Shorei Kosho Ryu?

Discussion in 'Kenpo' started by Korpy, May 24, 2007.

  1. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned

    Originally Posted by BGile
    How about the term Kenshi (sword saint)? Do you believe that means "Kenpo man"?
    As John mentions "The proper Japanese term for practitioner of the kenpo/kempo arts is, KENSHI", or as it is used regarding, Musashi?
    Dan, your answer.
    I don't speak Japanese.

    Does John Bishop? Fluently? Read, write, etc. all of the Kanji? Translate many books?

    Last edited: Jun 10, 2007
  2. John Bishop

    John Bishop Valued Member

    "-ka" as a suffix is used to denote an exponent of something can only be used if the art in question is a "-do", as in Aikido or Iaido.
    If Karate appears to be an exception, it isn't; remember that it's short for Karate-do.
    By contrast, a practitioner of Kempo is called a Kenshi.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2007
  3. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned

    I can appreciate this, for it is mentioned along with the term "Kempo".

    Kempo being involved with weapons and not the "kenpo" of EPAK and the thought of it only being the empty hand. Similar to "Kenpo Karate" all the things mentioned by Chow is certainly not about weapons outside of the hands.

    Where Mitose had them and told others about them. But not the lawless (mitose's thoughts) that were in Hawaii and why he quit teaching some say.

    Conman comes to mind. I know...

    If you can explain the term Kenpo-ka as being inappropriate it would help maybe to clean up the web site? I am not sure about that?

    Unless I have something other than John Bishop said...It would not be taken very seriously at the location I am a student at. You can understand that I am sure. I actually take quite a bit of similar questions about why I believe what others say at the location as much as here.

    Kendo is a term about a sword person.

    So "ken" has many meanings. Very confusing and very complicated. For that we need to look at the word "martial".

    To say that Kem/npo-Ka is inappropriate. I need more information, if you want to supply something that is good and very conclusive, but I am afraid it can be debated a lot and still no winner. Similar to many of the pointless arguements that are about this topic.

    Kenpo is also the name of a family that made the dye of the color "purple" or "violet". In some societies that is a "royalty color only".

    I have mentioned this many times.

    Last but not least:********

    "-ka" as a suffix is used to denote an exponent of something can only be used if the art in question is a "-do", as in Aikido or Iaido.
    If Karate appears to be an exception, it isn't; remember that it's short for Karate-do.
    By contrast, a practitioner of Kempo is called a Kenshi.
    That helps,

    Last edited: Jun 10, 2007
  4. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned

    So to follow this up about the word, Do which is fairly new as a way or path.
    Then we can have "Judo-ka" correct.

    But not jujut-su because it is the old "way" not "do" as newer terminology has it?

    So if "Kempo" is old from China. Meaning to do with weapons which is pretty new from this location that you posted.

    I think considering the fact we are going back to the 1200's we have to look at it from a much older source? Rather than just the 20th century, don't you?

    There is a very good reading in the book about the Samurai and why it is so confusing about the various terms regarding the way or "DO" in the 20th century.

    Bujutsu, this might help or not:
    It is about the old school thought and not just the 20th century "do" mentality.

    I am just trying to show how complicated it is and not being as simple as you mention about Ka.. for Ka-ra-te is China hand is it not? Or China Te which can be ti (if we want Okinawan that is)

    Prior to the change by the royal family in the 1930s some mention anyway.

    Donn Draeger has a good read about it in his book.

    Very interesting way he explains it also.

  5. John Bishop

    John Bishop Valued Member

    I could care less is they correct the website. "Kenpo-ka" is just one inaccuracy in a ocean of inaccuracies on the site.

    The two links I put up come from the largest kempo organization in the world, based in Japan.
    Funny how every white belt 8 year old kempo/kenpo student in Japan knows what a "kenshi" is. But yet some 50+ year old American kempo masters with Japanese/English dictionaries can't figure it out.
  6. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned

    Well I don't care either to tell the truth.

    As far as "Kenshi" is, in many locations it is related to Musashi.
    But I am not going to go into the language and what was ment in his time as versus today is. Not real important if you see what the name "dog" ment along time ago and what it means today.

    What is large today in Japan has nothing to do with what was in the time before the war John, the society has been turned every which way you can think of, so I believe it is very difficult to run down that way. And yes lets go to other sites and get all that good information they have and accept it. LOL..

    I study both FMA and Kosho, I have explained how I look at Kosho, "old pine tree".
    Today FMA is very much different than it was before the Spanish. The Japan of old is much different than it is today, also.

    Yep, I am convinced I have made the right decision's.

    I just try and study, train, keep in fairly good shape, and see what all the other agendas are. So I don't make those mistakes like other's have.

