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Manny

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I want to know the diferences amoung the kenpo Mr.Mitose and Mr.Chow and Mr.Parker are.

Also the diferenses beetwen American kenpo and Chinese kenpo.

Manny
 

Twin Fist

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lemme see if i can make this simple for you

Mitose:
basic japanese karate with some jui-jitsu, no flow, very dependant on the "one punch kill" non sense. Kenpo in name only.

Chow:
added circular movements, added flow, Chows kenpo was, by todays standards VERY hard kenpo, but it still had flow.

Parker:
added still more flow, removed the jui-jitsu, and got all wordy describing it. came up with tons of forms and sets and terms that hadnt existed before. made kenpo very, VERY cerebral.
 

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I would like to add under the Chow and Parker section:

Chow - He learned 洪家: Hongjia (Hung Gar) from his father, this is where the circular methodology was added from. Kara-Ho was in essence the blending of Mitoses' Kenpo Jiujitsu with Hongjia. Honjia while circular is a very "hard" form of gongfu and this is why Parker's system looked "soft" by comparison.

Parker - Blended in 蔡李佛 Cai Li Fo (Choy Li Fut) which gave the art more flow and even more circular techniques and relaxed power. He also added some of the Shaolin 5 Animals that were not present already, while it is debatable where those came from, I suspect it was the Cai Li Fo.

The difference between American Kenpo and Chinese Kenpo.... They are numerous but I will focus on the mostly superficial

This comes through lineage. For example Chinese Kara-Ho Kempo Karate evolved Chow's art by blending in Aikido principles and techniques, Korean Kicking (while practiced high in some forms, practically used low and mid level) all from GM Kuoha's training. You would have to ask him more about it to know a full list of everything he's blended. I suspect that the list is far longer than I have given, but those where the two biggest changes IMHO.

Other student's of Chow did similar things, and it is the ones who studied (for the most part) under him and do not have Parker in their linage generally identify as Chinese Kenpoka. Those who trace their lineage through Parker identify mostly as American Kenpoka
 

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I would like to add under the Chow and Parker section:

Chow - He learned 洪家: Hongjia (Hung Gar) from his father, this is where the circular methodology was added from. Kara-Ho was in essence the blending of Mitoses' Kenpo Jiujitsu with Hongjia. Honjia while circular is a very "hard" form of gongfu and this is why Parker's system looked "soft" by comparison.

Parker - Blended in 蔡李佛 Cai Li Fo (Choy Li Fut) which gave the art more flow and even more circular techniques and relaxed power. He also added some of the Shaolin 5 Animals that were not present already, while it is debatable where those came from, I suspect it was the Cai Li Fo.

The difference between American Kenpo and Chinese Kenpo.... They are numerous but I will focus on the mostly superficial

This comes through lineage. For example Chinese Kara-Ho Kempo Karate evolved Chow's art by blending in Aikido principles and techniques, Korean Kicking (while practiced high in some forms, practically used low and mid level) all from GM Kuoha's training. You would have to ask him more about it to know a full list of everything he's blended. I suspect that the list is far longer than I have given, but those where the two biggest changes IMHO.

Other student's of Chow did similar things, and it is the ones who studied (for the most part) under him and do not have Parker in their linage generally identify as Chinese Kenpoka. Those who trace their lineage through Parker identify mostly as American Kenpoka

Hello,
Great information...!

I will add that the Tracy's system of Kenpo is considered by many to be "Chinese Kenpo". They kept all of the Chinese influence, and forms of the early days with Jimmy Woo. There remains many Chinese forms in the system today, including the "Bookset". (Panther Set)

Ed Parker had removed most of Woo's contributions to the art when they had a "falling out" in the early 1960's. I am beginning to think the terms "falling out" and "Kenpo" are related to each other... :) Sad, really. :(

Thank you,
Milt G.
 

Flying Crane

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Hello,
Great information...!

I will add that the Tracy's system of Kenpo is considered by many to be "Chinese Kenpo". They kept all of the Chinese influence, and forms of the early days with Jimmy Woo. There remains many Chinese forms in the system today, including the "Bookset". (Panther Set)

Ed Parker had removed most of Woo's contributions to the art when they had a "falling out" in the early 1960's. I am beginning to think the terms "falling out" and "Kenpo" are related to each other... :) Sad, really. :(

Thank you,
Milt G.

