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#198102 - 10/27/05 12:46 PM Characteristics of Kenpo (w/ an N)
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
This has dogged me for years...

Kempo is roughly translated as "Fist Method" or "Fist Law".

My original BB Menjo (certificate) from Japan was issued by "Tani-ha Shito-ryu Shukokai Kempo Karate-do Renmei".

What characteristics separate Kenpo from Kempo?

Thanks...

BTW: Kenpo (w/ an N) is an American alteration of Kempo, a word that only exists outside of Japan.

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#198103 - 10/27/05 01:11 PM Re: Characteristics of Kenpo (w/ an N) [Re: hedkikr]
WuXing Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 481
Loc: Idaho, USA
I think "ken" means fist. Though it can sound kind of like an "m" depending on how it is said and what procedes it, so it's easy to see why it could have ended up spelled with an "m" by some people. I don't know what the difference is between the people who spell it with "n" and "m", but it's supposed to be the same word. It's same kanji characters.

It's like the difference between the people who practice Wing Chun and Ving Tsun...they are adamant about how it is transliterated in english, even though it's exactly the same thing in chinese.

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#198104 - 10/27/05 01:22 PM Re: Characteristics of Kenpo (w/ an N) [Re: hedkikr]
Neko456 Offline
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Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 3260
Loc: Midwest City, Ok, USA
Kempo is a term that compares with Chuna-fa meaning Chinese fist way or whetever variation you perfer. Kempo could referer to any Okinawan Tode, before the attempt to applease the Japanese. As I understand it.

Kenpo is a diversed art that has a art thats very similar to Shorin-ryu and another soft/hard arts the is similar to Kung-fu with Shorin-ryu mixed using circular and linera techniques.

There are other version of Kenpo or Kempo.

In Hawiaii a major spilt came when James Mitoes linera Kenpo and Prof Chows mixed Kenpo, a then student of both Ed Parker obviously perferred Chows method and enhanced it making it a more structured system. Kata base are different then Shorin-ryu in some places but similar in others Mitoes influnenced Tracys Kenpo their Katas seem similar to Shorin-ryu Heian, Tekki, Bassai. Except for chopping kicks it hard to tell hard Kenpo from Shorin-ryu until you see the flow of their kata.

Chow/Parker/Sanders/ kenpo traits are more blending blocks into multiple open and close strikes, sweeping elbows and knees, they use the mostly verticle fist but also use some horizontal (Mitoes/Tracy/Wally Jay/Roger Green seem to perfers palm downs) punches. Both stress 70% hands and 30% legs their kicks may seem chopping bc they stress getting the foot back planted. There is no visible connection to Shorin-ryu in Chows kenpo, it looks more like high standing Hungar with lots of Crab/Tekki like sideway movements with muliple open and closed hand strikes.

Tekki seems out of place in the Shorin-ryu sylabass compared to Heian, Bassai, ect...

Chows/Parkers katas base are short takes of shorin-ryu? and Kung-fu forms. With names like Long 1 and Short 2 sets versions. I think Parker devised most of these forms, Being that Chow was mostly interested in fighting. This is just an assumption.

Kenpo is hard to define.


Edited by Neko456 (10/27/05 01:36 PM)

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#198105 - 10/27/05 01:49 PM Re: Characteristics of Kenpo (w/ an N) [Re: hedkikr]
MattJ Offline
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Registered: 11/25/04
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Loc: York PA. USA
My understanding was that the M/N difference was simply semantic, not any kind of stylistic difference. The fact that you are asking the question would seem to verify that (otherwise we would all know already, right?).
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#198106 - 10/27/05 02:35 PM Re: Characteristics of Kenpo (w/ an N) [Re: MattJ]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
As far as I'm aware that is spot on....Its got something to do with the Kanji translation, I think the true translation is actually with an N but pronounced with a M....You like tomato and I like tomaeto.....yada, yada, yada......to be completely honest I find the subject far to boring to research properly....could be called Care Bear Fu Ryu for all I cared, just as long as it works!

Neko465's defination would probably put my system in the Chow style. The Kempo/Kenpo that I have ever seen always has been along the lines described by Neko465. Always looked a bit too Chinesey to be Karate, but a bit too Japanesey to be Kung Fu! And thats the most definative description your gonna get out of me! Off to practice some Care Bear Fu Ryu!

Gav
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#198107 - 10/27/05 04:48 PM Re: Characteristics of Kenpo (w/ an N) [Re: WuXing]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
In spoken Japanese, I'm not aware of the "N" sound preceeding a "B" or "P" (sounds that originate w/ the lips closed). It's not the same as the difference between "to-may-to" & to-mah-to".

Yes, "Ken" (as it's written in the Kanji) is fist but the "n" is pronounced like an "M" because "-po" follows. It would be really difficult for a Japanese to say keNpo.
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#198108 - 10/27/05 05:01 PM Re: Characteristics of Kenpo (w/ an N) [Re: hedkikr]
WuXing Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 481
Loc: Idaho, USA
exactly, which is why it would be correct to transliterate it either way. It sounds more like "kem", but the kanji by itself sounds like "ken". Any division or arguments over which way to spell it in English would seem like an egotistical pride contest.

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#198109 - 10/27/05 05:23 PM Re: Characteristics of Kenpo (w/ an N) [Re: hedkikr]
Neko456 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 3260
Loc: Midwest City, Ok, USA
Was this a characteristiics/definition of the word difference? In Kempo or Kenpo, we'll talk about most unimportant issuses in the world. Kempo is Japanese and Kenpo is an American/hawaiian definition that could mean "Sword hand method". As stated in the Kenpo creed. I heard this define as such along with the two terms the jargons and whatknocks you guys discussed.

What does Webster say?
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#198110 - 10/27/05 06:16 PM Re: Characteristics of Kenpo (w/ an N) [Re: Neko456]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
But the question remains...is there a diference between Kempo & Kenpo (aside from the n/m issue)? Are there techniques found in one but not the other? If not, then the only difference would be spelling/pronunciation.

For instance, the difference between Judo & Jujutsu (Japanese, not BJJ) is significant despite the seemingly insignificant "-do/-jutsu" distinction (Do - the way; Jutsu - techniques).

Sorry if I was cryptic - hopefully I've made myself clearer.

Thanks

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#198111 - 10/28/05 08:39 AM Re: Characteristics of Kenpo (w/ an N) [Re: hedkikr]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
Don't think that was cryptic at all, I think at the end of the Kempo is as a generic term as Karate or Kung Fu. The term Chuan Fa is just as ambigous. Its just a name at the end of the day. I swear to god I have seen a system called "Kempo Karate Jujitsu", now thats covering all the bases.

I did have a point I was going to make, but was interupted by a phone call...but that pretty much covers it. IMHO its just an way of spelling a generic name.

Gav
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www.SHIKON.COM
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