December 19, 2008

2008 Year End Ceremony

On the evening of December 17 members of Toronto Branch held a ceremony marking the last practice of the year.

After warm-up and stretching we had a vigorous kihon (basics) session as a group. Following that was a series of tandoku embu (single form) and hokei (technique) demonstrations by members.

Next up was Chinkon-gyo (meditation) and a talk by the Branch Master on the accomplishments of the current year and an outline of major goals for 2009.


November 25, 2008

2nd Annual SKO Taikai

On Saturday October 25, 2008 members of Shorinji Kempo Ontario branches gathered at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre in North York for the 2nd Annual SKO Taikai.

Taikai are a valuable opportunity for Shorinji Kempo members to display the fruits of their hard work and increase the bonds of friendship between branches.

The panel of judges

The event consisted of tandoku embu (single form) and kumi embu (pair form) sections divided according to rank.

Tal - tandoku embu

In addition, members from Toronto Branch and Yorkville Branch gave demonstrations of goho randori (sparring). Our branch members used the double-layer safety equipment from Hombu which allows for vigorous practice while maintaining safety.

Goho randori with protectors (Tony & Tal)

Isabel - tandoku embu

Isabel of Toronto Branch was awarded 2nd place in the Adult Dan Grade Tandoku Embu category.

Overall, the Taikai ran very smoothly and everyone enjoyed having a chance to participate.

We look forward to the 3rd SKO Taikai in 2009.

We hope you enjoy our photos of the event.

Tony - tandoku embu

A full report on the event was recently published on the WSKO website.

Stew - tandoku embu

The participating Toronto Branch kenshi


October 20, 2008

Alma mater - Tokai University

On October 20, John paid a visit to Tokai University Shorinji Kempo Branch.

It was an especially interesting trip since John had practiced Shorinji Kempo there in the summer of 1985 when he was an exchange student at Tokai University School of Medicine and hadn't had a chance to train there since.

Hiate sensei (Seihanshi, 7th dan) has been the Branch Master at Tokai University for over 35 years and the members there reflect his high standards.

Much of the focus in the class was on preparing for examinations or the All-Japan Taikai in November.

John was very fortunate to spend time reviewing techniques one-on-one with Hiate sensei and then practicing kumiembu with Akiba kenshi (Chukenshi, 3rd dan).

Despite the long gap since the last training session at Tokai U., the experience was very familiar - enthusiastic kenshi, lots of teamwork in running the dojo, the close juxtaposition with other student clubs and high level embu with a lot of ippon se nage!

I would like to thank Hiate sensei and the members of Tokai University Branch for allowing me to relive my youth!


October 19, 2008

Kanagawa Reunion

Thanks to Hiate sensei (Atsugi Doin), John McCulloch of Toronto Branch has been fortunate to enjoy close ties to the Kanagawa Shorinji Kempo Federation since 1985, especially Branches in or near Atsugi City.

Dinner at a "guts" restaurant: L to R Hiate sensei, John, Matsui kenshi, Nakamura sensei, Hayashi sensei

During his recent visit to Japan, John was kindly hosted by Hiate sensei and his family and wishes to thank them very much for five star treatment received and for taking time from busy schedules to provide such a great experience!

During the visit there were occasions to meet with great friends including Nakamura sensei, Hayashi sensei, Morohoshi sensei, Negishi sensei, Kuramoto kenshi, Yamazaki "fireman" kenshi and Akiba kenshi - most of whom have visited Toronto Branch in the past.

L to R: John, Morohoshi sensei, Yamazaki Fireman

Iro iro domo arigato gozaimashita!


October 17, 2008

Atsugi Minami Doin

Morohoshi sensei at the entrance of his private dojo

On the evening of October 17, 2008, Toronto Branch Master John McCulloch had the great pleasure of training at Atsugi Minami Doin in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.

Morohoshi sensei (Seihanshi, 7th dan), the Atsugi Minami Doin-cho, have known each other since 1985 and have visited each other's dojo several times. This visit was a great chance to renew our friendship and train together once again.

Breaking balance without force

The class largely focused on ways of performing juho technique without use of power - a fairly advanced approach. The time flew by (as did we!).

I am very grateful to Morohoshi sensei and the kenshi of Atsugi Minami Doin for sharing their knowledge. Also, I'd like to thank the Morohoshi family for their kindness and hospitality during my stay.


September 29, 2008

Eduardo returns!

We were fortunate to have a flying visit tonight from Eduardo Bello - a Toronto Branch member who is now working in Malaysia.

He reported that his work project is very intense but is looking forward to continuing his practice with the Malaysian Federation soon.

It was great to see Eduardo again for the first time in over 6 months.

We wish him every success in Malaysia and hope to see him again soon.


