||New York City Branch, U.S.A. / July 2012
- Contributor: Jessica Kashiwabara, NYC Branch Public Relations Officer
Shorinji Kempo in New York City Schools - May 2012
Over the past 10 years, the Shorinji Kempo New York City Branch has been reaching out to children and youth through weekly workshop classes in various New York City public schools. Along with Ohashi Senseifs guidance, kenshi (Shorinji Kempo NYC branch members) have contributed by volunteering and interacting with children through the teaching of Shorinji Kempo techniques and philosophy. The following are some highlights and accomplishments:
- Weekly martial arts and discipline classes at nursery schools in various neighborhoods including Harlem, the East Village, and Brooklyn.
- Through the years, over 400 children from ages three to five years old and their teachers have been participating in these classes.
- Each class is 20 to 30 minutes long where children learn simple punching or dodging techniques, various types of exercise, meditation, and stretching.
- As an interpretation of Shorinji Kempo philosophy, they also recite these words in every class:
"Be nice! Be strong! Help your friends! Keep justice!"
The Shorinji Kempo New York City Branch hopes that through the positive experience of these classes, children will feel stronger and grow to understand a sense of what is right. The classes are just a moment in their lives, but the direction that it may take them could last a lifetime.
JETAA Demonstration Show - May 2012
On Saturday, May 5th 2012, the Shorinji Kempo New York City Branch held a demonstration show of techniques and philosophy. This was a special demonstration in that we were requested by the JET (Japan Exchange Teaching) Programme Alumni Association, JETAA, to have a private show for their members.
The purpose of JETAA is to promote through its activities a broader and deeper understanding between Japan and the countries participating on the JET Programme. They asked our help in sharing Japanese martial arts with them and we were pleased to act as ambassadors of Shorinji Kempo.
This was a great opportunity for us to share with our community what Shorinji Kempo is, and to have a chance to do something special out of the norm of our regular practice. Especially for our newer kenshi, it gave them an opportunity to create and show their embu for the first time.
We explained the history and philosophy of Shorinji Kempo briefly and shared some of our own personal stories. Then we demonstrated parts of Chinkon Gyo, Kihon, Randori, Seiho, and women's self defense.
Everyone put their best efforts into the demonstration and it was good motivation to work hard together and to keep improving ourselves. It was fun and our audience was engaged and at the end, they were able to practice some techniques together with us. We also had a luncheon party with our guests and had some nice conversation. Finally, we ended with a group photo.
This was also the first time we edited video of the event and posted it on our blog. We hope it serves as a good keepsake and study guide for ourselves, as well as helps to promote and show the public what Shorinji Kempo is.
Thank you to the JETAA for a great event and opportunity. We look forward to working together in the future.