||Ontario Branches, Canada / July 2009
- Contributor: Thomas Fontaine, Huronia Branch Master
Shorinji Kempo Ontario Godorenshu
On Saturday June 20th, kenshi from the four WSKO branches in Ontario, Canada, gathered in Barrie for an afternoon of grading and training. Barrie is the home of WSKO Huronia Branch and for this group training session, space was rented from a local Aikido Dojo. The afternoon began with kyu-grade examinations conducted for nine kenshi from Toronto and North York branches. All examination candidates persevered through hot temperatures and showed good spirit as they demonstrated their skills to the instructors.
After the examinations, all attending kenshi got together for a special joint practice. Following Chinkon, we took advantage of the very springy (and forgiving) floor in the dojo to work on tobi ukemi in partners. Next, participants split up into different groups according to rank and worked on techniques appropriate to their level. Kenshi were able to try some new approaches to training with partners and instructors from different branches and in particular, to work on some throwing techniques that are sometimes difficult to perform safely at full speed.
It was a very warm and wet day in Barrie, and the dojo got very warm, but nothing dampened the spirits of those in attendance. Everyone seemed to enjoy the session very much and all participants wore big smiles on their faces.
At the conclusion of the training session, some members headed back down highway 400 to Toronto, while others stayed in Barrie for sushi at a local Japanese restaurant. The four branches in Ontario - Toronto, Yorkville, Huronia and North York - have managed to organize at least two godorenshu every year for the past five years, and all those in attendance seem to be energized by the experience.