Tournaments or Taikai’s as they are known here are not a essential part of Shorinji Kempo training and as such feature rarely in our calendar.
Traditional Shorinji Kempo tournaments have always featured a wide range of categories, including Hoki (weapons), Embu (demonstration forms), Kumi Embu (pair forms), and Randori (sparring). Tournaments are held world wide by the BSKF or IKA.
Sensei Kavita’s first Taikai was in 2004 when she was a white belt. By the time she was a brown belt she was winning sliver in the Randori (sparring) category. In 2017 Kavita hosted the BSKF Taikai and in 2022 she was Tournament Director and the Camden Club ran the show.
2022 BSKF Taikai
On October 29th 2022 Camden Kempo hosted our National Tai Kai (tournament) at our friends club in Chiswick. This made it super easy for Shorinji students from several different clubs to join us. As hosts, we delivered on all the behind-the-scenes tasks and managed the running order of the day. This was all carried on the day under the watchful eye of our head judge – Sensei Mizuno. Sensei Kavita even got to wear her black hoi for the occasion and had two very senior Sensei help her get dressed.
Our tiny club organised a groundbreaking non-gendered tournament that showcased all the full contact combat messiness as well as a range of demonstration categories. To many times in the past have our club founders has too few people to fight and short changed with their entry fees. By staging a non-gendered tournament, we provided a platform for our female, trans and non-binary members to shine along side the men we hope redefining the landscape of martial arts competitions for the future.
Organizing a successful tournament requires meticulous planning and logistics, and Sensei Kavita and Sharon our club administrator were up late many a night to ensure we had a seamless experience for all participants on the day. We kept safe and organised the necessary equipment, including scoring equipment, timers, clipboards, and Covid-safe cleaning kits. We also provided essential items such as water, gloves, gender neutral groin guards and bandannas.
We were grateful to have a dedicated team of volunteers, including Iris, Robin, Chelsea, Rosanna, Claire, Sharon, Charlie, Sensei Ofelia, and Sensei Kavita. We invited 14 experienced judges to ensure fairness and quality throughout the event.
We were thrilled to have representation from various kempo clubs, including Bristol City, Imperial, Marylebone, Wimbledon, East London. Our Grand Master 8th level black belt Sensei Mizuno was in attendance. He was very warm in his praise to us after the event and we even got a mention in his subsequent speeches in Japan.
We look ahead to the future, we are excited to announce that our next UK tournament will be our Federation’s 50th anniversary on June 24, and we have set the bar high to continue our legacy of inclusion.
We are open to our students cross training in other combat sports. To support them we train for a wide range of tournaments.
We plan to attend the Gay Games where any adult athlete is welcome – all genders, gay or straight, novice or elite. Participants range from beginners to Olympic medalists.
And our students participated in Pride Boxing 2023.
Contact us email@example.com if you would like to invite us to your event.