P3310269 (3)

Who are we?

We are the Ann Arbor Shorinji Kempo Club, an official Branch of the World Shorinji Kempo Organization. We practice Shorinji Kempo, a modern Japanese martial art.

We offer friendly, non-competitive practices that focus on solid basic self-defense skills, physical fitness, and personal growth. Shorinji Kempo includes a very diverse set of self-defense techniques and is ideal for people who are easily bored with other fitness activities. Shorinji Kempo does not require a lot of physical strength to be effective and is excellent for women and men of all ages. Our classes are small, with many opportunities for one-on-one instruction. We are serious about improving our skills, but we also believe in keeping practice fun.

Over the years, Ann Arbor Branch members (Kenshi) have included students at the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University, upper level students at area high schools, and working folks from all over southeast Michigan. Our classes are for adults and teenagers age 15 and older.
See here for details of class times and location. We welcome beginners anytime but ask you to contact us first.


Gary Dolce has been the Branch Master (Shibu-cho) of the Ann Arbor Branch since it became an official Branch in 1993. Gary began studying Shorinji Kempo in 1981 at the Cornell University Branch under the direction of Ken Ohashi Sensei and Bob Tkach Sensei. More recently, Gary's teachers are Sakuyama Sensei of Takahagi Doin and Atsumi Sensei of Yokohama Negishi Doin, both in Japan.

Gary has traveled to Japan six times to train at Shorinji Kempo Hombu, has attended numerous WSKO Study Sessions and training camps in the US and Canada, and has attended Branch practices in the US, Canada, the UK, and Japan. During his most recent visit to Hombu in October 2005, he received the rank of
Seikenshi 5th Dan.

Akira Matsuda was one of the first beginners to join the Ann Arbor Branch in the early 1990s and has been Assistant Branch Master for many years. In September 2006, he received the rank of Seikenshi 4th Dan. He is also a skilled chef and owner of Matsuchan Japanese Restaurant in Canton, Michigan, the best place for authentic Japanese noodle and rice dishes in southeast Michigan.

David Genson also regularly assists with instruction. David has been practicing Shorinji Kempo since 1993 and received the rank of Seikenshi 4th Dan in September 2012. David is a very experienced carpenter and owner of David L. Genson Building. Among other things, David makes superb wood floors for dance studios and martial arts dojos.

Branch History

A Typical Practice