There are also Chinese sets in Tracys that did not come from Mr. Woo. As is true with many of the early kenpo people, the Tracys had other influences and teachers along the way as well. I think they basically took the approach that if you learn something new that you can bring into the system and make it better, then do so. But don't take something out of the system or you might risk dropping something that is worth while. I've heard the same sentiment expressed among some Shaolin proponents as well. Seems like some of the Longfist forms have versions taught in certain schools that are quite long compared to other schools teaching the same forms. I guess the leaders in some lineages kept adding things over several generations that other lineages did not, and their version of some of these forms is now a lot longer than others.

I recently had the chance to read a copy of Mr. Parker's Secrets of Chinese Karate, that contained the "Book Set". What was outlined in the book is actually the Two-Man Set, and not Panther. I always understood that the reference to the name "Book Set" was due to the inclusion in the publication. That would mean that Two-Man Set is the Book Set, and not Panther. However, I've seen Panther also referred to as "Book Set". Anyone got any comments to clarify that point?
 

clfsean

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Parker - Blended in 蔡李佛 Cai Li Fo (Choy Li Fut) which gave the art more flow and even more circular techniques and relaxed power. He also added some of the Shaolin 5 Animals that were not present already, while it is debatable where those came from, I suspect it was the Cai Li Fo.

Look to AY Wong for the Five Animals. The CLF he was exposed to from Lau Bun's CLF isn't "that" Five Animal intensive. They're (5 Animals) there, but not a large overriding & overtly obvious influence as other CLF branches.
 

mwd0818

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There are also Chinese sets in Tracys that did not come from Mr. Woo. As is true with many of the early kenpo people, the Tracys had other influences and teachers along the way as well. I think they basically took the approach that if you learn something new that you can bring into the system and make it better, then do so. But don't take something out of the system or you might risk dropping something that is worth while. I've heard the same sentiment expressed among some Shaolin proponents as well. Seems like some of the Longfist forms have versions taught in certain schools that are quite long compared to other schools teaching the same forms. I guess the leaders in some lineages kept adding things over several generations that other lineages did not, and their version of some of these forms is now a lot longer than others.

I recently had the chance to read a copy of Mr. Parker's Secrets of Chinese Karate, that contained the "Book Set". What was outlined in the book is actually the Two-Man Set, and not Panther. I always understood that the reference to the name "Book Set" was due to the inclusion in the publication. That would mean that Two-Man Set is the Book Set, and not Panther. However, I've seen Panther also referred to as "Book Set". Anyone got any comments to clarify that point?

I, too, have heard the Two-Man Set referred to as the Book Set. All my research points to this being someone's missed intepretation in that the Two-Man Set REPLACED the Book Set (Panther) in many Kenpo schools. I have no concrete evidence of it that I can find for this post, but it is what I have heard.

In either case, I have both and the two have little to do with each other.
 

Flying Crane

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I, too, have heard the Two-Man Set referred to as the Book Set. All my research points to this being someone's missed intepretation in that the Two-Man Set REPLACED the Book Set (Panther) in many Kenpo schools. I have no concrete evidence of it that I can find for this post, but it is what I have heard.

In either case, I have both and the two have little to do with each other.

Maybe the original intention was to publish Panther in the book, and it took the name Book Set, and the name stuck. But then prior to publication, the decision was made to actually publish Two-Man Set instead.
 

Milt G.

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There are also Chinese sets in Tracys that did not come from Mr. Woo. As is true with many of the early kenpo people, the Tracys had other influences and teachers along the way as well. I think they basically took the approach that if you learn something new that you can bring into the system and make it better, then do so. But don't take something out of the system or you might risk dropping something that is worth while. I've heard the same sentiment expressed among some Shaolin proponents as well. Seems like some of the Longfist forms have versions taught in certain schools that are quite long compared to other schools teaching the same forms. I guess the leaders in some lineages kept adding things over several generations that other lineages did not, and their version of some of these forms is now a lot longer than others.

I recently had the chance to read a copy of Mr. Parker's Secrets of Chinese Karate, that contained the "Book Set". What was outlined in the book is actually the Two-Man Set, and not Panther. I always understood that the reference to the name "Book Set" was due to the inclusion in the publication. That would mean that Two-Man Set is the Book Set, and not Panther. However, I've seen Panther also referred to as "Book Set". Anyone got any comments to clarify that point?

Hello,
Legend has it that the actual "Bookset" was to be included in Parker's book "Secrets of Chinese Karate"... That is why it has the nickname "Bookset". Originally it was called the "Panther Set". It was to be in the "Book".

