Shorinji Kempo is a Japanese martial art that is directly derived from the Chinese Shaolin martial art system. It combines both hard and soft techniques with equal emphasis. The techniques are based on natural body movements and therefore do not involve any rigid or uncomfortable motions. As such, it is easy to switch from technique to technique, from hard technique to soft technique, from soft technique to hard technique, without sacrificing fluidity or power.
Shorinji Kempo was founded in 1947 by Rev. Doshin So (1911 - 1980), who mastered the martial arts forms from various Shaolin Zen masters during his 17 year stay in China, before and during World War two. He chose the name, Shorinji (which is the Japanese translation of the Chinese characters for the words, "Shaolin Temple") because he wanted to carry on the tradition of the Shaolin Temple by training and cultivating both mind and body, along with the teachings of the Buddha. Today, 1.4 million members are practicing world-wide in 26 countries.
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