Aikido: The Way of Harmony

The aikido taught at Boaz Academy of Martial Arts is a practical and modern approach to budo.  We feel that in order to truly be “aikido” it needs to have a perfect balance of physical and spiritual technique.  As with many things in life, the lesson is actually in the experience.  We don’t feel the need to wax philosophical; but rather through hard, physical training we forge our human spirit and develop our characters into better humans being.

sosa3bFounder and Chief Instructor Gary Boaz has been a student of the martial arts since May of 1990 when he started his path in Aikido under Shihan Bill Sosa. Sosa Sensei held the rank of 6th Degree Black Belt (Rokkudan) in Seidokan Aikido under Roderick Kobayashi Sensei before going on to form his own organization, the International Aikido Association.

mastison-senseiIn January of 2000, Boaz Sensei resigned from Sosa-Sensei’s International Aikido Association and joined forces with long-time friend and mentor Fred Mastison Sensei of Aikido Of Phoenix. During the next several years Mastison-Sensei’s approach to aikido as a “complete budo” played a large role in how Boaz’s aikido developed.

reynosa-senseiIn 1994 Gary met Larry Reynosa-Sensei of Makoto Aikido Kyokai and once again  his aikido was refined.  Reynosa impressed Boaz with his no-nonsense approach to aikido which incorporated realistic self-defense with the spiritual side of harmony.  Reynosa also stressed the importance of integrity.  Being sincere in your training is imperative!

With almost two decades of training, Mr. Boaz holds the rank of yondan, or 4th degree black belt.  He feels strongly that regardless of rank, he is a beginner in aikido and will always be a student first.   His aikido is a very practical and individual approach with a harder edge to the training.   Growth and change is inevitable; we must continue on in life or stagnate and die.  In 2007 Boaz moved on from Aikido Phoenix (though he retains close ties to Mastison) and is now founder of the Independent Aikido Alliance; an organization designed to bring together individuals who are serious about their training in the art of aikido and would rather spend their time on the mat than worry about politics.


39 Responses to “Aikido: The Way of Harmony”

  1. john Edwards Says:

    Mr. Boaz I’ve been watching your youtube video’s over and over. I have been interested in Aikido for several years. No noe teaches ift here in East Texas. I really want to learn it. I’m a Deputy sheriff and 55 years old. Still in good shape. do you have any suggestions. The closes one I’ve found so far iis in Dallas 125 miles away. Would appreciate a response. PS. i find your training very professional.

    John Edwards Rusk County Sheriffs Office

    • boazproductions Says:

      John,

      We are only as old as we think we are! And some days I feel so much older. Seriously, thanks for the nice message. It’s great to be able to share the way I do aikido on the internet. Some people like it and…well, to each his own, you know? As for suggestions as to how to get into aikido, that’s kind of tough if there isn’t any around you. My first sensei was out of Dallas. Bill Sosa sensei was quite the teacher. Unfortunately he passed away several years ago and his way of doing aikido is pretty much gone now. Like so many others, his organization split up and turned into something entirely different than what he taught. If you’d like, give me a call sometime and I’ll tell you how I got started in aikido and how we did things. There wasn’t any aikido in this part of Kansas when the group I joined started. My number is 480-406-8997. If I don’t answer, just leave a message and I’ll call you when I get the chance. Have a good week and be safe out there!

      Gary

    • William Ross Says:

      try Aikido of carthage tx or etcc in dangerfield.

      • I trained under Sosa Shihan too and now teach in Shreveport. I happen to be with AAA now but still really use Sosa Shihan’s approach of clean, sharp and powerful techniques. I find what the AAA is is less political than most Aikikai so it fits well. If you like John please come over to Shreveport too. I plan on traveling around this summer some to train with friendly Aikido and like what I see in Sensei Boaz, I would think you would get your feet nice and wet training with him. William Ross Fukushidoin, Aikido of Shreveport.

  2. Sensei Boaz,

    I happened to catch some of your videos on youtube tonight and I very impressed. I love your practical, street effective approach to Aikido. I just started training a few weeks ago and i’m loving it. Do you ever have seminars near the Philadephia area? Or do you know someone out in my area that you might recommend as a good teacher. My current school is good, but nothing like you’re doing in your videos.

    I may be interested in purchasing some of your videos as well. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks again.

