Shorinji Kempo is a method of self-defense that anyone, regardless of sex or age, can learn. Techniques are rationally designed to exploit the principles of body mechanics, physiology, and psychology so that anyone can do them. The syllabus of Shorinji Kempo is divided into two main parts: Goho (hard system) and Juho (soft system).
Goho (Hard System)
Goho refers to the syllabus of striking and countering techniques. This includes punches, strikes, kicks, dodges, deflections, and blocks. Targets of these strikes are always weak points on the opponent's body of which Shorinji Kempo utilizes 138.
Juho (Soft System)
Juho concentrates on defenses against grabs to various parts of the body. They include releases, eluding, pinning, joint reverses, and throws. The goal is to subdue a violent opponent and render them incapable of doing further harm, without causing serious or lasting injury, or using inappropriate violence, in return.
Seiho (Healing System)
Seiho is the name given to the healing techniques that Shorinji Kempo teaches, and is similar to Shiatsu in its use of acupressure, the use of thumbs, palms and other parts of the body to apply pressure to vital points on the body. Basic Seiho techniques include muscle relaxation and joint manipulation. At higher levels resuscitation techniques are taught. Seiho draws on a variety of sources, mostly traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine. Many Seiho techniques use the same vital points (keimyaku hiko) as used in both Goho and Juho techniques.
Chinkon Gyo (Meditation)
During Chinkon Gyo, we recite the words of the Dokun, a reminder of our training and goals for Shorinji Kempo. There is also a period of seated meditation, a time to elevate the spirit and to incorporate the concept of training the body and mind simultaneously (Shin Shin Ichinyo). It is an important part of practice where the body and mind can be refreshed and to concentrate the mind on training.
Shorinji Kempo was developed as a means of mastering oneself, and thereby creating a better society, rather than simply as method of self-defense or of winning contests. The core philosophy of Shorinji Kempo was inspired by Doshin So's experiences of the aftermath of World War II.
In each class, a philosophy discussion is led by the Sensei and other senior members. The topics are taken from the Shorinji Kempo textbook based on Doshin So's methods and ideas. Current event topics are also encouraged to incorporate our training into the outside world. Questions and comments are always encouraged, it is not simply a lecture.