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Thread: Weapons ARE or ARE NOT originally part of Kenpo??

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    Kenpo RONIN is offline
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    Default Weapons ARE or ARE NOT originally part of Kenpo??

    The Kenpo Creed:
    “I come to you with only Karate, Empty Hands. I have no weapons, but should I be forced to defend myself, my principles, or my honor, should it be a matter of life or death, of right or wrong, then here are my weapons, Karate, my Empty Hands.”

    Kenpo = Law of the Fist Karate = Empty Hands

    Many things in the art of Kenpo, or at least American Kenpo, indicate that it is supposed to be an empty hand art. So, where did the use of weapons (i.e: the "Kenpo sticks," "Kenpo knife," "Staff Set") come into play, if the emphasis is supposed to be weaponLESS? Were weapons introduced by SGM Parker, or others, over the years as "progressions/evolutions," to what is supposed to be originally an empty hand art?

    I have seen videos, and demonstrations where instructors are showing adaptations of Kenpo techniques WITH weapons. I am from a Kenpo and a Filipino martial arts lineage, so I am fortunate to have the viewpoint of the weaponless fighter, and the armed fighter. I have no problem with the reasoning that a weapon can be adapted to the movements of a Kenpo technique...however I have a HUGE problem when said technique is weapon vs. a weaponLESS attacker--essentially showing a Kenpoist slicing an opponent to shreds, or beating him down with a blunt force weapon, and the attacker is EMPTY HANDED. This teaches a student that someone who is unarmed should be attacked with a weapon. I'm from L.A.--which doesn't just stand for Los Angeles, but "LITIGATION ALWAYS." Teaching like this is essentially teaching people that it is ok to be armed and attack an unarmed opponent. This teaches students to get their asses thrown in jail for ADW or murder. I don't believe this is responsible. I NEVER see the Kenpo practioner with a weapon using it against an opponent with a weapon!!?? The founder of my style of Escrima, the late Grandmaster Leo Giron, who was a weapons fighter, saw an empty hand encounter as something not as serious--he had faced samurai sword wielding Japanese soldiers in WWII combat in the Philippines, so to him, anything less than a rifle, bayonet, machete, or sword, was just not that dangerous.

    Just trying to gain more insight into this subject--if anyone is willing to enlighten me.

    Humbly~
    Peace & Respects~
    Gerry Valido, Sensei/Chief Instructor
    Valido Martial Arts
    "Train like you fight, fight like you train."

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    Default Re: Weapons ARE or ARE NOT originally part of Kenpo??

    So a woman using a kubotan against an un-armed papist is a bad thing?
    Sean
    Also Mastering Tsing Tao.

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    Default Re: Weapons ARE or ARE NOT originally part of Kenpo??

    I come to Kenpo ten years post Ed Parker. However, one of the Parker sayings is 'What is useful, unuseful, and useless is learned with experience and logic'.

    My experience and logic tells me things we do in the 151 (154) technique version of Kenpo is weapon free. Form 6 begins and ends with a salutation that says 'The System is Done'.

    The weapons techniques included in the system, teach kenpo rules and principles. Not weapon rules and principles. The Weapon Forms (I am still learning Form 7, haven't started 8) seem to me to include much action that is unuseful, or useless.

    Seems to me ... it's a no brainer ... No, Kenpo is not a weapon system.

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    Default Re: Weapons ARE or ARE NOT originally part of Kenpo??

    Quote Originally Posted by nelson View Post
    I thought that Doc settled this question a long time ago on this forum.
    Yea ... well, ... it seems more and more this board has become the 'Doc' board.

    I ain't buyin' what he's sellin'.



    P.S. -- I see this post is in the American Kenpo Insights sub-forum. I apologize for my first and second replies. The original post did not direct the question to a specific senior, so I did not notice the sub-forum to which it was posted.

    Apologies for mucking up this sub-forum. Moderators, can remove my posts, if they prefer.

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    Default Re: Weapons ARE or ARE NOT originally part of Kenpo??

