Are Kenpo (any kind) and Taijiquan the Same?

Are Kenpo (any kind) and Taijiquan the Same?

  • Kenpo and Taijiquan are the same

  • Kenpo and Taijiquan are nothing alike

  • I don't know enough about either to say for sure

  • You're kidding, right?


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Matt Stone

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It has been said in another thread by someone claiming a great degree of EPAK knowledge as well as a personal relationship with Mr. Parker that kenpo (in general, though I suspect it may have been implied that AK in specific) is essentially the same as Taijiquan (a.k.a. Tai Chi).

Does anyone else hold such a theory, and if so can you support that theory with some form of explanation?

Some folks chimed in on another thread I started on this topic, but I thought perhaps a poll would be a better method of determining support for this theory...

Gambarimasu.
:asian:
 
K

Kirk

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I don't know enough to say. But I do know that at the last Huk
seminar I was at, Huk said Taiji had it "right" by doing their forms
and techniques so slow. He said that's the best way to improve
our kenpo, to do it slow, and make sure each and every bit of
your technique/form/set is 100% accurate ... the weight
distribution, the positioning, the strike, the block, etc.
 
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Matt Stone

Matt Stone

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Well, if that makes Kenpo and Taiji the same (i.e. moving slowly during practice), then there are a lot of things that are the same as Taiji... Putting, practicing baseball swings, trimming hedges...

My point is, Taiji and Kenpo are apples and oranges. Both are fruit, but the commonality ends there.

There is a lot more to Taiji than moving in slow motion.

Gambarimasu.
:asian:
 
J

jeffkyle

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Originally posted by Kirk
I don't know enough to say. But I do know that at the last Huk
seminar I was at, Huk said Taiji had it "right" by doing their forms
and techniques so slow. He said that's the best way to improve
our kenpo, to do it slow, and make sure each and every bit of
your technique/form/set is 100% accurate ... the weight
distribution, the positioning, the strike, the block, etc.

Very good idea! :):cool:
 
K

Kirk

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Originally posted by Yiliquan1
There is a lot more to Taiji than moving in slow motion.

I didn't mean to insinuate otherwise. As little as I know about
kenpo, I know less about all other arts.
 
Y

yilisifu

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I can see where they both use a handful of similar techniques (VERY few) - but then, although a couple of their stances may appear similar, they aren't at all.....and the combative goal is the same :D BUT that's about it as far as similarities go...
 

Kenpodoc

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I've heard Huk Planas say that Tai chi is just Kung Fu in slow motion. To the extent that Mr. Parker incorporated Kung Fu into the system they will be similar.
 
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Matt Stone

Matt Stone

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Seeing as how kung fu is neither the actual Chinese term for martial arts, nor a specific method of Chinese martial arts, but simply means a skill developed over time with much effort, I should certainly hope that anyone who develops their own art incorporates a little kung fu into it... :D

Likewise, while it may come as a huge surprise to some folks out there whose linguistic skills are less than well rounded, it is no great revelation that kung fu and "Tai Chi" are the same...

Taijiquan is practiced in slow motion to develop certain body coordinations. Taiji techniques are not applied in fighting in slow motion - that idea is just plain silly.

It is this kind of misunderstanding of peoples' own martial arts, other martial arts, and the languages used to describe any martial arts, that leads to ongoing and deeply ingrained false information.
 
Y

yilisifu

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Many of the body actions found in Taijichuan are somewhat different from what is found in kenpo or karate, or even many other styles of kung-fu. They learn to emit different types of force (jing) through special exercises, and some of these are not at all what one would find in kenpo or karate.

There are many, many mechanical (and other) differences between Taijichuan and karate/kenpo.
 

Kenpodoc

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Originally posted by Yiliquan1
1. Seeing as how kung fu is neither the actual Chinese term for martial arts, nor a specific method of Chinese martial arts, but simply means a skill developed over time with much effort, I should certainly hope that anyone who develops their own art incorporates a little kung fu into it... :D

2. Likewise, while it may come as a huge surprise to some folks out there whose linguistic skills are less than well rounded, it is no great revelation that kung fu and "Tai Chi" are the same...

3. Taijiquan is practiced in slow motion to develop certain body coordinations. Taiji techniques are not applied in fighting in slow motion - that idea is just plain silly.

4. It is this kind of misunderstanding of peoples' own martial arts, other martial arts, and the languages used to describe any martial arts, that leads to ongoing and deeply ingrained false information.


1. A remarkable amount of hostility. Since I was speaking in English, I used Kung Fu in the American sense. (Ie. refering to a large number of different chinese arts.)

2. I'm no linguist, but my quote mere stated this with less condescension and no arrogant posturing.

3. Exactly! Of course neither Mr Planas or I believe that it is applied to fighting in slow motion, just the practice.

4. Your misunderstanding. I'm no expert at chinese martial arts or the the chinese group of languages, but I don't pretend to be. My statement was made in the most general sense.

