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Thread: Is ShorinjiKempo (registered trademark) the Shorinji Kempo you joined?

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    Question Is ShorinjiKempo (registered trademark) the Shorinji Kempo you joined?

    Dear All

    Shorinji Kempo was started by a bloke called Doshin So who had designed it so that the self defence techniques would be a hook for young people to latch onto whilst the main message was the philosophy behind it.

    Briefly -be nice to the entire world, consider your actions and the consequences or others may suffer.

    He said that Shorinji Kempo would create strong individuals who would be a benefit to society by adhering to Doshin So’s teachings based on something called kongo zen.

    Everone would be included and welcomed into a group of like minded individuals who would feel the same, who they could trust implicitly.

    Currently 1,500,000 people have joined, the number of branches within Japan is about 2,950, and it has also spread to 33 countries worldwide.

    But now the organization states that the kongo zen element is not to be taught, where all practitioners have to wear a registered trade marked belt and gi costing at least 5 times as much as they would pay normally otherwise they're not even be allowed in the room.

    But worst of all some of the teachers, considered the golden boys in the organization, allegedly weren’t ever listening to the teachings, and like false idols they have feet of clay, and may have let us down oh so very badly.

    So now the question:

    If you joined Shorinji Kempo because of the techniques, philosophy and positive role models but you find yourself in ShorinjiKempo (registered trademark) without the philosophy and struggling with the credibility of certain former role models - are you still doing Doshin So’s Shorinji Kempo?

    Discuss.
    A man with small testes should never get involved in a fight requiring cojones

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    Self-analysis and looking around at your environment are actively encouraged in the syllabus. Taking a step back and assessing progress, is part of the learning process. Trying to take a balanced and objective view is, however, not always possible when you can only ever see things from your own position. Developing an ability to see the wider picture is crucial (in training, in life, in all things), but we all find that the biggest problem isn't "knowing what you know", but rather "knowing what you don't know". Paraphrase = be aware of yourself and your own knowledge, but also be alert to the possibility that there are areas that you don't know about. You can choose to learn about stuff, or to ignore stuff.. but you should at least be aware that stuff is there.

    A good idea, like Shorinji Kempo, will outlive the people who have been given the task of transmitting it. There are some people who will be absolutely brilliant at sharing the passion for learning and teaching. There are some who will be able to pass on their knowledge without necessarily being completely perfect. I am vaguely wondering if there is a comparison with Christianity, whereby there are some famous priests, some average local priests and the occasional saint. The idea, if it is good enough, will shine through.

    I know nothing. I trained a bit. The good bits of Kaiso's teaching, have occasionally influenced my decision-making. I can't tell you if the Shorinji Kempo of now, is the same as it was. The bits in my head are. I have seen nothing to suggest that it is not the same in the Dojo around the world right now. If anything, the forums like this one seem to illustrate quite clearly that the passion for learning and discussing Shorinji Kempo, is strong in all the corners in which it has found a home.
    David Noble
    Shorinji Kempo (1983 - 1988)
    I'll think of a proper sig when I get a minute...

    For now, I'm just waiting for the smack of the Bo against a hard wooden floor....

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    Oh, and if the "thinking" part isn't for you.. try this "alternative" martial art, that might raise a smile (caution: contains strong language) It is basically a series of photos with spoof captions.
    David Noble
    Shorinji Kempo (1983 - 1988)
    I'll think of a proper sig when I get a minute...

    For now, I'm just waiting for the smack of the Bo against a hard wooden floor....

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    [/QUOTE]Hi Ade,

    I am a bit confused by several statements in your post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ade View Post
    But now the organization states that the kongo zen element is not to be taught
    Doesn't the Tokuhon still contain many elements of the Kongo Zen Philosophy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ade View Post
    All practitioners have to wear a registered trade marked belt and gi costing at least 5 times as much as they would pay normally otherwise they're not even be allowed in the room
    The trademarked gis in Australia certainly do not cost 5 times more than other commercial gis and to be perfectly honest, the need to wear trade marked belts has not been enforced, except possibly for dan kenshi.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ade View Post
    But worst of all some of the teachers, considered the golden boys in the organization, allegedly weren’t ever listening to the teachings, and like false idols they have feet of clay, and may have let us down oh so very badly.
    I think that if you're going to make such a statement, you have to spell out clearly what you mean. At the moment, your point is just 'innuendo without substance'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ade View Post
    If you find yourself....struggling with the credibility of certain former role models
    As above.

