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Thread: a question about styles

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    Default a question about styles

    hi all, iv got a few questions about some kenpo styles.
    i started kenpo about 5 months ago, my teacher is an 8th degree blackbelt in chinese kenpo karate that he says comes from nick cerio. i like the classes that he teaches its alot of fun and i like the techniques and forms etc. my friend just started american kenpo at a school and he asked me to come try it out with him today. so i did. the teachers at the school are nice, but they pretty much told me that what i was studying was complete junk. they said they had studied under my current teacher 20 years earlier when he was a third degree bb. they say their style is much better and to be honost what they were doing did seem effective. now the main teacher at this american kenpo school was telling me a bunch of stuff that i think is untrue like how nick cerio was only a purple belt before he created his own style etc. now the question i want to ask is this: what are the relationships/differences in cerio's chinese kenpo and ed parkers american kenpo and are both the styles effective?

    i always thought that the styles were different neither one was better, but the teacher at the american kenpo school thought differently.
    dont worry about offending me or anything i don't know much about the martial arts, thanks.

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    Thumbs up Re: a question about styles

    the classic battle of kempo versus kenpo. Many of us have come to an understanding and get along just fine, finding similarities in our background rather than focusing on the differences. There is still a lot of bad blood between a lot of instructors out there that took Mr. Parkers Path and those who took GGM Gascon's path... In the end, it comes down to what YOU prefer, and how good your instructor is. Perhaps you need to outline what you found so intriguing about the American Kenpo, and ask your Kempo instructor if his version of Professor Cerio's system involves such. Mr. Parker and Prof. Cerio worked well together, and both trained with some of the same Masters, only taking their arts in different directions, but make no mistake about it, they all do meet somewhere down the road. I love Mr. Parkers system, and I love Prof. Cerios system. I've worked with GGM Gascon, Bill Chun Jr., Nancy Lee Cerio, Billy Ambrosia/Cerio and many others from both arts. My own instructor, KenpoJoe Rebelo is a proponent and Master of both styles... I suppose, what I'm trying to say, is do what feels best for you. If you have any other questions, lineage, etc... feel free to ask. I may even direct a few of the more legit Ken/mpo historians (Joe Rebelo, Matt Barnes, etc..), over to this thread, as, while I know they check Kenpotalk, I'm not sure how often.
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    Question Re: a question about styles

    thank you your reply helped alot!
    I'm glad someone with your experience in both styles of kenpo likes both styles! i know i really like the chinese kenpo my current instructor teaches, he has alot of experience(35 years of teaching). im thinking perhaps ill continue with the cerio chinese kenpo and ill go to one class of american kenpo every week. maybe ill get the best of both worlds.

    could you possibly explain to me some of the main different concepts?
    i know that at the american kenpo school they were telling me that attacking the attack is the best way to go and that my school didnt teach that. however i dont think that my school teaches retreat before attack as much as they make it seem. im inexperienced but im like a spounge keep throwing info at me!

    as far as lineages go i'd like to learn about the whole fred villari "stuff that is bad?" and is somehow related to cerios chinese kenpo. i know i worded that weird but the american kenpo intructor told me that cerios kenpo was related to fred villari and therefore its junk. is villari bad? and is it related?

    thanks in advance!

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    Default Re: a question about styles

    Wow Ragefist complicated and good questions! Welcome to KT first off...

    I am not EPAK or Cerios so I will leave that to the experts in here, what I am concerned about is a teacher that bad talks another teacher or system. That is a red flag to me personally.... Every style has it's advantages and dis-advantages, the key is to find the right style for YOU.

    My first question for you would be, what is your motivation in the martial Arts? Some folks want fitness, some want self-defense only, some want an artistic style etc. Some even just want to lose weight... These factors make a BIG difference!

    If it is street self-defense, both are likely to deliver-
    If it is a friendly training environment you desire then you can tell which you prefer- Go where the students and teacher are respectful, well-spoken and able to articulate their art.

    I would NOT recommend taking both arts simultaneously, especially two that are similar (it'd be different if you were taking Judo, and Kempo or something) each art will be difficult enough to learn without confusing moves or execution from different schools- lastly, some instructors insist that you do not cross-train to early.

    As for the political kempo history stuff--- Wow! There are VOCAL proponents of any style, so it will be difficult to "wade" through all the info. about a style or individual- Go to Martial Talk and do a search for: "Villari" or 'Cerio" etc. Then get a cup of coffee...

    Hope this helps-
    The above is just my opinion.

