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BeamMeUpScott
06-14-2007, 01:29 PM
Hey guys!! I'm really glad I found this website and these forums...so much information!!

I'm a 22 year old male and I've been searching for something to get into..or some kind of hobby/interest type thing (i have none..besides working out). I've decided to devote the next year to martial arts and based on everything I've read online the two styles I'm interested in are Aikido vs Kenpo. It would be nice to learn both eventually.

I've done some google searches and forum searches and havent been able to find much information comparing the two. In my understanding Aikido is a "cause no harm" style (which seems like it could really come in handy in RL) while Kenpo is more lethal....in the Kenpo video's I've watched I've seen some similarities...and was just wondering how similar it is.

I'm doing this for multiple reasons...to improve myself (mentally spiritually) and to learn a form of self defense. I don't know how to defend myself at all right now...and in the past year or two I've had 2 altercations by a drunk family member and by a drugged up ex g/f friends boyfriend. They were both a lot bigger than me and were crazy to the point of baseball bats...send me to the hospital type rage. I avoiding both of them in my own various ways and nothing happened besides me getting thrown around a little.

Over all...I'd like to not have that intense fear come over me in these situations...I'd like to know that I can handle myself if something does happen...if punches are thrown...baseball bats/knives are out...which is why Im interested in Aikido. I really don't care about being "big and bad" or fighting for that matter....but I'd like to be able to defend myself if the need arises. Kenpo seems like it would be could for this also...but would cause damage...and I have seen a few similar throws.

Anyway...can I get some of your thoughts on the two? Maybe some advice as to what would be better for me....or maybe some comments from someone who practices the too? :)

jennifer paige smith
06-14-2007, 01:43 PM
Hey guys!! I'm really glad I found this website and these forums...so much information!!

I'm a 22 year old male and I've been searching for something to get into..or some kind of hobby/interest type thing (i have none..besides working out). I've decided to devote the next year to martial arts and based on everything I've read online the two styles I'm interested in are Aikido vs Kenpo. It would be nice to learn both eventually.

I've done some google searches and forum searches and havent been able to find much information comparing the two. In my understanding Aikido is a "cause no harm" style (which seems like it could really come in handy in RL) while Kenpo is more lethal....in the Kenpo video's I've watched I've seen some similarities...and was just wondering how similar it is.

I'm doing this for multiple reasons...to improve myself (mentally spiritually) and to learn a form of self defense. I don't know how to defend myself at all right now...and in the past year or two I've had 2 altercations by a drunk family member and by a drugged up ex g/f friends boyfriend. They were both a lot bigger than me and were crazy to the point of baseball bats...send me to the hospital type rage. I avoiding both of them in my own various ways and nothing happened besides me getting thrown around a little.

Over all...I'd like to not have that intense fear come over me in these situations...I'd like to know that I can handle myself if something does happen...if punches are thrown...baseball bats/knives are out...which is why Im interested in Aikido. I really don't care about being "big and bad" or fighting for that matter....but I'd like to be able to defend myself if the need arises. Kenpo seems like it would be could for this also...but would cause damage...and I have seen a few similar throws.

Anyway...can I get some of your thoughts on the two? Maybe some advice as to what would be better for me....or maybe some comments from someone who practices the too? :)

When I first began my formal Aikido practice many years ago, my boyfriend was training in American Kenpo (Parker System). Ironically, and to the disagreement of some of my fellow aikidoka, I thought the two to be similar in their 'radicalness'. Aikido being 'maximum benevolence', kenpo being 'overskill'. The two forms overlapped in their utter extremes of effectiveness, they both pulled the arts into two ends of the spectrum. I learned quite bit of Kenpo and my boyfriend learned quite a lot of Aikido. I guess you could say we crosed trained with one another. To the great betterment of both of us.
I honestly think you could go either way if you have what you want in mind. If you go 'overskill'(kenpo) you an focus your spirit on the philosophy of aikido. And if you go Aikido, you can focus on atemi (opening strikes) and harder styles in aikido. Either way, you will need to devote a lot of yourself to develop either of these routes. Neither one of them comes easier, necessarily.
So listen to what others have to say and then put one foot in front of the next until you find a good dojo. And then train,train,train.

best of wishes,
jen

Budd
06-14-2007, 01:44 PM
Go watch classes in person, if you are able. The specific school, instructor and overall "vibe" of a given place to train are just as important as the art, in my opinion.

