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.

Muketsu Invades D.C. (Part 2 of 5)

Day 2 – July 2


During the 8:30 AM class, the class was broken into four groups. One group worked on Aiki-ken #1-5, another group worked on Aiki-ken #6-12, another group worked on Aiki-jo #1-6, and another group worked on the basics of two-sword technique. I went to the two-sword basics class, taught by Eugene Sensei of the D.C. dojo and George Ledyard Sensei of Aikido Eastside of Bellevue, Washington. First, Eugene Sensei taught us how to wear, draw, and hold the bokken and shoto. Next, we worked on basic kamae followed by an irimi-tenkan exercise with both swords. Lastly, we practiced on basic kata practice involving shomen followed by a side body blow, shomen followed by an upward wrist cut, and shomen followed by tsuki.

“When you attack an opponent, in order to parry the blow of the opponent’s sword, making as if to stab him in the eyes, you dash his sword to your right with your sword, thus parrying it.

“There is also what is called the stabbing parry. Making as if to stab the opponent in the right eye, with the idea of clipping off his neck, you parry the opponent’s striking sword with a stabbing thrust.

“Also, when an opponent strikes and you close in with a shorter sword, without paying so much attention to the parrying sword, you close in as if to hit your opponent in the face with your left hand.

“These are the three parries. Making your left hand into a fist, you should think of it as if you were punching your opponent in the face. This is something that requires through training and practice.”
– from the “Water Scroll”

Ikeda Sensei taught the 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM class. First, we worked on the jo, and Sensei showed us the proper way of attacking shomen and yokomen. Yokomen attacks are not like swinging a sword. The body is faced straight ahead, and the angle of the attack comes from body positioning where the leg and the shoulder are forward. Next, we worked on paired jo kata. During this time, I worked with Jim Sorrentino Sensei of Aikido of Northern Virginia. Ikeda Sensei was demonstrating how the jo was used as both offense and defense. Next, we practiced on jo vs. bokken. Some of things to keep in mind during this practice is the maai and the fact that the sword can be used to chop up the jo. After the break, we worked on breaking uke’s balance with katate tori and morote tori. Here, Sensei was showing how he was internally shifting his hara from his front to his back. Huh? And when uke is fighting, Sensei would instruct to move uke’s shoulder first and then uke’s elbow. He also was talking about making movements smaller.


Charlie Page Sensei of Baltimore Aikido taught the first Rokudan 2:30 PM – 5:00 PM class of the day. We worked on techniques including Katate Tori Ikkyo, Ryo Kata Tori Kokyu Nage, and Katate Tori Kaiten Nage. On this last technique that I mentioned, Page Sensei went around as we practiced and corrected me by telling me to enter deeply and leaving NO GAP between uke and me. (Note: It seems that I have been encountering this no-gap concept a lot since I received my aiki name.) At one point, while I was taking ukemi from Page Sensei, my toenail of my left big toe got caught in the crack between the mats causing my toenail to be lifted from its nail bed. This left a large hematoma underneath my toenail. During this keiko, I worked with Eric from Pennsylvania who gave me a hint on doing and effective ikkyo from kata tori. He told me to apply pressure to the elbow joint with the palm of my hand and then rolling the shoulder toward the point of imbalance.

After a brief break, Wendy Whited Sensei of the Inaka Dojo in Beecher, Illinois led the second Rokudan class. We worked on two-person randori with bokken. (Nage is also using a bokken.) I got to give a shout out to Steve Singer of Baltimore Aikido, who was one of my training partners. Cool guy. Sensei used all the women aikidoka as uke for her demonstration. Nothing wrong with that. Fun class.


For the first half of the 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM class, Saotome Sensei compared wielding a sword with one hand in two-sword technique to horseback riding. In horseback riding, the samurai is limited in certain sword movements because of the horse’s head in front of him. So we worked on paired single-sword exercises with this concept. The second half of class can be described with one word: FUN. We finally worked on two-sword technique consisting of attacks from shomen, yokomen, shomen followed by right yokomen, shomen followed by left yokomen, and shomen followed by tsuki. At the end, he briefly showed how two-sword technique related to empty-hand technique with atemi.

Now on to Day 3…


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