Shorinji Kempo

Discussion in 'Kenpo' started by Manila-X, Apr 16, 2014.

  1. Manila-X

    Manila-X OSU!

    Founded in Japan, it combines Buddhist religious philosophy and martial arts. The group itself pays homage to its Shaolin roots, its main influence.

    [ame=""]Way of the Warrior - Shorinji Kenpo - YouTube[/ame]
  2. Omicron

    Omicron is around.

    This art was the first one I ever trained in. It was my entry into the martial arts world, and though I've moved on to greener pastures I`ll always have fond memories of the years I spent with SK. It`s comprised of a mixture of hard (goho) and soft (juho) techniques, the former containing strikes and blocks and the latter mostly grip escapes and wrist locks. Looks pretty cool when being performed in pre rehearsed demonstrations (embu), but unfortunately its strong Buddhist underpinnings prohibit much sparring or pressure testing of techniques. Of course, this is a plus for many people, but I left the art because I felt that it suffered from the same lack of realism and effective training methodology that plagues so many traditional arts.
  3. Manila-X

    Manila-X OSU!

    The only drawback with SK for me is the religious and spiritual philosophies which conflicts with my religion (Roman Catholic).
  4. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    I actually like some of SK's stuff,and have had good relations with some of the local practitioners for a number of years.But----

    It also combines ridiculous claims made by the founder.Such as being the selected successor/grandmaster/what have you of Shaolin temple MAs. Riiiight. It's also debatable how much if anything in SK is "Shaolin".It's supposed to be N.Shaolin.Maybe.

    You don't have to be a practitioner of Kongo Zen to practice SJ.I think it's only at 3rd dan when one has to take orders of some sort. So until then it shouldn't have any more conflicts with anyone's religion than most systems.That may very well have changed by now as due to some legalities in Japan the org was trying to mark a division twixt SK and KZ.

    Now this comment by Omicron is interesting-
    The guys from the SJ club here used to come over on their own to ask us to spar, because as Omicron mentions they very rarely did. The reasons given by their 4th dan instructor weren't related to Buddhism or anything.He just told them it could lead to "bad habits".
  5. Omicron

    Omicron is around.

    I don't think that practicing SK would conflict with most other religions. Each class does contain a creed and some meditation, but it's all fairly standard and quite secular. Yes, the art was founded with religious underpinnings, but I'm fairly certain that you could train SK anywhere outside of Japan and never have to deal with much of the Buddhist aspect if you didn't want to.

    However, as I said much of the art's philosophy and methodology can be traced back to Kongo Zen Buddhism, and (at least in my experience) this included a lack of sparring. At my dojo, it was always stressed that SK was meant to develop cooperation and camaraderie between people, rather than encourage the rivalry that its practitioners claim comes with competition.

    The people whom I've met through SK have been very kind and genuine, and are definitely quite committed to their art. However, I doubt that much of what they learn would actually be useful outside the dojo, and I'm speaking from firsthand experience here. In addition to the lack of pressure testing, I feel that the very rigid, centralized nature of the World SK Organization is overly Japan-centric and very inflexible, leading to difficulties when spreading the art outside of Japan.

    Ultimately, I think that the philosophy of character building and cooperation behind SK is something that all martial arts should strive to instill in their practitioners, but its lack of real-world applicability and the WSKO's dogmatism are really preventing the art from growing, especially in this day and age.
  6. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    True.Especially as he created them kinda as one entity.

    Oh yes.Esp the 1st part.

    In light of the 2nd part a delegation once went to PRC to "prove" to China that they were the inheritors of the "real" CMA tradition-especially including true martial function/skills.

    (They encountered Wang,Pei-sheng).

    I'm not very familiar with any of the syllabus other than just seeing them training over the years.I'm aware there are criticisms. I know/knew people who had function as good as anyone else.They were people who sought others outside of SK to play with,I suppose thereby weeding the garden some.

    I had very good "interactions" :fight1: with them and have long term relationships with certain individuals.

    Syllabus is really that bad as regards functionality,huh?

    I would that the "history" be officially discarded.But that hole is dug too deep,methinks.

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