Structure of the teaching of kenpo

Basic movements

Kenpo karate, as any martial art, is based on a set of movements and positions that would be like the letters of the alphabet.
The knowledge of this movements and its internalization is what it makes us progress and evolve.

This basic movements can be divided, then, in:

  • Stances and manoeuvres.
  • Blocks.
  • Punches, elbows and open hand strikes.
  • Kicks and knees.


The forms are a combination of basic movements in an order that allows its easy assimilation. They begin with the simpler one and increase in complexity as we advanced in the learning. They teach us psicomotricity coordination in one level and in another it's an imaginary combat with different opponents who attack us in diverse ways and from different angles. At an advanced level, and once they have been technically controlled, 
they can be used to meditate dynamically.

Most of the schools also teach sets, which are series of basic movements centered mainly in a section, be it blocks, kicks, etc. In this web they will not be treated, because in my school they are not taught (unless you send them as a collaboration).

Self-defense techniques

Self-defense techniques are the first things that caught the attention when people approach kenpo for the first time. They consist of defensive movements to different attacks. In the beginning it can be seen as a rigid way to defend oneself, but while advancing we discover it's possible to flow from one technique to another; to vary the intensity of the strikes, and even such strikes, according to the damage we want to do; to increase the number of blows (extensions) or to 
shorten it; to adapt them to our personal characteristics and those of the opponent (weight, height...).

Once we begin to dominate them and with a little imagination and creativity, we will be able to make our own techniques or to react very instinctively when someone attacks us.


Although originally all martial arts had warlike confrontation with other people as purpose (training for war), combat mainly remains now as a sport. This fact is due to the regulations and rules imposed so that the competitions are acceptable to the great public and to limit to the maximum the possibility of injuries. When adapting the arsenal of strikes to those which are valid or give the maximum score, other blows that could be dangerous and weaken the reactions are left aside in the training. If too much emphasis is put in this section, we have the danger of turning the martial art into a sport.

This opinion, like all the ones expressed in this site, is personal.



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