body when working on kihon (basic technics) in class. Kokyu nage depends so much on bringing in Uke’s ki and getting uke’s ki to rise. This is easier said than done which I continued to discover tonight. I was also examining how to redirect uke’s energy with a ryote tori (two hand) grab. Sempai did a good job in showing where kokyu shows up in various technics.

Kokyu nage for me, as far as the physical side of Aikido goes, seems the most esoteric and difficult aspect of the art to examine. There is always such a narrow channel of movement that needs to be traversed for the technic to work. What it has developed or should I say continues to develop in me is timing, a sensitivity to uke’s intent and ki sensitivity. But to achieve this awareness I have to remain relaxed, calm and that is not always easy if someone is coming to get you with a lot of energy. Also, so much of kokyu has to do with expansion and ki extension. Sempai was saying one should visualize extending the ki two or 3 feet beyond your arms and hands. That REALLY helped me to understand the dynamic aspect of kokyu throws. There needs to be a dynamic quality to the throw. Collapsing the body is what you absolutely do not want to do when an attack or conflict is coming your way. You meet it, digest it, and then move. Kokyu technics can be found in all Aikido technics and I think that is what I most got out of class tonight. It goes back to an earlier entry where I talked about the difficulty of unbalancing uke. If this unbalancing aspect is not in place then kokyu nage will be ineffective. The kokyu challenge is that nage (receiver) really gets one chance at that initial moment of connection to make this unbalancing happen. However, with Aikido if the unbalancing does not happen one can transition into another technic.

It was a good class. I speak for my fellow Aikidoka at Shobu Aikido in saying that our thoughts and prayers are with Isabella, Jay Sensei, and Karen during this time of transition.


The Maestro

Shobu Aikido of Boston Video

This new video clip has some photos of me and my teacher Bill Gleason Sensei from his upcoming book "Aikido and Words of Power" which is due to be published this winter. I hope you enjoy...

- Jay

Free Computers and cables

Shobu Dojo Community -

I had several requests for all of the available computers and at this point they have all been given away. I'm glad that the computers will be of use and hopefully provide several more years of service.

I do still have one huge box of Cards, Cables and Power Cords that might interest some of you. I plan on bringing the box in this week.



Thursday Evening Social


A number of us have been enjoying a post keiko beverage and random snack on Thursday evenings. Everyone is welcome and it would be most enjoyable if you were able to stop in or stay a little longer for some dojo community time togetherness. This is a great time to share your social consciousness, creative ideas as well as discuss everything that Aikido brings to the forefront of your life.

Hope to see you soon.



Some pictures of Peace

Cheers Mates,

Back from London and had a great trip. I ran into the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela while across the pond. Ok, it is not the real Dalai Lama and Mandela, I am at Madame Tussaud's wax museum in London. It was an amazing trip and got spend my birthday in Paris! It is great to be back home. Have a great Labor Day Weekend Mates.

Peace to everyone,

The Maestro


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