Shaolin Kempo

Like many martial arts, Kempo originated in India, then developed further in China, Okinawa, and Japan. Kempo was introduced to Hawaii in the 1930s by James Mitose, then brought to mainland America in the 1950s by Mitose's students. An eclectic system that combines elements of many different martial styles, Kempo nevertheless is built on the characteristics of the Five Animals.

Tiger. From the Tiger, we learn Strength and Tenacity. Strength is the ability to endure great hardship, and Tenacity is the driving force that motivates us to refuse to quit until we reach our goals. Physically, the Tiger is very powerful and direct, commiting its entire mind and body to each movement.

Leopard.From the Leopard, we learn Speed, Agility, and Stealth. The Leopard uses surprise to devastate its oppentents, attacking quickly and using angles to its advantage. Physically, the Leopard uses its claws to grapple to goodeffect.

Snake. From the Snake, we learn Internal Energy and Ground-Fighting. Some snakes constrict their opponents, while others use their fangs and bite. Physically, the Snake uses internal energy to make up for its lack of arms and legs. We study the snake for its precision and grappling.

Crane. From the Crane, we learn Grace and Balance. The Crane is evasive, always aware of its surroundings capable of reacting quickly and fluidly. Physically, the Crane uses it
beak for poking and its wings for trapping, blocking, and striking. Many of our kicks are based off the Crane stance, a basic tool for learning balance.

Dragon. From the Dragon, we learn Knowledge, Wisdom, and its legendary Fighting Spirit. It is the Dragon's spirit that gives it the will to fight against all odds. Physically, the Dragon favors circular movements and uses its tail to whip around. It can also change into other animals at any moment, a key part of its movement.