Shorinji Kempo Techniques
Shorinji Kempo teaches a wide variety of techniques, covering a wide range of applications. These techniques can be broadly divided into three types:
Goho techniques include punches, kicks and other strikes, The basic idea of a Goho technique is to launch or receive a strike against an offender. Goho techniques are considered hard in that they make use of force.
Juho techniques are used to either throw or immobilize an opponent, or to escape from such an attack oneself. Goho techniques are considered soft in that they focus more on joint locks.
Seiho techniques are massage or pressure point applications used on an unconscious or relaxed person for health and recovery. These techniques are only taught to high dan grade kenshi.
The above classification is very general and includes many different elements. For example, there are strictly offensive techniques, strictly defensive techniques, matters of tai gamae (body position) and sukoi ho, umpo ho (footwork), and other fundamentals.
In Shorinji Kempo, techniques are usually practiced in pairs, with one person being the defender and the other person acting as the offender, In the Kuala Lumpur Branch,we will also occasionally practice techniques with three or even four partners, in order to work on our spatial understanding and movement.
Practicing the techniques can be divided into three classes:
Kihon practice is the fundamental training of Shorinji Kempo, when we practice each individual movement or technique. During kihon sessions, kenshi work on honing their understanding of the principles behind each technique, as well as improving their execution of these techniques. Usually, the technique is practiced as part of a pattern (eg, strike-deflect-return strike). This is known as a hokei.
Rather than holding competitions or tournaments, Shorinji Kempo has the Embu - a prearranged sequence of offensive and defensive techniques, usually between two kenshi (but occasionally with more participants. Embu are judged based on both their technical execution (how well the techniques are done, how realistic the display is) and aesthetic value (how smoothly the techniques are executed, etc).
This is Shorinji Kempo's version of free-sparring practice, in which the pairs are able to practice their timing, movement (footwork, body movement) and positioning in an fluid situation. This practice also helps kenshi understand how to better execute the many techniques they learn.