Healthy mind, healthy body, self defence Shorinji Kempo is a modern Japanese martial art that celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2017

Literally translated as 'Shaolin Temple Fist System', Shorinji Kempo utilises a balance of "hard" techniques - such as blocks, punches and kicks - and "soft" techniques; releases from grappling attacks, throws and pins. It even includes a series of restorative techniques known as Seiho, similar to Shiatsu massage, and we also practice meditation. As one progresses, we also introduce the shakujo (a 6ft staff) and weapons-based techniques. The combination forms a comprehensive method of self-defence that does not require brute strength to be effective, but to use a deep understanding of body mechanics to manipulate one’s opponent and training partner. Shorinji Kempo is not merely a physical sport, but also emphasises theoretical aspects in order to fully understand techniques. In other words, training both body and mind! Our club has been active in the University for over 30 years and has seen many of its alumni take on the mantle of leadership both in our own club and later as they have started their own clubs in both Glasgow and Edinburgh.


While Shorinji Kempo is not a competitive sport by nature, we have the opportunity to travel to local, national and international Taikai competitions. They usually involve embu (a choreographed sequence of techniques done individually, in pairs, or in groups) and randori (sparring).


Co-operation is an important ideal when training in Shorinji Kempo, so it's no surprise that we are a fun, enthusiastic and friendly club. By joining, you will have a great opportunity to meet new people, improve your fitness and learn practical self-defense. If it’s belts you’re after, with enough dedication it is possible to attain sho dan (black belt) in three or four years’ time, but the memories, experience, and friendship will last longer than the belt. Beginners are always welcome to participate.


We train twice a week on Monday and Wednesday evenings in the Stevenson Building. To train, you just need comfortable gym clothes and water. You will have the opportunity to buy a gi, but they are only required once you want to pass your first coloured belt.


We organise special seminars throughout the year where we can invite instructors from different clubs and spend more time on specific aspects of kempo (like seiho massages).


We aim to have at least one social per month. Past ones included climbing, movies and board games.


There are no events planned at the moment, check back soon.





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