Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Origins

  1. #1
    Brivolution is offline
    KenpoTalk
    White Belt
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Kelowna
    Posts
    22
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default Origins

    Okay, since I know jack about the origins of Kepon, I wanted to ask what everyone believed to be the roots (I sure hope there is no thread like this).

    Anyhoo, I was told that the style we study is a mixture of Chinese and Japanese arts, but I've always wondered of what. My personal assumption is that the aspects such as cat stances, the eye-strike vertical outward block, and things like that are from the Chinese arts, while aspects such as the neck breaks, the inward strike blocks and the powerful linear strikes are from the Japanese side.

    I never looked up the history of Kenpo, so that's just my assumption based on what I've seen/believe. Can someone enlighten me, because I feel a bit silly having studied Kenpo for so long and have not yet learned the hsitory?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Cobourg ON
    Posts
    1,021
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 13 Times in 11 Posts

    Default Re: Origins

    Its origins are controversial, but it was first brought to north america (by way of hawaii) by james mitose.
    it's not really a chinese art per se, it's japanese, but modern kenpo has had some "chinese" influences.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Orlando, Florida
    Posts
    6,026
    Thanks
    1,199
    Thanked 1,520 Times in 909 Posts

    Default Re: Origins

    Your instructors lineage would dictate how much of "what" influences your curriculum has.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

  4. #4
    Texas Kenpo is offline
    KenpoTalk
    Adv. Orange Belt
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    161
    Thanks
    11
    Thanked 23 Times in 15 Posts

    Default Re: Origins

    I study Chinese Kenpo and here is some info on its orgin.


    Chinese Kenpo
    A Brief Historical Outline
    Due to the scarcity of authentic written records, the exact origin of the martial arts is obscure. Most historians agree some form of the martial art was practiced in China as early as 1000 B.C. In dealing with ancient martial art history we must rely partially on legend, keeping in mind that many legends, however exaggerated, have some basis in fact. Our most reliable information comes to us from Buddhist inspired martial arts such as those practiced at the Shaolin Temples. Records indicated that Bodhidharma, an Indian priest, travelled from India to China sometime around 525 A.D. His purpose was to transmit the discipline of Zen to China and integrate those ideas with the already existing Buddhist doctrines.
    Bodhidharma, the 28th descendant of the original Buddha, became Abbot of the Shaolin Temple in Honan Province shortly after his arrival in China. Legend tells us that when he arrived at the temple he found the monks to be in a state of physical decay and unable to withstand the prolonged periods of meditation which was essential to the practice of Zen Buddhism. Accordingly, Bodhidharma instituted a series of 18 exercises, similar in nature to Hatha Yoga, in attempt to improve the physical condition of the monks. The exact nature of the "18 Hands of the Lo Han," is unknown. The exercises consist of breathing, stretching, bending and reaching movements. These were the catalyst for the creation of other physical disciplines used to further the spiritual development of the Zen Buddhists. Prior to Bodhidharma's arrival, meditation was practiced as a purely mental discipline. Afterwards it became much more successful as a combination of physical and mental in keeping with the Doctrine of Yin and Yang.
    Bodhidharma probably never intended his exercises to take on a martial attitude. This did not happen until several hundred years after his death. The reason for this new attitude was probably attributable to political unrest together with increased lawlessness. The next appreciable contribution occurred in the 16th century. A Shaolin monk, Ch'ueh Yuen, expanded the original 18 exercises to 72. This practice took on a self-defense theme. Later he left the temple and travelled extensively throughout China in search of other Martial Art masters. Ch'ueh Yuen probably learned techniques and ideas from many different sources. During his travel he met two masters, Fong and Li Shao. Together the tree returned to the Shaolin Temple and expanded the 72 movements to 170. These new movements were categorized into five distinct styles: Tiger, Dragon, Crane, Serpent, and Leopard. They also advanced a set of moral and ethical principles to govern the practice of this art. These five styles formed the bases of the art of Shaolin Chuan Fa also known as the "Five Forms Fist." Other styles were added later.
    Many stories relate to the training procedures at the temple, which were apparently quite demanding. In order to attain priesthood, an individual had to undergo a series of deadly test. The last test was to move a heavy metal urn filled with burning coals. A picture of a tiger and a dragon were etched on opposite sides of the urn. The urn could only be moved by the disciple with his forearms, which would brand the images--the marks of a Shaolin Priest.
    For many years the Shaolin fighting arts were practiced in utmost secrecy. Matters were concerned that the techniques would fall into hands that would use the potentially deadly art for purposes other that what was originally intended. Many factors contributed to the eventual spread of the martial arts. Buddhist missionaries took their disciplines with them when they visited Japan, Korea, and Indonesia. The main factor was the ruthless domination of the Manchu Emperor. Secret societies were formed for the purpose of destoring the Ming dynasty to power and overthrowing the barbarian Manchus. Most Chan Buddhists were anti-Manchu. Many temples were training grounds for pro-Ming revolutionaries. On several occasions the Manchus destroyed temples in an effort to stomp out resistance. Flee monks undoubtedly carried many secrets with them, which were eventually spread all over China.
    Modern martial art history is much easier to follow. During the 18 century, China and Japan were engaged in trade, both material and cultural. At that time a senior member of the Mitose clan of Japan traveled to China to study the martial arts at the Shaolin Temple. He introduced the art of Chu'an Fa, which he called Kenpo, when he returned to Japan. Kenpo means "Way of the Fist" in Japanese.
    This art was practiced and passed down in the Mitose family until James Mitose began teaching publicly in the 1940s. One of his students, William Chow, who also studied martial arts from his own family took over teaching the classes. Chow taught a young Hawaiian, Edmund K. Parker, who eventually developed Kenpo into the art we know and practice today. Mr Parker taught for many years and is considered to be the Grand Master of the modern Kenpo system.

  5. #5
    gakusei's Avatar
    gakusei is offline
    KenpoTalk
    Green Belt
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    516
    Thanks
    22
    Thanked 32 Times in 31 Posts

    Default Re: Origins

    For some great readings on lineage check out http://ejmas.com/kronos/index.html

    There is a lot to read through; but, it covers a lot. The rest of the site is good as well.
    More Shugyo!

  6. #6
    Brivolution is offline
    KenpoTalk
    White Belt
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Kelowna
    Posts
    22
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default Re: Origins

    Tres bien! Thanks everyone!

  7. #7
    Kosho Gakkusei is offline
    KenpoTalk
    Adv. Orange Belt
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    156
    Thanks
    27
    Thanked 32 Times in 21 Posts

    Default Re: Origins

    My opinion is that Kempo is Japanese because Mitose's ancestors modified it to make it suitable for the Japanese. Then again by that definition EPAK would be American. Going back to origins you can trace it to China and call it Chinese. But if you go all the way back you would have to call it Indian. You also could go even further and call it Mesopotamian or Garden Of Eden Kempo.

    "There are many nations but one truth" - The Stranger at Shaka In

    _Don Flatt

Remove Ads

Sponsored Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Origins of Martial Arts Styles and Their Myths
    By Blackcatbonz in forum Japanese Kempo
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 11-30-2005, 04:59 PM