One often hears "it's tradition" used as an explanation for why things are done a certain way. Sometimes, however, tradition is not an end in itself, but a means to another goal. Such is the attitude at Aikido of Scottsdale. A Japanese martial art that redirects the force and motion of an attacker so as to render him harmless, aikido also intends to affect one's daily attitude, to help enhance the inner strength needed to deal with everyday situations. This is why the traditions surrounding aikido are so important to Glenn Brooks, a fifth-degree black belt and chief instructor at Aikido of Scottsdale. "Adhering to and maintaining a certain level of etiquette, discipline, [and the] ways of teaching aikido that have been established by its founder are important in developing oneself as a whole," says Brooks. Just as the traditions of aikido promote the bettering of oneself, this self-improvement helps a student learn traditional aikido. "Traditional aikido training develops a person from the inside out," adds Brooks, "so the proper or necessary steps must first be taken in order to experience all the benefits that aikido has to offer."
Located at 7601 East Gray, Suite C, in the Scottsdale Airpark, AoS offers adult classes five days a week and kids' classes twice a week. For more information, call 480-367-0222 or visit www.aikidoofscottsdale.org. -- Justin Gulesrian
Bikers take to Laveen streets
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Bicycling enthusiasts know two things to be true. The first is that it takes a brave soul indeed to don skin-tight fluorescent Lycra biking shorts without a hint of insecurity. The second is that the best rides are always found outside of the city. Proof awaits this weekend in the farming community of Laveen. Saddle up and ride this Sunday, February 8, at the 12th Annual Laveen Country Challenge Bicycle Tour, starting at Laveen Elementary School, 51st Avenue and Dobbins. Three rides -- a metric century, 30-mile ride, and 15-mile family ride -- are on the docket, with a pit barbecue to follow. Registration begins at 7 a.m., with the first race commencing at 8 a.m. For details call 602-330-3620. -- Craig Wallach