Shorinji kempo makes use of many different parts of the hand and arm for striking, some common to many martial arts, others are more characteristic to Shorinji Kempo (such as urate, a loose fingered ‘flicking’ movement used to sting rather than strike bluntly).
One of the key aspects of Shorinji kempo is that we aim to strike ‘weak-points’ on the opponent’s body to achieve maximum effect with minimum force, and so it is useful to understand the different tools at our disposal in doing so. Particular angles or surfaces of different body parts or hand positions will be more or less effective at striking different weak-points.
In this post, I’m going to focus particularly on the parts of the hand and arm that are used in hard strikes (goho). There are of course other parts of the hand/arm useful for blocking and in grappling (juho), and other parts of the body that can be used for striking and blocking too, all of which are subjects for another day. Hopefully it’s interesting to the casual reader to demonstrate the breadth of our system, and to experienced kenshi may provide some ideas to integrate into your own practice.
Of course striking weak-points in the wrong way, or even correctly but without proper control can be particularly dangerous, so I’m not going to go into much detail on how to apply each of these strikes here - to learn that you’ll have to go along to your local Shorinji kempo dojo and try it out there!
Akken (closed fist)
Kaishu (open hand)
Ben is instructor at East London Shorinji Kempo. He has been practicing for 20 years and has reached the rank of 4th dan.
Shorinji kempo stances