an ancient oriental art of self-defense in which only bare hands, arms and feet
are used. In some ways, it is similar to that of Judo and wrestling. However, it
emphasizes the kick, open and hand-strike and closed fist strike rather than the
take-down, and the hold down.
origins date back to 525 AD, to an obscure Buddhist monk named Bodhidharma who
traveled from India to the Shaolin Temple in China. It was there that this man,
known to many as "spiritual father of Zen Buddhism" shared his knowledge of
physical fitness and self-defense.
of physical and mental discipline practiced by the monks became known as
Shaolin-szu (Chaun-Fa) or, as we know it today, "Kenpo" which when translated
means "way of the fist".
But it was
in Okinawa that Kenpo emerged as a specific form of Martial Arts. These Chinese
methods called Tode (or Vang hand) blended with what was called Okinawa-Te and
later became refined and was called Kara.-Te (empty hand).
Okinawa became a unified kingdom under the dynamic leadership of a man named
Hashi. To ensure his rule, Hashi demanded for all weapons to be seized. In order
to protect themselves, the people then developed "Kobudo", an art form in which
the Okinawans used their farm implements as well as empty hands for self
years later, Okinawa came under control of the Japanese, who again imposed a ban
Okinawan master Gichin Funakoshi introduced Karate to Japan where it became
formalized with the modem day belt system.