Characteristics of Professor Chow's art?

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Kempo Guy

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Thought I'd start a new thread regarding Professor Chow and Kara-Ho.

Based on your experiences with the various techniques and forms taught by Prof. Chow and his students (whatever the lineage), what principles do you think he was trying to convey to his students; what are your interpretation of the primary characteristics of his art (based on the Kempo you have been taught)?

I have my own ideas on the subject, but would be interested in what your ideas and thoughts are.

I encourage all Kempo practitioners to share your ideas!

KG
 

Matt

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Originally posted by Kempo Guy
Thought I'd start a new thread regarding Professor Chow and Kara-Ho.

Based on your experiences with the various techniques and forms taught by Prof. Chow and his students (whatever the lineage), what principles do you think he was trying to convey to his students; what are your interpretation of the primary characteristics of his art (based on the Kempo you have been taught)?

KG

Great idea for a thread.

Based on my experiences and research, I have a few principles I consider 'signature' to Chow's Kempo.

1. Simultaneous block / strike combos.

2. Snappy power. Not 'karate like' but more along the lines of the chinese opening/spreading and closing style.

3. Simultaneous upper and lower body activity/control/destruction.

4. Low, often straight leg kicks, done while advancing with hand strikes.

5. Whipping circular strikes, in great quantity.

6. Hammers, hammers, hammers.

That's just my opinion, and admittedly, my direct exposure to real Hawaiian Kempo is limited.

Matt
 
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CoolKempoDude

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i haven't practiced any REAL chow's art. I can't tell you what its characteristics are BUT based on what i see in "karaho" thread, i can say that there is NO high and fancy KICK in chow's art;)

chow was not a TKD expert;)
 

donald

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I must beg to differ. The articles that I 've seen show the instructors executing some very high kicks. As a matter of record I believe a vast amount of the material demonstrated uses high kicking techniques. Maybe your thinking of another system?

B.H.G.:asian:
 

kenmpoka

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Originally posted by CoolKempoDude
i haven't practiced any REAL chow's art. I can't tell you what its characteristics are BUT based on what i see in "karaho" thread, i can say that there is NO high and fancy KICK in chow's art;)

chow was not a TKD expert;)
But, Mr. Sam Kuoha was a Tae Kwon Do stylist. Hence the high kicks. We are what we have studied.

Salute,
 
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K

Kempo Guy

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The articles that I 've seen show the instructors executing some very high kicks. As a matter of record I believe a vast amount of the material demonstrated uses high kicking techniques. Maybe your thinking of another system?

These are additions to the Kara Ho systems made by Mr. Kuoha. They were not part of the original curriculum. He has added a lot of high kicks as well as spinning jumping kicks etc. Kuoha also added ki principles into the system from his exposure in Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido. Not to mention many of the weapons taught in his system which have been added over the years.

KG
 
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K

Karazenpo

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A mostly upper body style with rapid-fire hand strikes to vital areas and continuous motion with low line kicks. He blended the circle with the line. To quote Sijo Adriano Emperado, "Professor Chow made the old kempo faster."
 
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K

Karazenpo

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The following should be the most accurate description of Professor Chow's original art. I only say that because it was taken verbatim from a handout that was given to me in person by Master Bill Chun Jr. of GoShin Jitsu Kai Chinese Kempo, so there is no question as to its authenticity. I personally agree with it but If anyone disagrees, please don't take it to me, e-mail master Bill Chun Jr. Thank you.

"His early training techniques were similar to the training requirements of the harder, Shotokan type karate. The training emphasis was on perfecting each strike and block for accuracy and power. The footwork, though being different also had similarities. The similarities were that the feet were often pulled together or chambered when changing postions, and then slipped out to produce more powerful strikes. Hard style karate also does this but ends up with a stomp to enhance the appearance of creating a more powerful blow.
Chow believed that this hard, repetitive type training would build a person physically and instill perfection in ones techniques. There must have been some truth to this because Chow had many physically combative encounters and to all accounts that I have documented he was successful in their outcome. Even though there were similarities to Karate in the training, the actual self defense was a hybrid fashion. The strikes consisted of short, powerful blows which were confined to nerves, joints and vital points.. The blocks were short and snappy for immobilization, redirection or breaking and the kicks were all short, low and snappy. The circular motions of Kung Fu were evident in the system. The Ju Jitsu used was typical of what you might see today, but was often modified to crush or break rather than to contain an opponent. Chow liked the containment aspects of Ju Jitsu but at that particular time in his life he also felt the rugged, less refined breaking of Lua also had its place."