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    Default Re: a question about styles

    LOL, as Dianhsuhe says, MT and a cup of coffee (though I prefer green tea) will certainly open your views a little bit. What I will tell you about is your lineage question. Professor Chow taught Ed Parker and Adriano Emperado. SGM. Parker, as you know, went on to found EPAK. Sijo Emperado had a student by the name of (GGM) Victor "Sonny" Gascon, who in turn trained George Presare, who then trained Nick Cerio, who then taught Fred Villari, and then more breakoffs. Prof. Cerio also worked with SGM. Parker, and I believe was recognized as a 9th degree black belt by Mr. Parker, but not in Mr. Parker's system, but in Nick Cerio's kenpo Karate. Prof. Cerio also travelled to Hawaii to train with Prof. Chow after retracing his own history back to Prof. Chow. So we know that both Prof. Chow and SGM Parker trained with Prof. Chow at different points in their training, we also know they exchanged ideas (trained together/with each other?) at other times. But then we look at the systems, and though we can find a lot of similarities, there are also a lot of differences, as you often get with two brilliant men, trained in the same ways, that end up going off on their own ways, in different directions, neither of them wrong (nor one more right than the other). Personally, I only met Prof. Cerio once (though spoke to him on the phone a few times), and I know my father met Mr. Parker once, but I love both of their arts equally, and consider my instructor, Joe Rebelo, a product of both lineages, one of the greatest technical men on the planet, and also regard Nancy lee Cerio, whom I've now come to know fairly well, as an inspiration to all Martial Artists. She was also with prof. Cerio throughout his development of his system. All in all, I would say that both arts have something to offer,and you should "absorb" as much as you can of both. Have a gander at this family tree, and again, ask any questions you may have. http://www.urbin.net/EWW/MA/KF/famtrees.html
    ~Shaun E. Seifer - 5th Dan
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    Default Re: a question about styles

    P.S. about Villari's stuff being bad... No, the system is sound, when taught by a competent instructor. Most people, while they may bad mouth Villari and the system, are actually more disappointed at the business practices of the man/organization. The instructor clubs, masters programs, atp programs, get your black belt in 10 months stuff (which is prevalent in almost all arts now, not just Shaolin Kempo) etc... have fueled this by filling school with not-so-comptent instructors (not all of them!), who in turn make what is actually a great system, look bad or seem bad, by not truly having had the time to train and understand the system as well as they should have. Peace!
    ~Shaun E. Seifer - 5th Dan
    Founder - Tenchi Bujutsu
    http://www.idmaa.com

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    Default Re: a question about styles

    thank you again for your help!
    i've got another question..i dont know if u can answer it but here goes..
    what are the differences between cerio's kenpo and villari's kenpo?
    is there alot of information after blackbelt in cerio's kenpo like villari's?

    thanks in advance again you guys are alot of help


    PS: I did decide to stick with cerio's kenpo over American Kenpo. I enjoy it so far and it seems to work

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    Default Re: a question about styles


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    Default Re: a question about styles

    Quote Originally Posted by RaGeFiSt View Post
    PS: I did decide to stick with cerio's kenpo over American Kenpo. I enjoy it so far and it seems to work
    Good for you. You'll find that there is allways something out there that looks better, more "deadly", or somehow more effective at first glance. But nothing is effective if you don't stick with it and learn it.

    I do American Kenpo, and I think it is a good system. But I have a problem with those who say it is the only effective system and run down other schools. Not knowing all the details first hand, it would be hard to comment on your situation there. But from what you said, I'm a little dissapointed in the AK instructors there. Even if they were factually correct, that type of thing is bad for the arts in general, and makes them liik bad as well. Ed Parker promoted understanding and cooperation between styles, so it is a little sad to hear of this from an EPAK school.

    Stick with what you are doing and give it a chance before you decide to look at other options.

    Dan C

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    Default Re: a question about styles

    Trust your heart. Does your current Chinese Kempo Instructor talk bad about other Kenpo or kempo styles. It seems that the American Kenpo Instructor did. Trust your heart and instincts god gave them to you for a reason. I started in Won Hop Kun Do a very good Martial Art. Yet the Sifu and I did not connect well. I was not young and flexable. I tried Chinese Kempo with Chief Instructor Stan Papas. (Universal Kempo Karate Schools.) He did not say anything but good things and Sigung Al Dacoscos founder of Won hop Kun Do. He did not know the Sifu teaching me at the time. He did say for me to follow my heart and make the decision best for me. I did. Five years later he Promoted me to Black Belt. When I asked the Sifu about Kempo Karate he said he never heard of it. Of course that was not true.

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    Default Re: a question about styles

    Here is a very detailed history of Professor Nick Cerio
    http://www.nickcerioskenpo.com/prof_..._Biography.htm

    You will learn a lot from reading this Bio.

