kenpo the lost idea

Discussion in 'Kenpo' started by matsloth, Sep 13, 2003.

  1. matsloth

    matsloth New Member

    were did parkers dream go .kenpo the progressive system .what would he think if he could see how stagnated his system has become.being taught as book.not principles ideas motion the three phase concept .there is no kenpo just you and motion.
    i study any style as it is all motion .but i will always be a kenpo man .please dont lose parkers dream .it is complete genius.
    teach does it work do they understand why and how that is all they need to be great kenpo stylist.
  2. Razor

    Razor New Member


    How about Professor Chow's dream?
  3. Andrew Green

    Andrew Green Member

    Or any other founder of any other system...

    Progression is generally stamped out by tradition, to keep progress, remove tradition. ;)

    Of course then its not kenpo anymore is it?
  4. matsloth

    matsloth New Member

    re the lost dream

    as for chow parker took his dream to new platforms never seen in his time .this thread was about people not understanding kenpo it seems they still dont there is little tradition in kenpo it was about progression and evolution of style not book and stagnation .if you speak to any of the greats not trying to sell the sytem that is what they will tell you .if parker could see today he wuold flip in his grave .please anyone truely interested in kenpo read the mans work and dont involve yourself in salesman.parker was one of the original mma sytists before lee ect people forget .
    has anyone seen parkers original sylybus .i have and have never seen one like it it teaches inovation and freesyle.i have spent this year mailing some orf parkers original first and second gen i had lots of replies and come across some great people it is strongly recomended .also check out some parker quotes on micheal billings site and download his sylybus its the closes to parkers own.also kenpo taiji what a great man.anyway its great to speak to any kenpo people .:D
  5. Razor

    Razor New Member


    I actually am a salesman- but not Martial Arts ;)

    There has never been a doubt that GM Parker was a great man, martial artist, and innovator-

    I only wish that more people were aware of Professor Chow's work also-

    He died in poverty while others profitted from his name-

    I am sure most folks on this website (Kenpo/Kempo forum) know about great men like GGM Mitose, Prof. Chow, Emperado, Castro etc. I just threw that out there because without Chow Kenpo/Kempo would not be what it is today-

    I love Kem/npo, of all kinds- and evolution as the name of the game in our style! But we all should realize and appreciate the folks who came before us and gave us this wonderful gift that is Kem/npo!

  6. matsloth

    matsloth New Member


    you are corect in what you say but parker who is recognised for kenpo wished for his style of kenpo to continue to evolve just read his own quotes and he was closer to chow ect than any of us he brought kenpo to light and expanded on ideas noone else had thought of its like people teaching jkd as a traditional form rather than a concept or style parke was cross training years before lee brought it to light yhat doesnt take anything away from lee he was a genius but not the first as many beleve lee was dicoverd at a parker site in long island as you all now im not disrespecting anyone im just saying think about what you do and what you are told i tell that to all my students .im not the gosple truth just an angle on it .find kenpo for yourself .that is the the awsome thing about kenpo it is (parkers kenpo that is ) a colection af ideas concepts . take the three phase concept .i hope i havent afended anyone .that is not my intension. remember system kenpo and motion kenpo two different love is in motion .
    ps by salesman i mean people who teach what they are taught without question selling it for £5 ahour like a job not passionate people like us with love for all thing martial arts:D :love:
  7. Chris J.

    Chris J. Valued Member

    I watch the thread with some confusion, and also I must admit with some humor. Lets clarify some history first and then try to place things into correct perspective.