    Quote Originally Posted by michaeledward View Post
    Yea ... well, ... it seems more and more this board has become the 'Doc' board.

    I ain't buyin' what he's sellin'.



    P.S. -- I see this post is in the American Kenpo Insights sub-forum. I apologize for my first and second replies. The original post did not direct the question to a specific senior, so I did not notice the sub-forum to which it was posted.

    Apologies for mucking up this sub-forum. Moderators, can remove my posts, if they prefer.
    Ain't buying what he's sellin'?
    as in you do not believe his stories of the history of the art?
    or you do not believe in his beliefs in training?
    or you do not believe in his assessments of others?
    or something else?

    I will admit that I am a hard core skeptic, and when I first heard of Doc and his claims that I thought he was another mumbo jumbo BS artist. But I attended a seminar and openmindedly tried what he said and found there was something there, besides the man never once made any claims of grandeur, or extravagance. I read what he posted closer and tried it out and found nothing contradictory. I attended more seminars he did and once again tried things out both for and against and did not find he made any claims that he could not only duplicate, but have beginners duplicate immediately. His stories are not only similar, but echo what other Ed Parker Seniors have stated. I have found the man to be not only friendly, and passionate about the art and the people involved, but more then willing to take the time to repeatedly explain his thoughts and views for the laymen with patience. The man takes the time to talk to anyone who wants to talk to him, I have come to the conclusion that he is not pushing any agenda to make himself more money, or more popular, or more powerful. so what exactly are you not buying? Is he selling you something that he has not offered to everyone else? I am missing something here

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    Default Re: Weapons ARE or ARE NOT originally part of Kenpo??

    Not a weapon system? different perspective then... I see Kenpo as a way to hone the body into a efficient weapon; as for blades, sticks, guns etc. those would be extensions of the body. Another thought is that weapons were added to Kenpo for tournament competition as most of the arts utilized at the time. I understand your conclusion though, likewise Okinawan Karate is considered an "empty hand" system yet the system contributes it's weapon application to the farm tools and other implements of the island villagers in opposition to the occupying forces oppressing the people and forbidding the possession of weapons. Kenpo is "fist law or law of the fist" but not necessarily an empty fist if we go by the translational meaning. Also most if not all techniques in Kenpo can have a "weapon extension" inserted and still perform the moves as prescribed with little tailoring if you think about it. Just some thoughts to ponder and explore if you choose to is all. Thanks for reading.

    -Jim


    “Having an open mind does not necessarily lead to perfection. It is your ability to observe, analyze, discern, and understand the true essence th`at basic principles contain that point the way to perfection.” - Ed Parker Sr.

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    Default Re: Weapons ARE or ARE NOT originally part of Kenpo??

    Quote Originally Posted by michaeledward View Post
    Yea ... well, ... it seems more and more this board has become the 'Doc' board.

    I ain't buyin' what he's sellin'.



    P.S. -- I see this post is in the American Kenpo Insights sub-forum. I apologize for my first and second replies. The original post did not direct the question to a specific senior, so I did not notice the sub-forum to which it was posted.

    Apologies for mucking up this sub-forum. Moderators, can remove my posts, if they prefer.
    Did you buy what your instructor sold you? Did your lineage come from Mr. Parker? Did you know that in the early days many people saw Mr. Parker as a crack pot and not the innovative pioneer that he was? I see Mr. Chapel (Doc) in this same way.. a pioneer who is trying to continue the teachings of his teacher and friend.. I had a hard time for a moment excepting that Kenpo was a commercial product and was faulty, I certainly see the techniques as not being purely functional. Figured that one out before I even ventured onto this forum. Doc and many others on this forum say if what you do works for you then cool ... who are we really to say your wrong. Don't agree or like Docs stuff.. fine it has always been your choice to begin with right? no need to get upset at words on a screen right? peace

    -Jim


    “Having an open mind does not necessarily lead to perfection. It is your ability to observe, analyze, discern, and understand the true essence th`at basic principles contain that point the way to perfection.” - Ed Parker Sr.

