Who does Kenpo?
At Rathdown Kenpo club we have over 15 senior
male and female, from as young as 16 to people in their forties!
What happens in
First of all, all students line up according
rank, the highest grade students starting from the top right corner
the room working down in rows and columns to the beginners who take
at the back of the room. This enables the beginner to learn from the
in front of him and also the beginner feels more at ease since fewer
are watching them.
Usually all the basic blocks,punches and parries are done to
warm up the upper body. This is followed by a good leg workout involving
all manner of basic kicks and foot maneuvers. Depending on how much
you put into it, this can be very tiring. The higher coloured belt
the more effort that is expected!.
Syllabus work is then done for the remainder of the class. This will
practicing up to the stage you are at in your syllabus. Also receiving
any new material asking any questions and discussing any problems.
Sparring or freestyle generally takes place towards the end of the
This is interesting to watch when you begin Kenpo. As you learn more
Kenpo you will realise how interconnected the syllabus work and sparring
Will I be hurt?, Is it dangerous?
Apart from the odd bump or bruise I have never
seen any serious or even slight injury as result of punch or kick!.
It is compulsory for both male and female students to wear protective
guards as soon as possible for obvious reasons!. Padded foam gloves,
pads, foot pads, helmets and gum shields are mandatory during freestyle
or sparring. The aim of any martial arts student is to learn control
a result broken arms etc are an extreme exception!
What should I wear?
For the first few weeks you can wear normal
gear or loose fitting clothes. However, if you have done a
different style previously you can of course wear that uniform/gi
a white belt.
Black and White
When you first start Kenpo you will notice that
some students wear white suits and some wear black. A black suit may
in class when you have earned the rank of brown belt, like the belt
represents standing and authority in the class. Many other Kenpo
associations allow all students to wear black suits but in the IKKA
must earn the right to wear it, it is permissible to wear a black
competing in a competition.
Fitness - When you first come up, do not
worry about keeping up with
everyone in terms of fitness. Students are encouraged to only do as
as they feel comfortable with. The days of boot camp Martial arts
are long gone, we pride ourselves on a sane and rational approach
and creating an enjoyable atmosphere in the class. However the more
puts into the class the sooner they will see an improvement.
The class isn't
done in Japanese/Korean/Chinese?
Many traditional styles use their country of
origins vocabulary during the class, counting in
Japanese, Korean etc. Ed Parker, the founder of our style of martial
was born in Hawaii hence all the language used is English. Names of
techniques are broken down into codes/descriptive memory aids. For
Wing meaning elbow, Sword for a chop, Mace for a fist etc. See the
techniques section for a list of all techniques. A roundhouse kick
simply that as are all other 'basics' you will learn.
What will I learn?
Firstly you will learn all the basic strikes,
blocks, kicks and foot maneuvers as prescribed by the yellow belt
syllabus. The self defense techniques will teach you to counter attack
someone who is for example punching, kicking, grabbing you from behind,
your from the front. These are effective and most enjoyable to learn.
the Self defense drills and forms play an important part in the class
also provide time for sparring or competition freestyle, when you
the basic capability to defend yourself and attack in a controlled
may begin sparring. It is fun and enjoyable, improves fitness, speed
gets you used to gauging distance, how to attack and how to defend.
How often should I train? - Students who
want to learn Kenpo properly and
learn to defend themselves should be fully comitted. There are two
available (Tuesdays and Fridays). Students who attend both classes
normally improve their own standard and recieve the rank appropriate