An Open Invitation to all Aikido Students

I am writing this as an open invitation to all aikido students who wish to participate in our training center.

In order to insure the highest level of training, the retreats will be limited to twenty participants and divided into the levels of fundamentals, intermediate and advanced. The word Okugyo indicates the advanced level, yet the training will go into depth at each level. Each student will be required to pass all aspects of one level before participating in the next.

The Okugyo training will emphasize the spiritual as well as the physical aspects of aikido. Students will participate in daily meditation, reading and discussion, and other activities designed to help the student move towards an integrated understanding of Aikido.

It has long been my goal to create an environment for this kind of personal training. Okugyo seminars will not make any distinction between affiliation or rank, but will be open to all who approach it with a sincere and humble attitude.


William Gleason

Sunday, January 25, 1970

Jay Sensei's Biography

ay Chikyo Weik is a certified Yondan (4th degree blackbelt) in the lineage passed down from Ueshiba Morihei, the founder, to Yamaguchi Seigo sensei, and through myself, William Gleason. He is an exceptional student and teacher and I have complete confidence in his ability to pass down legitimate aikido as it was passed down to me."
-William Gleason Sensei, 6th Dan, Author of "The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido"

Born in Toledo, Jay Chikyo Weik Sensei began his study of both the musical and martial arts in 1977. He graduated from St. Francis High School in 1987, and then moved to Boston to study guitar at Berklee College of Music and there came to the practice of Aikido with William Gleason Sensei at Shobu Aikido of Boston. After graduating from Berklee in 1990, he went on to earn a Masters Degree in Jazz Studies from the New England Conservatory in 1992, and lived as a professional Jazz musician and educator while he continued his Aikido training. Sensei has taught music at several New England area colleges, as well as having a full private guitar lesson practice. He is a published author with Mel Bay Books , recording artist and composer featured on “One Way Ticket” on the Dharma Communications label, and has concertized with Jazz legend Gary Peacock . He continues in his musical evolution today with the practice of the Japanese Zen Flute, the Shakuhachi under the guidance of Michael Chikuzen Gould Sensei .

After many years of diligent practice, Jay Sensei was teaching beginners Aikido classes at the main Shobu dojo and had started Boston area Aikido clubs at the Gillette, John Hancock, and Thompson and Thompson companies. It was during this time that he clarified his intention to one day open a dojo of his own, and was deeply influenced by Saotome Sensei and Ikeda Sensei of the Aikido Schools of Ueshiba organization, to which all Shobu Aikido dojo belong.

In 1988 Sensei began the study of Zen with Daido Roshi , at Zen Mountain Monastery and became a formal Zen student in 1995. In 1998 he received the Dharma name Chikyo, which translates as “Wisdom Mirror” and today continues his ongoing study with Myotai Sensei , founder of the Hermitage Heart Sangha .

Sensei met his wife Karen at the Boston dojo in 1992. In 1996 the two were married, and in 2000 they welcomed their daughter Isabella to life. In 2001 Sensei received his third degree black belt, and the three moved back to his hometown of Toledo to found Shobu Aikido of Ohio, the Toledo Zen Center and to share his new daughters life with his family. Sensei’s parents Otto and Dee Weik are life long Toledo area residents and the founders of Carpets by Otto and sister his Kelly has her own business as well, Art by Kelly .

Sensei has been active in the MultiFaith Council of Northwest Ohio . In 2004 Jay Sensei and his teacher Bill Gleason Sensei together founded the Shobu Okugyo Center which provides intensive Aikido retreats, bringing people from around the country to Toledo for in depth study of Aikido principle.

Since the dojo's beginning in 2001, it has grown incredibly and has become a vibrant community of practice, and in 2005 Jay Sensei received a promotion to the rank of Yondan (4th degree black belt). In 2007 he began teaching Jazz Guitar at the University of Toledo Music department, and has become a regular fixture down at Murphys Place playing with the UT Jazz faculty ensemble. Jay Sensei is one of the very few full time Aikido instructors in the country, and he devotes his full efforts to his family, his practice, and the constant evolution and growth of his students.

