What is Kempo Karate?
Most Martial Arts systems are incisive and there are different stories based on cultural views and influences. This is our personal belief of what can be defined as Kempo. The influence of the style we incorporate in our teachings has been developed from the Shaolin Kempo Karate that is traditional to China. During the generations, both the Chinese and Japanese influence has been propagated, and there are many people who have taken key roles in shifting the styles of the system.
Where does Kempo come from?
Kempo is believed to have started as a state of the mind, body and spirit. Over hundreds of years, Kempo has transformed specifically into a system of self-defense. During the 6th Century, an Indian Monk known as Bodhidharma, practised the Buddhist meditation of Kempo, although at this time it was not referred to as Kempo, but as “Shaolin Temple Boxing”. Some even believe this was the start of Kung Fu. During Bodhidharma's travels, he introduced this belief to other monks. The practice included breathing exercises to strengthen the mind and energy of the body. While Bodhidharma based these breathing techniques from the nature of the five animals, he also based fighting techniques based on the five animals, as an expression of self-defense. Time went on and as these forms were practised they were altered and perfected. After the Shaolin Temple was destroyed, the monks diverged to different parts of China, Japan, and Okinawa(at the time). This is the result of the progression in Kempo; as the monks, for survival, would trade their Kempo techniques for the Japanese Martial Art techniques in these other cultures.