Volume 12, Issue 1 -- Spring 2003

Shinzen
President:
Myron M. Lubitsch

Shinzen
Vice President:

Dan Hayes

Shimbun
Editor:
Brian Berenbach

Shimbun
Graphic Design:
Vincent Capers

  1. From the Desk of the President
  2. Special Comments
  3. From the Desk of the Vice President
  4. Sunshine News & Congratulations
  5. Promotions in Santa Clarita
  6. The True Meaning of Karate Training
  7. Let’s Get Back To Standardization
  8. Karate Anomalies
  9. A Thought on Promotions
  10. My Journey So Far
  11. Black Belt Equals Tournament Judge?
  12. Shorinjiryu and Judo
  13. The Spring Regional 
  14. Policy Statement: Revisited
  15. Commemorative Video
  16. The Kyokai Patch
  17. Congratulations to Shihan Phill Hooper
  18. Special Exercise Class Offer

Assistant Editor
Mark McKennon

Web Master
Peter Hiltz

1. From the Desk of the President

Amazing how time does fly. I hope that everyone has had a good New Year and are on path of continued growth, learning and good will. By the time this edition will have been sent out, the first Referee/Scorekeepers’ Clinic, the First Spring Regional for 2003, and the St. Patrick’s Day Spring Seminar would have taken place with the Second Referee/Scorekeepers’ Clinic and the 6th International Shindo Budo Kwai Tournament coming up very quickly. What does this say about Shorinjiryu? Clearly by the abundance of special events, students are afforded an incredible smorgasbord of opportunities to gain further knowledge, hone their skills and establish friendships. Clearly, the system is strong and getting stronger. I would like to thank all the instructors, students and friends of Shorinjiryu for the years of support and hope that that support will not diminish.

3. Special Comments

Dear Kyoshi:

At the International Tournament, I learned probably one of the most valuable lessons I will ever learn (and this is breaking out of the ordinary). The lesson that I’ve learned is that people from different countries can come together for the same common goal-self-enlightenment. I thought it was amazing that people can overcome obstacles such as style, language barriers, and race. I really felt a strong sense of pride and brotherhood. I truly believe that it’s impossible for anybody there to not gain something and that same sense of belonging. I think it was a great experience, in my eyes, for anybody that was there.

Eddie Christian, Sempai

Dear Kyoshi:

Thank you for the excellent clinic. Tournaments seem important to the health and proliferation of Shorinjiryu Karate-do in general and the Shinzen in particular, and skilled judging/refereeing is obviously critical to the success of tournaments and members’ development as karateka. We feel fortunate to be able to participate in the training process at our levels (5th & 6th Kyu), as it is obvious that judging/refereeing skills require time and practice to develop, just like the rest of the karate skills we endeavor to master.

Domo Arigato,

Claire McGuire, Daniel Strassberg, and Zvi Strassberg

Goodday Kyoshi,

Exhausted...You betcha! Did we have a good time...You betcha! Did we have a good turn out...as expected, 50’s! Did I loose money...some! (It was an investment!) How were the demonstrations...fantastic! We had an audience of about two hundred. The Kendo and Aikido groups where just SUPER...The event was extremely reassuring, and gratifying, to have three Martial Art systems cooperate with the utmost pride, humility and respect for each other! Photos will be up within the next week, I’ll keep you posted, and I’ll give you more details later. Take it easy (as if you can do anything else!) and have a great St. Paddy’s Day!

Emanuel (Manny) Hawthorne, Renshi

3. From the Desk of the Vice President

Years ago David Lowery wrote an article trying to explain the meaning of Katachi to those unacquainted. I find that most are still unaware of its concept and process. In his article he states that the essence of kata is not just in the performance of movements but also in creating the kata.

The idea of creating a kata is of course not to make up your own and name it “Danny Hayes Kata

Number One”, but to make a kata your own by letting it evolve you and thus becoming part of you.

“Karate is kata”, it is the one thing that separates us from the mundane exercise of fighting for the sake of beating another. It offers opportunity for introspection, self-improvement, direction, purpose, as a mirror to the soul and a vehicle of expression, thus creating the art of karate.