***Now, if I may add this, I have also heard that Professor Chow rarely blocked. He would barely move so as to avoid an oncoming strike and bang!
 
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K

Kempo Guy

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Sorry I havent posted on my own thread In any event, below are some of my thoughts regarding Prof. Chows art (based on my own experiences and what Ive uncovered during conversations with students of Professor). BTW, Im surprised more people havent replied to this thread (I was hoping for more audience participation) Oh well.

One of the common threads Ive observed during conversations with people who have studied directly with Professor is that he would climb you like a ladder. This involves attacking the opponent repeatedly up and down the centerline. His philosophy seems to have been one of spotting and focusing in on a persons weakness one blow after another, often hitting the same spot multiple times (for instance multiple strikes to the throat). This is congruent with what I was taught in the sense that we were told to attack repeatedly to the vital areas of the opponent.
I was also taught to attack from a low stance, enter with force while firing repeated strikes (punches, kicks, elbows, eye gouges/rakes) down the attackers centerline, which is also congruent with what former students have expressed. I think this repeated striking with force is what earned Prof. Chows nickname Thunderbolt. BTW, I personally feel that there is an element of revenge (or payback if you will) in the attitude expressed in the techniques...

Another philosophy of Prof. seemed to have been to simulate real life, i.e. when responding to an attack you go full speed or not at all as it involves an intrusion into enemy territory. It seems as though there was a mentality of kill or be killed which seems to be a common theme with many Kempo systems deriving from Professor Chow. This means that there is nothing but pain and misery (along with frequent injuries) for even the students trying to learn his system. I personally believe that this simulation of actual combat during training explains the demise of Kara Ho Kempo as Prof. taught it. Most students was not able to endure the full speed, full contact punishment for very long and would drop out of his classes never to return (this was expressed to me by a couple of his former students). Some of the former students also seem to feel that if you are going to teach Professors art, one must follow the training methodology, techniques and teaching methods established by him. Otherwise they are not doing him just If the instructor tones down these methods the art is put at risk and have changed to something else. I personally dont have any problem with people changing the training methods, but students should be reminded that not all of what they teach is his material, fwiw.

In any event, these are some of the things that I have managed to uncover. Obviously I am no authority on Prof. Chow and some of the comments above are my own opinions based on personal research (by training with his former students) as well as discussion I have had with various individuals who were exposed to his teaching directly or indirectly.

KG
 
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K

Karazenpo

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Kempo Guy, I think you're pretty much on the money. One of my instructors was Professor Nick Cerio, his foundation was with Gm. George Pesare's Karazenpo Go Shinjutsu but he also later studied with William Chow and William Chun. There was a Chow inspired from taught by Master Bill Chun Sr., it is called 'Hansuki'. There are four recognized versions of it: Chun's original, Ralph Castro's, Nick Cerio's and Fred Villari's. All have that rapid fire hand strikes up and down the centerline along with repeated multiple strikes to vital areas. I'd say you're on to something.
 
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Karazenpo

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Kempo Guy, I forgot to add. I also heard that it was Professor Chow's deeply rooted stance that was the source of his tremendous power.
 
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Kempo Guy

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I also heard that it was Professor Chow's deeply rooted stance that was the source of his tremendous power.

This would make sense as he would be utilizing the principle of "ground strength" (similar to the very same principles in Xing Yi and other internal Chinese system).

