Welcome to the Oxford University Shorinji Kempo Club
The Oxford University Shorinji Kempo Club is based in the Iffley Road Sports Centre Dojo and meets twice a week to practice the world-renowned Japanese martial art, Shorinji Kempo. This website will hopefully answer many of your questions about Shorinji Kempo and the Oxford Club.
Information for newcomers
Our first two training sesions will be in 1st week, on Sunday 3-5pm and Monday 8:15-10pm, at the Iffley Road Sports Centre Dojo.
You don't need to have done Shorinji Kempo before, and you don't need to bring any equipment. We ask that you wear comfortable sports clothes (no jeans) and tie back long hair. You'll also have to remove any jewlery, watches, and belts while training.
If you want to be added to our mailing list and didn't sign up at Freshers' Fair, drop us an email and we'll see it gets done. Please feel free to get in contact with us about anything else as well!
Frequently Asked Questions
You're probably wondering...
What is Shorinji Kempo?
Shorinji Kempo is a self-defence martial art that originated in Japan, with roots in Buddhism and the practices of the Chinese Shaolin monks. The name is Japanese, and translates literally as "Shaolin Temple Fist Law". Shorinji Kempo is composed of three major parts:
- Goho (Hard Techniques): Punches, Kicks, Hooks, Blocks
- Juho (Soft Techniques): Locks, Pins, Escapes, Throws
- Seiho (Healing Techniques): Massages
Techniques are always directed at one or more of the many pressure points that line the human body, exploiting an opponent's weaknesses regardless of his strength or size.
Although hand-to-hand techniques are at the heart of Shorinji Kempo, certain weapons also play a supplementary role. Such weapons include six-foot staves ("Bo"), shorter staves, and a bit of defence against knives.
Participants will also learn about the philosophy on which this martial art is based.
What are the benefits?
As well as increased fitness, co-ordination, dexterity and flexibility, practitioners will also benefit from increased confidence and lower levels of stress.
Do I have to be hard?
It doesn't matter how tall or built you are. There is no optimum physique for Shorinji Kempo. Our dojo is a friendly and non-competitive environment.
How do I get started?
Just turn up or contact us!
Is it expensive?
Not at all - you can train in a t-shirt and tracksuit bottoms. We are organising a few sesssions for Freshers to see what it consits of. After this, sessions are charged at £3 each, or £20 for a whole term (16 training sessions in total). On top of this, there is a charge of £30 to join the World Shorinji Kempo Organisation (UK Branches) for one year. With a termly membership, you can come to as many or as few classes as you like.
Where is training?
At Iffley Road Sports Centre, just outside the centre of Town. The pedestrian entrance to the gym is opposite Stockmore Street.
When is training?
We currently meet Sundays 3-5 pm and Mondays 8.15-10 pm.
We also tend to get together for meals and drinks every-so-often, and will usually try to get down to the pub after most sessions. Feel free to join us there!
What is a typical training session like?
- Sessions begin with an easy warm-up, followed by practicing basic techniques en masse, and then more individualised advances techniques in pairs or small groups (this can include non-competitive pair-work/sparring). Sometime sensei will include a meditation, massage, or philosophy session.
- No session is ever the same as another and they are always tailored to the desires and needs of the group.
- All ranks train together so that everyone benefits from one-on-one instruction from the higher belts.
- While commands are in Japanese, participants are always taught their meaning in English prior to use. We have also had our share of international kenshi.
- Before arriving, please make sure to remove any jewellery you're wearing, and that your fingernails and toenails are kept short.
How long do I have to train until I get a black belt?
You can go and buy a black belt at any point; however it does take some time to be acknowledged as having begun mastery of Shorinji Kempo, which is what the black belt signifies. Achieving 1st Dan (black belt) could take around 3-6 years given consistent training in the Oxford Dojo or elsewhere. However, 1st Dan is only the first step in mastering the art of Shorinji Kempo, since grading goes up to 9th Dan.