When Ed Parker had the "falling out" with Jimmy Woo he replaced the "Bookset" with the Two Man Set. Some call it the "Two Person Set", these days. As that was the kata in the "book" some have nicknamed that kata, bookset, as well. It is technically the Two Man Set, as taught currently.

Oddly, only some of the American Kenpo groups teach the Two Man Set as regular curriculum. Very few, if any, AK systems teach the Bookset these days. Same with the "Mass Attack" kata. Perhaps the Parker/Tracy, Ford/Chevy arguement?

Different strokes for different folks, is the order of the day. :)
Thank you,
Milt G.
 

Blindside

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Another take on the influences on Parker's kenpo.

http://www.kenpotalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6627

Manny, if you are confused about who did what when and who was really qualified to teach what, well you aren't the only one. Most people can't really agree on where the art came from prior to about 1940.

And just so you know "Chinese Kenpo" is an extremely generic term, one used by several different lineage groups, some in and others completely out of the Parker lineages, though most are derivitave of the Chow lineages.
 

mwd0818

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I thought "Book Set" took it's name as it was actually learned from a book that was found that had pictures and a description detailing it.

Could be wrong here - my knowledge of American Kenpo history is rudimentary, especially since I started in EPAK after the passing of Mr. Parker, I defer to those who were there and around.
 

John Bishop

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I thought "Book Set" took it's name as it was actually learned from a book that was found that had pictures and a description detailing it.

Actually, that story sounds more like what Jimmy H. Woo of Kung Fu San Soo claimed.
Short version: As the story goes, he got a book from one of the Chinese temples that contained the techniques that he later taught as Kung Fu San Soo.
 

Xinglu

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Look to AY Wong for the Five Animals. The CLF he was exposed to from Lau Bun's CLF isn't "that" Five Animal intensive. They're (5 Animals) there, but not a large overriding & overtly obvious influence as other CLF branches.

True, however, the tiger claw (虎爪) and other and other tiger techniques (虎拳) came from Chow's Hongjia (洪家) training is seen in just about every form of Kenpo I've ever seen. The "Panther" is more than likely "Bao" (豹) which is leopard/panther and is see very predominately in every lineage of CLF I have seen, so it is more than reasonable that the "Panther" came from CLF.

The only other of the 5 animals that is present in American Kenpo is Crane(鹤). I have only seen Crane in a very limited capacity in Kenpo though, nothing like in the CLF I learned, and you typically see it blended together with Tiger techniques.

Snake (蛇) and Dragon (龙) do not exist except for a few styles like Shaolin Kempo that have added it in (and I know very little about if the Tracy's have added any thing like that in), but, EPAK does not have those. Kara-Ho does, but in limited capacity and I think that is due to GM Kuoha exchanging knowledge with Dwight Love, that is pure speculation on my part, but I know they have a good relationship and that his daughter cross-trains with Dwight Love. Once again you'd have to ask him what all he's blended in.

Anyway, my point is, since only 2 (Panther/Leopard and Crane) of the 5 animals were added to EPAK in addition to the Tiger that Chow taught. Because of this, the CLF addition did not have to be heavy in the 5 animals nor did the person leaning have to be very skilled with them to incorporate them effectively. That is just my .5瞽 on it. :)
 

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I would like to add under the Chow and Parker section:

Chow - He learned 洪家: Hongjia (Hung Gar) from his father, this is where the circular methodology was added from. Kara-Ho was in essence the blending of Mitoses' Kenpo Jiujitsu with Hongjia. Honjia while circular is a very "hard" form of gongfu and this is why Parker's system looked "soft" by comparison.

I gotta ask about this. I've seen it said that Chow was a hung ga man thru his father. I've had limited exposure to hung ga, but I can sort of recognize its flavor and whatnot. If this is true about Chow, then why does all the kenpo I've ever seen look, in my opinion, nothing like hung ga?

Neither Tracy kenpo, nor later lineages, that I've seen anything of, has anything like a hung ga flavor, not to mention hung ga forms with the exception of Tracys keeping an adopted and altered version of Tiger & Crane which I believe came into the system thru James Woo, prior to the Tracy's splitting away from Parker.

Tracys claim that they kept our material closer to what they learned from Mr. Parker, and did not follow the later changes that Mr. Parker made. This would make Tracys method closer to what Mr. Parker learned from Mr. Chow. And Tracys looks nothing like Hung Ga either.