I chose to use the anglicized Tai chi purposefully. Taiji is the new "politically correct" academically arrogant spelling for a group of arts for which neither spelling is "correct."

One of Mr. Parkers great contibutions was to change the Language of EPAK to American English and decrease the number of these silly linguistic arguments.

Jeff
 

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We can call it 'plays guitar' or 'strums lute' or 'wild stallions'..its still the same general motion. If we are talkin in generalities, then lets be 'general'. The 'common' term for all chinese based arts is 'kung fu'. the 'common' term for all martial arts is 'karate'. This is why many schools have a big 'Karate' sign over the door, even though what they teach may be 'southern okinawan widgit boxing'. You and I will 'get it'. Joe Newbie wont. Once you get him in the door he can be educated, but he wont even see the door if its not something he 'reconizes'.


Generally, I see alot of Chinese influence in Kenpo. Some concepts and techniques are in fact similar to those found in Wing Chun, Taiji, and other systems. A wrist lock is a wrist lock, regardless of its ethnic group.


If we are talking in specifics, no, they are not the same. The forms, base techniques, mechanics, etc are not the same. They do however, compliment each other. Kenpo (and Arnis and JKD) were influenced by several arts, sharing some common roots.




:asian:
 
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Matt Stone

Matt Stone

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Originally posted by Kenpodoc
1. A remarkable amount of hostility. Since I was speaking in English, I used Kung Fu in the American sense. (Ie. refering to a large number of different chinese arts.)

You will note, I am sure, the use of the :D at the end of my comment. I was hoping you would perceive the intended joviality, but I guess I was incorrectly crediting you with grasping the intent of my reply. Next time I will try to be less abstract in my responses...

2. I'm no linguist, but my quote mere stated this with less condescension and no arrogant posturing.

Actually, no. Your quote said nothing of the sort. Your quote said this:

I've heard Huk Planas say that Tai chi is just Kung Fu in slow motion. To the extent that Mr. Parker incorporated Kung Fu into the system they will be similar.

I simply corrected some of the terms you were using in your quote.

3. Exactly! Of course neither Mr Planas or I believe that it is applied to fighting in slow motion, just the practice.

Well, finally it appears we agree on something! :D:D:D (That was intended to be a joke. Hope you see that.)

4. Your misunderstanding. I'm no expert at chinese martial arts or the the chinese group of languages, but I don't pretend to be. My statement was made in the most general sense.

My misunderstanding because you fail to use words from foreign languages properly? Right. If you don't speak the language, don't use the words unless you know what you are saying because people that do speak the language are going to be completely confused by your error...

I chose to use the anglicized Tai chi purposefully. Taiji is the new "politically correct" academically arrogant spelling for a group of arts for which neither spelling is "correct."

Sorry, no. You chose to use the commonly used, though officially incorrect method of romanization based on an outdated and inefficient method (i.e. Wade-Giles). Pinyin is the officially recognized method of romanization for Mandarin Chinese (which language the character words represented by the phonetics Tai, Ji and Quan are from). It is neither politically correct, nor academically arrogant. If I were to misspell every single word in English that I wrote here, I suspect native English speakers would, in due time, tire of my misuse of the language commonly spoken here. The only arrogance is on the part of monolinguists who fail to acknowledge the validity of other languages and use a slight bit of respect toward them by attempting to at least use them correctly when selected words are employed.

One of Mr. Parkers great contibutions was to change the Language of EPAK to American English and decrease the number of these silly linguistic arguments.

The arguments are only silly when monolinguists argue against the need to utilize foreign languages properly. I agree with Mr. Parker - if you don't speak the languages fluently, don't use the terminology, period. But if you are going to use the words, use them correctly.

Gambarimasu.
:asian:
 

Michael Billings

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Kaith,

You crack me up ... "southern okinawan widgit boxing." Ya gotta love it.

My opinion remains. Having done some Tai Chi Chuan Fa, Hung Gar, Chinese Kenpo, American Kenpo, Taekwondo, blah, blah, blah - over the past 30+ years, I still find EPAK to be substantively different. Not better, not worse, just different. The logical analysis of movement and why it is executed, apart from the economy of motion, borrowed force, active and passive checking, etc. is found in other systems ... just not all in the same system.

Wing Chung has economy of motion, point of origin, Tai Chi's reeling silk energy closely resembles American Kenpo's whipping, relaxed, explosive movements. There are lots of similarities to lots of arts. Gee, my roundhouse kick looks almost like a wheel kick (it's not!), which looks almost like my Muay Thai round kick. Or my lead hand vertical punch looks a lot like a boxer's jab. I wonder if Le Savate has something similar (they do.)

