Shorinji Kempo training embodies and emphasizes several key concepts: 
  • Ken Zen Ichinyo: body and mind are one
  • Riki Ai Funi: strength and love are not separate
  • Shushu Koju: defense is primary, offense is secondary
  • Fusatsu Katsujin: do not harm others, enliven them
  • Go Ju Ittai: hard and soft work together
  • Kumite Shutai: pair work is fundamental
These ideas are part of Shorinji Kempo’s broader philosophy, which stresses the impact of one’s actions on others. Though rooted in Buddhism, this philosophy is compatible with other beliefs and is summarized by a quote from Shorinji Kempo's founder, So Doshin:

Everything depends on the quality of the person! If society is run by people, then true peace can only come from fostering compassion, courage, and a sense of justice in as many people as possible.

Please click on the following links for more on the history and characteristics of Shorinji Kempo.

Class Structure

Shorinji Kempo classes at Cabbagetown Branch (and elsewhere) include the following:
  • Chinkon: seated meditation and breathing exercises
  • Taiso: warm-up and stretching exercises to improve strength and flexibility
  • Kihon: basic movements such as punches, kicks, blocks, footwork, and rolls
  • Gakka: lectures on technical and philosophical aspects of Shorinji Kempo
  • Hokei: pair-form techniques from a globally standardized syllabus
  • Randori: application of techniques through non-competitive sparring
  • Embu: individual, pair, and group performances of set sequences

The training methods established by So Doshin are not formally affiliated with other martial arts with “shorinji” and “kempo” in their names.