Hawaiian Kempo


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From The Far East to The Pacific Islands

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Hawaiian Kempo is a unique martial art having been founded several centuries ago in a Chinese Shaolin temple. Thus, bringing with it a certain air of mystery. As a martial art, Kempo is referred to as a Do. The Do is referred to in Buddhist Zen scripts as a path towards enlightenment. Lao Tzu, a priest of Taoism, said "Mastering others requires force, mastering the self requires enlightenment." This phrase sums the full circle of what Kempo strives towards. Although on its surface Kempo can be seen as a unique form of self-defense, hidden beneath its physical exterior are levels where characteristic centralization of mind and body form. At this level, Kempo's practitioners elevate from a simple form of fighting to a higher level of ability and enlightenment. Ying Kuchan, a Shaolin monk and master of Kempo, after a lengthy period of meditation in a Zen rock garden, spoke of Kempo saying "Kempo is the power of adaptability and yielding, the harmony of all things working together."

Kempo is a unique art form of spiritual growth, health, and personal responsibility. It is a comprehensive and diversified means of unarmed self-defense, though it encompasses both an armed and unarmed systems of combat with techniques (applications) of varying appearances and methods.

On an external level, Kempo is a no holds barred fighting system of offensive and defensive methods, with equal emphasis of striking techniques with the hands and feet, immobilization and controls, projections and take downs; as well as weaponry, various spiritual, and healing arts.

Kempo, as developed in America, is a street wise defensive art that does not restrict its students in methodology. Clawing hands evolve into slashing feet. Cunning joint locks turn into devastating hip throws. Evasive blocks turn into breath closing chokes. The possibilities are endless. The only true fighting systems are those where there are no rules applied. From the books of the Han dynasty, we learn "Nothing is impossible to a willing mind." And it is from this saying that we can derive the upper principles of Shaolin Kempo. What sets Kempo apart from boxing, wrestling, and Sunday night football is an emphasis on spirituality of body and mind.

Many people are quite happy with only the surface value of Kempo, taking its studies for reasons of physical health, self-defense, or a Monday night hobby. Yet, Kempo tries to build a person's psychological persona and betterment. Kempo is not solely a means of felling an opponent by force, but it teaches an inner peace to one's life and to the universe around us.

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