Katachi is the very essence of the purpose of the practice of “modern” karate. The concept of the “DO” (the way) epitomizes the essential nature and need for self-improvement through ritualistic training and its inherent development of mastery. This mastery is the foundation of learning Katachi.

Those of us who were privileged enough to see Watanabe Saiko Shihan perform Naihanchin Dai kata at the Empire State Championships back in 1984 will know exactly what I am speaking of. At that time karate competitions brought about the embarrassing charade of musical kata, whistling bo’s, ornate uniforms and talking kata. A well known the up and coming point champion learned that the more obnoxious he was the better. It was like a coming out party for every crack twisted wannabe in the country. It was truly humiliating to those of us who practiced the art for something other than entertainment and/or gymnastic ego boosting. As part of the Grand Championship Watanabe Saiko Shihan followed a very loud Bo kata (?) performance by a Canadian and a gymnastic demonstration by some Korean practitioner in a star spangled uniform to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture (I kid you not). His leg was in the air for a good 30 seconds and people loved it. I remember thinking how it felt absurdly like my trips to the Wringling Bros. Circus at Madison Square Garden. People were screaming, clapping and talking, it seemed totally chaotic. I was overwhelmed at the total misrepresentation of the very thing that drew me to study karate from the beginning. Watanabe Sensei was the next competitor. Amidst the noise of the audience (about 2500 easily) you barely knew he was there. He walked up to the judges and said his name and kata quietly. No one could hear a thing. He respectfully stepped back from the judges, bowed and proceeded to perform the most beautiful Naihanchin I have ever seen! His plain white gi was exploding with kime! He was so graceful; his expression was beautiful, not overacted. This was uniquely his kata and was performed with such precision and class that the entire maniacal atmosphere came to a screeching, resounding dead silence. It was as if they had announced the end of the world, it was so eerily quiet, you could have heard a pin drop. All eyes and ears were on Sensei. I got the chills. Sensei finished and quietly bowed off, no kiai, no stomping, nothing. The air was electric with quiet, and then with a crescendo, like the crack of a bolt of lighting the place went absolutely wild. People were screaming? Like they had never seen such a thing before, Karate. I was so proud and awe stricken. I felt so lucky to have fallen under his tutelage. I felt incredibly inept and proud all at the same time. This was Katachi. He did not perform Kata; he expressed his understanding of all karate and created a vehicle for it, his Naihanchin Dai.

4. Sunshine News & Congratulations

Congratulations to all those who received promotions:

1st Dan

Shodan Marie Claude Bussiere
Shodan Facundo Genin
Shodan Franco Genin
Shodan Jay Will
Shodan Dr. Miguel Rodriguez

We wish the following the best of luck on their upcoming Black Belt tests in May.

Renshi Ghislain Dore
Sensei Dennis Ethier
Nidan Alain Courville
Nidan Francine Bussiere
Nidan Huguette Thibault
Nidan Katherine Coster
Nidan Maxome Berube
Shodan Jonathan Boivert
Shodan Ian Dugal
Shodan Barbara Bedard
Shodan Marie Michaelle Jalbert-Claveau

Congratulations To

Sensei Oscar “Ozzy” Salvatierra upon showing us the true meaning of Shorinjiryu. (see the article on page one)

Virginia Green, the consummate volunteer of the Kenryukan, for receiving the New York City Department of Sanitation Achievement Award for Volunteer Community Service.

Nidan Maurizio Milana for accepting a teaching position in a public school.

5. Promotions in Santa Clarita

On March 8th 2003, Santa Clarita Karate had their largest ever Black Belt Test. There were a record eleven students testing for their Black Belts. It is the largest number of people testing for the Black Belt in 22 years.

There were also 4 people receiving their official Black Belts. They had been on probation for a minimum of one year. They have continued with their training and have proved to be deserving of this honor.

Becoming a Black Belt means to become a better person. Not just in Karate but in all aspects of your life.

Congratulations to

Doug Johnson, Ramil Rosalin, R.C. Buckley, Zachary Johnson, Kevin Okimoto, Bobby Lanie, Kaylin Calkins, Jake Everts, George Castaneda, Greg Menjivar and Brandon Violette.

You all did an awesome job.

