William Gleason Shihan founded and has led Shobu Aikido of Boston since 1980. Shobu has had several dojos in the Boston area, and has been been at our Somerville location for over 10 years. Last year we had to renew our lease with a significant increase in cost, which has gone up every year. We have not been able to increase our membership to cover the expense leaving us significantly short every month, and we don't have the cash on hand to do the marketing that might increase membership. We are seeking help to ensure the survival of the dojo.
Gleason Sensei studied in Japan under Seigo Yamaguchi Sensei from 1969 through 1980, also taking classes from Saotome Shihan. In 1980 he returned to America to promote Aikido here, teaching in association with the ASU. Gleason Sensei has raised many high ranking students and there are five dojos across the United States under the auspices of ASU that are founded by his students.
Our goal with this GoFundMe is first, to pay current debts with enough of a buffer so that we can focus on building membership; second, to put marketing activities in place to raise membership to the point where we can be self-sustaining; and third to build up our kids program as an additional source of stability and augmentation to our program.
Our GoFundMe goal of $18,000 is enough to cover these initiatives and, we think, put us on a sound financial footing.