Martial art derived from traditional Okinawan martial arts, literally meaning "fist law". Kenpo (also sometimes romanized as Kempo) was first widely taught in the west by James Masayoshi Mitose, who first taught Kenpo in Hawaii in the 1940's and 1950's.

The students of Mitose, including Parker and Chow, went on to found schools of Kenpo throughout the west. Kenpo schools vary in their curriculum, but typically resemble Karate in being rich in strikes, blocks, and "hard" techniques, although some schools incorporate various degrees of throws, chokes and grappling techniques. Kenpo is sometimes called "Kenpo Karate" and the term Kenpo is used synonymously with the word Karate on Okinawa.

Kenpo is still practiced in Okinawa and Japan, one popular form being Shorinji Kenpo, a martial arts school combining Zen Buddhist teachings with martial arts instruction in a modern reconstruction of Shaolin temple practices (shorinji being the Japanese pronunciation of Shaolin).
I studied Kenpo for several years, it was a lot like the karate I studied earlier.
by Joe From Kentucky May 09, 2008
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An Americanized Chinese martial art codified by Grand Master Edmund K Parker.
The Style of Karate that Elvis Pressley was an EIGHT degree Black Belt in.
Kenpo is almost perfect for unarmed self-defense.
I am a yellow belt in Kenpo, but I could kick your ass
by DCS December 24, 2005
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kenpo is a form of butthole surfing. originally surfaced in asia but now is prevalent in philly bath houses and northeast philly basements. the participant in Kenpo believes they are becoming stronger when actuality they are surfing butts and annoying friends.
Me: Hey that Dutch Master is doing "Kenpo" again
You: Haha silly butthole surfer, he isn't important
by docez March 19, 2011
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A kick ass martial art system put together by Edmund Parker Sr. from Hawaii. Mr. Parker disected movement and analyized even after the cows came home and planted his concepts/principles in the systems forms and buried them in techniques. Any practioner in Proficient in Kenpo knows how , where and when to strike at or from any given point.
richard huk planas kenpo
by War like art February 04, 2010
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Kenpo is a Japanese Martial Arts form. However, unlike Karate, its origins are linked back to China and still have very strong influences from Chinese systems. The name, "kenpo," also sometimes spelled "kempo," is derived from the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese character "chuan" and "fa." Literally translates, it means "the method of the fist/hand." This seems to be a very close translation into Chinese of what "karate-te-do" means and might have come about as a means to bridge a language divide between the two countries.
Within Kenpo, there are many variations to the art. Of the more well-known systems include: Kosho-ryu, Shaolin Kenpo, Kajukenbo, Chinese Kara-Ho Kempo, and Ed Parker's American Kenpo Karate. Kenpo has a very strong presence in Hawaii, the home base for many of the systems under Kenpo that exist today in the United States. Throughout each of the histories of the different groups there are strong signs of the continued merging of both Chinese and Japanese influences. Many people have studied Kenpo, one of the most famous is Elvis Presley, the King. Presley became acquainted with Ed Parker in 1960 and formed a friendship that lasted his lifetime. This was not Presley's first exposure to Martial Arts, nor would it be his last.
by Dancing with Fire December 30, 2010
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A style of kenpo karate created by Mr.Parker. Compared to other styles it's relatively young. The defense techniques are based on the predetermined actions of the attacker. Some people think that parker kenpo is "safe" because it the techniques have a check system unlike some other arts where the first or second strike must take down the opponent.
by BklynKnight January 22, 2005
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Practising Air Kenpo is a form of martial arts and movement in which the artists pretends to perform Kenpo Karate techniques. Techniques while performed on a fall-guy or uki have no contact whatsoever. The "Meaningful Dialogue" principle can not reciprocated with the defenders self defence technique. Usually this form of Kenpo Karate stems from fear of hurting the fall guy. It give the practitioner a false sense of legitimacy of the art and their ability to perform in real life situations. This is not exercising control during exchange of fall guy/practitioner, but merely "going through the motions." It is sometimes beneficial to both the fall-guy/practitioner to experience some contact of hitting and being hit.
You need to start hitting, this is not Air Kenpo
by RobbieStJean March 17, 2013
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