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    Default Re: Weapons ARE or ARE NOT originally part of Kenpo??

    Doc isn't selling anything. If you don't like what he says or teaches, ignore it. But if you can get over feeling superior, you could probably learn something and become more effective. It's your choice, of course.
    "To be, rather than to seem"

    "Fix your rear foot ... What the hell is wrong with you?"

    "...I already watched the videos, and quite frankly, they're bullsh*t."

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    Default Re: Weapons ARE or ARE NOT originally part of Kenpo??

    Quote Originally Posted by KenpoChanger View Post
    So a woman using a kubotan against an un-armed papist is a bad thing?
    Sean
    Damn Papists.
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    Default Re: Weapons ARE or ARE NOT originally part of Kenpo??

    Quote Originally Posted by michaeledward View Post
    Yea ... well, ... it seems more and more this board has become the 'Doc' board.

    I ain't buyin' what he's sellin'.
    Weird, since I am pretty certain his statements on this and other boards is similar to what Mr. Planas has stated in the past with regard to weapons.
    Pekiti Tirsia Kali and Kenpo Karate
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    “He, who will not reason, is a bigot; he, who cannot, is a fool; and he, who dares not, is a slave.”
    ~William Drummond

    "This person is as dangerous as an IED."

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    Default Re: Weapons ARE or ARE NOT originally part of Kenpo??

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenpo RONIN View Post
    The Kenpo Creed:
    “I come to you with only Karate, Empty Hands. I have no weapons, but should I be forced to defend myself, my principles, or my honor, should it be a matter of life or death, of right or wrong, then here are my weapons, Karate, my Empty Hands.”

    Kenpo = Law of the Fist Karate = Empty Hands

    Many things in the art of Kenpo, or at least American Kenpo, indicate that it is supposed to be an empty hand art. So, where did the use of weapons (i.e: the "Kenpo sticks," "Kenpo knife," "Staff Set") come into play, if the emphasis is supposed to be weaponLESS? Were weapons introduced by SGM Parker, or others, over the years as "progressions/evolutions," to what is supposed to be originally an empty hand art?

    I have seen videos, and demonstrations where instructors are showing adaptations of Kenpo techniques WITH weapons. I am from a Kenpo and a Filipino martial arts lineage, so I am fortunate to have the viewpoint of the weaponless fighter, and the armed fighter. I have no problem with the reasoning that a weapon can be adapted to the movements of a Kenpo technique...however I have a HUGE problem when said technique is weapon vs. a weaponLESS attacker--essentially showing a Kenpoist slicing an opponent to shreds, or beating him down with a blunt force weapon, and the attacker is EMPTY HANDED. This teaches a student that someone who is unarmed should be attacked with a weapon. I'm from L.A.--which doesn't just stand for Los Angeles, but "LITIGATION ALWAYS." Teaching like this is essentially teaching people that it is ok to be armed and attack an unarmed opponent. This teaches students to get their asses thrown in jail for ADW or murder. I don't believe this is responsible. I NEVER see the Kenpo practioner with a weapon using it against an opponent with a weapon!!?? The founder of my style of Escrima, the late Grandmaster Leo Giron, who was a weapons fighter, saw an empty hand encounter as something not as serious--he had faced samurai sword wielding Japanese soldiers in WWII combat in the Philippines, so to him, anything less than a rifle, bayonet, machete, or sword, was just not that dangerous.

    Just trying to gain more insight into this subject--if anyone is willing to enlighten me.

    Humbly~
    Amen Brudda.
    "Nothing is more dangerous than the conscientiously ignorant, or the sincerely stupid." - Martin Luther King Jr.

    "Knowledge speaks but wisdom listens." - Ed Parker Sr.

    "It's much easier to quote, than to know." - Ron Chapél


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    Default Re: Weapons ARE or ARE NOT originally part of Kenpo??

