The term Kenpô (Ken-pô or Kempô) is a Japanese word that is written in two idéograms. The first ideogram is read “Ken” and translated with “punch” and, in certain cases, with “box”. The second ideogram is pronounced “HÔ”, “PÔ” (with phonetic link). It is translated with « law », method, and way. Therefore, the word Kenpô could be translated of many ways: ”Law of Punch”, ”Way of Punch”, ”Method of Box”, etc. Although the Kenpô has been définied as a ” Way of Punch ” and a ” Method of Box ”, its technical content technique exceeds largely the structure of the sole percussion techniques. Today, Kenpô is presented as a complex and independent system, identified entirely as a martial art. As other martial arts, it regroups different styles or schools. Its technical variety includes all possible aspects of the sport. The martial aspect of the Kenpô is indented first to the fight. It is true that the first priority is the immediate efficiency in real fight. Simply pure efficiency that goes through the acquisition of techniques directly applicable in case of aggression.


The sporty version of our martial art is likely one of the very hard ones that are to be. It is based, however, on rules remarkably well thought to the possible limits, in saving of course, integrity of the competitor. Of course a logical progression has been established from the children level to confirmed adults level, going through the beginning teenagers. The Kenpô competition rules are studied in function of the age and the level of the fighters. The young fighters realise very technique fights with anatomical protection, whereas adults fight with real punches, without protection, except the groin protection. The punches, the hands, the elbows, the knees, the head, the tibias, the feet, all of them are used to defeat the opponent. The captures, the projections, the pressure, the strangulations, the locks are on the program too.


The Kenpô is a martial art and a science that uses in a creative manner all possible self-defence of the human body. It is a natural way of fight in which prevail the notion of intuition and spontaneity. Studying Kenpô is guaranteeing a total efficiency in all form of fight: at long distance, at mid distance, or full contact upright or on the floor. The internal energy (Khi-Cong) is approached from an upper level.


Other characteristic, the belt colour is red, as well for the beginner as for the experts and the masters. The Kenpô-Gi or Do-Gi is composed of black jacket and white pants. The instructors could wear a black cloth, or a black belt or both.


Beyond the martial aspect, the Kenpô teaches behaviour applicable to the daily life in considering with humility, courtesy, respect and kindliness. An important part of the Kenpô clubs members represent children. The teaching is adapted to their age and their morphology. It is, mainly for youngsters, more an initiation and a preparation to the real than a practice of a martial art. The period of the training is shorter and the atmosphere is more relax than for adults, although the same ceremonial and the same discipline are respected. With a constant research of balance, perfection of the movement, efficiency in the sequences and the “mental”, taking care of a deep respect to the partner. Kenpô suits perfectly women and the veterans, because it is a “round” martial art, focusing all its efficiency on the circular techniques and flexibility, which is at the same time physical and mental. The energetic gymnastic allows them practicing the respiration techniques and relaxation.


Studying the traditionnelles armes is a part of the official program. The sabre, the nunchaku at two or three branches, the long stick, the two short sticks, the various knives, the chain, and many other arms teached. It exists technical competitions, as well as “fights” meetings with long stick, short sticks, nunchaku at two branches, sabre, or inter-arms. The latter attack form allows confrontations where the fighters face with the arm of their choice, keeping the opportunity to serve their natural arms. Adapted equipment protects the fighters with which, they could, in total security, apply the studied techniques.