Is Kenpo worth it?

Discussion in 'Kenpo' started by Beanre, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. Blade96

    Blade96 shotokan karateka

    just cause i chose a martial art that doesn't include a physical fitness test with it doesnt mean im not being 'tested' or trained and trained well. My shotokan senseis are both 6th dan black belts with a lot of experience and knowledge and are great at what they do

    . Sounds a bit contemptuous to me.

    I dont appreciate the sarcasm there in your post.
  2. Happy Feet Cotton Tail

    Happy Feet Cotton Tail Valued Member

    Whether you accept it or not a huge part of combat involves physical fitness, it just makes sense if you are an instructor to ensure your students have a physical ability relevant to their level.
  3. Blade96

    Blade96 shotokan karateka

    yes and thats true, and we do exercises. Its just not required that we pass a fitness test to attain a belt. at least its not in our dojo i dont have a clue about others.
  4. Doc C.

    Doc C. Valued Member

    You don't need physical fitness tests for rank promotions if you are teaching properly. If a person wants to be physically fit to a certain level, they should go to a fitness trainer. While properly taught martial training has a vicarious benefit of physical fitness, that should not be a primary focus of training. However, when you teach properly and rep the material as you should, the side benefits become clear without undo emphasis. It's been my experience when schools spend an undo amount of time on stretching, push-ups, jumping jacks, etc, it's to burn up class time because they don't have a lot to teach. If you want to be in super shape, go to a gym. My job is to teach you how to survive, and the truth is, even if I wanted to get you in shape you don't spend enough time in the school to make that possible even if I left out the martial arts part. Any good fitness trainer knows that. Martial arts what - maybe 6 hours a week? Please! My classes tend to be about 4 hours average, and my people are in shape because they do their fitness elsewhere to augment the cardio benefit to my teaching and are all in great shape. But I don't take credit for it. That's something every student has to do on their own. Most martial artist are not qualified to teach that, let alone nutrition and proper physical training.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2009
  5. Blade96

    Blade96 shotokan karateka

    hmmmm. I like this post! makes me think. Because about half the kenpo class Im in is skipping rope, jumping jacks, running, pushups, situps, that kind of thing. and then the other half is the kenpo skills, the kicking, punching, etc.

    and then the belt tests which are given every 5 or 6 months require that we pass the fitness test (for yellow belts thats like 50 pushups and I dont know how many situps and so on)

    I have no idea if the kenpo instructor is teaching properly. I know that they have been teaching for more than 30 years and the instructor got his black belt in the 70's.

    im pretty new to the MA, only been in it for 2 months.
  6. Doc C.

    Doc C. Valued Member

    Keep in mind, just because someone got a black belt a long time ago, doesn't make them especially knowledgeable. The bigger question is what have they done to improve their knowledge and teaching in that time. My teacher did things a certain way in the seventies, and by the time he passed away in the nineties, he was different.

    I submit, that if I were your teacher, and I really had a lot to teach you, I could not in good conscious waste your or my time with calisthenics. Why pay for something you can do at home by yourself for free. You do know how to do a push up right, or do you need to pay someone for that? If half your class is exercising, then you should be paying half as much as you do, or moving on to another school. It's a smokescreen.
  7. Quincyma80

    Quincyma80 Valued Member

    Fitness and Kenpo

    I cannot speak for the country at large, but IMHO within the New England area there is distinct legacy from one of the area’s founding Kenpo seniors to have grueling fitness exercises/drills as part of rank examinations.

    He wanted “no paper tigers” with his black belts so - to whit - try having to jog while balancing a cinder block of your shoulders etc.

    Paraphrasing some previous comments, what are you paying for training?
    To learn fitness or to do something else?
    Besides any typical gym, if coed, often have other side benefits.;)
    Also is their any independent correlation in the number of push-ups or sit-ups performed translates into fighting/self-defense ability?

    Of course it does not help Kenpo/Kempo’s PR cause versus other MA styles when so many of the American "Grandmasters, Masters etc.", well, really do need to purchase the services of a Personal Trainer and/or Nutritionist.
    However it is written, he who is without extra poundage – cast the first donut!

    I have been meaning to ask Benre how are his classes going?

    Also looking at his school’s website, well, it is distinctly vague on their (style) specifics. I am not questioning Mr. Hinthorne skills as a teacher, never heard or met the man.

    But if my memory serves me Dedham, Massachusetts was ground zero for Fred Villari’s empire some twenty-five plus years ago so I am distinctly curious if that was part of his own lineage.

    Not to scare you off with Kenpo politics but using a religious paradigm as an example, it’s like saying you are a Christian.
    Well okay - but what Christian denomination are you?? As in are you an Episcopalian, a Baptist, or a Methodist? It helps clarify where your school style’s methodology exists within the Kenpo/Kempo universe.
  8. Blade96

    Blade96 shotokan karateka

    .....interesting....I have to say. You fellows do make sense. At the kenpo school where I go,

    it soundslike Im getting rippedoff mymoney from what happens at the school and what you tellme here. Because i pay $225 (canadian) for 10 weeks oflessons at 2 onehourlessons a week. I thought because its thatmuch Italso included a costof the gi.Nope. Also hadtopay another $56forthat. Thats almost $300 just for ten weeks (fora rookie juststarting) then as I said they spend half the lesson just exercising. and the other half is the kenpo stuff. (btw sorry about the nonspaces betweenmywords my spacebar isnt working.)