Congratulations to Kelly Gates, Brittnie Ferguson, Aaron Goodman and Tony Tony for receiving their official Black Belts. You’ve shown outstanding self discipline, commitment and leadership over the past year.

6. The True Meaning of Karate Training

With the state of the world today, it is often easy to focus on the horrors of war, the unsettling crime reports involving children and the elderly and, the various financial scandals. But one instructor from Shorinjiryu Kenryukan Karate decided not to take that route. Sensei Oscar “Ozzy” Salvatierra has gone the opposite direction from today’s headlines. He is unselfishly taking time out to help the ones that need it the most.

Several months ago, Sensei Ozzy moved from Brooklyn to Long Island, NY. He has won too many events to count at the various tournaments over the years. His collection needed to be pruned before he was able to move. Instead of discarding them, he decided to donate them to a hospital, specifically a pediatric ward. Sensei Ozzy contacted Jerry Bruno, the administrator of the Mt. Sinai Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Ward. Mr. Bruno unfortunately refused Sensei Ozzy’s donation but the two were able to collaborate to develop a unique and creative physical therapy program in New York City. Sensei Ozzy donates his time to teach terminally ill children. These children suffer from either terminal cancers or from rare blood diseases such as leukemia and sickle cell anemia. Currently, the program is run once a month with one or two patients. But, Mr. Bruno would like to expand the program in the future to five to ten patients meeting once every other week. The patients look forward to the classes and a few view the classes as a reward for maintaining their medical regimen and staying healthy. During the classes, the patients are given an opportunity to express themselves physically and channel their energies away from medications, examinations, nurses and doctors. They are afforded an experience of a brief period of normalcy. The parents and doctors agree that the program is good medicine. They report the children are practicing at home and even showing their siblings one or two techniques.

We at the Kenryukan wish Sensei much success and we would like to extend a gracious welcome to the students and parents of the Mt. Sinai Dojo.

7. Let’s Get Back to Standardization

A few months back the topic of standardization of forms surfaced, and a few supportive emails were circulated amongst the Koykai leadership. Then, unfortunately, it seemed to fade away. I’d propose we restart the dialog with the goal of finding a few more kata or kumite to standardize.

Since the Great Split from the old Kenkokan school (as opposed to the new Kenkokan school, but that is a different topic), each of us has drifted slightly from our roots. Some have drifted more, and some less, but none of us drifted deliberately or maliciously. Drift is natural given the state of Shorinjiryu. Drift does not invalidate our Shorinjiryu, nor does it mean that one person’s flavor of technique is better or worse than any other. We’re all good.

The drift manifests itself in two ways. First, it manifests as changes to the kata and kumite of the style, and second, as change of fundamental techniques. Much of the change I’ve seen in fundamental techniques is the result of isolation and a limited number of teachers, but let me say a few words about the style’s motto of individuality. In some respects, we’ve lost sight of the meaning of the motto, and used it as an excuse for drift. Individuality does not mean to change the kata or kumite, nor does it mean that one can turn a straight punch into a round punch. For example, retractions come linearly back to their starting position, not back to your center (this is a subtle point that you may want to explore in your classes). Individuality means that at the senior black belt levels, one’s karate is a part of you, and therefore it represents a melding of the ideal techniques of the style and your body type. We should all strive, regardless of the excuse of individuality, to find the one perfect execution of technique, and to keep the forms true.

Drift in kata and kumite, and also in promotion requirements, hurts the style in subtle ways. One reason Tae Kwon Do is everywhere, and Shorinjiryu is not, is that they have standardized forms, requirements, and certifications. The Kyokai, as the only Shorinjiryu body able and ready to reunite the style, cannot do it unless we all agree to a foundation of forms. Then, and only then, can we begin to reunite Shorinjiryu and challenge the ubiquitous Tae Kwon Do. In direct conversations with Kenkokan leadership they’ve repeatedly rejected this role, preferring instead to be just another Shorinjiryu dojo like the rest of us. As it stands, we cannot truly even compare our dan ranks because even if we did agree on standard shodan requirements, the forms could be radically different. The first step is to continue the work to standardize the forms. We’ve done it with Ananku Kata, and can do it for others. The problem becomes where to start. I propose we continue the work with Rohai Kata as it appears to also be less well known, and therefore will require less adjustment. I propose the Kyokai produce a document and video that describes the kata in pictures and text. I’ll ask the Kyokai leadership to facilitate and coordinate this, and I look forward to helping this succeed.

