It’s been a pretty hectic few days since finally confirming our Leeds venue – getting our online presence in place, thinking about how to get the word out, and wondering what it’ll be like once we get going! From 31st October we’ll be training on Wednesdays from 7pm to 9pm at Burley Lodge Centre and with all this to think about I decided to write something down!
It’s exciting to be starting a new class because we’re encouraged in Shorinji Kempo to do what we can to help others, both in training and in the wider world. And there are lots of benefits to offering a new class in a new area. What we want to do is offer:
The chance to get fit
We’ll have lots of chances to improve fitness – the practice of Shorinji Kempo is great for getting active in general, and for those who haven’t done martial arts before, the new movements provide a great opportunity to exercise in novel ways. But we like to pay particular attention to that by having a good warm-up which will get everyone moving and be a good challenge!
The chance to learn self-defence
Shorinji Kempo is designed to help people defend themselves. No one should make the mistake of thinking that this is a quick process – to really feel comfortable defending yourself you have to really dedicate time to it. But learning something is always beneficial – even, for instance, becoming less scared of the idea that you might get hit – and gives you a chance to decide if you want to take things further!
The chance to gain confidence
One important effect of practising martial arts is a feeling of being more at home in your own body – learning about your abilities and limitations helps you to relax and to feel more confident because there’s less uncertainty. No one likes to feel totally out of control, and getting some mastery over the way your body moves is a great way to gain self-confidence!
The chance to relieve stress
Everyday life can be stressful, especially when things like your day job follow you around once you leave. Aside from the positive impact of just getting yourself out of the house and active in the evening, one of our goals in Shorinji Kempo is to act with a calm mind. If you get stuck in your head it’s very hard to manage the motions that self-defence techniques require of you effectively, so we aim to develop a sense of calm in stressful situations by pushing ourselves – but not too much!
The chance to make friends
There’s a strong community within Shorinji Kempo, for at least two reasons. First , because of that encouragement to help each other that we always get – you can expect people who’ve been training for years to be just as approachable as the other new people who are in the same boat as you. Second, because there’s nothing better for breaking the ice than someone trying to hit you!
There’s much more I could say, but I’ll stop here. If you want to know more, get in touch or come to our first session, which costs less if you pay online in advance! I’ll leave you with a video from a demonstration a few years back (warning: 3-on-1 attacks will not feature in the first lesson!):