||Seattle Branch & Seattle Univ. Branch, U.S.A. / September 2010
- Contributor: Branch Master Hiroshi Onaka
Speechless in Seattle
I came back from the North America WSKO Seminar and Taikai in New York City 5 days ago. Before I cooled myself down from these excited events, the time had come to participate in the Budo Demonstration the Eastside Japanese Fall Festival here in Seattle.
More than 10 years, we have been participating in this festival without missing any single year and it was time for us to challenge something new to appeal what Shorinji Kempo is.
1. First challenge is to have Taka Yuhara, 5 years old boy, lead "Tenchi Ken Dai Ichi" with his big Kiai and all other adults just followed his command as the group performance. I expected that it could be good motivation for this small child. Guess what? He did a great job!
2. The second challenge is the Kenshi speech. It was a big and great surprise for me that one of my Kenshi , Ryan Schoelerman, Minarai, received 1st award in the adults speech contest at the North America Taikai this time. Ryan read his speech in front of the audience. It is why this report title is SPEECHLESS in Seattle.
3. The third challenge is 3-Embu. We have only showed the pairing Embu in the past but this time, we tried one Embu with three Kenshi.
4. The fourth challenge is the collaboration with other groups. We did our Embu with the Japanese Taiko group.
Our Embu performance is not the only way to introduce what Shorinji Kempo is. It is good for us if we have multiple channels and methods to appeal what we are doing and what we are learning. I wanted to show the balance between physical strength and mental strength with both Embu and Kenshi speech. Also, I wanted to show "Kumite Shutai - practice in pairs" philosophy not only among Shorinji Kempo group but also with other groups.
As usual, we started from Chinkon and Kihon with all Kenshi. Then, the techniques introduction was performed by Andrew Crowder, 3rd Dan with Ryan Schoeleman, Minarai. The Pair Embu was by Jason Steere and Karin Townson, both 2nd brown belt. The three-Embu was by Jesse Fukumoto, 1st Kyu, KG Fukumoto 3rd Dan and Jun Tsuneoka 3rd Dan. And the sole Embu was by Hiroshi Onaka, 6th Dan.
As you can tell from last name, Jesse is one of KG's sons and it is good to have family combination. I also observed this good relationship between a father and his son from Westminster branch in NYC this time. This is another good example of "Kumite Shutai" to help the relationship and communication. Last two Embu were performed with the School of Japanese Taiko (Drum) Group. This turned out well.
I have the passion to spread out one Japanese word. That is "Okagesama" which you thank to all around you. It is difficult to explain in this report but I want to teach my Kenshi "Okagesama" through Shorinji Kempo practice as "Gyo".
Practice makes perfect and it is important for us to practice again and again. At the same time, we could be flexible to accept and challenge something new to improve ourselves. We look forward to practicing with Kenshi from other branches for the ONE Shorinji Kempo anytime. Any Kenshi is very welcome to stop by at our branch and we can practice together when you have a chance to come to Seattle. I also expect that you can introduce your branch "Tenchi Ken Dai Nana - how to drink" after we all sweat together... Drinkless in Seattle???
Hiroshi Onaka 6th Dan Jun-Hanshi
Seattle Branch & Seattle Univ. Branch Master
Note: NYC Branch Blog about #2 NA Taikai Speech Contest