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#205509 - 11/17/05 03:11 PM Re: Krav Maga or Kenpo? [Re: sqtrainer]
Bushi_no_ki Offline

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1669
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
Alright, as mentioned above, KM has a very short learning curve, due to being bare bone techniques designed for military H2H. You learn quickly, and you can use it quickly. Kenpo is indeed related to Karate, being of Japanese/Okinawan influence. Depending on the particular style of Kenpo, (and whether you hit a mcdojo or not), the learning curve for practical application will range from about 1 year, to about 3, for the average person.

Now, the main factor beyond those above, is the drive. 50 mins. means at least 30 miles of driving if you have some urban/dense suburban area to drive through. To drive an hour one way 2-5 times a week can really hamper your desire to study, however the kenpo might not be right for you. Give both a try, and decide which you like best. If it's KM, decide if the drive is worth it. If you like the Kenpo better, then the decision is easy.

#205510 - 11/17/05 04:15 PM Re: Krav Maga or Kenpo? [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
Tolyn1007 Offline

Registered: 10/02/05
Posts: 113
Loc: SF Bay Area
First, just wanted to say welcome to the forums. I think KM is good for building up a decent set of skills over a relatively short amount of time in comparison to TMAs. While I've been taking KM and teaching for .... well, a few years any way, I went the route a few here recommend which was to build on those skills with a more traditional MA. Unless the school is crappy, I don't think you'd lose out either way.

Keep us up to date.

#205511 - 12/22/05 02:27 PM Re: Krav Maga or Kenpo? [Re: BrianS]
Glockmeister Offline

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 255
Loc: Lancaster, Pa

In my opinion I think krav serves the short term purpose and karate serves the long term purpose. In other words a person(generally) who studies krav will be better quicker than a karateka,but the karateka will in time surpass this. Just my opinion folks.

I am not sure i totally agree with that. Alot of the traditional MAs involve alot of unrealistic stances, chambering kicks,punches from the hip, trying to block kicks with their hands, etc. I don't care howe many years they have studied that, it isnt going to make those techniques any more effective. I have met TKD black belts who didnt know how to throw nor defend against a simple hook puch or uppercut.

#205512 - 12/22/05 04:13 PM Re: Krav Maga or Kenpo? [Re: ShikataGaNai]
globetrotter Offline
does unto others before they do unto him

Registered: 01/10/05
Posts: 637
Loc: ny usa

kempo (or kenpo) is karate, but it is a much more american version IMO. there is more emphasis on self defense and the learning curve is a bit more "progressive". i took a little bit of it a few years ago and thought it was fun but questioned the effectiveness - mainly because i don't think kata is the best thing to concentrate on if you're in for SD. with krav, there is no kata and in a few months you will have all the tools you need to save your a$$ in a bar fight. krav's weak point is that it isn't very effective against others who practice MA and the weapon defenses, even though incredibly comprehensive, are very risky in reality. many students i have met seem to develop false senses of confidence and it worries me that if they are ever jacked, they will get themselves killed trying to fight off an attack that could be averted by giving up the wallet.
krav is much more martial than art, so maybe the best thing to do would be to cross train. after all, like JKD or MMA krav was originally intended to be personalized and expanded upon.
good luck!

I agree with most of this, although it depends on the martial artist - I find that a lot of mediocre martial artists are trained to expect attacks that fit their art, and krav can just overwhelm them. but that comes from not knowing a lot of the good ones, I guess.....

and I agree about the weapon traning and false confidence

do not overlook the issue of the drive. when you are begining, a 50 minute drive every time can be difficult to take.

good luck

#205513 - 12/23/05 03:45 PM Re: Krav Maga or Kenpo? [Re: sqtrainer]
TeK9 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 2257
Loc: Northern California, USA
Hi guys, I agree with Shikataganai and BrianS.
I have studied traditional tkd, modern sports tkd, and Kosho Ryu Kempo. I have seen demonstrations on KM and I am very impressed with its practical self defense application, however like brian said in short term use it is very useful and there is nothing wrong with this, but with a style like kenpo/kempo you become a well rounded martial artist and you learn to become innovative. Putting new combinations together more easily becuase you have a much stronger knowledge of technique and economy of motion and so forth. So i say if you just wanted a crash course in effective techniques for real life self defense take KM but if you want to study self defense as a whole and benefit from kenpo's/kempo other aspects such as focus, concentration, deeper knowledge of technique, economy of motion ect. American kenpo which is basically the one geared specifically more for self defense. Meaning you have some aspects of traditional training, but not so much emphasis on forms more towards self defense.