    My only comments are:

    Christianity survived despite Judas betraying Jesus. To err is human.

    In any organisation, there is bound to be bad eggs and remember, power corrupts - just look at the politicians in your country (I am not saying that ours are any better )

    Has SK changed? - yes.

    I, for one, feel more comfortable with the new SK, with a lesser emphasis on the 'religious' aspect. I think that overall, the moral integrity is still present.

    Cheers,
    Robert Gassin
    Melbourne ShorinjiKempo Branch
    Australia

    "Never fight an idiot. He'll bring you down to his level and then beat you with experience"

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    Default Just a short note

    Quote Originally Posted by Ade View Post
    Currently 1,500,000 people have joined, the number of branches within Japan is about 2,950, and it has also spread to 33 countries worldwide.

    But now the organization states that the kongo zen element is not to be taught, ...
    Well, not exactly true.
    Kongo Zen should be taught in the approximately 2000 doin that exists in Japan. It is just because you can't teach religous subjects in public halls and school clubs (university, high school etc.) that shibu shouldn't emphasize Kongo Zen. I also think that some countries rather have SK without Kongo Zen.

    However, if people are interested in study Kongo Zen more we should try and work for making it possible to have doin outside of Japan. A few WSKO kenshi, including myself, have tried this and as a first step joined the soseki and got sokai rank. Hopefully more WSKO kenshi will ask hombu for this (directly to hombu and not just here on a pulic forum) and hopefully the study of Kongo Zen will be possible for those that want in doin outside of Japan.

    Another note is that it is possible to buy the Kongo Zen Tokuhon in English for WSKO kenshi as well.



    Quote Originally Posted by Tripitaka of AA View Post
    Oh, and if the "thinking" part isn't for you.. try this "alternative" martial art, that might raise a smile (caution: contains strong language) It is basically a series of photos with spoof captions.
    Just noted that one of the photos are from a Shorinji Kempo dojo.

    /Anders
    Anders Pettersson
    www.shorinjikempo.net - www.shorinjikempo.se
    半ばは自己の幸せを、半ばは他人の幸せを - 宗 道臣
    "Nakaba wa jiko no shiawase wo, nakaba wa hito no shiawase wo" - So Doshin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Gassin View Post
    Doesn't the Tokuhon still contain many elements of the Kongo Zen Philosophy?
    Actually no. When the new Tokhuhon was made, basically the Fukudokuhon was split up in two separate books.
    The Shorinji Kempo Tokuhon contain all subjects that don't have any direct connection to Buddhism and Kongo Zen. Those subjects can be found in the Kongo Zen Tokuhon.

    /Anders
    Anders Pettersson
    www.shorinjikempo.net - www.shorinjikempo.se
    半ばは自己の幸せを、半ばは他人の幸せを - 宗 道臣
    "Nakaba wa jiko no shiawase wo, nakaba wa hito no shiawase wo" - So Doshin

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    Hi Ade

    Quote Originally Posted by Ade View Post

    But now the organization states that the kongo zen element is not to be taught,

    I think that this is clearly an issue of "getting access" to public facilities. Kongo zen is not blocked off as an option for those who are interested in pursuing it. Kongo zen is taught in the doin. In Japan there are doin, and also dojos. In the doin, Kongo zen is taught.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ade View Post
    where all practitioners have to wear a registered trade marked belt and gi costing at least 5 times as much as they would pay normally otherwise they're not even be allowed in the room.
    I would like to comment on he "registered trademark" aspect. As Rob has said for Australia, there is not a 5 times difference in Japan. In fact, there are dogis that are more expensive and some that are less expensive. SK dogis are priced similarly to others in Japan.

