Lesson structure:
All levels are welcome to join any lesson: An average session last 2 hours and is designed to stimulate the body & mind in a dynamic form of ‘moving meditation’ (Kongo Zen). All levels start together, and as the session progresses we separate advanced students (kenshi) from beginners:

20 Minutes Taiso – Group Warming up:
Each lesson starts with a physical work out that gradually intensifies. Combining modern sport techniques & dynamic Yoga forms, we stimulate stretching and loosening muscles with ‘power’ movements.

20 Minutes Hokei – Group Basic techniques:
All levels participate in a lined up practice of basic movements and basic set (kata) forms. The essence is to develop ‘Body-Mind’ awareness from observation and learning how to copy & master techniques. We also use punch bags and free style sparring to develop body movement and attack avoidance.

10 Minutes Chinkon & Zazen:
Based on Japanese seated Zazen, we practice meditation and ‘mental visualization’ of physical forms of training. As we focus on breathing and spatial techniques to develop inner and outer awareness, we are invited to contemplate principles of Chinkon ‘ethical philosophical values’ of Kongo Zen Buddhism.

5 minutes water break

20 minutes Idozki – Group ‘set’ defense forms or pair form Kata:
Separate levels of self Defence via Hard or Soft techniques.

20 Minutes Mixed group training in basic techniques or Randori (free style):
Preparation for demonstration or belt gradings

Alternative sessions:
Seiho massage & Appo: Our study system of pressure points tostimulate or open up energy lines. Also focusing on Appo, applied knowledge of pressure point locations to stop energy or arrest an opponent.
Hoa: A guided discussion on principles of ‘applied ethical philosophical values’ of Kongo Zen Buddhism.

15 Minutes cooling down and yogic stretching – loosening muscles & tendons.

Obi (belt) grading system:
All Shorinji Kempo Sensei (Branch Masters) are certified by WSKO. The head organization is based in Japan. By joining, each member may train in any Shorinji Kempo dojo in the World. All Kenshi (martial art student) start out as a Minarai (observer) white belt. As an observer/beginner, Kenshi have the chance to get to know each other & get fit before going into more advanced techniques. This is a part of the gradual step-by-step procedure of our curriculum. Once the first green belt has been obtained Minarai earn Kyukenshi status (participating kenshi) and are free to advance to the next levels of the training. It takes an average of 5 years to obtain the first Black belt.

Six Distinguishing Characteristics of Shorinji Kempo:

Ken Zen Ichinyo (Unity of Ken and Zen)
Ken refers to the physical body, while Zen refers to mind and spirit. Body and spirit are not separate entities as they are closely intertwined. In Shorinji Kempo it is deemed important to maintain a balance between physical training and spiritual training.

Riki Ai Funi (Strength and love in harmony)
Even if you are full of a sense of justice and compassion, you cannot help or assist others unless you have strength. Conversely, no matter how strong you might be, your power will not be used correctly unless you have pride and a creed. Harmonization of strength and love with unification of intellect and compassion is the code of conduct of Shorinji Kempo.

Shushu Koju (Defence is primary, offence subordinate)
The technical method of Shorinji Kempo is constructed around defending against any unjustified attack, and after completely protecting oneself, counter-attacking. By making your position impregnable, you will be able to calmly observe the condition of your opponent, which you can take advantage of when you deliver an effective counter-attack.

Fusatsu Katsujin (Not to kill, but to awaken)
The physical techniques of Shorinji Kempo are not for killing or injuring people. They are for protecting yourself and others and letting both live. People train themselves in the techniques of Shorinji Kempo in order to discover human potential and enjoy their own growth.

Go Ju Ittai (Hard and soft make one whole)
The techniques of Shorinji Kempo are composed of a) goho (hard methods) which are applied when, after receiving and fending off an attacker’s strikes and kicks, one counter-attacks with blows to the opponent’s body, and b) juho (soft methods) including throws, releases, and joint reverses against the attacker who grabs your wrist or clothes. When goho and juho are skilfully combined, they supplement and reinforce each other to become even more effective.

Kumite Shutai (Paired practice is primary)
In Shorinji Kempo, training in pairs is the norm. This not only allows you to develop practical skills to respond to your partners movements properly and flexibly but also to improve yourselves together and share the joy with your partner.