Jay Sensei has an extensive youtube channel, with clips of his Aikido, Music, and Zen teaching. He maintains blogs for Shobu Aikido of Ohio, the Toledo Zen Center, his guitar students, and was featured as the cover story of the October 24th edition of the Toledo City Paper.

In 2007, Jay was acknowledged as "Shuso" or head disciple of Myotai Sensei. This traditional rite of passage indicates a transition in Chikyos on going development in Zen training.

Jay was voted "Toledo's Best Music Teacher" by the Toledo City Paper.


The New England retreats are held at the Farm and Wilderness Center in Vermont:

The Midwest retreats are held at Shobu Aikido of Ohio:


To register for your first Okugyo retreat, please send an email with answers to the questions below to, and please make sure to include "Okugyo Registration" in the subject line.

Those who have previously attended an Okugyo retreat do not need to fill
out questions below again, simply send an email to confirm your dates.

1. Complete Name, age, address, phone and email.

2. Dates of the retreat you would like to attend.

3. Do you have any medical conditions which would affect your ability to participate in the schedule? Please explain.

4. Describe your martial arts training history.

5. In two paragraphs or less, please explain in detail why you wish to participate in this training.


The fees for the retreat are $450 which includes the cost of your
training, food and renting the training space.

Retreat participants are asked to either pay in full or make a deposit
of $225 which becomes non-refundable 2 weeks prior to your retreat.

Once your registration has been accepted, please send a check made
out to "Shobu Okuygo" to Shobu Aikido of Ohio, 6537 Angola Road
Holland, OH 43528.


"I highly recommend this opportunity to train intensively in a small-group setting with Bill Gleason Sensei. Anyone who has read his book ("The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido") or seen his DVD ("Aikido and the Japanese Sword") knows that Sensei's perspective is a most valuable one. I am encouraging my own students to attend these sessions."

Ken Nisson
Aikido of Modesto

"There are so many aspects of okugyo which are remarkable; it's like a pressure cooker in which your mindfulness, your understanding, your practice on the mat, and your connection with the teacher and students are all compressed, heated up and transformed into a spiritual meal which takes many months afterward to digest. It is very intense and very hard, but also blissful and transformative. Thanks!"

Gareth Hines
Boston, MA

"Okugyo retreats have helped me in a number of ways on the path of this study--We are lucky to have very skilled instructors that bring their personal experiences to light, which soundly combine the physical, spiritual, and mental way of Aikido; one is immersed in the practice the entire retreat, eating properly as practice, studying the origins of this art as practice, doing keiko as practice, learning or refining meditation as practice, and having the privilege of doing this work with other like-minded people. It has been a positive life-altering process."

Chuck Greer
Bowling Green, Ohio

"As a member of Shobu Aikido of Boston and a regular student of Sensei Gleason, I can attest to the depth of his sincerity as a teacher as well as his remarkable skill in Aikido. That being said, Okugyo surpassed my already high expectations in many ways. Unlike Gasshukus I have attended, this was the first chance I have had to really put into practice the spiritual aspect that makes Aikido unique and realize it's value on the mat as well as off. Sensei Weik's meditation guidance was invaluable in this regard as well as helping maintain a sense of deeper purpose. I have never been part of a group where the energy was so tangible, positive, focused and sincere. Okugyo is truly something very special and I am grateful for this oppertunity."

Aaron Green
Boston, MA

"The Okugyo retreats have had a transformational effect on me, physically, spiritually, and psychologically, on and off the mat. Okugyo creates an environment that fosters an immediate integration of these areas of development. These retreats allow me to share in Sensei Gleason's life work, a well-articulated and uniquely holistic perspective on the practice of aikido. I'm truly grateful for this opportunity and highly recommend the experience to all aikidoka who would preserve the spiritual depth in an our increasingly physical, fragmented art."

Tobias Bazarnick
Boston, MA

What Happens at an Okugyo Retreat?

An intensive Aikido retreat at the Okugyo Center is designed to be a transformative experience. By setting aside time to work with the physical and spiritual foundations of Aikido, we create a unique context for the direct realization of Aikido principle. All retreat participants must engage the complete training schedule from beginning to end. Alcoholic beverages will not be permitted for the duration of the seminar.

