View Full Version : Is it Kenpo Karate or Kenpo Jujutsu ?

Laine Nakachi
07-25-2001, 07:11 AM
Is it Kenpo Karate or Kenpo Jujutsu ?
The Okazaki Influence on Modern-Day Kenpo
by Anthony P. Janovich
Black Belt Magazine July 1991

Henry S. Okazaki,the founder of danzan-ryu Jujutsu,had a profound impact on the kenpo karate system , to the point that kenpo instructor James Mitose refused to call his style kenpo karate,opting instead for kenpo jujutsu.

Everywhere you go today,you see martial art schools using the words
" KempoKarate ".The late Ed Parker opened one of the first commercial kenpo karate schools in the continent United States in 1964 and he was probably the foremost exponent on the kenpo system when he died last December.

Parker was originally taught kenpo by Frank Chow in Hawaii,and later learned from Chow's brother,William K.S. Chow,
who was Parker's most influential instructor.

For a closer look at William K.S.Chow,take a step back in time to 1943 on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.About 30 students are training under instructor Sig Kufferath at the Kaheka Lane dojo (training hall) in Honolulu.Observing the class is William chow.Kufferath,currently the kodenkan danzan-ryu jujutsu headmaster,was at the time an instructor under Professor Henry S. Okazaki,the founder of danzan-ryu jujitsu.

Chow was a frequent visitor to the Kaheka Lane school,and also observed classes occasionally at Okazaki's dojo.According to Kufferath,Chow would watch a class and afterward discuss techniques with him.
Chow had studied Chinese Martial arts under his father and at the time was studying under Kosho-Ryu Kenpo jujutsu instructor James Mitose.Mitose didn't refer to his style as kenpo karate,believing that kenpo and karate were two different things.He felt kenpo jujutsu described the art far better than kenpo karate.

Chow was not your average martial
artist.He had calluses on every knucle and made regular visits to Honlulu Chinatown to challenge the chinese instructors and test his art.

Chow's youngest brother,John A. Chow-Hoon,eventually studied jujutsu under kufferath and believed that danzan-ryu's joint locks and arm bars were more effective than those of his brother's kenpo.Chow-Hoon earned black belts in both styles,and later relocated to the mainland
United States,where he taught for many years in Monterey,California,before his death.Chow-Hoon was istrumental along with Wally Jay in forming the Jujutsu America organization.William Chow eventually became one of Mitose's top instructors in Hawaii until around 1949,when he broke away from Mitose and began calling his art kenpo karate.

Best Regards,

Fe luk