Aikido is simply the best way I know of finding your center, settling your mind, and developing your spirit. Aikido was developed this century in Japan by Morihei Ueshiba. After years of mastering different martial arts and years of seclusion and meditation, Ueshiba discovered that the true purpose of all martial arts is to preserve life and resolve conflict. Ueshiba developed Aikido based on this philosophy.
Aikido develops both practical self-defense skills and a joyful, compassionate approach to resolving conflict. Students learn throwing and pinning techniques and how to fall safely when thrown. Aikido techniques do not rely on superior strength or size and can be practiced by women and men of any age or physical condition.
My favorite place to train in San Francisco is Aikido of Noe Valley. Steve Gengo is the chief instructor there. Steve has been doing Aikido for more than 30 years and has been teaching for over 20 years. He has a PhD in psychology with extensive training in religion and philosophy, all of which he incorporates into his teaching, which in my opinion deeply enriches the classes.
Here’s one page I did manage to find on the San Francisco city website:
A list of city-owned parking garages, their locations, number of spaces, and links to more information. City-owned garages are the least expensive of the garages, so I’ve found this list to be quite useful.
So nice to see a large municipality like San Francisco allowing its residents to conduct necessary transactions, like paying for parking tickets, online.
Too bad the link is almost impossible to find once you get to the city’s website. Here it is:
Scroll down the page and click on “Begin” to start. Enter the citation number. (It says you can enter the license number, but when I did that nothing came up. The citation number, however, worked fine).
Heads up. The SFMOMA Artists Gallery is hosting their annual sale of art by contemporary West Coast artists May 5-9th, 2004. The opening reception is Wednesday May 5th, 6-9pm, at Fort Mason, next to Greens. I and a friend bought pieces here last year at the sale that we love and the prices were fabulous. Everything is 50% off.
If you are a swimmer, it’s hard to find good pools for lap swimming. The lanes are often too narrow, the water too warm, and lap swim times too few, especially in the summer. Fortunately for San Francisco, we have the USF Koret Center, at the corner of Turk and Stanyan (enter from garage on Turk). The center is part of the University of San Francisco, a private Catholic university. Anyone can use Koret by buying a 15-use public pass for $75. Drop-in fees are $15. The pool is an Olympic sized 50 meters long by 25 yards wide. The temperature is cool, I forget the actual degree, but it’s perfect for lap swimming. You don’t get overheated.
A great foundation for all martial arts and a strengthening, meditative practice can be found in the art of T’ai Chi. San Francisco hosts a terrific T’ai Chi school at 8th and Folsom, the Inner Research Institute with instructor Martin Inn who has been teaching T’ai Chi for over 30 years.