GLWeeks
06-14-2007, 01:49 PM
So, you are going to devote only one year to one of these arts? If that is the case then I would say Kempo... Otherwise then of course it should be Aikido! :)

Cyrijl
06-14-2007, 01:52 PM
Scott, I sent you a PM.

SeiserL
06-14-2007, 02:17 PM
IMHO, if you only have a year to devote, do Kenpo.

Aristeia
06-14-2007, 02:43 PM
Frankly if 1 year self defence is the goal - I'd say neither. Look into Muay Thai, Judo, BJJ, Wrestling, Sambo, Boxing or if there is a genuine MMA school nearby (caveat: teaching tai chi and savate under the same roof does not qualify as MMA).

justin
06-14-2007, 03:44 PM
I would echo some of the already mentioned comments such as go watch a class or two see what your insides tell you, but i would like to quickly draw upon your comment "Aikido is a "cause no harm" style" this to me is a big misconception Aikido offers you the choice to deliver as much or as little harm as you see fit, just because a trained student of aikido can take ukemi (breakfalls) the average yob on a concrete surface wouldnt fare well at all.

which ever way you go i wish you a happy and safe jurney

jennifer paige smith
06-14-2007, 04:55 PM
So, you are going to devote only one year to one of these arts? If that is the case then I would say Kempo... Otherwise then of course it should be Aikido! :)

Hi Scott,
Is it that you are only going to practice martial arts for 1 year period.? Or is it that you are making a special effort and devotion to training beginning with one year and then maybe more?
thanks
jen

BeamMeUpScott
06-14-2007, 05:06 PM
Hey. Thanks for all of the responses so far.

The only reason I said 1 year is because thats the minimum amount of time I'm gonna dedicate to which ever style I choose. Martial arts is something I would like to start and continue doing for many years.

I just hate doing stuff half ass and then quitting...so whichever style I choose I'm going to stick with it for at least a year before I decide on staying with it or not.

From what I've read I'm really interested in Aikido...I havent read too much about Kenpo. I found a dojo that seems okay based on their website...but I will be calling them to sign up for a free class. their website is http://www.snjkokikai.com

I would eventually (in a couple years) want to learn a couple styles. Aikido seems like it compliments some others pretty good. Only thing I don't like about Aikido (from what I've read...could be wrong) is that they don't teach any form of hitting...which you may or may not need in certain RL situations.

Aristeia
06-14-2007, 05:17 PM
I know plenty of people who have reported being successful in real life without throwing a strike. Dealing with strikes may well be more important than throwing them.

DonMagee
06-14-2007, 06:44 PM
Frankly if 1 year self defence is the goal - I'd say neither. Look into Muay Thai, Judo, BJJ, Wrestling, Sambo, Boxing or if there is a genuine MMA school nearby (caveat: teaching tai chi and savate under the same roof does not qualify as MMA).

I'd second this, however I would not discurage you from keeping an open mind, asking questions, thinking critically, and trying out classes in any art you think you might like. Then make your decision.

This should not be done lightly. There is a lot more at stake then just sub par training. There are many frauds in the arts, Many contract scams, many cults. You need to be wary and be sure you have found what you are looking for. This isn't much of a problem in aikido, but I've seen lots of questionable kenpo and kempo schools. I'd also suggest reading this http://www.bullshido.com/articles/finding-a-good-martial-arts-school.html

Tijani1150
06-14-2007, 10:35 PM
IMHO, if you only have a year to devote, do Kenpo.

also if working out is your only hobby as you say then you can train in both at the same time that way you can apply Kenpo in situations like the ones you described while not losing out on learning Aikido which is an art that you don't want to miss it requires extreme patience but this is the price for anything that has value.. fast food = junk food V real home coocked food

best of luck

mickeygelum
06-14-2007, 11:40 PM
Hi Scott,

We teach Shodokan Aikido and Parker Kenpo in my schools, along with Judo and various weapons. I would suggest that you train in both. You will hear that that is not possible, but I am of the opinion and past practice of training in in multiple arts at once. Some agree, some disagree with this, YOU be the judge of what is best for you. In order to learn to defend against a kick or punch, one has to learn to kick and punch to understand what the human body is doing.

