a question

Stac3y

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No; it has its roots in Okinawan karate, but incorporates things from many different styles, including TKD. Ed Parker is considered the "father" of American Karate. I guess you could say it's a hybrid style. My club's site is www.askmartialarts.com.
 

dancingalone

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I know of at least 3 distinct systems that call themselves "American karate", so the answer really depends on which one you are talking about. There's Joe Corley's group. There's certain strains of Jhoon Rhee-linked TKD that use the name. There's even a group in the New York/New Jersey area that teaches a modified version of Shotokan karate and use the name.
 

dancingalone

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No; it has its roots in Okinawan karate, but incorporates things from many different styles, including TKD. Ed Parker is considered the "father" of American Karate. I guess you could say it's a hybrid style. My club's site is www.askmartialarts.com.

I looked through the manual pdf available on the site, and my opinion is that your club owes a lot more to Shotokan karate than to Okinawan karate whether from the Shuri strain or not. There's a clear difference in how force is created by a Shorin-ryu stylist compared to a Shotokan person. The usage of Heian and Tekki nomenclature is a obvious giveaway. There's lots of TKD influence as well as you state, such as the spinning back fist and the heavy emphasis on kicks.

By the way, I thought Mr. Parker was the father of American kenpo, not karate. I don't see any of his forms or self-defense techs listed in your club's manual, though.
 

J Ellis

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The term American Karate is a general term. It does not refer to a specific system, so the answer to the original question does, indeed, depend entirely on which version of American Karate is being referred to.I trained for about a year in one of Joe Corley's studios in the mid-nineties. The primary influences in that system appear to have been TKD, Western Kickboxing, and TSD.Joel
 

Stac3y

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I looked through the manual pdf available on the site, and my opinion is that your club owes a lot more to Shotokan karate than to Okinawan karate whether from the Shuri strain or not. There's a clear difference in how force is created by a Shorin-ryu stylist compared to a Shotokan person. The usage of Heian and Tekki nomenclature is a obvious giveaway. There's lots of TKD influence as well as you state, such as the spinning back fist and the heavy emphasis on kicks.

By the way, I thought Mr. Parker was the father of American kenpo, not karate. I don't see any of his forms or self-defense techs listed in your club's manual, though.

Ed Parker is mentioned in the history section of one of our manuals as the father of American karate; I assume this is in a more general way than saying he created a system called American Karate--he clearly had great influence on the popularization (such as it is) and development of martial arts in the U.S.

Shotokan definitely is a strong influence; however, I've trained with a Shotokan group, and could see quite a few differences. I generally take the view that the style simply is what it is; its roots are somewhat interesting to me, but not all that important. And I don't know what a "Shuri strain" is, but it sounds painful. :uhyeah:
 

Stac3y

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See this thread that Curly started, read my response to him and his response back to me.

Robert

Thanks,
Robert

I found that thread very interesting, particularly the "sine wave." I've seen video of this being done in kata, and wondered about it, because we are told from the outset that we are supposed to NEVER bob up and down when doing kata. Our heads should stay level at all times, unless we're doing a movement (like a jump or a low punch) that makes head movement necessary. However, we DO do the sharp exhale with every technique; our breathing is supposed to be audible. Many of the people I compete against (most, really) don't breathe audibly during forms. INteresting.

The lack of trappings of Asian martial arts tradition is, I think, the main difference between "American" karate and other styles. In my school (which is enormous, btw, and has several branches within the state), no one is called "Master;" we call instructors by their honorifics and surnames and say "Ma'am" and "Sir." There is no bowing in front of flags or portraits, though we do play the U.S. national anthem before tournaments. There's no meditation or religious stuff. It's very straightforward, not mysterious, and I like that. I have great respect for people who do other styles, but I think this one fits me best.
 

dancingalone

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However, we DO do the sharp exhale with every technique; our breathing is supposed to be audible. Many of the people I compete against (most, really) don't breathe audibly during forms. INteresting.

Not picking on you, but I'm curious why the breathing must be audible. So long as you maintain proper breath control, what difference does it make whether someone else can hear you or not?

In fact, being so audible can be a disadvantage allowing an opponent to time and take advantage of your breathing rhythm by striking you mid-breath. Exhaling on every technique would actually be detrimental with extended combination strikes and of course it's a non-starter when introducing bridging and throwing.
 

msmitht

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I used to live in San Diego where there was a guy that taught "American Karate". It was a blend of many styles. They used to do point fighting (total Garbage), weapons forms and aikido like self defense. a lot of theatrics's but no "real" martial arts to speak of.
 

jfarnsworth

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It is because Ed Parker has "coined" for producing the first american martial art for the american people that he was called such. I do not know if he himself wanted to be called that. I wasn't around at the time so this is my opinion.

