from dust jacket
Shorinji kempo is a martial art developed simultaneously with seated Zen meditation for the sake of both self-defense and health by the monks at the temple Shorinji in Hunan Province, China. It was first introduced to this temple by Bodhidharma, a sixth-century Indian monk who traveled to China to spread the Buddhist faith. A profoundly meditative martial regimen, Shorinji kempo was for many ages never taught to any but those who had entered the Buddhist priesthood. Though deeply imbued with the theory of calm in action-seated Zen meditation represents the calm, and kempo the action-Shorinji thought maintains that neither of these aspects of the whole can exist independently. Other martial arts, however, tend to overemphasize one or the other of these elements: in judo, the softer side of kempo is foremost; whereas karate stresses the powerful and violent. Only in Shorinji kempo are both facets given equal importance; therefore, a student having embarked upon a serious study of Shorinji will begin to sense its deep spirituality, will then begin to pursue its philosophy of action, and ultimately will set out on the fascinating path of spiritual training. Further more, since all Shorinji training requires the cooperative effort of two people, practicing its techniques encourages mutual respect, understanding, and growth.
The true form of Shorinji kempo is a combination of the mighty spirit of benevolence that can, through human effort and the manifestation of the mystery of the forces of yin and yang, which are the meaning of heaven and earth and the reality of the cosmos, create a heaven on earth and the parallel pursuit of both calm meditation and active physical training. The ultimate aim of the pursuit of kempo is the Dharma spirit, the true object of Shorinji kempo faith. This book, written by the head of the Shirinji, Doshin So, is a classic embodiment of the strictest of training systems with the humanitarian love of the teachings of Kongo Zen. A thorough introduction to this important and ancient martial art, it combines detailed photographic explanations of all basic techniques with some of the profound philosophical truths of Shorinji thought.
At the present time, the 800 Shorinji kempo training halls in Japan have a membership of over 300,000. In addition, it is being taught in colleges and high schools throughout the country. Probably the spiritual aspects of Shorinji kempo, which are both stronger and more appealing than those of other martial arts, have captured the hearts of young Japanese people. Unfortunately, however the international reputation of Shorinji kempo has heretofore rested on its importance in the early development of karate. This book, however, successfully establishes this important martial art in its own right. It is a vitally important work for all people interested in the truest meanings of Oriental self-defense and philosophy.
About the author:
Though Shorinji kempo, which traces its origins more than five thousand years to ancient India, experienced a long period of development in China, its present form is the result of the genius of the author of this book. Born in 1911, in Okayama Prefecture, the eldest son of a customs officer, Doshin So, upon the death of his father, was sent to live in Manucyhuria with his grandfather, who was an employee of the Manchurian Railroad. When he was only seventeen, however, his grandfather's death forced him to return to Japan under the patronage of Mitsuru Toyama, the founder of the ultrapatriotic Amur River Society (so-called Black Dragon Society) and a friend of So's grandfather. At that time, Japan was experiencing the effects of world depression and was as a result becoming involved in politics on the Asian mainland. In 1928, Doshin So returned to Manchuria, this time as a member of a secret organization. To facilitate his covert activities, he became a disciple of a Taoist priest who was also an executive of the Zaijari secret society and a master of the Byakurenmonken, a branch of kempo originating at the Shorinji. This was So's first contact with kempo, and though he began to practice it eagerly, in those days it was no more than a series of incoherent disorganized techniques.
The assassination of Chang Tso-lin, a Chinese warlord acting more or less as a client of the Japanese but proving too nationalistic for some of the officers of the Japanese Kwantung Army, who had him put out of the way, intensified Japanese meddling in Manchuria and China and accelerated their plans to revive the defunct Manchu (Chi'ing) Dynasty. In his role as a secret agent, So was forced to travel widely to gather information for his organization, and this gave him the opportunity to meet masters of kempo of various kinds. As had been true of the Taoist priest under whom he had studied earlier, however, these men too know only a handful of techniques that lacked any kind of organization. But a trip to Peking brought young So into contact with the twentieth master of the north Shorinji Giwamonken School of Kempo, whose direct disciple he immediately became. Having resigned himself to the unhappy likelihood that he would be the last of the kempo head masters, this elderly man was overjoyed at finding an enthusiastic and skillful young follower. In a ceremony at the Shorinji Temple, in 1936, Doshin So was officially designated the successor of the leader of the north Shorinji School.
In 1945, when the Russian Army entered Manchuria, Doshin So managed to escape through the help of Chinese secret society members; he was finally repatriated in 1946. The grim state of affairs in postwar Japan impressed him with the need of a restoration of morality and national pride and the creation of an entirely new human image. Regarding the Dharma spirit and the practice of kempo as means to achieve these ends, Doshin So completely revised, expanded, and systemized the many forms of kempo he had learned in China and thus created Shorinji kempo as it exists today.
