On Friday afternoon 7th September Yudansha from Shorinjiryu Koshinkai Dojos began arriving at Pilliga Pottery / Barkala Farmstay for our annual Black Belt Camp, with participants having driven up to 13 hours to get there. A few selected brown and green belts also attended for the experience.
Friday night was a night for catching up with all our Koshinkai friends and enjoying the traditional kangaroo goulash dinner and a few red wines before catching up on some sleep for the weekend.
Saturday commenced with a brisk daybreak walk and bo basics session, it was minus 2.5C and enjoyable. This was followed by Gorin no Kumibo (2 person bo kumite) before breakfast. Lashings of bacon and eggs, freshly baked bread, freshly brewed coffee and juice provided fuel for the busy day ahead.
Following breakfast, everybody happily participated in the Renzoku Kansetsu Waza and Rezoku Shime Waza drills (joint lock and strangulation flow drills, also known as the A-to-Z of Pain), more kumibo and Kata Sankakutobi. After lunch, we enjoyed three special sessions with our old friend and special guest, Shihan Phil Hinshelwood from Yagyu Shingan Ryu.
Shihan Phil is the first and most senior exponent of Yagyu Shingan Ryu outside of Japan and is among the most senior world wide exponents of this traditional art that has a 400 year history. He commenced his Juijitsu training in 1971 and met and commenced training with Shimazu Kenji (Chikuosha) of Yagyu Shinzen Ryu in 1988. Shihan Phil is also a member of the New South Wales Police force (since 1982) and has variously been involved with Special Weapons and Operations.
Shihan Phil explained the history then progressed to explanation of the various facets of his art before leading us all in basic techniques and bunkai for our Gokyoku no Ken katana kata.
Following Shihan Phil’s highly informative sessions, we adjourned to the warmth for the presentation of the Koshinkai Black Belt of the Year award which was split this year into a joint award between Tasshi Marnie Roberts from Kennankai in Melbourne and Sensei Leanne Sippel of Kazoku in Murgon.
Both revipients trained in the early days of Shorinjiryu in Australia then had extended breaks before returning at the same time several years ago. They both have very successful Dojos, both successfully competed recently in the Oceania Koshiki Championships and are worthy winners of this prestigious award. Congratulation to both.
At the awards ceremony, Renshi Graham Bowden was admitted to the Shorinjiryu Koshinkai Advisory Council and we look forward to his valued input well into the future. The Senior Advisory Council consists of selected Australian Kodansha (senior Yudansha of 5th Dan and above) and Hanshi Myron Lubitsch from the Shorinjiryu Shinzen Kyokai. Their advice to the joint Chief Instructors, Kyoshi Jim Griffin, and Shihan Max Estens is invaluable.
Perfect completion of the first day saw wood fire pizza and a few red wines followed but eagerly awaited sleep in preparation for Sunday.
Sunday commenced with daybreak Kata Wankan in relatively heatwave conditions of 0C followed by more Gorin no Kumibo, more Kata Sankakutobi, more A to Z of joint locks and strangulation followed by an informal afternoon Instructors only session which was also well received.
In addition to the great sessions by Phil Hinshelwood Shihan, the instruction for the weekend was variously performed by Jim Griffin Kyoshi, Max Estens Shihan, Des Paroz Shihan and Lesley Griffin Shihan, with assistance from Graham Bowden Renshi.
This was a fitting last official function of our 35th Anniversary year, a great year for Shorinjiryu Koshinkai.
See you all next year.