In 1921, at the age of five, James Mitose went to Kyushu from his home in Hawaii, to study with his uncle, a Kempo master named Choki Motobu. For fifteen years, he studied this art, which was a direct descendent of the original Chinese Chuan Fa. Mitose returned to Hawaii in 1936 to train others. One of his black belts was William K.S. Chow. In 1949, Chow had attracted a following of students to his own teaching style and opened a Dojo of his own at a YMCA. To make his art more distinctive from Mitose’s Kempo, he named his style Kenpo. Since then there have been numerous modifications of the original teachings. It is our goal to teach and inform others of the wonderful physical and mental aspects of Kempo, and Kenpo training.
Kempo Karate is one of the oldest forms of martial arts. All martial arts have their origins in India. A man named Bodhidharma was a Buddhist monk who traveled into China, and in return for the monks teachings and lodging, he taught them his fighting art Chuan Fa which is Chinese for Kempo, as well as the Buddhism principles. The monks were in a poor condition physically and mentally, due to the amount of time the monks spent in meditation without any physical exercise. By the time Bodhidharma left the temple, the Monks were performing masterful feats of martial skill, and the temple of Shaolin was never the same. From that point on the Monks were no longer the subject of abuse or ridicule. They had gained respect in their community and on an international level even today. Thus Kempo’s origins are in China from the monks of the Shaolin. The English definition of Kempo is fist law.