Kenpo Techniques for Self Defense?

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: karate, Self-defense
5 Jul 2014


Way back when I first started in the Hawaiian Martial Arts, the first one I tried was Lima Lama (I later transitioned to Kenpo). That was a really cool – flowing martial art where I was first exposed to self-defense techniques. One would learn how to defend against a right cross or a club attack. The attacks and defenses seemed to go on forever from my beginning karate mind.


I recall telling my instructors that these techniques were really complex and when would I ever use one? I mean after you blocked – you then counter punched, kicked out the leg and dropped a knee and punch. That was a lot to remember and even back then – I did not believe if someone threw a right cross – I was going to do all of that.


In this post we will ask and hopefully answer the question of why we learn complex self defense techniques and are they relevant. But first watch this example of one such technique.


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Under: karate
10 Sep 2009


You’ve started to take karate lessons from your local school for some reason. Perhaps you have had a run in at the local pub or you have been mugged. Whatever the reason you have decided to learn how to defend yourself. You want to become the next Ninja Warrior! You do not want to be a MMA star but you just want that highly respected Black Belt.


You went with a reputable school that has been recommended by one of your buddies and have had your introductory lessons. The school is one of many that teach basics, self-defense techniques, katas and sparring. If you are really motivated you can do some semi or full contact sport karate tournaments later.


In this post I will focus on self-defense techniques, what they are, how long it takes to learn them well and do they work. I will also speak about beginning students with the goal of self defense and how realistic that is learning a traditional martial art. Here is a demonstration of some American Kenpo and Tracy’s Kenpo Karate techniques.



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