View Full Version : So what do you want to talk about?
Tripitaka of AA
Shorinji Kempo will be the main topic here, but that in itself can be a broad topic as it was created, in part, to encourage intelligent, thoughtful application of actions and good deeds to better the welfare of "our people".
So anything you want to ask, we might find some answers. Any tricky bit of your training that you would like to get another's view on, share it with some of the international readership. Above all, come and find a space to chat and share your passion for the Art with people who are keen to do likewise.
As a Moderator of this forum, I should let you know, I will not tolerate troll behaviour that seeks to agitate or spoil decent threads with unnecessary nonsense (unless I like it :) ).
What are some of the main principles and concepts Shorinji Kempo is based off of? I have seen various clips, but do you guys use boxing for your striking or more reverse punch style?
Tripitaka of AA
Well, you are certainly quick on the draw, I only just finished that post a few minutes ago! :)
And you question is one that I hope will recieve a host of great answers in due course.
I see from your profile that you list principles and concepts as your Art. This leads me to suspect that you may have quite well-defined criteria for what you consider those words to mean, but I'll go with a top-of-my-head answer first off, and you are most welcome to try and pin me (us) down with detailed questions once the ball is rolling, ok? If it does get a few more replies I may split it into its own thread for ease of use, but that will come later.
Basic principles of the physical aspects of the Shorinji Kempo style... I would say that they follow the "defend first - then counter" principle from the outset, both in terms of attitude and technique. Techniques from all parts of the syllabus are often assumed to follow on from a defence to an attack - only a comparative few are considered to come from an "offence first" scenario.
Body movement, taisabaki, and footwork, umpoho, generally aim to be light and fluid rather than solid and strong. I may sound naive to say that my observations of karate and taekwondo training methods seem to focus on the solid, wide-stanced power delivery platform - which then seems to disappear in the sparring competitions, whereas the Shorinji Kempo method might appear to be a slightly higher and lighter stance during both of those aspects. Those are my own observations, perhaps you may recognise it from the clips you have seen... or I may have got it wrong about the other arts.
Training consists of a syllabus of techniques, that build in complexity as the novice is guided through simple movements that help to prepare for the more useful self-defence techniques. These often rely on a sense of balance and awareness that is not ideally attempted until after the student has already developed an understanding of how their body moves and what their limits are. The concept here would be in line with the concept of "Shu, Ha, Ri", which you will find described in many articles related to arts of Japanese origin. Basically this defines the learning process as one which starts with a student copying their instructor as closely, and as "blindly", as possible - without making any modifications of their own, and trying to follow the exact movement (that would be "Shu"). The next stage, of "Ha", might be the adaptation for the unique proportions of the individual, the height, weight, reach, etc. while "Ri" is the breaking away or graduation to the point where it becomes something altogether different from what came before... People have used the analogy of teaching a child to write. The first part must follow the rules as closely as possible, or it won't make any sense, the second part can only happen when all the basic concepts have been understood and mastered, the third part may never be reached by all but a few of the most gifted.
The punching in Shorinji Kempo is often said to be more closely based on the Western boxing methods than on Japanese or Okinawan Karate, or the Chinese style that Doshin SO studied. Just how much comes from boxing is not altogether clear and it may be up to the observer to decide for himself. In any case, the variety of punches is fairly broad, as are the defences against those punches. Doshin So appears to have created a syllabus that allows for defence against most of the more common types of attack.. and prinicples of movement and attitude that should allow for the ad hoc movements to deal with the unorthodox and random variations that might arise (no syllabus defence against a sock filled with coins or an AK47 butt smashed across the face, but plenty of ideas on how to adapt existing body movements to come up with an appropriate response to the unforseen).
So Robby, how's that for a start? I didn't refer to any notes and just rattled off the first things that came into my head. I hope it can generate some more well-informed answers from the readership here (I make no claims to be an expert in the field, I'm just here to encourage good threads :) ). Is it what you wanted, or did I completely miss the mark?
