Kempo karate?

yorkshirelad

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Mind boggling!! American Kenpo, Kenpo Karate, Kempo Karate, Chinese Kenpo. Who cares what it's called? just train!! Put all semantics aside and just train!!
We know that the Japanese are a little crazy, but aren't we all. Yes the Japanese changed the word "China" to mean the word "empty", they also tried to rip off the shaolin arts with Shorinji Kempo and got into a legal battle over it. I hear that if you go to "certain parts" (wink wink) of Tokyo, there is a vending machine where you can buy soiled panties along with a photo of the girl that soiled them. A little odd you may say, but look at us in the good old US. Most people would rather know who won American Idol than who won the Presidential election. Again, a little odd, but just like the Japanese we have understandable quirks.

End of rant!!
 

namelekane4

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There are lots of different systems that use the term Kenpo/kempo. Some of them are closely related and come from the same roots, others are completely unrelated but share the same name.

Kenpo Karate is a term that has been used since at least the 1950s, I wouldn't be surprised if even earlier than that. Many of the people using this term came out of the Hawaiian kenpo of William Chow. People like Ed Parker, who brought the kenpo he learned from CHow to the Mainland in the 1950s, use the term Karate as a tag-along, because nobody at that time knew what kenpo was. It was simply an unfamiliar term. So he included a term that more people of the time were familiar with, to try and avoid confusion and people wouldn't walk into his school expecting it to be a Chinese Restaurant.

The term has largely stuck, and continues to get a lot of usage.

Is it a strange compilation as a term? Strictly speaking, yes it is and it's not exactly accurate. But it was not done deliberately to defraud or confuse anyone. It was actually done to give an uneducated public a perspective that they could relate to.

You are right nobody knew what it really was until they would see a small demo between schools. Then people that were present would say ah, so that is Kenpo as GGM(Professa) Chow would say yes to.
 

namelekane4

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Just a question on something my Sensei said. Maybe you can tell me if he's right or wrong. I was gonna post this question on a few different MA forums to see different responses from different people.

I was talking about the fact I trained in kempo for 2 months last year and i had a black gi. I named the kempo sensei and my shotokan sensei who knew of him and his family said "He's a fraud. Kempo is chinese. and karate is japanese. He calls his schools and advertises as "Kempo Karate" and thats just fraudulent and isnt even right."

Is this true what Sensei says? I only did kempo for 2 months and really dont know a whole lot about it. But I did say that I felt and still feel that school had some characteristics of a McDojo.

First of all I would not worry about the Black Gi, I would worry more of the extent of trainning that you recieved. If you feel that this dojo is like a McDojo than leave. But if you feel that you are benefitting from this Dojo, then I would stick around for a while. Maybe you got the Gi at an early stage because of your experience with Shotokan. If you are confused I would ask questions to the Kenpo/Kempo instructor that you are studying under. Questions should never hurt.
 

LawDog

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Gi style, belt color, belt names, terms, system names and paper on the wall does not make legit a system, style, school or instructor.
Legit is simply the end product. On a high level of expertise can an advanced student do what he is supposed to.
Many of todays martial artists are hung up on the wrong things.
 

punisher73

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Mind boggling!! American Kenpo, Kenpo Karate, Kempo Karate, Chinese Kenpo. Who cares what it's called? just train!! Put all semantics aside and just train!!
We know that the Japanese are a little crazy, but aren't we all. Yes the Japanese changed the word "China" to mean the word "empty", they also tried to rip off the shaolin arts with Shorinji Kempo and got into a legal battle over it.
End of rant!!

Actually, it was a meeting of okinawan masters who decided to change the characters of how kara-te was written. Phonetically, they are both pronounsed the same way just as reed or read. So, the change was made to call it "empty hand" instead of "china hand". Many of the okinawan kata names were changed as well to be "more japanese" by Funakoshi.

Also, correct is the denial by many top japanese instructors that kara-te originated in China. Much like the Koreans denying their japanese roots.

As a side note, ask some okinawans the difference between okinawan karate and japanese karate and you will be told their is only "karate" and "japanese karate". They view their art as the foundation and pure and don't want it compared to what the japanese sylists do.

So the point? Everyone in the history of martial arts has changed the names of what they do and where it came from to reflect cultural or personal changes. This type of legit or non-legit was happening back in the day between Motobu and Funakoshi of what was being taught not being "real karate" etc. Nothing new under the sun.
 

Blindside

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As a complete aside, and because it just before lunch and I am hungry....

Yup. Spaghetti (long thin wheat noodles) really was invented in China. However, it was the Italians that first served it with the yummy tomato sauce.

The tomato is a new world crop.

Hoi! The potato is a versatile dish y'know! You can even garnish it with smaller potatoes. Maybe cheese and ketchup too. If that isn't gourmet I don't know what is.

The potato is also a new world crop, and since you are garnishing it with ketchup, we are back to the tomato again.

Irish, Chinese, Italian, Peruvian, meh, I call it pan-world fusion.

As for the kenpo thing, the Kanji on the Parker IKKA patch translates to "tang hand" rather than "empty hand."
 

Touch Of Death

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As a complete aside, and because it just before lunch and I am hungry....



The tomato is a new world crop.



The potato is also a new world crop, and since you are garnishing it with ketchup, we are back to the tomato again.

Irish, Chinese, Italian, Peruvian, meh, I call it pan-world fusion.

As for the kenpo thing, the Kanji on the Parker IKKA patch translates to "tang hand" rather than "empty hand."
Um, the Chinese invented Katsi tup, as a fish sauce, but I don't think it had tomato in it.
Sean
 

backyardkempo.com

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Truth be told - originally the Okinawans would travel to China so they could learn Chuan Fa (拳法) and would return to Okinawa and teach it as Kempo (拳法) which is merely 2 different ways to pronounce the same word which translates to Fist Law or Fist Method. The Okinawans also had some native methods that they simply called Te (手), which means hand. Alternatively, the Okinawans would also refer to Kempo as Karate (唐手) which means Chinese Hand - to denote the origination of the method.

In the 1920s, Choki Motubu a Kempo Man knocked out a Russian Heavyweight Boxing Champ in an exhibition match in Japan. This peaked interest in the Okinawan Martial Art in Japan Gichin Funikoshi was sent as an Ambassador of the art. Gichin was not chosen because he was the most skilled but rather because of his knowledge of Japanese culture and diplomatic skill. The decision was made to call the art Karate (空手) empty hand to remove all Chinese references because of the extreme nationalism prevalent in Japan leading up to WWII.
 

Entryteam

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I see your point sir. Consider the translation "kara-te" or "empty-hand" is directly derived from the Chinese. (the Japanese had no written language and their's is heavily "borrowed" from the Chinese). One of the prominent translation of Chaunfa, Chuanshu," (Madarin or Cantonese) is "China Hand, or Hands of China." The martial export translation outside of China is "Fist Law or Law of the Fist."

ChuanFa would be mandarin. Kuen Fat would be cantonese.

-R
 

Doc

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By this rationale, I'm going to go to my local Chinese restaurant and declare the owner a fraud. They offer a dish called Chinese spaghetti, and since spaghetti is Italian that just can't be right.

People adopt and adapt things all the time. It's no big deal.
An unintentional good example perhaps? Spaghetti is sorta Italian for Chinese noodles which were first. Much like Kempo is Japanese for Chuanfa - Kenpo.
 

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