No Winners or Losers

In Shorinji Kempo there are no winners or losers. Competition is unnecessary to the training of healthy minds and bodies. Shorinji Kempo emphasize is on equally training the mind and body. Meditation and philosophy are just as important to developing the mind as the techniques are for developing the body. Shorinji Kempo requires both to be mastered to be promoted.

Mt. Diablo Shorinji Kempo

Shorinji Kempo

The Unity of Hard and Soft Techniques

Shorinji Kempo teaches both Goho (Hard) (blocks, punches and kicks) and Juho (Soft) (drawing, twisting, pinning or throwing) while many martial arts teach only Goho or Juho. Even when a fight is unavoidable, the techniques must not be used to attach the opponent. Rather Shorinji Kempo techniques focus on how to respond to attacks and control situations. Unlike some martial arts Shorinji Kempo practice involves working in pairs for the most part. Only then can techniques be perfected. The offensive person's role is to help improve accuracy and timing of the defensive person's techniques. It is not a chance to demonstrate superior fighting skills. Techniques do not require power to work. Therefore, even a child, small adult, or elderly person can defend themselves against someone else larger or stronger. The techniques are not meant for competition but real life defense situations.

Developing the Mind

As stated, Shorinji Kempo develops not only the body but the mind. Just as a person can not live alone, good partners are needed to learn the techniques of Shorinji Kempo. Each student must be a good partner to everyone else. Through such practice and classroom eduation, Shorinji Kempo strives to build friendship, mutual respect, and foster people who can take those attitudes outside of practice to improve the society we live in. Every aspect of our lives, human relations and society ultimately depends on the quality of the people involved. Shorinji Kempo hopes to create people who can rely on themselves and take responsibility for their own actions. All techniques require two people to practice.

Children's Class

Shorinji Kempo was an approved organization for PE exemption in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District when there was a program.


Doshin So

Doshin So

Half for one's own happiness, and half for the happiness of others

About Our Classes

Men and women of all ages are welcome to the adult's class. No previous experience in martial arts is required. The adults class emphasis is on self defense, physical exercise, stress reduction, while learning at your own pace.

You can join for any of the following:

  • Self defense - Learn how to assess risk and vulnerability rapidly and realistically in different circumstances. Practicing actual situations with partners help develop your techniques. Learn techniques that don't rely on power to diffuse dangerous situations. 
  • Physical Exercise - class begins with stretching to avoid injury and then progresses to basic blocks, kicks and punches at a pace that makes it an aerobic exercise. 
  • Stress reduction - combined with exercise which is an excellent stress reducer is the regular meditation. This is a time you learn to empty your mind of all problems and fill your body with energizing breath.
Family Night

Shorinji Kempo Headquarters

Parent & Child (Age 4 w/parent)

  • Tuesday & Thursday 6:00pm to 7:00pm - Children (5-12)
  • Tuesday & Thursday 6:00pm to 7:00pm - Young Adults (13-15)
  • Tuesday & Thursday 6:00pm to 8:00pm - Adults (16-70)
  • Tuesday & Thursday 7:00PM to 9:00PM

The following rates apply to classes:

Regular Rate: $10.00 per class (adult or Children) with 8 class punch card($80) Students are required to present punch card at the beginning of each class before instructions begins.

Cards are assigned per person and cannot be used by multiple people.

Discount Monthly Rates: $45.00 for Children
$60.00 for Adults
$15.00 for Parent w/Child 4-12 (1 hr. class)


Shorinji Kempo encourages students to develop self defense techniques through regular practice in simulated situations. Students practice escaping from being grabbed or learn to defend against punches and kicks. In this way the students will naturally defend themselves in a real situation.

Students learn cooperation. Students often work in pair form to help each other grasp the techniques, which can only be learned when both cooperate.

Concentration improves through the practice of embu. Embu is pairs demonstrating predetermined techniques with full concentration on performing correctly.

There is a strong emphasis on proper behavior. Students are expected to show respect for fellow students and teachers. Proper etiquette is explained and the students are reminded when their actions are improper for the situations. This reinforcement and the knowledge that one needs to demonstrate they can behave properly before moving to the next level helps the students learn the proper behavior.

Every class includes a short meditation with an empty mind to prepare it to concentrate. A lecture on respect, helping one another, etc. is part of every class.

The students stretch their muscles to avoid injury then practice self defense techniques that do not require power.


The children's class is designed to allow students to progress at their own pace. Every student has a progress list of techniques they have accomplished. They know what they must learn. This allows the focus on what they need to learn.

Every class Sensei, the teacher, has the students work on the techniques they need to practice. Sensei, encourages the students to challenge the techniques they have mastered and he recognizes their accomplishments.


