The practice in Shorinji Kempo Karlstad Shibu follows a similar pattern as in most other Shorinji Kempo branches.
The training is two hours and normally looks like below:The training for adults is two hours and normally looks like below, the junior’s group have practice for one hour and also have a similar set-up but with the difference that the warming up often is more playful and we do not do unyōhō/randori.
We start by cleaning our dōjō, partly because it is necessary since we have our own place and no one else cleans it for us, but it also has another aspect which briefly means that one must learn to keep things close to you in order.
Chinkon gyō means that we read a few paragraphs on why we practice Shorinji Kempo and the purpose of the practice, and sit down a few minutes and do meditation.
Junbi taisō can be translated as warming up. The physical training usually begins with various gymnastic exercises to get your heart rate going, and to minimize the risk of injury. We often do these exercises in the form of regular kihon training (basic training) but at a pace suited for warming up. Often, we also use mits (punch and kick-pads) in various warm-up exercises.
Kihon means basic training. We practice punches, kicks, blocks, movements, rolls, etc. This type of training is often done in solo form, but can also be made in pair form. In our branch, we quite often use mits (punch and kick-pads) and/or dō (body protectors) in our kihon training. In addition, we also practice different single forms, tanen hōkei, according to a predetermined pattern of basic techniques.
Hōkei means that we train to predetermined forms. One practice in pairs, where one act as the attacker and one as the defender. One practice both hard and soft techniques. Hard techniques, gōhō waza, are techniques where you defend against one or more punches and kicks. Soft techniques, jūhō waza are techniques where you learn defence against various grabs and throws.
Embu is a form of demonstration as well as our form of competition, and the word can be translated as “show fight.” It is performed by two people who put together a program of 1.5 – 2 minutes of hard and soft techniques to a predetermined battle. In competition the performance of techniques are judged in terms of technical skill (gijutsudo) and overall impression (hyōgendo).
Although embu is our form of competition that is not the most important thing with practising embu. The main thing is that with one’s partners cooperate and develop together, both technically and mentally.
Unyōhō can be translated as application method and randori as free fight. This practice means that we apply the techniques we learn in the more free form. One can practice unyōhō/randori with both gōhō waza (hard techniques) and jūhō waza (soft techniques). The purpose of unyōhō/randori is to train to defend ourselves in a good way without knowing in advance what kind of attack will come. We practice unyōhō/randori both with and without bōgu (protective gear).
At the end of the training session we often finish with a short workout. It often takes the form of strength exercises such as push-ups, sit-ups, squats, etc., followed by stretching.
Seihō can be translated to corrective methods and in principle means acupressure massage used to increase circulation in the body and bone corrections, mainly of the spine.
Seihō is unfortunately not something we have time to do each session, since most exercises will take considerable time.
Hōwa roughly translates as lecture and means that we’re talking about theoretical things in the training or about Shorinji Kempo’s philosophy, Kongo Zen. Sometimes the term gakka is used but gakka means more “theoretical subject” and is rather what you’re talking about in a hōwa.
Sometimes we sit down and talk in particular about a certain topic, but often it can also be directly related to the technical training, to explain why we practice things in a certain way and the purpose of this.
Before we formally end the practice session, we have tenko (roll-call) and fill out attendance.
After the organised practice is over, there is always the opportunity to stay in the dōjō a little longer, in order to be able to practice one’s embu, techniques in preparation for grading or similar things. It often happens that some yūdansha (person with dan grade, black belt) can stay around to help those who are beginners or lower graded by practising the techniques with them.
In our junior’s group the members are from age 7 and up to 13 years. In the adult group we have everyone who have turned 13 years old and over.
Most members of the adult group are between 13 and 55, but all ages are welcome. We also used to have a group of “parents” who were training at the same time as a junior’s group, but it is unfortunately not active now due to not enough interest.
(During the summer, June to mid August, we normally don’t have practice on Saturdays. On weekends it’s usually no training.)