Sullivan's American Kenpo

Discussion in 'Kenpo' started by Ninja.. OF DOOM, Apr 18, 2006.

  1. Ninja.. OF DOOM

    Ninja.. OF DOOM New Member

    Anyone else around here take it? I don't know if it's just local, or if it's nationwide or international. Anyway, from what I've read in this forum and other places, it's quite a bit different from alot of other forms of Kenpo. I'm just a bit curious to see who else studies this form of Kenpo.

    Edit: I'm going to give you guys some more information on this form of Kenpo.

    Now, I've read about other forms that use the Long form/short form system of forms (I think Cerio's and Parker's both use this?). In Sullivan's, however, white up to brown belts learn the Pinans and animal forms. Shotokan forms are learned from brown w/stripe and up. Also, black belts learn more techniques from Cerio's Kenpo and Jujitsu.
    Sullivan's also teaches a number of weapons. Nunchaku, bo, and sai (I think sai, anywho) are learned in the colored ranks, although you can take seminars to learn swords, kamas, and other things. Black belts learn swords, kamas, and other things, as well.

    Now keep in mind, I'm a yellow belt, so some of this stuff might be wrong, but this is to the best of my knowledge pretty correct.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2006
  2. MALibrarian

    MALibrarian Valued Member

    I did a little research across the net and it looks like Sullivan's American Kenpo is the style, but the organization that teaches it is listed as USA Karate .

    It looks like there are a few different schools under the USA Karate banner, including: (warning, plays sound file)

    So, it looks like there are a number of affiliated schools, but I'm not sure if they qualify as a "chain".
  3. Ninja.. OF DOOM

    Ninja.. OF DOOM New Member

    Yeah, you're right, actually. I do go to USA Karate. I don't know if it is outside of New England or not, though. Never heard of it anywhere else.

    Edit: Actually, I just read something from one of those links, and it looks like it actually has more similarity to Cerio's Kempo.

    It says that Larry Sullivan (the founder of USA Karate and Sullivan's American Kenpo) trained under Nick Cerio and became about a 7th degree black belt, then branched off and formed his own school and own form. So in response to David's post (I edited this after DAvid posted :p), yes, it seems to be similiar to NCK.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2006
  4. KenpoDavid

    KenpoDavid Working Title

    That doesn't sound like any version of Parker's Kenpo Ive ever heard of. Sounds a lot like NCK, though.
  5. HongKongFooey

    HongKongFooey Valued Member

    Why call it American Kenpo if it's really not.

    No intent to offend, but American Kenpo is the style created by Ed Parker.

    What self defense techniques do you learn? Sets?
  6. James Kovacich

    James Kovacich RENEGADE

    Try this link.
  7. Ninja.. OF DOOM

    Ninja.. OF DOOM New Member

    Yes, American Kenpo was crated by Parker. But, there are alot of branches and offshoots of that original American Kenpo. Sullivan's is one of them, although as far as I know, it's not very widespread.

    As to the question about techniques, we learn a set of numbered techniques for hand to hand, starting with 1 (obv). We also learn a number of techniques for defending yourself against a number of weapons. We don't only focus on self-defence though. As I said before, we learn alot of forms. We also learn to use weapons, including the nunchucks, bo, sais, and other Okinawan weapons. We also get a bit of Ju-jitsu elements blended in there, like grapples, groundfighting, joint manipulations/locks, etc.
  8. jpike10

    jpike10 New Member

    I'm a student of USA Karate in Littleton N.H., and get to work directly with shihan Larry Sullivan. As far as i know our style is made up of NCK,Shaolin kempo
    Jiu-Jitsu, and various techniques from other systems including EPAK.
    also i am currently a purple belt and a member of the swat team.
  9. firecoins

    firecoins Armchair General

    why does a karate school have their own swat team? shouldn't you like be a cop first?
  10. kempojosh

    kempojosh Valued Member

    that's a good idea...i'm going to bring that up to my instructor. the swat team could have their own patch...
  11. jpike10

    jpike10 New Member

    the swat team is for students interested in becoming instructers, and allows them to help out in the kids classes with katas and s.d. techs etc.. no affilaition
    to police s.w.a.t.
  12. Mr. Mike

    Mr. Mike New Member

    I don't think IKCA, the style listed above from, is the karate that is mentioned as 'Sullivan's Karate.' One is Chuck Sullivan, the other Larry.
  13. Ninja.. OF DOOM

    Ninja.. OF DOOM New Member

    Ah, that's cool. Learning directly from Shihan Sullivan must be great. I met him at the tournament earlier this year, he seemed like a good guy.

    And to those of you who don't know what swat is, it's not liek a real swat team. It's what we call the people who are training to be instructors.

    SPIKE THE RAVEN Valued Member

    I study Sullivan's american kenpo in littleton , n.h. and also woodsville ,n.h. under shihan sullivan and sensei joe champagne . tested for my green belt last saturday , only an hour and a half but i was pretty well whipped when done ....also have a green belt in shorin-ryu karate (class shut down) , really enjoy both systems ....still practice my shorin-ryu kata , which seem to be similar to shotokan but not quite the same ...i was very disappointed when the shorin-ryu class folded , but in the long run i believe exposure to more than one system is a good thing...
  15. Ninja.. OF DOOM

    Ninja.. OF DOOM New Member

    Yeah, I have a friend who took Shroin-ryu, as well as Sullivan's. He said pretty much the same thing, that he enjoyed both, and felt like it was good to get exposure in two systems. Congrats on the green belt, I'll be taking my test for Purple belt this Saturday. Wish me luck, guys.