    At least you mention them as Kempo masters, that lets me off the hook :D

  7. Rabu

    Rabu Valued Member


    The web page using the term 'kenshi' fairly clearly indicates that the terms listed on it specifically apply to the shorinji kempo system and students.

    Doshin So created the art in 1947. The world source web page based in Japan lists the art as less than 60 years old.

    I lived with a Japanese family for about ten years. I spoke Japanese poorly and they certainly helped me when I had questions.

    My rememberance is that '-ka' was a 'particle' statement which could be added to certain words in order to describe them more clearly. Its probably no more correct or incorrect to use the term 'kempo-ka' to describe a practitioner of kempo than to say 'kempo-person'.

    However, the term 'kenshi' appears to be a specific or special word associated with Shorinji Kempo as founded by Doshin So. (really, I think asking a person who comes from Japan, and practices kem/npo would have to answer that with any authority. This was my attempt...)

    In that light, whatever a teacher proscribes his students to refer to themselves is the term which would apply to them in specific.

    Juchniks students appear to be informed to refer to Kempo practitioners as 'kempo-ka'. His organization is not alone using the term.

    My experience with him is over a decade old. I suppose many things can change in time, I certainly have.

    I would like to be clear in one point: I like the people posting here. I like that you argue over history and philosophy and what things mean both now and then (historically).

    My opinion is that, in my experience, Kosho IS an art defined by the principle practice BGile tries to explain. The forms ARE added from other systems with few specific sets being directly taught from Mitose.

    When I ran classes in the Madison area, kihon was almost entirely the same as used in a Kyokushin Karate class.

    The material we worked on after kihon included sets, falls, throws and kumite at the end of the workout. The emphasis was upon the break out of information from the forms in the 'Kata-waza-bunkai' method. Then the work to use the principles in kumite.

    Workouts were typically around two hours long and faded longer since we were so engrossed in practice.

    I dont practice that art anymore. Thats just memories, like a former football guy talking about the glory days.

    I can tell you that I have become more interested in Kajukenbo watching the discussions, as well as how Pat Kelly teaches his classes for kosho.

    Written descriptions would probably not help me. I would like to watch a class or participate sometime.

    Thanks for keeping up the discussion. It makes for good reading.

  8. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned

    I can tell you that I have become more interested in Kajukenbo watching the discussions, as well as how Pat Kelly teaches his classes for kosho.

    Written descriptions would probably not help me. I would like to watch a class or participate sometime.

    Thanks for keeping up the discussion. It makes for good reading.
    True both would be good to know, lucky me. ;)

    I am interested in the decade of knowing Hanshi? Have you gone to some of his seminars?

    The thing about the now generation of Japan I have read is for the desire to go back and use terms they used long ago when their society was in the pre Meiji period. Edo period was good for many.

    Sort of like the movie "the Last Samurai'' pretty interesting.

    Now they are in real trouble if they don't eat the same food for lunch at the grill (very bad for the individual free spirit I'd say).

    Discipline, a biggie over there.

    If you liked the service, the trains on time, that is the place to go they say. But they only want your tourist buck and leave. ;)

    Ohana would not be cared for there I would think. Unless of course you are the owner of the business and desire your employee to give up 1/2 his freetime, for free. And everyone should work and have day care Hmmm.

    Very difficult location for a major amount of the people in US of A. I'd say.
    Back to Kosho and the reason much of the art is not Mitose. He did not give much more to Hanshi than what is in the books and anything the group did was to go out and tag his name to it.

    The information about Musashi is not from Mitose (other than the book of 5 rings), but it is something that teachs you the dedication, and if you learned what Musashi taught you would then know what Mitose was teaching, motion and the ability to be good at self defense.

    Or any thing else you put your mind to, "single minded" come's to the front and "the book of 5 rings" had just enough information that the real good students would be able to understand and continue on. The book about Miyamota Musashi I have mentioned before, is a good one to get and read.
    It clears up some very informative ways to move. Angles and evade and attack if you must.

    What he gave are at the location's and information I have copied for you, from SKSKI. But without the teaching of a person like Pat Kelly you are not going to get much of it.

    Here is something that is interesting.

  9. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned

    In case you did not click on the link here it is. Important to read.
    Not something that is not known, just fail to understand it.

    History of the Kenpo Style

    Of all the major Martial Arts styles, Kenpo's origin and history are the least understood and the most confusing.

    Kenpo's Cultural Influences

    Kenpo is a mixture of five cultures: First and most important, Chinese; second Japanese; followed by Okinawan, Hawaiian (before Hawaii became a state) and American.

    The greatest confusion regarding "KENPO" is the origin and meaning of its name. Despite its birth in China, the art we call "KENPO" was passed down through the Mitose family, who studied the original art in China in the 1600's and brought it back to Japan. Since the Mitose family was Japanese, they naturally used the Japanese language rather than the Chinese to describe their family system, which they later named "Kosho-ryu" (Old Pine Tree Style): "Ko" (old) "Sho" (pine tree) "Ryu" (school/style).

