Kenpo Karate is, at its core, an extremely destructive art. Kenpoists train to kill, cripple, or disable multiple attackers. We strike the soft areas the groin, the knees, the sternum, the throat, the eyes.
Or rather, we train to strike those areas should the need arise.
I've heard it said that there are no rules in Kenpo only ideas.
I would disagree I believe that there is one rule:
Never hurt anyone any more than necessary.
We train in a powerful art so that we will have the tools needed to protect ourselves and our loved ones. We also work hard to develop the control or mind and body that will enable us to properly use those abilities without exceeding the moral or legal limits that exist in this world.
Ed Parker said: "I come to you with only 'Karate' Empty Hands. I have no weapons, but should I be forced to defend myself, my principles or my honor, should it be a matter of life or death, of right or wrong, then here are my weapons 'Karate' my empty hands."
To that end, we learn to fight. We understand that the stronger our skills, the less likely it is that we will have to use those skills. We understand that, when we have confidence in our abilities, that we will be more likely to defuse a situation without injuring the other party. As the saying goes, If you would have peace, prepare for war.
This philosophy carries through into our sparring program. There are schools where you have to be in the program for a period of time before you can spar. Some schools require a student to achieve a Purple Belt, Blue Belt or higher before becoming eligible to spar. We, however, will let students spar on their first day, because we have faith in the level of control, both mental and physical, of our upper belts. We expect that an experienced Kenpoist, trained at PowerKenpo, will be able to fight with a Black Belt or a White Belt, or anyone in between, young or old, man or woman, and use the appropriate level of force for the task. And we have faith in the level of skill of our upper belts, that they will be able to keep a new student from hurting them while still limiting their own force. Our sparring is a teaching opportunity, not an opportunity to show off.
The fourth creed sums up our approach to teaching martial arts at PowerKenpo: We will develop black belt excellence by achieving modesty, courtesy, integrity, self control, perseverance and indomitable spirit.
The Salutation states:
We hide our treasure, the art of Kenpo Karate,
and we pray for forgiveness if we have to use it.
American Kenpo Karate is not just an art it is a Brotherhood. If you feel that you would like to train in an art that internalizes the messages above, then we invite you to join us.
Sifu Jim Dryburgh