Frequently Asked Questions

Can I do 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.

Can I try a session?

Yes, you can try two weeks training at no charge.

When is the best time to join?

There are no set entry times or intakes. If you want to join us, do it now – there is no time like the present!

Am I required to attend every training session?

Attendance at every class is not necessary. We know there are always other demands on your time (we certainly have them too!) and students are not penalized if they don’t attend every class, or even choose to stop training for a while. Having said that, do note that attendance of a set minimum of training sessions (including seminars) is a requirement for attaining the next belt grade, so consistently attending training sessions is the best way to steadily rise through the grades.

Can I come and watch?

Please come and watch any time.

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?

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).

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.

How often do you grade?

We have six kyū ranks before black belt (that are called dan ranks). Normally, you can do a grading test after about 3-4 months for the first grading, 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 become a member you will need a dogi, or the official uniform of Shorinji Kempo. Our clubs generally have some training bags and protectors. As you progress in the grades you may choose to purchase your own personal protector, but this is not mandatory as each branch has some equipment.

How often must one practice each week?

For adults, we have practice sessions three times a week and for children it is once a week. You do not need to come to all sessions if you 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. Once you are a member you are welcome to do additional trainings at any branch.

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 to any one of the branch contacts and we’ll try to answer your questions as soon as possible.