A visit at the Shorinji Kenpo Dojo

Today we visited the Shorinji Kenpo (a fairly young form of martial arts) Dojo. We were firstly given a presentation explaining all about it, from its founder to its philosophy. The basic thought behind Shorinji Kenpo is that to be better and more able person we need to have power and love. Without power we are incapable to help others, and without love we only hurt people. That’s why this art focuses on balancing self-respect and respect towards others. This means that during training you must not only train your technique on others, but let others train their techniques on you. And boy did that hurt!

The first technique we learned was something that made me feel like I was in Street Fighter (punch, punch, kick!) a basic offensive move basically (No Hadoukens, unfortunately)

The rest of the techniques we learned during our training were defensive, mainly meaning twisting wrists, breaking free from grasps and throwing our attackers into the ground. They taught us that we all have weak points in our body and that we should focus on using these to disable our attacker. My training partner Miyamoto, being only 10, was able to use them and actually hurt me with them. I on the other hand took some more time, which meant he had to lie on the ground and wait for hours whilst I tried to twist his hand in a position that actually hurt. All in all it was an amazing experience; we got to see a little girl of five spar with her father, got to learn some techniques, and got to apply them! I think that a couple of us in the group might be thinking of doing Shorinji Kenpo in the near future. Not only is it fun, but the philosophy behind it is something that should be looked up upon.

Álvaro Martin-Mazorra (Spain)

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