I'm interested in kenpo

Discussion in 'Kenpo' started by GojuKJoe, Jul 23, 2004.

  1. OBCT

    OBCT New Member

    1934 Chojin Miyagi was invited to Hawaii to teach MA for a year, a newspaper clipping used the term 'kempo karate'. Hawaiin students kept this name.
    Later Ed Parker taught by William Chow who was taught by James Masayoshi Mitose took Kempo to mainland USA under thew name 'Kempo Karate'

    lots of USA schools use the term 'Kempo Karate'. Its more a denotation of its lineage, i.e From Mitose, this particular line can be traced back to the great okinowan master Choki Motobu.

    Yes, all karate can owe its development to Chugoku kempo, although because of its geographical location okinowan systems were more complete. ie okinowan systems added influences from Minamoto Bujutu (brought north by Tametomo Minamoto, developed in part by Yoshimitsu Minamoto), known as Daito ryu or Daido ryu - the first form of aikijujitsu, shorinji kempo (kenshojutsu, goken, takyoku ken, kei i and hakke ken.

    This 'kempo karate' then had a full syllabus of chokes, throws, grapples, punches, kicks and weapons. As its jouney to USA took place it kept a 'fuller' syllabus and used a strong basis of renzoko ken training.
    This i stress is only the history for 'kempo karate' taught in USA and Hawaii.

    Not Nippon Kempo , Ju No Kempo or Go No Kempo

    As to moving with or without tension and breathing technique during a movement, it depends if it is buddhist or taoist in its principles. and i have stated above, this same difference is what makes 'kempo karate', 'kempo karate' not 'kempo'. its fuller syllabus means it is 'kempo karate' not 'karate'

    As to its full contact, depends on school
  2. Colin Linz

    Colin Linz Valued Member

    While it would be fair to say that some Shorinji Kempo waza look similar to Daito ryu, it would be a mistake to think they come from Daito ryu. It is true that So Doshin studied Hakko ryu, an of shoot of Daito ryu, but this was only a couple of years. Most of his training was in China, this where his teacher, Wen Taizong declared him the 21st generation headmaster of the Shaolin Giwamonken. There is no connection other than the name Kempo with any other form of Kempo or Kenpo, or indeed Aikido or Daito ryu. Yes many of their techniques look similar, but it should be remembered where their techniques originated from.

    On the point of view that Kempo Karate offers a fuller system, I would think that unlikely. From the perspective of Shorinji Kempo there would be no benefit in the addition of Karate style techniques, but there could be many negatives, it is just too different in the basic philosophy (both mental and technical) of the art.

    On effectiveness. Yes, Shorinji Kempo is a recognised religion in Japan, and basis its philosophy on Kongo Zen Buddhism; however its popularity came about by the effectiveness of its techniques and teachings in real life. When So Doshin came to live in Tadotsu after WWII, the area was controlled by the Yakuza. It was So Doshin who led his students in a campaign to re-establish law and order to the area. This was successful and the population was thankful, and impressed with the skills of the Shorinji Kempo kenshi. Certainly from my experiences the techniques work very well outside the dojo. It is precisely because of the combination of effectiveness of techniques and philosophies that Shorinji Kempo is the most popular martial art in Japan today.

    I’m not trying to say that Shorinji Kempo is better than any other art, I really don’t have the experience to make such a judgment, but I do know Shorinji Kempo and when I see something that could reflect a lack of understanding regarding Shorinji Kempo I like to try and clarify the situation.
  3. OBCT

    OBCT New Member

  4. Colin Linz

    Colin Linz Valued Member

    I am not familiar with William Durbin, but after looking at the links you provided I thought I would find out more about his writings. I must admit that I get real spooked by people using the title of Soke. There are a number of threads regarding William Durbin in the Bad Budo section on ebudo. There are also many threads regarding his books. This of course doesn’t mean that they are all true; he does seem to have some degree of knowledge. He seems to mention Shorinji Kempo quite a lot, and even embu, this at least suggest he has made some research, as it is unusual for even a martial artist to be aware of Shorinji kempo and the use of embu. He seems not to have a full understanding of embu though. Other areas of interest are the use of kempoka, and not kenshi. I believe it is grammatically incorrect to use ka in this situation. If the art was a do (a way) like judo or karatedo then you would use ka, but kempo is a ho (method) and kenshi is the usual term used in Japan. I must also say that his relationship with Rod Sacharnoski is of concern.

    After saying this I should also point out that this should not deny the validity of his art. He doesn’t seem to have lied about his past like some people that create styles, and he seems to have many students that enjoy his art. I’m just not sure if I would take all his writings at face value.
  5. OBCT

    OBCT New Member

    As well Dr. Rod Sacharnoski he was/is also pretty close to Bill Wallace (superfoot) and Richard Stone. He is Soke in Kiyojute Kempo, thats about all i know about him personally.

    Given that the book was written some time ago, i would imagine new information will have come to light since.

    In terms of his grammer, his Japanese terminology may not be the best possible i agree, but you really ought to see his English grammer.
    I now see that English and American are two very different languages.

    All in all though, it is an informative book, a good read and part of an excellent range from human kinetics.

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