Okinawa Kenpo?

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Amanda Sedai

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Hi everyone. I recently started taking lessons at an Okinawa Kenpo Karate school and I was wondering if anyone could give me some information on this type of karate. When I search the web for kenpo sites, I see a lot about Chinese Kenpo, American, etc, but almost nothing about Okinawa. Is this just because Okinawa isn't as popular as the other types or is it really different from the other styles of kenpo? :confused:
 

arnisador

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Can you tell us more about your style? Is this the karate style often called Ryukyu Kempo, emphasizing standing grappling and pressure points strikes?
 

jazkiljok

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Originally posted by Amanda Sedai

Hi everyone. I recently started taking lessons at an Okinawa Kenpo Karate school and I was wondering if anyone could give me some information on this type of karate. When I search the web for kenpo sites, I see a lot about Chinese Kenpo, American, etc, but almost nothing about Okinawa. Is this just because Okinawa isn't as popular as the other types or is it really different from the other styles of kenpo? :confused:

Okinawan Te (te meaning Hands) became Karate at some point (interchangeable use) this was concurrent with some of it's practitioners making their way to Japan. Kara te originaly had the meaning of T'ang Hands, T'ang meaning T'ang Dynasty meaning-Chinese... though the Okinawan's had an indigineous fighting style they gave respect to the Chinese for much of its influence. that changed when the Japanese decided to adopt it as one of their fighting arts (kendo, judo, jiu jitsu etc.)- they altered the meaning to "empty hands"- they claimed they liked the spirtiual connotations better but most figured it was more to do with racist politics and xenophobia.

when that happened those tricky Okinawans started using
Kara te Kempo to describe their art. Remember Okinawans see themselves as a different culture and people then the japanese. Kempo (Kenpo) was the term the Japanese used for the chinese arts... stubborn, i'd say.

All the karate styles were born of these original Okinawan Masters- goju ryu, shotokan, etc- if you were to find a book/website on Okinawan Karate it will probably give you more insights to your system founders heritage.

Kenpo became a generic term adopted by many groups- the relationships can be tricky- some are similar, some have no relationship in anything but name.

peace. :asian:
 
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Amanda Sedai

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Jazkiljok, that was interesting. Thanks.

Arnisador, I'm really not sure how to explain the style. I've only had three lessons so far so it's not like I've learned any big techniques and I've never done anything related to martial arts before so I can't really compare it to anything. I do know that once you get to green belt (IIRC) you can start training with weapons. Since I'm in a beginner's class I've never had the opportunity to see anyone fight with weapons, but I know my instructor knows how to use nunchaku and some type of pole. And sometimes the more advanced students in my class (the orange belts) practice sparring against each other wearing what looks to me like plastic armor.

OK, you're probably all laughing at me right now. :rolleyes: I probably sound like a clueless idiot. I ask my instructor about these kinds of things all the time but half the time I either forget the terms he uses (what's the word for karate where you fight with weapons in addition to the empty-handed style?) or I think of questions when I'm not in class. (Like now, I'm thinking I really ought to ask him about the "armor" I saw the students using. How come you usually don't see people wearing protective gear when they're doing karate? :samurai: )
 

arnisador

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You may be thinking of kobudo for Okinawan weapons. You're right, you don't see karateka in body armor much!

You might also check out the Karate forum here. Does your instructor have a web site? Can you tell us the name of any kata or other major technique you've learned? That might help identify it.
 

Blindside

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OK, you're probably all laughing at me right now. I probably sound like a clueless idiot.

No Amanda, you sound like a beginner.... :)

Some other questions that may help clarify what you do:

Do you use Japanese terminology for the punches, blocks, stances, etc that you have learned?

Do the students and instructor all wear white gis (uniforms)?

Is the "plastic body armor" you describe cover the heads, hands, and feet, or does it also include the torso? (actually that won't help, it just lets me figure out what if this is typical or not)

Thanks,

Lamont

PS You know I thought it was strange when you posted your name as Amanda Sedai, then I looked at your profile and saw your reading habits (Wheel of Time), heh. :D I guess I'll step carefully around you....
 
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Rob_Broad

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Okinawan Kenpo is very much like most of the Okinwan styles, the Hienan forms, the white uniforms etc. It is a nice style if you are into tradional arts.

(The Wheel of Time series is great you might want to check out Kaith's other forum http://bbs.rustaz.com/ )
 

Blindside

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(The Wheel of Time series is great you might want to check out Kaith's other forum http://bbs.rustaz.com/ )

Ah, no thanks Rob, I prefer to limit the number of my addictions that the internet feeds (as I take my sci-fi/fantasy reading, role-playing game designing, martial arting butt off to bed.)

:p

Lamont
 

Seig

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Originally posted by Blindside

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PS You know I thought it was strange when you posted your name as Amanda Sedai, then I looked at your profile and saw your reading habits (Wheel of Time), heh. :D I guess I'll step carefully around you....
I loved those books, Tess is reading them now.
 
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RyuShiKan

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Okinawa Kenpo as a style was founded by Shigeru Nakamura.
Try this site. http://www.ikkf.org/lineage.html

If you look at the first photo under the lineage chart I think you can just make out Seikichi Odo on the left of Nakamura Shigeru (seated) and Taika Oyata on the right.
 
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Amanda Sedai

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Sorry it took so long for me to post here again. I've been having a lot of computer problems.

At the moment, I'm no longer taking lessons there. I had been taking lessons because of a deal they had where you could attend classes for free for a month. Now I'd actually have to pay for lessons, so I'm taking time off to save up. (I'm a college student. Textbooks come before karate. :cuss: )

Originally posted by Blindside

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No Amanda, you sound like a beginner.... :)

Some other questions that may help clarify what you do:

Do you use Japanese terminology for the punches, blocks, stances, etc that you have learned?

Do the students and instructor all wear white gis (uniforms)?

Is the "plastic body armor" you describe cover the heads, hands, and feet, or does it also include the torso? (actually that won't help, it just lets me figure out what if this is typical or not)

Thanks,

Lamont

PS You know I thought it was strange when you posted your name as Amanda Sedai, then I looked at your profile and saw your reading habits (Wheel of Time), heh. :D I guess I'll step carefully around you....

-Some terms are in Japanese, with others it depends on the instructor. For example, one instructor might tell the students to practice the first kata, whereas another might refer to it by its Japanese name and then follow it with "the first kata" for those of us who have no idea what he just said.

-Gi aren't required but most people wear them. One instructor has a black one, the others wear white. I don't know if there's any reason behind that.

-I was kind of inaccurate in describing the sparring gear as plastic. It's a helmet, a chest plate, gloves and what look like shoes without soles. (Oh yeah, and a mouth guard. I know that because when one of the students said "Kia!" (sp?) before kicking, it flew out of her mouth and hit her opponent. :D)

And yeah, it really is kind of pointless to learn karate when I can use balefire. :D But hey, I'm Brown Ajah, and karate is something new to learn.

Rob, thanks for the forum link. I'll check it out. :)

Ryu, thanks. That site should help; I'll read it.
 
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Amanda Sedai

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Just wanted to add that I read the site you posted, RyuShiKan, and it's exactly what I've been looking for. :) It even has descriptions of the katas. (Including the only one I managed to memorize during the lessons: nai hanchi shodan.)
 
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