Kenpo and Kempo are essentially the same. But there are a lot of variations in the type of Kenpo/Kempo.
Directly translated it means "Fist Law".
All the Kenpo/Kempo arts trace their lineage back to James Mitose. I beleive there are several threads here about him. Mitose trained a few students, one of the most important (from the perspective of passing on and improving the art) is William K.S. "Thunderbolt" Chow. Chow in turn trained a number of the most prominant names in the Kenpo/Kempo. I beleive, and please someone correct me if I speak out of turn, that Chow was the first one to change the spelling from Kempo to Kenpo.
Chow's Students included:
- Ed Parker, creater of what is refered to as American Kenpo. Also known as Ed Parker's Kenpo Karate. Grandmaster Parker has a long and distinguished list of student. Any search on the name Ed Parker will bring up a significant list of web sites. Some other names to look up, students who studied with Mr. Parker are: Frank Tejo, Huk Planas, Larry Tatum, Al Tracy.
- William Chun. As Professor Nick Cerio continued his studies, he trained with Chun for a while before being granted permission to train with Grandmaster Chow. Unfortunatly, my knowledge on Chun and his additions to the art are limited to his interaction with Professor Cerio. Others on this board my be able to provide more on him.
- Sam Kouha, Grandmaster of Kara-Ho Kenpo. According to his web site, Kara-Ho is the system developed by Grandmaster Chow. Again, I know little about Grandmaster Kouha. For more information on him, I recommend www.karaho.com (his web site)
- Adrian Emperado, Grandmaster Emperado got together with top pratitioners of other arts and created the Kajukenbo system (KArate - JU Jistu - KENpo - Chinese BOxing) [I believe that is the breakdown, others may correct me]
The lineage I study came from Kajukenbo.(Emperado - Gascon - Presare - Cerio - Villari - Bryant&Nohelty)
If you want to learn more about Kenpo/Kempo, I can recommend some other web sites.
www.duncansmartialarts.com has an excellent linage diagram. Keep in mind it is focused on the lineage of Master Duncan but it does show the names I gave above and it does have web links to many of them.
Hope this helps.