Okinawan Kenpo Karate

An Overview

Okinawan Kenpo traces its origins to China's Shaolin Temple. "Kenpo" means Chinese boxing or fist art. The more common term, "Kung Fu" which literally means, "practiced skill", is a catchall term used to describe all Chinese martial arts.

Karate, on the other hand, is a word coined by the Japanese to refer to Okinawan Kenpo when it was introduced to Japan in the 1930's. Taekwondo is a Korean version of Kenpo that emphasizes kicking techniques.

No matter what they are called, most Asian martial arts originally came from China. The famous Shaolin Temple in northern China was the source of many martial arts, and was also the origin of Zen Buddhism, founded by the Indian monk, Ta Mo (Bodhidharma) in the 12th century. Zen and martial arts have been closely intertwined ever since. Indeed, Zen is the underlying spiritual basis for these arts, which are sometimes called "Zen in motion".

All of these martial arts have much in common. After all, a punch is a punch and a kick is a kick. However, over time, significant differences in style and emphasis developed between the various schools.

Japanese styles such as Shotokan tended to emphasize powerful linear punching and hard blocking, employing perhaps 70% hand techniques and 30% kicks. In contrast, Taekwondo generally relies on high kicks, with an 80:20 ratio of foot to hand techniques.

Southern Chinese styles tended to favor low foothold stances and compact, close-range skills best suited to fighting in crowded cities and on the narrow decks of junks along the many waterways of the South.

In contrast, Northern Chinese styles were developed on the wide-open plains of the North, where mobility, long-range kicking and hand techniques played a more important role.

Additional Information

Okinawan Kenpo is a balanced system that places equal emphasis on hands and feet, and utilizes both long and short-range techniques. It is characterized by a combination of linear and circular movement, powerful thrusts, strikes and parries, fast footwork and fluid movement. This style emphasizes quick evasive maneuvers coupled with strong counter attacking techniques.

Kenpo practitioners seek to avoid confrontations that pit strength against strength, since the larger, stronger opponent will inevitably prevail. With training, size and strength become less important than perseverance, agility and honed skills. Over time, skills and strategies are developed to such a high level that one has nothing to prove, and hopefully, will need never resort to violence.

Through recognized for its exceptional combat effectiveness, the primary purpose of Kenpo is the development of character and increased mental awareness, confidence, concentration, and coordination.

Kenpo trains the mind as well as the body, aiming to achieve a state of mind called Zanchin: strong, unbroken concentration. With training, the mind becomes like a polished mirror that reflects reality with utter clarity. The illusions created by fear, self-consciousness, greed, and emotion that usually distort our perception of reality are plainly revealed. The result is a profound peace of mind based on the integration of physical power with mental and spiritual strength.

Beginning Kenpo students will learn the fundamental stances, footwork, hand, kicking, and throwing techniques that form the foundation of the system.

These techniques are then combined in Kata (solo form practice) and Kumite (partner drills). These develop and refine the skill required for real self-defense ability, including balance, timing, distancing, speed, concentration, and efficient application of power.




· Beginners welcome
· Start any time
· Youth classes 6-12 years old
· Adult classes 13+ years old
· Please wear loose fitting comfortable clothing
· Please, no street shoes on the mat
· Uniforms available to order - $40

$100per month or $20 per class
(Cash or check only please)

· Private lessons are available by appointment only at the cost of $65 per hour.

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