Great start. Why do you focus on the defensive aspect of the art? It is generally accepted that action is alway faster than reaction, so how do you regain the tempol? Does centerline focus into your style at all, or more evade then invade style? Thanks for the great answers and the patience with my questions!
Tripitaka of AA
A-ha! so you want more!!?
Well, as it is 02.30 here, I don't guarantee any of what I post will be readable, and it may be very far from accurate.. but this forum is in need of some life, and hopefully all the more awake and qualified readers will be spurred into action when they read my drivel :)
Why do you focus on the defensive aspect of the art? It is generally accepted that action is alway faster than reaction
Lots of answers to this, depending on who you are, and how you see it. I guess I might be saying that if were teaching a group of younger beginners, my answer would be different from how I would respond to the same question from a combat veteran who was curious about Shorinji Kempo. But that goes for almost any question that might be asked, so here goes with a standard answer, hopefully universally applicable;
We don't teach people to be violent aggressors who use physical means to accomplish their selfish desires. From a moral standpoint, violence is a last resort when all other means of dialogue have failed... they have failed if the aggressor has resorted to physical attack. From a tactical standpoint, the moment an attack has been launched, the aggressor has opened himself up for a counter-attack. It is never a good idea to get hit, so the first part of any Shorinji Kempo movement will incorporate a dodge or twist or some form of body-movement designed to avoid, deflect, or - at the very least - absorb some of the power of the incoming strike before reversing the force back at the opponent. A simple illustration might be as follows;
An aggressor has closed the distance to take a swinging punch at the defender's head.
The defender bends his knees to drop the body and head below the arc of the swing, while raising his front arm above the head to "block" (although the main aim is to evade).
Following the downward movement with a simple twist of the hips and shoulders, the back arm can deliver a strong punch to the side ribs of the attacker.
Immediately stepping away from the attacker, to his "outside", the defender is now free to start running... or follow on with something more conclusive.
That would be something that you might find on a "Page 1" kind of giude to Shorinji Kempo techniques. It isn't an orthodox description as I'm trying to make this something simple - in Shorinji Kempo around the world, we would use Japanese names for the techniques and the body movements.
Does centerline focus into your style at all, or more evade then invade style?
Again, I suspect that these words might mean something quite specific to you, but my answers will be general. Yes.. and yes. As a style that incorporates kicks, punches, grabs, locks and throws.. it is often desirable to avoid the attacks by shifting away from the centreline, but keep close enough to employ the restraining techniques. Yet equally, it may be better to evade then evade some more, then run like hell and use Nike-Fu, Adidas-waza or the Asics-basics to extend the distance beyond pistol-range accuracy as soon as possible.
This is probably slightly less detailed than you want, so feel free to come back with any further questions.
I'm off to bed now, but there are Kenshi all around the globe who pop in to read stuff here. Hopefully one of them will feel compelled to share some of there knowledge (off the top of my head, I can think of maybe a dozen regular readers here who not only out-rank me, but haves also been training within the last week... whereas I have not been training for over twenty years :D)
Good replies from David.
A few point I will add.
To be able to train in a defensive MA, someone has to act as the aggressor. So we do learn to be aggressive.
Timing is an important component of SK training. It is acceptable to launch an attack if you consider an attack to be imminent, even before the opponent throws the first strike.
A big difference between SK and other MAs is the emphasis on hurt not harm. Compared to other MAs, techniques have been modified to avoid permanent damage to the opponent but inflict enough pain to dissuade him from fighting. Even our groin kick achieves this
Centreline is a component of SK but not to the extent it is in Wing Chung for example. Interestingly, the application of our throws etc incorporates aspects of centreline strategy.
With regard to regaining initiative following attacks, there are a number of strategies including the use of angular movements, changes in direction, dodging and crowding the opponent to try and break their rhythm. In addition, a substantial amount of time is given to reading opportunities for attack. Overall, if my understanding of your terms is correct, against circular attacks, we use more centerline strategies, and against straight attacks, we make more use of evade and invade
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