The 5 day Format

This 5 day training program is an integrated way of training in the
most fundamental principles of Aikido, and is an opportunity to be
immersed in all the areas of training deeply enough for them to make a
shift in your practice and understanding.

Seiza Naikan - The meditation practice of Seated Introspection
Hanashiai - Private guidance in your meditation practice each day
Norigoto - Kototama and Dharani chanting practice
Diet - Aiki principle applied to food
Caretaking - Manifesting Aikido principle in daily activity
Keiko - Five hours of on the mat Aikido training daily
Mondo - Daily lecture and question and answer sessions

Okugyo retreats are held from Wednesday evening through Sunday at noon.

Wednesday Evening

05:00 - 06:00pm Check in
06:00 - 06:45pm Light Dinner
07:00 - 07:45pm Beginning Instruction in Meditation and Chanting
08:00 - 09:30pm Okugyo Orientation
10:00 - Lights out

Thursday, Friday and Saturday

06:00 - 06:30am Wake up
06:30 - 08:00am Seiza Naikan/Hanahiai/Norigoto
08:00 - 08:30am Breakfast
08:45 - 09:30am Caretaking
10:00 - 12:00pm Keiko
12:30 - 02:45pm Lunch and Rest
03:00 - 05:00pm Keiko
05:30 - 06:20pm Dinner
06:30 - 07:30pm Mondo
8:00 - 09:30pm Norigoto/Seiza Naikan/Hanahiai
10:00pm - Lights out

Sunday Morning

07:00 - 07:30am Wake up
07:30 - 09:30am Seiza Naikan/Norigoto/Open Sozan
09:30 - 10:00am Tea
10:00 - 12:00 Noon Closing Keiko
01:00 - Lunch


William Gleason, 6th dan, founded Shobu Aikido, inc. in 1980 in Boston Massachusetts. There are presently five Shobu affiliate dojos from the Midwest to the east coast. He is also the author of the Spiritual Foundations of Aikido which explains the teachings of Morihei Ueshiba in depth. Gleason Sensei began his study of Aikido in 1969 at the Hombu dojo in Japan with Seigo Yamaguchi Sensei, one of the most gifted students of the founder. Since 1985 Gleason Sensei has continued to study with Mitsugi Saotome Shihan under the auspices of Aikido of Schools of Ueshiba.

"Jay Chikyo Weik is a certified Yondan (4th degree blackbelt) in the lineage passed down from Ueshiba Morihei, the founder, to Yamaguchi Seigo sensei, and through myself, William Gleason. He is an exceptional student and teacher and I have complete confidence in his ability to pass down legitimate aikido as it was passed down to me."
-William Gleason Sensei, 6th Dan, Author of "The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido"


Aikido is a martial art founded by the late Ueshiba Morihei O-Sensei of Japan. Ueshiba O-Sensei was one of the greatest masters of martial arts in any country or any period of recorded history. Through tremendous soul searching for the truth of Budo, he was led to his own spiritual enlightenment.

Aikido is a martial art based on the laws of nature, the order of the universe. As such it provides not only the necessary skills for self defense but also builds self-confidence, character, self-respect, and respect for others. It teaches us how to transform our aggression and the difficulties of our everyday life into joy and self-improvement. Practiced properly it enables us to bring our mind and body into harmony with our will and thereby realize our true nature as human beings.

Aikido is an art which can be practiced by young and old, male and female alike. Rather than fostering a spirit of competition, it utilizes partner practice to nurture a spirit of harmony and mutual assistance. Nevertheless, as a spiritual discipline, Aikido demands honesty, reality, and the kind of fierce determination necessary for self-polishing. This combination of factors sets the stage for an enjoyable study resulting in both practical results and deep intuition. The spirituality of Aikido's fundamental principle and the practicality of its execution are at the core of its growing appeal throughout the world today.

"The Victory of Shobu Aikido is to strike down and destroy the mind of doubt and conflict within yourself. It is to realize and carry out the destiny we have received from divine providence. It is the spirit of universal protection and nurturing, giving renewed energy to oneself and to others. This is the true Budo." - Ueshiba Morihei, Founder of Aikido