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

Laine Nakachi
07-25-2001, 08:13 AM

From this linage evolved arts such as kajukenbo,founded by Adriano Emperado,
a student of William Chow.Emperado was aided by jujutsu stylist,Frank Ordonez. Peter Choo (Tang Soo Do),Joe Holek (Judo)
, and Clarence Chang (Chinese Boxing).In putting Kajukenbo together.All five were influenced by Okazaki,who blended a number of styles to form a complete system.

Most of the kenpo schools and practitioners on the Hawaiian islands were members of Okazaki's American Jujutsu Institute,which founded in 1939.This included Mitose's Official Self-Defense Club.Kufferth also had a good relationship with Mitose,and they exchanged information freely on each other's styles.

One thing that seperates kenpo jujutsu from kenpo karate is that,in enpo jujutsu
(as in danzan-ryu jujutsu),practitioners do not kick above the waist,excluding drop
kicks.Kenpo karate,on the other hand,utilizes high kicks,including some to the head.Kufferth,however,believes if you
want to kick someone in the head,you should first kick his knees,causing him to bend down and making his head more accessible.For self-defense purposes,Kuffereth says,it is best stay with low kicks,incorporating them with vital point strikes,joint locks,throws and grappling when appropriate.

According to the danzan-ryu jujutsu mokuroku (instructors scroll),written by Okazaki,kenpo was combined with the Jujutsu or Japanese Yawara arts around A.D. 1600,when Chinese Immigrants brought kenpo and other techniques to Japan.Once again this demonstrates the combination of kenpo and jujitsu,not kenpo and Karate.

If instructors want to say they teach kenpo karate rather than kenpo jujutsu,that is fine.Karate is a more readily recognize word than jujutsu,and accounts in large part for its use with kenpo istead of jujutsu.

But one fact cannot be ignored: the roots of nearly all kenpo in the United States lead back to Mitose and kenpo jujutsu in Hawaii.Mitose pioneered what has today become known as kenpo karate,and his students,such as William Chow,further advanced the art-just as instructors like Kufferath and Wally jay did for Okazaki's danzan-ryu-jujutsu.These men are the true forebearers of modern-day martial arts,and as such, are owed a debt of gratitude by today's practitioners.

Best Regards,

Fe luk

07-26-2001, 03:34 AM
Didn't Mitose go to jail for killing someone? I've also been told that he use to extort money from Asian immigrants who were new to Hawaii. Is any of this true? I doubt Mr.Mitose was the progenitor of anything. I thought that the only real Kenpo was Shaolin and Ryukyuan. Just some perspectives. I'm probably totally misinformed! Peace...http://www.themelee.com/smilies/s/contrib/blackeye/DJsmile.gif

Dark Knight
07-26-2001, 07:24 PM
Its nice to see someone post this, to many people do not know this information and get caught up on what they believe an art is or was.

Thanks for the post.

Kempo Guy
07-27-2001, 01:55 AM

Mitose did go to prison (he passed away in Folsom), and your somewhat correct in regards to the reason except it was in the Los Angeles area. The person who commited the crime was his student.

As for where Kempo is from... well, it's a generic Japanese word that means Chuan Fa. So essentially it could be any art that traces it's roots back to China (most arts do anyway).

As for the article, I remember reading this in BB magazine years ago. (I still have this issue).
What it covers is pretty common knowledge amongst Kempo guys (at least in Hawaii). As it mentions Prof. Chow was a frequent visitor at the Okazaki dojo.

There are a lot of misinformation about the history of Kempo and it's roots out there, and I think it would be very difficult to ascertain what really took place.

There are many questions in regards to Mitose's art and his background (his martial arts training) as well as Chow's training background. (Not to mention the confusion in regards to what's left of their original arts...)
I've spoken to many old Kempo guys in Hawaii and they have many interesting stories to tell. :)


Laine Nakachi
07-27-2001, 05:44 AM
Its nice to see someone post this,to many people do not know this.Information and get caught up on what they believe in art,is or was.

Thanks for the post

Dark Knight,

No problem, I figured that instead of arguing or disagreeing,on how kenpo really started.And the history itself,I did my own research on Kenpo myself.The sources all mentioned James Mitose,William Chow,and Ed Parker.Now the history we've all heard could be messed up.From there if you're a kenpo man yourself, just concentrate on improving your kenpo.If you feel that you're lacking in something within your kenpo.Then go and figure out,how you can improve your kenpo.Or go and study Kajukenbo or Wun Hop Kuen Do.

Wun Hop Kuen Do is basically just a branch of Kajukenbo ,but with more of a chinese and filipino influence than Kajukenbo.

You can also contact Jeff Speakman.Ed Parker's protoge.Some of the techniques in
the American Kenpo Karate system , which Ed Parker himself developed.Contains Sil Lum Fut Ga Techniques.Anyway , take care .

Best Regards,

Fe luk