Is American Kenpo Karate Effective?

Is American Kenpo Karate Effective?

American Kenpo Karate is a form of self-defense, and it was founded by Ed Parker. Parker created it by modifying the theory of movements and nomenclature in traditional Kenpo he had learned using principles of contemporary street fighting to make it more practical for the 21st century. It is well known for rapid and strong strikes, enabled by agile body position transitions, called ‘shifting’. By 1990, Parker has created 154 technique sequences with 96 extensions, which are meant to be taught in three parts. He believed in modifying Kenpo to the needs of each person learning it and he motivated his students to explore martial arts beyond the traditional concepts. Read more about Is American Kenpo Karate Effective?

Kenpo Karate is deemed to be an effective form of real-life self-defense. When the student carries out each movement correctly, each movement would lead to the next movement smoothly, effectively blocking the attacker’s moves and limiting the chances of them striking back. 

Aims of American Kenpo Karate

Kenpo Karate aims to increase the synchronization of body parts in linear and circular motions and improve speed, balance, and stability. Quick methods to incapacitate an attacker within a few seconds are given importance in American Kenpo. Kicks are not commonly used and if used, lower kicks are preferred because they are faster to carry out and it is easier to maintain balance compared to kicks directed at the upper body of the opponent.

In American Kenpo, there are a variety of kicks, strikes, throwing, joint locking, and knife handling methods. After mastering the basic concepts, students can modify the techniques to cater to their needs. For example, a soldier might focus on modifying certain knife techniques whereas a civilian who is interested in only self-defense may be interested in less harmful weapon choices.

Even if the attacker does not act as expected, the student would be able to automatically change his or her movements to an alternative method he or she has learned during training to better tackle the attacker and incapacitate them quickly. This is due to the training students go through, which teaches them how to instantaneously plan a feasible and effective course of movements in their minds to disable their attacker quickly. This makes students mentally prepared and confident to tackle an unexpected situation.

Elements Of American Kenpo Karate

There are five common elements taught at every American Kenpo Karate school. The elements are:

· Principles such as ‘Marriage of Gravity’ teach students to position their weight to enhance the force of strikes.

· Adapting certain parts of Kenpo Karate to one’s requirements and physical ability after learning the teachings in the ‘ideal phase’ of the method.

· Choosing movements, weapons, targets, and angle of attack such that the student can achieve the desired outcome in the shortest time possible.

· Moving natural weapons from their point of origin instead of cocking them before using them to prevent the attacker from anticipating movements. 

· A block should be considered the same as a strike. A block should be as powerful as a strike, and it should be sufficient to incapacitate the attacker and reduce their ability to attack again.

Forms In American Kenpo Karate

There are eleven forms in American Kenpo Karate. They are Short Form 1, Long Form 1, Short Form 2, Long Form 2, Short Form 3, Long Form 3, Long Form 4, Long Form 5, Long Form 6, Long Form 7, and Long Form 8.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) How long does it take to get a black belt in American Kenpo?

It takes about 4 to 5 years for a student to reach the required competency to achieve a black belt in Kenpo Karate.

2) Does American Kenpo Karate require good memorization skills?

No, it does not require memorization for learning purposes. Only students who want to become instructors need to memorize all the theories of the techniques and be well-versed with them. Ed parker believed it is more important for students to understand the concepts of various techniques instead of memorizing theory.

3) What are the similarities and differences between American Kenpo Karate and Okinawan Karate?  

Both have their roots in Chinese martial arts, and they have attack and defense strategies that are alike. Furthermore, both have the same grade belt categories. However, American Kenpo Karate emphasizes soft and circular methods and recommends a sequence of movements whereas Okinawan Karate teaches individual strikes.

4) Is American Kenpo Karate more challenging than traditional Kenpo?

No, according to several online reviews, American Kenpo Karate is considered to be less challenging than traditional Kenpo by practitioners who have tried both types. This is because the moves in American Kenpo Karate have been modified from the original Kenpo to make them easier to understand, master, and execute. This makes it easier to master and implement it under attack.

Is American Kenpo Karate Effective?

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