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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Expert Leads Beer Pairing & Tasting Event

Local Martial Arts Youth Program to Benefit

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


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 compliment 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,”said Rosen when asked why he decided to do the fundraiser for the South Coast nonprofit martial arts dojo, or studio.

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 non-violent 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 work-out, 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 is being donated by Union Ale and 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.

Those wishing to learn more or to contribute are invited to visit www.aksb.org or the event page: http://bit.ly/BeerForAikido. They can also call 805-870-5437.

To contact Rosen or Suzuki, call (805) 870-5437 or email interns@aksb.org.

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