American Kenpo & TKD are very different. Make no mistakes about it. When I teach my freestyle class I incorporate the one step sparring & kicking drills that I learned along my TKD path. We then heavily focus on Kenpo's freestyle techniques for the majority of the class. These are quite different in terms of ideas, reach, & so on. However, I find value in both that's why I teach both while I also throw in some kickboxing drills. It makes everyone much more well rounded.
Jason
 

msmitht

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American Kenpo & TKD are very different. Make no mistakes about it. When I teach my freestyle class I incorporate the one step sparring & kicking drills that I learned along my TKD path. We then heavily focus on Kenpo's freestyle techniques for the majority of the class. These are quite different in terms of ideas, reach, & so on. However, I find value in both that's why I teach both while I also throw in some kickboxing drills. It makes everyone much more well rounded.
Jason[/quote]
They are different? Really?
No DUH!!! The majority of Kenpo I have seen is a lot of fast, hand slapping nonsense. There are valid techniques in the system and it certainly concentrates on hand strikes more than TKD but if you really want to learn hand striking skills then go to a boxing gym. Like I said b4, the american freestyle I have seen was total garbage designed to speed kids through to Black Belt. Maybe your school is different, I don't know.
 

dancingalone

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They are different? Really?
No DUH!!! The majority of Kenpo I have seen is a lot of fast, hand slapping nonsense. There are valid techniques in the system and it certainly concentrates on hand strikes more than TKD but if you really want to learn hand striking skills then go to a boxing gym. Like I said b4, the american freestyle I have seen was total garbage designed to speed kids through to Black Belt. Maybe your school is different, I don't know.

I don't know that your tone was warranted, whatever your feelings about kenpo.

There's good kenpo and bad kenpo, just as there is good TKD and bad TKD. It's all in how good the instructor is and how high of a standard he chooses to follow.
 

jfarnsworth

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They are different? Really?
No DUH!!! The majority of Kenpo I have seen is a lot of fast, hand slapping nonsense. There are valid techniques in the system and it certainly concentrates on hand strikes more than TKD but if you really want to learn hand striking skills then go to a boxing gym. Like I said b4, the american freestyle I have seen was total garbage designed to speed kids through to Black Belt. Maybe your school is different, I don't know.
I'm with the poster above. I'm not sure exactly what kind of sarcastic comment that was supposed to be or mean?

Unfortunately I think you must have come across the wrong kenpo schools. I can tell you for certain that I run my classes with my students with strict guidelines of solid power principles. No fluff, no speed hitting, just plain up in your face self defense. All my students hit hard & I know that if any of them were in an altercation that each & every one of them could handle themselves.

Apparently you ran across the schools that favor flashy hand speed, & quickness to try to get their techniques off. Maybe you've seen too many youtube videos of crap. I couldn't tell you, I don't watch youtube stuff. What I can tell you is that I have small classes with great people. My guy's value their training under me. My advice is to not judge us all by what you have seen. There are some of us who are different.
Respectfully submitted,
 

searcher

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They are different? Really?
No DUH!!! The majority of Kenpo I have seen is a lot of fast, hand slapping nonsense. There are valid techniques in the system and it certainly concentrates on hand strikes more than TKD but if you really want to learn hand striking skills then go to a boxing gym. Like I said b4, the american freestyle I have seen was total garbage designed to speed kids through to Black Belt. Maybe your school is different, I don't know.


As has already been stated, it depends on the school and the instructor. At the Kenpo school I currently train in, we don't do the "hand slappy" thing. When we perform SD techniques, it hurts. Mr. Farnsworth was making a point and you attached him without justfication. I think you need to calm down and think before you post. All styles have good and bad schools, bar none. If you want to truly understand how Kenpo works, you need to feel it.


To the OP, the use of American Karate is really attributed to the Texas Karate Association. The founders all studied with Jhoon Rhee andcalled what they did AK, due to the era in which they lived. Guys like Allen Steen, Skipper Mullins, J. Pat Burrelson, Keith Yates, ..... Look up A-Kato Karate andyou will find a bunch more.
 

Tez3

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I looked through the manual pdf available on the site, and my opinion is that your club owes a lot more to Shotokan karate than to Okinawan karate whether from the Shuri strain or not. There's a clear difference in how force is created by a Shorin-ryu stylist compared to a Shotokan person. The usage of Heian and Tekki nomenclature is a obvious giveaway. There's lots of TKD influence as well as you state, such as the spinning back fist and the heavy emphasis on kicks.

By the way, I thought Mr. Parker was the father of American kenpo, not karate. I don't see any of his forms or self-defense techs listed in your club's manual, though.

Spinning back fists are found in more styles than just TKD, it's used in Wado Ryu also in MT. I have also noticed there is more techniques for kicking in Wado than there is in TKD.
 

dancingalone

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Spinning back fists are found in more styles than just TKD, it's used in Wado Ryu also in MT. I have also noticed there is more techniques for kicking in Wado than there is in TKD.

Yes, but since we were specifically talking about Okinawan karate as a potential influence on Stac3y's system, I was referring to shorin-ryu karate. It's not a traditional technique in shorin-ryu. That's interesting about Wado having the technique. I thought the Wado striking techniques were lifted straight from shotokan, and if you consult the older textbooks authored by the likes of Nakayama, there's no mention of a spinning backfist although uraken tsuki is present. I don't doubt that many schools have adding the spinning back fist as a sport technique strike, but it's definitely not traditional Okinawan karate.
 

tkd1964

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American Karate has no ONE style. I have seen it more of instructors who weren't getting the training or knowledge they wanted and felt they could expand/delete their teaching the way the wouldn't have been able to if they stayed with their teacher. That is not saying they didn't like or respect their instructor, many did/do, hey would have been restricted in their learning.
 

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