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What is Shorinji Kempo (and what it is not)?


In summary, Kempo is a Japanese martial art with direct Chinese roots that teaches defences against a wide range of attacks. By taking part in the classes, it is also hoped your quality of life will gradually improve, and so in turn the life of people around you.


Kempo is not....

....just about fighting - it is about developing the whole of the individual: mind and body.

....competitive - you work with others to get better at the techniques

....brutal - training is fun, and the application of techniques protects people in an emergency but is ruled by limiting damage to an attacker

....just for champions - being accessible to a wide range of skills and fitness, Kempo allows anyone the chance to improve their self defence skills


Is it the one with the sticks?


That is kendo. We do some work with sticks but mostly we do unarmed defence.


How often do I need to train?


If you can only do one session a week, then that is okay. Two of our students have already got their green belts this way. If you can do two classes then  improvement is faster. Though do not get caught up in comparing yourself to others - each session everyone will make some progress so you can see an improvement in yourself.


How fit do I need to be?


As said above, Kempo is accessible to a wide range of people and this includes levels of fitness. It is moderate exercise so can help you get fitter. At the same time, it is quite possible to pace yourself to your own level, faster or slower as you want.


Does it work?


Kempo is excellent self defence in that it gives you confidence and a calm mind which are both useful in stopping a situation developing into violence. By working sensibly with your partner it will be obvious how the application of the movements can be applied most effectively. Through the path of training your day to day life will likely also improve so even if you never have to fight, then you will benefit.