September 18, 2008

Hiate sensei leads 2008 Ontario Gasshuku

Toronto Branch members with Hiate sensei and the Kanagawa group

On the weekend of September 13-14, 2008 Hiate sensei (Seihanshi, 7th dan) led the 2008 Ontario Gasshuku at the JCCC in Toronto. A total of 55 members from Canada, USA and Japan attended the event.

Hiate sensei - a WSKO Instructor - has had a long bond of friendship with Toronto Branch and has come to teach in our city four times since 1995.

Hiate sensei and the Kanagawa Federation delegates

Toronto Branch members learned a great deal from Hiate sensei during the Gasshuku. Those kenshi who had not seen Hiate sensei before frequently commented on his incredible speed and power as well as his open and friendly demeanour.

Louie sensei and Fontaine sensei

We were also able to enjoy many fun times with Hiate sensei and the other members of the Kanagawa delagation during their stay including trips to restaurants, Toronto landmarks and the Niagara Falls region.

We are tremendously grateful to Hiate sensei, Mrs. Hiate and the Kanagawa Federation members for their tremendous kindness and support.

We are already looking forward to our next meeting...


August 26, 2008

Grading success!

Success for Kevin, Lyndsay and Stew!

Three Toronto Branch kenshi passed their kyu examinations on the evening of August 25, 2008.

The candidates who moved up a rank were:

Kevin - 2nd kyu
Stew - 3rd kyu
Lyndsay - 8th kyu

We wish to thank Oka-sensei, Louie-sensei and Fontaine-sensei for administering the tests.


August 03, 2008

Hombu Summer Camp A

Summer camp A: July 29 to August 1, 2008

Shorinji Kempo Hombu, Tadotsu, Japan

July 28th

John Dadosky

Arrived at the Kotobuki Lodge safely. I’m sharing the lodge with about 20 kenshi from Spain, two separate branches. Most of them are nidan or above. There are also two members from the Finland federation, Timo and Kelsie - father and daughter.

Kelsie & Timo from Finland

There are about 40 Japanese university students. This number is sharply down given that the camp coincides with many of their final exams.

Spanish kenshi

Day 1 was a long one.

Arrived at Hombu at 8 am and met Hombu staff. Assembled for Samu. Fewer kenshi means that there is much more cleaning to be carried out. We also do Samu at the end of the day and it is particularly challenging after a day of practice.

We had four sessions of technique practice throughout the day…About six hours total. We could not access the lectures in Japanese so they gave us extra technique practice.

The Japanese students are very friendly and some remember me from last time. The largest group is from the medical school at Okayama.

Okayama Medical School kenshi

The language barrier does not prevent one from absorbing tips from senior instructors. We spent two hours in the morning practicing Gyaku Gote. My wrist was pretty sore. A senior instructor did a seiho technique on my wrist and then the pain subsided. Pretty convincing!

Day 2

A hot day. We are getting tired and trying to avoid injury. Both members of the Finnish branch received minor injuries today. I purchased a sweat resistant t-shirt from hombu. It really helped. I’m grateful for the Finnish federation members because they are fluent in English. Otherwise it would be a lonely week!

With Ms. Uebayashi - VIP for WSKO members!

Today we worked on uchi age zuki, hara uki geri, randori, some upper curriculum techniques, sen no sen, tai no sen, go no sen.

At night we went to a social arranged my Hombu for WSKO members and enjoyed fellowship, good food and drink.

Day 3

Lots of Okuri Gote, Kiri Gote, Kaishin zuki.

6 hours of class time instruction. Ended with a professional embu demonstration by senior students—yondan and higher.

Seniors demonstrate embu

Extensive Samu where we took up the foam tatami in Rensei dojo.

Day 4

Half day. Three hours of practice. Samu. Closing ceremony. 12 Japanese students were awarded 1st kyu. Celebration followed with pictures. The Japanese are very formal but they become surprisingly sentimental at the closing ceremony.

Thus ends a very intense week of training in hot weather conditions in a remote region of Japan… What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger!


John Dadosky
Toronto Branch

July 30, 2008

The roaming kenshi - Japan

Toronto Branch kenshi John Dadosky (junkenshi, 1st dan) is continuing his global Shorinji Kempo-related travels.

This month he is in Japan and is currently attending the Hombu Summer Training Camp (Week A). Thank you Ms. Uebayashi (WSKO) for the photos.

Click on the above image for official Hombu report

On July 23, John had visited the famous Rakuto Doin in Kyoto and thoroughly enjoyed his time there. He sends his deep gratitude to Morikawa sensei for his kindness and excellent instruction.


