December 21, 2009

November 14, 2009

3rd Annual SKO Taikai

The Shorinji Kempo Ontario participants

The 3rd Annual Shorinji Kempo Ontario Taikai was held at the JCCC in Toronto on November 14th, 2009. All four Ontario WSKO Branches participated in the event.

The Taikai consisted of:
  • Chinkon-gyo
  • Warm-up
  • Group kihon
  • Tandoku embu (single form)
  • Women's self-defence demonstration
  • Kumi embu (pair form)
Toronto kenshi were in the medals in two categories: Tony Tan in the Yudansha Tandoku Embu category and Kevin Legault/Stew Stevenson in the Kyu Kumiembu category.

Toronto Branch participants in the 3rd Annual SKO Taikai

We wish to thank the members of North York Branch for graciously hosting the event.


October 09, 2009

Atsugi Minami Doin 2009

Morohoshi sensei (front left)

On the evening of October 9, John McCulloch of Toronto Branch was kindly invited by Morohoshi sensei (Doin-cho of Atsugi Minami Doin) to join in his class.

Watching carefully

Morohoshi sensei taught us how to make various foundational juho techniques (oshi gote, okuri gote, johaku dori) effectively and reproducibly without relying on force.

Morohoshi sensei explains

It was wonderful to have a chance to study Morohoshi sensei's advanced technique and also to see many long time friends such as Yamazaki sensei and Yamaguchi kenshi.

Yamazaki (Fireman) sensei - right

Morohoshi sensei and his family also took me on a weekend retreat to an onsen (hot springs spa) and sightseeing in Tokyo. The kindness of Morohoshi sensei, his family and kenshi was truly amazing.

Chudan gaeshi

Morohoshi sensei has also been a strong supporter of Toronto Branch and has come to teach us three times since 1995.

Yamaguchi kenshi

Thank you very much for everything you have done for us.

Ultraman - right : )
Tokyo sightseeing - Bandai HQ


October 08, 2009

Meeting with Hiate sensei

Hiate sensei and John McCulloch in the Landmark Tower, Yokohama
(apologies for the poor picture quality)

On October 8, John McCulloch of Toronto Branch had the opportunity to meet with Hiate sensei (Atsugi Doin) at the Landmark Tower in Yokohama. Hiate sensei was busy with final preparations for the All-Japan Taikai that weekend in Aomori but managed to re-arrange his schedule to come to Yokohama for dinner.

John McCulloch practised at Atsugi Doin in 1985 and is prviledge to remain a student of Hiate sensei to this day. Hiate sensei has taught seminars and training camps numerous times since his first visit to the region in 1995.

View from Landmark Tower

I would like to thank Hiate sensei for his kindness and consideration.


October 06, 2009

Meeting with Atsumi sensei

Thanks to a business trip to Yokohama, John McCulloch of Toronto Branch had the wonderful opportunity to meet with Atsumi sensei - the Doin-cho of Yokohama Negishi Doin.

Despite short notice, Atsumi sensei graciously agreed to meet for lunch and coffee.

It was a tremendous experience to listen to the fruits of his personal research on the deeper meaning of Shorinji Kempo kihon, especially as it related to Katsujin-ken (the fist that preserves or affirms life).

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Atsumi sensei for taking time from his busy schedule to come for this meeting.


September 21, 2009

North America East Coast Gasshuku 2009

On the weekend of September 5-6, 2009 members of Toronto Branch attended the North America East Coast Gasshuku (training camp) in New York City.

The Toronto kenshi with Makino-sensei

The event was recognized by WSKO as an official event and was led by Makino-sensei (Daihanshi, 8th dan) - one of Kaiso's earliest students. Makino-sensei is the instructor of Nishijin Doin in Kyoto, Japan.

Advanced class

Here's what our delegates thought of the event:

"I enjoyed the opportunity to train with U.S. Kenshi instructed by Makino sensei and other U.S. Branch Masters. It was great to hear Makino sensei share stories about what it was like to train with Doshin So. Everyone was very kind and helpful in teaching new techniques and philosophy and I look forward to seeing everyone at the next event."
- Kevin Legault (1st kyu)

I found the overall experience to be quite enjoyable and enlightening. The American Kenshi were excellent hosts and it was a treat to learn from a wide variety Branch Masters, both American and Japanese. It was especially pleasing to hear Makino Sensei’s stories of his experience training under Kaiso.

- Stew Stevenson (3rd kyu)

Ever since the first minute in New York we were greeted by a cheerful and hospitable kenshi. The training facilities selected for the event provided us all with enough space to practice and the food was great. I feel particularly lucky being able to study under the guidance of so many senseis, including WSKO instructor Makino-sensei. We were all able to review many basic techniques and I found some new points, I have not been aware of, to almost every one of them.
- Max Drozd (3rd kyu)

Successful 3rd dan candidates
Phil (Ann Arbor), Isabel (Toronto), Nicole (Ann Arbor)

We wish to thank the members of New York City Branch for helping to facilitate such a great seminar.

Stew & Max


August 17, 2009

Team Lutes Hits T.O!