    At the shotokan school by contrast wespendaminuteor 2at the beginningalittle stretching (as you told me classes should be taught) just to warmup and the whole hour is spentlearning blocks,kicks,kata, maybe a little kumite but the instructors do show thattheir is a lot to teach us and a lot for us tolearn and practice. and the money is only $80 for 3months (gi isseperate and cost only $40)

    I have been doing kenpo and shotokan karates for just 2months but i already could tell the contrast between the 2 schools. and withyour posts now I can see it evenmore.

    I have already decidedto leave the Kenpo school and stick with shotokan(which ive totally fallen inlove with it and my 2 senseis as well i just adore them, andthey me) and i really feelim gettingmymoney's worth with them.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2009
  9. Happy Feet Cotton Tail

    Happy Feet Cotton Tail Valued Member

    Hmm, see to me, when it comes to it, learning a martial art, to me, is synonymous with, learning how to fight.

    Someone who is not fit, but just knows the techniques, does not do Kenpo, they just "know" it, but they are not a practitioner, becuase they do not have the ability to actually physically materialise their teaching.

    For me a HUGE part of learning how to fight is getting fit. So for me a huge part of your martial art should be centered around making you faster, stronger, better conditioned and more resilient.
  10. Devil Hanzo

    Devil Hanzo Doesn't tap to heel-hooks

    Agreed. There's nothing that turns me off more to a school than out of shape students. People take the whole "Martial arts is about winning without using muscle, but proper technique" line to a whole new disgusting level. It's just their excuse to be fat or weak, saying that they're technique is impeccable. Cool bro, not gonna help if you gas 2 seconds into a fight.
  11. blindside

    blindside Valued Member

    It isn't a comment on either of the schools or the instructors at them, I don't know them, and wouldn't use hearsay of a newbie as evidence either way. Rather it is comment on your preference of schools because you feel you would be bad at a physical fitness portion of the test. One of the things martial arts can and should do is lead people to challenge themselves, about fitness, about fear of attack, whatever. Given a choice you have already taken the easier of the two because of your self-perceived ability, rather than taking the challenge as an opportunity to improve yourself. That is what I was commenting on.
  12. Blade96

    Blade96 shotokan karateka

    thats true too

    so havesome who say its good and another who says half the class running and doing jumping jacks is like a waste of time.

    imstill kinda confused now

    not theonly reason i amleaningmore towardsshotokan than Kenpo. its just one of them. (another reason i have a growing negative attitude to thekenpo school is because ofits cliquish atmosphere that often interferes with my training. The yellow belts andupallknow each other sothey have their own clique, the 3 other white belts in the class, all girls,became friends and fo4rmed their ownlittle clique, and so when it comes timetochoosepartners im left withoutone, and so the instructor often hasto train mehimself and idk how much time he can devote to other students if he hasto train me cause i didnt get a partner.andonce there was 3 of us,the twogirls of the white belt clique andmyself,and I never got as much timeforpracticingmy kicks as they did because both of themhogged the shield. Im prettymuch a nobody at that school. I dont feel like that in the Shotokan class though.)

    like i said the exercises are there in shotokan, no they dont want overweight and out of breath students either. I just didnt like the ideaof havingtopass a fitness test to get to a nextlevel.

    butdont thinklike shotokanis like easier if anything elbow kata is shorter kataforexample andi learned itin just 8 classes but heian shodan kata islonger withmore movestomemorize andstill i haventlearned all ofit yet.and theother Katasof higher levels are some evenlonger.

    btw did feellikeyou were contemptuously taking a bitof a swipe atme cause imleaning to a martial art partially because it doesnt include a fitness test as part ofits rank promotions tests. and also feltlike youtook a swipe at MA who dontdo this. Thatsjust how I felt readingyourpost. Like you didnt thinkmuch ofthem(orme aboutgoing this route)

    btw dont use hearsay of a complete rookie like me who doesnt have any background in MA as evidence. i really dont know muchof anything. Thats why i am reading everyone'spost on using fitness tests for belt testing and liking to know opinions. Im not fondof it, butIdontlike contempt either ifI choose a MA that doesnt doit andI said that I chose a MA that doesntdothat.

