What is Kenpo?

Fastmover

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OK at the risk of getting yelled at here goes!

Throughout other threads there is post after post from those that
state without reservation that Kenpo is not lacking and it
is all inclussive system. Yet when someone like Mr Mills and others
applies the principles of Kenpo and creates a curriculum with
for example Knives, clubs and ground work this philosophy
is wrong? These same folks start screaming this isnt Kenpo?

Consider within Kenpo, it does have a complete alphabet
of motion and principles that can be applied multi-dimensional.
I believe this to be the core strength of Kenpo.

So let me ask this question, what is Kenpo? Is it the principles
that make Kenpo or is it the sequence of movements?


Last dont yell at me about........here we go again.........if
anything its OFK fault with the new thread!!!

John
 

MJS

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Yell???? We dont do that here do we???

Just kidding bro!! LOL!!!

Mike
 

Old Fat Kenpoka

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It's the history that makes it Kenpo.

I won't try and summarize Kenpo history here. That has been done better elsewhere. We can say that ALL Kenpo styles can trace their lineage back to James Mitose. MOST Kenpo styles trace their lineage back to Mitose's student William Chow. The Majority of Kenpo stylists in the world trace their lineage back to Chow's student, Ed Parker.

Not all Kenpo descends from Ed Parker. Not all Kenpo uses the principles and vocabulary of EPAK. Yet they are still kenpo!

Kenpo is a martial art utilizing strikes and joint locks executed from primarily from a standing position. Kenpo emphasizes combinations of fast circular strikes.

I am sure there are others here who can say it much better than I have.
 

Ender

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Kenpo is dynamic. what it is to one person may not be the same for another. And thats the beauty of it. watch some of the tapes of the different masters and you will see vast differences. asking what is kenpo is like asking what is poetry. it has basics and foundations, but different interpretations.
 
P

ProfessorKenpo

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We have to figure out what it isn't. A sculptor will remove anything that isn't the figure he/she has in mind for their art. The old story about how did you carve that bear outta that log and the guy says I just chipped away anything that didn't look like a bear.

Have a great Kenpo day

Clyde
 
R

RCastillo

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Originally posted by ProfessorKenpo
We have to figure out what it isn't. A sculptor will remove anything that isn't the figure he/she has in mind for their art. The old story about how did you carve that bear outta that log and the guy says I just chipped away anything that didn't look like a bear.

Have a great Kenpo day

Clyde

Hey, their ain't no bears in San Angelo, only California!;)
 
R

RCastillo

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Originally posted by Old Fat Kenpoka
It's the history that makes it Kenpo.

I won't try and summarize Kenpo history here. That has been done better elsewhere. We can say that ALL Kenpo styles can trace their lineage back to James Mitose. MOST Kenpo styles trace their lineage back to Mitose's student William Chow. The Majority of Kenpo stylists in the world trace their lineage back to Chow's student, Ed Parker.

Not all Kenpo descends from Ed Parker. Not all Kenpo uses the principles and vocabulary of EPAK. Yet they are still kenpo!

Kenpo is a martial art utilizing strikes and joint locks executed from primarily from a standing position. Kenpo emphasizes combinations of fast circular strikes.

I am sure there are others here who can say it much better than I have.

I like the way you defined it in that next to the last paragraph. I think we have a winner!;)
 
R

RCastillo

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Originally posted by Fastmover
OK at the risk of getting yelled at here goes!

Throughout other threads there is post after post from those that
state without reservation that Kenpo is not lacking and it
is all inclussive system. Yet when someone like Mr Mills and others
applies the principles of Kenpo and creates a curriculum with
for example Knives, clubs and ground work this philosophy
is wrong? These same folks start screaming this isnt Kenpo?

Consider within Kenpo, it does have a complete alphabet
of motion and principles that can be applied multi-dimensional.
I believe this to be the core strength of Kenpo.

So let me ask this question, what is Kenpo? Is it the principles
that make Kenpo or is it the sequence of movements?


Last dont yell at me about........here we go again.........if
anything its OFK fault with the new thread!!!

