Since January 23, 1997

Last Updated on Feb. 26, 2008


from a book of Chinese martial arts in early 17th century

What is Shorinji Kempo?

Shorinji Kempo was established at a town of Tadotsu in Kagawa, Japan, by the founder Doshin So in 1947, as a "Gyo(pracice)" of "developing people," a way for people to learn to establish mutual trust and cooperation. Its techniques originates what Kaiso, the founder, learned in China. After returning to Japan, he re-established these techniques and added his own. This was named "Shorinji Kempo," his own style of techniques.


Shorinji Kempo is a method of self-defense, to protect yourself from the violence. In order to allow the weaker control the stronger, the techniques are logically created on the basis of dynamics and physiology. Anyone, regardless of sex and age can practice these techniques.
How to Practice

The practice of Shorinji Kempo is conducted in pairs, taking the role of a defender and a offender. The partner is not a competitor or opponent. The aim is not to find out which of the two wins, but together to improve techniques through cooperation.

The Essence of Shorinji Kempo

The purpose of learning Shorinji Kempo is not winning a match or beat others. It is not just a martial art or a sport, but a training method to become self-reliant.

Basic Principle

"Live half for yourself, and half for the others" ---this is what Kaiso said, that express the basic principle of Shorinji Kempo.

Ken Zen Ichinyo (Body and Mind are the Same)

Ken refers to the body and Zen to the spirit. Shorinji Kempo Kenshi should seek to develop both body and mind.

Riki Ai Funi (Strength and Love Stands together)

Strength supported by Love, and Love supported by Strength. The condition, in which the two apparently opposites are unified as one, is what a man's way of thinking and acting should have as the core.

Shushu Koju (Defend First, Attack After)

Shorinji Kempo is a method of self-defense. Its techniques start with a defense against the opponent's attack.

Kumite Shutai (Pair work is Fundamental)

In Shorinji Kempo training, there are two roles; offender to attack the partner, and the defender to protect him/herself from the offend.
Cooperation among the two is the most important requirement for an improvement.

Fusatsu Katsujin (Protect People Without Injury)

Never seek fighting. Protect your body. Just hurting people is not the purpose of learning Shorinji Kempo.

Shorinji Kempo is now active in 26 countries, learned at 2,800 branches in Japan, and still spreading wider in the world.



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