Lotus Peace Arts, at Valley Women’s Martial Arts, provides instruction in Tai Chi & Qigong, Filipino Arnis Stick Arts, Karate Peacemakers, Power Girls, Empowerment Self-Protection, Poetry, and Movement Improvisation for people of all ages, genders, abilities, skill and fitness levels, and walks of life.
Founder and Director, Shinshii Janet Aalfs, 7th degree black belt and poet laureate emeritus of Northampton, MA, is an educator, performer, peace activist, and published writer who has been sharing her work through classes, special events, conferences, and venues of all kinds locally, nationally, and internationally since 1978.
She is the author of several poetry collections; her most recent book is Bird of a Thousand Eyes. A recipient of an MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College, her writing has been widely published. Her prize-winning poetry has received recognition on the page and through readings and performances at gatherings such as the renowned Dodge Poetry Festival at which she was featured.
Aalfs received the 2013 Leadership and Advocacy in the Arts Award from the Center for Women and Community, UMass/ Amherst. In that same year she was inducted into the IMAF Arnis Black Belt Hall of Fame in Philadelphia, and was given the Pioneer Award. In 2016 she received the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation Founders Award for her decades of work in helping to create and develop the organization.