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc View Post
    Amen Brudda.

    rivet... rivet... rivet... rivet... LOL!

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    Default Re: Weapons ARE or ARE NOT originally part of Kenpo??

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenpo RONIN View Post
    The Kenpo Creed:
    “I come to you with only Karate, Empty Hands. I have no weapons, but should I be forced to defend myself, my principles, or my honor, should it be a matter of life or death, of right or wrong, then here are my weapons, Karate, my Empty Hands.”

    Kenpo = Law of the Fist Karate = Empty Hands

    Many things in the art of Kenpo, or at least American Kenpo, indicate that it is supposed to be an empty hand art. So, where did the use of weapons (i.e: the "Kenpo sticks," "Kenpo knife," "Staff Set") come into play, if the emphasis is supposed to be weaponLESS? Were weapons introduced by SGM Parker, or others, over the years as "progressions/evolutions," to what is supposed to be originally an empty hand art?

    I have seen videos, and demonstrations where instructors are showing adaptations of Kenpo techniques WITH weapons. I am from a Kenpo and a Filipino martial arts lineage, so I am fortunate to have the viewpoint of the weaponless fighter, and the armed fighter. I have no problem with the reasoning that a weapon can be adapted to the movements of a Kenpo technique...however I have a HUGE problem when said technique is weapon vs. a weaponLESS attacker--essentially showing a Kenpoist slicing an opponent to shreds, or beating him down with a blunt force weapon, and the attacker is EMPTY HANDED. This teaches a student that someone who is unarmed should be attacked with a weapon. I'm from L.A.--which doesn't just stand for Los Angeles, but "LITIGATION ALWAYS." Teaching like this is essentially teaching people that it is ok to be armed and attack an unarmed opponent. This teaches students to get their asses thrown in jail for ADW or murder. I don't believe this is responsible. I NEVER see the Kenpo practioner with a weapon using it against an opponent with a weapon!!?? The founder of my style of Escrima, the late Grandmaster Leo Giron, who was a weapons fighter, saw an empty hand encounter as something not as serious--he had faced samurai sword wielding Japanese soldiers in WWII combat in the Philippines, so to him, anything less than a rifle, bayonet, machete, or sword, was just not that dangerous.

    Just trying to gain more insight into this subject--if anyone is willing to enlighten me.

    Humbly~
    I think if we read the question, and interpret it properly, the conclusion is rather clear. However, I always suggested that people speak more of their own Kenpo experience since it is clear, everyone has not had the same exposure technically, or philosophically. But the question itself and where it is asked poses and suggests we're talking about the Ed Parker Lineage, and its origins under Chow and later Parker. Here that anwser is historically clear, that it is NOT a weapons system.

    However, because of the spurious nature of the modern commercial system, one may choose to make it a weapons system for themselves, even if the so-called system is not. Such is the nature of an open-ended conceptual system devoid of hard codification. The bottom line is, modern commercial motion-based kenpo in the Parker Lineage, can and will be whatever you want it to be, as per its design. However, originally as the question suggests, that was definitely NOT the case.

    So while Ed Parker's original interpretation of Kenpo-Karate as he learned under Kwai Sun Chow in Hawaii, and later began teaching on the U.S. Mainland, was and still is an empty handed art. The creation of the commercial product shifted the identity of the art to the individual, to do what ever he desired, in any manner in which they found value. We must remember that The Ed Parker Lineage is not a singular method, philosophy, or even a group of techniques. It depends upon what you learned, whom you learned it from, and most importantly, when you learned it.
    "Nothing is more dangerous than the conscientiously ignorant, or the sincerely stupid." - Martin Luther King Jr.

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    Default Re: Weapons ARE or ARE NOT originally part of Kenpo??

    Quote Originally Posted by KenpoChanger View Post
    So a woman using a kubotan against an un-armed papist is a bad thing?
    Sean
    Yes, I would consider it a bad thing. Even if you do not agree with Roman Catholicism, beating an un-armed papist with a weapon would be a bad thing, unless he was a physical threat and you were justified under the circumstances to use extreme force.