So if Chow was really a hung ga man, why does none of the kenpo that has descended from him (at least as far as I have seen) look nothing like hung ga, and maintain essentially none of the hung ga curriculum with the one exception i've mentioned above?
 

Xinglu

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I gotta ask about this. I've seen it said that Chow was a hung ga man thru his father. I've had limited exposure to hung ga, but I can sort of recognize its flavor and whatnot. If this is true about Chow, then why does all the kenpo I've ever seen look, in my opinion, nothing like hung ga?

Neither Tracy kenpo, nor later lineages, that I've seen anything of, has anything like a hung ga flavor, not to mention hung ga forms with the exception of Tracys keeping an adopted and altered version of Tiger & Crane which I believe came into the system thru James Woo, prior to the Tracy's splitting away from Parker.

Tracys claim that they kept our material closer to what they learned from Mr. Parker, and did not follow the later changes that Mr. Parker made. This would make Tracys method closer to what Mr. Parker learned from Mr. Chow. And Tracys looks nothing like Hung Ga either.

So if Chow was really a hung ga man, why does none of the kenpo that has descended from him (at least as far as I have seen) look nothing like hung ga, and maintain essentially none of the hung ga curriculum with the one exception i've mentioned above?

The Chow Techniques I learned through Kara-Ho have a distinct Hongjia feel, very low stances very strong movements if you watch the hongjia Tiger-Crane form you will see it especially in the intercepts, but then they also have a distinct "karate" feel in some of the blocks. I cannot speak to what you have learned, but perhaps parker didn't teach some of Chow's original techniques because he didn't like them, or because he didn't see a need to "pay tribute" by keeping them in.
 
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Xinglu

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True, however, the tiger claw (虎爪) and other and other tiger techniques (虎拳) came from Chow's Hongjia (洪家) training is seen in just about every form of Kenpo I've ever seen. The "Panther" is more than likely "Bao" (豹) which is leopard/panther and is see very predominately in every lineage of CLF I have seen, so it is more than reasonable that the "Panther" came from CLF.

The only other of the 5 animals that is present in American Kenpo is Crane(鹤). I have only seen Crane in a very limited capacity in Kenpo though, nothing like in the CLF I learned, and you typically see it blended together with Tiger techniques.

Snake (蛇) and Dragon (龙) do not exist except for a few styles like Shaolin Kempo that have added it in (and I know very little about if the Tracy's have added any thing like that in), but, EPAK does not have those. Kara-Ho does, but in limited capacity and I think that is due to GM Kuoha exchanging knowledge with Dwight Love, that is pure speculation on my part, but I know they have a good relationship and that his daughter cross-trains with Dwight Love. Once again you'd have to ask him what all he's blended in.

Anyway, my point is, since only 2 (Panther/Leopard and Crane) of the 5 animals were added to EPAK in addition to the Tiger that Chow taught. Because of this, the CLF addition did not have to be heavy in the 5 animals nor did the person leaning have to be very skilled with them to incorporate them effectively. That is just my .5瞽 on it. :)

Thinking further, some of the crane probably came from Chow's Hongjia training, but not the crane seen in SK styles, that is more in depth than what Hongjia does with crane.
 

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The Chow Techniques I learned through Kara-Ho have a distinct Hongjia feel, very low stances very strong movements if you watch the hongjia Tiger-Crane form you will see it especially in the intercepts, but then they also have a distinct "karate" feel in some of the blocks. I cannot speak to what you have learned, but perhaps parker didn't teach some of Chow's original techniques because he didn't like them, or because he didn't see a need to "pay tribute" by keeping them in.


well, I really haven't seen any kara-ho, so I guess it might be realized in that system, I just don't know anything about it. But I've seen low stances and powerful movements in any of a number of Chinese, Japanese, and Okinawan systems, so I don't find that alone to be convincing of a hung ga connection.

But you mention the possibility that Parker didn't teach some of Chow's original techniques, and that brings a couple more questions to mind: Does Kara-ho utilize a body of self defense techniques similar to what Tracys and other later lineages of Parker-derived kenpo use? If so, do you believe these techniques come from Hung Ga? I've never heard of this kind of thing in Hung Ga. It's been my impression that hung ga, like many of the Chinese arts, is based on the practice and analyzation of forms for its fighting applications. Typically most Chinese systems do not maintain a separate body of self defense combinations, in the same way that many Kenpo systems do.

