Kokondo Karate is primarily a Japanese style of karate. Founded by Mr. Paul Arel, it uses principles indigenous to the far east. As in the case of most popular styles, it is a compilation of several systems. Techniques are from the most effective karate methods of Japan, Okinawa and China. It is doubtful that any karate style existing today is as pure as the original. Kokondo, however, has borrowed only those techniques known to be authentic and effective!
There are hundreds of styles of karate now being practiced. More than half of these have been developed within the last forty years. Our system is one of these…..but only in name. In principle, Kokondo is as old as the oldest known oriental martial art. In technique, it is among the arts of the ancients.
While the techniques of Kokondo contain the combined influence of China, Thailand, Burma and the Philippines, it is primarily a Japanese style with emphasis on the Shorinji (China) point and circles.
Though Kokondo karate-ka indulge in kumite and other competitive events at shiai, the emphasis of our art is self defense and perfection of technique….the original intent of any true form of martial art. Self defense training must take into consideration the various methods of attack and defense. This includes: attacks from the rear and side, attacks with weapons (knives, guns, club etc.) surprise attacks, multiple attacks, close quarter fighting and the defense against grabs and holds. Obviously sport karate cannot, by virtue of stringent rules and regulations, accomplish this end. We feel that the sport of karate has much merit as an activity for those who enjoy this type of competition. But we should not place sport karate in a category that might imply that it is the art of karate for it is the farthest thing from it. One must always remember that when rules are applied to any fighting situation, the fighters ability, versatility and full effectiveness is hindered. Kokondo's kumite is extremely realistic and includes multiple attackers.
Kokondo's emphasis places it more in the Jutsu system of martial arts and should be termed a karate-jutsu system. When the word is used, it is merely for simplification.
Within the International Kokondo Association, there are two distinct arts: Kokondo Karate and Jukido Jujitsu, both of which are traditional Japanese styles that emphasize practical, effective self defense.
As with all modern styles, the kata practiced are drawn from a variety of sources, (such as Shotokan's inclusion of Shorin and Shorei kata.) The primary styles which influence Kokondo are Sankata karate-jitsu, Sanzyuryu Jujitsu, and Kyokushin karate.
Kokondo does include a large number of kata (about 70) including 6 bo, 6 sai, and a tonfa kata. We include 3 Taikyoku, 5 Pinan, 6 Henka, Uke kata, geri kata, 6 kihon kata, konsho, konni, konsan, saifa, basai, kanku, gojushiho, sushiho, niaha, and many others. There are a number of kata which are unique to Kokondo as well as most of the more advanced kata of the Shotokan syllabus and many from the Goju-Ryu syllabus. Bunkai of every Kata is greatly explained since this is where the self-defense are hidden.
There are about 30 kata required by the time one reaches Shodan. Along with the kata, Kokondo emphasizes bunkai, the analysis and application of techniques contained within kata for practical self-defense. Many IKA members train in both Jukido Jujitsu and Kokondo Karate which perfectly compliment each other and provide a strong and balanced arsenal of techniques for self defense. They work together in such a way that the techniques, principles, and philosophies of one art do not conflict with those of the other.