Shorinji Kempo is not merely a sport or a martial art, but a “gyo” or discipline for developing individuals. It was born out of the founder’s (Doshin So) strong desire to develop people for a peaceful and prosperous society.
Amidst the social turmoil of war and defeat in Japan after the World War II, Kaiso gained an unwavering belief that the education of people was the true source of a peaceful and prosperous society.
Troubled by the emotional devastation of the Japanese people after their loss in WWII in 1945, Kaiso created “Shorinji Kempo” as a discipline to inspire the development of people and country in Japan. For those who practice it sincerely, Shorinji Kempo gives them the capability to develop individuals with self-confidence, courage and a spirit of compassion. Also, based on the behavioral principle of harmony between love and strength, students learn to not only act to find fulfillment, but also with a desire for strive for fulfillment in others.
Kaiso, the founder of Shorinji Kempo advocated that our lives should not just be full of suffering and difficulty, but that we should live life with joy and extend ourselves outward by broadening our interactions with the people of the world. The ultimate goal is to gain a sense of hope and fulfillment throughout our lives. Shorinji Kempo is a unique way of training, progressing and teaching each other to cope with everyday challenges.
You will not find Shorinji Kempo integrated into sports competitions like the Olympics or other sporting events as this is contrary to its teachings, Shorinji Kempo is not about winning trophies and being stronger, it is very much about developing the individual to being a well rounded and productive and strong member of society.
Shorinji Kempo in its entirety, consists of philosophy, techniques and the education system that unites them. Unlike other martial arts pursuits, it cannot be pursued by simply practicing techniques. It is a challenging and rewarding endeavor for anyone that chooses to pursue it.
The leaders or "branch masters" of Shorinji Kempo decide for themselves to take the role of teaching this art. Each branch is operated and conducted without profit, but rather as a contribution to the community.