December 31, 2006
Toronto Branch 2006 Year in Review
Our annual "Year in Review" webpage has now been published.
Please have a look here.
December 21, 2006
2006 Closing Ceremony
Toronto Branch held its annual Closing Ceremony on the evening of December 20, 2006. The event formally marks the end of the year's training and provides an opportunity to reflect on the achievements of the preceding year and focus on what we need to work on in the year ahead.
We were fortunate to have members from the neighboring Yorkville Branch with us this year.
Toronto Branch members performed embu (pairform display of techniques) during this year's Closing Ceremony. The embu were as follows:
- John Dadosky (1st kyu) & Eduardo Bellow (1st kyu)
- Isabel Struik (2nd dan) & Stas Zlobinski (1st dan)
- John McCulloch (5th dan) & Tal Schaeffer (3rd dan)
End of the year messages were given by John McCulloch (Toronto Branch) and Albert Louie (Yorkville Branch).
We look forward to a successful year in 2007!
December 04, 2006
Recent Grading Successes
Toronto Branch members were successful in several recent gradings administered by Shorinji Kempo Ontario.
- Nov. 02: Ahlia Khan passed the junkenshi 1st dan exam.
- Nov. 26: John Dadosky and Eduardo Bello passed the 1st kyu examination.
- Nov. 26: Andre-Philippe van der Heyden passed the 2nd kyu examination.
October 30, 2006
First Annual Shorinji Kempo Ontario Embukai
Members of Toronto Branch participated in the first annual Shorinji Kempo Ontario Embukai which was held at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre on the evening of Sunday October 30, 2006.
Our embu participants were:
- Yan Montgomery (2nd dan) and Stas Zlobinski (1st dan)
- John Pitts (1st dan) and Ahlia Khan (1st kyu)
- John Dadosky (2nd kyu) and Eduardo Bello (2nd kyu)
The event was not a competition and, therefore, no scores were announced. However, the format of the event was otherwise identical to that in a major embukai and allowed the
We thank North York Branch for hosting the event and Richard Ngun-kenshi of Yorkville Branch for allowing us to use his photos.
October 26, 2006
Ota-sensei visits Toronto Branch
Koji Ota-sensei (7th dan) of JR Shikoku Branch, Takamatsu, Japan visited Toronto Branch on the evening of October 25, 2006.
Ota-sensei has studied Shorinji Kempo for many years and learnt the art from many great first generation teachers such as Kaiso So Doshin-sensei, Misawa-sensei and Tamura-sensei. Accordingly, his understanding of Shorinji Kempo technique and philosophy is very deep.
Ota-sensei recently returned from Africa where he was an instructor for the WSKO African Study Sessions in Tanzania and Kenya.
Ota-sensei taught us about many important basic points such as:
- how to make kamae to protect weak points
- how to make a fast and smooth keri
- how to make ukemi safely from nage
Ota-sensei is an expert at using technical practice as a base for exploring philosophical items. He believes that the direct person-to-person communication we have in Shorinji Kempo is extremely important for the wellbeing of society.
We are extremely grateful to Ota-sensei for his teachings and inspiration.
October 23, 2006
Karlstad Gasshuku, Sweden
On the weekend of October 21-22, 106 kenshi from three continents gathered in Karlstad, Sweden for the 2006 Karlstad Gasshuku. The participants came from Branches in Sweden, Finland, Germany, UK, Japan and Canada.
The instructor of the event was Kizumi Hiate-sensei (Seihanshi, 7th dan) of Atsugi Doin, Kanagawa, Japan. Hiate-sensei has been a Branch Master for 34 years and is also a WSKO Instructor. Hiate-sensei is Vice-Chairman of the Kanagawa Shorinji Kempo Federation - the second largest regional federation in Japan.
Assisting Hiate-sensei with the teaching duties were:
Anders Pettersson (Daikenshi, 5th dan) - Karlstad Branch
John McCulloch (Daikenshi, 5th dan) - Toronto Branch
Ake Olsson (Seikenshi, 4th dan) - Karlstad Studenter Branch
Yasuyuki Murai (Seikenshi, 4th dan) - Atsugi Branch
The seminar consisted of kihon practice in the mornings, lecture and techniques by rank in the afternoons. Hiate-sensei gave a presentation on Oct. 21 based on his personal history and on Oct. 22 related how kenshi should act based on an appreciation of dharma.
