||Liberdade SP Branch, Brazil / October 2011
- Contributor: Miriam Harumi Eto
My Experience visiting Shorinji Kempo Headquarters
My name is Miriam Harumi Eto and I'm a kenshi at Liberdade Shibu, located at Sao Paulo city - Brazil. I started to practice Shorinji Kempo on February 2009.
On last October, 7th during my vacation trip to Japan, I had a chance to visit Shorinji Kempo Headquarter and more than this I had the privilege to receive my Certificate for Shodan (Inkajyo) from ARAI Sensei's hands.
This story started on May of this year, when my Ono Sensei was aware that I was going to Japan to spend my vacation on September to October of this year.
And on August 30th, I made my test for Shodan - it was not so easy to get it, however some days later I receive the good news that I was able to get my certificate of Shodan! After travelling some days in Japan I finally arrived at Tadotsu City on October 7th, with my former sensei Kashiwakura, who lives in Tokyo.
You will see as first glance a beautiful monument for Shorinji Kempo in front of Tadotsu train station - as adopted city by Shorinji Kempo.
Arriving at Honzan main gate, you can feel the extreme peaceful atmosphere. The view brings to your eyes and heart how good is to be part as kenshi.
We were received by Ms.Uebayashi who quickly took us to the special room of Shorinji Kempo and suddenly Arai-sensei appeared and with his shining smile greeting us. His sympathy is everything, he asked me about Brazil!
Then after few minutes later, I was standing in front of ARAI-sensei. The feeling to be in front of him made me very nervous, but I knew that it was unique moment. Few seconds later, ARAI-Sensei started to announce my graduation. It was a kind of dream that came true. It was such honor! My heart was beating so fast, many staffs around us and his kindness to have my certificate transported in safety sake till Brazil. I will remember this moment forever.
As we had some hours till start for the evening training, Ms.Uebayashi showed us all dependencies for the Honzan, the master saloon training, the conference room, canteen, the outside garden and just of weekend of October 9th - it was the Daruma-Sai: a local festival to celebrate Kongo Zen Sohonzan that Shorinji holds annually in connection with the anniversary of the death of Bodhidarma. This also inspired Kaiso to create Shorinji Kempo.
The great chance that I got too was to visit the Daigan-toh and to get known a general overview how Shorinji Kempo is spread all over the world. Of course, the great view for Tadotsu's city was a gift also.
Another amazing moment was to have met KAWASHIMA-Sensei and having a picture with him. Memorable ones!
So at 18h30, the evening training has started. TOMITA-Sensei gently received us and so we were there for 03 hours. The first part of the training was energetic, making a good warming up. Chinkon was a good experience for me and later we were conducted by TAMURA-Sensei to the practices for the wazas, ju-ho and paying attention for the movement of our hips - the basic moving for the Shorinji Kempo. And his class was so funny, great laughing moments! FUJII-Sensei gave us a lot of hints to make our best movements - the shoulder alignment for sokutoh was a so great hint for me and again the basic movement for our hips during soutai. And to have joined the training with other kenshis was a magic experience, as being Brazilian I was in another side of the world! And watching them, looking at their level is something that I will try to improve myself.
Unfortunately, the 03 hours just run so fast and my wish was: "I would like to stay here by next week for sure" at the time for the training over.
Having this great opportunity, I just want to share with all of you that Shorinji Kempo is a real art for kindness and human being generosity.
The cozy atmosphere, all people enrolled to make my special day at Honzan, was something extraordinary. To had received my Shodan's Certificate from ARAI-Sensei personally by his own hands; Ms.Uebayashi kindness and all patient by TOMITA-Sensei, TAMURA-Sensei, FUJII-Sensei and all kenshis of Honzan, this is something that has no price.
I do hope to keep going with my Shorinji Kempo training based in its principles and to remember all kindness that I've received since from my sensei team from Liberdade Shibu, my former sensei in Tokyo, Honzan staffs and from all master Senseis of Honzan.