Kenpo (American - see also Kajukenbo)

Bob Hubbard

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From the rec.martialarts FAQ

(Contributor: Stephen Kurtzman - stephen@kurtzman.com)

Note: In the Japanese language, the consonants "n" and "m" have the
same symbol, thus the English spelling can be rendered either "Kempo"
or "Kenpo". There are several arts in this family, but the spelling
of "Ken/mpo" is not of significance in distinguishing between them.

This art is also called Kenpo Karate. American Kenpo is an eclectic
art developed by Hawaiian Ed Parker in the 60s. The art combines the
Kara-Ho Kenpo which Parker learned from William Chow with influences
from Chinese, Japanese, Hawaiian, and Western Martial sources.

American Kenpo blends circular motions and evasive movements with
linear kicks and punches. The art is oriented toward street-wise self
defense. A big emphasis on basics, sparring, and kata. It is similar
to most Karate styles in its training mechanisms.

The Tracy schools of Kenpo teach Parker's style, but are a
"politically" separate organization.
 
G

GouRonin

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Just wanted to add that while Parker started creating his Kenpo in the 60's from what he had learned previously, he continued to create and modify the art as time passed to meet the needs of his students.
Up until his death the art was constantly in a state of change for those who used it.
 
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Bob Hubbard

Bob Hubbard

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I remember reading about that. Also saw something that said he actually creates several versions, with the last one being what is most commonly called "Parker Kenpo" and that several of his BlackBelts from the previous system left him over this.
 
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GouRonin

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As his art changed many people came and went. Very few were with him throughout the entire time. What this means is that there are few people who stayed with the "Old Man" and as a result everyone has their own interpretation of American Kenpo based on what they did with Ed Parker.
None of them are incorrect as they all at one point WERE American Kenpo. After his death many of these people have started organization of their own and claimed to be teaching THE American Kenpo that Parker taught. In a sense they are right because it is what they did with Ed Parker. However to say that what others are doing is wrong is not right as the art tailors to the individual and not the individual to the art.
Interestingly enough, Ed Parker did not call the art "Parker Kenpo" as he did not believe it to be his. He called it "American Kenpo." But because of the many variations of it now people use "Parker" Kenpo to try and be a bit more specific.
 
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