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.

Ann Arbor Martial Journey

A group of us traveled up north to Ann Arbor Michigan to support our brother in Shobu, Danny Kline’s opening of the Ann Arbor Aikido dojo and to participate in a seminar led by Dan Messisco Sensei (6th Dan). It was a very interesting approach to Aikido. Messisco Sensei has been studying and practicing Aikido for 45 years. The concept of “Aikido techniques” certainly changes into something deeper and more spontaneous after so many years of study. I personally like the idea of "Aikido techniques" but it is great to explore outside of the box which is what we did.

I tried to understand his approach as best I could during our brief encounter. It seemed to center for me around owning one's space, remaining centered and the power that we have when we are grounded in our own center and hara (source of ki). Moving naturally and relaxed in the same way that we do when we make common gestures and expressions with our bodies such as bending down and tying our shoe or rubbing our head. Uke would apply katate tori (wrist grab) and we would do these very spontaneous movements. The object of the expression was for tori (person receiving the attack) to find movement in a centered fashion. It was important for tori not to “stick” their hand out to be grabbed because that creates a sense of attachment. Rather simply present the wrist in a very natural balanced way. Another way of looking at it is that if you have your hand outstretched against a wall and your weight is against the wall and the wall is removed then you will fall. If you outstretch your hand in a balanced way AND you happen to be touching a wall, then it does not matter if the wall is there and you will remain balanced.

For me, Messisco Sensei caused me to think about what I am attached to in my own life. I know sometimes when we practice with the bokken (wooden sword) and I get so fixated on making contact with my partners bokken and we miss I actually lose my balance. The same can certainly be said for matters that we go through in life. We need to have a healthy balanced sense of what is necessary in our lives and to remain grounded in what is important. I love experiencing something and leaving with plenty of questions to marinate on. I’m still workin’ it out! Thanks Danny for sharing Messisco Sensei with the Shobu community and good luck in Ann Arbor. I’ll be on the road for some concerts for a spell but I will be back on the mats in a couple of weeks. See you when I get back.

Peace to you,

The Maestro

1 comment:

kline said...

Thank you for your participation and for sharing your insights, Chelsea. Have a safe trip.


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