||Seattle Branch, U.S.A. / April 2010
- Contributor: KG Fukumoto
Cherry Blossom Festival demonstration-Seattle Branch 4/18/2010
It had been rainy and wet weather, which is not unusual this time of the year in Seattle, until our demonstration day, on April 18. Seattle Branch took part in annual demonstration at outdoor martial arts stage for Seattle Cherry Blossom Festival in Seattle Center between April 17 and April 18. We wanted to show what Shorinji Kempo is to the public, and tried to take advantage of this opportunity to improve our own skills through the preparation of this demonstration.
Demonstration was started with Chinkon led by our branch master, Onaka Sensei and followed by Kihon led by Junichi Tsuneoka, 3rd degree Black Belt.
After Chinkon, we have showed Ido Geiko (moving practice) using kicking mitts for Jo-Jo Combination punches and Mawashigericombination. Then we moved on to Uchiukegeri and Tsukiten Ichi pair forms without mitts. After that, everybody showed Tenchiken Dai Ichi at the end of group Kihon practice.
We also wanted to show people some of the characteristics of Shorinji Kempo in this demonstration, which are Goho and Juho in Kumite Shutai practice. We had technique demonstration by Junichi Tsuneoka 3rd degree Black Belt and Daniel Willard 1st degree Black Belt. Their demonstration consists of Juho, Goho, and Juho-Goho combination in 4 parts.
Then we had solo embu demonstration by Heather Camp 3rd level Brown Belt. Practicing solo embu is very challenging and lonely work, and she has done diligently past month and so. She had a good Kiai, and her demonstration showed her tremendous progress very well.
After her solo embu, we had three pairs of embu demonstrations. The first one was done by Jason Steere 3rd level Brown Belt and Jesse Fukumoto 2nd level Brown Belt. Second pair was Karin Townson 3rd level Brown Belt and Jamie Stevens 1st level Brown Belt. Then the last pair was Andrew Crowder 3rd degree Black Belt and KG Fukumoto 3rd degree Black Belt. All three embus showed some good examples of Juho and Goho, and good combination with lively Kiai. We often say that Kiai is everything, and Kiai shows your spirit, and help your techniques work better. Everybody looked better!
At the end of the demonstration, Onaka Sensei thanked audience for coming to see us, and mentioned about 7 donations or contributions to the life in Buddhism Philosophy. One of them is "smile". He talked about how important "smile" is and what "smile" could bring in to enrich our daily life.
We have had another beautiful weather for our demonstration in Seattle. No matter how wet and how cold it was until the day before, weather turned out to be very nice every time we have demonstration. This may be the sign showing people in Seattle Branch are good!
After our demonstration on the outside stage, Onaka Sensei was invited by Japanese Taiko (Drum) group to collaborate with Shorinji Kempo embu. He demonstrated his solo embu at the center stage with their Japanese flute and Taiko music. It also went well and we were glad to have this kind of collaboration as Oneness Community in Japanese Culture.
We have other good news at this demonstration that we had Jackson Fischer who is back in practice after a long absence, Ruth Medley who just got 3rd level Brown Belt the day before, and Taka Fujiwara who is also back in practice after 20 years of absence. They are in the Kihon and Ido geiko. Michael deGroot, who is injured, played an important role as an emcee. They are so focused and serious during the demonstration, but after all, I saw so many "Smiles" by the end of demonstration. We had so many family members who were there to cheer our demonstration, being a camera crew or video crew. Thank you very much for your support. All and all, we have such a beautiful spring day, and fun demonstration, and so many smiles in Seattle.