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.
If you plan on attending please leave a comment.
Shobu of Boston - Spring Gasshuku with Dan Messisco I'm assuming Gleason Shihan will also be teaching.
Jay Rinsen Chikyo Weik gives a talk and leads discussion at the Toledo Zen Center on June 11, 2008.
"Develop meditation that is like the earth, for when you develop meditation that is like the earth, agreeable and disagreeable contexts will not invade your mind and remain. Just as people throw clean things and dirty things, excrement, urine, spittle, pus and blood on the earth, and the earth is not horrified, humiliated or disgusted because of that." --Buddha
Listen via iTunes Drinking Gourd Podcast, or HERE.
I thought it would be nice to post this for those who may not have seen it as yet. It explains the test prep class format we use for some of the training in the month prior to our Basics seminars. It is at the Basics seminars that kyu testing happens.
A Drinking Gourd Podcast talk and discussion at the Toledo Zen Center with Jay Sensei on May 28, 2008.
"Long seeking it through others, I was far from reaching it.
Now I go by myself and I meet it everywhere.
I now am not it, and just now, it is nothing but myself.
Understanding this way, I can be as I am."
We will hold a dojo open house pot luck new years (and my 40th birthday) party at our home January 18th from 3-9pm. All are welcome!
This month our attention turns to the kyu testing process. The Basics Seminar with Jay Sensei wil be held Saturday January 31st from 9-noon and 3-5pm.
The circle represent harmony. Harmony is certainly at the core of Aikido philosophy. This deals more with the blending of ukes attack. The use of wavelike movements allows us to blend with ukes energy. It is a continuation of the shape that the triangle created for us. Last but not least is the square. As a musician I see the square as a cadence point in a musical composition. We are not at the end of the piece of music but there is a resolution of some sort where the music relaxes. Sensei mentioned this to the class last night. When we get to the square stage in the technic it is important for us not to disengage completely. Continue one’s awareness, uke may have a friend who wants to get involved, uke may want to continue the composition, maintain my distance (mai) to uke to remain safe, and so on. Keep your awareness attached as things may not resolve the way that we expect. So the square is the pin or the throw, which hopefully leads to a peaceful resolution with our partner. Sensei had us to use a kokyu throw to examine these Aikido shapes. Definitely food for thought in our examination of Aikido.
It was great to see everyone last night. My phrase that I would like to share with everyone for the new year is “2009 is our time to SHINE”! Let us all work to make Shobu Aikido and ourselves the best we can be this year. I look forward to our journey together this year.
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