Friday, November 16 , 2018, 2:42 pm | Fair 69º


Expert to Lead Beer Pairing, Tasting Event at Aikido Kenkyukai Santa Barbara

Oct. 8 fundraiser with Zach Rosen will benefit the nonprofit martial arts organization

Beer and food expert Zach Rosen will lead a fundraiser at Aikido Kenkyukai Santa Barbara at 121A E. Mason St. from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8.

Zach Rosen
Zach Rosen

Rosen is considered the world’s youngest certified “cicerone” or sommelier for beer. He will present a variety of cheeses, chocolates and beers in a setting that will allow attendees to experience how these flavors complement and contrast each other.

“I strongly agree with the values that the martial art of aikido promotes and think it is a great platform for helping children develop peaceful solutions to life’s problems,” Rosen said.

Lia Suzuki Sensei, founder of AKSB, said her nonprofit organization is providing South Coast residents with a path toward peace. It encourages the practice of the Japanese nonviolent martial art of aikido, promoting it as a vehicle for self-improvement and spiritual growth, and as a harmonious way to resolve everyday stress and conflict.

“When I lived in Japan, my colleagues and I would often joke that we practiced Aikido ‘to make the beer taste better,’” said Suzuki, who lived and trained in Japan for nearly 10 years. “Of course, aikido offers its practitioners tools for peaceful resolution of conflict, personal growth and spiritual development, but it’s also just a great workout as well.”

To prove her point, Suzuki and certified instructors will be leading a special class before the event for all aikido practitioners, regardless of age, rank or affiliation. The class will run from 1 to 3 p.m. and ages will range from 4 years old to 99. Spectators and visitors are welcome.

“Bringing together the community while giving back to it is always a reason to celebrate,” Rosen said. “Plus, I love the opportunity to change people’s perspective on beer.”

The beer will be donated by Union Ale and the food by Whole Foods Market. Taxi driver Bijan Yazdansepas of Checker Cab has pledged to donate 50 percent of all tips from the event back to the organization. Admission is free, with a donation to the organization.

For more information or to contribute, click here or call 805.870.5437.

— Lia Suzuki is the head instructor for Aikido Kenkyukai Santa Barbara.

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