What made Kenpo Grow ??

Tom Bleecker

White Belt
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Location
Southern California
All martial arts styles grew during that period, not just Kenpo. That said, Kenpo flourished because of: (1) the Long Beach Internationals, (2) Bruce Lee's movies, (3) the huge success of the syndicated TV show "Kung Fu," (4) Ed Parker's charisma, (5) a tough team of Kenpo fighters who were winning on the tournament circuit, and (6) the Vietnam War, to name a half dozen. Salute
 

dianhsuhe

Blue Belt
Joined
May 19, 2005
Messages
296
Reaction score
5
Location
San Diego Area
What made it grow? Ed Parker and his relationships with Elvis, Bruce Lee and others...

I think a better question would be "What made Kenpo/Kempo worthy of soo much growth in the first place?"

The short answer:
Professor William Kwai Sun Chow of Hawaii.

Another short answer:
A system that was created to be effective in the streets #1

Another question might be: "Would we be better off if Kenpo was NOT soo popular?"

Jamey
 

shaolinmonkmark

Green Belt
Joined
Jul 9, 2009
Messages
153
Reaction score
3
No disrespect here towards these two,(I know them), but Mattera and Demasco just took what was already in place and called it by another name. So, in my opinon, they are not responsable with the large growth of Kenpo/Kempo.



correct, but mattera(west coast) 's style/instructors/USSD helped in creating more students, as did demascos, as did Villari's and Cerios as well.
I look at it like this, if we take all EPAK/Shaolin Kempo/Cerio Kempo/Kempojitsu kai/Kajukembo,karazempo, Kara-Ho, and dumped in all in a bowl, there we have it!
 

DocWard

Purple Belt
Joined
Aug 13, 2008
Messages
305
Reaction score
179
Location
Ohio
I might add that Kenpo seemed to show up in both tournements and as a basis for Kickboxing way back when. I can still remember seeing Jay T. Will as a PKA ref.

I remember looking at a Tang Soo Do school and the instructor, instead of spending his time telling me why the art had merit, spent most of his time running down EPAK as only good for tournements and kickboxing. Even though I had no real desire to compete, I ended up in Kenpo, and not Tang Soo Do. He didn't push me toward Kenpo as much as away from Tang Soo Do.
 

DocWard

Purple Belt
Joined
Aug 13, 2008
Messages
305
Reaction score
179
Location
Ohio
Another question might be: "Would we be better off if Kenpo was NOT soo popular?"

Jamey

For me, that question is rather vague and brings forth other questions.

Would WHO be better off? Kenpo stylists? The martial arts community?

HOW do you define "better off?"
 

Touch Of Death

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
May 6, 2003
Messages
11,610
Reaction score
845
Location
Spokane Valley WA
I might add that Kenpo seemed to show up in both tournements and as a basis for Kickboxing way back when. I can still remember seeing Jay T. Will as a PKA ref.

I remember looking at a Tang Soo Do school and the instructor, instead of spending his time telling me why the art had merit, spent most of his time running down EPAK as only good for tournements and kickboxing. Even though I had no real desire to compete, I ended up in Kenpo, and not Tang Soo Do. He didn't push me toward Kenpo as much as away from Tang Soo Do.
I would say it was the teacher you had, but welcome anyways.:)
Sean
 

DocWard

Purple Belt
Joined
Aug 13, 2008
Messages
305
Reaction score
179
Location
Ohio
I would say it was the teacher you had, but welcome anyways.:)
Sean

Well, that part goes without saying! I would never have gotten as far as I have without the patience of my instructor!

In the interest of full disclosure, I was in San Antonio during Desert Storm, and that was my first real exposure to the martial arts, where I studied for a few months in another art. When I was getting ready to be de-activated and head home, I asked my instructor if he could recommend a style back home. Without hesitation he said "Kenpo."
 

dianhsuhe

Blue Belt
Joined
May 19, 2005
Messages
296
Reaction score
5
Location
San Diego Area
For me, that question is rather vague and brings forth other questions.

Would WHO be better off? Kenpo stylists? The martial arts community?

HOW do you define "better off?"

68 Whiskey, thanks for your service!

I am talking about quality vs quantity, if there had not been a kenpo explosion (or at least growth) do you think that the quality of the art (styles, teachers, etc.) would be higher?

Reminds me of Ninjitsu in the 1980's, it became so popular that there were a ton of unqualified people teaching it just to capitalize financially.

Does USSD for example help the overall reputation of Kenpo?

James
 

DocWard

Purple Belt
Joined
Aug 13, 2008
Messages
305
Reaction score
179
Location
Ohio
68 Whiskey, thanks for your service!

Thank you, very much.

I am talking about quality vs quantity, if there had not been a kenpo explosion (or at least growth) do you think that the quality of the art (styles, teachers, etc.) would be higher?

Reminds me of Ninjitsu in the 1980's, it became so popular that there were a ton of unqualified people teaching it just to capitalize financially.

I am of the opinion that despite the quantity of instructors, there remain highly proficient and respected instructors who maintain an extremely high level of quality. I would assume you don't disagree with that. So long as that remains true, it seems to me that the quantity doesn't effect the quality of the art at the highest levels.

I believe that where problems occur is when instructors who aren't qualified, either technically, in their ability to teach, or even ethically, begin to give the art a bad name, and their students further dilute the quality of the art.

To me, while it may harm the reputation of the art in the larger community, it doesn't harm the overall quality of the art.

To use an analogy, I remember a professor in law school reminding me that somewhere in the U.S., the worst lawyer in the country was practicing law. Lawyer jokes aside, does this mean the overall quality of the legal practice is low? No, only for those clients of that lawyer. If it assists the analogy, one can use doctors and medicine, or what have you. Since we still have outstanding legal minds (and medical minds), hard at work challenging the limits of our knowledge and striving to keep the highest ideals intact, we continue to have a high quality, and expand our knowledge base.

Does USSD for example help the overall reputation of Kenpo

This is sort of along the lines of what I was discussing above. Certainly, organizations have the ability to enhance or detract from overall reputation, just as individual instructors do. Sadly, it is typically the bad that we hear that is remembered, and past along.

To sum up, I am glad there was an explosion of Kenpo, or I might not have been fortunate to have an instructor in my town whom I could study under. On the other hand, I don't like the thought of someone rolling their eyes or smirking when I say I am a Kenpo stylist, so I can see the logical concern inherent in your questions.
 
Top