Good luck...you will have to tell us of your experience.

Mickey

Aikibu
06-15-2007, 09:09 PM
Hell why not do both and let your own experiances sort out the correct choice. :)

WIlliam Hazen

Shannon Frye
06-24-2007, 04:27 PM
Hell why not do both and let your own experiances sort out the correct choice. :)

WIlliam Hazen

I fully agree. Try them both, and decide for yourself. You may like one art better, or like one dojo better. I hope, for your sake, they are the same.

aikishrine
06-25-2007, 07:34 AM
Scott have you tried looking into Kali or Arnis, i have found that the Filipino martial arts are a great compliment to Aikido, both very flowing and the foot work very similar

RoyK
06-25-2007, 08:31 AM
Hmm... I think that choosing a style is not as important as choosing a good teacher and a dojo that fits you. Even with my short Aikido lifespan, I've noticed that the learning experience in different dojos greatly varies. Even what is taught can be very different.

So I'd say, focus your choosing on the dojo rather than the art. Find out who teaches in your area and attend their class. See if you like how classes are constructed, how good the senior students are, see if it's a place you'd like to come back to and not get away from.

crbateman
06-25-2007, 08:42 AM
Aikido is usually a long-term deal. Many do not understand it fully after decades of study. You can't expect much in a year. Kenpo will give you more bang in a shorter time. I would urge you, however, not to limit yourself to a single year of anything. And why not study both?

gdandscompserv
06-25-2007, 08:58 AM
Hmm... I think that choosing a style is not as important as choosing a good teacher and a dojo that fits you. Even with my short Aikido lifespan, I've noticed that the learning experience in different dojos greatly varies. Even what is taught can be very different.

So I'd say, focus your choosing on the dojo rather than the art. Find out who teaches in your area and attend their class. See if you like how classes are constructed, how good the senior students are, see if it's a place you'd like to come back to and not get away from.
I think this is the best advise yet.

Millerwc
06-25-2007, 09:52 AM
Go try a couple different schools. Find a Sensei, and a dojo that you fit with. All arts have teachers and classes of different calibers and attitudes, find the one that is right for you.

heathererandolph
06-25-2007, 04:58 PM
I'd try to get some referrals in your area. Ask around or go to local message boards. As others have said, check into the area schools to see what is convenient for you and affordable. When you have narrowed it down, maybe study at each school for a month or too, just to get an idea of weather you will like it or not.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
06-26-2007, 10:17 AM
Frankly if 1 year self defence is the goal - I'd say neither. Look into Muay Thai, Judo, BJJ, Wrestling, Sambo, Boxing or if there is a genuine MMA school nearby (caveat: teaching tai chi and savate under the same roof does not qualify as MMA).

I would tend to agree. 1 year of serious training in those arts (which put a heavy emphasis on actual live sparring) will probably do you a lot more good. Aikido might require more work on your part to ensure you're not just dancing through class getting deluded ideas about your own abilities.

Another option: do MMA stuff for a year, and work really hard at it. After that, give aikido a shot if you'd like to try a new approach with some different methods and techniques. (And please, oh please, own some uppity black belt in randori when s/he is expecting a retarded zombie-shove... ;) )

dalen7
06-26-2007, 12:38 PM
Ill throw in my 2cents after my 12th lesson. :)

It really depends on perspective.
Aikido will teach you what you naturally would probably do in a fight...if you didnt want to get hurt. (Roll with the energy/flow of the attacker) and then you go further by learning to use that momentum against them.

Its tricky at first, but after watching videos again and again, and training, it all is like the movements of the universe...a dance, and its like flowing vs. hard - use your body as a shield - style.

Personally, if I had the time and energy I would probably do the following. Thai boxing and Aikido. Also, I am interested in Wing chun, but where Im at its a slow advancement process like Aikido, and I dont know if I want 2 sports that take 20 years to get black belt. :)

I personally hate wrestling, but I would probably mix in Bj jujitusu to compliment my aikdio.

