If you are interested to start practising Shorinji Kempo, then this page might be the right place to start. We welcome new members all the time! For those 7-12 years old you train in our junior’s group and for those that are 13 years old or older you train in the adult’s group.
Here we have tried to gather the answers to some of the common questions one might have before one start to practice.
Can anyone practice Shorinji Kempo?
Yes, everyone can practice according to their own physical abilities, Shorinji Kempo suits both males and females, regardless of age and previous training experience.
How much does it cost to practice?
You can see all information about our training fees here.
Can I start practice at any time during the year?
Yes, it’s fine to start anytime.
Can I come and watch?
Of course you can come and watch the practice.
Can I try a session?
Yes, you can try training for a full month just by paying the membership fee, which also includes insurance. So you don’t have to pay the full training fee directly. It is also good if one can fill out and bring a membership application when coming for the first time.
Do I have to have a training suit directly?
No, it’s fine to practice in regular workout clothes, you can buy a dōgi (white training suit) when you’ve practised for a while. The branch usually has dōgi in children’s sizes in stock and will assist with the purchase of dōgi to those in need (see info about buying dōgi here). We practice barefoot and do not use any jewellery or watches during training, to avoid injuries.
Do you have special times/classes for beginners?
In Shorinji Kempo both new and senior members practice together in the same class. Much of the practice is set up so that we train together and the more experienced members are helping the newer ones. However, some parts of the session are often divided into groups, where everyone gets to practice the techniques of their level.
Are there competitions in Shorinji Kempo?
Yes, there are competitions, however competitions is not the main focus of Shorinji Kempo. We have competitions in embu, where you compete with a partner, we do not compete in randori (free fighting).
How often do you grade?
We have six kyū ranks before black belt (that are called dan ranks) and for children 9 years or younger there are eight kyū ranks. Normally, you can do a grading test once per semester for the first gradings, the higher up you go, the longer it is between each grading. But it can go both faster and take longer time, it depends on how much you practice. There are minimum requirements for a certain number of training sessions, and a minimum time in months, since the last grading before one are qualified to do the test for the next grade. But the primary thing is, of course, that you know and can do what is required, both technically and theoretically, in order to pass the grading test, not only that you have been practising for a certain time.
Do I have to learn Japanese?
No, you don’t have to learn Japanese. However, all techniques have Japanese names and we use some Japanese terminology during the practice, so you will inevitably learn some expressions in Japanese. It’s the same all over the world, which makes it easy to keep up and understand what’s going on in a practice session no matter in what country you practice Shorinji Kempo.
Do I need any special equipment?
No, at first you do not need anything, it is perfectly OK to train in a regular shirt and a pair of tracksuit pants. When you’ve practised for a while, apart from a dōgi you may want to get some personal protectors, such as gloves, gum shield and jockstrap. Ask an instructor for help when you feel you want to buy something.
How often must one practice each week?
For adults, we have practice sessions three times a week (twice a week over the summer) and for children it is twice a week. One does of course not have to come to all sessions if one can’t make it, however the important thing is, if you want to develop, that you practice regularly. The more often you practice, the more progress you can see in your training, both physically and technically.
What is a grading?
A grading can be compared to a test in school. You make a practical test were you show the techniques one should know and a theoretical test, which for kyū ranks means a written homework and for dan ranks is both a written homework and a written test on the day of the grading test.
What do I do if I have more questions before I decide to try?
The easiest is to get to the practice hall and sit and watch a training session, then you can also ask questions directly to an instructor or other member. You can also send any questions you might have to us via our contact form and we’ll try to answer your questions as soon as possible.