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Discussion in 'The Martial Arts Forum' started by HOGUEMEISTER, Oct 18, 2005.
Does anyone out there practice Kenpo?
No, I'm interested in learning about it though.
Kenpo is a somewhat generic term. In some circles it is used interchangeably with "Karate".
Any specific type or school you're looking to find out about? I may be able to shed a very small bit of light on the subject.
I heard it was like Japanese kickboxing. What I really want to know is, what it looks like, what kind of techniques they use. Do they use those embarassing, rigid-arm-and-body traditional punches? Or do they use the more free-flowing, efficient boxing/kickboxing moves? Do they have full-contact sparring? Do they do any throws? Any joint locks?
These things depend more on how you learn (and how you're instructed). At times you will see both hard and soft techniques. Some locks, and some throws are all incorporated, but you have to usually learn those embarassing punches along the way to understanding the other techniques. Do not confuse realistic combat situations with the basic training techniques you may be familiar with. A punch is usually trained a very specific way in order to learn the finer points. A simple punch in training can be a very detailed and difficult technique. This is in the hope that some of the technique will remain when you throw it at full speed/power. The same punch can be totally fluid and free-flowing. There are not a lot of "Traditional martial arts" that resemble boxing or kickboxing until you put them in the ring.
Sparring is always an optional amount of force. Again, depending on the students and the instruction, contact sparring is typically learned at some point in most arts.
I don't mean to avoid giving a concise, accurate answer it 's just a broad question. I think the best way to answer your question is to go and see for yourself. Most classes are happy to let you sit in and watch.
Then yes, I studied it for a couple of years.
Very logical, very efficient, and very hard to find knowledgeable instructors.
Probably the best in the business today is Paul Mills. You can see some videos of him at his website (http://www.akki.com).
His nickname is "the Smiling Guillotine" and he was one of Parker's private students (many say he was the most talented of them all, and if you feel his strikes in person, it would be hard to imagine anyone doing it any better).
Kenpo is a very logical approach to the Chinese style arts, IMHO. Many of the movements are similar to the more compact Chinese systems.
Five years of Parker style American Kenpo under Donald Smith.
It is very important and very hard to find a good instructor.
Mr. Smith's studio is in Bend Oregon, I have yet to find a good studio close to the Portland Metro area.
I don't know Mr. Mills but have studied in Mr. Steve LaBounty's line for over 15 years and have recently started studying under Mr. Huk Planas' line as well.
One thing a person must realize is that each of Mr. Parkers black belts (or anyone for that matter) has an area where they are more proficient than another area. Mr. Planas = Kata; Mr. Sepulveda = fighting.
The one thing we need to think about is that Kenpo is the study of motion in relation to the human body keeping in mind all of the principles and concepts of that motion.
One important thing to think about when choosing and instructor is weather or not he/she adheres to the principle and concepts and they have a teaching style that meshes with your personality.
What rschoon and Mr. Sampson said....
I studied for some time in Delaware while I lived in PA. Made it to 2nd Brown before I had to leave for various reasons. I attended various seminars under Richard "Huk" Planas, Joe Palanzo, and Frank Trejo (all 1st generation students of Mr. Parker)
I studied Isshinryu karate while in high school (only made it to green belt)
I see Isshinryu as a relatively "hard" style.
Other styles (Akikdo, Ju-Jitsu, etc) as "soft".
Kenpo (at least the way I was taught) always seemed to be a blending of the two. While defenitely a hard style (punches, blocks, kicks), there were enough throws and joint locks to round out the training. I've been looking for a place to continue studying Kenpo in the Savannah area. No such luck.
+1 on going to a few classes just to watch. If the place is legit, they won't have any problem with you watching. If you have any questions, ASK them (after the class is over, of course).
Growing up a buddy of mine had a brother that was into Kempo,and he used it with great effect on the streets.I did not like the high kicks he would throw sometimes.I was taught never to throw a kick above the belly button,which seemed to be good advice later. +1 on getting a good instructor--it makes all the difference in the world.
Yeah, typically you'll find that you don't want to kick to the head in a real fight, or serious sparring. Then again, don't limit your options, ever. Reminds me of a TKD friend I sparred with...once.
Hey Lunatic, who did you study with in Delaware? Just curious if it's anyone I may know of.
(Sorry about the off topic question guys.)
I just started Kenpo but am not sure I like my school or not. It's early, but I have heard there is another Kenpo school which is further away which offers more class days (six a week) and individual instruction once a week. I'm going to check it out soon.
I started out in Kaja Kempo, but can see the advantages to the more practical American Kenpo system already. What are your thoughts about that?
Also, I am interested in recommendations for Kenpo schools in California (East Bay Area and San Diego area) as well as Las Vegas. I am looking for good instruction (obviously) as well as many available class times and ideally, much open-gym time. Any help is extremely appreciated.
As his opponents hand came down to strike, ED did an about face lifted his knee very high and then did the same with his other knee as he beat feet in the opposite direction of the threat.
Studied for a little over five years with Pat Caputo's American Karate Studio. Really enjoyed it. I wish I could find a Kenpo school in Savannah.
"As his opponents hand came down to strike, ED did an about face lifted his knee very high and then did the same with his other knee as he beat feet in the opposite direction of the threat."
I don't doubt that story in the least. The best way to not get beat in a fight is to not be there in the first place. However, you would NOT have wanted to back Mr. Parker into a corner with no way out (except through you).
I can't find the reference to back up this statement, so take it for what it's worth, but...
Apparently, Bruce Lee once said of Ed Parker something to the effect of, "He is the most dangerous man in the world."
I saw an Aikido teacher say " always give way"
His student asked, "what happens when you run out of room?"
The teacher said, "come strong."
When his back was near the far wall the teacher Looked like he sat on a swivel chair, rotated in air and was behind the student with the whole room to move backward through.
I've studied Kenpo since 1986 in NY with the Traci system. I was an instructor from 1990 to 1997. I haven't competed since 2001, however, I still keep up on my technique in my basement.
I think you'll see quite a variation in what is called "Kenpo" as you go from school to school. In St. Louis, there are 4 Tracy's Karate schools teaching Kenpo and the style, concepts, and techniques taught in each school vary considerably, as each school takes on the personality of the owner and/or senior students there. The largest of the 4 has a strong focus on point-fighting and they tend to turn out excellent tournament fighters. The average black-belt coming out of that school has a good grasp on the Joe Louis point-fighting system, but has little ground-fighting experience. Another has incorportated jiu-jitsu and has more of a street-defense orientation. The average black-belt coming out of that school is a litte more well-rounded.
All are teaching some version of the 16 forms and 240 self-defense techniques offered (from white to 1st black) in the Tracy system, which incorporate about 70% upper-body strikes (i.e. punches, elbows, chops) and 30% lower-body strikes (i.e. kicks, knees, etc). Ground fighting wasn't part of any of the training until we started adding it.
Couldn't agree more. Six years in ED Parkers system....
can any of you block a bullet? bet cha can't! nuff said.
Wow! Dig ya think that up yourself Goob.... ;Q