I’m often asked what the difference is between KENPO (what I teach) and (insert martial art name here). So, here are some things I wanted to share about KENPO to help inform what makes it a rather unique martial arts system.
Naturally, there are more than 11 things, but will at least get you started.
1. Built on Common Sense
KENPO is about teaching you how to think about and execute self-defense in street wise manner. Not only is KENPO built on common sense, it also is guided by logic. Questions such as: “What is the most likely follow up attack that will be thrown?”, “how can my moves be countered” and “What is the closest most vulnerable target is available?” are asked to make sure things are built from a strong and practical base.
2. A Modern Approach
KENPO is based on today’s environment, not what things were like 2,000 years ago in another country. In this way, we teach an American martial arts system.
3. Is Tailored to You
When you learn KENPO, everything you do will be adapted to your height, weight, reach, flexibility, strengths and more (instead of the other way around). In some martial arts schools, whether you are 6’5″ or 4’7″ you all have to do your stances the exact same height and is an example of how you are tailored to the art instead of the art being tailored to you.
4. Principles of Motion
KENPO is governed by principles of motion. Like ingredients, these principles help you to understand how to combine them to hit harder, faster and more accurately than you ever thought possible. We use principles such as “point of origin,” “marriage of gravity,” “body momentum,” and “rotational torque” to not only make our students hit harder and faster, but also so they know specifically what to work on to improve. In this way, they learn why we do what we do instead of just mimicking our instructors.
5. Rearrangement Concept
Once you learn a sequence of moves in one particular order, you also learn how you can add, delete, insert, rearrange and more so you can adapt to the task at hand. This helps you become more adaptable and spontaneous so you are better prepared if you have to protect yourself. For example, if you learn four moves you learn how you can create 24 versions of those moves where you never do the same move twice.
6. Based on Universal Motion
KENPO teaches you empty hand self-defense that simultaneously teaches you how to use a stick, knife and more. Our stand up defenses are also possible from sitting positions, kneeling positions and when on the ground. Rather than learning multiple arts to accomplish this, our martial arts system is multi-dimensional and can all be learned in one system.
7. A Martial Arts System, Not a Style
KENPO is a martial arts system and not a martial arts style. The difference is that a system gives you a comprehensive foundation of basics, self-self defense moves and drills while a style only shows you a personal preference on what someone likes to do; which may or may not be guided by logic or principles.
8. Get Proficient, Faster
Every aspect of the KENPO system we teach (which can only be found in AKKI KENPO) is 100% built around internalization patterns, speed patterns, power patterns and more. Every facet of the system incorporates these so everything you do gets burned into your subconscious. Not only that, but you will also learn how to tap into your natural born, built in reflexes to better help you respond to a threat more spontaneously and effectively.
9. Its Practical
We don’t care how pretty a move looks, all we care is that it works. We work on speed, surprise and simplicity to make sure we’re not over complicating things.
10. Four Ranges of Self-Defense
Many martial arts are primarily focused on one range of self-defense (like grappling). KENPO gives you a comprehensive system incorporating them all; as all ranges can occur in the flow of a self defense situation. We cover everything from kicking to striking to trapping to grappling ranges.
11. Simple Everyday Motion
If you can throw a frisbee, hammer a nail or saw a log then you can do this martial art! We focus our efforts in showing you how everyday motion you already make can help you become a highly proficient martial artist.
For those in KENPO, what would you add to the list of things people should know about KENPO?