Shorinji Kempo Oceania Regional Study Session 2016

Auckland was the host city for the Oceanic study session held during the weekend for the Japanese martial art group Shorinji Kempo. Kawashima Sensei (teacher) is an eight level black belt instructor from the headquarters of Shorinji Kempo in Japan.

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Senior Kenshi or students from as far as Perth, Newcastle, Melbourne and Brisbane in Australia as well as students from New Plymouth, and the four branches in Auckland came together to train together in a weekend camp.

The camp started on the Friday with some students taking grading tests for second and third level black belts. The grading test involves both practical test and written essays based on the philosophy of creating a harmonious society, including key themes such as living half for yourself and half for others and defend first and attack second. There was also a seminar and test for students hoping to learn to be instructors.

The camp was held at St Cuthberts school hall in Epsom and was officially opened with a Powhiri on the Saturday morning, conducted by Jason Matthews, James Young and the Karanga from Nellie Young. Our Powhiri group asked the New Zealand students to join in for a haka which was impromptu, but appreciated by all the overseas guests.

In total 45 students learnt techniques on using pressure points to take people down effectively, pressure points for stress release and relaxation, using your body to efficiently stop people from fighting. The students put together demonstrations and had them judged in a mini embu (paired demonstration) competition and also learnt how to spar and how to judge for sparring.

study session
The students had the chance to socialise on the Saturday and Sunday evening, with a fortunate evening on Sunday where the weather played ball and the sun came out for a stroll along Mission Bay before dinner.

Darren Louie, the New Zealand Representative for Shorinji Kempo and the Branch Master of North Shore branch, organised the weekend and coordinate the instructors visit. “The last time Kawashima Sensei came to New Zealand was almost twenty years ago, so it was excellent to welcome him back,” Darren said. He also said “the last Oceania Regional Study Session was in Melbourne in 2011 so it was excellent to have this recent one in Auckland.”

Everyone had a fun weekend, although there were a few stiff bodies at regular training that continued this week.Everyone had a fun weekend, although there were a few stiff bodies at regular training that continued this week.

Shorinji Kempo New Zealand would like to congratulate the New Zealand students who successfully passed their third level gradings: Peter Miller, Toshi Sekizaki, Juan Carrascosa, Ronny Etzion, Manuel Agbayani, and Junior Pauka.

Also congratulations go to the following students who are now qualified to assist instructors and also apply for opening an official branch now or in the future: Steven Reid, Juan Carrascosa and Sean McIlvride.

Some students are now preparing to go to the next international event which will be held just north of San Francisco in July 2017 and is anticipated to attract 500 students. Fundraising efforts will start in the new year to help get students to this fantastic networking opportunity and rewarding training camp.

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