December 11, 2010

Season's Greetings

December 07, 2010

My experience at Toronto Branch - Sayaka Fujita

Toronto branch which I have been indebted belonged by many high grade holders whom I could ask for advice, and also the fellows who have lower grade have great motivation and attitude to be better and they helped me a lot to be better together.

I have felt that the environment existence is because of the Toronto branch master McCulloch sensei's character. He often told me that I could ask him for help whatever I need, and the members of the branch were the same to such a stranger who is from abroad (me).

I learned a lot from them, to help each other, the importance for continuing something, how to express oneself (which I'm not good at) and so on.

And I could take part in a seminar and taikai (competition), and also take a grading test for black belt. These have been very wonderful experiences for me and I wouldn't be able to get through those without their support.

The purpose of my restarting Shorinji Kempo had been just to get a black belt. However, it's been changed through my experiences in Toronto branch to continue Shorinji Kempo as long as possible and to help somebody new who want to learn with us just like Toronto branch people did to me.

I'm going back to Japan soon but I'd like to visit them again as a better kenshi someday.

Thank all Toronto branch members very very much. I will never forget you all!


Sayaka Fujita
Junkenshi, 1st dan

November 15, 2010

Grading success!

Congratulations to Sayaka and Kevin who passed the exam for Junkenshi 1st dan at Toronto Branch this evening!

Many thanks to Louie-sensei for conducting the examination.


October 25, 2010

Uebayashi-san visits Toronto Branch

Ms. Uebayashi (front row, second from left)

Ms. Hidemi Uebayashi of the WSKO Secretariat of Shorinji Kempo Hombu came to visit our branch on October 25th.

Uebayashi-san had completed her first marathon race the previous day in Niagara Falls and came to Toronto for a few days of sightseeing and rest.

Uebayashi-san has provided invaluable help to Toronto Branch since she began working at Hombu in the mid-1990s so we were absolutely delighted to have her come to our branch.

All of the members of Toronto Branch wish to thank Uebayashi-san from the bottom of our hearts for her constant kindness and help.


October 04, 2010

Hiate sensei - Atsugi Doin

Hiate sensei - howa

Continuing my recent visit to Japan, I had the wonderful experience of visiting my teacher Hiate sensei (Seihanshi, 7th dan, WSKO & Hombu Instructor) at Atsugi Doin in Nurumizu.

I first met Hiate sensei at Tokai University in June 1985 and he has been my teacher ever since. In addition to his warm and friendly spirit, his technique is simply amazing.

Technical demonstration to the children's group

The class, which included the children's section, started with kihon, goho applications (uchi age zuki, uchi age geri, jun zuki randori), chinkon-gyo, howa and juho applications (uwa uke nage, oshi uke nage).

Hiate sensei's technical demonstrations were dramatic, effective and powerful. In the case of nage waza, Hiate sensei would completely capture the attacker's balance early in each technique making the final throw both effortless and spectacular!


One unexpected surprise was the appearance of Kobayashi sensei (Seihanshi, 7th dan) - another of the Atsugi area Doin-cho. Kobayashi sensei is well known for his internal approach to technique and it was fascinating to experience his interpretations of several common techniques.

Kobayashi sensei

Hiate sensei and his family hosted me during the final part of my stay in Japan. The enormous hospitality they extended was very much appreciated, especially since they all have busy schedules. A few examples: banquet dinner at one of Kanagawa's top fish restaurants, touring temples in Kamakura and ferrying me and all my stuff to Narita.

Thanking Hiate sensei and the Atsugi kenshi (thanks to Yoshioka kenshi for translation)

Sensei - iro iro domo arigato gozaimashita!


October 03, 2010

Atsugi Minami Doin

With the members of Atsugi Minami Doin

On October 2nd I was privileged to visit Atsugi Minami Doin in Kanagawa-ken, Japan. The Doin-cho is Morohoshi sensei (Seihanshi, 7th dan) - one of the teachers I first met in Japan in 1985. Indeed, at that time I had very little ability in Japanese language (not much has changed!) and Morohoshi sensei's skill in English was a real lifeline.

The training at Atsugi Minami Doin consisted mainly of deconstructing familiar techniques to find the essential principles. It was then possible to use each technique effectively without effort despite the attacker's force.

At the end of the class we had some fun looking at some seemingly amazing martial arts techniques and found that they can be reproduced verbatim by simply altering the force of the striking technique (in other words, these techniques are simply tricks).

Morohoshi sensei also holds dan rank in batto jutsu

Morohoshi sensei and his family were kind enough to host me in their home. They graciously took me on a day out to Tokyo which included a chance encounter with several famous sumo stars in Ryogoku.

Meeting West Maegashira #2 Tochinoshin in Ryogoku

The bonds of friendship that Shorinji Kempo creates are truly marvelous!

Morohoshi sensei - thank you very, very much!


September 30, 2010

Suzuki-sensei, Kurihama Doin

Yokohama, Japan
Sep. 30th.

Suzuki-sensei (Seihanshi 7th dan) and Saito-san of Kumihama Doin (Yokosuka, Japan) graciously took me along to the Yokohama Ikkaku for dinner. Ikkaku is without a doubt the most beloved restaurant of Shorinji Kempo members and is famous for two types of chicken - soft type and "chewy" type.

