Chinese Kenpo and American Kenpo.. What are the differences?

Discussion in 'Kenpo / Kempo - General' started by hongkongfooey, Jun 24, 2005.

  1. hongkongfooey

    hongkongfooey Black Belt

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    I recently watched a Kenpo/Jujitsu class the other night at a local community center and found it to be intresting. I studied American Kenpo for a while a few years ago and had a blast with it, but couldn't continue because of problems with the instructor, but that's another story.

    Back to my question. What are the differences between what Mr. Parker taught in 1965 compared to what Mr. Parker was teaching at the time of his death? I noticed in the class I watched the other day that some of the material was the same, but named differently. Some of the techniques that I am familiar with were slightly different, such as the technique Five Swords. The way I learned Five Swords, the defender executed double handsword blocks, followed by a handsword to the throat, pivot into a forward bow and deliver a spearhand to the eyes, return to a neutral bow and uppercut to the abdomen, followed by stepping out with your left foot into a modified twist stance while delivering an outward heel palm strike to the jaw hinge, and finally spinning out of the twist stance into a neutral bow while delivering a handsword to the back of the neck.

    The technique called Five Swords I observed the other night started with double handsword blocks, then a handsword to the neck, pivot into a forward bow and deliver a spearhand to the eyes, spin out into a neutral bow and deliver an uppercut to the abdomen, then cover out.

    Is the technique know known as five swords in EPAK, the same technique known as Seven Swords in the older system, or is it totally something different? Overall, I really enjoyed watching the class, especially the Jujitsu part.

    Sorry for being so longwinded. Please excuse any spelling mistakes.

    HongKongFooey.
     
  2. MisterMike

    MisterMike Guest

    Show me 5 EPAK schools and I'll show you 5 versions of Five Swords. Chances are what you studied a few years ago was more like what Mr. Parker taught up until the 90's, not 1965. I'll defer that part of your question (differences from '65 to '90) to someone who was around back then.

    If you want to be sure you are studying EPAK, try to find a school with lineage in good standing under one of the seniors, like Planas, Wedlake, Tatum, etc.
     
  3. evenflow1121

    evenflow1121 2nd Black Belt

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    GSM Parker taught variations of several techniques
     
  4. Mark Weiser

    Mark Weiser Guest

    This subject has been talked about on several threads prior. SGM Parker was constantly retooling his system. Now from what I gather is that SGM Parker came up with a version for Commerical Schools which is the version most of us are familiar with.

    While some Senior BB's in EPAK have had the honor of having directly trained with SGM Parker in private lessons where many times questions were asked and techniques were modified due to the questions or concerns and revamping the system for that paticular situation.

    So what you learned eariler has been changed to the current technique the basic principles and applications are still there. [​IMG]
     
  5. distalero

    distalero Orange Belt

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    FWIW, one simple version circa 1969: R inward block (left covers), R handsword to throat, L palm heel to point of mandible, R uppercut, L handsword to L TMJ, or L carotid with this hand staying in contact and used to pull opponent down and into you, as R handsword makes contact with one o' them little cervical bits there in the back of the neck. Footwork similar to what has been described..
     
  6. Kenpo_man

    Kenpo_man Orange Belt

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    In regards to your question about "5 Swords" and "7 Swords": In our club they are two different moves though very alike in nature. Five Swords is right chop to inside of right punch, followed by a another right chop to left side of neck (carotid), draw right hand to chamber and do a right spear hand to solar plexus, left foot cross steps behind right foot while right hand draws high, as you shift to horse stance right hand chops back of neck (opponent is bent over from the spear to the solar plexus), right hand swings under to chop opponent in throat. Count and you find 5 strikes. 7 Swords just adds an eye poke with left hand after the second strike and an eye flick with the left hand as you do the cross step. (bringing the number of strikes to 7). I don't know if you can visualize that from the explanation but I'm sure you get the basic idea.
     
  7. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    The first way you described the tech. is more like the way that I was taught. I agree with MisterMIke though...you can have 5 different schools, and you'll most likely see 5 different ways of the tech.

    Mike
     
  8. AIKIKENJITSU

    AIKIKENJITSU Yellow Belt

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    I studied up to black belt and tested by Ed Parker. This was around 1973. I have been teaching a form of American Kenpo, techniques the same, but ground and ljoint locks added and no forms. Doesn't matter on differences of Parker's techniques, they all work. In brown belt, I teach to do the tech as written and then at the end, try to morth or do a lower belt tech and then morth at the end of it. Kenpo was made to be creative with it. You should see me do Five Swords, I never do it the same way twice, well most of the time.
    Sifu
     
  9. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

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    Without getting into the changes that were made 32/24/16 tech belts etc. It was different labels that Ed Parker used at different time periods. If you want to "compare" look at the Tracy's system of kenpo vs. Larry Tatum (just an example). The Tracy's kept the system the way it was taught to them in the 60's. They chose not continue with the revisions that came later.

    Also, as time went on, Ed Parker taught fewer direct students as beginners and spent alot of time bringing in students of other systems and taught very conceptually.

    In regards to 5 Swords, many moons ago it used to be "5 count". Later it was 5 swords due to all the hand techniques were open handed. The uppercut that is now used by many was a spearhand to the abdominal area. Due to most students not conditioning the way they used to, it was changed to the uppercut. The other change that is seen is the left hand spearhand/heel palm it is taught both ways, but mainly changed because gouging out someone's eyes for throwing a punch at you isn't acceptable.
     

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