One Punch, One Kill Falacy: Kenpo Closer to Original Karate?

Discussion in 'Kenpo' started by DAnjo, Nov 25, 2007.

  1. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    In an article on Kata in the latest Classical Fighting Arts magazine, there was someting quite interesting mentioned. The article titled: The History and Evolution of Karate-Do Kata , by Harry Cook says:

    "According to Chomo Hanashiro's student Hiroshi Kinjo, (born in Shuri, Okinawa in 1919) most modern karate "experts" have little or no understanding of the real nature of traditional karate....Kinjo observed that while the concept of "one strike one kill" is perfectly valid when applied to the Japanese sword, the adoption of this concept to karate has led to a profound misunderstanding of the realities of a "personal confrontation without weapons when actually seized by an opponent. More often than not, in an effort to subjugate an attacker, a defender must impact a subordinate target in order to set up a more anatomically vulnerable zone to traumatize, before dragging that person to the ground, or, conversely, being dragged to the ground." (pg. 18)

    So it's interesting that the old one strike one kill thing was something added to karate after it went to Japan in order to imitate kendo's notion of the same concept and that older Okinawan karate was about multiple strikes to vulnerable targets in order to incapacitate. Which, to get to the point of the thread, sounds a lot more like Kenpo and Kajukenbo than it does like the Shotokan etc. that has come out of Japan.
  2. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    It does sound more like kenpo and kajukenbo. Remember that kenpo was called kenpo karate throughout 1900-1940s in Hawaii, and still is called that in C.H.A. 3 kenpo karate and a few other places. Kajukenbo is from kenpo karate, although it also integrates in other principles through other core arts.

    In my experience, coming from years in karate, I don't think, however, there was ever much confusion of what "one hit, one kill" really meant in the practical sense. As taught to me in karate, there was always multiple hits, but there was always the "one blow" that finished the fight.

    The misconception, IMO, that can happen is when one assumes that it is the first hit/strike that ends the fight. Contrary to this notion, the "one hit, one kill, can come between initial strikes, setup strikes, and follow-up strikes. It could be the first, the middle, or the final blow. What it should be called is the "decisive blow" that either kills the fighting spirit of the enemy, bleeds them out, knocks them out, and/or subjugates the enemy.

    It is hard to see this in karate point fighting when the participants play tag instead of deliver decisive blows as it should be, but in the bunkai (application of kata) it was always combinations leading through a decisive finish... with the exception of some of the kihon or beginner bunkai that leaves out these things for simplicity.

    I have found, for the most part, in karate the "one hit, one kill" is as much fighting spirit and mental state as physical. To deliver the decisive blow to the enemy requires a state of mind both able to finish the fight (killer instinct) and accepting your own possible death in the doing. So it is a training for continuous offense and defense as one... the combination of "do not get hit" with "overwhelming offense."
  3. shaolinmonkmark

    shaolinmonkmark Valued Member

    i saw 2 monks demonstrating this....

    i saw 2 monks demonstrating this....
    the 2 were sparring, one was a senior warrior monk, the other, a regular warrior monk, and the senior punched the other so hard he was on the grond convulsing, and the senior monk had to "Revive" him.
    Looked pretty freaky, cause i had never seen that "one-punch-kill" before.
    The video might still be on you tube, if you can find it, rewind it slowly.
  4. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    I think the point is that in original karate, the idea was to use multiple strikes to incapacitate your opponent. Needless to say, one of the punches will be "decisive" because one of them will finish him off. The one punch one kill theory was from Kendo sword fighting and it represented Karate's attempt to align itself with that and the ipon concept from Judo. I think Kenpo represents the theory that most closely resembles the Okinawan karate.
  5. callsignfuzzy

    callsignfuzzy Is not a number!

    I wish I had something more constructive to add to the conversation, but it's already been said, and in a better way than I could. Cheers, fellas.
  6. shaolinmonkmark

    shaolinmonkmark Valued Member

    thanks Dan!!!

    thanks Dan!!!
    After researching it myself, i saw where you were going with the one punch kill concept of kendo.
  7. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    I think it is down to the terminology used in some martial arts an example being "kill the man" meaning to strike at each and every weakness he presents "kill the technique" meaning deny him the opportunity to attack "kill the spirit" dominate and take control.
    It is the attitude of training seriously as though your life depends upon it.
    I was told attack at all times show a superior fighting spirit dominate the spirit of the attacker. The implication is that it is not a competition the decisive move/s should end the conflict almost on the instant it begins.