I've known Suzuki-sensei since the early 1990s when I practiced in London, U.K. It was great to see him again and listen to his views on Shorinji Kempo. A student of the legendary Misaki-sensei, his enthusiasm for the art is incredible!

I am deeply indebted to Suzuki-sensei, Mika-san (English arrangements!) and Saito-san and sincerely hope I'll have the chance to train at your Doin next time!

Many thanks!


September 06, 2010

Grading success

Tal Schaeffer, the Assistant Branch Master of Toronto Branch, successfully passed his Special Dan Grading for the rank of Seikenshi 4th dan on September 3rd at the WSKO 2010 North American Regional Instructors Study Session in New York City.

Well done Tal!


September 05, 2010

New York, New York!

Road trip!

Nine of us headed down to New York City over the Labor Day weekend to attend the WSKO North America Instructors Study Session and 2nd North American Shorinji Kempo Taikai.

Around 100 kenshi from WSKO Branches across the USA and Canada were in attendance.

The Study Session was led by Sato sensei (Fukuoka), Kuida sensei (Gumma), Sakashita sensei (Hombu) and Kuramoto sensei (Hombu). Each day the instructors rotated around the different rank groups, teaching us expertly. Kuida sensei also gave a lecture based on his memories of Kaiso and why Shorinji Kempo became an enduring path for him.

On the Saturday evening we had a dinner party at the Ginger House Restaurant (delicious Chinese-themed food). We especially enjoyed chatting with kenshi from other Branches and winning all the raffle prizes!

The Taikai was on the Sunday. Seven of our members took part in the events - randori (sparring), tandoku embu (single form) and embu (pairform). We were fortunate to be awarded seven medals in these events.

Finally, we wish to express our deep gratitude to the event instructors for making the big effort to come to New York to teach us and also to Ohashi sensei and the kenshi of New York City Branch for all of the long hours they put in to making the events so smooth and enjoyable for all attendees.


August 30, 2010

Canadian reunion

Maria K. from the University of British Columbia Branch (Vancouver) made a return visit to our branch during the week of August 30th. She was in town visiting relatives and wished to get some additional practice in before the North American Study Session and Taikai in New York the following weekend.

Maria visited us around the same time last year and it was a delight to see her again.


July 28, 2010

Cheque presentation to CAMH Foundation

Lori Smith, Associate VP, Development of the CAMH Foundation receiving the 2010 Kickathon cheque for $8,400 from Toronto Branch members

On the evening of Wednesday July 28, the members of Shorinji Kempo Toronto Branch presented a cheque for $8,400 to Ms. Lori Smith, Associate Vice President, Development, CAMH Foundation to support the ongoing efforts of CAMH to understand the root causes of drug addiction and to support treatment efforts.

The funds were raised from many generous donors in our 2010 "Kickathon" event - the 15th annual charity event we have held for this cause.

Following the cheque presentation Ms. Smith commented "As the longest running benefit event for CAMH, the Shorinji Kickathon has raised over $88,000 in support of research and treatment programs for addictions at our hospital. Supporting CAMH for the past 15 years, even when mental illness and addiction was shrouded in silence and shame, Shorinji Kempo Toronto Branch has encouraged the community to step up and speak out against the stigma associated with these issues. We can’t thank them enough for their support and for being true champions of our cause!"


May 26, 2010

15th Annual "Kickathon"

On the hottest May 26th since records began (32 degrees) six members from Toronto Branch gathered to perform our 15th Annual Charity “Kickathon” on behalf of research and treatment programs for drug addiction offered by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).

Despite the airless conditions, we were able to perform our 500 kicks with loud kiai to raise a total of $8,400 for the CAMH Foundation. Since our event began in 1996 we have raised a total of $88,400 for this important cause.

Shorinji Kempo Toronto Branch is also celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and is especially proud of the long association we've had with CAMH. We have held two classes per week at CAMH since February 1995 and have received tremendous support from the management and staff of the Centre.

We wish to convey our heartfelt gratitude to our many sponsors, some of whom have sponsored all of our events since 1996, and also to CAMH for the world-class services and education it provides to improve the lives of Canadians.


March 28, 2010

Grading Success!

Patrick and Lyndsay

Members of Toronto Branch attended the Shorinji Kempo Ontario (SKO) Q1 grading held today at North York Branch.

Kenshi from three of the four SKO member branches took their kyu gradings at this event.

Two of our members were successful in their tests - Lyndsay for 7th kyu and Patrick for 2nd kyu.


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January 25, 2010

Ishikawa-sensei visit

Kazumi Ishikawa-sensei (second from left)

On the evening of January 25, 2010 we were most fortunate to receive a visit from Kazumi Ishikawa-sensei (daikenshi, 5th dan), the coach of Tohoku Gakuin University Branch in Miyagi, Japan.

Ishikawa-sensei was previously a member of Toronto Branch during his one year sabbatical at the nearby University of Toronto.

We were absolutely delighted to see him again.

True to form, he brought us some delicious gifts from Miyagi Prefecture (thank you!).

Ishikawa-sensei, we are truly honored to know you.