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Kempo name controversy

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  • Kempo name controversy

    Hi there,

    I see this particular forum is practically deserted, apart from bot messages.
    So let me ask a question then...
    As far as I have been told Kempo is not much more than the japanese word for Chuan Fa, which means Martial Arts.

    So why is this name so occupied and possessed by specialised styles, even deriving from the US "Kenpo"?
    Shouldn't it be used in a more general context, just like Wushu, which essentially means the same?

    Just a thought...

  • #2
    Kempo is used both generally and specifically. Gichin Funikoshi, founder of Shotokan Karate, preferred the name "Dai Nippon Kempo Karate-do," or "Great Japan Fist Method Empty Hand Way." That's one example of a general use. Other styles use it more specifically to refer to their art as one distinct from Karate, often with more of a Chinese influence. In the U.S., it pretty much comes from James Mitose, who said he learned what he called Kosho Ryu Kempo ("Old Pine Tree School Fist Method") from his family in Japan. He said it was taught to his family generations ago by a monk from China. Nearly every art using the name Kenpo or Kempo in the U.S. ultimately traces back to James Mitose in Hawaii, e;g; Ed Parker's American Kenpo Karate, Kara-Ho Kempo, Tracy Kenpo, Kajukenbo, Kajukembo, and on and on. They use the name Kenpo/Kempo because that's what Mitose used.


    • #3
      Oh, and as for the forum being deserted...I think I'm the only guy from a Kempo lineage who regularly posts here. Start any Kempo threads you want, I'll jump in!


      • #4
        Well I have taken over my teacher's principle of Kempo being just "Fist principles" or the japanese version of Chuan Fa ("Martial Arts" etc). We are using the name to point out how we use anything that works, but primaily use traditional chinese and japanese styles and adapt from them what we think fits our natural way of moving and fighting.
        I am currently starting a course here in England and call it simply Kempo. I want to use it as a pool with new people, also beginners, to go on a journey to find individual styles, specifically fitting to each individual's natural needs.

        I am just worried that people read the name and expect American or Hawaiian Kempo/Kenpo, which I am just not doing.



        • #5

          let me jump on the dojo floor, and add this, people will always have something to say about everything ,and when it comes to kenpo ,well LOOK OUT better get out of the way,not for nothing but that is why i left the other FORUMS because there will be someone who will pop out from under a rock and tell you that you are wrong about your style (kenpo/kempo) and other stuff, i have a system called AMERICAN CHINESE KENPO KARATE SYSTEM and i heard crap about how can you change MR PARKER'S kenpo, that is not what i did.
          There are allot of people who understand about kenpo and not trying to break it apart like the others do.
          well anyway i know i got off on the wrong foot here and I'm sorry, but as far as the name controversy, the hell with it, remember what MR PARKER said
          " know what you know, know why it's so"