I don't think we need to be territorial about our Arts, some are complementary, some are not. Some work, some.... well, they are good training. Regardless, it is a big world and variety is what makes it interesting ... especially when we are all convinced that what we do is the best thing out there, or we would not be doing it. (The MMA crowd excluded.)

Just look at all the dissent in the Kenpo World, (I should name my website "KENPO PLANET", but there is just too much variety in Kenpo to do it all. I admire Joshuas KenpoNet as it is one of the best sites to date, giving all branches of Kenpo an equal amount of credit and space, regardless of origin or where it has evolved. We don't do bad here on MartialTalk, but his Flame section and Kenpo Family Tree, not to mention Technique comparisons and articles rock, but we also don't have all the arguing or conflict over here. I am not critical KenpoNet's format at all. It is just the difference between a moderated forum and an open one. Some people thrive on the disagreement, others, like me, just dont have the time or inclination. It is just a personality thing.

Have fun, have an opinion, but don't knock it (out loud) until you try it, and have sufficient experience to have a frame of reference. Train hard, learn more, come back and see me. I am willing to learn from anyone who has something to teach that I find valuable.

My EPAK is what I CHOOSE to stay with. But that is after many, many years, and exposure to lots of Arts. For me, EPAK stands head and shoulders above the crowd, both for it's completeness, but mainly for the logical construction which Mr. Parker's genius brought to bear. He created a system that by design, is intended to evolve and grow. He did this by giving us the vocabulary of motion, a shared frame of reference, and a set of tools whereby we can analyze and tailor MOTION to meet our needs.

I do not require validation by anyone as to my choice, and I do not stand in judgment of yours. If you like it, if you are learning, then enjoy it to it's fullest - I do. The grass always seems greener in the other dojo, kwoon, dojang, school, or studio, but it is all the same field. Just differnt parts of it.

Gee, can you tell when I am tired after an 8 hour work day and 7 hours at the School (totally a great workout and super advance class tonight?) I sure can, boy do my thoughts wander. But too much work for me to edit it down. Excuse the blithering.

OSS,
-Michael
Kenpo-Texas.com
 

Michael Billings

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Just read Matt's post. I guess we do have some of the same arguements and dissent. Oh well, typically we resolve it much faster (hint, hint guys) than is done on lots of other forums.

MONOLINGUIST - Good shot man! Right across most of our bows (as in front of a ship, not the thing that shoots an arrow, or what you doing as you go onto the mat, not what some girls put in their hair or on packages.)

Boy am I glad Mr. Parker gave us a shared language.

DING-DING, the bell sounds ....

-Michael
Kenpo-Texas.com
 
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Matt Stone

Matt Stone

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Originally posted by Kaith Rustaz
We can call it 'plays guitar' or 'strums lute' or 'wild stallions'..its still the same general motion. If we are talkin in generalities, then lets be 'general'. The 'common' term for all chinese based arts is 'kung fu'. the 'common' term for all martial arts is 'karate'. This is why many schools have a big 'Karate' sign over the door, even though what they teach may be 'southern okinawan widgit boxing'. You and I will 'get it'. Joe Newbie wont. Once you get him in the door he can be educated, but he wont even see the door if its not something he 'reconizes'.

While I agree that All are (eventually) One, and that movements will inevitably be replicated across cultures and arts, I disagree that the "common term" for CMA is "kung fu," and the "common term" for JMA is "karate." That is an oversimplification. I know for a fact that some FMAists get wrapped around the axle regarding the use of Arnis, Kali or Escrima in reference to their arts, and the ongoing (though very low key) debate regarding other arts and which title is correct in reference to them continues as well... It is this laxness in regards to correct language use that spills over into other aspects of training... I admit, I am a fanatic for this issue. But it stems from the daily, flagrant errors in my native tongue that I hear from native speakers who think they are "talkin' good English." Language and communication skills are things we use daily, unlike math, geography or martial arts. If we are to make ourselves properly understood to anyone with whom we converse, it is our sacred duty to do so to the best of our ability... Failing to make such an effort is anathema to me, and personally I feel it should be to everyone else... Of course, that's my opinion, and we all know what those are worth... :D :flushed:

Generally, I see alot of Chinese influence in Kenpo. Some concepts and techniques are in fact similar to those found in Wing Chun, Taiji, and other systems. A wrist lock is a wrist lock, regardless of its ethnic group.

You'll get no argument from me on this... All are One.

If we are talking in specifics, no, they are not the same. The forms, base techniques, mechanics, etc are not the same. They do however, compliment each other. Kenpo (and Arnis and JKD) were influenced by several arts, sharing some common roots.

