From Our Editors
Lee Lavi Ramirez, North Valley Aikikai?s chief instructor, sees martial arts as a mode of self-discovery, rather than a stylized battle between competitors. This philosophy shines in her studio?s Iaido class, which centers on sword-drawing as practiced by feudal Japan?s samurai; students practice the art alone with an instructor. The philosophy also prevails during aikido body art classes, which emphasize introspection and observation. Although the practice of aikido is noncompetitive, advanced sessions incorporate weapons such as the wooden knife and plastic spork. North Valley Aikikai further supports the pursuit of focus and grace through yoga classes. Vinyasa sessions knit breath and movement into a fluid discipline.