Personally speaking, it was a wonderful event. It was especially enjoyable to train under Hiate-sensei again, to meet Anders-sensei, Steve-sensei and many other great friends from Europe once again. I am very grateful to Hiate-sensei for his teachings and to Karlstad Branch for their kind invitation to join the event.
September 18, 2006
WSKO Eastern North American Regional Instructors Study Session
Toronto Branch was a co-host of an official WSKO Study Session in
The WSKO instructors who led the event were:
- Mr. Yoshimi Akiyoshi (Seihanshi, 8th dan) -
Tokyo Betsuin, Japan
- Mr. Kazuhiro Kawashima (Seihanshi, 7th dan) -
- Mr. Takashi So (Junhanshi, 6th dan) -
Participants from four continents came to attend the event. Branches in attendance included...
Canada: Alberta, BC Tozenji, Huronia, North York, Toronto, UBC, , Yorkville Vancouver
: Maullin, Osorno Chile
Japan: Sugita Yokohama
- USA:Alabama, Ann Arbor, Berkeley, Boise, Caltech, Denver, Hollywood, Miami, Mt. Diablo, New York City, Peninsula, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Silicon Valley, South Bay, USN Yokosuka, Westminster
The Study Session focused on the development of instructors and Branch staff. Consequently, in addition to the usual technical study, participants reviewed how to properly judge randori and embu. In addition, the instructors described in detail many aspects of how Shorinji Kempo is to be run as an organization worldwide.
The Study Session also permitted meetings of the Canadian and US Branch Masters . The meetings addressed matters of common concern, especially how we can work more effectively to promote Shorinji Kempo and collaborate on various areas. It was certainly valuable to be able to tap into the collected experience and wisdom of the group.
Gradings for 3rd dan and 4th dan were also conducted by the visiting instructors.
On the evening of Saturday September 16, the participants gathered for an informal dinner at the Crowne Plaza Don Valley Hotel. A particularly poignant moment was a euology to Yamamori-sensei (the teacher who brought Shorinji Kempo to
We wish to express our sincere gratitude to the visiting instructors for their excellent instruction and to the participants for making such a great effort to attend the event.
August 12, 2006
Toronto kenshi attends Hombu training camp
Read about John's experience at the Camp here.
If you wish to attend such a training camp at Hombu, the general guidelines for attendance are detailed here.
July 24, 2006
Cheque Presentation to CAMH Foundation
We presented our 2006 "Kickathon" cheque ($8,000) to the CAMH Foundation this evening.
Dr. David Goldbloom (Senior Medical Advisor, Education and Public Affairs of CAMH and a member of the Board of Directors of the CAMH Foundation) commented "The consistent support of Shorinji Kempo Toronto Branch - let alone the extraordinary physical energy and discipline required - is terrific; we at CAMH greatly appreciate being on the receiving end of their efforts!"
We are honoured to be of service to this wonderful organization and wish to thank our many kind sponsors for their support.
May 30, 2006
28th Annual Cornell Camp (part one)
From May 27-29, 2006, kenshi from the USA, Canada and Japan gathered at Camp Barton, Trumansburg, NY for the 28th Annual Cornell Shorinji Kempo Camp (Gasshuku). Since its foundation by Ken Ohashi-sensei in 1978, the Cornell Gasshuku has become a mainstay for kenshi in the north-east region of North America.
The Gasshuku was led by Sakuyama-sensei (Ibaragi Takahagi Doin, Japan) and Atsumi-sensei (Yokohama Negishi Doin). Both instructors were formerly staff members at Hombu and studied directly under our Founder - Kaiso So Doshin-sensei.
Sakuyama-sensei: "true freedom through Shorinji Kempo"
Atsumi-sensei: "katsujin ken - the fist that gives life"
Sakuyama-sensei instructing fine points of goho
28th Annual Cornell Camp (part two)
Sakuyama-sensei vs. Ninja
Varieties of uchi uke zuki and soto uke zuki
28th Annual Cornell Camp (part three)
1. Try to aim here...
The delegates from Toronto Branch wish to express their deep gratitude to Allen Liff-sensei, Gary Dolce-sensei and Neal Ziring-kenshi for their hard work and dedication in making this wonderful event happen.
Your contribution to Shorinji Kempo in this region is huge!
May 17, 2006
11th Annual "Kickathon"
On the evening of May 17, 2006, members of Shorinji Kempo Toronto Branch gathered at the main gym of the Addiction Research Foundation site of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) to hold their annual charity Kickathon.
