Shorinji Kempo

Healthy mind, healthy body, self defence

Shorinji Kempo is a modern Japanese martial art that celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2017. Literally translated as 'Shaolin Temple Fist System', Shorinji Kempo utilises a balance of "hard" techniques - such as blocks, punches and kicks - and "soft" techniques; releases from grappling attacks, throws and pins. It even includes a series of restorative techniques known as Seiho, similar to Shiatsu massage, and we also practice meditation. As one progresses, we also introduce the shakujo (a 6ft staff) and weapons-based techniques.

The combination forms a comprehensive method of self-defence that does not require brute strength to be effective, but to use a deep understanding of body mechanics to manipulate one’s opponent and training partner. Shorinji Kempo is not merely a physical sport, but also emphasises theoretical aspects in order to fully understand techniques. In other words, training both body and mind!

Our club has been active in the University for over 30 years and has seen many of its alumni take on the mantle of leadership both in our own club and later as they have started their own clubs in both Glasgow and Edinburgh.


The club regularly travels to both national and international events as a part of our affiliation to the British Shorinji Kempo Federation (BSKF) and the International Kempo Association (IKA). Members from the club have also competed at international Taikai competitions, in both embu (a choreographed sequence of techniques done individually, in pairs, or in groups) and randori (sparring).


Co-operation is an important ideal when training in Shorinji Kempo, so it's no surprise that we are a fun, enthusiastic and friendly club. By joining, you will have a great opportunity to meet new people, improve your fitness and learn practical self-defence. If it’s belts you’re after, with enough dedication it is possible to attain sho dan in three or four years’ time, but the memories, experience, and friendship will last longer than the belt. Beginners are always welcome to participate.

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Instragam: gu_shorinji_kempo


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