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Thread: The Purpose of the Hoi?

  1. #1
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    Default The Purpose of the Hoi?

    I'm not talking about it's function as formal demo gear. Rather I wish to know about the Hoi itself.

    What does it add to the art? When did Shorinji-ka (or do you all prefer Kenshi) start using it? Why is it the color it is? Why do I see some people wearing cloth belts, and some people wearing rope belts while using a Hoi? Is it meant to make the practitioners look different from Karateka? What does it mean.
    Is it intended to mimic a Japanese monk's black robes? Cause it kinda looks like it.

    Sorry if these questions have been asked before and for being nosy, but google wasn't helping and I am curious.

  2. #2
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    Hello Nathaniel!

    Kenshi is the official term, Shorinji-ka isn't a word (that I know of).
    Your guess about the monk's robes is spot on: Shorinjikempo is based on Kongo Zen Buddhism and retains* some rituals from it. Hence the use of the hoi for formal occasions like demonstrations.
    I'm not sure about the different kinds of belts, I've only seen the official one (the cloth one, I suppose?), which we like to call "sausage". Personally, I'm not a big fan of it and maybe others agree and switched to using ropes instead

    *Within Japan itself, almost exclusively, Kongo Zen is in fact an actively practised religion with ceremonies like marriages etc. Outside of Japan it's next to impossible to get ahold of this side of Shorinjikempo, but the philosophy that is at its base heavily leans on Buddhism and the techniques reflect that, too. Therefore the use of the hoi on formal occasions is a good reminder of this heritage, IMHO.

    Hope that helps!
    Jan
    Jan Lipsius
    少林寺拳法
    Shorinjikempo
    Humboldt University Berlin Branch

    "An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind." Gandhi

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  4. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gin View Post
    I'm not talking about it's function as formal demo gear. Rather I wish to know about the Hoi itself.

    What does it add to the art? When did Shorinji-ka (or do you all prefer Kenshi) start using it? Why is it the color it is? Why do I see some people wearing cloth belts, and some people wearing rope belts while using a Hoi? Is it meant to make the practitioners look different from Karateka? What does it mean.
    Is it intended to mimic a Japanese monk's black robes? Cause it kinda looks like it.

    Sorry if these questions have been asked before and for being nosy, but google wasn't helping and I am curious.
    Hi Gin/Nathaniel
    The bold phrase is the answer, but is not just a mimic, as Jan said the Shorinji Kempo is based on the Zen, and the monks used that kind of "gi". About the belt I always seen cloth ones even in Japan. Were did you see the rope ones? Maybe it looks like a rope, a really used one could be for example?
    Max
    Shorinji Kempo
    Roma Eur Shibu Italy

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