John

Where in Texas are you from? There are so few of us here! The moderators think they work for the INS, or something!;)
 

molson

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Another Texan checking in. Gotta love this weather... Well not as Stormy in Dallas
 

MJS

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Originally posted by Fastmover

Consider within Kenpo, it does have a complete alphabet
of motion and principles that can be applied multi-dimensional.
I believe this to be the core strength of Kenpo.


John [/B]

You are correct in saying that!!! The movements, punches, kicks, tech., etc. are all parts to the puzzel. Everybody has to find there own way of putting it together for themselves. What might work for one person, might not work for another.

As for Mr. Mills and his brand of Kenpo. Again, you're correct! It is all the same. He did what Parker did when he learned Kenpo. Parker changed things to make it work better. This is what Mills is doing. If you look at his site, he talks about a few tech, and what makes them different. The one that comes to mind is Circle of Protection. He made a few minor changes. Did he change the entire tech? No. He just changed it to make it work better for him.

Like I said in another post----Its all the same, just mixed a little differently!

Mike
 

Old Fat Kenpoka

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FastMover, MJS: I beg to differ one one of your key points. The vocabulary and principles you learn at a Kosho-Ryu, Kara-ho, Karazenpo, Shaolin Kenpo, Villari, Cerio, Parker/Tracy school are all different. You can in fact study at one of these subsystems and go visit another and not understand a single word being said or recognize a single technique or kata.

The alphabets are different just as the English alphabet is different than the Spanish, French, German, and Italian alphabets. Many of the letters are the same, but you pronounce them quite a bit differently. Remember, much of the terminology and philosophy in EPAK and Tracy come directly from Parker. Non-Parker lineage Kenpo has a different language!

I think there is something else that defines Kenpo. I don't think I can explain it very well. I tried above, but don't think that it is the best explanation any of us can come up with. I do also think the key can be found within the common history of Kenpo.

I do agree with MJS and Ender that Kenpo is flexible and adaptable to the practitioner. That is an important element of Kenpo that I failed to capture in my earlier attempt above.
 

MJS

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Originally posted by Old Fat Kenpoka
FastMover, MJS: I beg to differ one one of your key points. The vocabulary and principles you learn at a Kosho-Ryu, Kara-ho, Karazenpo, Shaolin Kenpo, Villari, Cerio, Parker/Tracy school are all different. You can in fact study at one of these subsystems and go visit another and not understand a single word being said or recognize a single technique or kata.

The alphabets are different just as the English alphabet is different than the Spanish, French, German, and Italian alphabets. Many of the letters are the same, but you pronounce them quite a bit differently. Remember, much of the terminology and philosophy in EPAK and Tracy come directly from Parker. Non-Parker lineage Kenpo has a different language!

I think there is something else that defines Kenpo. I don't think I can explain it very well. I tried above, but don't think that it is the best explanation any of us can come up with. I do also think the key can be found within the common history of Kenpo.

I do agree with MJS and Ender that Kenpo is flexible and adaptable to the practitioner. That is an important element of Kenpo that I failed to capture in my earlier attempt above.

OFK--I agree. Tracy,Parker, Villari, etc are different. I was referring to the different variations that you find in EPAK. I orginally started my training at a Villari school, and then changed to EPAK. And you are correct, there was a huge difference....the katas, SD, theories of doing things, etc.

Mike
 
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Fastmover

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Originally posted by RCastillo
Where in Texas are you from? There are so few of us here! The moderators think they work for the INS, or something!;)

Hey,

Im in Dallas/Ft. Worth. :)

Be Good

John
 
W

WhiteTiger

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Originally posted by Fastmover
OK at the risk of getting yelled at here goes!

Throughout other threads there is post after post from those that
state without reservation that Kenpo is not lacking and it
is all inclussive system. Yet when someone like Mr Mills and others
applies the principles of Kenpo and creates a curriculum with
for example Knives, clubs and ground work this philosophy
is wrong? These same folks start screaming this isnt Kenpo?

