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  1. FinalLegion is online now
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    Posted On:
    2/04/2013 2:08am

    supporting member
     Style: Shotokan

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Thinking about Kempo

    I've been thinking about attending an Ed Parker Kempo school in my area as I've found some of the demonstrations very intriguing. While perusing some Kempo vids on YouTube, I beheld quite a few negative comments coming from people who claim to be well-versed in martial arts. The biggest criticisms I found had to do with three things:
    1. That Kempo is just two people "slapping" each other (which I don't I get because the demos I saw didn't appear that way).
    2. Kempo is nothing more than a lot of complicated and fancy named katas and techniques that don't work well in reality.
    3. Training depends on compliant partners.

    Now, I have very little exposure to Kempo and have no idea if these criticisms are baseless, have a little merit...whatever. I'm looking for advice from those who are much more knowledgeable than I.
  2. wetware is online now

    Senior Member

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    Posted On:
    2/04/2013 4:58am


     Style: BJJ/MT

    4
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by FinalLegion View Post
    I've been thinking about attending an Ed Parker Kempo school in my area as I've found some of the demonstrations very intriguing. While perusing some Kempo vids on YouTube, I beheld quite a few negative comments coming from people who claim to be well-versed in martial arts. The biggest criticisms I found had to do with three things:
    I did a few years of Kempo. Let's see if I can help...
    First thing that must be said... even within the "official" organization there exists a vast divide. Some schools spar hard. Some spar for point karate competitions. Some don't spar at all, claiming that if they did they would instantly kill each other by accident.

    Quote Originally Posted by FinalLegion View Post
    1. That Kempo is just two people "slapping" each other (which I don't I get because the demos I saw didn't appear that way).
    This is part of the above. There's a subset of American Kempo Karate (AKK from now on) that uses the concept of "inserts" and wants everything to boil down to the number of strikes generated in a given amount of time. Once they begin to disregard form in order to strike more often you get the slap-battle bullshit people are complaining about.

    If they spar they know that doesn't actually do anything so they don't do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by FinalLegion View Post
    2. Kempo is nothing more than a lot of complicated and fancy named katas and techniques that don't work well in reality.
    A lot of the techniques work in the the really real world. I've used them myself on occasion. Five Swords and Something else to keep in mind here is that many of the techniques are also meant to encapsulate some concept within them as well and sometimes that seems to get left by the wayside. It's not just a rote "if you're attacked this way, respond with Triggered Salute!" type thing. I use Triggered Salute as an example because it's kind of dumb. But the idea is that you can 'steal' some of the energy that your opponent uses against you to use on them.

    Quote Originally Posted by FinalLegion View Post
    3. Training depends on compliant partners.
    Training always depends on compliant partners. You'd never learn how to do a kimura or triangle choke right if when you were first starting out people always did everything in their power to stop you. But I know what you mean. Too few Kempo places spar hard any more, but some do. If you find one of those, then great. If not, don't waste your time.

    Quote Originally Posted by FinalLegion View Post
    Now, I have very little exposure to Kempo and have no idea if these criticisms are baseless, have a little merit...whatever. I'm looking for advice from those who are much more knowledgeable than I.
    Kempo falls into a group of styles that if you ask then the answer you should get is: Your Mileage May Vary. Some places are very good. Some not so much. See if they spar. If they do, then great. Most of them won't let you do it until blue or green belt if they do at all. If they don't, go elsewhere.
  3. Diesel_tke is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/04/2013 8:55am

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     Style: stick,Taiji, mountainbike

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by FinalLegion View Post
    While perusing some Kempo vids on YouTube, I beheld quite a few negative comments coming from people who claim to be well-versed in martial arts.
    There is your biggest problem. Don't ever take youtube comments to heart. Everything else, wetware covered well. Check out a school yourself. The only way to really know.
    Combatives training log.

    Gezere: paraphrase from Bas Rutten, Never escalate the level of violence in fight you are losing. :D

    Drum thread

    Pavel Tsatsouline: kettlebell workouts give you “cardio without the dishonour of aerobics”.
  4. Goddels is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/04/2013 11:24am


     Style: FMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I know that this is not necessarily a valid point in this discussion but, in the early UFC's some of the most adaptably effective, non grappling, fighters from a "traditional" background seemed to have a kenpo root (eg. Hackney).

