Shorinji Kempo was founded by So Doshin in 1947 in the town of Tadotsu, Japan. There are now over 1.5 million registered members of the Shorinji Kempo Federation worldwide, and national chapters have been established over 40 countries.
The Federation is part of the Japanese Budo Association 日本武道協議会. Budo is a form of Japanese physical culture that has its origins in the ancient tradition of bushido – literally, “the way of the warrior.” Practitioners of budo develop technical martial skills while striving to unify of mind, technique and body; to develop their character; to enhance their sense of morality; and to cultivate a respectful and courteous demeanour. Thus, budo serves as a path to self-perfection. Budo as a general term refers to the modern Japanese martial arts disciplines comprised of Judo, Kendo, Kyudo, Sumo, Karate, Aikido, Shorinji Kempo, Naginata, and Jukendo.
The biggest difference between Shorinji Kempo and other martial arts is that the focus is not on competing to determine who is better or stronger or who the winners and losers are. It is used not to attack someone but to protect yourself and your loved ones. There are no contests in which the object is to defeat one’s opponent. There are competitions, but their purpose is to demonstrate the techniques one has learned and to have them evaluated by others.
Shorinji Kempo is a dynamic Japanese martial art. Its first goals are: self-defence「護身練胆」, spiritual growth「精神修養」and a healthy body「健康増進」. The intentions of Shorinji Kempo are to develop the potential of the individual and create a balanced human being both physically and mentally. Its intentions are to instil a student with the confidence needed to stand up for their ideals and the ability to defend their position. In this way they can help others and thereby benefit society as a whole.