FAQs: Kempo

What is Kempo?

Kempo is a unique martial art having been founded several centuries ago in a Chinese Shaolin temple. As a martial art, Kempo is referred to as a Do. The Do is referred to in Buddhist Zen scripts as a path towards enlightenment. Lao Tzu, a priest of Taoism, said “Mastering others requires force, mastering the self requires enlightenment.” This phrase sums the full circle of what Kempo strives towards. Although on its surface Kempo can be seen as a unique form of self-defense, hidden beneath its physical exterior are levels where characteristic centralization of mind and body form. At this level, Kempo’s practitioners elevate from a simple form of fighting to a higher level of ability and enlightenment. Ying Kuchan, a Shaolin monk and master of Kempo, after a lengthy period of meditation in a Zen rock garden, spoke of Kempo saying Kempo is the power of adaptability and yielding, the harmony of all things working together.

Kempo is a unique art form of spiritual growth, health, and personal responsibility. It is a comprehensive and diversified means of unarmed self-defense, though it encompasses both an armed and unarmed systems of combat with techniques of varying appearances and methods. On an external level, Kempo is a no holds barred fighting system of offensive and defensive methods, with equal emphasis of striking techniques with the hands and feet, immobilization and controls, projections and take downs; as well as weaponry, various spiritual, and healing arts. Kempo, as developed in America, is a streetwise defensive art that does not restrict its students in methodology. Clawing hands evolve into slashing feet. Cunning joint locks turn into devastating hip throws. Evasive blocks turn into breath closing chokes.

The possibilities are endless. The only true fighting systems are those where there are no rules applied. From the books of the Han dynasty, we learn “Nothing is impossible to a willing mind.” And it is from this saying that we can derive the upper principles of Shaolin Kempo. What sets Kempo apart from boxing, wrestling, and Sunday night football is an emphasis on spirituality of body and mind.

Many people are quite happy with only the surface value of Kempo, taking its studies for reasons of physical health, self-defense, or a Monday night hobby. Yet, Kempo tries to build a person’s psychological persona and betterment. Kempo is not solely a means of felling an opponent by force, but it teaches an inner peace to one’s life and to the universe around us.

What can Kempo do for me?

Kempo can improve many aspects of your life, including building confidence, awareness and giving you the ability to protect yourself and stay focused. Like many other  martial arts is Kempo is a great form of fitness and has countless health benefits!

Is Kempo an easy art form/style?

Yes. Kempo is an easy style. In fact, it’s one of the easiest to learn and most effective styles around today. Kempo moves are basic and effective, and the teaching at Chuan-fa Martial Arts will make it even easier for you to learn this great art.

What will I learn from Kempo?

You will learn the basics of fighting and self-defence from a variety of armed and unarmed combat. Kempo is a mixture of karate kickboxing, judo, Jiu Jitsu and even hapkido.  Kempo is the best of the best of all the martial arts combined into one. Some of the weapons you will learn to defend against are a grab, knife and gun. You will learn concepts such as body movement, balance, and triangulation of the body and you will gain a better understanding of the different forms of martial arts.

What is the difference between Tae Kwon Do and Kempo?

Tae Kwon Do is a Korean Martial Art that focuses primarily on kicking techniques. Some Tae Kwon Do schools also teach Olympic style fighting. Kempo is a practical self defense system which trains the student for modern day self defense encounters. Kempo students are taught to use their hands and feet with multiple strikes to multiple targets on each attacker, in a multiple attack situation

Is Kempo a safe sport/art form?

Yes. Martial arts have a low risk of injury. There is a greater chance of getting an injury from soccer or basketball than from martial arts. This is because in martial arts there is a control of contact. Accidents can happen, but in most cases if you do get injured it is not as serious as injuries from other sports.