New to Kenpo

Hawke

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Greetings!

I am a complete newbie to Kenpo. I am assuming all the letters before Kenpo represents a certain style. Are the many different styles that different? I am wondering what the differences may be.

EPAK (Ed Parker's Kenpo)

Kenpo 5.0 (Jeff Speakman's Kenpo)

SL4

UKS

I think that Tracey's is supposed to have kept the original teachings?

Not trying to start "my style is better than your style" flame war. I am looking for infomation and a better understanding of Kenpo. I am probably missing a whole lot more different Kenpo styles.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Sincerely,
Hawke
 

Flying Crane

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ok, I'll try to give a brief explanation here. You will find a lot more info throughout the threads here.

Ed Parker was a student of William Chow in Hawaii. William Chow was a student of James Mitose in Hawaii. Mr. Parker brought Kenpo to the Mainland in the 1950s or so.

Al, Jim, and Will Tracy were among Mr. Parker's early students. As Mr. Parker later made changes to how he practiced and taught the art, the Tracy brothers were in disagreement with him and wanted to maintain the art how Mr. Parker was teaching it to them. So eventually they split away from Mr. Parker. They claim to be teaching the entire art as it was taught to them by Mr. Parker in the 1950s and 1960s. They have also incorporated some Chinese Kung Fu material that they picked up along the way.

Mr. Parker continued to change the art, and what is now referred to as EPAK is the art practiced by those who stayed with him after the changes were made. But he continuously made changes, so there will still be differences between EPAK schools, depending on when their leaders trained with Mr. Parker. Some of these people have made their own changes in the system, while keeping the art based on EPAK. I believe Jeff Speakman and Paul Mills would fit into this category.

Others have attempted to keep EPAK as close to how they learned it from Mr. Parker as possible. Again, depending on WHEN they studied with him, there will be differences.

Sub-Level 4 (SL4) is the kenpo art taught by Ron Chapel, who resides here on Martialtalk under the moniker "DOC". Mr. Chapel was a student and close friend of Mr. Parker from the early 1960s until Mr. Parker's death. Mr. Chapel's SL4 kenpo differs from other EPAK varieties in ways that I cannot explain, as I have never studied it. But I believe it is safe to state that he takes a very hardline interpretation of the art, and believes that everything needs to be effective in the extreme, or it isn't up to snuff. My understanding is that he analyzes the material from a very anatomical and structural perspective to maximize understanding and effectiveness. I am sure others here can give a more detailed description.

There are other kenpo arts that are related, but not the same. They all tend to trace their lineage back to Mr. Chow or Mr. Mitose in some way or other, but not necessarily thru Ed Parker. These include Ralph Castro's Shaolin Kenpo, USSD Shaolin Kenpo from Nick Cerio and Fred Villari and others on the East Coast. Kajukenbo is an art created by other students of William Chow. Kosho Shorei Kempo is, I believe, an art that traces back directly to James Mitose. Kara-ho kempo is an art that traces directly back to William Chow. Neither of these arts trace their lineage thru Ed Parker. I may have some of these names a bit mixed up, my apologies to those who practice them. Sometimes there are too many to keep them straight.

There are also kenpo arts that are not related. Okinawan Kempo, and Shorinji Kempo from Japan are two such arts. They share a similar name, but different history.

So you can see, there are MANY kenpo/kempo arts. Some are closely related, some are distantly related, and others seem to be from an entirely different lineage.

Hope this helps in a small way.
 

Carol

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EPAK - Ed Parker's Kenpo, as taught by many different people. The differences will depend on the lineage of the instructors, including when they learned it and whether they have modified the techniques.

Modifications are not necessarily bad, however, changes to the EPAK curriculum can be a sore subject as some instructors have watered down the material to facilitate teaching children, others that have added modifications have vyed for attention by denigrating SGM Parker's work and promoting their own as superior.

Kenpo 5.0, Jeff Speakman's interpretation of EPAK that also introduces a ground game to Kenpo. One website mentions that Mr. Speakman has studied with Doc Chapel and that he has introduced some of Doc's SL4 teachings in to Kenpo 5.0 (Doc? Care to coment?)

Sub-Level 4, taught by Doc Chapel, is a compilation of his explorations with SGM Parker in to Kenpo with a more internal focus. Internal Arts are named as such as they depend on leverage and positioning (rather than muscle) to fight through a situation. Doc posts here, and is known to be fierce about students understanding their basics.

UKS - not familiar, sorry

Tracey's Kenpo - teaches the system that Mr. Al Tracy learned from SGM Parker in the early 1960s. SGM Parker's Kenpo was not static, Mr. Parker himself was always exploring, evolving, trying, and refining. GM Tracy has an excellent reputation for teaching Kenpo in a solid and consistent way.
 
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Hawke

Hawke

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Thanks for the heads up. I am still doing some Kenpo research on the Net and emailing some instructors.

Hope to find a school and instructor that matches up well with me.

Cheers,
Hawke
 

Mariachi Joe

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Welcome to martial talk, I am currently studying Shaolin Kempo Karate which is a system started by GM Fred Villari who was a student of the late Prof. Nick Cerio
 
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