    ~ Rob

    • boazproductions Says:

      Hi Rob, thanks for the message. I’m glad you like my approach to aikido. There are many differing views on exactly what aikido is but I firmly believe it is an individual path. As for seminars, it’s been about a year since I’ve taught one. I teach here at my local dojo in Topeka, KS but just haven’t done many seminars over the last year or so due to circumstances. That’s changing (like life has a tendency to do!) so hopefully the seminar circuit will pick up again. Unfortunately I don’t really know of anyone in your area. Quite honestly not to many aikidoka have my approach to aikido as budo. That’s really why I put the videos on youtube and expertvillage; to try to spread the word more. I do have videos, quite a few actually. If you’ve just started your path I’d recommend my kihon dvd. It’s the first in a series for my group, the Independent Aikido Alliance and it covers attacks from behind (ushiro waza). I hate “pimping” my own products, but there you have it. Let me know if you want to purchase it as I go through PayPal. Also, if you ever have any questions or anything, just email me at boazproductions@gmail.com or call me at 480406-8997. Take care!

      Gary

  3. boaz, admiro su estilo y me gustaria difundir este tipo de aikido,pues en argentina no tenemos ninguna escuela de este nivel.Personalmente es muy efectivo pues lo he visto muy detallado en sus videos.Me gustaria conseguir sus videos y su guias (basic,intermedio,superior).Desde ya muchas gracias se lo agradeceremos.

  4. Mike Matuszeski Says:

    Hello, Mr.Boas,

    Disregard the last email, I thought you were in Kck. DO you have a student in Kansas City Kansas or do you travel?

    let me know

    Mike Matuszeski
    8169144479

  5. Mike Matuszeski Says:

    Awesome Aikido!

    The IAA is a great organization. There is no need for Politics, Just personal growth and learning the Martial Way.

    Thanks
    MIke

  6. Greetings Mr. Boaz. I have watched a number of your videos and i am very impressed with your style of Aikido and how you teach it. I am curious to where your dojo is located. In one place it says that it is in Topeka Ks, yet within these pages it mentions that you are in Kansas City Ks. Could you please clarify?

    Thanks in advance,
    Jerry M.

  7. I am often searching for new infos in the internet about this matter. Thankz.

  8. Hello Boaz Sensei,

    I too have watched as many of your videos as I could find on YouTube. They are excellent, some of he best instructional videos on Aikido that I have ever watched. It would be truly wonderful if you could compile these and put them on a DVD for sale. I know I and many others would be happy to purchase this. Frankly, YouTube sucks as a venue: no organization to it, and advertisement after advertisement interfere with the experience. There’s got to be a better way!

    Thanks for your time.

    Domo arigato

    Marv

    • boazproductions Says:

      Hey Marv,

      First, thanks for supporting my work. I’m glad you like what I have to offer and even more happy that you took the time to write me about it. In other words, thanks! I agree that watching the videos on Expert Village or Youtube sucks. Believe it or not you are not the first person to suggest this. I actually did exactly what you suggested. I now have all of the videos I created for Expert Village on a 5 disc compilation. There are 3 beginner discs, 2 intermediate and 1 advanced. They are all organized in an efficient manner with custom built navigation menus (I also have a video production company). These are for sale so if you are interested, just send me an email at boazproductions@gmail.com.

      Thanks again and have a great week!
      Gary

  9. James Woods Says:

    Boaz Sensei,

    I just happened upon some of your instructional videos tonight, and noticed extreme commonalities between methods you teach and those that I promote. Upon reading your bio, I realized our common source: Bill Sosa Sensei. I have trained under several “offspring” of Sosa’s, including Bryan Robbins, Michael Park, and Lynn and David Fabia. I will be sure to turn my beginning students on to you as a visual resource.

    • boazproductions Says:

      Thank you James! Sosa Sensei was a very gifted instructor. I took me several years after I left his organization to realize this. Dave Fabia used to visit us up here in Kansas every once in awhile. I really loved his approach to aikido and we became good friends. I haven’t heard from Dave in many years unfortunately. If you ever need anything please don’t hesitate to ask!!!

  10. Dear Boaz Sensei,

    I am enjoying your videos, especially the defenses against kicks. Your style is refreshing, and seems very fluid and street savy instead of the more traditional throws that I studied. I would love to buy your collection of DVD’s. I;d love to see a video of you performing randore at full speed.

