In compliance with Master Juan's last request, Ryuhi begins his journey to Shorinji. This is how the game begins. You start at the edge of a forest path that will ultimately lead you to the entrance of the Shorinji temple where master Gengai awaits.
In order to enter the temple entrance, you will have to defeat five mini-boss fighters along the way. Each one will appear when enough basic thugs have been knocked out. After you defeat three bosses, you will earn the ability to throw Crescent Waves from your fists, which will make combat substantially easier.
Along the way, you will encounter many statues, some of which have items which will be particularly helpful to you as you travel along. Keep your eye out for such statues and punch them to reveal any items they may be hiding. There are some statues which may appear to be out of reach. However, it is possible to reach some lower platforms simply by falling towards them in their direction. Ryuhi moves surprisingly fast through the air while falling. You can find a 1-up panel in this manner.
If you defeat the fifth boss before you reach the entrance, you will earn the key, and be allowed to proceed inside the temple. If you do not, you will have to loop through the path again from the beginning. All items (except for the 1-up panel) will reset to their original position so you can find them again.
Once you reach the temple entrance with the key, you will earn one of the Mandala seals. Then Master Gengai will commend you for reaching his temple. He will inform you that Defense is the first secret of Shorinji and he will help you develop these skills.
First you will be given a tutorial on how to control Ryuhi during the Tournament sections of the game. This tutorial will run through all of the defensive techniques, as well as the basic attacks. You will have to learn and practice special techniques on your own. There is no reward or punishment for your performance during this tutorial.
Then you will be presented with an apprentice to fight against. When you see the red circle on your body, press the correct controller direction to defend against an attack. When you see the red circle on your opponent's body, hit him with an attack that will strike the targeted region. The pace is very slow and relaxed, so do not be in a rush to attack or defend. Also be on the lookout for Medicine bottles floating through; this is your first opportunity to build up your collection of medicine for consumption during later fights.
Once you defeat the first apprentice, Gengai will teach you about another Shorinji secret: the Trick Throw. If you defend against an upward punch, you can reverse the attack and perform the trick throw simply by pressing down on the direction pad. But be careful, some opponents can perform the same maneuver. For this reason, an upward kick is a safer attack to execute than an upward punch.
You will then be required to fight against another apprentice. When you defeat this one, you will learn the next secret: A blue target indicates an exposed weak point on the opponent that can be hit for extra damage, while a red star indicates a weak point which, if hit, will knock the opponent out regardless of how much health is remaining. You must then fight one last time against the master himself. Use all that you've learned to defeat him. Try practicing some of the + attacks as well to get a feel for them.