    Modern day usage of the terms "Kung-fu" (Chinese Mandarin dialect) or "Gung-fu" (Chinese Cantonese dialect), "Wu-shu" (Military/War Art) and "Kuo-shu" (National Art) to describe the Chinese martial arts has added more confusion. Each of the above names in general describes the same arts.

    "Kung-fu" (or "Gung-fu") means disciplined technique, skill, time (that is, a period of time used by a person to do a specific type work), ability or strength -- and is a generic term for exercise. "Kung-fu" is the term used outside of mainland China (most notably the United States) to describe any of the Chinese martial arts.

    The original or more proper term is "ch'uan fa" (fist law) or "ch'uan shu" (fist art).

    Japanese - Ken (fist) Po (law)

    Chinese - Ch'uan (fist) Fa (law)

    One characteristic common to the Oriental languages is their use of the same written characters; however, the way the written characters are pronounced make the spoken language completely different from one country to another, or even from one part of the country to another. China is a classic example, with two major dialects: Mandarin (the official dialect) and Cantonese, plus hundreds of local dialects. It was this type of diversification which led to the development of so many different martial arts styles in China. There are over 300 styles of "Kung-fu" taught in China today.

    Originally the martial arts in China were referred to as "Ch'uan-fa" meaning "fist law". The Japanese pronounce these same written characters "KENPO" -- or "KEMPO". In modern usage, "KENPO" spelled with and "N" indicates the original Chinese origin; when spelled with an "M" it indicates its incorporation into the Japanese culture. It was James M. Mitose, whose family moved from Japan to Hawaii, who established the spelling of "KeNpo" with an "N" in the art we teach and call "KENPO". The original art taught by Mitose in Hawaii was called "Kenpo Jiu-jitsu." Mitose (pronounced me-toe-see) wrote several books on the subject of Kenpo Jiu-jitsu.

    Kenpo has been described many ways, but the term "Kenpo Karate", using the original Chinese characters, is the most authentic and clear description of our style -- also distinguishing it as completely different from the Japanese and Okinawan written characters (kanji) which define Karate as "empty hand(s)".

    The actual word "Karate" is a "homonym": a word with the same pronunciation as another but with a different meaning, origin, and usually spelling. When written in its original form, (the one we use) it means "China Hands" or "T'ang Hands" (pronounced "tong" - remember, "Tang is a breakfast drink") referring to the "T'ang Dynasty" (618 - 960 A.D.) or -- more literally -- China.

    The second meaning -- the one used by the Japanese and Okinawans is "Karate" : "Kara" (empty) "Te" (hand). In 1923 the Okinawan Masters changed the Chinese character from T'ang (China) to the Japanese (Kanji) for "empty" because the martial arts now taught in Okinawa were no longer purely Chinese in nature -- over the years they had been combined with the original "Okinawa Te", or "Bushi No Te" ["warrior's hand(s)"] to form a new style. This became the father of all modern Okinawan and Japanese Karate, reflecting the changes they had made.

    Although the term "Karate" usually denotes a Japanese/Okinawan style, there was no Karate in Japan until 1923, so by any standards Japan's KARATE is a relatively modern martial art. The KENPO KARATE we teach, on the other hand, reflects the original Chinese martial arts passed down from one generation to another for hundreds of years -- a tradition our schools continue to this day.

    Regards, Gary
  10. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned

  11. Rabu

    Rabu Valued Member

    I only worked in seminars and clinics with Hanshi over about two years, maybe a bit less.

    My earlier post in this string really sums it up. In the land of titanic ignorance, he was one of the few that seemed to have a clue and be willing to say he didnt know, but was learning as time went on.

    That single attitude was such a departure from the standard "dont ask questions" type of response I had gotten up to that point.

    I really appreciated the atmosphere he created.

    I get the impression there was more to share than what I had been shown, but really, that was a long time ago.


  12. John Bishop

    John Bishop Valued Member

    Well, being half Japanese, I guess I can say I've lived with a Japanese family or been around Japanese families for 54 years.
    Whenever I had a problem with Japanese terms that were beyond my basic Japanese fluency, I just asked mom or some other people around me. Plus the fact that I'm a 3rd generation black belt, I grew up with martial arts terms. My maternal grandfather was a "kenshi", being a kenjutsu black belt. And my father was a judoka, being a judo black belt.
    The term "kenshi" has been around much longer then Doshin So's organization. It is used by most practitioners of Japanese/Okinawan war arts (jutsu's), whereas "Ka" is used for "way arts" ('do's).
    Here we see it being used by a Okinawan Goju Ryu organization:
    Since most of the Okinawan systems consider themselves "Okinawan Kempo" , the term "kenshi" is used by them also.
  13. Korpy

    Korpy Whatever Works

    DAnjo and BGile, seriously, ya'll are like the two bickering 3rd graders who argue over who gets to play with the good ball at recess....
  14. Rabu

    Rabu Valued Member

    I learn something new everyday!

