Sensei Toshi Yoshida
The Bournemouth Shorinji Kempo Dojo was opened in September 1974 by Sensei Toshiaki (Toshi) Yoshida (then 3rd Dan) at the YMCA in Bournemouth.
Sensei Toshi Yoshida trained for 5 years at Sapporo University in Japan where he was captain of their Shorinji Kempo team. He left Japan in 1973 to help teach Shorinji Kempo in Stockholm University for six months and then came to England.
When he arrived in England Sensei Toshi was determined to teach Shorinji Kempo to as many English students as possible. He came to Bournemouth to visit a Japanese friend, Maki Nagaoka, and they formed the Bournemouth Shorinji Kempo Club. Sensei Toshi continued to run the club after Maki returned to Japan.
While at the YMCA he would teach 50 students twice a week, and would train three hours a day himself.
Asked why he took up Shorinji Kempo he was quoted as saying: "When I entered Sapporo University there were clubs for many martial arts including Karate and Kendo. But after seeing a Shorinji Kempo demonstration I was so impressed that I decided that was for me.
Sensei Russell Jenkins Becomes Branch Master
Sensei Yoshida stayed in Britain for 5 years before returning home to Japan. When he left the club was left in the hands of Sensei Russell Jenkins with Sensei Peter Moore at his right arm.
Sensei Russ began Shorinji Kempo in 1974, just 3 weeks after Sensei Toshi Yoshida opened the Bournemouth Dojo. Previously Sensei Russ had trained for four years in Judo and Wado-ryu Karate.
Sensei Russ achieved the rank of 6th Dan in December 2010 together with Sensei Peter Moore.
The Dojo was moved to Littledown in 1995
When he was not teaching at the dojo Sensei Russ was a Bowen Therapist, running his own business from his home in Moordown, Bournemouth.
Sensei Russ passed away on 24th March 2014. Prior to his passing he handed over the running of the club to a committee of members who along with a new Branch Master now continue to run the club.
Club Elects Sensei Ian Hart New Branch Master
In March 2015 the Bournemouth club members voted and elected Ian Hart as their new Branch Master.
Sensei Ian is currently a 4th Dan and has practiced Shorinji Kempo for almost 40 years. He has been a senior member of the Bournemouth Club for the past 15 years
"Its a great honour to be Branch Master of such a prestigious club, its history going back to the beginning of Shorinji Kempo in this country "