Back once again to Sayers Croft, which looks like becoming a permanent fixture on the BSKF calendar (at the time of writing set to be the venue for next year's summer camp). It's amazing how quickly some things have become traditional - like the Friday night cross country stumble to and from the pub. This was good zanshin practice, though an ability to use the Force might have been more useful than zanshin in the pitch blackness of rural Surrey.
The 1995 Summer Camp was chiefly notable for two things. We were fortunate to have Aosaka Sensei in attendence onece more, at Mizuno Sensei's invitation. On Saturday night, those present held the BSKF's AGM to elect a new executive committee and approve changes to the BSKF's constitution. These include provisions to make the BSKF more responsive to its membership while remaining true to its traditions of martial arts practice.
The BSKF now has three governing bodies. The first is a Technical Committee headed by Mizuno Sensei, responsible for overseeing the development of Shorinji kempo in this country. The second is an Executive Committee, charged with running the BSKF and strategic decision making, chaired by Sensei Paul Barnes of City University dojo. The third is the Council, an new body whose functions are described in this Gassho by its chairman, Ken Trent.
These changes are part of the BSKF's bid to secure Sports Council recognition (and thus funding). The election of the new Executive Committee also marks the passing of the old, whose members have given years - upwards of a decade in some cases - of sterling service to the BSKF. Mizuno Sensei thanked them for they have done, a sentiment I'm sure we all share in as beneficiaries of their efforts.
Training as ever was excellent, an opportunity to benefit from two days intensive tuition under the UK and European Chief Instructors not to mention senior BSKF Branch Masters. Highlights included Aosaka Sensei demonstrating renhanko as only he can - about Warp Sixteen on the ichi-to-san scale. Aosaka Sensei's instruction focussed on the application of Shorinji Kempo techniques. As he put it, we should take advantage of his extensive experience of putting Kempo to practical use.
Aosaka sensei also demonstrated his keen interest in the BSKF by sitting in on our AGM. In his howa talk on Sunday, Aosaka Sensei paid the BSKF a high compliment by referring to it as "an ideal federation", and saying it was the only one in Europe he would to prosper with his help. While this is not least because of our resident Chief Instructor, he was also impressed by the level of commitment he saw in evidence from the membership at both senior and junior levels. This was flattering, and something we're all going to have to try and live up to. The BSKF reorganisation means that we probably won't be lacking opportunities to do so.
This article first appeared in the October 1995 issue of Gassho.