The Characteristics and Techniques of Shaolin Kempo
The techniques in Shaolin Kempo are a combination of hard and soft elements using different heights of stance. Techniques are performed using power and strength but nevertheless movements are flowing and smooth.
Shaolin Kempo consists of the following elements Kihon ( basics ) Kumite (with Partner) Kata ( Form, often referred to as shadowboxing ) and Self-defence.
Kihon ( basics ) Using defined basic stances which are Japanese named, techniques and their combinations are performed either from stance or during movement. Beginners are encouraged to first perform these basics thoughtfully and to execute them slowly. As the student becomes more skilled, the speed and strength of the excercises become accelerated. The student also learns how to breathe correctly to achieve maximum effectiveness during basic Kihon training. Kihon is a part of every training session for all students whether they be beginners or advanced.
Kumite is the first preparation for actual fighting. This set partner exercise combines one (Ippon Kumite) or several (Kumite) basic attacks with a possible defence and counter attack. A succession of several techniques in one movement is the set goal. Another goal achieved by practising Kumite is to get a feeling for different kinds of attacks and distances. When the training is performed using a certain amount of contact, Uke and Tori can feel the effect of the techniques as they are practised.
Katas ( Saifa ) are fights against imaginary opponenets and are an important basis for stances, basic movements and basic techniques. A Kata consists of a set series of basic techniques and therefore allows subsequent training and improving of accuracy and speed. Skilled students "run" a Kata as one succession of techniques. This generates a higher speed and thus more power. Moreover by practising a Kata, the student improves his flexibility, feeling of balance, concentration and condition.
A Taisuku is a form which bridges the gap between Student and Master levels in the art of Kempo.
Self-defence is also performed as a partner exercise. As this training is supposed to simulate an everyday situation, there are no stances. The possible attacks vary from striking, choking and grabbing to attacks with weapons such as sticks or knifes. Defence is carried out quickly, effectively and in agreement with today's self-defence laws.