    I haven’t practiced aikido in about 10 years but your videos make me wish that I lived close to your dojo.

    Many thanks and blessings,

    David

    • boazproductions Says:

      David,

      Thanks for the kind words sir! I’m glad you enjoy my videos and hope they are of some value to you. If you are ever interested in purchasing some of them, feel free to visit my store at http://www.aikidoalliance.com. Take care and if you are ever in Kansas let me know!

      Gary

  11. Shaun Antonelli Says:

    Dear Boaz Sensei,

    i have been in the arts for 22 years now an have been all over for it… never learned anthing in the states… but with what i have seen fome you, makes me want to move to where your school is.. but for now i have stared aikido back up.. an some time i would love to come see your school… an for the guy thats in east texas.. there is a school here.. just out side texas city… just in case he would like to know….

  12. Carlos Cruz Says:

    Please advise if you provide lesson for kids. 4 and up…

    I have 4 year old that is an athletic guy and i think aikido would be perfect for him to practice.

    Please provide me information.

    • boazproductions Says:

      Dear Carlos,

      Yes, we have a children’s class for ages 5 – 13. However, this is not a rule etched in stone. It all depends on their level of maturity and attention span. Sometimes 4 year olds can handle the class, sometimes 6 year olds can’t. Heck, most of the adults have a tough time with it! Seriously, the best thing to do is to give me a call and schedule a time to come to class. This way your little guy can check it out and we can determine if the class is a fit for him. My number is 480-406-8997. We are in Topeka, KS. The actual school address is: Professional Martial Arts, 1900 SW Clay St. Topeka, KS 66604. Thanks for the inquiry!

  13. Let me start by saying i love your videos on youtube, that’s one of the reasons why am pursuing aikido, i was actually watching ninjitsu videos and i stumble across your videos!!!! before all i knew about aikido was Steven Seagal movies! thank you for those videos and giving me the inspiration to pursue something great. Take care and keep up the good work!!!!!!

  14. Dan Daugherty Says:

    Mr. Boaz,

    Greetings. I enjoy watching your videos on Youtube. I do not practice any forms of martial arts at this time but have been looking to get somewhat involved in them again. I last practiced TKD about 27 years ago. I have been doing some reasearch on Aikido. If there were 1 0r 2 books that you might recommend to someone looking which ones would they be? thanks for any information that you could share with me.

  15. Hey Gary love the youtube videos and your no nonesense approach to aikido you teach. I am a student of aikido here in Denver with Gaku Homma Sensei. I havent reached Dan yet so Im not allowed to go to the advanced classes and when ever I bring this up to the higher belts I never get my questions answered, but my question is this. Do you do any practical teaching for defense against BJJ and Judo ground fighting and what we do if we are taken down or attacked low. I have been looking around for awhile now for this type of info and can’t seem to find anything. I was also wondering if there is no defense against shoot fighting in aikido if you ever thought about creating a type of grappling aikido based of O’sensei’s teachings. I feel with the increase of BJJ in this country I would like to be better prepared for this type of attack.

    Thanks,
    Dan Denver, CO.

  16. Marcio Etiane Says:

    Onegaishimasu Boaz Sensei
    I’M from Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil and I’ve been watching you videos on youtube and i want to buy the complete set
    I’m training under supervision of Marcelo Serra Sensei that is a studente of Reynossa sensei.
    Your style ir very similar to the one we are training and you tips helped me alot. I sincerely would like to have the oportunity to practice under your supervision some day or maybe you coul be in a seminar here at Manaus some day.

  17. Boaz Sensei,
    I am fourteen years old and want to start aikido. I watched your youtube videos, and have learned quite a bit. I live in Okinawa, Japan and am exposed to a lot of things like karate, jiu jitsu, judo, kendo, and moi tai, however, I think aikido is the best fore me. I have used some of your techniques shown on youtube, and it helped we win some “tap-out” games with my American and Asian friends who do wrestling, Brazilian jiu jitsu, and other stuff. However, I want to learn more. I am a little shorter than most guys my age, so aikido suits me fine. I just want to ask if you still do vids online. I just about watched them all and still want to learn so I can cream my friends :) in a friendly “peaceful” way, of course.

