is ed parker's kenpo legit?

Discussion in 'Kenpo' started by snoopy7, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. snoopy7

    snoopy7 Valued Member

    hi, and now before im flamed and killed can i ask that everyone forgive my ignorance beforehand thanks. now i did somwe research into kenpo and i found american kenpo concepts and through that i found the australian kenpo concepts site, yay AUZZIE lol. anyway they say that they teach Ed Parker's system of karate kenpo. The questions im asking are:
    1. Is that system legit or a cheap knockoff?
    2. Was Tony Chavies an actual student of Mr. Parker and is He legit?
    3. Does anyone know anything at all about Tony Billman coz google (fore once came up short)
    4. Can anyone tell me any distinct diffrences this system has with original kenpo?

    thank you all
  2. DEATHskull

    DEATHskull TKD Bearfighter

    Google it!
  3. snoopy7

    snoopy7 Valued Member

    dude i have and google came up short thats why im asking here for a range of opinions.
  4. Kaith Rustaz

    Kaith Rustaz New Member

    2 and 3 I can't answer.

    1 - yes, it's very legit.

    4 - the short version is, it's Parkers version. Longer info can be found at Wikipedia, Martialpedia or you can pick the brains of a number of high ranks and long timers at also has a large family tree you might check too.

    Good luck!
  5. snoopy7

    snoopy7 Valued Member

    thank you kaith for a great non-google related answer
  6. blindside

    blindside Valued Member

    The problem with this is that nobody can agree on what "original kenpo" was. It sounds silly, but there is much argument about the systems origins prior to the 1940s, but something that is well known is that every "main man" in kenpo has changed it and put his stamp on it.

    Also it doesn't matter how legit a system is, a bad instructor can muck up a great art.

  7. Pacificshore

    Pacificshore Hit n RUN!

    So true and with any art! :woo:
  8. snoopy7

    snoopy7 Valued Member

    thank you that makes alot of sense. by the way is kenpo chinese or japanese?
  9. DEATHskull

    DEATHskull TKD Bearfighter

    It's Hawaiin and most likely based off of Shotakan. The founder said it was Chinese, but this was during WW2 when it was NOT cool to be Japanese.
  10. blindside

    blindside Valued Member

    Nobody really agrees. Seriously. There is a crowd that says it was the unarmed art of a Samurai clan, there is another that says there is an Okinawan lineage. "Chinese" gets added into the mix because some say Chow's father taught him kung fu, others say thats hooey. Parker had input from a couple of Chinese sources into his Kenpo, to the point where he published a book called "Secrets of Chinese Karate," and adopted/adapted three kungfu forms into the curricullum. Later he drops those. "Hawaiian" is pretty appropriate because thats the only place people agree the lineage goes through.

    Clear as mud? :D
  11. snoopy7

    snoopy7 Valued Member

    lol thanks blindside. yeh its as clear as mud but hell it looks good and has some awesome moves so i culdnt care less where it came from, its surprising that its Hawaiin i never knew they had martial arts besides hoola dancing:p
  12. blindside

    blindside Valued Member

    I'm saying Hawaiian because thats the last place anyone agrees on, it has some definite roots in the far east.

    But regarding the Hawaiian martial arts, they were a pretty warlike people, and it is unsurprising that they would develop systems for hand-to-hand and unarmed skill. I don't know much about it, but lua gets referred to as a native Hawaiian art.
  13. shaolin fighter

    shaolin fighter Banned Banned

    But Chinese martial arts played a role in Kenpo's roots, right?
  14. Aussie Kenpo

    Aussie Kenpo New Member

    Kenpo is Legit

    Hi everyone, I'm am new to the forums so please forgive me if things go a bit haywire until I learn how to use them properly.

    I feel I need to reply to the above post as I am a student of Tony Billman's Kenpo here in Australia and also part of Mr Tommy Chavies American Kenpo Concepts Association.

    1. The system is legit, we teach the 24 syllabus system here and Mr Billman was graded to 2nd degree black directly under Mr Chavies with Mr Paul Dye also sitting on the board. Any questions can be directed to Mr Chavies at, or directly to Mr Billman at Can also talk to Mr Graham Llelliott or Mr Ed Downey regarding Tony Billman.