Traditionlly speaking, Kenpo, Chuan'Fa, meaning Fist Law - is an empty handed Art, when you add weapons it is no longer empty handed. The statements about Kenpo being all encompassing are in reference to the concepts and principles of motion in self defense. These principles translate to the use of weapons for self-defense as well, but weapons training is not part of the traditional Kenpo/Kempo art. In modern times the lines beween arts has been blurred particularlly by the advent of Mixed MAs. Traditionally Kenpo, Kenjitsu, Bojitsu, and Diajitsu are each their own art, but the principles of motion are universal.
 

pete

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are there principles in, say Villari, Cerio, or Tracy systems that contradict Parker's American Kenpo system? or vise-verse?

now i don't mean how many techniques there may be, or what weapons may be used, but what i'm looking for is a difference in principle.
 
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WhiteTiger

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Originally posted by pete
are there principles in, say Villari, Cerio, or Tracy systems that contradict Parker's American Kenpo system? or vise-verse?

now i don't mean how many techniques there may be, or what weapons may be used, but what i'm looking for is a difference in principle.

I am a Tracys practitioner with some exposure to EPAK, however, I know nothing about the Villari, or Cerio systems. From my own experience the principles of motion are taught in all of these systems, althought they are often called by a different name. The Tracy's and Chinese Kenpo systems aren't as concerned with the scientific names and definitions, as they are the general concepts involved. Having an engineering degree it was easy for me to recognize the use of Newtons Laws of motion in kenpo. Ed Parker did not invent these concepts, only a method of teaching them as they apply to self-defense. These laws of motion are universal.
 

Doc

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As I have often stated, we must avoid speaking of Kenpo in general terms. In fact the term itself has become synonymous with a "modern eclectic self defense vehicle with general Hawaiian lineage," whose concepts and particular interpretations are predicated on the instructors educational background and experiences in general, and what he/she chooses to teach in particular. In other words, "Kenpo" has evolved into a "generic" term just like "karate." You never know what it is until you examine what is being taught and by whom. I think most of these forums prove exactly that. The lesson here is to be specific in discussions beyond the EPAK, Tracy, Shaolin, Cerio etc references. They mean nothing. The variations within categories is just too great. Start with your brand of "Kenpo," talk about what you do, and how you do it, and how you can make it better. After all, what you call it on the sidewalk really doesn't matter as long as it works.
 

Touch Of Death

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Where are you Billy? this is our thread dude. But First I must slay the Kenpo Dragon. What ever happened to that guy?
 

KenpoDave

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Originally posted by Old Fat Kenpoka

Kenpo is a martial art utilizing strikes and joint locks executed from primarily from a standing position. Kenpo emphasizes combinations of fast circular strikes.

I am sure there are others here who can say it much better than I have.

I like that definition. Anything much more complex than that starts getting into a more subjective or individual realm.

From what I have read, in Japan, kenpo was a part of a broader curriculum that included various weapons, groundfighting, etc. Kenpo was the part of the art that focused on striking vital areas of the body.

What we got was Mitose's blend of kenpo and jujitsu, the 2 empty hand parts of a likely wider "ryu" that he had learned.

From there, kenpo has evolved into what we now have. But it is important to remember that words like Parker, American, Tracy, Villari, Shaolin, etc., are adjectives describing the noun, kenpo.

It was fascinating a few weeks ago to attend a seminar taught by Al Tracy at Nick Chamberlain's kenpo studio in Dallas. Mr. Chamberlain was a student of Nick Cerio and that is the kenpo that his school practices. Al Tracy was there to give a seminar on self defense, and was able to pull Mr. Chamberlain's students out of the crowd and have them demonstrate kenpo principles.

It was great. You may say tomato and I say tomato;) (hard to see the difference when written down, eh) but when he threw a punch, the movement, the kenpo, was correct. The hand came up right, the feet moved to the right position, the body weight was adjusted for follow up strikes, but it wasn't Tracy's Kenpo, per se. It was kenpo.

To me, the FACT that there are all these people out there that express there kenpo differently, yet correctly, says volumes for kenpo
 

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