What is Kenpo?

Kenpo meaning the law of the fist is the name for multiple martial arts that developed in Hawaii due to cross-cultural exchange between practitioners of Okinawan, Chinese martial arts, Filipino, Japanese, Korean and multiple additional influences.

The most widespread styles have their origin in the teachings of James Mitose and William Kwai Sun Chow. Mitose spent m

Sensie John Ayers, Sifu Kieth See and Professeur Buitron 1993

ost of his early years training in Japan learning his family style, Kosho-Ryū (Old pine tree school). James Mitose would later bring that style to Hawaii where he would teach Chow, who would go on to instruct Ed Parker, Adriano Emperado.

Grand Master Adriano Emperado would later be labeled as the founder of KajuKembo a system that incorporated different martial arts together thus forming the name.

Grand Master Ed Parker a student of Chow in Hawaii for nearly six years, Parker moved to the US mainland to attend Brigham Young University. In 1957, he began teaching the kenpo that he had learned from Chow, and throughout his life modified and refined the art until it became Ed Parker’s American Kenpo. It employs a blend of circular movements and hard linear movements.

Kenpo is firmly undogmatic, and as such its techniques vary depending upon the preference of the practitioner and the instructor. However, certain characteristics are common to nearly all forms of kenpo.

Professeur Buitron and Sifu Greg Ringness

Buitron Academy’s roots in Kenpo/Kempo go back to the founding schools, with a direct lineage to Grandmaster Adriano Emperado founder of Kajukempo and Grandmaster Ed Parker creator of American Kenpo Karate.  Being heavily rooted in lineage to the Hawaiian Kempo traditions under the late Sifu Keith See .

Professeur Buitron & Grandmaster Frank Trejo

Due to the respect for his Sifu, Prof. Buitrón  re-established the Kenpo roots of the Academy in 2009 after being told by the seniors of the Parker clan to continue the lineage of his Sifu after his passing.

The one that took Professeur Buitron under his wing was Grandmaster Frank Trejo. Both had a similar story of fighting in the street s and in the ring that  bond became a brotherhood until the health of Grandmaster Trejo prevented him to continue.

Professeur Buitron & Grandmaster Larry Ordono

The words of advice of Grandmaster Trejo was learn for the different generation gaps of sifus each will tell the story of American Kenpo. Sothe continual search he was embraced by Grandmaster Larry ordonio who continued his training in Ordonio Largo Mano and Kajukembo.


Grandmaster Huk Planas & Professeur Buitron

Grandmaster Richard Huk Planas has been instilling the finer points of Kenpo onto Professeur Buitron , which as told to him by Grandmaster Trejo, ” Kenpo is a familia Paulie.” This is true since Grandmaster first meet Professeur
Buitron back in 1990 while Training Under Sifu Keith See.

At Buitron Academy Kenpo is taught in its traditional format as taught to him by Sifu Kieth See, in which the practitioners will learn without the usually blending of other martial art styles or systems diluting the effectiveness of Kenpo’s original intent. Kempo, as developed in America, is a street wise defensive art that does not restrict its students in methodology. Its hands evolve into slashing; punching along with cunning joint locks turn into devastating hip throws. Evasive blocks turn into breath closing chokes, the possibilities are endless.




  • Kenpo is a system of self-defense. Its techniques are almost entirely counters; typical schools of kenpo do not teach their students how to attack people.
  • Kenpo is not about fighting. A Kenpo practitioner does not “feel out” his opponent. Once the kenpo practitioner is attacked, his aim is to end the fight however he can as quickly and efficiently as possible.
  • Kenpo is set apart from many other martial arts by the sheer size of its curriculum. This varies, of course, from school to school, but several forms and defences against strikes, weapons, and grabs, are required to advance in rank.
  • Kenpo employs a belt ranking system, similar to those of Karate and Judo.
  • Kenpo is almost exclusively a stand-up martial art, using various hand strikes, kicks, elbows, knees, throws, and in some cases, grappling joint locks.

Tests of the Kempo