Thread: Kenpo?? Please don't kill me...
4/13/2008 8:59pm, #1
Kenpo?? Please don't kill me...
Alright guys, a question out of sheer curiousity to all the kenpo people out there: What IS kenpo/kempo exactly? It seems to me to be the most unorginized word out there loosly meaning 'Chinese boxing' in japanese but in reality being some sort of mix of any asian martial arts that someone wants to start a style with (crazy uniforms and belt dans included).
Other than that it seems to be split between actual Kenpo as you would think of it (kung fu/karate mixes) in the form of japanese branches like Shorinji (shaolin?) Kenpo, Japanese Kenpo, Sushi kenpo, etc. with all the rest seeming to be to either popular hawaiian branches or a catch all term used by Americans making their own style.
Is that about right?
Last edited by nightowl; 4/13/2008 9:02pm at .
4/13/2008 10:03pm, #2
- Join Date
- Jun 2005
It's complicated, but not nearly as complicated as some people make it out to be.
I think the main thing that confuses people is that there are so many different styles of Kenpo. Some are very similar, like American and Tracy Kenpo, whereas some are very different from each other, like American Kenpo and Shorinji Kempo.
Kenpo roughly translates to "fist law", and yes, it is primarily chinese in its roots.
There are several Japanese interpertations of kenpo such as Shorinji Kempo, which is based more in philosophy and passivity than it is in actual combat.
Most forms of similar Kenpo styles that you hear about (Tracy, American, White Tiger, etc.) are American interpretations of a chinese art with a few other things thrown into the mix. These forms of kenpo have the most in common with each other and are the most widespread (at least in the states anyways). Most styles of kenpo can be identified by the following characteristics that set them apart from most other traditional martial arts:
- Situational self defense orientation.
- Multiple rapid fire strikes used to overwhelm an opponent.
- Wearing of the black gi.
- Little to no kicking above the waist.
- Circular patterns in striking, blocking, and movement.
- Significantly more hand strikes than kicks.
- Crazy hand positions (tiger claw!! Grrrrrr!!!)
- Tendency to have an overly cerebral way of looking at fighting.
You should do some research on your own for specific lineage and style histories if you are really that interested in knowing what ke?po is EXACTLY. The specifics can get quite deep and confusing.
4/14/2008 6:55am, #3Originally Posted by Nathan McScary
Last edited by nightowl; 4/14/2008 10:29pm at .
4/14/2008 8:41am, #4
4/18/2008 9:32pm, #5
- Join Date
- Apr 2008
Circular patterns??? Ok, yeah I guess I know what you mean... but "economy of motion" was always drilled into my training
but yeah.... Kenpo is kind of a catch all for general Karateesque MA
4/18/2008 10:46pm, #6Originally Posted by Jack_Cheze
NM did a pretty good job delineating it but it's too variable to pin it down much more than that.
4/18/2008 11:28pm, #7
- Join Date
- Sep 2007
Unfortunately, I have not had a chance to visit Hawaii, but from what I have read about it, it seems to be an intense place culturally. A lot of kenpo styles have roots in Hawaii and the style shows lots of variation. Add into this the use of kenpo and kempo to designate some additional styles from Japan and China and you have some serious chaos for tracking lineage and categorizing styles. Back to the OPs question, yeah your not far off.
4/19/2008 8:15pm, #8
This wiki article is decent
Kempo/Kenpo is different to different people, places, and cultures. Kempo from what I know is supposed to be an evolving art that takes in the good and throws away the bad, well at least the style I do. Over the years too many self proclaimed masters have crapped up the style. Whether it be sticking to the exact thing your teachers teacher taught regardless of it's effectiveness or not, or the all knowing arrogant asshole masters, the flashy gi's belts, rediculous ranks, etc. There are many different styles and many of them are tottally different from one another. My Kempo experince has been with a mix of a few styles of kempo. I found that the most effective style if taught properly with the right ideology is kajukenbo.
4/20/2008 5:20pm, #9
Odacon has the truth of it. You can't even judge a Ke?po school just on which substyle it is, you have to judge each school differently, as some, even from the most notorious mcdojo styles, will teach ke?po properly.
4/20/2008 8:28pm, #10Originally Posted by OdaconGUIZ THIS IS LIEK MY SIGNACHOOR LOLOL