Throughout the course of their practice, generations of past masters have diligently researched and refined their understanding of the fundamental principles of martial practice. In Shorinji kempo that knowledge is presented in the form of hokei.
Hokei are predetermined techniques covering a vast range of possible combative situations making up the majority of the Shorinji kempo training syllabus. Practising in pairs, partners exchange the roll of attacker and defender and refine their technique to meet strict technical standards.
The hokei techniques are grouped into families determined by the nature of the attack or prescribed defence and presented across the syllabus in a manner that introduces the student to the principles involved in increments. Progression through the grades requires that the student demonstrate an understanding of those principles before moving on to the next grade.
Throughout the process, emphasis is placed on co-operative practice. It is not possible for an experienced student to progress unless his or her training partner is given sufficient encouragement and guidance to do likewise.