Oceania Regional UNITY Seminar

From 29 November to 1 December 2019, 18 students (kenshi) from New Zealand attended the Oceania Regional UNITY Seminar of Shorinji Kempo (a Japanese self defence) in Melbourne, Australia.

From New Zealand there were 6 students from North Shore Branch, including Branch Master Darren Louie and assistant branch masters Stephen Reid and Rachel Louie, 1 Branch Master from West Auckland Branch, Anthony Corin, and one of his students, 6 students from Auckland Central Branch, including Branch Master Steve Young, and 4 students from New Plymouth Central Branch, including Branch Master Peter Monk, the highest graded kenshi in New Zealand.

In total there were 40 kenshi from all parts of New Zealand and Australia.  The attendees included men and women of many ages, sizes and ethnicities, that came together with a common purpose.

The three days included basic training, lectures, and technical training for the individual grades, led by two very senior instructors from the headquarters in Japan.

Highlights included 5 New Zealand kenshi sitting and passing their 3rd dan black belt gradings.  Other highlights were new techniques learned, interesting seminar topics, reacquainting with old friends and meeting new friends from within this not for profit martial art.

The official instructors for the Oceanic UNITY Study Session were:

Sensei Narimasa Suzuka, 8th Dan, WSKO Instructor
Sensei Arai Shoji, 7th Dan, WSKO Deputy Secretary-General

One of the seminars was of particular interest and highlighted some things I’d like to share as I think they resonate for all of us as human beings:

BELIEVE in yourself and your potentialdevelop yourself and grow as a person continually  

Take care of yourselfonly then can you take care of others. 

Positive thoughts lead to positive actions, which lead to a positive manner

Live half for yourself and half for othersby helping others and influencing in a positive manner you can create harmony and create a better family life, work life, and community.

They may sound deep, but at their core are simple concepts and by finding the significance in your life, you can develop with purpose.

The four branch masters from New Zealand that attended the seminar received on behalf of the New Zealand kenshi the certificates for completing this Unity seminar; a seminar that is an important component for black belt trainings.  For example, to progress from 4th to 5th dan black belt you need six seminars, two of them being from attending one of these unity seminar.

Following on from this training, a large contingent of New Zealand kenshi will be travelling to Japan for a camp in March, there is potential plans for another unity seminar in New Zealand in 2020, and then, very importantly, there is an International Taikai (International Unity Seminar) in Tokyo, Japan planned for the last quarter of 2021.  Many kenshi from around New Zealand are planning on fundraising and attending this international event in 2021.  This will also be an opportunity for many to hopefully sit and pass their next level of black belt.