Help on Chow Research

Discussion in 'Kenpo / Kempo - General' started by Mattattack, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. Mattattack

    Mattattack Yellow Belt

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    Hello all,

    I'm doing some Kenpo Karate lineage research and I'm posting this to do a bit of crowdsourcing. I'm hoping some of you can suggest sources on William K.S. Chow.

    Kenpo history is controversial and there is A LOT of contradictory stuff out there, so any primary sources/documents any of you can point met to would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks for your time!
     
  2. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Lineage facts in kenpo is myths and stories there's no way of knowing any of it
     
  3. Mattattack

    Mattattack Yellow Belt

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    So I have found out. It's like solving a rubiks cube while wearing oven mitts...in the dark. The best I'm hoping for is secondary sources to compare and suss out what seems plausible. Hence why I'm asking for assistance.
     
  4. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Maybe have a look on kenpotalk and ask around. There's a few guys who students of ed Parker who may know
     
  5. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    They might be able to point to people who were students of Chow, who might be available
     
  6. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    the greater question is are you prepared for the truth?
     
  7. Mattattack

    Mattattack Yellow Belt

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    I did research on Mitose before this. Researching my doctoral dissertaiton was less frustrating. Trust me, I'm not going into this with any illusions.
     
  8. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    but what if the entire thing was a figment of his imagination and the art came to him from a dream,,,if this is your art will you be ok with that, will you believe it? will others believe you when you tell them?
    as Steven King wrote in Pet Cemetary....."sometimes dead is better". in this case sometimes fiction is better.
     
  9. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    i would be interested in your conclusions on Mitose, if your open to share in a PM.
     
  10. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Likewise
     
  11. Mattattack

    Mattattack Yellow Belt

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    At some point someone made all of it up. Purity tests lead to frustration. I was OBSESSED with figuring out whether Mitose made it all up or not. I'm less worried about what I'll find out about Chow. The one thing that seems consistent in the stories I have seen of him is that Chow was a tough sonofabitch, and my particular branch has been in the hands of other capable martial artists since then like Adriano Emperado, so I'm not worried about feeling completely invalidated if I find out Chow invented stuff out of thin air.
     
  12. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    agreed. linage and history do not equate quality. sometimes but not always.
    but people tend not to like you too much if you burst their bubble.
     
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  13. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    I know a couple of old school Kajukenbo guys out here. Next time I see them I'll see what I can find out.
     
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  14. FireWalker

    FireWalker Yellow Belt

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    well there's the interview in black belt magazine very interesting, where he points out that if you wanna learn his art on the mainland that you go see nick cerio's alot of people are angered at that because they are trying to downplay the chow-cerio connection to fit their own narrative, anyway theres alot of good info in it, here it is : WILLIAM CHOW: The Lost Interview - IronJourney Kenpo
     
  15. Monkey Turned Wolf

    Monkey Turned Wolf MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I think he was more interested in where Chow/Mitose learned from...which is where all the myth and contradictions come in. If you happen to have any info on that, I would love to hear it.
     
  16. Monkey Turned Wolf

    Monkey Turned Wolf MT Moderator Staff Member

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    @Mattattack any update on your research? If you don't want to share publicly, I would appreciate a pm.
     
  17. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

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    I tried this a few years back and talked with a couple of guys. Prof. John Bishop would be your best source of information. He is kind of the "historian" of much of Kajukenbo and was close to Sijo Emperado.

    What I have been able to find out through various sources is that no one really knows who/where Prof. Chow learned . It is pretty much established that Prof. Chow did NOT learn any kung fu to any degree from his father. If anything, it might have been how in the US, dads "taught" their kids western boxing.

    Prof. Chow's style was very down and dirty. The person that is teaching it closest to what Prof. Chow actually taught is Bill Chun Jr. (Goshin-Jutsu). Kara-Ho Kempo is the collaboration of Prof. Chow and Sam Kuoha. Prof. Chow was near the end of his life and broke, he added more stuff to the system, including jumping and spin kicks from GM Kuoha's TKD training. While Prof. Chow gave approval of what was added to the system he passed on to Kuoha he did not actually teach that stuff him self. From documents that people have, Prof. Cerio did NOT spend much time actually training with Prof. Chow. I believe that is totaled around 2 weeks. Ralph Castro was another student of Prof. Chow's who started his own style and still teaches and incorporated much of what Prof. Chow taught, although he too added alot more "flash" than Prof. Chow had.

    There are pieces and parts of Prof. Chow's art in Tracy Kenpo and some of Ed Parker's Kenpo (changed alot when adding the chinese influence). If you want to see what much of what Prof. Chow taught look at Ed Parker's book "Kenpo Karate: Law of the Fist". It was early kenpo that Parker taught when he first came to the mainland before the other influences and is what he learned from Prof. Chow. Prof. Chow's approach was to end it very quickly, he did NOT have the long drawn out technique sequences for which kenpo became famous for.

    Sorry, one last thing. It was very hard to get people who actually trained with Prof. Chow to talk about the training with him and what he was like. They kept very private about it.
     
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  18. Doc

    Doc Senior Master

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    Dam you.
     
  19. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Everything okay?
     
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  20. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

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    It was directed to me. I stole his thunder. :)123
     
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