I have interest i the topic. I would have posted a response earlier when you alluded to Kenpo not actually being of Shaolin origin. I agree with
that statement completely. I didn't post however because I can not prove the association between where I believe Kenpo's roots come from and the
Chinese Ming who fled the north of China after the fall of the Ming and persecution of them by the Qing.
I've always felt that Kenpo was very different that the official story of it's association with Shaolin. It sure doesn't look like Northern Shaolin
(long fist, changchuan, pao, lohan ...etc. It has some techniques that one would see in the southern Shaolin systems. Primarily some crane defensive
movements. But the rest of it (the other 90%) looks to me like it's more related to the styles of martial arts in the southern areas of china that
weren't really associated with the southern Shaolin. For instance to me much of kenpos theory has more in common, to me, with the chu/chuka, jook
lum, methods. Even southern tang lang (mantis) which has nothing to do with the animal the mantis or with the real mantis system of the north.
Bare with me here. What leads me to believe there is a connection there is that Jook Lum, and Southern Mantis were really the arts of the Chu family.
The Chu family were Ming royalty at the end of the Ming dynasty when the Ming were overthrown by the QIng. The followers of the Chu family, fled the
persecution and threats of death by hiding in the south of China. Hence Jook Lum (bamboo forest, implying hidden or secret forest or style) These
followers were the elite body guards, family members, servants etc... and all of them were considered enemies of the new state. The style of martial
arts the Chu family had was the style used by these elite soldiers of the Ming. Not the Ming foot soldiers, but the elite ones.
To hide the true nature of their art, they called it southern style mantis and a host of other similar names to throw inquisitive people off the
scent. Parts of the art went underground and secretive and then later re-emerged. To me the theories, attitude, and actual techniques of much of
Kenpo is very similar to a trained eye to that of southern mantis. At a glance they seem different but to the trained eye one can see the underlying
theories and techniques which are the same. I believe it only makes sense that many of these Ming loyalists and holders of the secretive Chu style
left for japan to live safer lives. Much of the okinawa-te is said to have been taught to them by immigrant shaolin monks. Some of that may be true
due to the crane defensive techniques inherent in much of okinawa-te. But I believe at the same time these other martial artists trained in this more
secretive Chu system were there too passing on their knowledge.
SO maybe you are right and there is a lot more to the history of many martial arts in japan that allude to a secret society or system.
I can go into much more detail. But I am typing this before heading to work and again these are my conclusions and not ones that I have been told in
regards to the connection between japanese and chinese martial arts. Sometimes there are certain signature concepts that are like markers where one
can track the art form down through various systems to create a sort of family tree. from there one can then see much of the various arts
Like I said I can really go into much more detail regarding each part of the kenpo art and where i think it connects to these other southern chinese
arts. I used to study kajukenpo, northern shaolin, (mostly xiao & da hong, qi xing chuan) and some southern lung ying and bak mei when I could find
it. No a days I'm doing Kun Tao, Silat, Kali etc...heading in that direction. OK gotta head off to work now.
edit on 21-2-2013 by
BASSPLYR because: (no reason given)