About Our Class

Kawamata SenseiOur head instructor, Kazuo Kawamata, has been studying Shorinji Kempo since 1978 and has been a Sensei since 1985. He currently teaches the class located at UCSD (Universtiy of California, San Diego), a class that has been in existence and at the same location since 1991. Kawamata Sensei’s dedication to Shorinji Kempo and his students are a testament to his longevity.

Kawamata Sensei currently holds the rank of sixth dan (sixth degree black belt) in Shorinji Kempo, and a number of his students have gone on to open their own dojos, spreading the techniques and philosophy of Shorinji Kempo across the country.

Gassho ReiOur class begins with meditation, where we quiet our minds and prepare for the upcoming session. We then have a short lecture covering the principles of Shorinji Kempo and other teachings designed for personal growth. We then move on to Kihon, or basic exercises (kicks, punches, blocks, combinations, and single forms designed to teach the basic movements of Shorinji Kempo). Next is Hokei, which use the elements of Kihon and are usually practiced with a partner. GohoHokei is seperated into two parts, Goho and Juho. Goho are the “hard” techniques which consist of punches, kicks, blocks, and counter movements. Juho is comprised of “soft” techniques including escapes, joint reverses, throws, and pins. As you advance in the class, you practice Randori, which is controlled sparring with the aim of putting the techniques into action using cooperation rather than competition, winning a match, or beating an opponent.

Training in JapanShorinji Kempo is the ideal choice for people wanting to improve fitness and flexibility, and to learn self-defence in a friendly environment. We are a very social branch, and along with regular, informal get-togethers, we travel to train with other branches from across the United States, and frequently with high-ranking instructors from the World Shorinji Kempo Organization’s headquarters in Japan. The most recent was in New York in early September for the North American Shorinji Kempo Taikai. We have also traveled to Japan to attend worldwide training sessions, the next of which will be held in Japan in 2013.

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