I would however like to mention (to those listening to this thread) that although the stances are "deeply rooted" it does not mean it is stationary. It is rather contrary to this as it seems his system utilizing a type of footwork where you where constantly "pushing off" of the ground, rising and lowering while striking and infliciting serious amounts of damage very quickly (that is with rapid fire strikes). And although he would move rapidly he would at the same time manipulate the attacker in a way where he could occupy his centerline while deflecting and stepping slightly off the angle of attack.

KG
 

Danjo

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Well, now that we can see the footage on Sigung John Bishop's website, (albeit not much footage) of Prof. Chow in action, what do people think now? Is the stuff that William Chun Jr. teaches, or GM Kuoha more closely linked to what Prof. Chow taught? I ask this because the late William Chun Sr. was even more highly ranked by Chow than Kuoha was, and I'm a bit curious. The rapid fire hand strikes are very evident in the footage extant, and any kicking was after the guy was already on the ground.
 

Thunderbolt

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Danjo said:
Well, now that we can see the footage on Sigung John Bishop's website, (albeit not much footage) of Prof. Chow in action, what do people think now? Is the stuff that William Chun Jr. teaches, or GM Kuoha more closely linked to what Prof. Chow taught? I ask this because the late William Chun Sr. was even more highly ranked by Chow than Kuoha was, and I'm a bit curious. The rapid fire hand strikes are very evident in the footage extant, and any kicking was after the guy was already on the ground.
Danjo,

aren't you the one who posted William Chow: Who is Closer? thread in kenponet.com.?

your information on that thread is amazing. I can't wait to see other people's responses.

i learn new things every day.! Don't forget to keep us posted with the newest and latest development.

 

Danjo

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Same. I thought that it would have a beter chance of being answered the more places I posted the question. I then found an old thread there addresseing the topic to a point.
 
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Martial_Maniac

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I am learning Shaolin Kenpo, the style created by Proff. K.S. Chow, and carried on by his student Ralph Castro (now Grandmaster of the system). I am only a purple belt, but I do know that all the forms (dances) are based on strong stances with very quick, very powerful combinations to disable your enemy. My instructor is the daughter of GM Ralph Castro, so I believe that I am learning everything the way it is meant to be learned.
 

youngbraveheart

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Well, now that we can see the footage on Sigung John Bishop's website, (albeit not much footage) of Prof. Chow in action, what do people think now? Is the stuff that William Chun Jr. teaches, or GM Kuoha more closely linked to what Prof. Chow taught? I ask this because the late William Chun Sr. was even more highly ranked by Chow than Kuoha was, and I'm a bit curious. The rapid fire hand strikes are very evident in the footage extant, and any kicking was after the guy was already on the ground.

I'd like to see what Kara-Ho looks like, but I have no luck finding anything on the internet...no luck on youtube either...anyone seen any videos?
 

Danjo

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I'd like to see what Kara-Ho looks like, but I have no luck finding anything on the internet...no luck on youtube either...anyone seen any videos?

GM Kuoha puts out a video where he actually peforms some techniques from Prof. Chow and demonstrates how they evolved over the years. It can be ordered through Budo International. Good to watch.
 

dianhsuhe

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Hey Johnny,

Why not find a Kara-Ho instructor in your area and go check it out? Grandmaster Kuoha is always saying "go find an instructor who is Nidan or higher and ask them to do 6-10's or better yet 11-15's and you will see the new Professor Chow".

These sets were designed by Professor Chow and they deal with multiple attackers. Your head and body are always moving (up and down or side to side or both), there are no stances, and they can be done in a "randori" type situation so they are not pre-choreographed as some of the more basic criteria.

Most folks determine their opinion of Kara-Ho based on Magazine shoots, our Katas, and our criteria from white to black-belt and they compare that to what their lineage practices from Professor or what they "think" the core of his art was....(usually more linear & direct)

Most have never seen anything in the 6-10 or 11-15 categories. My feeling is if they did they would see a CLEAR SIMILARITY to the video of Professor Chow doing self-defense techniques that has been posted on the Kajukenbo site, just as a small example.

I would like to see more GSJK stuff but all I can find is the techniques on your home site at GSJK.

Hope this was helpful-
Jamey
 
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