On 3-5 of September we celebrated that it was 40 years since Shorinji Kempo was started in Sweden. Wehad a training camp and embu taikai in Gothenburg. Instructors were Aosaka-sensei 8 dan, Kawashima-sensei 7 dan, and the Morikawa brothers, both 7 dan.
Thanks to all members of Gothenburg Shibu, especially Martin Allerby and Arnaud Tiquet, who arranged a superb training camp and the annual embu taikai. Many thanks also to our Federation President Anders Pettersson, who also spent considerable time and energy into the event. Everything took place in Lisebergshallen on the weekend of 3rd to 5th of September. 127 participants from all over Sweden, Finland, France, England, Germany, Portugal, Italy, Russia and Japan came to compete and train with four of the top instructors in Shorinji Kempo – Aosaka-sensei 8 dan, Kawashima-sensei 7 dan, and the two brothers Morikawa, both with 7 dan.
Swedish national embu taikai
In the yudansha (black belt) class we were happy to have many participants. The taikai was open to participants from other countries and the Swedish national competition (Svenska Mästerskap, shortened as SM) was decided among the Swedish participants. Alex Tilley, Anders Magnusson and Viktor Karlholm from Stockholm Södra won for the second consecutive year and Stockholm Södra also took home a trophy for best branch 2010. In second place was the Russian pair, from St. Petersburg, Alexander Sofronov and Alexander Kramar, third place went to Johan Frendin and Stefan Jönsson from Visby. Johan and Stefan took silver in the national competition (SM), which was both fun and inspiring when Johan made a comeback after 10 years since his last entry in embu taikai. In fourth place came the Finnish pair Seppo Ruusukivi and Teppo Kilpeläinen. Bronze medalists in the SM, and in fifth place in the open taikai, was Arnaud Tiquet and Romain Boniface from Gothenburg Shibu.
In the class for kyu kenshi the winning pair, also for the second consecutive year, was Ylva Rylander and Chris Cameron from Stockholm Södra. Aosaka-sensei, who is the highest ranked instructor in Europe was very pleased with the competition’s quality and appointed the winning embu in the yudansha category as one of the possible winners in next year’s European Championships. Fun and a good acknowledgment for Swedish Shorinji Kempo!
Reflections from a green belt
The major reason why so many participants came was the opportunity to train together. Competition is not really very centrally in Shorinji Kempo, but a fun way to increase their motivation.
We talked to Nils Arback who trained for 1.5 years and have had time to achieve the green belt.
I thought it was really fun to go on a camp in Gothenburg. When you go to his first camp, it’s always some thoughts about how it will be. Will one feel like a lost beginner? How will one be received? Will there be a ”discipline clash” between the Japanese sensei and me? Will I be able to learn something, when it might just be for ”Black Belts”? How painful will it be? Many questions, but all responses were only positive. I did not feel lost, I was well received, in a good way we learned a lot of basic discipline, I learned a lot, it was not just for ”Black Belts” but we with happy colored belts also got a lot of input from the instructors, and all other we trained with and finally it almost didn’t hurt at all, (except to sit a lot on the hard floor).
What I appreciated was to see how the instructors had the perfect motion. It was nice just to see them demonstrate different movements. It was cool to see an international embu taikai.
It was also fun to be trained with so many different people. Everyone was willing to help, and put themselves as a ”test- or throw-dummies” when you yourself tested one’s new skills. What I think was the great ”knowledge” I got during the camp, was how important it is to move; Moving away from an attack, especially moving sideways. Then came many enlightening experiences when I finally understood how certain movements should be done so now, some blocks naturally. 🙂
For those who have not been in any camp before, tip short: Go for a camp!
For my part, I was tremendously excited afterwards, and it felt like I wanted to train every day to come.