    Wait a sec. Is it possible you didn't mean papist?
    TheRealMickyT likes this.
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    Default Re: Weapons ARE or ARE NOT originally part of Kenpo??

    Kind of reminds me of the movie, "The Little Mermaid". The seagull is using a fork and tells her that it is a "dinglehopper" and is used to comb her hair. Yep, you can use it for that and it will get the job done, but that was not what it was designed for.

    I think that many arts can adapt to a knife or club with their empty hand techniques, even though they were specifically designed to be a weapons art. Many point out about Okinawan karate and weapons. They were seperate systems back then. The study of weapons was called "kubudo" and contained many of the farm implements and common items found in everyday life. Many of the early founders practiced both and added the weapons to their art, but it was still seperate. Some people did create weapon's katas based on empty hand katas (Isshin-Ryu's Kusanku Sai kata comes to mind) in an attempt to marry the two seperate things.
    "For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer."

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    Default

    It almost seems like historical questions need to broken down to pre/post commercial system. As Doc stated, it wan't a weapon system until someone decided to try and make it one.
    Be careful what you say, some may take it the wrong way.

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    Default Re: Weapons ARE or ARE NOT originally part of Kenpo??

    As the guy who posated the phase progressions videos, I'll respond with my own answer and experience. Moreover, I'll invite you to look up any remaining footage of r. Parker discussing weapons variables in kenpo, as well as invite you to discuss -- with any of the seniors -- his personal obsession with knives and guns. But first:

    Is it a weapons system? No. It is a system that teaches weaponization of the body in motion, which then allows the practitioner to pick up anything in their environment and utilize it as a weapon. Furniture, carpentry tool, a rolled up magazine, car keys, a shoe, a beer can or bottle, a wine glass... survey the room you sit in, and look at the objects within 4 steps of you. The computer keyboard or laptop? If your kids are in danger from multiple or armed assailants, perhaps the chair you're sitting in?

    Slicing and dicing an unarmed opponent in the video was a demonstration of the interpretation of motion patterns, extrapolated to include weapons: Not a confirmation that this is a recommended mode of kenpo skills application. Duh. I, too, have trained under old WW2 FMA profs. 2. One who used to bushwack Japanese troop- carriers after MacArthur had to bail. Not alone in that one.

    Mr. Parker was an absolute whiz at knife fighting, and freely and joyously used to discuss the application of kenpo C&P to weapons. Not escrima, as Doc has pointed out. But real clubs. Things that go "thud". For the people at the Ohana, I introduced them to a cocobolo club I brought with, having a substantial difference in density and weight. Thud, not boing. I have 2 nylon batons, hickory axe handles, etc. stored in different locations throughout the house, so I am never within more than 3 steps from a weapon. Can you guess who I learned that from? I'll give you a hint -- Big Hawaiian guy, white hair, considered the Father of American Karate by many. We talk about him a lot on these sites.

    Saw him do finger set with chopsticks and pencils/pens. Same guy told me to get a mont blanc pen for traveling... not because it was fancy, but because it was stable as a stabbing and tearing weapon. Discussing how to use it, you know what he used as a medium for conversation? Kenpo techniques. "Here's how you use it with [insert name of tech here]".

    Is kenpo a weapons system? No. But by design, it weaponizes the person. Then anything in the environment becomes a weapon. Were the weapons in there originally? Probably not. But do you think Chow didn't get in some knife fights as a collector for his father? Do you think Mr. Parker never got any good knife stuff while beatin' around in the streets of Hawaii?