"Do or do not...there is no try" - Yoda
"Poor is the pupil who
does not surpass his
master" - Leonardo Da

#205514 - 12/23/05 09:25 PM Re: Krav Maga or Kenpo? [Re: TeK9]
RangerG Offline
Former Moderator

Registered: 04/18/05
Posts: 1026
Loc: Chester County, Pennsylvania
You folks are reading my mind...

After I advance a couple of belt levels in Krav, I am considering adding a local Japanese Kempo school... I am looking to become more rounded and flowing..
"If you're gonna be stupid, you better be tough."

#205515 - 12/26/05 10:17 PM Re: Krav Maga or Kenpo? [Re: sqtrainer]
whitedragon777 Offline

Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 4
my friend i started with shito ryo then krav maga and now kung fu , tai chi and kempo i also read all the time and practice wirh my friend in the back yard and train when ever i can to tell you the truth you need a strong base in MA and nothing like traditional then go try kempo and km then decide

#205516 - 12/27/05 12:31 AM Re: Krav Maga or Kenpo? [Re: whitedragon777]
ShikataGaNai Offline

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 1163
Loc: Bellingham, WA
What kind of Kung Fu did your friend cross train in? I have been particularly interested in Wing Chun lately, as I sparred a WC practitioner and was awed by how he could use my own strikes and body against me. Has your friend found the same thing when applying KM or Kempo against a TMAist?

#205517 - 01/06/06 12:19 PM Re: Krav Maga or Kenpo? [Re: ShikataGaNai]
RavenG4 Offline

Registered: 01/06/06
Posts: 34
Loc: New Jersey, USA

What kind of Kung Fu did your friend cross train in? I have been particularly interested in Wing Chun lately, as I sparred a WC practitioner and was awed by how he could use my own strikes and body against me. Has your friend found the same thing when applying KM or Kempo against a TMAist?

I'm actually starting to Learn some JFJKD. But I also want to learn KM. THe best is to take what works from each and use it in the situation you are in. If you are just fighting some joe in a bar that doesn't have an MA skills KM might work best or a hybrid of KM and some other MA. If they do know some MA you might use a hybrid of what you've learned to handle them.
"Evil is Powerless if the good are unafraid."- Ronald Reagan

#205518 - 01/24/06 02:30 PM Re: Krav Maga or Kenpo? [Re: sqtrainer]
dhatcher Offline

Registered: 01/24/06
Posts: 7
Loc: San Jose, CA
Ah-ha! Something I'm slightly qualified to speak on. I've studied Chinese and American Kenpo as well as Choy Li Fut Kung Fu. Kenpo is actually more derived from Kung Fu than traditional Japanese Karate (although it has similarities to both, it is closer to Kung Fu).

I loved Kenpo when I was in it. However, there were parts I did not care for (such as kata) because I did not see a really beneficial "need" for it so to speak.

The one thing I can say I took away from Kenpo is that I learned a lot about body and joint manipulation. Understanding ways to bend and twist or break things. What points of the body to hit etc.

It was not highly conditioning. Although I was in good shape, its focus was more technique than anything.

Krav on the other hand (been a student going on 4 months now) is geared much more towards conditioning and improving cardiovascular stamina. Reason being, that is part of Krav mentality. The point that once you successfully defend you should be on the attack constantly. In order to attain that requirement you need good cardiovascular health.

Krav is a blend of martial arts in reality. To tell you the truth they have techniques they've copied right out of the Kenpo manuals (how to get out of a headlock, rear choke just to name a couple). However, it also blends in a little more groundwork, a lot more boxing style movements (staying on your toes and shifting forward, backward, left and right; although Kenpo has those too they emphasize a step-drag movement where the boxing style emphasizes a push from the rear foot if going forward, front foot if going backward and so-on). There seems to be a lot of controversy over the weapon defenses, however, I have this one piece of information to offer on that. It is necessary to keep in mind the relevant track history of techniques from each art. In other words, Krav was developed for the Israeli military and is used to this day. The techniques have been tested and used time and again (not that other TMA's haven't, but I'm not sure what regularity they have been used and how successful they've been).

All in all I would say that even going to one or two classes at each place still is not going to help you make up your mind. You need to spend a good month doing each in order to really see what you like and what inspires you.

As much as I loved Kenpo, I don't think I will ever go back. For the fact that Krav, to me, is much more sensible in a self defense manner and besides it incorporates techniques from other TMA's already.

I love the conditioning I get. I love the laid back atmosphere of the classes (TMA's tend to be a little stricter on ceremony and calling instructors by titles) and I love the blend of what I'm learning, all from one system.

Get more specific on what you want (write down a list and then try to get a little more detailed on what you mean) and then see if you can't at least attend 2 week courses at each place.

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