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Mr. Jones
8/12/2006 11:32pm,
What is Kempo exactly? Originally I thought Kempo was just those Karate guys who wore black gi's. But I noticed some users on bullshido have different types of Kempo and they seem totally unrelated. When I watch tv I see everyone refer to Kenshiro's style as kempo when it's obviously CMA. This Kempo also confuses me with it's different spellings of Kenpo and Kempo. What is the correct spelling?

Ke?poFist
8/13/2006 12:34am,
Kempo is an incredibly generic term, nearly as vague as saying you do Karate.
The word itself translates into english, "The way/law of the fist" and into Chinese as the words Ch'aun Fa. Kenpo is just another spelling as translation through romanization often leads to differences such as this.

Most Kempo you see in the US today is derived from the school run by James Mitose and William K.S. Chow back in Hawaii during the 1940's. The lineage of the arts before them are fairly unfounded, as some will tell you Mitose trained in a family form of Okinawan Kenpo and that Chow's father (a Chinese monk) taught him Kung Fu before coming to Hawaii.

Regardless of this, one of their top students was a man by the name of Adriano Emperado, who trained and sparred on the side with a group of friends who had various martial arts backgrounds whom later became known as the founders of Kajukenbo. From that system, various students opened up their own schools and systems including Ed Parker (who allegedly was a student of both Chow and Emperado) and they all had their own flavor.

9/10 Ke?po schools you find in the US trace some form of lineage back to Kajukenbo, but unfortunately what they teach looks nothing like the original art which could be argued to be one of the earliest mixed martial arts.

Today most Kempo schools will claim to teach a mix of Kung Fu, Jujitsu, Karate as well as incorporating a number of other arts such as TKD, kickboxing, Chin-Na etc...

Oh and the black gi's I believe were originally a Kajukenbo thing to express their badassness over the other martial arts that all wore white gi's. That and something about absorbing and covering all the blood that was shed in class :)

Ke?poFist
8/13/2006 12:36am,
Oh and there are many other forms of Ke?po that don't claim that form of lineage such as Shorinji Kempo and Ryukyu Kenpo but just about every other of these systems was founded in Okinawa and follow a similar stylized form much reminiscent to harder styles of Karate.

Won Dom Fok
8/13/2006 1:37am,
The definition given in Wikipedia is about as concise, and as accurate, short of a dissertation, as you are going to find. Type in kenpo, It's just a different spelling for the same art.

Mr. Jones
8/13/2006 10:00am,
thanks Kempo Fist.

mrblackmagic
8/13/2006 10:27am,
It's the saving power of JE-sus KAH-rist flowing through my fist!

Be healed! *WHACK!*

Be healed! *WHAP!*

Be healed! *WHOP!*

This was a good question. Like "TMA," I pretty much summed it up to "I know it when I see it." Thanks a lot guys.

Sokaku
8/13/2006 10:34am,
Alleluia shall I say.

mrblackmagic
8/13/2006 10:37am,
Praise the Lord and give that man a band-aid.

*wipes forehead*

Sokaku
8/13/2006 10:40am,
Amen.

pauli
8/13/2006 11:41am,
since i didn't see the spelling thing addressed:

my understanding is that one convention of japanese pronuciation is that the letter (well, you know) n, when followed by p, is pronounced as m. thus, kenpo and kempo are (supposed to be) pronounced the same, with the writing in english being an act of hair splitting. same reason you'll see senpai/sempai.

/me waits for a japanese speaker to say YOU GOT IT ALL WRONG

wagamichi
8/13/2006 12:59pm,
since i didn't see the spelling thing addressed:

my understanding is that one convention of japanese pronuciation is that the letter (well, you know) n, when followed by p, is pronounced as m. thus, kenpo and kempo are (supposed to be) pronounced the same, with the writing in english being an act of hair splitting. same reason you'll see senpai/sempai.

/me waits for a japanese speaker to say YOU GOT IT ALL WRONG

The n was a printing mistake in a book by mitosi. after that it just kindof stuck with those people.

Neildo
8/13/2006 1:15pm,
Kendo?

When I was a kid, a lot of my friends had trouble making the distinction between one and the other.

Gezere
8/13/2006 3:36pm,
since i didn't see the spelling thing addressed:

my understanding is that one convention of japanese pronuciation is that the letter (well, you know) n, when followed by p, is pronounced as m. thus, kenpo and kempo are (supposed to be) pronounced the same, with the writing in english being an act of hair splitting. same reason you'll see senpai/sempai.

/me waits for a japanese speaker to say YOU GOT IT ALL WRONG

YOU GOT IT ALL WRONG! j/k


The n was a printing mistake in a book by mitosi. after that it just kindof stuck with those people.

Not really because KENPO is an acceptible romanization in Japan as found with Tenshin Koryu Kenpo, Araki Ryu Kenpo, and Nihon Kenpo. Not to mention the art of Jekenpo (bayonet fighting) that was developed during WWII. The kanji is different but the phonetic sound is the same.

RaiNnyX4
8/13/2006 3:56pm,
YOU GOT IT ALL WRONG! j/k



Not really because KENPO is an acceptible romanization in Japan as found with Tenshin Koryu Kenpo, Araki Ryu Kenpo, and Nihon Kenpo. Not to mention the art of Jekenpo (bayonet fighting) that was developed during WWII. The kanji is different but the phonetic sound is the same.

The "n" and "m" in Japanese is represented with the same character and are virtually interchangeable in the language as they aren't clearly distinguished.

While we're on the topic of spelling...I think you meant "Jukendo".

wagamichi
8/13/2006 4:23pm,
Found this,

One characteristic common to the Oriental languages is their use of the same written characters; however, the way the written characters are pronounced make the spoken language completely different from one country to another, or even from one part of the country to another. China is a classic example, with two major dialects: Mandarin (the official dialect) and Cantonese, plus hundreds of local dialects. It was this type of diversification which led to the development of so many different martial arts styles in China. There are over 300 styles of "Kung-fu" taught in China today.

Originally the martial arts in China were referred to as "Ch'uan-fa" meaning "fist law". The Japanese pronounce these same written characters "KENPO" -- or "KEMPO". In modern usage, "KENPO" spelled with and "N" indicates the original Chinese origin; when spelled with an "M" it indicates its incorporation into the Japanese culture. It was James M. Mitose, whose family moved from Japan to Hawaii, who established the spelling of "KeNpo" with an "N" in the art we teach and call "KENPO". The original art taught by Mitose in Hawaii was called "Kenpo Jiu-jitsu." Mitose (pronounced me-toe-see) wrote several books on the subject of Kenpo Jiu-jitsu.

Neildo
8/13/2006 4:27pm,
Nice find. Source?