Chinese Kenpo?

Discussion in 'Kenpo' started by Korpy, Dec 17, 2006.

  1. Korpy

    Korpy Whatever Works

    Hello. I was wondering about the style of Chinese Kenpo. What makes it different from American and Shaolin Kenpo? What styles is it derived from? And what is it most noticed for?
  2. Korpy

    Korpy Whatever Works

    Come on. Does anyone know? I ask, cause I can't find much info on the net.
  3. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned


    One of the reasons you will have a hard time running it down is because it like other statements are wrong.

    You could go to Christopher Gearys web site and get a good start and then go to and read all of it and follow it up and try Wikipedia and Kara Ho websites.

    Kajukenbo websites have much information but they are a tough one for there are numerous arts being represented. And you will need much education on the subject to decipher through all the information.

    Someone making the statement that they teach Chinese MA and Japanese MA would also have information for you to read. As a topic it is very fragmented and not a good history read, if you are not into all the convolutions that have gone on since the advent of MA being introduced into the Western world.

    Your north and south styles of Chinese MA is another thing that will confuse, they are pretty similar, but seperate in nature, and easily defined.

    Then of course there is the late comer which is "Okinawan arts" but they have a binding ingredient with all the various styles because of the relationship they have had since the early 1600's with both China and Japan.

    I believe I have given you a good place to start.

    Regards, Gary
  4. John Bishop

    John Bishop Valued Member

    "Hawaiian Kenpo", "Hawaiian Kempo", "Chinese Kenpo", "Chinese Kempo", "Kenpo jiu jutsu", "Kempo jujitsu", "American Kenpo", "American Kempo", "Shaolin Kenpo", "Shaolin Kempo", are all pretty generic terms, used by differant people at differant times.
    The only way you can know for sure about the system your looking at is to trace the instructors roots to see where "his" kenpo came from, and what he's added to it along the way.
    Here's one chart that shows some of the various lineages of the kenpo systems that came from Hawaii:
  5. KempoFist

    KempoFist Attention Whore

    Lookin at that tree...that's a whole lotta Ke?po!
  6. Kenpo_Iz_Active

    Kenpo_Iz_Active Greek Warrior-not 300

    yea, i haven't heard mu ch about chinese kenpo... if i were to guess, i would say chinese kenpo started everything... but i'm most likely wrong... never knew there was a hawaii kenpo
  7. KempoFist

    KempoFist Attention Whore

    Yes you are wrong :woo:

    heh, nah but seriously, Ke?po is one of the most generic terms used in martial arts beyond the typical "Karate" title. I know Chow called his brand of Kempo Chinese Kempo at one point, but as Bishop said, you'd have to question the lineage to find out where your guy came from.

    Technically all lineages of Ke?po styles can be traced to Okinawa, but that is not to say that what was being done there looks anything remotely like what you'd see here in America today.

    *patiently waits for some jackass to say "Kung Fu is the grandfather of all martial arts" so he can kick his pajama wearing rear*
  8. Mike71

    Mike71 Valued Member

    You might find out if it's related to Tracy's Kenpo/Tracy's Karate. Tracy's Kenpo is frequently called "Tracy's Chinese Kenpo" or something similar.

    If so I can probably tell you a little something about it if I search my memory. I studied with a Tracy's school for a while back in the early 90's. I left because my instructor moved and while I thought he was great I wasn't so impressed with the style as a whole. It was really good for teaching flow and breaking down a students tendency to pause or hesitate after completing a strike or combination, but as I recall there were some things about their technique that left a bit to be desired (I know I was unimpressed with the blocks and maybe a few other things), but with a good instructor it wouldn't be a bad choice. I don't remember a lot more as that was over 15 years ago and I only studied there about a year or so.

  9. Kenpo_Iz_Active

    Kenpo_Iz_Active Greek Warrior-not 300

    boy is Ke?po confusing... can't believe i'm taking it up, lol... O well
  10. KempoFist

    KempoFist Attention Whore

    I can't believe it either after reading this board ;)
  11. Pacificshore

    Pacificshore Hit n RUN!