It seems that if there is a hung ga connection, the most obvious way it would have manifest would be in the maintennance of the hung ga forms within the kenpo system, and that simply has not happened. Otherwise, if kenpo has kept a certain distinguishable way of moving and generating power that was consistent with the hung ga methods, that could be another thing. But typically these characteristics are developed thru the practice of the body of forms that make up the system's curriculum. Without the practice of the forms, which are designed to develop the distinguishable characteristics that define the method, it is pretty difficult to coherently and comprehensively and thoroughly develop the methods and characteristics. Certainly some of these things can be developed independently of the forms, in the format of practicing basic technques. But the practice of the forms brings these elements together in a more complete way. I've just never witnessed anything in kenpo that was ever linked to a specific hung ga method.

I guess I'm still looking for evidence of Hung Ga in kenpo. I've just never seen anything convincing, but I acknowledge that I know nothing of kara-ho, and certainly don't know everything about all things kenpo.
 

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Thinking further, some of the crane probably came from Chow's Hongjia training, but not the crane seen in SK styles, that is more in depth than what Hongjia does with crane.


What crane methods do you see in kara-ho, or in any other kenpo method that you are familiar with?

I do practice the Tibetan method, and within Tracys I have noticed certain techniques that are very similar to the Tibetan crane methods, which also influenced Hung Ga. They have been developed a bit differently within kenpo, but there is a strong similarity with some (but not all) of the punching methods and how some of the combinations have been put together. But they've gone in a bit of a different direction within kenpo, and you've gotta have a real knowledge of Tibetan crane in order to be able to even recognize them as crane techniques. How this material entered the system is somethin that I do not know. I have no idea if someone had actually studied Tibetan white crane and deliberately brought these methods in, or if they developed within kenpo independently or thru other influences.
 

Kembudo-Kai Kempoka

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Something y'all sorta blew past, so I'll mention it again cuz it bears repeating...the influences on Parker from Wongs system, through Lefiti. Mok, Mok ga, Mok Gar, whatever. One of Lefiti's few Instructor-level students, Carl Totten, wrote a very cool article on Tiny, including his pre-Wong history, with-Wong, and Post-Wong activity. He did his best to recount his own recollections of Tiny's stories, sought out the other handful of Tiny's top guys and pumped them for their recollections, and consolidated it into an article. Hasn't been published yet, so I'm not at liberty to replicate portions of it here, though Mr. Totten autographed a draft copy for me about a year ago.

Big piece stood out for me: His descriptions of Tiny's movements...quick, sharp, fast, rapid-fire open hand combinations with shuffling steps and stomps...you read the descriptions, and if you've ever been around Parker, you kinda go, "Oh. So that's where he [Mr. Parker] got it from." Big differences in how Mr. P. moved B.T. (Before Tiny) and A.T.; (After Tiny). Tiny was a senior student of GGM Wongs, school operator, Black Sash certified instuctor, etc. Old school learning the hard way (needing to be picked up and driven home because he was unable to self-ambulate or drive himself after the intensities), etc.

The Crane influence is there more than appears; the paths of travel, loading weapons for impact while the involved appendage moves through the arc of the path, long-hand movements from the shoulder with smaller circles described at the hands and wrists in complementary or counter-orbits...these should all be present in good AK, but of aren't -- too far removed from the tree. Movement from the core, involving the stance changes and torso tensions -- should also be there, but just get dropped.

As for Twin Fists assertion that Mr. Parker took the jujutsu out of kenpo, I whole-heartedly disagree. Danzan-Ryu influences and Judo influences abound in the system. A good instructor will isolate these movements & waza from within a self-defense technique, and train them in isolation...the sukuinage in Locking Horns or Dance of Death; the Osoto-guruma hiding in Tripping Arrow, the katate-dori ich in Reversing Circles, etc. If they have not been accentuated, it's cuz the teacher doesn't know about them, or has never had them isolated for him. Mr. Parker was a -dan rank in judo under a judo legend in the islands, seperate from his kenpo training, and maintained close ties with DZR seniors in Hawaii and here on the mainland. Almost every technique in the 32 system up through green/brown has a jujutsu waza embedded in it. They also have opportunities to explore the space using CLF movement patterns, if one gets past the incliniation to assume Mr. Parker was pushing a linear art.

Finally, Mr. Parker called his kenpo "Chinese kenpo" for a while, as well, particularly while woking in the influences fom Woo, Wong, and Lefiti. Many who left his organization in the early years still refer to it by same.

Hope that helps,

Dave
 

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