Shorinji Kempo first came to New York City around 1980 when various Japanese nationals relocated here to live and work. All of them were highly motivated practitioners who had originally learned Shorinji Kempo from well established Japanese branches and university clubs and were very enthusiastic to introduce Shorinji Kempo to one of the world's largest cosmopolitans.
In December 1982, the Shorinji Kempo New York City Branch was officially established. The branch moved to Chelsea Studios in 2001 and reestablished its state and operations. After nearly two years without an official branch master, Atsushi Ohashi (shown right), with the permission of WSKO, became the new Branch Master in 2002 - becoming our Sensei. In 2014, the branch moved to the East Village to the Teatro Circulo Studio and was formally renamed Shorinji Kempo Downtown New York City Branch.
Ohashi Sensei holds the rank of 5th Dan Daikenshi. Born in the city of Sapporo which is located in the Hokkaido prefecture of Japan, he first studied Shorinji Kempo in 1985 at the Tokyo Meguro Doin Branch and for 10 years was the student of Kubo Hiroshi Sensei, 9th Dan.
Ohashi Sensei has lived in New York City since late 1996. He is an established artist and art teacher and currently resides in Brooklyn with his wife, Masumi. Ohashi Sensei is very committed to teaching Shorinji Kempo and has held numerous demonstrations at various New York City schools.
New York City has always been known worldwide for its diversity and our dojo certainly reflects this. Within our dojo, you will find kenshi (students) who have originated from far away places such as Japan, Great Britain, Sweden, Brazil, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Ukraine, Russia, France and even California. Our kenshi also come from a variety of professions such as designers, secretaries, artists, lawyers, electricians, postmen, computer technicians, dancers, students, financiers, etc.
Our camaraderie has always been our strength. Our workouts are very hard but we all work together. New kenshi are most welcome and are given the utmost encouragement and respect. Every kenshi must practice with a partner no matter what rank they hold. Shorinji Kempo places great emphasis on mutual practice, this being an excellent and proven way for people to develop respect for each other during the rigors of learning a martial art. It takes a great deal of cooperation, patience and communication to master Shorinji Kempo and it is hoped these qualities will follow students into their lives.