Peter Lutes (shodan), a Canadian currently based in Takamatsu, Japan came along to visit us on August 17.

Accompanying him were his two sons Edward (minarai) and Nicholas (1st kyu). They are all members of Takamatsu Higashi Doin (led by Kubo sensei).

It was the first time they had experienced Shorinji Kempo practice outside of Japan.

Peter and Nicholas gave us an excellent "father and son" embu.

We look forward to seeing the Lutes family again soon.


August 03, 2009

World Taikai in Bali

John McCulloch (Toronto Branch Master) attended the World Taikai and Study Session in Denpassar, Bali, Indonesia from July 25-29 and acted as the proxy National Representative for Canada at the WSKO General Meeting held at the Inna Grand Hotel in Sanur on July 24.

It was a remarkable experience to train in Bali and see Shorinji Kempo from the Indonesian perspective. In addition, the event was a wonderful opportunity to meet many great friends (old and new) from all over the world.

One other major attraction (apart from the Bali itself!) was the chance to receive direct instruction from the top teachers of the art.

I would like to express deep thanks to the members of PERKEMI (Indonesian Federation) for hosting such a wonderful event and to WSKO staff for their round-the-clock efforts to help look after the international delegates.

Some pictures...


June 22, 2009

Godorenshu - Barrie, June 2009

Members from all Branches of Shorinji Kempo Ontario headed to the Aikido Hiryukan Dojo in Barrie for the Q2 Godorenshu and Grading.

As ever the training facilities were excellent.

Following group kihon we moved on to study basic and tobi ukemi on the luxurious tatami!

After spending a bit of time in the air we split into different ranks to study hokei as taught by each of the four SKO Branch Masters.

We would like to thank Fontaine-sensei of Huronia Branch for organizing another great event.

Prior to the godorenshu there were several kyu examinations. Toronto kenshi Max and Patrick were successful in their sankyu test and Kevin also passed his ikkyu examination.


June 10, 2009

West meets East

This evening we were fortunate to have a visit from Maria (3rd kyu) - a member of the University of British Columbia Branch in Vancouver.

It is always a great joy to have other members of the Canadian Shorinji Kempo family join our class and Maria's visit was no exception.


May 27, 2009

14th Annual Charity Shorinji Kempo "Kickathon"

Members of Shorinji Kempo Toronto Branch took part in our customary Kaiso Day activity (annual charity “Kickathon”) on the evening of May 27, 2009.

We each performed 500 successive kicks with loud kiai (yell) in return for the generous sponsorship from many supporters.

Despite having only a small group participating in the event this year we were able to raise a total of $7,500 for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Foundation in our event.

The “Kickathon” event has raised a total of $80,000 for this important cause since it began in 1996.

CAMH is a WHO-listed centre for research into the causes of addictions and their successful treatment. Our annual “Kickathon” is aimed at providing funds for:

1. research into the root causes of drug addiction, and
2. supporting drug cessation treatment programs offered by CAMH

In addition, we hope that the event will help, in a small way, help break down the social stigma associated with drug addiction and will help encourage individuals to seek treatment.

The philosophy of Shorinji Kempo emphasizes the importance of helping people to help themselves. We believe that this event helps us practice this ideal and offers a ray of hope to those seemingly trapped by a serious, life-threatening addictive illness.

We wish to thank our many generous sponsors for their continuing support, particularly at this challenging economic time.


May 25, 2009

Cornell 31

Five members of Toronto Branch travelled to beautiful Trumansburg, NY on the Memorial Day wekend to attend the 31st Annual Cornell Shorinji Kempo Camp.

Sakuyama-sensei, Doin-cho of Ibaraki Takahagi Doin came over from Japan specially to share his many talents with us.

As before, we were amazed by his deep understanding of Shorinji Kempo technique and philosophy as well as his expert ability to teach them.

We wish to thank Sakuyama-sensei for taking the time and effort to come all the way across the world to selflessly share his love of Shorinji Kempo with us.

We also wish to thank the hosts - Ann Arbor Branch - and everyone else who once again made the Camp such a great success.


April 15, 2009

California Sun

More road trip news - this time a visit to the Peninsula Branch of San Mateo, California on Wednesday April 15. San Mateo is located about 19 miles south of San Francisco.

Peninsula Branch is part of a burgeoning Shorinji Kempo in Northern California which arose from years of effort by Harada sensei (San Francisco), Hirayama sensei (Silicon Valley) and Hagata sensei (Mt. Diablo).

Toronto Branch Master John McCulloch and Peninsula Branch Master Karahashi sensei have known each other for about 20 years but this was the first dojo visit.

The lesson was mainly focused on juho waza that evening and Karahashi sensei guided the members through the main points for breaking balance to ensure the throw will follow smoothly.

One kenshi had recently passed his shodan exam and this evening was his first exposure to the many nage waza of Shorinji Kempo - hopefully not too painful!

I would like to thank Karahashi sensei and the members of Peninsula Branch for their wonderful hospitality and kindness. Hopefully we will be able to welcome them at Toronto Branch soon.