Rookie with Questions

RDP

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Hello Everyone:

I am new to MT (lurked for a couple months now) and I have found the information and insight very useful. However, I am little overwhelmed by the difference of opinion regarding the "roots" of Kempo/Kenpo.

My question is, if most of the American Kempo/Kenpo systems today have evolved from the same source, how different have they become? How different is the art that I am learning, different from other Kempo/Kenpo schools?

I am also new to MA (joined SKK 8 months back) and am excited to learn as much as I can about the history of the art. Any insight you can offer would be much appreciated as I am getting lost in all the lineage discussions.

Cheers,
 

michaeledward

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Well, this is quite possibly a question along the same lines as 'What is the meaning of life?' .... which means, I am not able to answer it completely. But, I'll throw some of my opinions out there ... and many of these opinions are influenced by others, upon whose shoulders, I perhaps, may one day stand.

How different have they become?

Well, since most of us have two hands and two feet, how different can they actually be? Equipped with these natural weapons, there really are only so many ways you can block, punch, strike, and kick. I think you would find that most martial art systems are concerned with these activities and actions. Because all systems are using the same natural weapons to perform the same activities, I think there are probably more similarities among the martial arts than there are differences.

As to why they are different, I think the answer is EGO.

People who open their own business tend to have fairly well developed egos. Often the ego demands they open their own school, and become the teacher, rather than remain a student. I know of one school, where the teacher reached first degree black belt (a 5 year course of study) and opened a new school. No harm in that at all. But, in the system I study, a first degree black belt has not yet learned the entire system. Does this teacher realize what she is unable to teach because of her ignorance in the material at second, and third black belt?

This brings us to the whole 'lineage' question. I believe that a quality lineage matters. Can you study with someone who is intimately familiar with the hows and whys of your system? Your 'Grand Master Roast Duck'? Does your lineage have a pugalistic tradition? You know, most of us never get into fights. How often do we really get to test out this stuff we are learning?

Someone once said, it 6 months, you will learn everything you need to know to be successful in 95% of confrontations. You'll need to study for the rest of your life to ensure success in the remaining 5% of confrontations.

Get a good instructor. Find his lineage. Find his system. Look here for the reputation of that lineage. And then enjoy.

I have not thrown a punch - or blocked a punch in 20 years - off the mat. I don't expect to. But, I keep going back because my body is stimulated and my mind is stimulated. I feel better leaving the studio than when I arrive at the studio. What's not to like.

Enjoy .... and welcome
 

Matt

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RDP said:
Hello Everyone:

I am new to MT (lurked for a couple months now) and I have found the information and insight very useful. However, I am little overwhelmed by the difference of opinion regarding the "roots" of Kempo/Kenpo.

My question is, if most of the American Kempo/Kenpo systems today have evolved from the same source, how different have they become? How different is the art that I am learning, different from other Kempo/Kenpo schools?

I am also new to MA (joined SKK 8 months back) and am excited to learn as much as I can about the history of the art. Any insight you can offer would be much appreciated as I am getting lost in all the lineage discussions.

Cheers,


I've looked into the 'roots' a bit, and here's what I've found. It will be relatively applicable to your experience, as you are studying SKK:

http://home.comcast.net/~matthewabarnes/

As far as tge differences between the 'lineages', basically the 'Parker/Tracy' branches and the 'Karazenpo / Pesare / Cerio / Villari' branches have separated into different species. I think the most fun might be found somewhere in between, as they offer things that complement each other.

Good luck with your training.

Matt
 

Brother John

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I'd think that the best way to go about this is to:
1: ask your instructor about your own SPECIFIC lineage and art.
The NAME, specific NAME of your art is very important. For instance, I'm very familiar with "American Kenpo" (with the "N") but I'm not at all aquainted with an "American Kempo". There MAY Be such a creature, infact I wouldn't doubt it...but they'd not be the same.
Then there's Shorinji Kempo, VERY VERY different. Shaolin Kenpo...related but different. Tracy Kenpo....more related. ...
the list goes on.
Once you find out about your Specific lineage and specific arts name:
2: RESEARCH at www.google.com and type in the names of the art and of the lineage and READ READ READ.

3: Tell us what your instructor says and tell us what you find yourself....then I'd bet there'd be folks on here that could tell you a Great deal more!!!
..maybe not me, but somone.

Your Brother
John
 

Matt

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Brother John said:
For instance, I'm very familiar with "American Kenpo" (with the "N") but I'm not at all aquainted with an "American Kempo". There MAY Be such a creature, infact I wouldn't doubt it...but they'd not be the same.
Then there's Shorinji Kempo, VERY VERY different. Shaolin Kenpo...related but different. Tracy Kenpo....more related. ...
the list goes on.
Brother John,
You make good points, but I think we interpreted his question differently.
I think his question isn't about a specific style 'American Kempo (tm)', but rather the Kempo / Kenpo systems that are of mainly 'American' or more exactly 'Hawaiian' roots. Professor Chow's Kempo, EPAK, Ralph Castro's Shaolin Kenpo, Fred Villari's American Shaolin Kempo, and the various offshoots that originated via Mitose's 'Official Self Defense Club'. I think the Shorinji Kempo of Doshin So is outside the scope of his request. All the Hawaiian ones share the same cast of characters, so what is relevant to one may hold some interest for him.

