German Training Camp 2019 with 40th Anniversary of Shorinji Kempo in Germany
In 1979 Walther Wunderle, today’s Honorary President of the German Shorinji Kempo Association, founded the first Dojo (Sugakusa) in Germany after his return from Japan at the request of Satoh Sensei in the city of Augsburg. He had been in Japan for almost 4 years to study martial arts “at the source”. Finally he met there Satoh Sensei, who taught him in Shorinji Kempo. Walter Wunderle found in Shorinji Kempo a martial art that combines both physical practice and personal growth. He was taught by Satoh Sensei during his numerous stays in Japan, as well as by Aosaka Sensei during European courses.
Wunderle Sensei is now 7th Dan Junhanshi and is the first European to reach this rank. One of his first students Kurt Kammerl, current president of the German Association, founded the second Dojo in Augsburg East in 1986. Over the years, the German Shorinji Kempo community has grown.
The German Shorinji Kempo Association was officially founded in 2001 and now has 8 dojos. In addition to Augsburg, dojos with a total of about 250 Kenshi were created in Königsbrunn, Kammerstein, Schwabmünchen, Bobingen, Berlin and Munich. In the context of the celebrations to the 40th anniversary of Shorinji Kempo in Germany an international Gasshuku was organized from 18.10. -20.10.2019. 10 nations with about 140 Kenshi took part.
At the invitation of Lord Mayor Kurt Gribl, a delegation came together in the Prince’s Room of the Augsburg Town Hall on 18 October to take part in a festive reception on the occasion of the anniversary.
On behalf of the Lord Mayor Mrs. Petra Keller welcomed the representatives of Japan, France, Italy, Sweden, Finland, Russia and Switzerland as well as the Branchmaster of the German Dojos and the Managing Director of the German Japanese Society Rainer Völlmerk. The Consul General Tetsuja Kimura and the Deputy President Douglas Beard addressed greetings to the representatives of the participating nations. The martial art Shorinji Kempo was demonstrated in an embu performance. At the end the president of the German association Kurt Kammerl thanked for the greetings and the invitation to the reception. This shows the solidarity of the city of Augsburg with Japan and the importance of the martial art Shorinji Kempo for international relations.
The Gasshuku took place in Königsbrunn, a small town near Augsburg. It was led by WSKO Instructor Aosaka Sensei (9th dan daihanshi and Secretary General of the European office Shorinji Kempo), Kenji Satoh Sensei (8th dan daihanshi) with son Takuma Satoh (6th dan junhanshi). Once again we would like to thank all Sensei for their help!
Already on Friday evening the Gasshuku began with skill exercises, which served the first getting to know. Saturday and Sunday were dedicated to the training from 9 to 15 o’clock.
The warm-up on Saturday included yoga exercises and on Sunday an original, dynamic warm-up took place, in which movements of animals were simulated. Kihon and Hokei were followed by work with techniques in groups of different graduations.
As with every course, the instructors encouraged the Kenshi to change partners regularly and work with practitioners from other countries to promote encounters and friendships. The philosophy classes on Saturday given by Aosaka Sensei were dedicated to the virtues jin (仁), gi (義), chû (忠), ko (孝), rei (礼) and haji (恥).
The next day Satoh Sensei informed about the foundation and history of the martial art Shorinji Kempo. He also spoke about his personal experiences and developments in this discipline. On Saturday afternoon the German Association organized a charity gala for the benefit of the association “Weisser Ring” for the victims of crime. Several German dojos and foreign associations presented the different facets of Shorinji Kempo to the public.
The demonstrations included numerous Embu, including the winners of the European Embukais in the 3rd dan category and more from Arnaud Tiquet and Hanna Svedberg.
A special feature was the musically accompanied representation of the Italian federation, as well as a realistic representation of defense techniques in a possible everyday situation.
The Taiko group from Augsburg framed the event with impressive musical interludes. The Augsburger Puppenkiste were guests and enchanted all present with their puppet show. Aosaka Sensei and Satoh Sensei will associate a special memory with the presentation of puppets with Dogi. The gala ended with a “punch and kick challenge” in which almost all Kenshi participated. The spectators should reward the effort of 200 Tsuki and another 100 Geri in a row with a donation. The efforts had been worth it, because at the end a considerable amount of money was added up.
Together with other donations Kurt Kammerl presented a cheque of 1000 Euro to the “White Ring” in the name of the German Shorinji Kempo Association.
On Saturday evening the participants gathered in the hotel for a Bavarian evening. Many Kenshi wore the traditional Bavarian clothes. The participants were spoiled by the Bavarian cuisine in the form of a buffet. A modern dance show enlivened the evening. Afterwards we danced with music and some Sensei took part. The Kampai sounds of the different tables followed. The party ended for most at 24:00 o’clock. Because on Sunday training was on the program again.
For the guests who were still present on Sunday evening they could see how beer is brewed during a brewery tour in Augsburg. Afterwards good Bavarian food followed and of course some beers.