Shorinji Kempo Philosophy
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Kongo Zen: Shorinji Kempo develops the mind as well as the body, and the Kongo Zen philosophy taught forms an important part of this training and enforces Shorinji Kempo’s guiding principles.
Kongo Zen is not a teaching concerned with life after death, or academic questioning of religious conceptions, it does not look to gods for salvation or punishment. It does not aim to convert a person from their personal religions, or to question those beliefs.
What Kongo Zen teaches is the union of the body and mind, and that each person can find joy and happiness in living half for themselves and half for others. This is a theme central to Kongo Zen. Through the practice of its principles, we can shape ourselves into people who can be relied upon by others as well as ourselves. We may therefore contribute not only to our own happiness but also that of other people in our society.
Doshin So recognised that the course of human events is determined by the strength and character of those involved, misery and happiness find their origins in human actions. Kongo Zen aims to develop as many people as possible, with strength and compassion, with wisdom and a sense of justice, with its ultimate objective being to alleviate suffering and secure happiness on earth.
Shorinji Kempo’s Guiding Principles: There are six guiding principles or characteristics of Shorinji Kempo, these are described briefly below:
Ken Zen Ichinyo – Body and Mind are the same: Shorinji Kempo addresses the needs of both mind and body to ensure overall development of its students. The body and mind are not separate and it is not possible for one to exist, maintain itself or have value without the other. A person can not achieve their full potential through only physical training, nor can they achieve peace of mind or spiritual awakening through only mental or spiritual training. It is therefore essential to train both physically and spiritually, only then can a person develop themselves to achieve their full potential.
Riki Ai Funi – Strength and Love Stand Together: Strength without love is violence. Love without strength, mere decoration.
Reiki (strength) represents physical strength, intellect and action. Ai (love) represents gentleness, compassion and a way of thinking. The principle of Riki Ai Funi emphasises the need to balance both power and compassion.
Shushu Koju – Defence before attack: This principle is important first for its spiritual value and only second for technical reasons. Shorinji Kempo is an art of self defence not offence, this principle is important as a part of a students mental attitude, and also during technical training as Shorinji Kempo is a method based on counter attacks. The reasoning and advantages of this becomes clear when training with others at a Dojo.
Shorinji Kempo students are forbidden to strike the first blow, they are taught to use their art as a last resort for self defence, only if no other option is available.
Fusatsu Katsujin – Protect people without injury: Martial Arts should never be used for the purpose of hurting others. Shorinji Kempo is very effective as a way of stopping violence. It has been designed so that if used properly, a practitioner can immobilise an opponent without causing injury. Shorinji Kempo strives to be a discipline which contributes to the welfare of all, and should only be used to restrain those seeking to harm others.
Goju Ittai – Hard and Soft work only together: Shorinji Kempo is made up of Goho (hard techniques) and Juho (soft techniques) but each set of techniques contain both hard and soft elements. By learning to recognise the soft elements of Goho and the hard elements of Juho the student is able to unite the two to form a unique and dynamic system.
Kumite Shutai – Pair work is Fundamental: Shorinji Kempo can only be mastered through co-operative practice in pair form. To master Shorinji Kempo cooperation between partners is essential, as only by working together can both make progress. Overwhelming and defeating ones training partner is NOT the objective.You might also like: