Howa – Philosophy

Why study philosophy?

Balance in training is important – hard and soft, left and right, but also physical and mental. By developing only your body, you miss out on the opportunity to better your mind. That is why in Shorinji Kempo we study philosophy every class – and encourage you to read around the topic in your own time.

Shorinji Kempo has a philosophy requirement in our grading exams, to ensure that all students develop to the best of their ability.

Unquestioning acceptance of authority is lazy, weak-minded, and dangerous, so it is vital that all people learn to think for themselves, to ask questions, and to reach their own conclusions.

What is our philosophy?

Our philosophy was created as a means to improve the life of people, and the world around them. In learning the techniques, meditating and thinking about the ideas you would expect to become more confident, have an increased sense of what is right and wrong, and also possess increased courage to uphold your beliefs.

Kempo is an inclusive style. People of all reasonable beliefs and religions are welcome. What will hopefully be learnt from training can be integrated with, and improve other outlooks on life. An example of this would be the quality wholeheartedness cultivated by Kempo training.

The philosophy is perhaps best evident in the manner we train with each other in the dojo. Though the techniques are very effective, naturally care is taken during training to avoid injuries, and to assist each other’s progress.

Note also that Kempo is only taught for the love of it, not for profit.

Live half for yourself and half for others

A good life includes helping other people, and looking after your own needs in a balanced manner. If you devote yourself only to others you will soon run out of energy, and if you devote yourself only to your own pleasure you will do no good in the world. As with many things, the middle way is usually the best.

The person, the person, it all depends on the quality of the person

The outcome of every situation can be improved or made worse by the quality of the people involved. Even if one strong leader gives direction, if the people are incapable of following it, or don’t want to, nothing will be achieved.

Give me leaders, not followers

Active people change the world for the better. Do not simply wait for others to make the changes you want to see in the world – go out and do it yourself!

Rely on yourself, not on others

If you cannot trust yourself, who can you trust? Seek help by all means, but finally your life is in your own hands. Make yourself into a person who can be relied on, both by yourself and by those around you.