Shorinji Kempo (meaning “Shaolin Temple Fist Method”) is an esoteric Japanese martial art considered as the modified version of Shaolin Kung Fu (using the same kanji). It was established in 1947 by Doshin So (Sō Dōshin), a Japanese martial artist and former military intelligence agent.

Shorinji Kempo claims to be a holistic system, whose training methods are divided into three parts: self-defense training, mental training, and health training. The basis are the concepts that “spirit and body are not separable” (心身一如: shinshin-ichinyo) and that it is integral to “train both body and spirit” (拳禅一如: kenzen ichinyo).

Through employing a well-organized technical course outline, Shorinji Kempo claims to help the practitioner “establish oneself” and to promote “mutual comfort”. The philosophy and techniques of Shorinji Kempo are outlined in their handbook, (少林寺拳法教範) Shōrinji-kempō-kyōhan.


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