Have you gone from Kenpo to JKD?

Karatedrifter7

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I had been involved in Kenpo for a while (liked the techniques) but the classes were done too much like the military for me so I left. Now I'm doing Filipino martial arts at a School run by a certified JKD instructor who studied with Dan Inosanto. I don't currently take the JKD class,but I was thinking about taking it as well. Eskrima seems flexiable and different enough that I don't get it and Kenpo confused. So my question is has anybody done Kenpo before who is now doing JKD? And did they find it confusiing at first? Or an easy switch?
 

Bear Cub

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I personally never done Kenpo (so sorry to pop in your topic without personal aexperience), but we have a couple of students in the school, who came from Kenpo. They do kali and jkd both. For some it is an adjustment at first, but they seem to enjoy it.

May be you can give it a try and see how it goes? You can always say 'not for me", if it does not work out.
 

suicide

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i dont do jkd but have a friend that does and from time to time he would come through and do kenpo with us and what he did in a way wasnt much diffrent than what we do :)
 

Hudson69

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I am looking for a JKD instructor in the Pikes Peak Region now; I was a Kenpo guy for a long time when I was deployed to the Middle East. We were working 6 on/1 off 12 hour shifts but there was a small group that were able to get together for hand to hand stuff (plus stick and knife work). There was a guy there, Army, I was Air Force, who said he was JKD trained. There didn't seem to be much of a problem working his techniques (he was the best one amongst us so we kind of followed his lead) and the fighting stance he used seemed to be the bai-jong stance which seemed like a tweaked Kenpo Forward Stance.

I guess what I am getting at is I had limited (very) JKD experience that cannot be verified but it was fun and the Kenpo to JKD was easy as long as I didn't get wrapped around the axel on Kenpo v. JKD.

Does that help?
 

joeygil

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Well, Sifu Dan Inosanto was a Kenpo Instructor under Ed Parker before being a student of Bruce Lee.

Seems to have worked out pretty well for him.


Try calling the Inosanto Academy, and ask if they have any instructors in your area. The phone number is 310-578-7773. They keep a rolodex of affiliated and certifie instructors world-wide.
 

MattJ

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Great point by Joeygil. I did kenpo for about 15 years, then did JKD for about a year and a half. I had no problem with the switch, except for the ground techniques, since we did very little of that in kenpo. Kenpo and JKD are similar in stand-up.
 

James Kovacich

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I started in Kajukenbo in my early years back the 1970's and ended up in JKD in the 90's. It's hard to go back. It's possible but more for teaching. Once you get the "JKD Bug" it effects all systems you train in. FMA isn't considered traditional but even with FMA I see it differant than the way it is taught to me. JKD is so much more than what the world perceives it to be.
 

Rou21

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If I remember correctly, there were quite a few of Bruce Lee's original students that trained in Kenpo and switched to JKD. Unfortunately, other than Dan Inosanto, I can't remember who they were off the top of my head. Poor Ed Parker; he lost a lot of students Lee...
 

kroh

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Speaking as a kempo guy and a JKD guy... you will find the two arts compliment each other well enough to have them "living" int he same neighborhood side by side.

Kempo's orbital theories (American) and throws, takedowns, and off-balancing techniques (Japanese) are a great compliment to JKD. JKD has excellent methods of teaching transfer of power to target, sticking and abating techniques (chi sao and huen sao), as well as their ability to understand the root principle of another arts technique so it may be integrated if useful.

If you are a kenpo / kempo guy looking for a fun experience to see how another art handle's "your" concepts, give it a try. At worst you only loose a couple of nights of kempo while at best you gain some new collegues as well as new insight.

Give it a try,
Regards, Walt
 

still learning

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Hello, We use do Shotokan Karate..then found a Kempo school...which impress us...

after 11 years in Kempo...started to realize...there is more stuffs out there...we were limited and do not have alot of sparring too...

and NO one stands there in those basic grabs and punches too....

To learn to fight for real...is to really fight (sparr) more...than move to more realistic fighting....

Aloha,
 

James Kovacich

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I too have noticed the similarities in handwork. But that is in the JKD that I was trained in which is more Gung Fu based. Many JKDers will say something differant. Kenpo has interceptions and definately destructions.

I have the opportunity to train with Kenpo guys when I have time and I look at it like I look at my Eskrima training. It is diffeant than JKD but the systems have a "gray area" that overlaps allowing us to function as one.

Jeff Speakman taught me a few techniques and one of them was "ABD" Attack Bt Draw. Which I found very differant than the other Kenpo guys I know.

JKD footwork is totally differant and JKD is more direct than Kenpo. With that said I enjoy training the in-fight which is my game and Kenpo has that.
 

gardawamtu1

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I did a couple of years of kenpo, took a break for a couple of years, and am now in JKD classes.

So far, I am noticing more similarities than differences. Among the differences, I found that learning in the JKD school seems more active from the outset. In other words, when learning kenpo techniques, I feel that we usually started from a fairly static scenario at white belt. The partner would throw an attack and we would be taught the combination to deal with the attack. I loved those days before my school eventually closed because it taught me a lot of coordination and a foundational stance that has crossed over well, I think. The stance is slightly different in JKD with the rear foot often having the heel lifted.