    I have no issue in wearing trademarked goods since it goes to support an organization that I support.

    I will echo Rob in that the TradeMark goods "rule" is only enforced at official SK events (such as kentai kai or block taikai). But basically we are talking about dogis and Obis here and new kenshi buy marked dogi (why wouldn't they - it costs the same as a non marked one)

    A few kenshi use unmarked dogi (old SK dogi) because they still have them and if you practice three times a week you need 3 dogis (maybe you can get away with two ) from June to Sept - stuff just doesn't dry.

    I suspect the pricing differences have more to do with the yen pound rate, and taxation in the UK than anything else.
    ++++++++

    Other commercial comments: I think that SK need to create a trademarked logo to protect the identity and a future revenue stream for SK. If you think about the commercialization aspect, there are many factors that did not exist that are important to any organization now. You can't just start teaching in your living room (as Kaiso did). But even so, money has always been a factor in the growth of SK. I like the idea that SK will be stable and its future can be assisted by my fees.

    Now I would like to see more money stay with the local branches, and less go to the national feds and the home office, but that is a different issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ade View Post
    But worst of all some of the teachers, considered the golden boys in the organization, allegedly weren’t ever listening to the teachings, and like false idols they have feet of clay, and may have let us down oh so very badly.
    I think that this reflects your experience in Shorinji Kempo. It is certainly not representative of mine.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ade View Post
    If you joined Shorinji Kempo because of the techniques, philosophy and positive role models but you find yourself in ShorinjiKempo (registered trademark) without the philosophy and struggling with the credibility of certain former role models - are you still doing Doshin So’s Shorinji Kempo?
    Discuss.
    Ade, I would suggest that this is a question that is a result of your experience, but is not necessarily the experience for the rest of us.
    I joined SK because of these things and they do exist.

    I am not struggling with the credibility of my SK role models and mentors, but if anything struggling to live up to the high standard and example that they set and continue to set. However, they are not idols, (clay or flesh) but people, and likely have the same human frailties we are all subject to. Even if they were to make some grave error, would that have meant that all they have shared and taught me was false, or untrue or without meaning?

    I do not know about "the failings" you are referring to, but I would like to think that if my some of my role models and/or teachers "failed", I would be compassionate and forgiving because I suspect the failure would lie more heavily with them than with me. Perhaps they did lose sight of what they should have been doing, but at some point they believed in this and the loss of that is a greater loss to themselves.

    peter
    Peter

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anders Pettersson View Post
    Actually no. When the new Tokhuhon was made, basically the Fukudokuhon was split up in two separate books.
    The Shorinji Kempo Tokuhon contain all subjects that don't have any direct connection to Buddhism and Kongo Zen. Those subjects can be found in the Kongo Zen Tokuhon.

    /Anders
    Anders Sensei,

    Thank you for your clarification, however, I would consider that the first 2 chapters of the Tokuhon deal with aspects of Kongo Zen including the concepts of ken zen ichinyo, riki ai funi, belief that everything depends on the quality of the individual, chinkon gyo etc.

    In fact, your comment raises an interesting point. Is Kongo Zen and Shorinji Kempo Philosophy one of the same?

    If so, the Tokuhon must contain aspects of Kongo Zen philosophy.

    If not, what is the difference between SK philosophy and kongo Zen?

    Your help in clarifying this point is most appreciated.

    Cheers,
    Robert Gassin
    Melbourne ShorinjiKempo Branch
    Australia

    "Never fight an idiot. He'll bring you down to his level and then beat you with experience"

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterL View Post
    I am not struggling with the credibility of my SK role models and mentors, but if anything struggling to live up to the high standard and example that they set and continue to set. However, they are not idols, (clay or flesh) but people, and likely have the same human frailties we are all subject to. Even if they were to make some grave error, would that have meant that all they have shared and taught me was false, or untrue or without meaning?

