Frequently asked Questions
What is kenpo?
American kenpo is a style of self-defense, first implemented by Ed Parker, that incorporates rapid-fire strikes in flowing succession. It is comprised of circular and linear motion, making use of concepts in physics and geometry to maximize effectiveness. This is not a traditional martial art. These techniques are meant to overwhelm the opponent, neutralizing an attacker to ensure your safety.
What is jeet-kune-do?
Jeet-kune-do is a philosophy of martial arts, founded by Bruce Lee and based on wing chun and other arts, that focuses on flowing movements so each deadly strike leads the opponent into the next one. Through jeet-kune-do we access concepts like aligning the body to increase force, attacking the centerline, and preemptively guarding against potential reactions. It is also a delivery system, or a mode of entry.
What happens in each class?
Ninjas and Tigers classes include exercises, skill-building, and some fun activities geared toward concepts of self-defense. Tigers will learn many techniques for self-defense, and build confidence and leadership skills.
Each Juniors class will build a strong base of self-defense techniques and activities onto concepts implemented in Tigers classes. Activities include exercises, skill-building, self-defense concept-building games, and counters (learning to defend against different attacks).
Black Belt Program classes place a special focus on leadership and initiative. Classes include advanced technique instruction, weapons-defense instruction, counters, and leadership skill-building.
Adult classes include exercises, skill-building, technique- and material-specific drills, and counters.
Class material varies from class to class. Sometimes classes include sparring, and for these occasions, safety gear is provided (though you are welcome to purchase your own personal gear through the studio). Check our PROGRAMS tab for more information on specific courses, or feel free to contact us!
How many belts are in your system?
There are a total of thirteen belts in the full system. White, yellow, orange, purple, blue, green, three degrees of brown, and four degrees of black. Kenpo Ninjas and Tigers (ages 4-10) earn colored stripes and have some modified material, as well. Each belt has different material gradually increasing in complexity and difficulty. Each belt also embodies different concepts of kenpo, like opposing circles, flowing movement, and rapid-fire striking.
How long will it take me to advance each belt?
Advancement time depends on a number of factors. It takes most people a few months to earn their first belt above white. When you earn your belt, though, you have absolutely earned it. We ensure that each person who wears a colored belt is qualified in all related techniques and fighting material. Our belt system maintains integrity and value so you can be proud of your achievement!
Are there competitions?
In a word, no. We don't compete because our system is not a sport - it's practical self-defense for real-life situations. We occasionally spar and frequently do counters to gain combat experience in a more controlled environment, however, so we're always improving our ability to defend ourselves.