    Nothing wrong with Kenpo/ usually the individuals that just don't train hard enough, and leave the politics where it belongs.....somewhere else other than the mat :rolleyes:
  12. KempoFist

    KempoFist Attention Whore

    Like I said, I can't believe he's taking Ke?po :D :p
  13. Flashing Dagger

    Flashing Dagger Valued Member

    "Chinese Kempo" is really too vague a term to be defined and looked at in this light really doesn't mean anything. Todays Kenpo in America is really a Japanese Art that was based on Chinese styles (not karate) filtered through Hawaii and then through changes brought about by individuals such as William Chow, James Woo and Ed Parker.

    When I studied Tracy Kenpo my instructor called it "Chinese Kempo". I think this is really the wrong name for the art, but perhaps the traditional kenpo people (students of Ed Parker before he formulated American Kenpo like Al Tracy and James Ibrao) wanted to differentiated the art they studied in the 60s from Parkers new art.

    When I hear the phrase "Chinese Kempo" I think of the art that Parker taught his students before developing and codifying American Kenpo. Remember that "Infinite Insights into Kenpo" series was published in the 1980s, but he had been constantly developing and changing his syllabus for decades.
  14. Neil-o-Mac

    Neil-o-Mac The Rev

    Isn't saying 'Chinese Kenpo' a bit like saying 'Japanese Kung Fu'? :D

    I thought the (linguistic) Chinese equivalent for 'Kenpo' was 'Chuan Fa'...
  15. Flashing Dagger

    Flashing Dagger Valued Member

    yeah. It's a strange animal. English terminology, Japanese karate gi, and "Chinese" in the name.
  16. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned

    Something I find interesting is the term Chinese Kara Ho *****

    Kara=Chinese in the first place, so it is not something you would use. I think more correct would be Hawaiian Kara Ho...IMHO...Developed in Hawaii and using Chinese martial arts, 5 animal and others. The problem with chopping it up and scrutinizing it is not fair, but we seem to like to do that. In America words are so messed up from what someone wants to use it for, Bad is now Good and so forth.

    When you have a written language that is dots and dashs and a mark here and there changes its meaning, it is very hard to follow unless you are really knowledgeable in it. Unfortunatly a 6th grade education is not conducive of learned behavior.

    When mentioning to put your x on the line I am sure much of that came out of the Chinese camps (in California) where they had a signature but it was not like the English, it was dots and dashs and a slash here and there. Being the minority they were subject to ridicule. To bad really, but that is life, better than death...

    Some in a Chinese art call themselve's Sensei, when it should be Sifu. But then who really cares. If you have a mixture and it has Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Okinawan, Filipino and some Hawaiian in it, you can call yourself whatever tickles your fancy.

    My thoughts.

  17. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    I believe that Prof. Chow got the name Kara-Ho from a dream where his father told him to name his art that. Not sure it has any deeper meaning.
  18. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    I wonder if BGile is actually leading towards saying that "Kara-Ho" and "Kara Ho" are different because one is spelled with a hyphen and other isn't? :confused:

    BGile was saying in a different thread that "Phoenix Kara Ho" was not to be associated with modern day "Kara-Ho".

    I think they are different if the intention was for them to be different, much like Kenpo verse kempo spellings.

    So I guess the point would be to ask or know if there was a purpose behind different spellings of what would otherwise be thought of the same name.
  19. James Kovacich

    James Kovacich RENEGADE

    It was Emperado that said that Chow called his art Kenpo. Not Kara Ho or Kosho and that Kara Ho was a derogitory word in Spanish. I've never heard it to be a Spanish derogitory word but the dialects of Spanish that came to Hawaii were differant than California Spanish.
  20. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned

    Well maybe he got it in a dream, or he got it from his dad but in Chinese,
    Kara is China... old meaning Kara Te as in Chinese hand or fist "Chuan fa".
    Ho= is to keep, preserve, maintain...(the Japanese term here) Kanji meaning Chinese writing.

    Did he have anything written (Chinese Characters) to go with it? That would make it very easy to know what it means then...


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