    I met Professor Cerio when he came to Seattle to direct a major tournament.
    I got to visit with him and found him to be very personable. I have severel tapes of his self defence Techniques and found them to be very good
    (different perhaps but workable) we have added several of his Techniques to our system.

    When I recieved my invitation to the first "Gathering of Eagles" I immediately sent an e-Mail to him to see if he would be attending. I got a reply back That he had passed away that day. A very sad day and a great loss to Kenpo.

    That is my experience with Professor Nick Cerio.

    I am Most Respectfully,
    Sifuroy

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    Default Re: a question about styles

    RaGeFiSt,

    Please bear with me as this is my first post, but I agree with the other "respondees". Find what YOU want, what you are looking for in the art of Ken/mpo.
    I myself study a off-shoot of Professor Cerio's style (Shaolin Kenpo), and I also study a Silat system (Kali Silat). For me, the cross-training aids in the understanding of the movements and the "bunkai" of the form/kata/manuever for each style.
    As far as the American Kempo instructor... to bad mouth another style, without indepth knowledge shows bad judgement and a lack of personal growth, in Silat that is considered bad "Hormat" (manners) and it not only reflects on the instructor, but his instructor.
    There is a saying from a Kali-Silat Master it goes "It's not what you train, but with whom you train with!"
    I wish you the best in your training.
    And to everyone else, thank you for this site and your wonderful insite to Kenpo and other arts.

    SPorK

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    Default Re: a question about styles

    Quote Originally Posted by KempoShaun View Post
    the classic battle of kempo versus kenpo. Many of us have come to an understanding and get along just fine, finding similarities in our background rather than focusing on the differences. There is still a lot of bad blood between a lot of instructors out there that took Mr. Parkers Path and those who took GGM Gascon's path... In the end, it comes down to what YOU prefer, and how good your instructor is. Perhaps you need to outline what you found so intriguing about the American Kenpo, and ask your Kempo instructor if his version of Professor Cerio's system involves such. Mr. Parker and Prof. Cerio worked well together, and both trained with some of the same Masters, only taking their arts in different directions, but make no mistake about it, they all do meet somewhere down the road. I love Mr. Parkers system, and I love Prof. Cerios system. I've worked with GGM Gascon, Bill Chun Jr., Nancy Lee Cerio, Billy Ambrosia/Cerio and many others from both arts. My own instructor, KenpoJoe Rebelo is a proponent and Master of both styles... I suppose, what I'm trying to say, is do what feels best for you. If you have any other questions, lineage, etc... feel free to ask. I may even direct a few of the more legit Ken/mpo historians (Joe Rebelo, Matt Barnes, etc..), over to this thread, as, while I know they check Kenpotalk, I'm not sure how often.

    I have Known Kenpo Joe for more than 25 years and yes he is a great historian of many arts, and I taught a seminar at his school back in May of this year. I teach Mr. Parkers kenpo. Having said this I recomend staying away from any school that trys to degrade another in-order to validate what they teach.
    Brad Marshall SP
    KKFI

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    Default Re: a question about styles

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan View Post
    Good for you. You'll find that there is allways something out there that looks better, more "deadly", or somehow more effective at first glance. But nothing is effective if you don't stick with it and learn it.

    I do American Kenpo, and I think it is a good system. But I have a problem with those who say it is the only effective system and run down other schools. Not knowing all the details first hand, it would be hard to comment on your situation there. But from what you said, I'm a little dissapointed in the AK instructors there. Even if they were factually correct, that type of thing is bad for the arts in general, and makes them liik bad as well. Ed Parker promoted understanding and cooperation between styles, so it is a little sad to hear of this from an EPAK school.

    Stick with what you are doing and give it a chance before you decide to look at other options.

    Dan C
    Brother Dan,

    I agree with what you have advised here.
    Brad Marshall SP
    KKFI

    trgodbm@yahoo.com

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    Default Re: a question about styles

    Here is a very well written History of Grndmaster Cerio
    http://www.usadojo.com/biographies/nicholas-cerio.htm

    It pretty well outlines his career in the Martial Arts. I think you will enjoy reading it.

    I am Most Respectfully,
    sifuroy

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    Talking Re: a question about styles

    There are a lot of good posts to your original question (and subsequent ones as well) and there is a lot of information here.

    My advice is this:

    Pick one style of Kenpo/Kempo and stick with it until you get your black belt. This one will be your foundation, so you should have done the research first before choosing a school (but that is an afterthought now). However, if you are disatisfied with your current school then there is probably a reason and you should consider finding a new instructor. I would not go to a school where the instructor bad mouthes other styles or instructors though.

