December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!

December 14, 2015

Grading success!

Kyu examinations were held at Toronto Branch on the evening of December 14, 2015.

We are pleased to announce that Victor and Kai successfully passed the test for 6th kyu and Rafael was also successful in his 4th kyu exam.


Victor and Kai

August 31, 2015

Grading success!

Toronto Branch member Christian Castillo successfully passed the examination for the rank of Shokenshi 2nd dan on August 9, 2015.



July 13, 2015

UNITY Seminar Florida

Back on the road again.  This time three members of Toronto Branch attended the Shorinji Kempo UNITY Seminar in sunny Coral Springs, Florida from July 11-12 (inclusive).

Most US and Canadian Branches were in attendance. For Canada, there were members present from Alberta, BC Tozenji, Yorkville, North York and Toronto branches which permitted a rare chance to discuss Canadian Federation matters face to face.

The teacher for the seminar was Kazuhiro Kawashima sensei (Seihanshi, 7th dan) from Hombu.  As expected, he taught in a very dynamic and energetic way including expert instruction in goho, juho and randori.

The second day covered practical instruction from Kawashima sensei in judging and refereeing for gradings and taikai.  All of us had the chance to take part as both examinee and referee.

Since this was a UNITY seminar, the content included Hokai lectures.  The Hokai ranking system covers Kongo Zen philosophy and can confer a "philosophy" rank to members who elect to study the special content.

The event was incredibly well organized and managed. From an attendee's point of view everything went smoothly and efficiently (which means that there must have been frantic activity behind the scenes!).

We wish to express our sincere gratitude to Tondo sensei, VanAnh kenshi and the rest of team at South Florida Branch for their huge efforts on our behalf.


June 27, 2015

Grading success!

Successful kenshi: L to R Rafael, Daryl and Max

Toronto Branch members have been successful in recent kyu examinations.

On June 22, Rafael passed the test for 5th kyu and Max passed his 4th kyu exam.

On June 24, Daryl was successful in his 3rd kyu examination.

Congratulations to all!


June 14, 2015

Shorinji Kempo Documentary by Empty Mind Films

The first Shorinji Kempo documentary in English since the BBC Way of the Warrior documentary in 1981.

June 03, 2015

20th Annual Kickathon for CAMH

Total raised:  $9,250.00


The members of Shorinji Kempo Toronto Branch held the 20th Annual Charity Kickathon in aid of the CAMH Foundation in the Main Gym of the CAMH Russell St site on the evening of May 27.

In this event we received sponsorship for performing 500 consecutive kicks (jun geri, gyaku geri) with full kiai. Surprisingly, we were able to manage fine despite the physical toll of the weekend long Cornell Camp a few days before.

We are pleased to announce that this year's event raised a total of $9,250 to support the activities of CAMH in the field of drug addiction (research into causes of addiction and support for treatment programs). 

We wish to warmly thank our kind sponsors for their wonderful and loyal support. In addition, we wish to thank Lidia Franchitto and her team at the CAMH Foundation for their expert logistical help.

Since the Kickathon event was launched we have raised a total of $130,140 for this important cause.


May 28, 2015

Road trip: 37th Annual Cornell Camp (New York)

All attendees
On the US Memorial Day weekend, five members of Toronto Branch attended the 37th Annual Cornell Shorinji Kempo Camp in beautiful Trumansburg in the Finger Lakes region of New York state.
Canadian kenshi with Sakuyama sensei

Once again we very extremely fortunate to be taught by Sakuyama sensei of Ibaraki Takahagi Doin, Japan.  Sakuyama sensei is a direct student of Kaiso Doshin So (the Founder of Shorinji Kempo) and has traveled widely around the world promoting the art.  One notable contribution was his role in the Jet Li movie "Shaolin Temple" which featured high ranking Japanese and Chinese martial artists.

Up bright and early for morning exercise
Sakuyama sensei has a rare ability to teach in a manner that engages both senior and new kenshi together - everyone can learn and benefit regardless of experience.

We wish to thank Dolce sensei (Ann Arbor), Ziring sensei (World Bank) and the rest of the team that made this event so successful.


April 02, 2015

Hiate sensei demonstration

Footage of our great teacher Hiate sensei (Seihanshi, 8th dan) performing at the Nippon Budokan event in Moscow on November 8, 2014.

Shorinji Kempo, kumi-embu 2 from Angel_S_Studio on Vimeo.

March 22, 2015

Hombu Spring Training Camp 2015

I was fortunate to go to Hombu for spring training.  My experience at Hombu was amazing and there are no words to describe it.  It was fun and I had a great time.  In addition, I got a chance to train with kenshi from other countries such as Russia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Australia, Holland and the U.S.A.  One of the best experiences I had was to make new friends and learn a few words from different languages.  Also, I had a chance to explore the scenic places of Japan including Senso-ji temple and landmarks such as Tokyo Tower. 

The spring training at Hombu was great.  Hombu staff were very helpful and friendly.  The food was delicious and the weather was good.  Kawashima sensei, a Hombu Instructor, started the training in the morning.  He's a great teacher and his techniques were amazing.  He emphasized the importance of body movement (Tai sabaki) to apply techniques.  He said that every kenshi must be aware of a correct stances and proper body movements for each technique.  The shifting of weight and the movement of your body must flow together in order to execute each effectively.  He said that kenshi must practice all the time with partners to develop themselves.

Before lunch there was a lecture about Kaiso's philosophy, life and how Shorinji Kempo was established.  This was one of my favorite classes at Hombu.  At some point the topics were very touching and inspiring.  I would say it deepened my understanding of how Kaiso was trying to relay his philosophies to the world. Hence,  Shorinji Kempo was created to build confidence in oneself so that people can can develop, understand and help each other.  Shorinji Kempo does not convey who wins or loses, who is strong or weak, but focuses on how you can contribute to the welfare of society and build a peaceful community.

Also, I had the privilege to have Arai sensei as the main Juho instructor during the spring training.  He demonstrated his Juho techniques without any effort or power.  His techniques were flawless and superb.  He said to apply Juho, you have to remember 3 things; one is "kuzushi" (break balance), second "otoshi" (pin down/hold) and "hazushi" (release).  Arai sensei emphasized that with these three methods combined with the right timing and the proper body movement (Tai sabaki) you will be able to take down a bigger or even stronger opponent with less effort or power.  Arai sensei left a good advice that as a kenshi I have to find out what works best for my body in order for Juho techniques to work effectively.

Lastly, samu (cleaning).  All of us were assigned a task to clean the Dojo after training session. It was fun to do and is part of our training where everybody has to contribute. 

Overall I had a wonderful experience and am planning to come back for another spring training at Hombu next year, hopefully with a big delegation from Canada.

In closing remarks, I would like to thank McCulloch sensei, head teacher of Toronto branch, for making this trip to Hombu possible and I would like to extend my thanks to all the Hombu staff and my new international friends for their help and support during my training.


Christian Castillo, 1st Dan
Toronto Branch