Shorinji Kempo | Fighting Styles

Shorinji Kempo

Shorinji Kempo refers to a Kempo martial art form, which was created in 1947 by Doshin So after World War II, incorporating Japanese Zen Buddhism into fighting styles.

After World War II, Japan was forced to surrender unconditionally; experiencing this kind of defeat, along with its consequences, sent Master Doshin So onto the genesis of Shorinji Kempo. This confrontation with harsh reality brought about a brand new world conception and the new objectives and plans for life. Master Doshin So came up with Shorinji Kempo, with the goal of educating people with justice, courage and compassion.

After World War II, Japan experienced a lot of social disorder, while a lot of people lost their overall purpose and notion for life. Still, a lot of them responded when Master Doshin So appealed the founder called Kaiso joined him. Today, this appeal remains alive and has spread throughout thirty countries.

Compared to other Japanese martial arts, Shorinji Kempo’s history is still young; merely six decades have gone by since it was created. But since then, more than 1,500,000 people have already joined. The amount of branches in Japan lies at 2,950 and has spread to 33 countries all over the world.

This Kempo form can be seen as a fighting form and religion simultaneously, quite like Shaolin kung fu, which it happens to be based on. From the perspective of Japanese martial arts, it can be called a mixture of aikijujutsu, karate and judo and is built on the framework of Kung Fu, aside from the fact that this art does not use any deadly moves in general since it respects human life more than anything. This Kempo form attempts to make practitioners move through their lives without doing much damage if possible.

The influences of Buddhism that come with Shorinji Kempo focuses on cooperation and is practically exempt of the competition bias that it brings in converting martial arts into a sport. Instructors are not allowed to make profits out of their tutelage and no competitions exist.

Competitions of Shorinji Kempo depend on couple demonstrations known as embu where rhythm, realism, and accuracy are taken note of and then compared with things like artistic and technical marks, like in ice skating and gymnastics.

Shorinji Kempo has become a popular form of art in a lot of countries besides Japan; Brazil, the United States of America, Indonesia, Sweden, Malaysia, the Philippines, France, Iran, Australia and the United Kingdom are those that would be the most notable. Practitioners of Shorinji Kempo are known as a Kenshi.

Shorinji Kempo’s basis are the words “personals” and “peace”. Master Doshin So went against the war and dedicated himself to peace, setting himself to a journey in peace development for mankind. To do this, he fully understood that societies and countries needed to change with the overall development of such peaceful intentions within the human heart.

Peace can only be achieved when both human development and ideal places have been established. This concept of the ideal places refers to constructing societies that are completely free of war and where the inhabitants are within fully physical and spiritual. This concept of human development refers to a person’s education through the several principles: believing in personal individual potential; acting while considering other peoples’ happiness; guiding life through our beliefs; acting with compassion, justice and courage; and acting and guiding life to cooperation and to create bonds within the community.

Shorinji Kempo happens to teach a wide array of tactics that range from hard tactics (goho) of punches and kicks, soft tactics (juho) of throws and grapples, and correcting methods (seiho) of acupressure tactics to revive unconscious people. These three tactics are further separated into offensive tactics (kogi), defensive tactics (bogi), body positions (tai gamae), foot positions (sokui ho), footwork (umpo ho), and body movements (tai sabaki). Tactics are rarely practiced alone Oftentimes, tactics are placed into patterns or contexts (hokei), which usually refers to defenses used along with attacks.

Hokei can be practiced either alone or with free fighting (randori) to bring order from chaos. The overall relationship between both tactics is similar to the relationship between essays, words and sentences. Words form the sentence basis, as do tactic forms when it comes to hokei. Sentences form the basis of essays as hokei forms a basis for randori. To become an expert in writing essays, one has to learn great vocabulary first and how they can be used to form good sentences that mean something. In a similar manner, to become an expert in randori, one has to learn how to perform tactics and use them together with hokei.

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