    I do not know about "the failings" you are referring to, but I would like to think that if my some of my role models and/or teachers "failed", I would be compassionate and forgiving because I suspect the failure would lie more heavily with them than with me. Perhaps they did lose sight of what they should have been doing, but at some point they believed in this and the loss of that is a greater loss to themselves.

    peter
    Peter, excellent comments above, which I agree with wholheartedly......
    Steve Williams

    Harrow Branch.
    Shorinji Kempo UK.
    www.ukskf.org




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    Quote Originally Posted by Ade View Post
    If you joined Shorinji Kempo because of the techniques, philosophy and positive role models but you find yourself in ShorinjiKempo (registered trademark) without the philosophy and struggling with the credibility of certain former role models - are you still doing Doshin So’s Shorinji Kempo?

    Discuss.
    The answer to your question would have to come from Hombu , however I just returned from the gasshuku in Germany and had a fantastic time. I trained with kenshi from Italy, Germany, and Switzerland; but more importantly talked to them about developments in Europe. Yes, of course there are problems; that's the whole reason for training our bodies and minds and developing ourselves. Otherwise we could just skip the technical training and focus on the party afterwards .

    I also visited Dachau, in Munich, after the training camp. It was a very intense experience, but brought the point home to me; the harder it gets, the harder we fight. We're not doing this for ourselves, but for the people who died in the past, and for the children being born now and in the future.
    Indar Picton-Howell
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    Abujavol

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    Actions speak louder than words. The Shorinji Kempo spirit is alive and well.

    http://www.shorinjikempo.or.jp/wsko/b-report/313.html
    Robert Gassin
    Melbourne ShorinjiKempo Branch
    Australia

    "Never fight an idiot. He'll bring you down to his level and then beat you with experience"

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    Of course, community spirit doesn't have to come from Shorinji Kempo (we don't hold the copyright on goodness). Here, a community are glad that a missing toddler was found safe and well, after the whole town turned out to search for her.
    David Noble
    Shorinji Kempo (1983 - 1988)
    I'll think of a proper sig when I get a minute...

    For now, I'm just waiting for the smack of the Bo against a hard wooden floor....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Gassin View Post
    Actions speak louder than words. The Shorinji Kempo spirit is alive and well.

    http://www.shorinjikempo.or.jp/wsko/b-report/313.html
    Forbthe Portuguese speakers among us, the story of the Shorinji kempo house building on TV

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcvz2VE_UeA
    Robert Gassin
    Melbourne ShorinjiKempo Branch
    Australia

    "Never fight an idiot. He'll bring you down to his level and then beat you with experience"

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    Question And so back to the original question as set

    Gassho

    Whilst I fully appreciate that some individuals are inspired to great things by Doshin So's original teachings - not everyone has been.

    Whilst in no way shape or form wishing to denigrate these individual efforts I'm talking about the corporation.

    Like Christianity, Bhudda and Allah great men and movements inspire and create goodness, they also create individuals who extrapolate and re-interpret the original mesage of love to create a totally different beast.

    The self defence techniques of Shorinji were taught by Doshin So to re-establish order and "hook" the youth.

    They were the meat on the fisherman's hook, the hook was kongo zen philosophy which was meant to create an ideal world.

    Now the techniques have taken centre stage with much of the original emphasis removed (for example how many of you have or are aware of the Kongo Zen Tokuhon in English for WSKO kenshi ?)

    Ever seen any footage of Doshin doing an embu?

    What do you think Doshin So would make of the certain individual's actions stuff that's going on at the moment?

    I worry that we were led and inspired by an exceptional man - and now may just be part of a flock led by other senior sheep - harried by the wolf of commercial reality which appears to be guiding our every bleating step.
    A man with small testes should never get involved in a fight requiring cojones

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ade View Post
    Now the techniques have taken centre stage with much of the original emphasis removed (for example how many of you have or are aware of the Kongo Zen Tokuhon in English for WSKO kenshi ?)
    from the BSKF website: www.bskf.org

    Merchandise Officer Sensei Adrian Starr 4rd dan Branch Master, Southampton University Dojo


    What's the process for ordering a copy ?
    Indar Picton-Howell
    印打
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