    First, where did the change in nomenclature from Kempo to Kenpo originate? The answer is, it happened twice, once in Okinawan old style Kempo and also later in American Kempo. First there was James Mitose, child born on the second poorest sugar plantation work camps in the Hawaiian Islands. Many Okinawans had re-located to Hawaii, and some of them had brought bits and pieces of Okinawan fighting systems with them.
    Life was no doubt very rough, and the best fighters learned from one another and regularly tested their ideas in actual fights. Arguably that makes the Hawaiian fighting that developed highly effective, for much the same reasons that the much older Kempo systems were effective.
    Mitose claimed later in life that he had been sent by his family to train in Japan. The details of that alleged training do not pan out, and his supposed contact there had been a relative, none other than Motobu Choki. To say that Mitose had been related to Motobu is the same as claiming that Mitose had been a direct descendent of the Okinawan Royal Family. Motobu Choki was the younger brother of Motobu Choyu, who was the eldest son and so inherited the family fighting system, then known as Gotende, or palace hand. It was highly secret and was only taught to the eldest son of each generation. Choki did not train that system, rather he travelled around picking things up from different expersts of his time. He developed into a very strong, excellent fighter, who eventually became famous in his own right.
    In fact during the earlier years of Mitose's life, when he would have been in his 20s, he was arrested for fighting and placed in the local jail. At that same time the infamous Motobu Choki had come to Hawaii seeking admission there, but locals remembered him and his reputation and he was also held in the same jail at the same time until the matter could be sorted out. It was no doubt there in that jail during the brief 2 months of encarceration together that the two met and possibly exchanged some ideas.

    Various others became a part of the Kempo scene later, including William Chow and later Edmund Parker. Parker moved back to Salt Lake City and established his first school there. He and the Tracy brothers came up with the idea of changing the name to Kenpo, to differentiate the evolving system from the rest of what came from Hawaii at that time.

    Interestingly enough, the same name change had also been done by a completely unrelated Kempo stylisy, of the Okinawan Kempo line. The elder son of the Motobu family, Motobu Choyu, participated in a research group along with Shigeru Nakamura and Seiyu Oyata, among others. Nakamura established his Okinawan Kempo organization, and later in his life tried to change the name to Kenpo because he felt that he had made significant changes to the older system.
    After Nakamura's death, Oyata, who had been his most senior man, went back to Okinawa, but by the time he arrived the decisions about was was to be done with the organization had been made. Oyata returned to the USA and continued referring to his art as Kempo, in honor of its unique Chinese roots.
    The name Kempo refers to martial arts that show their link to their Chinese roots. It basically means Chinese Fighting. Those who use the other Kenpo are using a new word that has no particular meaning other than to denote their specific methods.

    I believe that with all of this in mind using another different name to describe what Parker taught is appropriate, because it is indeed far from its Chinese roots and is also not Okinawan Kempo. It is not traditional in the sense that it is highly modified; yey since many of the changes were made during a time of intense testing and actual use, they ended up giving rise to a highly effective system.
    But it is unfortunate that much that had been claimed about that system was not entirely true.

    -Chris A. Johnston
  8. Razor

    Razor New Member


    All that for the name? I always type Kempo/Kenpo or vice versa just so people realize they are similar (that is debatable also-)

    Assuming all of that is accurate- what is the message you were trying to convey? If it is about the name debate (Kenpo/Kempo) then it sounds like a whole other thread-


  9. matsloth

    matsloth New Member

    who said kenpo

    ill just clear one thing up i have never in any thread mentioned kempo i have little knowledge of the subject .i study kenpo and there is a huge difference, kempo is a traditional style based on traditional ethics from days gone by, kenpo is about science physics and anatomy combined with the art of motion again i will say i have never mentioned kempo .if you right an article on ford escorts you do not need to mention model t fords if you see what i mean .in parkers own words "when im gone ,i hope that people wont try to traditionalise my art.i want you to always remember that kenpo will always be the art ot perpetual change .if you remember this,then the art will never become obsolete because it will change with the times.grandmaster ed parker .need i add .again i dont want to affend any one .if you study ed parker system .to understand the system you must realise this to progress in your style.there are kenpo people who dont want to change thats fine but dont do it in the name of parker it is a progressive style.and there are many instructors who havent trained for years so it will stay static for them im on the floor with my students 4 times a week and then train personaly alone for forms sets ect.anyway many thanks to anyone who has read my rantings i have enjoyed reading yours
    ps :love: :love: :D :) :confused:
  10. Chris J.

    Chris J. Valued Member

    Hello again,
    The whole response had been intended to illuminate the background and origin of Ed Parker's system. The name is fine, really I would use 'Kenpo' to describe his system myself because of the meaning of the word 'Kempo' and its Chinese connotation.

