Shorinji Kempo

Shorinji Kempo

Shorinji Kempo usually refers to Japanese martial art that was formed by So Doshin during 1947. So Doshin based this version of martial art on the techniques he learned during 17 years of working in China as an appointed special agent for the Japanese government during WWII.


This work brought So Doshin, into contact with many of the numerous Chinese secret societies; from them he learnt the various Chinese fighting arts. "Shorinji Kempo" is the Japanese way of reading the Chinese characters "Shaolin Ji Chuan-fa", or the fist-method of the Shaolin Temple, however, this does not refer to Chinese martial art commonly known as Shaolin Kung Fu in the Western world; it is referred to as the "Shorin Ken", or the Shaolin Fist, in Japanese.


So Doshin chose this name, Shorinji Kempo, because he had based his techniques on the Shaolin arts, plus some others, neither he nor any official of Shorinji Kempo make claim that So Doshin created this techniques himself. He acknowledges the original source of these techniques. Furthermore, by creating Shorinji Kempo, his hope was to carry on traditions of the Shaolin Temple by creating an art that trained both mind and body. By using Shorinji Kempo his aim was to combine the spirit of the training methods, used by the Indian monk Bodhidharma (Tamo in China and Daruma in Japan), that cultivates both body and mind, together with the teachings of Buddha which emphasizes self-reliance.


Doshin's dream was to cultivate compassion, cooperation and determination for justice in the Japanese youth, and thus making a contribution to the rebuilding of Japan from the ashes of World War II to a stronger country, in spirituality but not militarily. This dream continues to be carried on by the Kenshi (the trainees in Shorinji Kempo) throughout the whole of Japan, and in many countries around the world.

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