The public is invited to a celebration of the release of the new book Journey to the Heart of Aikido, by local author and internationally known Aikido teacher Linda Holiday, on Saturday, October 5, 6:30-9:00 pm, at the First Congregational Church in Santa Cruz. 82-year-old Aikido master-teacher Motomichi Anno, whose philosophical teachings are featured in Holiday’s book, will travel from Japan to speak at the event. Dr. Richard Strozzi-Heckler, John Stevens, and other distinguished authors and teachers will give remarks on “The Art of Peace in the 21st Century.” Holiday, who has been chief instructor of Aikido of Santa Cruz for over 30 years, will read excerpts from her book.  There will also be demonstrations of Aikido.  Tickets may be purchased in advance online, or at the door.  Admission is $10 (free for children under 12), or $25 for admission plus an autographed book.  Copies of Journey to the Heart of Aikido will be available at the event at a discounted price. All proceeds will benefit Aikido of Santa Cruz, a non-profit, educational organization.  Tickets and info at  or call 831-423-8326, box 4. 

Motomichi Anno Sensei is one of the highest-level teachers of Aikido in the world today. An 8th degree black belt since 1978, he is one of the few remaining members of a generation of Japanese master-teachers who received direct instruction from the founder of Aikido. Anno Sensei has studied and taught Aikido at the historic Kumano Juku Dojo since 1954, and served as its chief instructor for nine years. In 2009, Anno Sensei received the prestigious Distinguished Service Award from the Japan Martial Arts Association for his lifetime dedication to teaching Aikido.

Translated and edited by Linda Holiday, Anno Sensei’s teachings on Aikido's essential spirit of love, harmony, gratitude, and purification are conveyed with simple authenticity and eloquence. Holiday offers the intimacy of Anno Sensei’s communication through translated discourses on the deep practice of Aikido and candid dialogues with Western students.  One of the highlights of the book is the poignant story of Anno Sensei’s life, stretching from his childhood in war-torn Japan to his elder years as an international teacher of peace through Aikido.  Holiday also includes a vivid account of her adventures in the 1970’s as one of the first Westerners to undergo intensive Aikido training in the remote Kumano region of Japan, where she became a close student of Anno Sensei.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Author and translator Linda Holiday is one of the world’s most senior female Aikido teachers, with over forty years of experience in the art. A 6th degree black belt, she has taught Aikido professionally since 1976.  In 1982 Holiday founded a nonprofit educational organization, Aikido of Santa Cruz, where she continues to serve as chief instructor. She leads seminars in the U.S. and Europe focusing on the heart of Aikido.  Holiday’s adventurous first year as a young UCSC student studying Aikido in the city of Shingu, Japan, led to the establishment in 1974 of a Sister City relationship between Shingu and Santa Cruz that still thrives today.



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