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.

New dojo family member

Greetings to all.  I just wanted to let everybody know that we have had our baby!!!  On July 27th at 128pm, my wife and I were blessed with a new baby girl!  I hope you can tell from the photo who she looks like!!! HAHA!!
I will bring in more photos soon.  

Sound Zen

It was a wonderful day at the dojo as part of a series workshops being presented centering around different aspects of Zen. This special workshop today was of particular interest to me as music is the way that I make my livelihood. The workshop was led by Jay Sensei and John Kyomon Wieczorek who is a freelance percussionist visiting from New York. He and Jay Sensei have gigged together and have shared Zen retreats together along their path. So much of what I do in music as a conductor is structured and follows a very narrow musical highway. The musicians must play the right notes and rhythms as an example of this. It really got me thinking about what is the “rightness” in music and art.

Labels and judgment are such major factors in music regardless of what genre you listen. For example, “that is out of tune”, “the trumpets are behind” or “man, he is a really good player” having the need to put a label on what was just heard. For me the workshop was a pathway to try to work away from that judgment and the placement of labels on elements of music and in life. When we place a label or a judgment on someone or something we actually limit our ability to see it evolve because we have it “figured out”. So if they change, we don’t always perceive it immediately if ever. I learned early on in my teaching career to be careful about telling young people they aren’t capable of doing something because so often they will prove you wrong. People’s capacity to change, grow, evolve is only limited by their mind. And often the desire to do it “right” is what gets in our way of reaching our full potential. We hold ourselves back for whatever reason.

I find this to be true in Aikido as well. Not to be governed by fear or doing the technic correct. (Although I have found on occasion it is good when falling to land “correctly” otherwise the mat will happily offer a not so gentle correction. LOL) Move in life down a path of mindfulness. Being really present on the mat or the stage or with my parents etc leads to living life truly honestly. To be in the moment and not in fear of messing up, or playing a wrong note leads to real intimacy with whatever you are doing. When there is the space and openness of non judgment it allows people to share and open up with what they are about AND most importantly to share what is inside of them which in turn creates an intimacy circuit of giving and receiving. Both Sensei and John created an open space for all of us express ourselves and dig into what we are about by using the vehicle of sound. Many thanks to John Kyomon Wieczorek for sharing his thoughts and talents with us. There are many other workshops and you should definitely come and check them out. It will be time well spent.


The Maestro (There I go labeling myself, LOL)

Saturday Schedule Changes

Due to the Zen Arts workshop series, there will be no saturday morning keiko on July 18th, August 1st, August 8th.

Basics Seminar Rescheduled

The Basics Seminar that was scheduled for July 25th has been combined with the August weapons seminar and rescheduled for the weekend of August 28-29-30. This weekend will provide opportunity for kyu testing for those who are ready, in depth weapons training and a full gasshuku schedule. Friday 6-8pm, Saturday 10-noon and 3-5pm, and Sunday 10-1 pm.

Living Color

Here is one of only two videos I've ever seen of O Sensei in color. Short but sweet. (check his style out at 38 seconds)


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