Personally I love to hit, and knee (so Thaiboxing is what Im looking at complimenting my aikido). I chose Aikido to challenge me spiritually and to learn to win the fight by not having to fight.

If you notice, you tend to draw stuff to you. And when you can drop any signs of 'ego' you can usually go without getting into the fight to begin with. (just another 2 cents - seeing I have change to throw around today. lol )

Kenpo...I dont know if it was kenpo or kempo that I saw years back in Colorado Springs....but whatever it was, used the 'bo' and I totally dug the stick fighting. Just for that I probably would take kenpo (if its the right one.) Albeit a better compliment may be iado and kendo with aikido.

All the best, and it boils to what is in your area too.Up for some ninjitusu. ;)

Peace

Dalen

statisticool
06-26-2007, 01:15 PM
My opinion for me, is to do aikido. Strikes and kicks that kenpo can teach you have more of a chance to pick up along the way. The stuff that aikido teaches, I don't think one can.

grumpingtons
07-01-2007, 03:57 AM
Hi, am having the same thoughts myself!

I have always been interested in martial arts but the first time I ever started was when I started doing kenpo about 4 years ago. I really enjoyed the class but decided to stop after a few months and try some other things. I eventually settled on aikido and have been doing it for about 6 months now.

I enjoy aikido but have my reservations about its effectiveness and also am not that keen on breakfalling so much. That said I like my current club and am making good progress.

However, I will move away from my home town in September for study and there are both kenpo and aikido clubs in the area. Whilst it is easy to find aikido clubs in most places, its quite hard to find kenpo clubs in the UK. So I am bascially wondering which one to do - as I only really have time to train twice a week and prefer to concentrate on one thing at a time.

I suppose my thinking is perhaps to give kenpo another shot for a year, after which I will probably end up moving again to find a job, and see what options are whereever I move to. As I will live in either the UK or move back to Japan, it seems aikido clubs may be much more common than kenpo ones though. I do feel however, a reluctance to (again) change martial arts, start more or less from the beginning again and maybe have to start again in aikido should I go back to it later on. I have ambitions to get on and feel that too much changing of martial arts is holding me back - in the last 4 years I have tried many things but not really got so far.

Style-wise, I also wonder if kenpo or aikido would suit me better. I am looking for a self defence style that works, and if possible has aspects that can be understood and used basically if needed without years of study. Aikido does seem to lack some practicability in self defence until studied for a number of years, and I am not keen on breakfalling! It also has a lot of formality, dojo rules and something of a language barrier - kenpo in contrast seems more modern and user friendly. However, kenpo also seems to have a large array of techniques and takes many years to master. Aikido also has the advantage of being something able to be used by anyone of any age and build to defend against anyone, ie smaller person can defend against a much bigger person.

Anyway, any more thoughts anyone - especially people who have practiced aikido and kenpo!

Mark Uttech
07-01-2007, 06:38 AM
Just like a person with two watches is never sure what time it is, what you choose is not going to matter unless it is , and then you have to keep choosing, don't you? And that is what each person does: they choose; every day.

In gassho,

Mark

jennifer paige smith
07-01-2007, 08:26 AM
Hi, am having the same thoughts myself!

I have always been interested in martial arts but the first time I ever started was when I started doing kenpo about 4 years ago. I really enjoyed the class but decided to stop after a few months and try some other things. I eventually settled on aikido and have been doing it for about 6 months now.

I enjoy aikido but have my reservations about its effectiveness and also am not that keen on breakfalling so much. That said I like my current club and am making good progress.

However, I will move away from my home town in September for study and there are both kenpo and aikido clubs in the area. Whilst it is easy to find aikido clubs in most places, its quite hard to find kenpo clubs in the UK. So I am bascially wondering which one to do - as I only really have time to train twice a week and prefer to concentrate on one thing at a time.

I suppose my thinking is perhaps to give kenpo another shot for a year, after which I will probably end up moving again to find a job, and see what options are whereever I move to. As I will live in either the UK or move back to Japan, it seems aikido clubs may be much more common than kenpo ones though. I do feel however, a reluctance to (again) change martial arts, start more or less from the beginning again and maybe have to start again in aikido should I go back to it later on. I have ambitions to get on and feel that too much changing of martial arts is holding me back - in the last 4 years I have tried many things but not really got so far.