8. Karate Anomalies

by Brian Berenbach, Renshi

Webster defines an anomaly as “something different, abnormal, peculiar, or not easily classified”. In this article, I will discuss things that have always struck me as kind of odd regarding Karate and perceptions about Karate. Given the proximity of the Jewish holiday Passover, I am going to paraphrase from the Passover Haggadah, or story.

Passover, for those of you not familiar with the holiday, celebrates the Hebrew exodus from Egypt, and being freed from bondage. In the Passover Seder, which is a combination of dinner meal and ceremony, the youngest child asks four questions, explaining why Passover Night is different from all other nights. So the child asks “Why is this night different from all other nights? On this night we…”

So, if we assume for a minute that the population at large, and even some of the more na´ve students, tend to view Karate as a sport, we can ask some very interesting questions.

Question 1: Why is Karate different from other sports? In other sports, the coach is expected to teach and mentor but not participate or be better than any of the team players, but in Karate, the Sensei is expected to be both coach and best athlete.

Answer: Karate is a martial art, NOT a sport. Learning involves mental and physical topics, and there are the intricacies of many forms and weapons to learn. The sensei will know more than his students, and depending on his age, might be better. BUT, one reason that even elderly sensei’s today are better than their students is because the students never made the commitment their sensei’s did to single-mindedly pursue excellence at the expense of other interests.

Question 2: Why is Karate different from other sports? In other sports, players stop participating on a regular basis while still in their youth, but in Karate, players or Karate-ka practice into old age.

Answer: Karate is a martial art, NOT a sport. As the Karate-ka matures, the mysteries of kata and Zen can keep a person interested and healthy, without suffering injuries that might occur with other sports.

Question 3: Why is Karate different from other sports? In other sports a player is amateur, jr. varsity, varsity, semi-pro or pro, but in Karate there are ranks.

Answer: Karate is a martial art, NOT a sport. Earning a rank is a measure of proficiency, and is used to determine the ability of a student to become a teacher, and to place students with other students of similar skill for training purposes. The rules of sports like baseball and basketball are simple, it takes a short time to learn them, and then the rest is practice. In Karate, there is an overwhelming amount of material to learn, and like any other subject, is best learned a little bit at a time.

Question 4: Why is Karate different from other sports? In other sports a player learns the rules of the game, then plays. In Karate, a player is expected to learn history, philosophy, and possibly even a little of the Japanese language.

Answer: Karate is a martial art, NOT a sport. Understanding the philosophy and history is critical to becoming a better player. Baseball players do not ask “why use a bat to hit the ball”, but Shorinjiryu Karate-ka are encouraged to ask “why do we punch with a vertical fist?”

Question 5: Why is Karate different from other sports? In other sports, referees and judges go through extensive specialized training. In the pros, they are not even ex-players. In Karate, the perception is that any black belt can judge.

Answer: Gotcha! Tournament Karate IS a sport; a subset or one activity loosely associated with the martial art of Karate. As such, to be competent, fair and impartial, judges and referees need the same level of specialized training that is needed in other sports. For example, to referee children’s baseball or basketball games, referees need a minimum of four 3 hour clinics, plus several videotaped clinics, and then have to pass a written and oral examination, not on how to play basketball, but on how to REFEREE basketball. In addition, as the level of competition goes up, the referee needs higher level judging and certifications, including a certification in CPR!

So you can see, there is a lot more to Karate than “play ball”, enough even to keep the 50 and up crowd interested.

9. A Thought on Promotions

Being promoted is the best feeling in the world. It doesn’t matter what color belt you are receiving because I know when I get promoted I feel like a kid in a room full of toys. The best part of being promoted is receiving the belt then standing in front of a mirror and watching the gi come to life. It’s as if the belt has the power to bring the past and the present together. It also has the power of bringing you one step closer to your goal-to be respected and admired as my instructor, Kyoshi Myron M. Lubitsch. I understand that the future is in the hands of the students and we must do our best to keep the system strong and alive. The legacy and traditions must be kept alive and I believe it is up to the next generation to take it further into the 21st century.