    Edit: Also, to those who are in this system, were any of you in the tournament earlier this year?

    SPIKE THE RAVEN Valued Member

    i wasn't , had to work ...funny how that gets in the way....heard it was a blast from some guys that did go....hope to make the next one , hear rumors they might have one up here , or at least get the schools from up north together some time this fall...
  17. jpike10

    jpike10 New Member

    congrats on the green belt!! I think there is going to be a tournament sometime
    in Nov. up here in N.H.
    also good luck on the purple belt test.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2006
  18. Ninja.. OF DOOM

    Ninja.. OF DOOM New Member

    Ah, I'd love to get up to N.H. for a tournament this fall... I go to the Lincoln, RI school, so the last tournament was really close by. It was alot of fun. Good competition, and always interesting things to see. I hope there is a tournament this fall, I haven't heard anything about anything.

    SPIKE THE RAVEN Valued Member


    - i like to check out the various forums on this site when i get a chance , and i'm getting the impression that a lot of people feel that any art other than the one they study just can't be as good as theirs ....."tkd ain't no good on the street " , this one's more "real" , etc. etc. .... it's good to like the art you're stuying but to me these attitudes seem a little strange , i figure any and all martial arts must have good stuff to learn if you apply yourself ...also seems like people automatically equate high belt rankings with better fighters ...obviously if you study m.a. for years you should be a better fighter than when you started but some people seem to think a brown or black belt automatically makes you a badass ...a false sense of security for some , in my limited opinion ....i've known people over the years who while no bigger or stronger than me , and with no formal training , would still beat me like a cheap drum due to their good fighting instincts and plain ferocity ...i guess what i'm trying to say is that "it ain't the arrow , it's the indian" ...any opinions??
  20. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    I'll post this again. It's from Doc Chapel on another forum. It gives a break down of the various Parker Kenpos out there.

    Here's a Q&A between me and Dr.Ron Chapel over on Kenpotalk a while back:

    Danjo Asked:
    How would the various Parker taught Kenpo's be classified? What, for instance would the Kenpo taught to the likes of Chuck Sullivan and the Tracys be called? Was that Chinese Kenpo, Motion Kenpo, or something else? What were the main distinctions between them?

    Doc Chapel Replied:

    Chuck Sulivan began training during Parker's earliest days on the mainland and was doing the hard, mostly linear "Kenpo Karate" Parker imported from Hawaii, and essentially continues that interpretation. A look a t their current curriculum supports that perspective of very simple and direct.

    AL & Jim left at the beginning of the "Chinese Kenpo" evolution and although there were varying degrees of crossover from one evolving method to another, there were at least 5 very clear and distinct philosophies, styles, and interpretations.

    1. "Kenpo Karate" What Ed Parker was doing when he arrived on the mainland, first as a brown and later as a black belt opening shop in Pasadena around 54. Wrote the book of the same name and published it in 1961. Bought thousands of patches and got "stuck" with them. Teachers like Chuck Sullivan draw from this era.

    2. "Chinese Kenpo" When Ed Parker discovered the vast knowledge available and embraced the Chinese Arts while studying with and under Ark Wong and Huemea Lefiti. Also where he met Jimmy (James Wing) Woo, and Danny Inosanto. Broke with the established "yudansakai." During this period he wrote "Secrets Of Chinese Karate" and published it in 1963. Notice the compressed time frame. People like Frank Trejo's instructor, Steve Hearring still teach this perspective in Pasadena.

    3. "American Kenpo" Began the codification process of his early understandings of Chinese Kenpo into a distinct evolving American interpretation. Dropped all Japanese - Chinese language and non-essential non-American cultural accoutrements. Notice the lack of the word "karate," considered an insult to the Chinese. Some like Dave Hebler draw from the beginnings of this version.

    4. "Ed Parkers Kenpo Karate" A series of personal issues causes Ed Parker to decide to enter the commercial marketplace and expand in the second half of the sixties. Looking for a method that differed from the kenpo franchises that preceded him that he felt were flawed, he drew upon his many "transfer" black belts from other styles. Stumbling upon "motion" as a base concept, it allowed him to create loose conceptual guidelines for already competent black belts. This further gave him the freedom to travel conducting seminars, belt tests, and selling, while seeing the majority of his "students" two or three times a year and usually once at the IKC. Most of the well known black belts came up under this system. Some better than others. Some spent their own dime and came to see Parker often when he was in town like Dennis Conatser who I always plug because I think he brilliant.

    Some came very late in the eighties and is the reason they are not on the family tree. The rest came after Parker's death. Most of the older seniors rejected it and/or left. This was what he was sharing with a few private students in an effort to cash in on the publicity of Larry Tatum's student Jeff Speakman's movie, "Perfect Weapon." He hoped to rekindle a chain of schools that he directly financially controlled. All of his schools and his black belt students had defected years ago. He maintained only one profitable school run by Larry Tatum in the eighties until he changed personnel.

    5. "Ed Parker's Personal American Kenpo" The ever evolving personal art of Ed Parker that included elements left out of his commercial diversion or off shoots and other interpretations as well. (nerve meridians, mat work, manipulations, structural integrity, etc) This included all the things that students couldn't duplicate because Parker didn't generally teach it. Here lies all the things that some have discovered is missing from his diversion art that he never wrote about anywhere. "Slap-Check" comes to mind. I gave what he shared with me my own name after he passed based on phrases Parker used to describe it to differeniate between it and other versions of what he taught. However in reality it is the "American Kenpo" Parker was utilizing before he passed away that was still evolving. Others that he may have taught may have other names for it, but to understand it, a person would have had to evolve with Parker into it because of a lack of its hard codification.

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