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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Kenpo as a Self-Defense and Fitness Sport


Kenpo is a street technique and self-defense sport. It has a number of benefits that include self-defense, agility, speed, and fitness. A healthy lifestyle includes being well rounded in a number of areas. This includes intellectual activities, artistic creation, spiritual engagement, sports, social engagement, civic engagement, and general fitness. This helps in fostering well rounded ability and perspective. 

We sometimes think that such things are for the very young but we cannot stop there. What we teach the youth is also important throughout our lives and helps us find a balance. We know that many people have a hard time staying committed to workout routines. There is some stress for people who have to go to the gym and find that exercise is boring. By incorporating various sporting activities you can engage in cross training.

The background of the sport is beneficial to understand. Kenpo was popularized by Ed Parker from Hawaii in the 1960-70’s. He adjusted the system from more ancient methods that date back a few hundred years.  It is believed that a Chinese monk brought the style to a Japanese monastery around the 15th century. From there it has been adjusted and changed for Americans.  Modern practice is street oriented. 

The system seeks to create the fewest moves possible for defense. It is designed not to waste energy or motion and allow one to flee a difficult situation while immobilizing the opponent. I have engaged in the sport for some time and have learned that personality mixed with training is important. This is a sport for pure self-defense and fitness and should not be engaged by those who seek to intimidate others. 

Even though the video does show the basic moves it is first beneficial to understand the fundamental stances, blocks, and movements. Knowing the basics helps one to build the proper sequences that lead to flawless execution. If the basics are off then the rest of the sequences are likely to be misaligned creating a level of weakness in practice. Once incorporated into a poor habit it can be difficult to change.

The very first earned belt you will receive will be the yellow belt. You can get a feel for the sport in the video.

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