    What exactly is the point of calling this system "Ed Parker's" if it must continually be modified into something else? Don't get me wrong here, even the older Kempo of Okinawa was a living thing that was modified for each person's needs. It is a modern phenomenon to keep everything set in a style, and really is not that healthy nor effective. I am just asking, how much modification would it take to create another new style, and where do you propose to draw the line?

    I find myself wondering why a man would admonish everyone to continue to change his style. Going from a base and modifying things to suit each individual is good, because everyone has that common base and thus it is still a common style. His instructions insure that the identity of the system flounders in a sea of confusion.

    Was this Ed Parker's dream, and is this where it actually went? Perhapse he should have been specific about what he thought should never change forst. What do you think?

    -Chris J.
  11. matsloth

    matsloth New Member


    you can only call parkers style kenpo there is no debate it is the name it has been called that since the 60s. i am an instructor in kenpo i can also teach tai jitsu and kickboxing i have done shoot fighting and my love lies in full contact .the question some instructors should ask them selves is when was the last time they were in a dark ally.they teach it but when is the last time they felt it. have they ever worked the door for instance or tryed any of the things they teach people. who pay us to make them safe,they bank on it .kenpo as it is understood in the states is a street system designed for the street .ill ask one question in regards to the chow parker debate .does anyone ask who bruce lee s instructors were or weres thier credit!!no it was all bruces work???of course not so why the question about chow and parker they are differant people different styles .have you read any geoff tompson .its not gosple but its good reading .or rick young great stuff not my style but great anyway so many great people .i want to learn from them all.please santa .:D :D :D
  12. kempocos

    kempocos Valued Member

    Chris J. - Nice post , I find few mention these great men
    Shigeru Nakamura and Seiyu Oyata in KEMPO threads. I also find that KEMPO and KENPO are not as close as most would suggest.
  13. KenpoDavid

    KenpoDavid Working Title

    "The elder son of the Motobu family, Motobu Choyu, participated in a research group...Nakamura established his Okinawan Kempo organization, and later in his life tried to change the name to Kenpo because he felt that he had made significant changes to the older system. "

    When in Okinawa, wouldn't they be speaking and writing in Japanese? Wouldn't they be using Kanji, not romanji? If not using roman character alphabet, there is no way to write kempo and kenpo as 2 different words. Please correct me if I am wrong but I beleive in Japanese there is only the one word, the difference comes in translation to the roman alphabet.

    I'm not saying that people in USA have not made a difference between N and M styles but in Okinawa how could they do that when it is the same word?

    Kempocos... what is the biggest difference??
  14. Chris J.

    Chris J. Valued Member

    Indeed if Hiraganna or Katakana were used then you would of course be correct; however there is a whole other written language using Chinese characters.

    -Chris J.
  15. matsloth

    matsloth New Member


    hi lets clear one thing up the difference between kempo and kenpo comes in the classification kempo is a traditional okinawa karate,kenpo is a boxing jitsu that retains the name karate .if you take sparring in kenpo it is a freestyle affair were you use all three ranges outer/trapping/ground to educate a complete fighter this is the only way .if sparring is limited the it is just another drill .has any one here ever studyed or researched kenpo .i asked my instructor about kempo as he trained with chow and mitose when the can to the uk many years ago (plymouth sw england )he had many great things to say about them but said they were clearly different fron kenpo .we also teach as concept like the 3 phase conept/sub level 4/zones of sancturary/economy of mothin /points of least resistance,the list goes on the other main difference is we speak english a front snap kick is a front snap kick .i have studyed trad sytsems and have learnt the trad lingo but it doesnt help with makeing you effective .i have little time for history it takes me off the floor .one more thing these men parker /chow /mitose /lee the list goes on are a different breed these men trained 24/7 not 2/3 days a week for 2 hours i spend as much time on the floor as is possible 4/5 days a week 4 hours a day and that is not enough i still need more (just scrapping the ice berg)lets not quote but do .i must admit i have enjoyed reading all your opinions i dont get some of it but that dont mean i think it wrong .please if you have time check out some kenpo sites it mite be fun or if you are in the uk want to train give me a shout ,many thanks :eek: does this guy look like hes had a shook or what:D
  16. Chris J.