I believe he stated that he started SKK a few months ago, and I've jumped to the conclusion that he is studying 'Shaolin Kempo Karate' which would be a Villari (karazenpo/ Pesare /Cerio) offshoot.

Matt
 
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RDP

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Thank you all for your insight, and I apologize for any confusion in my post. I guess I am still just trying to get my head around the terminology and background.

To be a little more clear, I am studying in the Villari system and my instructor has given me some great insight into the history of the SKK system. But like many others I am always looking to expand my knowledge on the Kenpo/Kempo arts in general. And Matt is correct; I was referring to the styles that have developed in America, or more specifically those whose origin can be traced to Hawaii. Sorry, I just re-read my post and I agree the wording was rather misleading.

I assume that most of these arts are very similar with some variations of course (as per (Michael's reply), but in reading some of the posts in other forums it seems like some of these styles are miles apart. The most important thing is that I love the system I am in, and I am getting the kind of training I was seeking. I guess that will always be the case if you get a great instructor. However, I am still curious to know how the Villari system differs from other styles who share most of the same lineage?

Thanks again for all you insight and time.
 

bill007

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RDP said:
Thank you all for your insight, and I apologize for any confusion in my post. I guess I am still just trying to get my head around the terminology and background.

To be a little more clear, I am studying in the Villari system and my instructor has given me some great insight into the history of the SKK system. But like many others I am always looking to expand my knowledge on the Kenpo/Kempo arts in general. And Matt is correct; I was referring to the styles that have developed in America, or more specifically those whose origin can be traced to Hawaii. Sorry, I just re-read my post and I agree the wording was rather misleading.

I assume that most of these arts are very similar with some variations of course (as per (Michael's reply), but in reading some of the posts in other forums it seems like some of these styles are miles apart. The most important thing is that I love the system I am in, and I am getting the kind of training I was seeking. I guess that will always be the case if you get a great instructor. However, I am still curious to know how the Villari system differs from other styles who share most of the same lineage?

Thanks again for all you insight and time.

http://www.urbin.net/EWW/MA/KF/ Try this link a lot of info there, for your particular lineage, it goes like this

James Mitose
William Chow
Adriano Emperado
Victor Sonny Gascon
George Pesare
Nick Cerio
Fred Villari

I hope this help.
 
OP
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RDP

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Great link. There is some great background here.

Thanks.
 
OP
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RDP

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Hey Steve,

Sorry for the delay. I am actually attending a school in the greater Toronto area.

Cheers,
 

hongkongfooey

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Well, this is quite possibly a question along the same lines as 'What is the meaning of life?' .... which means, I am not able to answer it completely. But, I'll throw some of my opinions out there ... and many of these opinions are influenced by others, upon whose shoulders, I perhaps, may one day stand.

How different have they become?

Well, since most of us have two hands and two feet, how different can they actually be? Equipped with these natural weapons, there really are only so many ways you can block, punch, strike, and kick. I think you would find that most martial art systems are concerned with these activities and actions. Because all systems are using the same natural weapons to perform the same activities, I think there are probably more similarities among the martial arts than there are differences.

As to why they are different, I think the answer is EGO.

People who open their own business tend to have fairly well developed egos. Often the ego demands they open their own school, and become the teacher, rather than remain a student. I know of one school, where the teacher reached first degree black belt (a 5 year course of study) and opened a new school. No harm in that at all. But, in the system I study, a first degree black belt has not yet learned the entire system. Does this teacher realize what she is unable to teach because of her ignorance in the material at second, and third black belt?

This brings us to the whole 'lineage' question. I believe that a quality lineage matters. Can you study with someone who is intimately familiar with the hows and whys of your system? Your 'Grand Master Roast Duck'? Does your lineage have a pugalistic tradition? You know, most of us never get into fights. How often do we really get to test out this stuff we are learning?

Someone once said, it 6 months, you will learn everything you need to know to be successful in 95% of confrontations. You'll need to study for the rest of your life to ensure success in the remaining 5% of confrontations.

Get a good instructor. Find his lineage. Find his system. Look here for the reputation of that lineage. And then enjoy.

I have not thrown a punch - or blocked a punch in 20 years - off the mat. I don't expect to. But, I keep going back because my body is stimulated and my mind is stimulated. I feel better leaving the studio than when I arrive at the studio. What's not to like.

Enjoy .... and welcome


Excellent post!
 

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