    Thanks for responding, my stab was based on my experience, which certainly can be more limited than others. It it also my understanding that the general populace of Japan doesnt seem to know the 'inside the dojo' language used by practitioners necessarily. Can you speak to that? An example follows.

    When I showed my friends my materials for Kem/npo they exclaimed "Ahh! Shorinji kempo!" and when I explained that it was not from Doshin So's organization then they simply didnt know what it was at all.

    I remember Kaoru telling me that there are 'special words' which are used by people who practice which arent necessarily in common usage.

    There also seemed to be a distaste by one of my roomates, a Japanese exchange student regarding Kyokushin. He was a Shotokan practitioner. I would imagine that had to do with martial politics as well.

    Mr Bishop, you are a significant practitioner of your art and have certainly practiced longer than I have. My family was not too terribly supportive of practicing any martial art which didnt lead directly to some form of football scholarship. It must have been wonderful to be surrounded by supportive and knowlegable practitioners growing up.

    Do you cover that in your book?
  15. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned

    I don't believe this is true, we are two adults who disagree on a few items and have been at it for some time. I for one am pretty much done since I think we have answered many of the questions.

  16. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned

    True, he considers himself a student of the arts. Where others don't they consider themselves the last word on it.

    The language barrier is huge, the kanji is something that is similar to the problem. When you borrow and then change and use the same word it make's it difficult. I think Bruce is one of the more technical and refined going. He puts most practioners to shame. Seriously he is way above the masses who only parrot.

    He has been doing the gatherings for almost 20 years now. Problem with most of these situations is to many chiefs and not enough indians.

    To be honest Bruce considers himself an indian and just a learner. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few years. But make no mistake he is the person who has the right to do what he is doing.

    He may not be blood but he is the one who seeked out the person who gets the credit for bringing kenpo to the islands.

    This website confirms the thought that James Mitose deserves the nod.

  17. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    I thought you were on the outs with Juchnik Gary?

    Either way, It's been pretty well explained that Modern Kosho Ryu is Juchnik's invention based on whatever training he had before he met Mitose and the talks he had with him.
  18. Rabu

    Rabu Valued Member


    That seems about right to me. (the Juchnik part of your post, about how its his 'reinvention' based on his experience and guidence from Mitose)

    A great many martial arts were started by people of rather modest skill and little education who grew as they practiced.

    When I have posted here, its only been to say 'I had this positive experience'. Not to testify as to the exact nature of Kempo or how it originated. My information on it wold have been from Mitose's books and what SKSK would have to say.

    I have been suprised by some of the posts, in regards to terminology claims and also in regards to timelines.

    I had a question in my above post, directed at Mr Bishop, perhaps you can ask him if he could review it for me and if he has any guidence on a response.

    Maybe you could respond with your thoughts?


  19. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned

    Yea, maybe...Or maybe that is what all the arts are, Kosho :cool:

    I have been following the thread, I did not get that from what you are saying.
    Kosho is conceptual art based on the 28 give or take katas in the book "Kata no Michi" and other things.

    I explained I was on the outs with George Santana, so that made me on the outs with the Kai. But now that George is no longer in the Kai (pulled his membership of late). I am not that much into the katas as I explained... ;)
    As was mentioned by you Dan, if all you are learning Katas, where do you learn to defend yourself LOL.

    I was talking to Pat about that thread, he is all for the thread as long as only some of the information to be given out. What you are getting in the threads is what is allowed, sort of like "Masonic tradition" only the secrets are discussed by the ones in the "kai" and the art that is Mitose's, no one has given that up. I have not seen it yet, I gave away a few clues and was asked to not give it away. The old saying if you want the gold and silver you have to pay.

    Funny I have mentioned everything in that thread at least twice or maybe 10 times, in the last 4 years we have been talking about it. :p

    Gary :D
  20. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned

    Just to understand the Katas have all the moves it takes to defend onesself, the reason for the two man type drills, they help define the strikes and kicks and blocks as to what they are for and why they were put into the kata.

    Neko Budo is a kata that most do.

    Mentioned at Martial talk:

    What I love about kosho ryu kempo and this kata is that it changes as you need it to. You have escaping arts, controlling arts, and war arts. all in the same movments with this kata and all katas. I like the fast cat movments and the shifting of the lower body with the movments of your blocks or strikes depending on the attackers balance or in-balance...

    I'd say in balance and balance are the same, imbalance is different. IMHO


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