"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."
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!"
"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."
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."
"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."
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.