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.
Founder 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.
In 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.
In 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.