“Shaolin Temple fist method” is what Shorinji Kempo an East Asian martial art form literally means when translated to English. This “esoteric” form of combat is said to have originated from Japan, and is considered to be the adapted version of the “Shaolin Kung-Fu”. Furthermore, the training system used in this martial art form comprises of three essential components that include the self defense component, the health component, and the mental component. In addition, Shorinji Kempo has been created on a philosophy which states that “spirit and body cannot be separated”.

a. History/origin of Shorinji Kempo:

According to the cultural history of Japan, Shorinji Kempo was developed by Doshin So an Intelligence agent in 1947. Apparently, during World War II as part of his cover he was posted in a Taoist school as an apprentice. It was at this school that So met Chen Lian , a Taoist priest and a master of combat form known as “Báilián Mén Quán or Báilián Quán”. Furthermore, Chen then introduced Doshin to Wen Taizong a master of the martial art form called “Yihe Mén Quán or Yihe Quán”. It was Wen who then took him under his wings and taught him the above mentioned Chinese martial art forms in the Shaolin Temple. It was towards the end of the war when Russia invaded Manchuria and decimated the Japanese that So realized the true “nature of the human being”. It was then that he decided to create a martial art form based on a human nature based philosophy. And so he returned to Japan and created the “Shorinji Kempo” basing it on a concept known as “ken-zen ichinyo”.

b. Weapon used in the Shorinji Kempo:

“Hands and feet” of the fighter is mainly used in this combat form as weapon. In addition, external weapons are not used.

c. Technique use in the Shorinji Kempo and training availability:

In terms of technique, the Shorinji Kempo can basically be divided into three categories as follows:

  1. Goho: Basically what can be termed as “hard techniques”. Furthermore, this technique basically will involve the use of moves such as hand strikes, chops, elbows strikes, knee strikes, reaps, stomps, and blocks.
  2. Juho: Basically what can be termed as “soft techniques”. Furthermore, this technique involves the use of throws, pins, chokes, joint manipulation, dodges, and releases.
  3. Seiho: Basically what can be termed as “healing techniques”. In this technique acupressure, bone setting, and resuscitation methods are mainly used.

As for training centers/schools, there are a number of them available in many countries around in the world (apart from Japan) for those interested in learning this “esoteric” combat form.

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