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.

Basics Seminar Date Change

Just a quick heads up that the Basics Seminar that was scheduled for April 25th has been moved to May 9th, the dates listed below and to the left are all correct and current.

- Jay

Trusting What Can't Be Taken

Jay Rinsen Weik gives a talk and leads discussion at the Toledo Zen Center on July 16, 2008.

"Mostly, our mind remains fixed in what's called a dualistic state...which means being trapped, unawaredly in a way of perceiving the universe such that everything is shattered, separate and distinct... In the practice of Zen, there is uncovered another way of perceiving, a way that's not bound by the traps of this and that, or the distinctions of high and low... You have to be willing to drop your images of what God is to be able to really see God's face. As long as you have an image in your mind, your mental construction of what you think that's supposed to be, there's a block. There's a stage at which having an image can be a useful thing. There's a stage at which it becomes a problem and needs to be transcended."

This Drinking Gourd Podcast is available via iTunes or at For more information about the Toledo Zen Center, please visit The Toledo Zen Center is a member of the Hermitage Heart Sangha, online at

Taking Center Stage

It was nice to be on the mat last night as I always look forward to keiko practice on Wednesdays because it is the middle of the week and about that time I need a little boost to propel me to the weekend. (Red Bull just doesn’t do it for me! LOL) Last night we focused on yokomen uchi (strike to the side of the head) shiho nage (four direction throw) and really pulled it apart. And really examined the inner mechanics of the technic. I heard Sensei refer to these mechanics as internal gears at one time. I thought that was a nice description as things are happening to uke but you can’t always see them from the outside.

As we were practicing last night I remembered an old jiu jutsu adage that states “position before submission”. Meaning before you can use a submission or finishing technic (armbar, triangle choke, etc) you must be in the correct position. The same is true with shiho nage from the stand point of taking uke’s center. Before shiho nage can effectively be completed you must first take uke’s center thus unbalancing them. This unbalancing is one of the internal gear aspects that is hard to see from the outside however it can definitely be felt when applied properly. It is also hard to achieve especially if you are working with a larger stronger partner. But once uke has been unbalanced it is next to impossible for them to resist. Chocolate cake unbalances me and unfortunately fills my center but I digress! LOL What I find most challenging about Aikido is that all of these functions must work simultaneously. Proper foot placement, connecting with uke, breath, timing, and correct hand mudra (hand shapes to direct the flow of ki) must all work as an orchestra for the technic to be effective. What we examined last night was the importance of taking uke’s center to allow us the opportunity to execute the technic.

Looking forward to reading “Aikido and Words of Power” by Gleason Sensei. Got mine ordered last week and it should be here any day. That is all for now. Always open for comments or discussion as I am just trying to make way down the Budo path. Peace Y’all!

The Maestro

Friday Schedule Change

Friday class times have changed:

Friday 6-7pm Ne-Waza (Ground Techniques) with Dokei Sempai

See you on the mat!

Free Japanese Swordsmanship Class for Beginners!

This free two hour class on traditional Japanese Swordsmanship will be held Saturday morning from 10 am to noon Sat February 28, 2009 at Shobu Aikido of Ohio with Jay Weik Sensei. Beginners are welcome to join in, no prior experience is necessary.

For current dojo members and Aikidoka visiting from other dojo, the seminar will continue Saturday from 3-5pm and Sunday from 10-noon.

Please spread the word and invite friends that you think may enjoy the practice!

Morihei Ueshiba And Aikido

A nice video presentation of O'Sensei, founder of Aikido:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Weekday Morning Classes Cancelled.

Due to lack of attendance, the morning classes have been cancelled. This is the usual winter cycle for the morning classes, an perhaps in the spring we can resume them again if there is sufficient interest.

Bill Sensei's New Book Available Now!

Sensei's new book is now available and can be ordered directly from our online link with Amazon. Place your order via the Amazon widget posted at the bottom of this page today! Ordering this way will help benefit the dojo.


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