I agree again. But the basic statement was made that Kenpo and Taijiquan were essentially the same art. If the person that made that statement would care to elaborate at length to explain his comment more fully, that would be a good thing. However, taken on its face, the statement is blatantly in error.

Gambarimasu.
:asian:
 
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Matt Stone

Matt Stone

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Originally posted by Michael Billings
Just read Matt's post. I guess we do have some of the same arguements and dissent. Oh well, typically we resolve it much faster (hint, hint guys) than is done on lots of other forums.

MONOLINGUIST - Good shot man! Right across most of our bows (as in front of a ship, not the thing that shoots an arrow, or what you doing as you go onto the mat, not what some girls put in their hair or on packages.)

Boy am I glad Mr. Parker gave us a shared language.

DING-DING, the bell sounds ....

-Michael
Kenpo-Texas.com

Michael -

I'm not passing judgement on the "monolinguists." I am not fluent in any language other than English, though I take being fluent in English quite seriously, and extend that feeling into any other language I attempt to learn. I studied Japanese informally for the past 4 years, and have a passing command of simple things (spelling, grammar, sentence structure, some vocabulary and verb conjugation as well as cultural context), and I took a semester of Mandarin in college. I also had 5 years of Spanish and one year of German in High School (8th through 12th grade). Not that much, I admit, but enough to start me out with a decent appreciation of the power of communication.

My only real gripe is when languages are used incorrectly, and the person making the error is so cocky in their ignorance that they fail to see the immensity of their transgression... I got a really big kick out of hearing Americans in Japan grousing about how the Japanese didn't understand them when they were speaking perfectly good English... As if the Japanese had some moral imperative to speak English to the poor monolingual Americans while in Japan...

Personally, I avoid most non-English terms when training and teaching. We have forms whose names are less clumsy in Chinese than in English, so I admit I go with the Chinese names in those instances... But, since I speak English as my native language (as so our other students), I stick with that to explain things. I haven't run into any trouble with it so far... :lol:

Gambarimasu.
:asian:
 

Bob Hubbard

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I disagree that the "common term" for CMA is "kung fu," and the "common term" for JMA is "karate." That is an oversimplification. I know for a fact that some FMAists get wrapped around the axle regarding the use of Arnis, Kali or Escrima in reference to their arts, and the ongoing (though very low key) debate regarding other arts and which title is correct in reference to them continues as well...

You're right, it is an oversimplification. Unfortunately, me as the average uneducated guy, I know Kung Fu and karate, oh and Ninja. Beyond that, I'm at the whim of Hollywood and the dirt sheets. Heck, I used to think Bruce Lee did Karate when I was a rugrat. I tried educating my mom about what I study..she didn't get it..I finally had no choice, I said 'its like karate'. Then she sorta got it.

It is this laxness in regards to correct language use that spills over into other aspects of training... I admit, I am a fanatic for this issue. But it stems from the daily, flagrant errors in my native tongue that I hear from native speakers who think they are "talkin' good English." Language and communication skills are things we use daily, unlike math, geography or martial arts. If we are to make ourselves properly understood to anyone with whom we converse, it is our sacred duty to do so to the best of our ability... Failing to make such an effort is anathema to me, and personally I feel it should be to everyone else... Of course, that's my opinion, and we all know what those are worth...

I try to be as correct as I can be...sadly, I cant tell a Kyu from a Gup despite being here almost 2 years. Too many terms, too little time to master them all. Sacred Duty? I'll buy that. I hope that in time, with the guidence I find amongst my peers, I'll be able to understand more of this every day. :)

I agree again. But the basic statement was made that Kenpo and Taijiquan were essentially the same art. If the person that made that statement would care to elaborate at length to explain his comment more fully, that would be a good thing. However, taken on its face, the statement is blatantly in error.

Having taken both Kenpo and Taijiquan, I agree. They are complimentary, but not the same art.

:asian:
 

Kenpodoc

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But the basic statement was made that Kenpo and Taijiquan were essentially the same art. If the person that made that statement would care to elaborate at length to explain his comment more fully, that would be a good thing. However, taken on its face, the statement is blatantly in error.

Gambarimasu.
:asian: [/B][/QUOTE]

Help me out. Who said Kenpo and Taijiquan were essentially the same art?

Jeff
 
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Matt Stone

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Just to bring this back to the top of the thread, could any of the kenpo folks here post their opinions? I'm most especially interested in the opinions of the EPAK folks...

Thanks!
 
C

chufeng

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I am curious, too...

How is American or Ed Parker's Kempo the same?
Beyond the "all arts are one" notion?

Who here has heard of Sub Level 4 Kempo?
Is this the Kempo reserved for those over forty? Or is it a legitimate sub-branch of Ed parker's Kempo?

I know very little about Kempo other than the few people who I've trained with who were supposed exponents of the art.

:asian:
chufeng
 
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