Isn't kenpo a form of karate?

Discussion in 'Kenpo' started by 8limbs38112, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. 8limbs38112

    8limbs38112 Valued Member

    I see kenpo is on here seperate from the karate threads. Isn't kenpo a form of karate??? Has anyone here trained in kenpo karate and can tell me about their experiences with it??? What type of stuff did you learn in your training?? What did you like about it?? What did you dislike about it?? etc etc There is a school that teaches kenpo karate that I might train at. the schedule is real convenient.
  2. 8limbs38112

    8limbs38112 Valued Member

    got my first question answered. Just called the school. seems like a really cool instructor. Might take up kempo karate in a couple years.
  3. bodyshot

    bodyshot Brown Belt Zanshin Karate

    Hey Higgins what's up? I have done some kenpo karate before for a few years actually, and to a sewer your question yes it's a form of karate, it's not very old it was actually invented by Ed Parker sr. Back in the sixties or seventies I think, either way it's not very old, in fact Ed Parker is still alive and well and he even has a Facebook page, I friended him once.
    As an art it's pretty fun to practice and learn, it's forever long though and getting a black at the school I trained at was almost impossible, in fact I saw one guy get one in the ten years that the school was there.
  4. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    Ed Parker died in 1990. :Angel:
  5. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    Pah! you can prove anything with facts.......
  6. 8limbs38112

    8limbs38112 Valued Member

    thanx bruah!
  7. blindside

    blindside Valued Member

    He may have friended Ed Parker Jr., who is still somewhat active in the kenpo community.
  8. bodyshot

    bodyshot Brown Belt Zanshin Karate

    Um my I didn't realize, that was a bad mistake I'm sorry for that. In fact it was Parker junior now that I think about it, you can check it out he's on Facebook. Sorry bout the mistake.
  9. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    Most of the systems that go by the Kenpo moniker in the continental US are hybrid systems descended from a group of guys in Hawaii who had mixed backgrounds and gave birth to lines having different approaches.The majority of Kenpo in the US is initially descended from Parker.

    Ed didn't create Kenpo,he just produced a finished version of his own.

    Kenpo is generally more Karate-like than it is anything else but it's not a Karate system.Too much went into the mix,that's why Kenpo has a separate identity.

    10 years?That's a long time for a BB in most Kenpo,even before the birth of BB factories.Usually 3-4.
  10. 8limbs38112

    8limbs38112 Valued Member

    I actually thought the Okinawan kempo karate and kenpo karate were the same thing.
  11. Dave76

    Dave76 Valued Member

    There is many different styles of kempo out there. I hope you find a good one. I know there are some out there but I have tried out a few and honestly they sucked. Lots of compliant training and overly complicated responses. They also had a tendency for "speed hitting" which I never got. Six or seven little slaps to my head will not accumulate to the force of a good hook! The last one I tried was a year or two ago and was no better than the others. Despite being out of shape and not having sparred for years the two black belts in the class had nothing for me in sparring and the head instructor wouldn't spar with me. Said they had been told by their instructor not to spar with new people cause what if they beat you?
    Anyway, best of luck. I know they don't all suck, Keith Hackney was my favorite fighter when he was still active!
  12. bodyshot

    bodyshot Brown Belt Zanshin Karate

    wow three to four years till black belt I feel freakin typed here. It was pretty well ten years as a minimum at the school I was talking about, colored belts advanced really really slow, anyway I left that school years ago and it actually went out of business a few years after that, I still talk to the old instructor once in awhile though.
  13. 8limbs38112

    8limbs38112 Valued Member

    actually the school Im going to attend isn't American kenpo invented by ed parker. It is Okinawan kempo karate that the warriors of the ryuku islands used back in the day. Has anyone here trained that?
  14. bodyshot

    bodyshot Brown Belt Zanshin Karate

    Yes I have trained in Kempo as well as kendpo. My first year of training ma was Kempo. It's pretty solid am, I'm sure my experience was different than yours will be, for example I spent that first year throwing punches from the horse stance for hours and hours, I have a pretty snappy reverse punch I must admit.
  15. Dan93

    Dan93 Valued Member

    Bodyshot what is Kendpo? I assume you mean Kendo.

  16. kenpodoc

    kenpodoc New Member

    Wow, a lot of very bad information on this disrespect intended, but perhaps I can shed some light. First, Kenpo, sometimes also referred to as Kempo is a Japanese translation of the Chinese Chuan Fa Gung Shou. The best understanding of the meaning is "Empty-Handed Fighting". Kenpo and Kempo share the same kanji symbol, no surprise as Japanese kanji borrows heavily from the Chinese.

