Our History

The Ann Arbor Shorinji Kempo Club first started in January 1991 with some informal practices between Gary Dolce, Akinori Ishihara, and Rikuo Katsumata, three 2-dan Kenshi from three different Branches who met in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In 1993, we became an official Branch of the World Shorinji Kempo Organization (WSKO).

During our 10th anniversary year as an official WSKO Branch in 2003, we hosted the
WSKO Eastern North America Regional Study Session. It was attended by 3 WSKO instructors from Japan and 56 Kenshi from 13 Branches in the Canada, the US, and Japan.

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2003 WSKO Eastern North America Regional Study Session in Ann Arbor

Every May, we are a host Branch for the annual
Cornell Training Camp and many of us attend that camp every year.

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2013 Cornell Training Camp near Ithaca, New York

Cornell Camp 2016 Group
2016 Cornell Training Camp near Ithaca, New York

We have participated in Japan Festival 2011, 2012, and 2014, the largest Japanese festival in Michigan, as well as the Japanese Cultural Festival sponsored by the Japanese Student Association at the University of Michigan. In 2005, four of us attended the
Shorinji Kempo International Taikai and International Study Session in Japan. In recent years, we have also attended WSKO Study Sessions in Los Angeles, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver, New York, and Fort Lauderdale.