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.
Our dojo has reason to celebrate: Danny Kline did an outstanding job passing his Nidan test on Saturday November 29th in Chicago with Saotome Shihan. He did a great job and I am very proud of him, and so was Saotome Sensei. Good job Dany! Special thanks to Katsujin for traveling to Chicago and being a part of the testing process and celebrations afterwards.
This weekend we will be working with the fundamentals of swordsmanship and how they apply to the empty handed movements of Aikido. I hope to see everyone there!
Saturday November 22nd, 10-noon and 3-5
Sunday November 23rd 10-1pm.
Cost: $50/day or $75 for all.
"Those discriminations and distinctions that we fight for and with, actually don't exist, save in our own mind. And so a simple practice that almost any Buddhist, and specifically the Zen lineage, the one that I hold and represent, will engage in is the practice of silence. Contemplative silence. And from the point of view of our particular lineage, if to some degree that contemplative intelligence has not been awakened, then we suffer. We suffer from the effects of our own entrapment in conditioning. And so I thought it might be a nice thing for us to just take a second, and please sit straight with me if you would for a moment. In zen you know words fail. And by the way, also, most mystic and contemplative traditions (practice this), its not strictly a Buddhist thing. If you look at Christian mysticism, Jewish mysticism, over and over the gate is silence. And so as we take just a second, please bring your attention to your breath, and please just feel the breath enter the body, and leave the body. And as you hear the discussions outside let them continue. Don't try to fight them, but don't let yourself get pulled out and distracted by them. All of us share this breath. There is not a Buddhist breath, there is not a Democratic breath, or a Republican breath, or a gay or a straight breath. There is simply this breath. Thank you everyone."
-Jay Rinsen Weik
Check in time will be from 5-6pm on Friday the 12th. We will need some volunteers to help with zendo set up and other retreat prep work earlier in the day as well. The retreat will close Sunday after lunch.
Fees for the weekend are twofold. Lourdes College requires $20 total for your room, and a share in the fees for the Conference room and Kitchen. These fees will total around $150 and will be divided equally between all retreat participants. Dana for the teachings are made out to the Toledo Zen Center and are on a sliding scale. Recomended donation for the weekend is $100. Lastly, there will be responsibilities to take care of food for the weekend. Retreatants will be asked to contribute some food items. Do'on will be coordinating the kitchen.
The daily schedule and outline for the weekend will be posted in the comming days.
Interested Aikidoka who have attended the wednesday evening Zen Center meetings may register by adding a comment at the TZC web site (www.toledozen.org) or conecting with myself or Do'on in the zendo.
We are so looking forward to this adventure together, thank you for your practice.
- Rinsen and Do'on
At long last, we have found a location for our Toledo Zen Center Sangha to hold our first overnight retreat. The retreat will be held at Lourdes College in Regina Hall. There are two possible dates that would work, December 5-6-7 and Dec 12-13-14. Please leave a comment as to which of these dates are possible for you to attend. I expect that check in will be between 5-6pm on friday with a light supper and zendo set up from 6-7. The retreat sessions will start at 7pm. The schedule for the rest of this Zen retreat is in development, but you can expect lots of Zendo time with liturgy, talks and deepening of the our Zen practice. Any Aikidoka is welcome to join in if this is something you are interested in developing.
The fees at Lourdes are more than reasonable. They are asking $10 per person per night for lodging - this includes your own private bedroom. The kitchen will cost us $12 per day, and the conference room that we will use as our Zendo will cost $50 per day. We will be responsible to bring and prepare our own food, and Do'on will be coordinating these efforts. Dana for the TZC is on a sliding scale, with a suggested donation of $50 per day. Scholarships are available for those who may need them. The days are calculated thusly: 1/2 day on Friday and 1/2 day on Sunday plus 1 full day on Saturday.
Please let us know which of these dates may work for you by commenting below and we will get this set up soon.
- Jay Rinsen
sufficient registrations and so has to be cancelled. Those who have sent in
deposits will receive refund checks soon.
After talking with Bill Sensei this weekend, we have decided to not schedule any
further Okugyo retreats save one in the summer of 2009 in Toledo. If we have
the required 20 participants registered and prepaid a month before hand the retreat
will happen, but not otherwise. The exact dates for this are yet to be determined.
Hopefully with the publication of Senseis new book there will be a renewed
interest in the Okugyo project.
Bill Sensei and I offer my deepest apologies to those few who had made the
commitment to setthe time aside to practice, hopefully others will share your
feelings for the retreat in the summer and Okugyo will continue.
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