All martial arts are life-and-death struggles with one's own ego. They can be used for self-defence, but their real aim is self-knowledge, leading to Realization.
In the way of Shorinji Kempo the student must cultivate an inner balance of mind and outer mastery of the body so total that all movements arise without the intervention of thought. This is explained as Heijo Shin (Everyday Mind) and Hokei (Natural Response Pattern).
No matter what world you walk in - office, school, temple, prison, or the streets - there is an underworld popuated with demons. These are people who are avaricious, aggressive, sadistic, and cynical. They not only take advantage of others without compunction, they delight in it. They find pleasure in seeing others suffer.
Whether an attack is physical - assualt, rape, murder - or whether it is mental - business intrigues, emotional abuse - you must be prepared. Training will help to be prepared. To work out your fears, inhibitions, and anxieties. In the case of conflict, no one, not even a veteran, is ever sure that they will come out alive from a confrontation. But they resolve to go in there and give themselves a fighting chance. This in itself is a triumph over evil.
Martial arts training lies at the core of Kongo Zen. Kaiso Doshin So, gave us clear guidance in training in Kongo Zen through Shorinji Kempo discipline, "A person who challenges others merely to show off his strength, or only to seek approval and applause by winning competitions, has no place in a society based on cooperation and mutual benefit."
Shorinji Kempo training is founded on the ideal of jita kyoraku(self-other together happiness or enjoying things together with others), and we emphasize training together (kumite shutai), enjoying fellowship and helping one another make progress in Kongo Zen.