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History of American Kenpo Karate

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    History of American Kenpo Karate

    What I'm looking for is the real lineage of AKK pre Ed Parker. Who Has what links? Who can point me in what direction? Where did James Mitose really learn his kenpo style from? I understand that a certain amount of the history was inflated by Mitose to make his style look good in the eyes of Japanese who were big on tradition/age. I consider this one of the most important steps in cleansing modern American MA culture of bullshido/mcdojos, as EP is often called the "Father of American Karate", and probably rightly so. But alot of the BS in American MA schools can probably be traced back to the distorted history of the style he created.

    #2
    Mitose and Parker

    Mitose hooked up with William Chow and did alot of PR. According to Chow, in an interview published in a recent Black Belt magazine, Mitose was mostly a good talker and Parker was just a green belt. Then again, in the same article claimed to be a fifteenth degree bkackbelt.

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      #3
      Alright, so where's your link, or how do I find the BB mag article. The only rule is you back everything you say in here with some sort of proof.

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        #4
        If your bookstore is slow in changing the stock, it might still be on the shelves.

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          #5
          Here are a few to start off -

          http://www.tracyskarate.com/

          http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=19787

          Some good links in there.

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            #6
            The article is in the July, 2005 issue of Black Belt on page 36.

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              #7
              Matt, you know I've already seen the Tracy's Karate link. What I'm looking for specifically is the Ryuha that Mitose originally studied under. We're talking twentieth century, so it couldn't be impossible to find.

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                #8
                Mitose is a man who spent most of his adult life as a criminal and conman, and died in prison serving a life term.
                He lied about being a Doctor of Divinty. He lied about being a ordained minister. He lied about being a Doctor of Oriental Medicine.
                So there's very little reason to believe his accounts of his martial arts training. There is no evidence to support his account of being "trained in a monastery in Japan". And all the techniques he did teach point to training in a Okinawan system, not a Shaolin based system taught in a monastery.
                He is long dead, and most of his contemporaries from the 30's and 40's are dead. So it's pretty unlikely that the truth about his training will ever be discovered.

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                  #9
                  Bishop, I'm saying, where is your documentation. Where is the link to a website with an interview with someone who knew Mitose. Bashing James Mitose is not acceptable in this thread. Providing me with a link to something that tells me why you believe what you say is. I know about Mitose's "con", and his prison sentence, bashing him for those things is pointless. I want substantial information about the man and his training. I have every intention of writing an essay about the origins of AKK, and need the info from all different sides, not just the bashing of one man.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by bushi_no_ki
                    Bishop, I'm saying, where is your documentation. Where is the link to a website with an interview with someone who knew Mitose. Bashing James Mitose is not acceptable in this thread. Providing me with a link to something that tells me why you believe what you say is. I know about Mitose's "con", and his prison sentence, bashing him for those things is pointless. I want substantial information about the man and his training. I have every intention of writing an essay about the origins of AKK, and need the info from all different sides, not just the bashing of one man.
                    If Bishop is John Bishop, he's had direct access to people who knew Mitose, including Adriano Emperado. BJohn Bishop is also the person responsible for making the Mitose trial transcripts accessible to the public for a moderate fee.

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                      #11
                      On Martial Talk there was a decent hread on Mitose. Someone showed the connection between Mitoses techniques and a Okinwan Karate book (the name escapes me). Now that is a sketchy connection to make.
                      But the evidence of Mitose training in a temple is even less

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by bushi_no_ki
                        Bishop, I'm saying, where is your documentation. Where is the link to a website with an interview with someone who knew Mitose. Bashing James Mitose is not acceptable in this thread. Providing me with a link to something that tells me why you believe what you say is. I know about Mitose's "con", and his prison sentence, bashing him for those things is pointless. I want substantial information about the man and his training. I have every intention of writing an essay about the origins of AKK, and need the info from all different sides, not just the bashing of one man.
                        If telling the truth is "bashing", then so be it. James Mitose's criminal record dates back to the 1940's and is public information.
                        And yes, I've interviewed many people who knew James Mitose as far back as the 40's. Some of these people would be: Adriano Emperado, Ed Parker, Sig Kufferath, Wally Jay, Thomas Young, Richard Kim, and a few who knew him in the 70's-81.
                        You can go ahead and believe the story about the monks and the Koshoji Temple, but there is nothing in what Mitose actually taught that resembles a Shaolin based temple art.
                        First off Mitose's book was a plagarized english translation of a "Karate Kempo" book written years before by Choki Motobu.
                        Mitose taught 1 kata, "Naihanchi Shodan". This is a kata from Okinawan karate, that was a favorite of Choki Motobu's.
                        Mitose told people in the 40's-50's (including Adriano Emperado) that his teacher was his uncle, Choki Motobu.
                        Mitose's students trained extensively with the "makiwara", a Okinawan training device.
                        And who does Mitose have pictured in his book? Not any Mitose family "Kosho" masters, but two Okinawan karate masters. Choki Motobu, and Kanesuke Higashiona.
                        Mitose's students in Hawaii never heard of "Kosho Ryu" , until Mitose's book came out after Mitose left Hawaii. They we told their system was "Kenpo Jiu Jutsu".
                        Even the book was a con. Mitose had several of his students invest money in it so Mitose could self publish it. They were all supposed to share in the profits from the book. Well, Mitose left Hawaii with the books, and no one ever got a dime from the sales of the book; except Mitose.
                        But anyway, you go ahead and search for evidence to support the fairy tale of the Koshoji Temple and Kosho Shorei Ryu Kenpo.
                        But please, bring forth your evidence here when you finally find the truth that all of us have been missing over the decades.

                        John Bishop
                        Last edited by Bishop; 7/28/2005 12:13pm, .

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                          #13
                          'sup, John. . .
                          welcome to Bullshido!

                          `~/
                          sigpic

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                            #14
                            John, thank you for going more in depth on that. Now we've crossed the line from bashing to honest research. I might have believed parts of the story when I was a white belt, had I ever been told the story, but my study of japanese culture has warned me not to believe such obvious bs. You've just given me one of the key links in the chain of history, actual people who knew mitose, but wouldn't have any motivations to maintain his stories (ie Ed Parker or Al Tracy). Now that I have a discernible link to Okinawan MA, I can search along those lines. What ever may be said about Mitose's character, his arts weren't very questionable.
                            Last edited by bushi_no_ki; 7/27/2005 9:35pm, .

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by bushi_no_ki
                              I understand that a certain amount of the history was inflated by Mitose to make his style look good in the eyes of Japanese who were big on tradition/age.

                              Originally posted by bushi_no_ki
                              The only rule is you back everything you say in here with some sort of proof.
                              ?????

                              Comment

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