According to many martial arts historians, kenpo karate was created by William Kwai Sun Chow. From there, it was popularized by Ed Parker first in Hawaii and, later, on the American mainland. Although it’s often categorized as an American martial art, the style’s name is written with the same Chinese characters as chuan fa, a generic Chinese term for martial art.
Kenpo training emphasizes a scientific approach to combat and features techniques influenced by various Chinese, Japanese and Hawaiian arts. Many kata are taught, and rapid-fire hand techniques and combinations are often used. The art received a popularity boost after Jeff Speakman, a student of Ed Parker’s, showcased it in the movie The Perfect Weapon (1991).
– February 4, 2013