What Is Kenpo?
Kenpo is a name for multiple martial arts that developed in Hawaii and is a mix of Okinawan martial arts, Chinese martial arts, Filipino martial arts and Japanese martial arts. James Mitose and William Kwai Sun Chow are the pioneers of Kenpo. Mitose brought the style to Hawaii where he taught Chow, who then taught Ed Parker and Bobby Lowe. Mitose used hard linear strikes and kicks, pressure point manipulation, circular movement patterns, and joint locking and breaking.
Parker is the most prominent name in the Mitose lineage. He studied with Chow for nearly six years, then moved to the US mainland and attended Brigham Young University and began teaching in 1957. Parker modified and refined the art until it became Ed Parker’s American Kenpo. It employs a blend of circular movements and hard linear movements.