Style-wise, I also wonder if kenpo or aikido would suit me better. I am looking for a self defence style that works, and if possible has aspects that can be understood and used basically if needed without years of study. Aikido does seem to lack some practicability in self defence until studied for a number of years, and I am not keen on breakfalling! It also has a lot of formality, dojo rules and something of a language barrier - kenpo in contrast seems more modern and user friendly. However, kenpo also seems to have a large array of techniques and takes many years to master. Aikido also has the advantage of being something able to be used by anyone of any age and build to defend against anyone, ie smaller person can defend against a much bigger person.

Anyway, any more thoughts anyone - especially people who have practiced aikido and kenpo!

I've been exposed to Kenpo and Aikido together in enough of a respect to comment. I would point out to you that in the traditional methods of teaching aikido and kenpo they both take a long time to master for 'effectivenes'. Depending on yourself, your usual chosen environment, and your specific level of training on any particular day; which one of these arts matches you best is purely subjective to you. I don't believe you will lose much ground if you switch up right now because you are in a way still 'on the fence' about your convicton to training. If you had been fastened to the fence by either one of these arts you would know it by now. So, it sems to me that you are still looking for something, just as in before the beginning. Like Sensei Uttech said, you will begin when you begin and then you will need to re-apply yourself on a regular basis. The art you choose frames the world you live in. Does the world of aikido sound like a good match to your lifestyle or does kenpo? And then does the teacher you encounter match your lifestyle and does the dojo? It is a process. A good process.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
07-02-2007, 08:35 AM
I'm not sure that kenpo is considered a very good self-defense art either.

So far, the list I usually hear as being the most efficient for empty-hand fighting is (in no particular ranking): BJJ, Judo, Sambo, Wrestling, Kyokushin Karate, Muay Thai. The last two, KK and MT, are mostly striking, while the others are grappling.

I'm not presently aware of anyone being successful (or even contending seriously) in an open-style tournament with Kenpo.

grumpingtons
07-07-2007, 04:22 AM
Thanks for the replies - I like the quote about wearing two watches! Thats sums up my whole life :)

Kenpo also might not be great for self defence I suppose. I think self defence can cover many aspects though. I have done some BJJ and Judo and whilst BJJ might be good one on one its not really that practical, in my opinion, in many situations where ground fighting isnt a good idea.

In addition, Im not sure about Judo because it seems quite reliant on the gi and its difficult to throw much bigger people. I suppose whatever works though for that person in the situation they may face and all martial arts have their pros and cons.

I have heard people like Geoff Thompson (love him or hate him)argue a combination of wrestling and boxing are good in most situations.

The thing I do like about aikido is that as a smaller person (about 130 pounds/60kgs) it is possible to execute a technique on a much bigger person without needed to exert as much strength as in some other martial arts.

Anyway thanks for the replies!

David Yap
07-07-2007, 08:31 AM
Thanks for the replies - I like the quote about wearing two watches! Thats sums up my whole life :)

Kenpo also might not be great for self defence I suppose. I think self defence can cover many aspects though. I have done some BJJ and Judo and whilst BJJ might be good one on one its not really that practical, in my opinion, in many situations where ground fighting isnt a good idea.

In addition, Im not sure about Judo because it seems quite reliant on the gi and its difficult to throw much bigger people. I suppose whatever works though for that person in the situation they may face and all martial arts have their pros and cons.

I have heard people like Geoff Thompson (love him or hate him)argue a combination of wrestling and boxing are good in most situations.

The thing I do like about aikido is that as a smaller person (about 130 pounds/60kgs) it is possible to execute a technique on a much bigger person without needed to exert as much strength as in some other martial arts.

Anyway thanks for the replies!

Hi Matthew,

Most MA teachings are beyond techniques. Our dojo here offers aikido, karate and shorinji kempo. The objective of karate is to teach one to avoid a conflict all together. Aikido teaches us to address a conflict and most times, we find that it is always better to avoid a conflict by not reacting at all. The latter, imho, is still the best self-defense. As to whether aikido is technically an effective art for SD, it depends on the methodology of instructions and your personal skills. Avoid any schools that have no systematic instructions and techniques that you would have a hard time following, figuring and requiring some amount of brute strength. If you have only one year to try out, go for something simple.

