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


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

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