    2. In regards to Mr Tommy Chavies being a direct student under Mr Parker, yes he was and was awarded all higher grades under Mr Parker as well as appearing in the Encyclopedia of Kenpo and Infinite Insights as well as some videos Mr Parker did.

    3. Tony Billman being in Australia we have limited access to Kenpo unlike our American counterparts. He received black belt under a LaTourette Kenpo school in country Victoria and from here when Jeff Speakman came to Australia was apart of his Association until he met Mr Chavies in Las Vegas. From here on he went back through the whole system learning the Parker system to come up to speed with Mr Chavies Association.

    4. As for differences in "original kenpo " to EPAK, there arer many views and these are widely available onm the net. I myself have only ever trained in the EPAK system in Kenpo.

    In summation of this I would like to extend a welcome to everyone regardless of style or Association to come and train if ever in Australia. If not lease check out the website or feel free to converse by email or here.

  15. blindside

    blindside Valued Member

    Maybe, depends on who's kenpo you are talking about and how you define what "kenpo" is.
  16. Starfox

    Starfox New Member

    Kempo originated in China as it is belive it was the first Martial Art then parts of Kempo went to Okinawa where it was put together with Okinawan Martial Arts to form Karate, but no one knows how or when Kempo came to Okinawa there was also Kempo in Japan as well is it the same Kempo you see with the hand strikes or was it different Kung Fu styles since. I think Kempo means Chinese Hand/Fist
  17. blindside

    blindside Valued Member

    The term kenpo is a very generic one, it is the japanese pronunciation of the kanji (the Chinese ideograms the Japanese use in one of their alphabets) lettering meaning roughly "fist law" or "fist method." The Chinese would pronounce the same lettering as "chuanfa" or "quanfa."

    But remember this is a very generic term in either language, you might as well say "how to punch." And as soon as you do that you see how ludicrous it is to try to trace the highly suspect ancient history of your kenpo anywhere. Watch:

    Kempo/Chuan-fa is a generic name and doesn't refer to any particular lineage or system, its like trying to claim an ancient lineage to fishing.
  18. Starfox

    Starfox New Member

    Yea before I say anything I am new to this so be patient with me if you dont understand my typing.

    Thanks for that yea you might be right about it and your right Kempo now has so much History to try and find out how it was created and who created it is hard because of so many stories.

    There are so many Kempo styles with different histroy but do all of the same rapid strikes which Kempo is known for apart from different techniques.
  19. Griffin

    Griffin Valued Member

    Ed Parker's Kenpo is Kenpo, do you think there was an american kenpo before Mr Parker?..... Various Chinese arts influenced Ed Parker's creation of his art. Bruce Lee spent some time training with him also... i believe Bagua, although not documented as such, is the greatest influence on both these great masters.
    Kempo is chinese martial arts etc. (china hand)
    Kenpo is Ed Parker's he earnt that.
  20. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    PK is not documented as an influence on these two because it wasn't.

    B. Lee-main influences in his Jun Fan/JKD= Wing Chun,western boxing.western fencing.I have never discerned anything in Jun Fan which struck me as being an influence from PK-although the JF/JKD line which utilizes Kali might execute certain techniques which could remind one of PK,but they would be from Kali,not PK.

    E.Parker-mainly what he was taught by his Kenpo instructors.Never struck me as having any relation/influence from PK.

    Curious-why do you feel PK was an influence on either of these?Do you realize that when Parker was formulating his line of Kenpo that very,very few non-Chinese were learning CMAs?I wouldn't be surprised if back in the 50s Parker had never even heard of PK.Lee had a fascination with "IMAs" for a brief period but then rejected them-don't think whatever exposure he may have had to PK,if any, was very much,or very deep.

    As was explained in previous posts,kempo/kenpo is a generic term-Parker's kenpo can't be called "Chinese martial arts" as it is a distillation of several background systems,many of which weren't Chinese.Karate can mean China hand or empty hand,but no one claims karate sytems are Chinese MAs.

    Parker's calling his line "American Kenpo" is probably the most accurate description of it-several systems and teachers thereof combined into a few sub lineages made in America-(Hawaii).

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