    Finally, my training took a different tac a long time ago. My best freinds are active or ex-military. Couple SEAL's, some para-rescue; most of my old instructors were also vets, who endeavored to make a extra dime teaching aremed, weaponized kenpo to groups like SEAL's and Force Recon. I got to go along as an assistant on lots of these. Have my own sordid history, but it's nobody's business but mine; also focused on weaponized kenpo. An instructor here or there in my past had very jaded histories -- one was the primary enforcer for a major drug importer. Later died from consequences of drug abuse. He had to be a weaponized kenpo guru... his life depended on it, as he wandered into dens of coked out gangrats to insist on large sums of cash. He was also a highly decorated vietnam vet; just didn't make the transition to civilian life well. So he got what employment made the most sense to him. I met some interesting kats through him; our training sessions were often short, abusive, intense, and extremely informative about weapons applications in kenpo. Guys in that crew were from Parker kenpo, Hawaiian Kenpo (Chow lineage), Limalama, kajukenbo, and other arts that were popular at the time, pre MMA craze. The techniques MUST be interpreted differently by a soldier or thug than by a law enforcement officer or civilian. I remember mentioning that in a thread on the phase progressions, but it musta been missed.

    In that group, I learned a lot about applying "old kenpo" stuff to modern kenpo techniques. Some were guys who got their black belts when there were only about 60 to 70 techniques, and a couple sets. The movement influences were more hula-like... lots of hooking, pulling stuff. It's getting lost. I wanted to present it before they dropped off the planmet, as this generation of approach is dying off, and is still -- like it or not, P.C. or not -- a part of the fabric of kenpo, and kenpo history.
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    Default Re: Weapons ARE or ARE NOT originally part of Kenpo??

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dave in da house View Post
    Is it a weapons system? No. It is a system that teaches weaponization of the body in motion, which then allows the practitioner to pick up anything in their environment and utilize it as a weapon.
    Stolen. Thank you, sir. Good stuff, as usual.
    Joel Ellis
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    Default Re: Weapons ARE or ARE NOT originally part of Kenpo??

    Quote Originally Posted by KenpoChanger View Post
    So a woman using a kubotan against an un-armed papist is a bad thing?
    Sean
    Yes, but against a Lutheran, it's OK.
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    Default Re: Weapons ARE or ARE NOT originally part of Kenpo??

    Quote Originally Posted by punisher73 View Post
    Kind of reminds me of the movie, "The Little Mermaid". The seagull is using a fork and tells her that it is a "dinglehopper" and is used to comb her hair. Yep, you can use it for that and it will get the job done, but that was not what it was designed for.

    I think that many arts can adapt to a knife or club with their empty hand techniques, even though they were specifically designed to be a weapons art. Many point out about Okinawan karate and weapons. They were seperate systems back then. The study of weapons was called "kubudo" and contained many of the farm implements and common items found in everyday life. Many of the early founders practiced both and added the weapons to their art, but it was still seperate. Some people did create weapon's katas based on empty hand katas (Isshin-Ryu's Kusanku Sai kata comes to mind) in an attempt to marry the two seperate things.
    Thanks Punisher, further study showed you to be correct... opps I had my facts a bit mixed... here's the snipit of info I got from a quick google search...


    Early History of Okinawa Karate

    Early Okinawan karate, or tode ("China Hand") as it was called, owes its origin to a mixture of indigenous Okinawan fighting arts and various "foot fighting" systems and empty-hand systems of Southeast Asia and China. Being seafaring people, the Okinawans were in almost constant contact with mainland Asia. It is quite likely that Okinawan seamen visiting foreign ports were impressed with local fighting techniques and incorporated these into their own fighting methods.

    Interest in unarmed fighting arts increased during the 14th century when Chuzan King Sho Hashi established his rule over Okinawa and banned all weapons. A more rapid development of tode followed in 1609 when the Satsuma clan of Kyushu, Japan, occupied Okinawa and again banned the possession of weapons. Thus tode or Okinawa-te, as the Satsuma samurai soon called it, became the only means of protection left to the Okinawans. It was this atmosphere that honed the early karate-like arts of Okinawa into a weapon, enabling the island people to conduct a guerrilla-type war with the Japanese samurai that lasted into the late 1800's.

    The link if anyone has intrest in further reading... http://allokinawakarate.com/history.html


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