Structure and development of the Kenpo system, Part 3

Today we work in Sweden with the 16 technique curriculum which has given us a better and more relaxed learning process. Students can work with quality instead of spending time memorizing. This means the following structure: 10 techniques for yellow, 16 techniques from orange up to green and 20 techniques of the three levels of brown and first degree black belt. We don’t do the extensions for several reasons:

  1. Too much material and not enough time to work the basic curriculum.
  2. Kenpo is designed to finish the fight in the least amount of moves.
  3. A self-defence situation is not a planned or rehearsed fight scene like a movie, and will never happen like a written extension in the first place. So a student has to read his opponent and move accordingly using his eyes to extend the technique and not what the book says.

The question one has to ask oneself is, ”What do I want from my training?” To use your training time with high quality is of utmost importance.

Regardless of whether you use the 24 or 16 technique system, you must know the same amount of material to be able to reach black belt. The question is how you reach this goal, the quantity is the same. If a student feels the need to put the time in to learn the extensions they can do so. Remember that knowledge of what is useful or useless only comes from time, experience and logic.

As long as one knows what is important and with right guidance from a qualified instructor, you will learn the system as it was designed and not a watered down version. Therefore we are constantly inviting highly recognised instructors to guide our progress in the art.

We collaborate and hold camps and seminars with some of the foremost instructors that exist in the world of Kenpo. Some of these instructors are Mr Richard ”Huk” Planas and Mr Marty Zaninovich that constantly visit us. A former European instructor was Mr Graham Lelliott from the Channel Islands in England. He has moved and lives happily with his family today in Fresno, California USA. Mr Lelliott was of very big help for our development, with his positive attitude and the desire to help us in the right direction he gave us a very solid base to stand on today. One of his biggest qualities is that he always encourages us to be inspired by other instructors. He is a man without a big ego and is very admirable.

Today we are constantly out there on the international market to be inspired and to be a part of this fascinating world of the martial arts. Constantly keen to learn more to perfect and absorb the infinite knowledge of martial arts.


Ingmar Johansson
Athletics consultant
5:th degree black belt
Head instructor for Ed Parker´s Kenpo Karate in Sweden.

Made in 2002