Kenpo Information

Kenpō is the name of several martial arts. The word kenpō is a Japanese translation of the Chinese word "quánfǎ. This term is often informally transliterated as "kempo", as a result of applying Traditional Hepburn romanization, but failing to use a macron to indicate the long vowel. The generic nature of the term combined with its widespread, cross-cultural adoption in the martial arts community has led to many divergent definitions.

In Japanese martial arts, kenpō is used to designate Chinese martial arts, , some koryu jujutsu styles as well as several gendai budo such as Shorinji Kempo and Nippon Kempo. The "m" romanization is often preferred when describing such arts in a Japanese context to avoid confusion with terms Romanized as "kenpō" in the government of Japan and some forms of kenjutsu, such as that practiced within the Bujinkan. The various arts that are called "kenpō" or "kempo" in Japan do not necessarily share any lineage, theory or technical corpus.

Kenpō has also been appropriated as a modern term: a name for multiple martial arts that developed in Hawaii due to cross-cultural exchange between practitioners of Ryukyuan martial arts, Chinese martial arts, Japanese martial arts and multiple additional influences. In the United States, kenpo is often referred to as Kenpo Karate. The most widespread styles have their origin in the teachings of James Mitose and William Kwai Sun Chow. Mitose was nominally Chow's senior, but the true nature and extent of their relationship is controversial. This lineage also includes Kajukenbo, an art that does not use the kenpō name itself, but which possesses recognized offshoots that do. These arts have spread around the world through multiple lineages, not all of which agree on a common historical narrative. The style of Kenpo Karate taught by founder James Mitose employed hard linear direct movements similar to Okinawan Karate and also some ground fighting from classic Japanese Jujitsu. The Kenpo Karate that was later developed by Ed Parker, employs more Chinese circular movements with classically named techniques .

Wikipedia, Kenpo, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenpo (as of Mar 26, 2010)

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