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 Cancelled

The Basics seminar that was schedule for this Saturday, October 31st has been cancelled due to influenza. We will, however, hold the regular class this saturday from 10 to 11:15am.

dojo membership

This next Wed., 11-04, I am hoping to have two, maybe three, prospective dojo members show up for class. If you know of anyone that you can invite, please keep that in mind. Maybe in the last five minutes we could have a total and complete head shaving ceremony for Phil-san, whaddya say?!? LOL

What a weekend...

Well if you don't know by now, Gleason Sensei, was in town this past weekend. Whenever Sensei makes a trip into town it always seem to leave me, as well as others, incredibly humbled and with a list of a lot of stuff to work on to improve my aikido training. This weekend was no different!!! But this weekend was unlike any other in the fact that I was testing for shodan, and Doug was testing for nidan. As if it wasn't intimidating enough just taking ukemi from Gleason Sensei, I was tasked with testing in front of him. Needless to say I was quite frightened. The test went very well and both Doug and myself passed!!!! I cannot write in words what an honor it is to be the first to test for shodan in front of someone from our direct lineage of aikido instructors.
This accomplishment does not belong to just me though. Our dojo has seen some good times and some bad times... and no matter what we've become a stronger dojo family from them both. This is not a victory for myself alone, but for all of us. I would not have completed the mountainous task laid in front of me on Saturday evening if it were not for all of you giving your blood, sweat, and ki on the mat with me in the months and years leading up to it. Thank you for the honest feedback, the patience, the impromptu morning test reviews, the dedication in this tough time. For that I am truly grateful.
There has been a lot of new ways presented to us at the dojo recently, and testing in front of Gleason Sensei is another one on that list. Despite the nervousness Friday, the absolute fright on Saturday all day, and the relief and soreness on Sunday, we were all still very victorious. Victorious in the sense that we all made one hell of an effort to take up the gauntlet that Gleason Sensei continually laid down for us this weekend. Even Gleason Sensei this was an "advanced seminar." I can promise you that I will continually add depth to my practice and increase my feeling, as long as I continue to have a great uke backing me up and responding honestly. I know all of you will continue to do the same. Thank you all for this, and for the making the dojo what it is.
Philip Behnfeldt


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