Shorinji Kempo Branches worldwide hold charity or community service events each year in the month of May as a memorial to our founder Kaiso So Doshin (1911-1980). One of Kaiso's famous maxims was "try to live your life half for self and half for others" and it is in that spirit that we host the Kickathon.
The funds raised by Kickathon will be donated to the CAMH Foundation to assist its world class work in the field of drug addiction research and treatment.
This year we were able to raise a total of $8,000. We are grateful to our many sponsors for their generosity.
Since 1996, Shorinji Kempo Toronto Branch has raised $61,500 for this cause.
May 03, 2006
Farewell to Slava!
After almost four years of training at Toronto Branch, Slava Burdenyuk kenshi is returning home to his native Ukraine.
Slava joined Toronto Branch in 2002 having originally been a member of Odessa Branch in the Ukraine. With constant effort and study, Slava rose to the rank of Shokenshi 2nd dan and was appointed an Assistant (jokyo) of the Branch. Many kenshi will remember the care and patience shown by Slava as he helped them establish their form.
Slava was also very active in attending seminars and gasshuku, including the Cornell Gasshuku and WSKO seminars in Calgary, Ann Arbor, Sweden and Japan.
We wish Slava every future success and hope to see him again before too long.
April 30, 2006
Godorenshu Held at North York Branch
After a warm-up and group kihon (basics) training, the kenshi worked on goho techniques and randori ("sparring") while wearing bogu (body armor). This type of equipment allows full force counters to the body and shows clearly any deficiencies in distance, timing or accuracy.
Following the goho training, the kenshi split into groups to focus on technique practice according to rank.
Kyu gradings for adults and children were also held. Eduardo Bello of Toronto Branch was successful in his grading for 2nd kyu.
Many thanks to North York Branch for hosting this event.
April 10, 2006
Steve Williams-sensei visits Toronto Branch
Steve Williams-sensei and Michelle Williams kenshi from the British Shorinji Kempo Federation (BSKF) visited our Branch today. Williams-sensei is the Branch Master of Harrow Branch, north of London. He was formerly the Vice-Chairman of the BSKF and is the moderator of the widely read Shorinji Kempo forum on e-budo.com.
John McCulloch, the Branch Master of Toronto Branch, and Williams-sensei have been friends for many years and had taken their 2nd dan test together. Hence, it was a great pleasure to welcome Williams-sensei and Michelle to our dojo.
Williams-sensei gave the lecture for the class. He observed how on uniform Shorinji Kempo training is worldwide, that we all share the same spirit and goals and how it feels like being with family when visiting another dojo regardless of where it is. Williams-sensei also gave us some advice based on his experiences of training within a federation.
We look forward to seeing Williams-sensei and Michelle again soon.
February 14, 2006
Toronto Godorenshu Feb. 13, 2006
Kenshi from Toronto Branch, Eglinton Branch and North York Branch gathered at the Toronto Branch on the evening of February 13, 2006 for a Godorenshu (group training session).
The main focus of the Godorenshu was studying the technique of Kazumi Ishikawa-sensei (Daikenshi, 5th dan) - the teacher of Tohoku Gakuin University in Miyagi-ken, Japan. Ishikawa-sensei has studied Shorinji Kempo since 1972 and he studied under Kaiso So Doshin and Ohta-sensei (Daihanshi, 9th dan).
In kihon, Ishikawa-sensei emphasized how to make emphasis body motion and footwork. In hokei (techniques), the main focus was okuri gote and kiri gote.
Ontario region Branch Masters had an opportunity to study 5th dan curriculum techniques and also focussed on teaching according to various ranks.
We are all grateful for the kindness of Ishikawa-sensei for his teachings and we look forward to more Godorenshu in future.
January 19, 2006
Closing Ceremony 2005
On the evening of December 21, 2005 members of Toronto Branch and Eglinton Branch gathered at Toronto Branch for its annual closing ceremony.
The event consisted of group kihon, a dantai embu demonstration by Eglinton Branch, a variety of demonstations of kumiembu by Toronto Branch, chinkon-gyo and a speech reviewing the achievements of 2005 and looking ahead to 2006.
In addition, some Toronto kenshi received certificates for the successful completion of recent exams: Andre and Eduardo (3rd kyu), John (2nd kyu) and Stas (1st dan).