In the west it is often spoken of Shorinji Kempo as the ”thinking person’s martial art”. Shorinji Kempo is a martial art where moral and ethics are put in the front and there is 6 characteristics or basic principles that each student should understand. In Japanese this is called ”shōrinji kempō no tokuchō” 少林寺拳法の特徴.

The principles are based on Zen Buddhist philosophy (Kongo zen) and reflect Shorinji Kempo and its character as a martial art. Here follows short explanations of these characteristics:

Ken zen ichinyo 拳禅一如 (unity of ken och zen), riki ai funi 力愛不二 (strength and love in harmony), shushu kōjū 守主攻従 (defence is primary, offence is secondary), fusatsu katsujin 不殺活人 (not kill but help people), gōjū ittai 剛柔一体 (hard and soft is one), kumite shutai 組手主体 (practice in pairs is essential).

Riki ai funi describes the correct way to act and live. Ken zen ichinyo describes the methhod of practice in order to live this way. In the training process of techniques shushu kōjū and fusatsu katsujin means the correct use of techniques and gōjū ittai and kumite shutai characterristics of techniques.

Read more on each characteristic through the menu to the right.