How Is Kenpo Karate Different from All the Other Karate?

Kenpo Karate Different

Karate is one of the most popular practiced forms of martial arts all around the world. There are many forms of karate being practiced in thousands of cities, teaching the core lessons and techniques by manipulating them just a bit to follow the beliefs and skills needed in different locations. 

One popular form of karate used widely across America is Kempo, (also spelled Kenpo). This style of fighting is known to be different from most other forms of karate. It is due to the “street-fighting” and “hard-core” techniques taught today.

Nonetheless, it is still a very effective form of martial arts and can be practiced by anyone interested in self-defense.

What is Kenpo Karate

Kenpo is a form of martial art that is designed with fast-paced techniques. It includes kicks, punches, joint locks, and elbow, knee, and finger strikes. In Kenpo, high kicks are uncommon, as they require too much time to perform giving your opponent more time to prepare for your attack.

These high kicks are usually only taught and practiced by well-trained practitioners.

Along with the non-weapon skills taught in Kenpo, there are also multiple weapons skills and techniques associated with the art, such as club and knife training. There is no right class or way of training in Kenpo.

What is Kenpo Karate

Once you learn the basics that the art teaches, you can then choose to train in whichever area fits your personal needs.

For example, a security guard may finish the basic lessons and decide they want to train in a weapons program to improve their profession. In contrast, someone taking the course for basic self-protection may stick with strikes and body skills.

Kenpo is a fighting style designed specifically for self-defense, giving every student the confidence and skills needed to win against common attacks.

Kenpo Vs. Karate

Karate was developed in China hundreds of years ago. The most original form and one of the most popular being Kung-Fu. Once this practice made its way to Japan, it translated to Kenpo and became a form of martial arts practice throughout the country.

As the years went on Kenpo made its way to America where it emphasized punches, sticks, blocks, and standing locks, while still using the Chinese circular motions to perform each move with ease and precision. 

Karate, on the other hand, relies heavily on kicks along with other circular and precise motions. Students incorporate these to avoid blows and to defend themselves against an attack. In karate classes, you are taught how to fight.

However, you are also to respect yourself and others even during a combative situation. You learn how to fight an opponent with grace and linear movements.

The Reason for Kenpo and Karate

There are many reasons people choose to practice all different types of martial arts, from self-defense to losing weight, or to improve their self-esteem. Each class offers many benefits to a student’s life. However, they each also have their specific focuses that may serve one purpose more than another. It goes for the purpose behind Kenpo and Karate.


Karate has always been a great form of martial arts designed not only to teach proper techniques to master great fighting skills, but mainly focuses on the harmony between mind, body, and soul.

When you are training in karate classes, you are being taught by an instructor how to react and present yourself. The purpose of this is to deflect a fight before it has a chance to occur. Meanwhile, you will also adequately be preparing yourself to protect yourself if one does happen to take place anyway.


The purpose behind the development of Kenpo karate is self-defence. This form of martial arts focuses mainly on fighting techniques and tactics to subdue an attacker in many different types of real-life situations. 

Many people compare the art of Kenpo to having street fighting type moves and skill sets giving the student a complete understanding of what fighting system will work in every situation possible.

Styles of Fighting

Styles of Fighting

In most forms of karate, there are “building blocks” or “basic moves” that set you up to move ahead and succeed in the rest of the techniques and fighting styles. These moves are basic kicks, blocks, and strikes that will become more difficult and detailed as you move forward.

In karate, you will learn to read and understand the human body which in turn helps you to see an attack before it happens.

In Kenpo, you will start with basic moves and techniques as well, however, these skills will quickly be combined preparing every student for multi-move self-defence and quick reaction, rather than learning to predict the attack before it occurs.

This is a great art to prepare a person for a multi-attacker type of situation, learning how to move quickly and switch positions to cover all sides.


Just because Kenpo is practiced much differently than most other forms of Karate doesn’t mean it is any less effective in skills and benefits in every aspect of your life. These classes promote self-discipline, aids in self-confidence, promote self-defense, and helps create a healthy mind a body overall.

 If you are looking for a great workout and the perfect way to learn how to effectively defend yourself if you ever got stuck in a situation where you felt threatened or under attack, Kenpo is a great option for you.