Camden Shorinji Kempo
Camden Shorinji Kempo is a modern Japanese martial arts group, based in the heart of Camden in London. The club was founded in early 2019 and operates an inclusive, open, safe and supported environment for participants from all backgrounds.
Led by Kavita Kapoor (3rd Dan) and Ofelia Khan (1st Dan), the group teaches practical self-defence techniques with an active community in London, the UK and further afield. Their style of training also draws on "Kavita’s love of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and adds in television-inspired moves." We are in!
Camden Shorinji Kempo prides itself on being the only completely female-led, and openly LGBTQ+ martial arts club.
The donation will support and provide additional resources required to grow and develop the Camden Shorinji Kempo group.
10 Minutes with Camden Kempo
How long has Camden Kempo been running?
1 year - we set up the group in January 2019.
Please could you provide us with a quick description in your own words of what Camden Shorinji Kempo is?
Camden Shorinji Kempo teaches practical self-defence techniques (and also draws on Kavita’s love of Buffy-esque and television inspired moves). We pride ourselves on being the only completely female-led and openly LGBTQ+ Shorinji Kempo club.
How many women are currently participating in your club?
20-30 women attend our training on a regular basis.
What is the greatest success for your sports group so far?
Our greatest success has been to grow an LGBTQ+ focused, women-led martial arts club! Thanks to our group efforts, we were featured onscreen at Piccadilly Circus for Pride in London 2020 - a massive achievement for a small club. We’re also proud of how we’ve been able to support our members (and grow our community) throughout the coronavirus lockdown.
And the greatest challenge?
Our biggest challenge has been encouraging women to try martial arts classes. At Camden, we take self defence seriously but we also love to have fun with it. By providing a friendly and welcoming space - without the formality of lots of martial arts clubs - we’ve managed to encourage lots of people to try self defence for the first time.
We know things have been tricky during the coronavirus pandemic, but have you been able to continue your martial arts classes digitally?
Yes we have, we run online training sessions four times a week and are active on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. We also share the occasional Tiktok with short martial arts clips!
What are your goals and ambitions for your sports group?
We would like to encourage even more people to practice self-defence! We’re passionate about creating a space where women and LGBTQ+ people can feel safe and supported while learning our martial art.
Camden Kempo is a Constituted Community Sports Club (CCSC) and is not-for-profit.
Keep up to date with Camden Shorinji Kempo via the links below: