Fullen’s School of Self Defense




What Is Kempo?


While the base art of Kempo can be theoretically traced back hundreds of years – through systems found in Okinawa and Japan, and before that to systems originating in China (some even say it can be traced directly to the ancient Shaolin Temple arts) – the modern blending of styles to create a more efficient and effective street-wise art is a phenomenon that can be positively attributed to martial art pioneers in the Territory of Hawaii during the 1940’s and 1950’s.


(Note; the current versions of the history of those innovative days – the people, the styles, who trained with whom, etc. – is many sided and overloaded with controversy. For that reason, I will not present another version here. Rather, I will only relate the facts as I know them relating to the history and development of the Chinese Kempo taught at Fullen’s School of Self Defense. For the various stories and controversies, you can do your own research on people like James Mitose, William K. S. Chow, Adriano Emperado, Ed Parker, etc. If interested, you can also look into the reasons behind the spellings of Kempo and Kenpo and all the different names and types of Kempo/Kenpo styles… you’ll see why I’m not ‘re-inventing the wheel’ here.)


Chinese Kempo-Karate is an eclectic art that effectively synthesizes the CQC aspects of several arts, including karate, jujitsu, kung fu, boxing and escrima into a remarkably effective, street-survival oriented martial art. The style was developed in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s by Professor Walter L.N. Godin and was the result of Professor Godin’s years of study and training in various arts (including Kajukenbo, Kempo, Kung Fu, Hawaiian Lua, and Karazenpo Go Shinjutsu) under such pioneers as Adriano and Joe Emperado, William Chow, and Brother Abe Kamahoahoa.


Chinese Kempo is no-nonsense self-defense that emphasizes hard body contact, rapid-fire strikes to vulnerable targets, and close range techniques (like knee and elbow strikes) that lead into joint locks and breaks and takedowns. Equally emphasized is the focus on alertness and awareness, and on the moral and legal responsibility of being a martial artist.





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