Philosophy Of Kempo

Posted by on Nov 10, 2015 in kempo | Comments Off on Philosophy Of Kempo


The older form of Kempo was known as the Shorinji Kempo. It is a Japanese word that literally means the ‘shaolin law of the fist’. Shorinji Kempo is an empty hand fight that evolved from the traditional system of shaolin. The doctrine of Buddha says that the body and the spirit cannot be separated and that they are one. Shorinji Kempo inculcates this doctrine and develops a firm body and an unceasing spirit. Unlike other martial arts, Kempo is not only about physical movements, but it is also about mental power and strength. It involves a deep philosophy on which the concepts of Kempo are based. In order to understand Kempo in a better way, comprehending the philosophy behind its creation is necessary.

The founder of Shorinji Kempo was Doshin So, who based this martial art on the Kongo Zen principle. The term Kongo means indestructible, invincible or a permanent thing. This principle works on the dependent philosophy that everything depends on people. It says that people can change the system, if they want to change it. A good person can make a situation better and a selfish person can make it much worse.

Shorinji Kempo works on this principle and develops strong, compassionate, and reliable people, who can make positive changes to the community as a whole. The philosophy of Kempo is divided into six parts. These six characteristics of Kempo are based on this one principle that promotes strength, compassion, and balance.

  1. Ken Zen Ichinyo

This philosophy of Kempo illustrates that mind and body are equal. It says that we need to train both our body and our mind, so that we can develop physically as well as spiritually, resulting in our overall development and growth. Body and mind are inseparable from each other and both are equally important. No one can exist without the other or have any value alone. In order to realize one’s full potential and to achieve spiritual awakening, one should train both body and mind

  1. Riki Ai Funi

This Japanese word means that love and power stand together. Reiki means action, strength, and intellect and Ai means love, care, and sympathy. Riki Ai Funi teaches us to maintain a balance between both strength bruce lee cartoonand compassion. Strength alone is only violence and love without power is of no use.

  1. Shushu Koju

Shushu Koju means that you should defend yourself before attacking someone. Kempo teaches you various self defensive techniques to protect yourself against your adversary. It uses counter attacks for spiritual and technical reasons. This philosophy of Kempo does not allow the defender to attack or make the first move, unless and until the opponent does so.

  1. Fusatsu Katsujin

The philosophy of Fusctatsu Katsujin makes the students learn about protecting people without injuring them. It says that you should never hurt anyone. Kempo uses fighting techniques that are non-violent and does not cause any injury. This principle is in everyone’s favor and wellbeing and is only used to control people who want to harm others.

  1. Goju Ittai

Shorinji Kempo comprises of both hard and soft movements, known as the ‘goho’ and ‘juho’ respectively. Each technique involves both hard and soft elements. These hard and soft elements form a complete dynamic system of martial arts.

  1. Kumite Shutai

One of the philosophies of Kempo includes the Kumite Shutai principle, which says that you should work in a group in order to reap more benefits. Shorinji Kempo requires you to coordinate with your partner and then work together towards progress. It teaches that there should be no competition with your partner.

These are the six principles of Shorinji Kempo on which this martial art form is based.

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