September 18, 2006

WSKO Eastern North American Regional Instructors Study Session

Toronto Branch was a co-host of an official WSKO Study Session in Toronto on the weekend of September 16-17, 2006. The event was held in the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. We were most fortunate to have such a high level facility for the seminar.

Click above to access photo gallery of the event

The WSKO instructors who led the event were:

  • Mr. Yoshimi Akiyoshi (Seihanshi, 8th dan) - Tokyo Betsuin, Japan
  • Mr. Kazuhiro Kawashima (Seihanshi, 7th dan) - Hombu, Japan
  • Mr. Takashi So (Junhanshi, 6th dan) - Hombu, Japan

Participants from four continents came to attend the event. Branches in attendance included...

  • Canada: Alberta, BC Tozenji, Huronia, North York, Toronto, UBC, Vancouver, Yorkville
  • Chile: Maullin, Osorno
  • Japan: Yokohama Sugita
  • UK: Harrow
  • 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 North America in the 1960s) by Uekuma-sensei (South Bay Branch). It was a very moving speech.

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.