The Art of American Kenpo
Kenpo Karate, is one of the most consistently expanding martial arts in the world and is known for it's explosive speed and power. Based on the practical application principles that are integrated into basics, forms, sets and self-defense techniques, Kenpo Karate, simply stated, is designed to work.
If you are ever faced by a real attacker, it becomes crucial to dispense with him (or them) immediately. In order to accomplish this you need to have trained in a marital art that, not only built your confidence and self-esteem, but provided you with effective self-defense techniques.
Additionally, American Kenpo is an open-minded system that is designed to improve over time. What we may encountered on the streets in the past is not necessarily what we will encounter today. A realistic martial art system that will endure the test of time must be a martial art system that will improve with the times.
Some martial art schools are teaching movements that were originally intended for exercise and using those movements as a legitimate means of self-defense. Although some of these schools have evolved into practical and efficient self-defense systems, there are others that should come with a warning label "Not to be used in case of actual emergency."
Other schools are structured around the rules of tournament competition, and don't train their students for practical self-defense. For example there are schools who give one point for a punch to the head and two points for a kick to the head. Then by applying a rule that states you can't catch your opponents kicking leg, or sweep your opponents supporting leg, they leave their students unprepared for what may happen in an actual street confrontation.
In order for a martial art to be effective on the street, it has to be a martial art that was designed to work on the street.
In order to achieve power the Kenpo stylist starts by relaxing the muscles. The arms and legs move much faster when they are relaxed than when they are tense. Then, just prior to contact, the muscles exert their entire force. As a result a student, properly trained in the art of Kenpo, is capable of creating tremendous power.
Of course, being powerful is good, but if you're beat to the punch, all is lost. In order to achieve the greatest speed possible, the Kenpo stylist conserves motion/time. This is done is three major ways. First, movements are direct; unnecessary cocking or winding up motion is eliminated. Second, at the advanced stage the "ands" are eliminated. Instead of blocking "and" striking, the defense and offense occur simultaneously. In other words, we strike "with" our block. Third, by combining several strikes into one basic motion, combinations of multiple strikes become much faster.
During the early stages of Kenpo training, considerable attention is given to pre-set sequences. This develops the student’s coordination and builds confidence. At the advanced level the student becomes able to alter the technique sequence at will giving him the versatility necessary to adapt to situations as they occur.
"Kenpo is for the man who has everything and wants to protect it." Ed Parker