Shorinji Kempo is quite different from other martial arts. It is a spiritual martial art rooted in Zen Buddhism and centered in Zen meditation. In fact, the marital art is a registered religion in Japan. Much of its technique and philosophy can be traced back 1,500 years, to the Shaolin Temple in central China. Shorinji Kempo teaches you to discover and overcome yourself by unifying your mind and body, rather than just defeating an offender. Through physical training and Zen meditation one finally realizes and learns that it’s not really necessary to fight, because they transcend the basic human faults in their personality and ego, that cause physical conflict in the first place. The form is designed in such a way as to support the establishment of a healthy individual who is physically and mentally sound and in balance, thus creating the ability to seek a justifiable yet peaceful solution to conflict, without harming others or self.
Shorinji Kempo is not designed for the goals of fighting or defeating others, but instead it holds these three principal benefits: Improved Health, Mental and Spiritual Development and Self Defense. From these benefits, Shorinji Kempo students learn and develop Discipline, Compassion, Respect, Self Esteem, Confidence, Patience, Strength, Inner Peace, etc. Shorinji Kempo is much more than just a martial art. It is also a formula for personal happiness and enlightenment and ultimately a formula for personal and world peace. Today we all unfortunately live in a world of violence, and sadly, there is even violence against women and children. This is why it is important for all of us, who are teaching and practicing peace, to also know how to defend ourselves. Perhaps one day the world will become a place where self and national defenses are no longer necessary…. and wouldn’t that be wonderful!? But until that day comes, it is important for all of us to continue teaching peace and to be able to defend ourselves and our teachings. There is a saying that is used: “Boundless strength and unlimited love”. (Love without strength is ineffective …. and strength without love is violence!)