Shorinji Kempo

During our last week of cultural programs, I went to a nearby dojo where a Shorinji Kempo class is taught every week.  The whole group of ICU students who went were able to join in on a class and learn the basics.  The dojo was very simple, traditional, and small, and the format of the session included a lot of tradition-based parts.  There were specific bows, sounds, rituals, and readings, just like all of the martial arts I’ve ever participated in.  Most of the class was easy for me, because I have taken martial arts so many times in the past, but it was still really enjoyable.  We mainly focused on how to defend yourself when grabbed by breaking an arm, wrist, or shoulder.
There was a mom, daughter, and son who were a part of the dojo, and though the mom was Japanese and spoke little English, the dad, we learned, is Canadian, and therefore the two kids spoke nearly fluently.  Without their help we would have been very lost, and without the daughter, especially, we would have had less laughs.
I took a picture of the dojo, but accidentally erased it, and I couldn’t take pictures during the session, for obvious reasons, but it was a lot of fun, and you will just have to imagine me grabbing a wrist, “making an S,” and bringing someone to the ground.
We didn’t do much after we left, but the more places I go the more I learn how to navigate my city and the cities around it.  I bike everywhere I can to save money and to get exercise, and on the bike ride home I was pretty happy about all of this.
I plan to join some sort of martial art when the Autumn term starts up, depending on what I can afford and what interests me.  The way clubs work around here is different from anything I’ve heard of before.  There are clubs, which usually involve 10 or so hours per week of meeting, practicing, etc. and are a bit pricey, but there are many to choose from.  Circles, on the other hand, only meet a few hours per week, are very lenient, and don’t cost too much, but there aren’t many to choose from.  I’ll need to decide what I want to do with my time, whether it be join one club that I really want and pour my heart into it, or join two or three circles, and enjoy a few things with less stress.
I’m hoping to find a circle with an unarmed, practical style of martial arts to join, as well as some sort of dance circle.  When I choose my extracurriculars I will definitely be sure to post about them.