  18. Really love your youtube stuff.
    I currently train in NJ. Really interested in any seminars you would be doing around the country as I am not moving to Kansas anytime soon. (sorry)
    Visiting would be possible though. Associate teachers in this area would be great too!
    Thanks for , as you probably know already, not neglecting strikes and or the hands in your Aikido teaching.
    Greg

  19. Im 15 and i love your vids on Youtube :}}}} Could you send me a few videos on how to deal with several attacks such as a bear hug, etc. And i find that the Rondori is interesting too. Could you send me some videos on that too? Thanks mate :} Cheers and God Bless!!!!

  20. Clem Sturgess Says:

    Dear Mr Boaz,
    I am a student of Aikido, in particular Yuishinkai under Master Koretoshi Maruyama. I have become fascinated with your you-tube bits and inparticular your focus on Uke-Nagashi. I just wanted to say that myself and many members of our club have drawn a lot from what we have seen of you on you-tube. Digging deeper and reading some of your comments, i also se that Aikido is something that has affected you in so much more than merely the physical. This is something to which myself and all of my clubmates aspire to and practice on a daily basis.

    We are a very open minded bunch for the most part, and our chief international instructor Mr Michael Williams encourages us to be open to other budo as well. We take what we can from what we see and hope that it makes us better Aikidoka.

    Really, i just wanted to say thanks, and it is great to know that there are guys like yourself out there who practice a whole Aikido: it really gives us all something to aspire to.

    If you could let me know the names of any books and DVD’s that you have produced and would reccomend i would be thankful as i am trying to assemble a bit of a library for the club. We really like the way you go about things so something from yourself would be great. Can we buy online from you?

    Kind regards,

    Clem Sturgess

  21. Dear Boaz Sensei,

    I am living in Singapore and i would like to find a dojo here. Do you know of any Sensei here that you can recommend me?

  22. Bert miller Says:

    How many aikido classes do you have a week and what is schedule.I would like to visit your school and train while on vacation.I do’nt live in Kansas. I have no trining in aikido but trianed in jujitsu.

  23. Hi sensei Boaz,
    how many adult aikido classes do you have a week and what is the shedule.

    • boazproductions Says:

      Bert, right now I have 3 classes per week: Monday & Wednesday from 7:30 to 9:00pm and Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00pm. Come on by some evening and meet everyone.

  24. Rizky Wijayani Says:

    When you come to Indonesia, Gary sensei?

  25. Rizky Wijayani Says:

    Dear Boaz Sensi,

    I ‘m from Nanggroe Aceh darussalam, Indonesia.
    When you come to Indonesia, Gary BOaz sensei?

  26. Burak Eren Yılmaz Says:

    Hello Sensei Boaz;
    I am also one of the Aikido follower as an yellow belt in Turkey. I am really enjonying with your aikido videos on internet. Your style of teaching aikido is really what i am looking for but unfortunately no one is combining traditional techniques into modern and applying it with real time attack. I know this would be hard but i wish i could be one of the practicer under your instructions. I hope that one you could come to Turkey to conduct a seminar and i would like to attend it.
    Greetings
    Burak Eren Yılmaz

  27. I live in Mayetta, KS which is 20 miles north of Topeka. I have four children and one today just got back-handed by a boy at school. My daughter started at this school in the 3rd grade and it’s whites and it’s indians. I would love nothing more to show my daughter a way to defend herself during unexpected occurences and have her more prepared. She is athletic, out-going, and liked by all. I want my daughter to be able to defend herself in situations that require defending. Any recommendations?

    • boazproductions Says:

      April,

      bullying is a tough issue these days. Well, not in my opinion but how “society” is teaching us to handle it is a problem. Why don’t you give me a call? We can discuss this a little more in private. My number is 480-406-8997. Yes, it’s a Phoenix area code but I live in topeka. I never changed my number when I moved back from the Valley of the Sun.

      Gary

  28. I like your idea. Less politics more on the mat and behave like a beginner. I am dojo cho of kyorakukan. Nishio style aikido in the Netherlands. Yodan and started with aikido in 1980. Hope to meet you some time!

    • boazproductions Says:

      Thanks for the message Albert! I happen to love Nishio style and feel it is one of the few real forms of practical budo through aikido. I will be in the Netherlands in 9 days. I will be there from the 16th through the 27th and will be teaching many classes. check out http://www.bushidojo.nl for more information. I would like to meet with you also!

      ~gb

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