Learning karate and other lessons — later in life… and finding inspiration along the way.

The Kempo Puzzle

A few nights ago in class we were learning an American Kempo technique called Crushing Hammer, when I had a little grasshopper moment:  “Wow, it’s like puzzle pieces.”

Basic karate strikes and kicks are a creative collection of puzzle pieces, custom tailored to fit the human body.  They work together in infinite combinations, forming kempos and katas.

The leopard’s paw fits perfectly into either the throat or armpit.  The hammerfist can be used vertically on the bridge of the nose, or circled around horizontally to strike the ribs or kidneys.  A roundhouse kick can be used to strike the ribs or head, or it can loop around and travel downward to buckle the back of a knee.

Add some targeting and power, and a kempo is formed.  Combine several kempos, sprinkle in some strategy, timing and flow, and a kata is born. — Patty

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