HERON'S BRIDGE, a non-profit membership organization, provides integrative arts education for people of all abilities, skill and fitness levels, and learning styles. Group and private/semi-private instruction for new beginners and all levels includes the following arts: Taiji & Qigong, Okinawan Karate, Arnis Filipino Sticks, Aikido, empowerment self-protection & self-care strategies, healing meditation, peace-building skills, interpretive dance, poetry, and more.


Heron's Bridge programs offer ongoing opportunities for participants to deepen and expand confidence, self-esteem, social justice activism, cultural understanding, mind-heart-body-voice integration, limit-setting and personal boundary awareness, imagination and creativity, calming down skills, being an effective ally, and dealing with safety emergencies.


From traditional roots to current methods, these arts continue to be developed through the leadership of women and diverse practitioners of all genders. Integrative arts emphasize interdependence and respect for the ground we share. The practice in any form is designed to celebrate and protect all life. Instruction at every level involves working in ways that are fun and sustainable through each stage of life, from younger to elder. It's never too late to begin!


Heron's Bridge is interested in hosting creative arts programs. If you have something that you would like to share, and you think it may be a good fit, please contact HB for more information.


HERON'S BRIDGE PROGRAMS:the best of what we had before, plus MORE! HB programs are held at One Cottage St. #319, Easthampton, and by arrangement at other community organizations including schools, clubs, social service agencies, health centers, libraries, etc. Sessions are designed to be fun, empowering, encouraging and safe. For more information, please contact Heron's Bridge or the individual program directors.


LOTUS PEACE ARTS

Program Director: Shinshii Janet Aalfs

Contact: #413-320-3248, jeaalfs7@gmail.com

Group and private/semi-private instruction for new beginners and all levels includes Liangong healing, strengthening, flexibility methods; Dayan Wild Goose Qigong; Wu Style Taiji; Shuriryu Okinawan Karate, Arnis Filipino Sticks, poetry, empowerment self-protection & self-care strategies, healing meditation, peace-building skills, interpretive dance, and more. Shinshii Aalfs offers integrative arts education with an emphasis on creative transformation at Heron's Bridge and at venues throughout the area, as well as through national and international programs. She has more than forty years of experience teaching, performing, being an arts activist, and helping to create “sites for revelation.” Shinshii Aalfs is one of the founding members of Valley Women's Martial Arts (1977). As of Autumn 2019, VWMA has become a program of Heron's Bridge.


VALLEY WOMEN'S MARTIAL ARTS

Program Director: Sensei Sally Johnson Van Wright

Contact: heronsbridge77@gmail.com

Taken individually or in combination, these classes provide short-term and ongoing practice for women and girls, ages 9+, and Power Girls classes, ages 6-10. Curriculum includes basic principles, forms, and techniques of Shuri-ryu Okinawan Karate, Arnis Filipino Stick Arts, Liangong healing, strengthening, flexibility exercises, and everyday self-protection & self-care skills. In all aspects of learning, students are encouraged to discover and share more about their own and others' special gifts and strengths. Age-appropriate exercises, games, movement meditation, special performances, and community service events support participants in making healthy everyday choices and connections. VWMA programs are facilitated by an experienced team of black belt instructors and community educators.


DRAGON'S DEN SCHOOL OF MARTIAL ARTS

Program Director: Sensei James Arana

Sessions are by appointment only. Contact: #413-531-4940

Since 1976, Sensei Arana has worked with youth and adults utilizing techniques of Goju-ryu Okinawan Karate, “hard-soft style,” as well as a variety of creative methods designed to facilitate dialogue across race, class, and gender. His peace-building work promotes healing, positive connections, empowerment, violence-prevention, social justice, and overall well-being. In the U.S. and internationally, Sensei Arana has worked in community through a variety of organizations including UNITAS Therapeutic Community, The Performance Project, Men’s Resources International, and MERGE for Equality.


CIRCLE CENTER AIKIDO

Program Director: Sensei Marin Goldstein

Contact: #413-977-3409, marin.goldstein@gmail.com

“Aikido is not a technique to fight with or to defeat the enemy. It is a way to reconcile the world and make human beings one family.” – O Sensei Aikido, often called “The Art of Peace,” translates as the way of harmonizing your spirit with the universe. This work explores how to develop choice in the experience of everyday conflicts. Participants learn to work with conflict and effortlessly redirect it in a way that protects themselves. This program provides an experiential study of self-defense techniques, personal awareness and partner relationships. Interactive instruction and demonstration is followed by gentle, physical activity. Aikido practice cultivates the skill and courage to stay in the present moment and face things as they are with an open heart. The atmosphere is noncompetitive and collaborative, and is suited for people of all ages, sizes, and athletic ability, no martial arts background necessary.

All classes are at the Heron's Bridge dojo at

1 Cottage Street, Easthampton unless otherwise specified.