    regards koyo
  8. TheMightyMcClaw

    TheMightyMcClaw Dashing Space Pirate

    To me, the "One Punch Kill" philosophy doesn't mean you're only planning on punching an opponent once. It's an ideal - each strike you throw should be fast, powerful, accurate, living up to it's full destructive potential. If I recall my Plato correctly, nothing can live up to that sort of ideal - but it's something that you work towards. I spent many an hour in Shotokan working on getting just a little bit more hip, a little bit more drive into my gyakuzuki.
    As my karate coach put it, "try and throw half a dozen 'one punch kills'."
    I wonder, how prevalent is the one-punch-kill idea in styles like Goju, Uechi, Kyokushin, and Shorin Ryu? I always thought it was mostly a Shotokan thing.
  9. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    There is a karate story that might apply here:

    One of my uncles said this was a true story... I don't know about that, but it makes a good story.
  10. John Bishop

    John Bishop Valued Member

    Well there is the story of the judo champion who challenged the Okinawans to produce a fighter so he could show the superiority of Japanese Judo over karate. The Okinawans chose the 70 year old master Itosu. Itosu danced around the judoka, who at first didn't take him seriously. As the story goes, Itosu knocked out the judoka with a reverse punch to the solar plexus.
  11. KempoFist

    KempoFist Attention Whore

    sounds like typical Karate propaganda, but who knows.
  12. Lily

    Lily Valued Member

    I've actually not heard this from any practising MA'ist except kendoka. Do you kempo/kenpo/kaju practitioners train in this way and emphasise this notion?

    At my kendo club (as opposed to Jujitsu) we 'live and die' by this. I also like koyo's explanation as always :)
  13. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    No we don't. We tend to think that it takes a combination of techniques to ensure destruction of the attacker. Even the strongest of guys won't always take someone out with one shot, so there's no sense on relying on it. Get in, destroy, get out. A prolonged attack only gives the other fellow time to figure out your strategy so we don't like to play the long stick and move game unless we're sparring.

    I have heard that the NY Kaju folk like to throw in tickling though.
  14. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    My uncle that told me the story, which may be true or not as well as having some inaccuracies... anyway KF, he was a big time Judo guy. Used to fight in the streets in gang fights Japanese verse Chinese gangs, etc.

    Whatever, doesn't matter... the point is that he is a Judo guy telling the story about the success of a karate guy.
  15. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    Almost no mention of the "one strike one kill" philosophy, but remember that American Kenpo, Hawaiian Kempo, Kajukenbo, C.H.A. 3 Kenpo Karate, etc. all have roots out of Hawaii... so they are American martial arts.

    In a sense, things have been "spelled out for Americans." Don't get me wrong, I'm talking about the differences in culture here. In Japan, for instance, it is understood that you can't just learn from seeing something, you have to experience it and ask the right questions. It would not be uncommon, from what I know, for Japanese students to be concerned about details such as how tense is the butt/anus when applying a technique... Now how many Americans would even ask if the butt is tense or not during a technique? Now you know you can't see if it is... right?

    In karate, high ranking teachers would poke me during kata and technique to see where I was tense or not. They would tell me to tense here or there, depending on the technique and timing. They were all Japanese and Okinawan teachers.

    Now you don't have teachers poking students in American Martial Arts, so everything is spelled out. Almost dumbed down so that it can be explained in words.

    "One strike, one kill" in Japan you would learn it through training and experience what that meant. Here in the United States, it has to be all spelled out.

    Okay, hopefully I did not offend anyone, this is all just my experiences and opinion, no offense intended.

    As for Kajukenbo, I learned THREE strikes, ONE kill. Now these are not the ONLY three hits, but all three hits strike along the same meridians of the body. The point of the matter is that you might miss one or two of the hits but if you get one of them you will impact the area, if you hit all three, the guy should be really hurting. One kill shot technique, for instance, consists of three blows to the heart... any one of these blows could do the damage, but you now have three times the chances to hit the point.

    Whether or not the technique actually will kill someone, I don't know, but it sure seem effective even in light contact. I'm sure there is some liability involved also in training such things without proper supervision.
  16. Lily

    Lily Valued Member

    Thanks for clearing that up DAnjo.

    I know at least one NY Kaju guy who throws down, is not afraid to post vids of his fights and has good hair. Gotta respect that. :p
  17. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    No one said brains were a requirement. Plus, he needs the hair to keep his nose from making him tip forward.
  18. Lily

    Lily Valued Member

  19. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

  20. Lily

    Lily Valued Member

    What?!!! There goes my dating strategy...not that I'm available anyway :D

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