The JKD class is more active, beginning with attack by combinations (ABC), constant use of focus mitts and early light sparring. I definitely have noticed a better cardio workout in the JKD training (but again, this may just have been the nature of the school I was in).

One thing I have noticed that is literally tripping me up is that at the end of a kenpo technique, we often trained a retreat from the primary attacker by crossing out (crossover-step) and scanning 360. In the JKD class, after the final strike of a combination we seem to do more of a hop or leap out, remaining on our toes and quite active.

In general, I love both, and there is a lot of shared principles.
 

James Kovacich

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Clarification:

Jeff Speakman taught "ABD" but he did not call it that. I don't think he even named the technique. Kenpo names their techs, which to me would set Jeffs Kenpo in an evolving direction. Something we don't see enough of today.
 

James Kovacich

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I wasn't putting down Kenpo footwork if thats what you thought. I think you already know Kenpo stances and footwork. JKD's stances aren't rooted like mosts MA including Kenpo as I've seen it. Theres actually close to no stances. I say close because there has to be some kind of stance. But JKD's relies on mobility first and thats where the footwork is differant. The shuffleing in and out. Some JKD is heavily based on it's footwork, others not but the JKD stance and footwork is always somewhat similar.

I think you will experience this more as time goes by in your JKD class. Although JKD varies greatly, I understand the differance between differant JKD's and MA that someone just calls JKD because they think anything can be JKD.
 

Jenny_in_Chico

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My EPAK sensei (Chuck Epperson) integrates instruction in boxing (hand techniques and footwork) and judo/jiu jitsu joint locks and throws in *every single class*. We also have a weekly class devoted to sparring. I think that these additions nicely fill the holes in the technique- and kata-focused EPAK system.
 

James Kovacich

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I think your right and I also think Bruce Lee and Ed Parker thought alot alike! This is priceless...

When I am gone, I hope that people won't try to traditionalize my Art. I want you to always remember that Kenpo will always be the Art of Perpetual Change. If you remember this, then the Art will never become obsolete because it will change with the times. While the ignorant refuse to study and the intelligent never stop, we should always be mindful of the fact that our reward in life is proportionate with the contributions we make.

A true Martial Artist is not one who fears change, but one who causes it to happen. To live is to change, and to obtain perfection is to have changed often. Progress is a necessity that is a part of nature. While it is true that casting the old aside is not necessary in order to obtain something new, we should study old theories not as a means of discrediting them, but to see if they can be modified to improve our present conditions. A word of advice, The humble man makes room for progress; the proud man believes he is already there." - SGM Ed Parker
 

K831

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I did not think you were speaking negatively about Kenpo footwork. My question was from a sincere desire to get your thoughts regarding the differences.

I have been doing Kenpo for some time, and only recently started dabbling with JKD.

I have done a fair amount of other styles as well and either found them too different from Kenpo to work in tandem (i.e. the mechanics and motion were so different it would take unlearning) or too similar (wasn't really adding to what I already had from Kenpo, Kali for example, was so similar I felt like I was starting Kenpo over and covering the same material, just slightly tweaked).

JKD on the other hand, was fundamentally the same, but different in some aspects of application.

Fundamentally the same in that;

- The neutral bow is very similar to the Bai jong stance.
- Strong side forward
- Punching mechanics very similar / same (while not called the same, Ed Parkers idea's of height/depth/width, reciprocation, torque etc are also found in JKD's mechanics regarding punches and kicks)
- Economy of motion (directness, round off corners, smaller circles etc)
- Trapping is very similar, identical in some cases
- Interception (more of a focus with my JKD class, but definitely a common topic in Kenpo)
- Emphasis on what is effective for the student and dropping what is not (Kenpo and JKD are the only methods I have studied where the instructor regularly says "if this doesn't work for you, try this....it isn't written in stone)
- Offensive approach/always think of hitting a common theme in both
- low line kicks favored over high or flashy kicks

Different in application in that

- Kenpo remains a bit more classical in approach (most schools still wear a gi, use more forms and set techniques, although my Kenpo school/association is moving away from that)

- Kenpo works to take and control centerline more, pick an angle, get in, cancel his kicks with a checking knee and tear him up

- JKD seems to be a more peak-a-boo boxing aproach, lighter on the move, in and out, stick and move

Training methodology has a lot of similarities, but the difference is;
- Kenpo we work in this order - 1.) technique line, 2.) two man sets and drills (ie trapping etc like Hubud or chi soa) 3.) Heavy bag and focus mitts
- JKD 1.) focus mitts/heavy bag 2.) sparring technique line 3.) ? I'm still new...

- JKD kicks much more

-Kenpo seems to work the knife and club much more

I asked regarding the foot work, because while JKD seems to be more "in and out" the footwork drills are the same so far; step drag, drag step, shuffle, side step etc.... I don't see a difference in technique, just application.

Having said all this, I haven't come across (nor can I imagine) two more seamlessly fitting, complimentary arts.
 
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