|Daily Practice Schedule
at Shorinji Kempo Monterey
In Shorinji Kempo, at the beginning/end of practice, all members clean the dojo (practice
It is called "Samu." It is translated as "daily chores" in Japanese Buddhism such as
cleaning or preparing meals. It is regarded as an important mental training in Buddhism
"to think nothing ("Mu") or to clean mind by doing Samu.
Samu is also to express our appreciation and gratitude for our daily life such as living
healthy and so on.
Therefore, all members including the Masters perform the cleaning regardless of seniority.
In Shorinji Kempo, this is a time for all members to return to the mindset of
a beginner and carry out the task in a spirit of each cleaning his/her own heart.
Kihon (Warming-up & Basic practice)
Kihon is translated as "basis." All members line up and start warming-up and basic
practice. Warming-up is important for all members to practice martial arts. It includes
simple exercise and stretching. It prevents from injury during practice.
After the warming-up, we start basic practice of fundamental techniques. It includes basic
punching, kicking, blocking, stance, stepping, and so on. It is a Japanese martial way of
practice that all members practice together regardless of seniority of belt ranks.
Beginners can learn not only from the Masters, but also from senior members. Senior
members can learn from teaching to beginners. Practicing together is very effective
for martial arts.
Chinkon means meditation. All members line up and perform Chinkon as a part of the
training of Shorinji Kempo. We recite the Seiku (Meditation), Seigan (Oath), and Shinjo
(Creed) all together. We sit down and meditate.
During the meditation, it is important to think nothing and to concentrate your mind.
Also, it is essential to stretch out muscles of a back and regularize breathing. During the
meditation, the Master corrects members' sitting postures.
After the meditation, the Master gives Houwa (a small lecture) about a variety of issues of
Shorinji Kempo. It includes philosophy of Shorinji Kempo, Buddhism, martial arts
concepts, principles of techniques, locations of pressure points, and so on. It is also one of
the important practices in Shorinji Kempo for all members to understand Shorinji Kempo.
Houkei (Technique practice for each belt ranks)
Houkei are the manifestations of various self-defense techniques. We start the practice of
the techniques for each belt ranks along Shorinji Kempo curriculum. The curriculum is a
resource of a variety of techniques to learn step-by-step order. In Shorinji Kempo, there
are many techniques. Therefore, we value an approach in which a member takes long
years for mastering these techniques in "zenzen shugaku (one step at a time)" and "soak
up-soak up-acquire-learn" styles.
A beginner starts learning from a very simple technique.
Child class ends. (They can practice more if they want.)
Embu (technique combination practice)
In Embu practice, members learn how to respond various changes in opponent's attack by
utilizing techniques they have already learned. They work together on creative ways to
lead one technique into another by seamlessly connecting one technique to the next one
and switching an attacker and defender role. They practice not only various techniques
into practical use in the Embu practice, but also "Zanshin (a state of mental and physical
alertness and readiness after technique is executed)."
Randori (Sparring/Application) is the training method for learning how to apply techniques
they have already learned. It is not only practice of basic skills and techniques, but also
practice of responding to an opponent in order to master "Maai (appropriate distance)" and
to transition smoothly from one technique to another. It is also a time to when the degree of
mastery one has built up in basic skill and techniques gets tested. We do the Randori
practice with body protectors in order to keep safe.
End of Practice