    Chris J. Valued Member

    Hello again,
    Yes I had reason to research the history of Kenpo. In the system I came up in we did a style of it that had been called Katsu-Ryu, which is very effective. It has drills, partner sets and katas that string together into one long form. I was asked about the origin of it and had to do the research myself because the man who had taught it was generally unavailable these days and had often not been clear about answering questions like that.

    You say learning history is not your thing because it takes you off the floor. Fair enough of course. For me it is necessary to understand the origins of things, and to see why they are like they are. Obviously in order to understand what has happened to Parker's Dream, one must know what that was in the first place.

    Last point made was that these men trained 24/7; yes this was good in some ways but lets look at the down side of that in reference to Lee. In his formless style he was able to rely on his past training with Yip Man in a Crane Related style of Souther Chuan-Fa. A person without many years of such training would have limited success in making Lees ideas work.

    Basically he already had a great delivery system. It had been based on old style training and teaching. He thought outside the box, and created a style that others have had endless trouble emulating, because only he could really do it. He trained continuously and was very exceptional, but as you say, who else generally has that much time? It is also important to note that Bruce Lee could never defeat Yip-Man's senior student, who had access to a deeper aspect of his art than Lee ever did. ;)

    Be careful what you read on web sites, especially about Kenpo. Fully half of many of those web pages is either incorrect information or even deliberate lies and wishful thinking. It makes no difference that the style was eclectic if it works of course. If it works, use it. But I take exception to mis-representing its history to future generations.

    -Chris J.
  17. Andy Murray

    Andy Murray Sadly passed away. Rest In Peace.

    I've sent a message to member 'Thomas Vince' re this thread.

    If anyone knows what Ed parkers original dream was it's Thomas, seeing as he trained with the man himself.

    Sadly, we haven't seen Thomas on the forum for a while, but I hope he picks up on this.
  18. kempocos

    kempocos Valued Member

    KENPODAVID - "Kempocos... what is the biggest difference??"

    From the KENPO schools I have seen or instructors I have spoken to there is less TUITE ( joint manipulation) , throws/taakedowns. I by know means consider my self an authority on KENPO.
  19. matsloth

    matsloth New Member


    ill clear another thing up i do not rely on the web i am a genuine instructor under neil hazel 4th deg /bob walsh 6thdeg /bob rose 10thdeg who trained under tatum 10th deg and parker ,another thing if you have seen a genuine kenpo man he will teach grappling .kenpo is a complete original point in the begining was some instructors are theaching the system as it was taught 40 years ago ,that was not parkers intension,that all.and chris i dont get your point in most of your threads im not e a kempo man and my questions do no relate to kempo,my only point about lee was he trained 24/7 ,thats all .im sick of people that talk the talk and cant walk the walk .instructors that stand out the front and bellow orders .not wanting to be questioned .not even questioning them selves .at least 40 %of kenpo tecneques have locks ,the first one delayed sword has .many havent seen the right kenpo clubs you see that is my intire point they dont teach it corect so it doesnt work.
    i can see kenpo karate is still so mis represented and mis understood i find myself sadned :( but happy:D to be part of a new generation but still angry:mad: but we all climb the same trees just in different ways:cool: i couldnt think of one for this one but i like him anyway:Alien: cheers
  20. Chris J.

    Chris J. Valued Member

    You are absolutely right. Many out there teach modern Karate, they can not answer questions about their art and ask that students simply quit asking. It really is sad.

    There are two Kempo's. The older one had weapons, grappling, point striking, nerve manipulation, throws, basically everything in it. Modern Karate largely does not have all of this and is incomplete. The newer Kempo was an attempt to re-invent the wheel based on fragments of that older system.

    The choice becomes, do I study the older information of get involved in re-inventing the wheel? Or better yet, both?

    If this comes off sounding critical please do not misunderstand me here, inovating is a wonderful thing. If it works, obviously use it and teach it. But also remember there are hundreds of years worth of information just sitting there. These people were also inovators. There is a danger of missing something unique and important when we strike out on our own. So much has been lost from Karate today, it is important that we research.

    Nothing is wrong with creating new training tools. Actually, that is part of the old way; the art was flexible and intended to be taught differently as needed based on the needs of the individual, their strengths, and/or their interests. What you are doing is not so very different from that.

    -Chris J.

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