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kenpo effectiveness

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  • kenpo effectiveness

    I am pretty new to the martial arts deal. I have watched a few UFC's and of course my eyes were opened to reality vs. movies. Im not interested or doing that or even competing. Im looking for something to adequately defend myself should I ever need too. I definately see the value in BJJ and dont doubt its effectiveness. However, (Im sure this one has already been argued to death) I dont believe its the ONLY m/a required for self defense. Ive been at a Kenpo school for a little while and have mixed thoughts. Forms(katas) seem pretty silly to me. The self defense moves seem as though they may or may not work. We also do some boxing drills which I dig alot. Im planning on adding BJJ to my mix pretty soon but was wondering on any thoughts anyone has on Kenpo for self defense. I have looked at alot of schools and it seems pretty realistic compared to most traditional m/a's I have looked at. I see the absolute effectiveness of Muay Thay, but then question it due to the rules factor. People say you will fight how you train. MT has rules so if I ever needed it, rules might be stuck in my head. Aslo, Im sure they dont do alot of self defense(knife attack, attack from behind) type of training there.

  • #2

    Hi i used to take kenpo also allow me to give you findings.

    Kenpo is a good art but it all depends on the instructor and how they teach. The first generation kenpo guys like Ed Parker, Larry Tatum etc etc were good fighters because well they fought hard when they trained. The concepts behind Kenpo on paper is good and i found it more realistic than most traditional arts. Once again it all depends on the instructor like with any arts. You have to sparr full contact. and also padding up and practicing the selfdefense moves full blast will help also. One thing most of the people on the forum have taught me its training method not styles. Ask the guys here who have trained a while.


    • #3
      I have hear before that "the student makes the style" or something like that. Meaning that if its a hard school, (full contact sparring, high intensity) the style doesnt really matter that much. (purely for lack of better words) Would anyone else agree???


      • #4
        I wouldn't agree entirely. Sparring is good, but if you spar with no skill and just go at it like a bunch of animals then no.

        That whole intensive training has to have included what is taught in the class and integrated in real life n' put into sparring.


        • #5
          What style you spar in doesn't really matter. In this sense you are correct. You should study a variety of styles or learn the movements of different styles so it is easy for you to pick up their movements. It makes life easier.


          • #6
            Sparring's very important, but you need to train in order to develop the tools you need to spar. Plus, there are self defense skills that you can't really practice in normal sparring (eye gouges, knee kicks, etc). As for styles, I kinda think it's most important for you to be better at what YOU do than the other guiy is at what HE does, if that makes any sense. Of course, if you can fight in more than one range, that skews the odds heavily in your favor.


            • #7
              I appreciate all of your responses. I know I got kinda off track. What about my original question of the effectiveness of Kenpo? Again, we do incorporate boxing drills into the training. Also I forgot to mention we do some Wing Dow as well. Also again, Im not looking to join a UFC. My goals are self defense.


              • #8
                what is Wing Dow? I know wing chun. Anyhow kenpo.

                There is kempo and kenpo.

                I guess kenpo relates the the americanize martial arts. I've taken it and the type that i took is like a franchise that has a Bonzai tree as their symbol. I think that it's pretty good. I trains with you kicks and punch. I guess it lack take down and ground fighting.

                As for kempo such as Shorinji Kempo, I think that a lof of the movements are effective. They focus on puching, basic kicking, hand lock, take down, and to lock them once you get down. As for that it lacks ground fighting, unless you are skilled enough to take them down and just lock them then you won't need the ground fighting. I also took this and i liked it.

                But between the two i liked SHorinji kempo more.


                • #9
                  I took Chinese/American Kenpo from when I was 8 to when I was 19. 11 years. I still teach it to one friend because it is our common link I guess.
                  I started training in BJJ around then, and have been doing it ever since, as well as Gokor's Sambo. I started doing Muy Tai a few years ago, shortly after dabbling in kali for about 2 years.
                  Kenpo has made the transition easier for the Muy Tai, however, at the same time ANY traditional art has MANY bad habits.

                  Traditional blocks for one. You block a tai kick with your "downward" block and you'll shatter your forearm.
                  You try to do ANY of the fancy moves, prearranged techniques to someone who REALLY is trying to hurt you ad you'll be on your back and in serious trouble.

                  Kenpo is a good SEGMENT of a total martial arts fighter, but you have to stay realistic and cross train the heck out of it for it to be worth the time you put into it.
                  Just My opinion of course.


                  • #10
                    I don't know enough about kenpo to give an A+ answer, but I agree that prearranged reponses seem ludicrous.

                    Train the basic techniques and get the fundamentals, then apply them as needed.

                    Mix ground and standing, grappling and striking, and don't rely on the 'lethal' breaking of neck or bones, or gouging of eyes. I know several Kenpo BB's who have related to me these lethal moves. I have yet to find someone who has acutally gouged out another person's eye or broken their neck. Oh, I'm sure it's happened, but I haven't met anyone whos done it yet....

                    Crosstraining, fullcontact, and endurance.



                    • #11
                      Wide variance in quality among Kempo schools.

                      We used to sublet space from an Ed Parker School (back before Parker died)

                      I have seen some good Kempo guys. I have seen a lot of other guys that were just plain silly. No power. Flicky little techniques. We used to jokingly refer to it as, “the art of bitch slapping.”

                      They also would get into these self defense scenarious were they would train like, 'you do this, now I do that that that that and that.' Like that is ever going to happen in real life. Too complicated.