10. My Journey So Far

Now that I have made green belt and continue my journey in the karate world, I find it nice to reflect and see what my fellow students and I have experienced and learned through the past 2 years in our karate training in Florida, and what may be to come. I am lucky enough to be training with some of my closest friends under Sensei John Mirrione, which as I am sure most of the Shorinjiryu world knows is quite an honor.

My journey began 2 years ago amidst a hot, boring summer in south Florida. Most of my school friends were away and I was left to enjoy my surroundings as somewhat a newcomer to Florida. One night, however, while complaining to my parents of how bored I was, one of their friends, Mr. Mirrione, suggested I come and meet him in his community gym one day and he would introduce me to the form of Karate he has bee n training in for over 35 years. Hesitant was the word I would use to describe my feeling towards the whole thing, but I did it anyway. The next Saturday I met Sensei Mirrione and he showed me moves that looked foreign and explained concepts of movements that I really could only begin to understand. But, I kept on attending these Saturday morning classes. I guess you could say I was intrigued with the whole thing. Eventually, we moved our classes to a nearby public park and training began to get serious, as did my commitment. As you could imagine training outside in the humid South Florida weather had its downfalls, but the exercise and workout I was getting due to the hot weather far overshadowed the inconveniences. Soon I learned my first kata, Heian Ichi. This marked my first real development of movement and helped in the directional exercises I was practicing. It was about a year when one of my friends had finally begun to question where exactly I disappeared to on Sunday mornings. After telling him of my karate training and his sensing of the benefits I was experiencing (most noticeable a loss of weight, building of tone, building of confidence) he decided to try it out. Now three of my good friends train with me and all of us have come to see the many benefits of Karatedo.

Quite recently, we have had to move our dojo to a local Jiu-Jitsu school. I have to say it was hard at first and I missed practicing in the open air of Spanish River Park and being with nature, but he experience of moving inside has had its benefits also. Not only can we train a little harder due to a softer floor, but we have learned to deal with what the world might throw at you in may types of situations, whether it be as trivial as having to move your dojo or as crucial as having to protect your friends or family. If you ask if I have learned a lot so far, I would say, yes. If you asked if I have more to learn, I would say, yes that there is no question. Sensei Mirrione always says that we have the rest of our lives to learn, and I agree. I remember reading something our of a little Zen book I received one Christmas. It said, “It is good to have something to journey towards, but in the end, it is the journey that counts.” Maybe one day we all can look back and see how true that really is.

11. Black Belt Equals Tournament Judge?

Congratulations, you spent years of hard practice, memorization, black and blue marks, Tiger balm both red and white, perspiration, and lessons in humility, and now you have attainted the coveted black belt. But, have you earned the right to stand in a tournament ring and judge students contestants? Maybe, yes and maybe, no. One must wonder if a baseball player or football player or any other highly competitive athlete can move smoothly into the position of a referee abandoning the competitor’s mindset and assuming the official’s mindset? I have seen some brilliant mathematics and science majors who could not teach children to save their lives.

In the past year and at a recent tournament, four very high-ranking instructors came forth with some telling comments. The first three stated that they were unsure of the rules and procedures of the tournament and declined to accept any opportunity to take center position. The fourth requested to take the center position. Unfortunately, the fourth had never attended a single referring clinic, any regional events, never read the rules book and never did referring. The first three have increased their stature in my eyes while the fourth had his reduced.

The question really boils down to the question of competency. As a ring official, you are in a unique position to affect the health and safety of the competitors. The fact of the matter is you must know what you are doing.

Going back in time, I recall having to learn the rules of the contest of the AAU, NASKA, USKA, the PKL (having been inducted into the Hall of Fame as the Official of the Year), International Koshiki (also helping to rewrite the those rules), and to readjust to all the idiosyncrasies of various tournaments. In fact, I recall having to attend clinics, meetings, being corrected in front of contestants, and sometimes my own students, before reaching the position I have in the field of tournament operations; yet, still I have to practice and refresh my skills.

