Differences in Kenpo

Discussion in 'Kenpo / Kempo - General' started by JMulford, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. JMulford

    JMulford Yellow Belt

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    This may be a loaded question and if so, I apologize.

    What are the major differences in what would be considered traditional Kenpo versus Ed Parker's Kenpo? Are there just slight differences/variations or is it very, very different? Any examples would be great. Thanks.
     
  2. Blindside

    Blindside Senior Master

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    "kenpo" means very little these days. I would challenge you to first define what you mean by "traditional kenpo" so that at least we have a frame of reference before we start arguing about what you mean by "Ed Parker's kenpo."
     
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  3. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    Every school is different. :cool:
     
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  4. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

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    By traditional, do you mean kempo from Mitose (parker's teacher's teacher)? do you mean a specific style of ken/mpo? There are other styles that go by the name of kenpo but have no relation, and then you have a million different kenpo styles that looking at them you would have no idea they were any different.
     
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  5. JMulford

    JMulford Yellow Belt

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    I assumed there was a starting point of reference for Kenpo. I haven't put in enough research to define that myself(although I have researched the art a bit). I kind of figured there wasn't an easy answer to it though, as so many variations are out there - even the one I have begun to train in.

    Thanks for the quick responses guys. Always appreciated.
     
  6. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Well which variation do you train first of all
     
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  7. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

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    In most cases, when you are talking about American Kenpo, you have two main branches. "Traditional kenpo" which is headed up by the Tracy's (also called "Tracy Kenpo) and then Ed Parker's American Kenpo.

    Prof. Chow learned martial arts in Hawaii and called his art "Kenpo". It sprouted many branches, like American Kenpo and Kajukenbo. There is some disagreement on how much Mitose played a role in Prof. Chow's version of kenpo. Ed Parker learned from Prof. Chow and came to the mainland and started to teach kenpo. Later, Ed Parker started looking into the chinese arts and added elements of that to his version of kenpo. The Tracy's were students of Ed Parker and were the ones to first name the techniques and come up with the colored belt system used today. Later, when Ed Parker started to make more changes to what he was doing, the Tracy's broke away and kept Parker's kenpo "frozen" at that point and didn't change again. They called what they do "Traditional Kenpo" since it contained all of the moves and techniques that used to be taught by Ed Parker. This includes some forms that are no longer in the Ed Parker systems, like Panther set and Tiger/Crane set.

    Then you can get into all sorts of other branches that have NOTHING to do with the Hawaiian based kenpo. There is Okinawan Kempo, and Shorinji Kempo, along with other arts. Remember that "kenpo" roughly translates to "fist law" and was kind of a generic term for unarmed arts at one time.
     
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  8. JMulford

    JMulford Yellow Belt

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    It's a Tama Ryu Kenpo, developed by the guy who runs the place that I train at from his teachings over the years. That's kind of why I figured there was no easy answer, as there are probably a hundred guys who have done the same.

    I know that his system has integrated the arts of Chinese Shaolin Kung-fu, Okinawan Kempo Karate-do, Judo and Jujitsu according to his site. So I guess the origins of his Kempo would be Okinawan.
     
  9. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

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    Looking at the website, it comes from Okinawan kempo, which is essentially okinawan karate. I looked up the instructors listed on The KenpoNet: Family Tree (Full Index), and did not see any of them there, so my guess is that it is not related to american ken/mpo.

    As a side note, your art's origins are similar to mine. Mine took american kenpo as a starting point, but also included kung fu (the five animals from hung gar) and judo. For some reason most forms of kempo I've seen, regardless of their starting origin, combine japanese and chinese striking styles, and a lot of them also include judo. Not sure if that's universal or just from my experience, but it's something I've personally been curious about.
     
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