The New Orleans Exercist: Dojo mojo


Aikido practitioners demonstrate ude garami, a defensive wrist lock technique. - YOSEIKAN/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Aikido practitioners demonstrate ude garami, a defensive wrist lock technique.

Each week, the New Orleans Exercist brings you news and events for active living in the Big Easy. This Saturday, explore the Japanese martial art of aikido at a free open house. Budding triathletes can compete in CASA Jefferson’s youth triathlon, which offers abbreviated courses for competitors as young as 7. Plus: free yoga, a poolside happy hour workout and more.

- Today is the last day to support FitLot’s fundraiser to build a pavilion of free outdoor workout equipment adjacent to the Lafitte Greenway. As of this afternoon, the group is about $3,000 away from its $35,000 goal. You can support the campaign here.

- Drop by the Growing Local NOLA garden (1750 Carondelet St.) for a free sunset yoga class at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday (Sept. 16). RSVP to 813-785-8386 or to reserve your post-stretch snack.

- Your swimsuit’s days are numbered: this Thursday (Sept. 17) is the final Sweat. Stretch. Swim. event at the W French Quarter (316 Chartres St., 504-581-1200; Lululemon and The Sweat Social host the healthy alternative to happy hour, which includes a 30-minute workout followed by stretching and casual pool time.

- Thomas Q. Sims teaches yoga at 9 a.m. Saturday mornings at Press Street Gardens (corner of Press and Dauphine streets) starting this week. BYO mat and $8 cash (or slightly more by card). The Boxcar, the food truck operated by NOCCA culinary students, is on-site from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. for pre- and post-workout coffee.

- NOLA Aikido (3909 Bienville St., 504-208-4861;, located just behind Gambit world HQ, hosts an open house from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 19). Visitors can ask watch demonstrations of the Japanese martial art, ask questions and get on the mat to give it a try for themselves. (Probably don't attempt the move in that photo.)

- September is Sickle Cell Anemia Awareness Month. On Sunday (Sept. 20), NOLA SCA Awareness hosts the Red Run at the City Park Festival Grounds to promote awareness of the disease and raise funds for Tulane’s Sickle Cell Center of Southern Louisiana. Registration is $25.

- Also on Sunday, CASA Jefferson sponsors Kids Tri for Change, a charity triathlon for ages 7-14, at Timberlane Country Club (1 Timberlane Dr., Gretna, 504-367-5010; Event distances vary by age group. Registration is $85 and proceeds support CASA Jefferson’s work on behalf of foster children and victims of child abuse.

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