    Then, once you have gotten a black belt (and only then) should you consider cross training in other styles of kenpo/kempo. You will have gotten a firm base and you will be able to decide for yourself which "form" of kenpo/kempo techniques work best for you in the various situations.

    Personally, I am taking Hawaiian Kempo Karate along the lineage of James Mitose - William Chow - Ron Alo - Stan Mattson - Bill Marron. But I plan on learning Okinawan Kenpo and American Kempo Karate following that. But I am planting my "roots" first. Fortunately for me I have people that take/teach Hawaiian Kempo Karate with me right now that also know Okinawan Kenpo as well. So, I can learn from the same people but a different variation.

    The Hawaiian Kempo, Okinawan Kenpo, and American Kempo debate has been going on for quite some time and personally I do not get caught up in the whole good, better, best aspect of the debates. I merely learn and absorb as much as possible whenever I can and then I judge for myself what works best for me personally. I am loyal to my "primary" style in as much as I will teach it to my students exactly as I have learned it but with a disclaimer that there will come a time in there martial arts training where they will have to decide for themselves what is the best "techniques" for them but as a beginner it is best to merely practice it as it is taught to them. You will know when it is time to start "venturing out" on your own, but that is MANY years down the road.

    For now, enjoy the training you are receiving and keep your eyes/ears open wide and your mind focused on the immediate task at hand. Which is to learn the basic techniques.

    Good luck and I hope for the best in your training!
    Devil Dog Mark
    Hawaiian Kempo & Okinawan Kubudo

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    Default Re: a question about styles

    Quote Originally Posted by MARSHALLS KENPO View Post
    I have Known Kenpo Joe for more than 25 years and yes he is a great historian of many arts, and I taught a seminar at his school back in May of this year. I teach Mr. Parkers kenpo. Having said this I recomend staying away from any school that trys to degrade another in-order to validate what they teach.
    Ditto this.

    I am a big fan of Ed Parker and his system. So it would be hard for me to say that anything else is just as good, however, recently, I am begining to understand that there are more important things than just the style. Further, the styles share a history, they only took a different path to the present only about 60 years ago.

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    Default Re: a question about styles

    Quote Originally Posted by MARSHALLS KENPO View Post
    I teach Mr. Parkers kenpo. Having said this I recomend staying away from any school that trys to degrade another in-order to validate what they teach.
    Excellent advice.
    "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

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    Default Re: a question about styles

    Quote Originally Posted by RaGeFiSt View Post
    hi all, iv got a few questions about some kenpo styles.
    i started kenpo about 5 months ago, my teacher is an 8th degree blackbelt in chinese kenpo karate that he says comes from nick cerio. i like the classes that he teaches its alot of fun and i like the techniques and forms etc. my friend just started american kenpo at a school and he asked me to come try it out with him today. so i did. the teachers at the school are nice, but they pretty much told me that what i was studying was complete junk. they said they had studied under my current teacher 20 years earlier when he was a third degree bb. they say their style is much better and to be honost what they were doing did seem effective. now the main teacher at this american kenpo school was telling me a bunch of stuff that i think is untrue like how nick cerio was only a purple belt before he created his own style etc. now the question i want to ask is this: what are the relationships/differences in cerio's chinese kenpo and ed parkers american kenpo and are both the styles effective?

    i always thought that the styles were different neither one was better, but the teacher at the american kenpo school thought differently.
    dont worry about offending me or anything i don't know much about the martial arts, thanks.
    I have a short reply for you.
    ANY true martial arts studio would require you to first talk w/ your instructor and get his/her permission. After all A true "Martial Arts" instructor teaches far more than kicks & punches. Words to think about! Now rethink the trash talk and where it really is coming from. True dojo? True "martial artist school" Good luck in your pursuit of your training...

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    Default Re: a question about styles

    Quote Originally Posted by justthetruth View Post
    I have a short reply for you.
    ANY true martial arts studio would require you to first talk w/ your instructor and get his/her permission. After all A true "Martial Arts" instructor teaches far more than kicks & punches. Words to think about! Now rethink the trash talk and where it really is coming from. True dojo? True "martial artist school" Good luck in your pursuit of your training...
    Welcome to KenpoTalk. Interesting first post. "Talk with their instructor and get his/her permission" to do what? I don't get it. "True Dojo?" - I don't get the point with that either. Also, I missed the actual trash talking. Perhaps I'm late to the party and missed something??
    Kenpo, moving in open piecewise Bézier curves since 2011

    Trying hard not to lapse into speaking kenponics

    Been doing computers since 1982, on forums, chats and all for nearly 3 decades. Only ever blocked one person.

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