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Bowley Kenpo Karate » Philosophy » Kenpo is Kenpo Right?

Kenpo is Kenpo Right?

When I first began in Kenpo, I was young and don’t remember much exposure to other martial artists. My karate circle was made up of only those in class and a few from tournaments. The only Kenpo we knew was that of our instructor. Fast forward to present day, and it’s easy to connect with Kenpoists from all over the world via Facebook, Twitter, or other social networking applications.

When pure knuckles meet pure flesh . . .

When pure knuckles meet pure flesh . . .

You can visit with martial artists virtually (pun intended) everywhere. I’ve had the chance to talk with Kenpoists and martial artists from other states and all the way to other counties. We’ve conversed about Parker vs. Tracy vs. hybrid style Kenpo. 8, 12, 16, or 24 technique systems. We talked about lineage and training styles. Sharing drills and testing experiences are common.

So, is one style of Kenpo better than another? Of course, I’m biased as a practitioner of the 16 technique system. But truthfully it’s a tough question. We can all agree though on the Kenpo saying “There are no pure styles of karate. Purity comes only when pure knuckles meet pure flesh, no matter who delivers or receives.” This is a philosophy Kenpo students learn on their way to earning an orange belt.

It means there’s no point in arguing which style is better than any other style. It will always come down to individual martial artists and how well they execute. It’s not whether Tae Kwon Do or Kenpo or BJJ or Akido is a better system. It’s how an individual practitioner matches up against another on any given day. When Mr. Parker put the philosophy in the curriculum did he believe it may eventually apply to his own system? Also tough to say.

How do you know which is the right Kenpo system for you? No easy answers here either with much to consider. How far away are classes? How well do you like the instructor? How often are the classes? How much practice outside of class is expected and how well does the coincide with what time you can commit? Is there even a choice of Kenpo styles in your area? These are all the same questions you would ask when selecting ANY potential martial art or karate school.

When you do chose your style of Kenpo, instructor, and school, it’s up to you to execute the system. That’s the secret and meaning behind the Kenpo saying. As the world continues to open up and you meet more martial artist friends, you’ll immediately have dedication and hard work in common with them.

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Sam Bowley
McKinney, TX


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