Former Vice President John A. Mirrione and the current Vice President Dan Hayes are in complete agreement that referring clinics are essential for the smooth running of a tournament. Virtually every senior instructor holds the same sentiment. We are hosting a series of referring clinics free of charge to those willing to learn new skills or refresh those already learned. Recently we held our first in a series of three Referee/Scorekeepers’ Clinics. We were very pleased with the amount of participation; approximately forty individuals from various local schools of Shorinjiryu attended this free seminar on Sunday, February 9th.

The discussions were lively as the finer points of refereeing and scorekeeping were demonstrated and discussed. Suggestions for specific rules modifications were discussed and in some cases adopted. From the novice to the highest levels, the consensus was that everyone needs practice, refinement, review of the rules, procedures and a practicum.

We are planning to award three levels of certification: level A would represent Chief Judge status, Level B Side Judge status and Level C would represent Desk Officials.

Some asked me, do they have to be trained by you? That is an interesting question, as many of the Kyokai members do not live anywhere near where the clinic took place. Rules of the Contest were sent out over the years and a new revised edition is being published at this time. Many high ranking instructors have demonstrated excellent referring abilities both at the Shinzen Shiai and their own events. Two such instructors are Shihan Gilles Labelle and Renshi Ghyslain Dore and, yes, there are others.

So, the answer to the question is, no they do not. I would hope those who are able will attend the next clinic on Sunday, April 27th.

12. Shorinjiryu and Judo

The one thing that almost all Shorinjiryu schools had in common in the ‘60s is that they got their start on the east coast of the USA teaching out of Judo schools. There were two reasons why I feel this is true. At that time Judo was a very popular Martial Art and had already established schools in which to teach Karate and our teachers had established closed ties to Kodokan Judo. We know that both Kaiso Kori Hisataka and his son were highly ranked judo players and so they were well known in those circles.

When I signed up for formal training in Shorinjiryu, it was at the Japan Judo and Karate School in Brooklyn, New York. Sensei Shina, a 5th Degree Judo Black Belt, was the owner of the school. Today he is an 8th Degree Kodokan Judo Master and still teaches near the original school of the ‘60s and also at St. John’s University. My first Shorinjiryu teacher, Shihan Minoru Morita, an already well-known karate expert, would often practice Judo with Shihan Shina. In fact, they became good friends and exchanged ideas and techniques. It was not uncommon for Shihan Shina to teach a Judo class to karate students and for Shihan Morita to give advice on karate techniques. Much of these techniques are gone from modern Judo today as a result of Olympic competition rules. The older, more seasoned Judo players still practice their techniques as the master before them did.  Eventually both Shihan Shina and Shihan Morita received Black Belts in each others art.

The expertise of Judo techniques among the early Japanese masters of Shorinjiryu made them fierce fighters in the USA. The Martial Arts community respected them and pretty much stayed clear of them. They often did closed door Shiai and the results were evident the following week when dislocated shoulders and bruises abounded. It was not uncommon for us to find ourselves

the victims of Judo techniques when we practiced Karate Shiai with our teachers.

As most of us already know, many of the movements in our kata are Judo techniques. Our kata have the sweeps and takedowns which are sometimes obvious in the movements and sometimes hidden only to be discovered by those who engage in a deeper study of the karate. The very practice of foot movement is an art form all its own. It is through the understanding of this movement that we get to know something about the sweeps, throws and take downs of Judo. On the open tournament circuit among the more eclectic styles, I see more and more that the study of foot movement is omitted and techniques suffer as a result. Those who practice and study Shorinjiryu are fortunate to have these movements as an intricate part of their style.

When we practice karate, we practice Judo, and a host of other Martial Arts.

13. The Spring Regional

The Spring Regional Tournament was held on March 8th at the Imperial Dragon Hombu Dojo in Brooklyn. About one hundred and thirty contestants from four schools of the Kyokai participated in the event.

Overall, the caliber of competition is continuing to get better. There is no doubt that the students are learning and showing incredible skill in their performances. Two major developments also took place. The first was the realization that Referee and Scorekeepers’ Clinics work well. As a result of the comprehensive training, new scorekeepers were given the opportunity to run the desks under the careful eye of seasoned desk officials. They did very well. Additionally, brown belts put to the test the training they had received at the clinics and, they too, did a fine job. We thank them all.