Each level has a list of techniques that must be mastered before moving on to the next level. The belt levels (kyu) are further broken down into 3 levels of kihon, which are recognized by a color star on the gi, uniform.

At the 1st level students must learn 8 techniques, getting a gold star for their certificate for each techniques learned. When all 8 techniques are learned the student gets a certificate, and a yellow star for their gi. After the student receives 3 stars they are ready to challenge for the 8th kyu yellow belt. This pattern is repeated for the next belt levels.

As the belt levels go up so does the challenge to accomplish it. The green stars require 12 techniques to be learned while the brown stars require 16 techniques.

Promotion requires an oral and physical test. Both mental and physical development are promoted equally.

About the Instructor

Makoto Hagata

Makoto Hagata

Junhanshi 7th Dan 
Completed "Busen Academy" - 2 Year Course
Joined Shorinji Kempo in 1970
Branch Master at current location since 1989
E-Mail the Instructor at: shorinjimtdiablo@yahoo.com


  • Official World Shorinji Kempo Organization (WSKO ) Instructor
  • Branch Master of the Mt. Diablo Shorinji Kempo Branch for 27 Years 
  • Was the US Representative for the US Shorinji Kempo Federation to WSKO for 2 terms
  • Served on the US Shorinji Kempo Federation Board of Directors.

Other Awards

  • 2014 - Certificate of Recognition from California Department of Education
  • 2014 - Plaque to Recognize dedication to the Community from the Ambrose Recreation & Park District
  • 2009 - Certificate of Appreciation from Bay Point Municipal Advisory Council and Federal Glover of Contra Costa Board of Supervisors
  • 2006, Nov - Certificate of Recognition from Calif. State Senate
  • 2006, Aug - Certificate of Recognition from Calif. State Senate
  • 2006, Aug - Certificate of Recognition from Calif. State Senate for Shorinji Kempo program

Studio Information
Shorinji Kempo Mt. Diablo Branch 
Ambrose Recreation Center  3105 Willow Pass Road , Bay Point,CA 94565
Tel & Fax (925)458-9250  Register at: ambroserec.org

About Shorinji Kempo

What is Shorinji Kempo

Shorinji Kempo was established in the town of Tadotsu in Kagawa, Japan, by the founder Doshin So (Kaiso - meaning Founder) in 1947, as a "Gyo" of "developing people," a way for people to learn to establish mutual trust and cooperation. Its techniques originates in what Kaiso, the founder, learned in China. After returning to Japan, he re-established these techniques and added his own. This was named "Shorinji Kempo," his own style of techniques.

Original Shorinji Kemo Dojo


Shorinji Kempo is a method of self-defense, to protect yourself from the violence. In order to allow the weaker control the stronger, the techniques are logically created on the basis of dynamics and physiology. Anyone, regardless of sex and age can practice these techniques.

How to Practice

The practice of Shorinji Kempo is conducted in pairs, taking the role of a defender and a offender. The partner is not a competitor or opponent. The aim is not to find out which of the two wins, but together to improve techniques through cooperation.

Doshin So in an undated demonstration

The Essence of Shorinji Kempo

The purpose of learning Shorinji Kempo is not winning a match or beat others. It is not just a martial art or a sport, but a training method to become self-reliant.

Basic Principles of Shorinji Kempo

The 6 characteristics that distinguish Shorinji Kempo are: 

  • Ken Zen Ichinyo (Body and Mind are the Same) - Ken refers to the body and Zen to the spirit. Shorinji Kempo Kenshi should seek to develop both body and mind. 
  • Riki Ai Funi (Strength and Love Stands together) - Strength supported by Love, and Love supported by Strength. The condition, in which the two apparently opposites are unified as one, is what a man's way of thinking and acting should have as the core. 
  • Shushu Koju (Defend First, Attack After) - Shorinji Kempo is a method of self-defense. Its techniques start with a defense against the opponent's attack. 
  • Kumite Shutai (Pair work is Fundamental) - In Shorinji Kempo training, there are two roles; offender to attack the partner, and the defender to protect him/herself from the offend. Cooperation among the two is the most important requirement for an improvement. 
  • Fusatsu Katsujin (Protect People Without Injury) - Never seek fighting. Protect your body. Just hurting people is not the purpose of learning Shorinji Kempo. 
  • Goju Ittai (Hard and Soft work only Together) - Attacks from an opponent differ, to which we should counterattack accordingly. Goho refers primarily tostrikes and kicks and Juho refers to releases and joint reverses. We practice both in Shorinji Kempo.

Shorinji Kempo Statistics

Shorinji Kempo is practiced by more than 1.5 million registered members at 3,145 branches in 29 countries.