    This goes to the earlier comment about choosing the person/school over the system/style.
  5. patfromlogan is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/12/2013 12:53pm

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     Style: Kyokushinkai / Kajukenbo

    2
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Wetware said it, check out the school. Here in Hawaii I found most Ke?po to be of a really high level training - hard sparring, sweaty bag work, in one school, stealing BJJ techniques and drills as warmups every night - fucking great idea! (guard to side to full reversals up and down the floor - they don't claim to teach BJJ, just use drills every lesson and everyone gets all sweaty and VERY comfortable with rolling on a hard floor).

    That said, there are some weaker (IMHO) dojos that do too much kata, and/or nunchucks, point sparring, or spend lots of time conditioning and little fighting and such, even in Hawaii... The quality control in Kenpo/Kempo schools doesn't exist, so some suck and some are great. The good ones often keep the Hawaiian aloha attitude with the Hawaiian "geeve 'em" - a hard enthusiasm, and the Hawaiian ability to take all sorts of cultures and makes it part of the whole.

    But for sure go work out as a guest a few times and see how it goes.
    "Preparing mentally, the most important thing is, if you aren't doing it for the love of it, then don't do it." - Benny Urquidez
  6. Galope is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/07/2013 11:43am


     Style: Kempo Karate, BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    This was really informative and help me decide whether or not I wanted to sign up for FKKS. Thank you.
  7. WoodyCorpus is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/12/2013 1:09pm


     Style: American Kenpo, Judo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I'd like to chime in. Been away for a while. Training hard :-/
    Anyway, I'm currently an orange belt in a dojo that's deeply rooted in EPAK, Skip Hancock lineage. There are many currents within EPAK and one will be more ... Bullshido than the other.
    It is my personal belief that, if trained propperly, Kenpo can be a very good self defense system. Our dojo encourages "training with intent". This means that the attacker will perform an attack to his/hers best knowledge and the defender will act and execute a certain defense accordingly. Given the fact that a lot of EPAK techniques have a groin shot, I can assure you this is not fun, even when wearing cups.
    What you call slapping we call "dusting the kimono". It would seem that a lot of dojo's have opted for this kind of training because they are afraid to lose members because of the hard training, thus becoming McDojo's the way I see it. I've recently started cross training in MT, and I hope to pick up judo again in 2014, but Kenpo has a certain valour to it. I believe it develops a great deal of coordination and speed in a practioner.
    As has been said: the club is the key. If you're not convinced by what you see when attending a training session this is not the club for you.
    And one more point: a lot of clubs spar in a semi contact fashion because that is the way IKC competitions are fought. It has nothing to do with the techniques other than he fact that you get a point for a groin shot, as I was unlucky enough to experience last year at the IKC in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
  8. Sisyphus is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/23/2013 5:52pm


     Style: Japanese Martial Arts

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by FinalLegion View Post
    I've been thinking about attending an Ed Parker Kempo school in my area as I've found some of the demonstrations very intriguing. While perusing some Kempo vids on YouTube, I beheld quite a few negative comments coming from people who claim to be well-versed in martial arts. The biggest criticisms I found had to do with three things:
    1. That Kempo is just two people "slapping" each other (which I don't I get because the demos I saw didn't appear that way).
    2. Kempo is nothing more than a lot of complicated and fancy named katas and techniques that don't work well in reality.
    3. Training depends on compliant partners.

    Now, I have very little exposure to Kempo and have no idea if these criticisms are baseless, have a little merit...whatever. I'm looking for advice from those who are much more knowledgeable than I.
    I would add two more:

    4. What is the Ke?po school business model.
    How hard are the hits - to your wallet?
    Is it pay month-to-month or getting you into extended contracts?

    5. It is not just compliant partners - how much of their self-defense drills are not based upon defending against right-handed punching attacks to your head?
    If they have set piece "combos" - do they ever make you try it on the opposite side (as in left-handed)
  9. Permalost is offline
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    pro nonsense self defense

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    Posted On:
    4/23/2013 5:56pm

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     Style: FMA, dumbek, Indian clubs

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Goddels View Post
    I know that this is not necessarily a valid point in this discussion but, in the early UFC's some of the most adaptably effective, non grappling, fighters from a "traditional" background seemed to have a kenpo root (eg. Hackney).
    These fighters generally won with punches and crappling though, not by skillful application of Snapping Twig or Darting Maces.
  10. T, Mr. is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/13/2014 7:29pm


     Style: Hapkido.

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    There are some Kenpo schools that have the partner to stay frozen in place while he is hit a dozen times. But there are short and sweet Kenpo technqies which can be used in real life or easily modified to be more street fight effective, such as Five Swords.

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