The second development was a request by a large number of black belts for the elimination of black belt trophies at the three Regional events. They do, however, want to keep the special black belt trophies for the Shinzen Shiai, which will, of course, be the case. Black Belts do not have to submit tournament fees for any of the three Regional events. In an effort to show our appreciation for black belt competitors and officials, a custom engraved plaque was commissioned for them. The plaques were clearly a great surprise to all those who attended this event; their faces showed their appreciation. In order to prevent errors, every black belt who attended the Spring, Summer or Winter Regional in 2002 was awarded a plaque. What makes this special is that each plaque has spaces for engraved plates indicating an event, the date and result. Each black belt received a plate indicating “Tournament Official”; those who won in shiai, kata and/or weapons also received plates indicating the award. The plaque has enough space for an entire year or more for a permanent record of Tournament Achievement.

We thank all competitors, Black Belts, and our fantastic parent volunteers.

14. Policy Statement: Revisited

The response to the query regarding Shihan Dan Hayes article was quite interesting and enlightening. Those who did respond to the article advocated the use of certain types of hand gear. What is clear is that the Kyokai must move into the modern era and put aside some of the policies of the past. We have seen the Australian gear as well as other types. Within the Kenkukai school, a particular hand wrap has been used for a number of years. This wrap was recently tried in the Kenryukan and the Kenryukai schools and in trial use these wraps appeared to be appropriate to their purported use.

During the last Shinzen Tournament, this wrap was used by a substantial number of contestants and was made available for sale by those who wished to buy it. We have had no complaints regarding its effectiveness. The Kyokai will accept this type of wrap in future events, as it appears to protect the knuckles, wrist and part of the hand. However, the Kyokai cannot be responsible for any injury incurred by the use of such equipment.

These wraps will be made available for sale at tournament sites, in specific dojo and/or directly from the Kyokai.

The following is a partial restatement of certain other requirements:
- The use of shin/instep protectors shall not be prohibited.
- The policy regarding the use of foam dipped hand and footgear is still in effect.
- Mouth guards are mandatory during shiai.
- Headgear is also required during shiai and will be supplied.

It must be remembered that the purpose of the wrap is primarily to protect against injury during competition. Students are encouraged to practice on the bogu during regular class without hand protection in order to learn how to punch properly.

15. Commemorative Video

We are pleased to announce that the superb commemorative video created by Renshi Vincent Capers Jr., The Chronicle of Shorinjiryu is still available. This video details the past 3 plus decades of Shorinjiryu in North America and is a must for serious students of Shorinjiryu. Please contact us with your order.

16. The Kyokai Patch

Are you wearing the patch with pride? Are you wearing it at all? The Kyokai represents a statement of family and solidarity. If you need one please contact us for your order.

17. Congratulations to Shihan Phill Hooper

by Jim Griffin, Renshi

A group of long time Shorinjiryu practitioners from Australia gathered together to celebrate the 50th birthday of Shihan Phil Hooper. In attendance were many of his old friends and family including Chris Kliese, Wayne Watson, Julie Hooper, Beth Wall, Don Mitchell, Lesley, Tom and Jim Griffin and Shihan Patrick McCarthy. Shihan Phil was presented with a walking stick by Chris Kliese in honor of his now advanced years. Shihan Hooper has trained in Karate for over twenty years and has been a student of Shorinjiryu Karatedo since it was first taught in Australia in the mid 1970’s. Until recently, Shihan Hooper was the senior instructor for Australian Shorinjiryu Karatedo and remains patron and life member of the association.

18. Special Exercise Class Offer

As a continued effort to bring students closer together, Tashi Alberdeston “Big Al” Gonzalez is offering a specialized exercise class to teenage and adult Shorinjiryu Kyokai members. Two classes are offered. The first will be held on Wednesday afternoons at 5pm until 6:30pm and the second on Friday evenings at 6:30pm until 8pm. All you are asked to do is wear your gi, bring a towel and be prepared to perspire. These classes are offered as a service to Shorinjiryu practitioners and are free of charge. For further information contact the Imperial Dragon Hombu Dojo 718-647-4157.

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The submission of articles, newsworthy events and letters is encouraged. Address all correspondence to:

The Shimbun Editor
Shorinjiryu Shinzen Kyokai
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