I’ve been learning a new martial art lately that I’ve alluded to at times – Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ). Our association has adopted jiu-jitsu training as part of our curriculum so even though I don’t need it (as I’ve already attained rank), I decided to widen my martial arts horizons.
In this post I’ll discuss how jiu jitsu relates historically to the kenpo that I practice and some background on what grappling is today. I’m going to have some fun because I have always been one of those guys that does not like ground fighting. I mean when I wrestled in school – boy was that a lot of work compared to striking. Here is an overview video of BJJ.
Thousands of people the world over have studied various forms of Kenpo or Kempo Karate. I remember when I first started learning karate lessons from an actual instructor, he told me about some of the styles of Okinawan karate. Later when I started learning kenpo karate, I was told that there were Chinese, Japanese, Okinawan, and Hawaiian styles of Kenpo. Well let me tell you that I was confused then and while searching through the internet for kenpo history – I am still a little fuzzy.
In this post I will discuss the difficulty discerning history because of bias, poor records, frame of reference, and other research challenges. I will also speak of Kempo/Kenpo’s recent history since James Mitose in Hawaii and the Hawaii Karate Museum’s online records. Here is a video of some of Kenpo’s early history including its spread from China, Okinawa, and Japan.