    Kenpo is, contrary to a post here, very old, indeed. It's roots are easily and widely traced to the Shaolin Temple in 520 BC during the Chou Dynasty when an Indian Prince/Monk named Bodhidarma brought a form of exercise known as Shih Pa Lo Han Sho, also known as the "18 Hands of Lo Han" which became the foundation for almost all of the Eastern martial arts systems today. Ironically, this system was actually intended as exercise, but became the basis for fighting during a necessary defense of the temple when one monk said to be known as the "begging monk" began defending the temple with an aggressive barrage of hand and foot techniques derived from the 18 Hands of Lo Han skills taught by Bodhidarma. As no weapon was used, the fighting art was recorded as Empty-Handed or Fist Method (Chuan Fa)

    But the system of Chuan Fa changed and morphed and moved with time and many, many forms derived from this genesis. Kenpo specifically traces its move from China to Okinawa and then Japan via monks traveling back and forth. This went on for centuries, and during this period Chuan Fa became codified in Kyshu in Japan; this art eventually became known as Kosho Ryu Kempo or the Old Pine Tree School ("Ko"-old, "Sho"-pine tree, "Ryu"-school/style). It is from here that most modern forms of Kempo/Kenpo are derived specifically. This style was sequestered to only a specific (large) clan for generations (history is sketchy on how long...) but eventually in 1921, a boy, aged 5, named James Mitose was sent to Japan from his birhtplace in Hawaii to study this ancient style under his uncle. He studied for years, but eventually, he returned to Hawaii and began to teach this art form. Amongst his students was one William S. Chow. Chow was already a practitioner of his family's Kung Fu and like so many, he began to blend in Kung Fu with Kosho Ryu Kempo. Chow blended many of his family's techniques into Kempo and began to teach as well (note: some deny this and can become very adamant One of Chow's best-known students was a Hawaiian native named Edmund Parker. Ed Parker learned what was then called by Chow, Chinese Kempo, and in 1954, he earned his black belt.

    Parker continued to modify, teach and popularize kenpo, and was essentially the first to teach non-asians Kenpo. Parker eventually moved to California, taking his art with him. Parker became a contemporary of Bruce Lee and taught many stars including Elvis Presly. During the 1960's and 1970's, Kenpo continued to blend in jiu-jitsu, karate, and kung fu thereby causing many to call kenpo one of the original blended or mixed martial arts. Parker, like Chow and Mitose before him, blended and advanced the art form.

    Several of Parker's students began to branch out and Kenpo began to branch out as Kenpo-Jiu Jitsu, American Kenpo (ironically, American Jiu-Jitse is very traditional with more Chinese influence), Kajukenbo (a blend of five distinct styles from Hawaii-one of which is Kenpo), and so on...

    Kenpo tends to have many katas and is heavy on tradition, but it also has many, many techniques and is VERY self-defense oriented. It has a similar vibe as karate with many blocks-kicks-punches but has a very distinct kung-fu feel with soft and circular moves as well as many joint locks, some throws, and a definite jiu jitsu influence as well.

    Kenpo is a very practical art with much to offer, and is perhaps the original mixed martial art form.

    Hope that helps some...

    3rd Degree Black Belt American Kenpo (Mitose to Chow, Chow to Parker, Parker to Connor, Connor to Packer, Packer to Thibault, Thibault to me...)
  17. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    I pretty much consider this myth, as do most serious historians of the arts. There is little to no providence for the claim, and it is one of those stories that has simply been repeated often enough that it is taken as true
  18. Ben Gash CLF

    Ben Gash CLF Valued Member

    There's been very little information on this thread until this sudden glut of bad information :confused:
    The Shaolin myth is considered that, and the version of it you've presented is badly mangled. Allegedly Damo taught the muscle and tendon changing classic, not the 18 Lohan boxing. Shaolin is certainly not the source of all Asian H2H combatives, they were extant in China before that point, and are well documented in other cultures both Asian and occidental.
    The influence of Chinese martial arts on Japanese can only really be demonstrated in Okinawan systems and Aikido, maybe Shorinji Kempo but even that is controversial.
    The exchange of material between Fujian and Okinawa was largely due to military and trade factors, not roaming monks.
    Karate was not codified until the early 20th Century, the Fujianese systems that informed it were codified much earlier, but still can not be reliably traced prior to 1800 (and their own creation myths state that they're not much older than that).
    The name Kyoshu Ryu was created by Mitose after a few previous names. It is most likely a reference to Shorin Ryu Karate/ Shuri-te Kenpo which appears to be a major ingredient in Mitose's art.
    Chinese systems which identify themselves as "Shaolin" do not claim to be ancient in and of themselves. They take their age from the point they became distinctive from what came before. By this definition Kenpo is an art from 1940s Hawaii.
  19. mdgee

    mdgee Valued Member

    Don't forget the CHA-3 System that was developed in Hawaii. To my knowledge, this system was born around the same time as Kajukenbo and adheres strictly to the teaching of Kajukenbo. Something I completely respect is the time it takes to become recognized as an instructor. It takes twenty years to earn the rank of chief instructor.

    Here's a link to the official page of CHA-3 and the connection between Kajukenbo and CHA-3 Kenpo.
  20. Kobudo

    Kobudo Valued Member

    Someone may be able to shed more light than me, but isn't the term 'Kempo' used by the Japanese to generally refer to any Chinese Martial Art?

    While histories may go back, similar to Karate, it seems to me that the above has been misunderstood in the west, particularly USA, and various systems of Karate style fighting have developed using the name Kempo, without really understanding that it was a generalised term.

    As above, I'm not 100% on this, can any Japanese residents confirm, dismiss this point?

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