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 Ontario kenshi a good opportunity to experience performing embu under these conditions.

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.


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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.


John McCulloch
Toronto Branch

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