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TMA UnderGround >> Is Kempo the most well rounded Karate?


1/7/13 3:50 AM
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MIKE CIESNOLEVICZ
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Been having some discussions with people lately. They say Kempo is better than Shotokan, Shorin-Ryu, Kyokushin for the fact that it is more street oriented, incorporates more grappling techniques, etc.

How legit was Ed Parker also in your opinion? There is a guy in Las Vegas, Jeff Speakman who trained under Parker and is supposed to be one of the best practioners on the planet.
1/7/13 6:24 AM
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khd29
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Curious too. I remember reading something about kemp/kenpo feud.. Whatever it is.
Speakman was the same guy from Perfect Weapon, no?
1/9/13 2:38 AM
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Skpotamus
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Look up some of the vids on youtube of Ed Parker doing Kenpo. What I always saw of it made me think it was just another brand of 70's era karate. Hands by the waist, waiting for a punch to be thrown, after the punch is blocked, the attacker just stands there and lets the defender hit them 1000 times. The only kenpo school I ever visited did the same things. They didn't wear pads when they sparred, and no real contact was made. I was actually unable to tell when they were sparring and working on self defense. Lots of posing and freezing during both. Here's a video of Parker and co doing a demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3Ba-S8_hcA


Speakman's kenpo 5.0 seems a lot more progressive. incorporates groundwork, lots of resistance training (they hit each other). You can find vids of his guys sparring online, some of them are actually keeping their hands up, and using boxing, shooting double legs, ground and pound, etc.

Even they have a lot of.... interesting material they teach. Here's a vid from a few years ago of a testing they had (Speakman testing for his 8th dan and a bunch of others testing as well for various ranks). You can see some sparring, forms and Self defense. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsYbQIOrHb0 (1:40 in is some of their SD)
1/11/13 1:50 AM
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MIKE CIESNOLEVICZ
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Great post thanks! Phone Post
2/10/13 1:53 AM
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shen
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Edited: 02/10/13 4:40 AM
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Mohammad Tabatabai is a 9th Degree EPAK instructor here in Southern California who, similar to Speakman, has added BJJ to EPAK.

He changed the name of his art to "American Kenpo Jiu Jitsu". Apparently he trains down at Gracie Torrance and his school is a "Gracie Combatives" training center. His BJJ doesn't look super-polished but I have to say, adding actual BJJ to kenpo rather than doing some "Kenpo grappling" or "anti-grappling" nonsense, is not a bad trend...


http://www.americankenpojiujitsu.com/Academy/Object/Records/CMSPageObject640004740600189<br /><br /><br />
2/16/13 5:19 AM
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shen
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Sadly, I just read Speakman is undergoing treatment for throat cancer.
3/10/13 1:36 PM
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yusul
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i'd say enshin because it's full contact and allows sweeps and throws in their comps. that allows them to realistically train different things.
3/11/13 1:41 AM
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jcblass
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Edited: 04/02/13 4:58 PM
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Kempo is a little too much fluff for me. The style relies heavily on "demos" where the attacker just leaves the arm extended out there far too long while the Kempo practitioner goes though a 20 attack combo. If the jaw is wide open, boxing has shown us a good hook to the jaw will end the fight. It over complicates things to think you are going to rake the eyes, upward elbow the face, strike the bicep, kick the groin. etc.

Karate on the other hand is pretty well defined in terms of combat. The fighters are tough, the techniques are hard and direct. Watch any Full Contact karate match and you get the idea. These guys understand contact, violence and striking. I am not sure your average Kempo guy is at that level. It is a demo art that looks nice, but practically speaking, I have always been skeptical.
3/16/13 9:43 PM
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Seul
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I started out in martial arts with kenpo, trained from about 16-19. The school I was at was very progressive by kenpo/TMA standards, one of the two main instructors kickboxed seriously for a number of years and had some grappling experience.

The VAST majority of training was exactly as described by jcblass, one person would punch (always a direct, straight punch aimed at the center of the chest while stepping forward with the leg on the same side), and the other would block or dodge the punch and then do increasingly complicated and ridiculous techniques with minimal contact while the other person stood still. It was literally punch, then freeze with your arm outstretched, while the other guy would go crazy with throat punches, groin grabs, and arm breaks all down slowed down without real contact.

We would practice "defenses" against knife/club attacks and "common" attacks such as bearhugs, wrist grabs, and headlocks as well.

The techniques started out basic, then got absurd with jumps, spins, "takedowns", and then complicated maulings of the attacker while they layed facedown on the floor (sometimes involved jumps over/around the dude on the ground so you could get at their nuts with leopard paws and the like.

The saving grace was kickboxing-style sparring once a week with full contact (and pads/cups/mouthpieces, lol) under the guidance of the instructor with legit kickboxing experience. we did almost no drilling of sparring skills and would restrict lower ranks to only punching/kicking to the midsection (I had been training for several years before I could freely do leg kicks and jab to the face), which sort of ruined it though.

If I went 4 times a week and spent 8 hours at the gym, i could realistically expect to have about 3- 2 minute rounds of sparring each week. the rest of the time was forms practice and the lengthy attack demos on a stationary/cooperative uke.
3/16/13 10:08 PM
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Seul
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The instructor with a kickboxing background eventually split and opened his own school, as some of his guys have been having some success in amateur kickboxing bouts (on a local level), but in general I didnt get a lot out of the training; I made it to brownbelt before i quit.

The few guys who developed real live fighting ability spent a lot of time working on it on their own and generally had some other sort of background (they were cops, or had a bunch of years in judo, etc). We would spar hard sometimes, but it was two poorly trained guys pounding on each other without a lot of technique.

I was essentially a beginner by the time I found my way to a boxing gym despite years of effort and training.

Any of the serious knockdown styles is going to be in general much better imo.
4/2/13 4:56 PM
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jcblass
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Seul? Where in the USA do you live?
5/11/13 10:01 AM
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Wolfs Law
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i have been training Kenpo for 6 years, we incorporate alot of BJJ and groundfighting, our sparring is freestyle using mma gloves, takedowns to submissions. My instructor had many years of BJJ training in a Relson affiliate.

my point being every school and instructor is different, keep an open mind, dont just paint all Kenpo as one thing because you may have sat in on a few classes or trained at one school. Other Kenpo schools in the same city that i live in are different too.

I prefer studying Kenpo to 'traneing mma' because i like that there is still a strong self defense aspect to my training and not just fight training.

Yes, many of the techniques are probably overkill but the point is that you could potentially miss with your first, second or even third strike and still have more in muscle memory to keep going after your attacker.

 


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