The practice of Shorinji kempo is based on six fundamental principles. In keeping with the true practice of budo, these principles aid the practitioner in the efficient acquisition and correct application of martial skills.
Ken Zen Ichinyo
- Body and Mind are the Same
Shorinji kempo addresses the needs of both mind and body to ensure the overall development of its students.
Riki Ai Funi -
Strength and Love Stand Together
Students of Shorinji kempo learn the need for a balance between physical strength and compassion. Strength without love is violence; love without strength mere decoration.
Shushu Koju -
Defence Before Attack
For both ethical and technical reasons, this is a fundamental characteristic of Shorinji kempo.
- Protect People Without Injury
Shorinji kempo is very effective as a way of stopping violence, and it has been designed so that if used properly, a practitioner can immobilize an opponent without causing injury.
Goju Ittai - Hard
and Soft Work Only Together
Shorinji kempo is made up of goho (hard techniques) and juho (soft techniques) By learning to recognise the soft elements of goho and the hard elements of juho, the practitioner is able to unite the two to form a unique and dynamic system.
- Pair Work is Fundamental
Shorinji kempo can only be mastered through co-operative practice in pair form. Overwhelming and defeating one's training partner is not the objective.
These teachings are fundamental to Shorinji kempo practice and practitioners are expected to acquire an in depth understanding of each subject during the course of their training. In grading examinations, students are expected to demonstrate their understanding of these and other subjects in writing.