July 10, 2008

Cheque presentation to CAMH Foundation

John McCulloch (left) and Dean Hughes (right)

Earlier today, John McCulloch of Toronto Branch made a cheque presentation for $6,000.00 to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health ("CAMH") Foundation. The funds were raised in our 13th Annual Kaiso Day "Kickathon."

Dean Hughes, Vice President, Community Development of the CAMH Foundation commented "over the past 13 years, Shorinji Kempo Toronto Branch has raised over $72,000 to support the work of CAMH. Above and beyond its philanthropy, Shorinji Kempo has shown great strength and courage in supporting a highly stigmatized cause. We salute the efforts of all of the members of Shorinji Kempo Toronto for their dedication not only to their practice, but to their community. Thank you!"

The members of Toronto Branch salute the dedicated staff of CAMH for their tireless efforts. We would also like to thank our many generous sponsors for continuing to support our CAMH initiative.


July 02, 2008

Ikuo returns!

Toronto Branch members were thrilled by a visit from Toronto Branch alumnus Dr. Ikuo Kageyama (5th dan). Ikuo is currently a full Professor at the prestigious Nippon Dental University in Niigata, Japan.

Before coming to Toronto, Ikuo was a member of Tokyo's famous Yamanote Doin and studied from Matsuda sensei there. In addition, Ikuo was well known by WSKO members around the world since he had acted as a translator during several international seminars at Shorinji Kempo Hombu.

Despite the long passage of time since he was a member at our Branch (over 10 years) it felt like only yesterday since he last trained with us.

Ikuo helped share his knowledge with our members and all kenshi greatly enjoyed his warm and insightful teaching style.

During his talk, Ikuo focussed on his experiences of learning from Kaiso at Hombu, stressed the importance of living according to the true goals of Shorinji Kempo and differentiated Shorinji Kempo from other "martial arts."

All members of Toronto Branch hope it is not too long before we have a chance meet Ikuo again.

Thank you for kindness and wisdom.


June 08, 2008

Southern fist

John Dadosky (junkenshi) of the Toronto branch visited the Florida International University branch in Miami on June 8th.

The branch is home of Eric Messersmith Sensei who is a professor at FIU. He was away that weekend so I trained with Mike and Anatole. I was asked to lead the kihon for the class which included a third kyu and two newcomers.

I was impressed at the hospitality of the branch in picking me up at the downtown hotel by Mike. Anatole gave me a ride home in his convertible with the top down playing salsa music. A true Miami experience!


John D.

June 04, 2008

13th Annual Charity "Kickathon"

On the evening of Wednesday June 4, 2008, eight members of Shorinji Kempo Toronto Branch took part in its 13th Annual Charity "Kickathon" in aid of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health ("CAMH") Foundation.

We performed 100 continuous kata (sequences of techniques) supported by generous sponsorship from our families, friends, neighbors and colleagues. We wish to salute the many kind supporters who enabled us to raise a total of $6,000 this year.

The Kickathon event is the longest standing charitable initiative supporting the CAMH Foundation. Since its inception we have raised a total of $72,500 for this cause. The monies raised are used to support CAMH's cessation programs for drug addicts as well as research into the basic causes of addiction.

The annual event also represents Toronto Branch's "Founders Day" activity - an event that manifests the philosophy of Doshin So (the founder of Shorinji Kempo). The founding philosophy of Shorinji Kempo is to cultivate ourselves, become strong and to support those around us. By living in accord with this philosophy we hope we can become useful to our communities and improve our lives.

Charitable and community support initiatives are an important element of practice for all Shorinji Kempo members worldwide.


June 03, 2008

30th Annual Cornell Camp

On the US Memorial Day holiday weekend, the 30th Annual Cornell Shorinji Kempo Camp (Gasshuku) was held in Camp Barton Trumansburg, NY. Sakuyama Sensei (Ibaragi Takahagi Doin, Japan) once again led the training session.

This year the attendees were also lucky enough to hava Ken Ohashi Sensei,
the founder of the Cornell Camp tradition, joining the them, his camp has become an event that Kenshi across North America look forward to.

Three Kenshi from Toronto Branch attended this year, for those of us who were returning to the camp it was a great chance to catch up with and train with old friends and like the newcomers make new friends with the Kenshi we meet.

After a fun but vigorous warm up and Kihon Sakuyama Sensei introduced the principle of "
Jou Kyo Ka Jitsu" through practicing taisabaki. Later in the day this was expanded to cover the use of footwork in juho instead of muscular force.

All 3 kenshi from Toronto Branch Kenshi, Stewart, Kevin and John, were amazed at the depth of knowledge and understanding Sakuyama Sensei has of Shorinji Kempo as well as his ability to transmit his understanding to Kenshi he is teaching. After being in a class taught by Sakuyama Sensei you are left with a sense that having been taught by him is a real privilege.


John Pitts
Toronto Branch