    Last edited: Nov 12, 2009
  13. Spinmaster

    Spinmaster Valued Member

    Blade, your post would be easier to read with the words properly spaced out. :) Regarding the fitness test... There's lots of martial arts specific stuff that is quite trying fitness-wise (such as the "100 man kumite" the karate guys were going on about in another thread recently). You need a certain level of fitness to keep going through a hard test; even if there isn't a "fitness section" where you have to do situps or whatever, your endurance should be put to the test during grading.
  14. Blade96

    Blade96 shotokan karateka

    I apologize for that, butmy spacebar on mydesktop at home keyboard isn't working right :( I'll need to get it fixed ....or something...;.

    true just not crazy about the 'passing the fitness test' in kenpo to get to the next level. Doesn't sound right to me. Ok,I can do Kata, round kick, front snap kick, punches, etc, everything....but instructor doesn't promote me because i can't do 50 pushups (required in this club). But I can do everythingelse. Is this right? Cause I am not sure. (of course i am a rookie. ) but tell me what you think?

    do you agree that Karateka should have to pass a fitness test to be promoted? I would liketo hear all kinds ofopinions. I'm even going back through this thread to read what people wrote here before on this.
  15. Spinmaster

    Spinmaster Valued Member

    Ah, that's understandable. Hope I didn't come across as snappy, I just get irritated how some people make no attempt to write clearly when they have the option - knowing that yours is due to a technical difficulty changes the situation and certainly merits no irritation from me. :)

    To be honest, I haven't put much thought into whether a separate "fitness section" is a good thing or a bad thing. Like I said before, I do think that a good test should test your endurance; however, this can be done via fighting, etc. rather than pushups and whatnot.
  16. Blade96

    Blade96 shotokan karateka didn't :) your emoticon shows that you werent trying to....btw we all have our 'internet pet peeves' mine is when people use too many emoticons when chatting on IM - like my cousin does - I can't understand what she's saying and it drives me nuts!

    btw I'm at university and the space bars actually work there =]

    Thanks for the opinion. :)
  17. yannick35

    yannick35 Banned Banned

    I have never tried Kenpo, i can only tell you that i did shotokan and it was hard, there is so much attention put on forms, kata. The sparring is very light.

    Kyokushin was the hardest karate that i ever did, the training was out of this world, we did so much conditioning, sparring, bag work, and we spend less time working on katas.

    I should never had stopped, i was 16 and 142 pounds, in sparring it was very hard for me because most students where older and much bigger then me. When i switched from kyokushin to tae kwon do sparring was easy, my body was so well conditionned at that time. I lost everything within the first week of tae kwon do training because you do mostly kicking and lots of sparring but the conditioning, squats, push ups, running and more is kept to a minimum.

    Now at 37 years old i know that wherever i got, i need some serious conditioning, and the sparring as to be good as well.

    There is a kenpo school at 5 minutes from my house, i have met a few students, the fighting is point system and they are a very competitive school, lots of muscial forms and weapons. I am not to found of that.

    I will surely try a class in the near future to see how it feels. I do not want to get back into shotokan karate because most kicks are done in the air and you never kick a pad, at least the school that i checked out. There is no kyokushin school around.

    Another option is an MMA/Muay Thai school about 15 minutes drive that would be good as well.
  18. kempochadc

    kempochadc New Member

    I'm chad. I train in Shaolin Chinese Kempo Karate "karazenpo Go Shinjutsu" in Syracuse,New York. The training is really hard for me at times, but i will not quit. I love the art of Martial arts. I'm a purple belt in the system,soon ill be a blue belt. you really should it, you never know? Grandmaster Gascan really came up with a good system. so yeah just try it
  19. yannick35

    yannick35 Banned Banned

    I decided not to try kenpo, the school near my house makes me sick, what can i say, i have asked many questions on the art and more and they never replied to me, i went to see them, at some point they where advertising MMA training which was false advertisement, because when i got there they could not find a teacher.

    They concentrate more on children and competition, they are champions in musical kata, that really makes me laugh, because the ones that are champions actually think they are real bad asses. I hate point system fighting because it does not reflect the street. How can you defend yourself if you are attacked when you only fight point system.

    I have found a BJJ and MMA school that i will go to in September, they do a lot of sparring, ranging anywhere from 30-50% max which is enough considering the bag work and all that you do. There are classes that are 4 hours long.

    I wasted 7 years of my life in tae kwon do an art that i consider under developed, and shotokan karate. Each time i had to defend myself i got my buttom kicked to be polite.

    When i started doing boxing everything changed, because i got hit and when i needed to defend myself i knew what a real hit would be like and my body adapted.

    I am 38 now and have no time to waste, for me its conditioning, getting back into shape and sparring, with a system that is street certified, i have no time to waste with musical forms, point sparring and false advertisement.

    Most people have a bad image of MMA, well i can tell you that the place where i am going in September is like a big family, the teachers answered all my questions, respected the fact that i was not going to compete and reassured me that at 38 i was not to old to start MMA.

    To each is own in the world of MA, i am not saying other kenpo schools or system are bad, some have free fights which i think is very good and ground fighting, but others like the one next to my house just stinks to high heavens.
  20. kempochadc

    kempochadc New Member


    ok yannick35, i see where your coming from. I think that you need to find a system or style that you will like? Kempo karate is a real street fighting system, I already had to defend myself on the street and i have to say that it really works. I think it depends on if you practice and really get the technique down the right way. Don't matter if your the smallest or smartest. about the advertising I think that dojo's just put that up for more people to join, because the MMA is really big these days, I love that sport too. So did you never get a black belt in tae know do? someone is never to old to start mma or martial arts. about the point system of kempo karate, it is only to teach someone to fight, in a real fight your or I will not be thinking of a point system, lol.... thanks for letting me share.......kempochadc

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