The technical side of Shorinji Kempo is divided into three main branches: Goho, Juho and Seiho.
Goho is the set of ‘hard’ techniques and involves kicking, punching and blocking.
Juho is the set of ‘soft’ techniques and involves escaping from grabs, applying pins and throwing opponents.
Seiho is the set of healing techniques. Seiho is a fairly advanced and subtle art and is not regularly covered in the children’s syllabus.
Regular practitioners of Shorinji Kempo find its dynamic style and enjoyable training methods to be an excellent way to improve and maintain fitness. Training is essentially co-operative, and there are no minimum requirements in terms of strength and flexibility.
This approach ensures that practitioners are able to train within their own limitations and receive all the necessary guidance and encouragement to exceed them. Unlike repetitive gym exercises, acquiring the full repertoire of skills is both physically and intellectually challenging. Therefore the intensity of training for children is reduced to be appropriate for their physical stamina and abilities.
When improved stamina, flexibility, balance and co-ordination come as a by-product of varied enjoyable practice, the motivation required for regular attendance is greatly increased. The essentially co-operative approach requires that each practitioner demonstrate consideration for the abilities and limitations of their training partners. In doing so, junior students receive continuous encouragement from their partners whilst ensuring that training remains safe and productive. As a consequence, despite its dynamic, effective movements, injuries are very rare.
A copy of the syllabus is available online.