My two sen.

Regards

David Y

grumpingtons
07-08-2007, 04:47 AM
David: thanks for your comment too. I may have given the wrong idea, when I said about having one year. I basically intend to train as long as I am able to physcially, so I hope that will be for a long time yet!

The one year refers to the time I will spend doing graduate studies, after which Im hoping to move on and stay in one place a while. I havent stayed in one place for a long time, and the moving about I think is one factor that can hinder progress.

As its hard to find kenpo in the UK and i have the chance to get some 1-1 instruction from a brown belt (which is pretty high up in kepo) it seems like a good chance to explore it a bit more, and after a year continue or come back to aikido.

I really like my current dojo that trains in yoshinkan style - the sensei and other students are really great to train with. The dojo in the place I will move to is aikikai, so I wonder what differences there may be.

There are many things I like about aikido I have said before, but also some I dont like so much! My reasons for training are self defence and fitness so Im not so keen on so much dojo formality, wearing a gi and fuss about correct belt tying, shouting of osu and bowing that I have come across in yoshinkan. And whilst aikido has many techniques I like, Im not keen on things like shikko, and other techniques that seem a bit redundant these days. Admittedly Im just a beginner, but so far most attacks have been shomen uchi or a form of kata te mochi.

I suppose one thing my friend at the brazilian Jujitsu said hit home about aikido, "well you grab my hand and Ill cartwheel off in the other direction". Its a very crude point of course, but sometimes it seems hard to seperate the parts of aikido that can be used effectively in self defence.

Anyway, just my thoughts.

DonMagee
07-08-2007, 08:26 AM
David: thanks for your comment too. I may have given the wrong idea, when I said about having one year. I basically intend to train as long as I am able to physcially, so I hope that will be for a long time yet!

The one year refers to the time I will spend doing graduate studies, after which Im hoping to move on and stay in one place a while. I havent stayed in one place for a long time, and the moving about I think is one factor that can hinder progress.

As its hard to find kenpo in the UK and i have the chance to get some 1-1 instruction from a brown belt (which is pretty high up in kepo) it seems like a good chance to explore it a bit more, and after a year continue or come back to aikido.

I really like my current dojo that trains in yoshinkan style - the sensei and other students are really great to train with. The dojo in the place I will move to is aikikai, so I wonder what differences there may be.

There are many things I like about aikido I have said before, but also some I dont like so much! My reasons for training are self defence and fitness so Im not so keen on so much dojo formality, wearing a gi and fuss about correct belt tying, shouting of osu and bowing that I have come across in yoshinkan. And whilst aikido has many techniques I like, Im not keen on things like shikko, and other techniques that seem a bit redundant these days. Admittedly Im just a beginner, but so far most attacks have been shomen uchi or a form of kata te mochi.

I suppose one thing my friend at the brazilian Jujitsu said hit home about aikido, "well you grab my hand and Ill cartwheel off in the other direction". Its a very crude point of course, but sometimes it seems hard to seperate the parts of aikido that can be used effectively in self defence.

Anyway, just my thoughts.

Sounds like you are looking for a mixed martial arts club.

As for judo and being reliant on a gi, trust me, that is not the case. Any throw done with a gi can be done with a underhooks and overhooks from the clinch.

grumpingtons
07-08-2007, 09:07 AM
Sounds like you are looking for a mixed martial arts club.

As for judo and being reliant on a gi, trust me, that is not the case. Any throw done with a gi can be done with a underhooks and overhooks from the clinch.

I take your points about judo and the gi.

Actually Im not really keen on mma. Im not that keen on boxing/kickboxing, and mma seems to go too far the other way in terms of being a sport rather than a martial art.

Maybe I want to have my cake and eat it, but Id like something thats part way between a sport and part way between a martial art.

jennifer paige smith
07-08-2007, 11:34 AM
There is a time for 'wanting'.
And then there is a time for doing.

DonMagee
07-09-2007, 05:35 AM
There is a time for 'wanting'.
And then there is a time for doing.

I couldn't agree more.