Celebrating the 70th anniversary of Shorinji Kempo. In Shorinji Kempo 70 Years, we travel from the small Japanese fishing town of Tadotsu, where the founder, Doshin So, established the headquarters in 1947, to present day California for a World Taikai and three day international study session.
We visit the tiny 5-mat dojo where Doshin So introduced his new martial art to a broken Japan after the Second World War. ”Japan had lost its way” said the founder, also known as Kaiso. We listen to the founders early students who share their memories of those early years as Shorinji Kempo took root. At the Hombu dojo, we visit a seminar with Yamasaki sensei and a training class with Arai sensei and witness just how Shorinji Kempo has advanced to become a very powerful Martial Art.
Our 70th anniversary celebration begins at the World Taikai in California where president Yuuki So presides over a full day of competition and awards. While it is expected to see Japan set a high standard, it is impressive to witness the quality of foreign Kenshi and confirm Shorinji Kempo as a global martial art. In the following days, Shorinji Kempo’s top instructors will lead the many hundreds of attendees in Guho and Juho technique… both hard (kicks, punches, blocks) and soft (throws, pins, takedowns) technique. “Practicing in pairs, I taught the 6th dan instructors, how we can apply the changes from the basic forms”, said Kawashima sensei. Looking back in this anniversary year he continues, “I could not imagine that I would teach Shorinji Kempo like this, but Kaiso always told me never to give up.”
During the seminars we will hear from participating Kenshi from around the world… Sweden, Finland, Monaco, the Netherlands and Indonesia. In their own words they describe their passion for Shorinji Kempo and how they came to choose this path. A pattern emerges that affirms Kaiso’s intention for Shorinji Kempo not to be just another martial art but as a discipline to develop individuals who can think and act with justice and love. “Justice without strength is powerless. Strength without justice is violence.” He would say.
This documentary will appeal to everyone regardless of the style of martial art, as we watch and listen to the students and teachers of Shorinji Kempo and understand why, just like them, you put on your dogi each day and head to the dojo. You may also be interested in our Warriors of Budo series that features Shorinji Kempo in Episode Seven.