Preface Part 1 Background
Chapter 1 History
Chapter 2 philosophy--The philosophy of Kongo-zen; What is Shkorinji kempo?; Teachings of Shorinji kempo; Other complementary practices; Shorinji kempo and the future
Part 2 Goho: positive skystem
Chapter 3 basic techniques
Stances--Gassho-gamai (salutation stance); Kesshu-gamae (clasped-hand stance); Kaishoku-chudan-gamae (clenched-fist stance); Ichiji-gamae (flat-hand stance); Chkudan-gamae (preparatory stance); Hasso-gamae (open-palm stance); Taiki-gamae (defense preparation stance); Fukko-gamae (kneeling stance)
Footwork--Sashidomi-ashi (straight step); Sashikae-ashi (cross-over step); Renoji-dachi (open-L step); Chidori-ashi (side step)
Body movements--Kaishin (step dodge); Yoko-furumi (side dodge); Sorimi (backward dodge); Hikimi (pull-in dodge); Ryushi (circular dodge); Tobi-sagari (sliding retreat); Mae-udemi (forward breakfall); Ushiro-ukemi (backward breakfall); Daisharin (cartwheel); Zen-tankan (full turn); Han-tenkan (half turn)
Blocks--Uwa-uke (upward block); Shita-uke (downward block); Uchi-uke (inward block); Soto-uke (outward block); Uchiage-uke (overhead block); Oshi-uke (push block); Harai-uke (swing block); Yoko-juji-uke (cross-hand block); Hangetsu-uke (crescent block); Ken-uke (fist block); Hasami-uke (scissors ablock)
Thrusts--Seikin (fist); Kihon-zuki (basic thrust); Jun-zuki (shokrt thrust); Gyaku-zuki (long thrust); Kagi-zuki (hook thrust); Uraken-uchi (reverse-fist thrust); Shuto-giri (knife-hand thrust); Uchi-wanto-uchi (inside forearm thrust); Soto-wanto-zuki (outside forearm thrust); Kumade-zuki (bear-paw thrust); Furi-zuki (swing thrust); Hiji-uchi (elbow thrust)
Kicks--Kihon-geri (basic kick); Jun-geri (short kick); Gyaku-geri (long kick); Mawahi-geri (swing kick); Sokuto-geri (side kick); Ushiro-geri (back kick); Kinteki-geri (groin kick); Tobi-geri (leap kick)
Chapter 4 techniques
Giwaken--Giwaken I (single form); I (pair form); II (single form)
Tenchiken--Tenchiken I (single form & pair form); II (single & pair form); III (single form); IV (single form)
Nioken--Ryusui-geri (circular-dodge kick); Uwa-uke-zuki (upward-block thrust); Uchiage-zuki (overhead-block thrust); Uchiage-geri (overhead-block kick); Uchi-uke-zuki (inward-block thrust); Uchi-uke-geri (inward-block-kick); Soto-kuke-zuki (outward-block thrust); Soto-uke-geri (outward-block kick); Oshi-uke-zuki (push-block thrust); Kaishin-zuki (step-dodge thrust); Kusshin-zuki (drop-dodge thrust); Kusshin-geri (drop-dodge kick); Uchiage-yoko-kagi-zuki (overhead-block side-hook thrust)
Sangoken--Harai-uke-geri (swing-block kick); Shita-uke-geri (downward-block kick); Juji-uke-geri (crossed-hand-block kick)
Tennoken--Tennoken I, II, III
Part 3 Huho: Passive system
Chapter 5 basic techniques
Basic defense teachniques--Kagite-shuho (locked-hand defense); Tsuitate-shuho (locked-hand defense); Sankaku-shuho (traingular defense)
Basic twisitng techniques--Gyaku-gote (reverse twist); Okuri-gote (pull twist); Oshi-gote (push twist); Juji-gote (drop-elbow twist); Konoha-gaeshi (uplift-elbow twist)
Basic eluding techniques--Kote-nuki (outward-elbow draw); Yori-nuki (vertical forearm draw); Tsuki-nuki (lowered-hand draw); Maki-nuki (wrap-around draw); Oshi-nuki (push draw); Juju-nuki (drop-elbow draw); Gassho-nuki (open-palm draw); Nidan-nuki (two-stage draw); Kiri-nuki (under-cut draw); Sankaku-nuki (triangular draw); Kirikaeshi-nuke (vertical-drop draw); Johaku-nuki (vertical-drop draw); Oshikiri-nuki (two-opponent draw);
Chapter 6 techniques
Twisitng techniques--Gyaku-gote (reverse twist); Maki-gote (reverse twist); Okuri-yubi-gatame (thumb twist); Okuri-gote (pull twist); Konoha-okuri (uplift-elbow twist); Kotemaki-gaeshi (push twist); Hiji-nuki-mae-tembin (elbow twist); Juji-gote (drop-elbow twist); Eri-juji (lapel drop-elbow twist); Ude-maki (circular twist); Kiri-gote (press twist)
Throwing techniques--Gyakute-nage (reverse throw); Ippon-se-nage (cartwheel throw); Uwa-uke-nage (upward block throw); Kote-nage (swing throw); Hangetsu-kubi-nage (neck throw); Katate-nage (one-hand throw); Ryote-kan-nage (two-hand throw); Kirikaeshi-nage (underhand throw); Omote-nage (forward throw); Bukkotsu-nage (throat throw)
Pinning techniques--Ude-juji-gatame (cross-arm hold); Tate-gassho-gatame (arm-twist pin); Ura-gatame (shoulder hold); Sekoshi-ichiji-gatame (step-over hold); Kan-gatame (kneeling hold)
Part 4 applications
Chapter 7-Embu: dual form
Embu I, II, III
Chapter 8 self-defense techniques
Ryaku-juji-gote (abbreviated ddrop elbow draw)
Johaku-dori (upper-arm draw)
Katamuna-otoshi (one-shoulder drop)
Gyaku-gote (reverse twist)
Yahazu-nage (elbow-thrust throw)
Sode-maki-gaeshi (under wrap-around draw)
Glossary of technical terms