PRESS RELEASE: IMMEDIATE: Fundraiser March 21 – The Art of Peace in Los AngelesMar 20, 2019
Aikido Dojo In Search of New Home
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aikido Kenkyukai International USA (“AKI USA”), a premiere nonprofit Aikido organization headquartered in Los Angeles, will be holding a fundraiser for their future dojo on Thursday, March 21 from 5-7pm at the Hollywood Japanese Cultural Institute (“HJCI”) at 3929 Middlebury St., Los Angeles, CA 90004.
After holding classes for 6 years at HJCI, the group has been informed that their training is causing cracks in the ceiling and that they must move out. Funds will go towards a new dedicated space, where they will be able to hold daily Aikido classes, as well as international Aikido seminars.
The fundraiser will include a “roll-a-thon” where kids get pledges from friends and family for specific dollar amounts per aikido roll, kind of like a somersault. On the night of the roll-a-thon, the kids rolls as much as they can, the rolls are counted and kids go back to their sponsors to collect the funds pledged. There will also be a silent auction.
In past fundraisers by the group, some kids have done over 100 rolls!
“Aikido is a revolutionary martial art. It teaches the peaceful resolution of conflict by offering techniques that work via positioning and timing, rather than power and strength alone.”, said Lia Suzuki Sensei, National Director and internationally renowned instructor.
Having their own dedicated training space will allow AKI USA to better serve the community, with more classes, Teacher Training Courses, an International Uchi Deshi (“Live-In Student”) Program, a Youth Leadership Team Program and more.
Aikido training imparts to practitioners not only mastery of self defense techniques, but perhaps more importantly, it fosters empathy and compassion, mindfulness, confidence, fitness, respect and (More…) self discipline. And as a nonprofit organization, AKI USA is able to offer scholarships to those with financial strain so that everyone can train, regardless of socioeconomic status.
One mom in the group stated, “My daughter became a member of Aikido Kenkyukai in 2017. I could never have imagined what a positive impact the organization would have on her. My child who has consistently struggled with academics, coordination, and emotional stability has transformed into a confident member of the Youth Leadership Team, and proudly wears her blue belt. Lia Suzuki Sensei continues to teach her students how to navigate challenges in Aikido, and in life. With diligent training and self discipline, they persevere. I don’t think my daughter would have realized her true potential without such a dedicated teacher and supportive community.”
The organization launched its first Los Angeles branch in 2013, at the historic Hollywood Japanese Cultural Institute. The group now also has a Los Angeles dojo in Koreatown, along with its other long-established locations in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Philadelphia, and even England.
“It has been an honor to share space at the long-established Hollywood Japanese Cultural Institute.” said Lia Suzuki Sensei, National Director and internationally renowned instructor. “We’ve grown and now we’re told that it’s no longer safe for us to train in the building we’ve been using.”
“We see this as a sign that it’s time to take our next step and get our own dedicated space. And with our own space, we would be able to serve even more people in the community, bringing so many of the benefits Aikido training has to offer.”, she added.
Those wishing to attend or donate, please see our Facebook Event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/633904300379776/
For questions or to schedule an interview with Suzuki Sensei, please contact us:
Call or text: 424-209-2083
Email: [email protected]
Photos: Rick Wilkinson Phototgraphy
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Aikido Kenkyukai International USA (“AKI USA”), a premiere nonprofit Aikido organization dedicated to encouraging the practice of the Japanese non-violent martial art of Aikido and promoting Aikido as a positive and effective vehicle for self-improvement and spiritual growth. AKI USA was founded in 1996 by Lia Suzuki Sensei. In addition to offering traditional Aikido classes to beginner through advanced level practitioners, AKI USA has been home to the pioneering work started by Suzuki Sensei. She has used Aikido as a therapeutic vehicle for youth and adults with mental health and substance abuse issues, issues, military veterans, and has worked closely with drug rehabilitation centers, probation departments, and jails, offering workshops on Aiki Conflict Transformation, which she co-founded.