Built in 495 A.D. the Shaolin Temple is generally accepted as having the greatest influence on all existing martial arts today. Some time between 520 and 535 A.D. the famous monk Bodhidharma or Tamo (Da Mo) traveled from India to the kingdom of Wei to spread Buddhism. This was during the Liang Dynasty in China. After a failed meeting with emperor Wu, Bodhidharma traveled to Honan province and the famed Shaolin Temple. It was here, after 9 years of meditating in a cave, that he began to teach the monks the bare hand combat routine known as "Xingyi Boxing". This began the Kung Fu training at the temple.
Over the next few centuries monks from the Shaolin Temple emigrated to various Eastern countries, such as Okinawa, the Ryukyu Kingdoms, and Japan. It was between the Sui and Ming Dynasty that the martial art known as Chuan Fa in Chinese also known as Kempo in Japanese literally means "way of the fist or law of the fist". In the 17th century, the Kumamoto and Nagasaki families returned from China to Kyushu Japan with a knowledge of this Kempo which became known as Kosho Ryu Kempo or "Old Pine Tree School".
Shaolin Temple at Honan built.
520 to 535A.D.
Da Mo Travels to China.
Go-Ti to Japan from China, becomes Sumo. Earliest known formal export of Gung Fu.
1100 - 1300
Shaolin "heroic period" Several burnings of Shaolin Temples during this time.
Shaolin resistance to Mongols. Softness is added to Gung Fu by monk Chang San-feng.
White Crane developed in Tibet during the Ming Dynasty.
5 Form Fist.
Tamo's 18 exercises expanded to 72 by Kwok Yuen Dragon Style: ca.1565 Mantis Style: ca. 1600 Chin na: ca. 1607
Hsing-I Chuan Fa "The law of the fist" exported to Japan.
T'ai Chi Ch'uan introduced to by Wang Tsung-yuen. Pa Kua, Wing Chun: ca. 1776
Choy Li Fut: ca. 1830s, Monkey Style: ca. 1842
1900 Boxer Rebellion, A secret society, known as the Fists of Righteous Harmony, attracted thousands of followers. Foreigners called members of this society "Boxers" because they practiced martial arts. The Boxers also believed that they had a magical power, and that foreign bullets could not harm them. 1928 Wu Shu renamed to Kuo su. 1919 James Mitose returns to Japan to Study Kempo. 1937 James Mitose returns to Hawaii. 1949 William Kwai Sun Chow opens dojo in YMCA in Hawaii. 1954 Edmund Parker receives his Black Belt. 1973 death of Bruce lee. 1987 death of William Chow. 1990 death of Edmund Parker. 1991 Masters Self Defense Centers Formed. 1998 death of Professor Nick Cerio.
2012 death of Master Hugh Hanratty. 2012 death of Grandmaster S. George Pesare. 2012 death of 2nd degree black belt Rosanna Doran. 2013 death of Master George W. Devlin. 2013 death of Victor Gascon. 2015 death of 4th degree black belt William St. George.
In 1919 a three year old James Mitose (1916-1981) left Hawaii for Kyushu Japan to study his ancestor's art. In 1937 he returned to Hawaii to open the "Official Self-Defense Club" in 1942. Before he left teaching to pursue his religious studies, he promoted six students to black belt level; among them were *William Kwai Sun Chow and Thomas Young.
William K. S. Chow (1914-1987) is perhaps the most notable person responsible for promoting Kenpo into the United States. William Chow had grown up studying his family style of Kung Fu which he learned from his father. According to Chow he and Mitose just exchanged information, Chow combined both his knowledge of Kung Fu and Kosho Ryu Kempo to form his Kenpo Karate. In 1949 he opened a Dojo ("the place of the way") a training hall of his own in a local YMCA in Hawaii.
In 1954 one of Chow and Emperado's student, Edmund Parker, earned his black belt. He brought Kenpo Karate to the mainland and would eventually be known as "the Father of American Karate".
Another student of William Chow was Adriano Emperado (Kenpo), who along with Walter Choo (Karate), Joe Holck (Judo), Frank Ordonez (Jujutsu), and George C. Chang (Chinese Boxing), combined to form Kajukenbo in 1947. (Ka) Karate (Ju) Judo & Jujutsu (Ken) Kenpo (Bo) Chinese Boxing.
*Much of the history is passed from teacher to student and it is very difficult to verify.
William Chow & Nick Cerio
Grandmaster Victor (sonny) Gascon, a student of Adriano Emperado from 1948-1952. In 1953 he was stationed in Hawaii with the Air Force and resumed his studies in Kalihi. In 1965 he was discharged from the Air Force and moved to California. In 1960 he departed from the kajukenbo system and founded the Karazenpo Go Shinzutsu system. Victor Gascon closes his school in 1963 and returns to Hawaii in 1968.
Grandmaster George Pesare, one of Grandmaster Gascon first black belts, and the man who introduced Kenpo Karate to New England. S.George Pesare began his training in Karazenpo-Go-Shinjutsu in 1958. In 1960 Grandmaster Pesare, opened his school in Olneyville, Rhode Island. Mr. Pesare continued his training in the following martial art disciplines: 5th Degree Black Belt in Judo, 4th Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo, 4th Degree Black Belt in Eskrima, 2nd Degree Black Belt in Aikido. George Pesare has been a law enforcement officer for over 20 years. He is the 1994 Rhode Island State Police Pistol Champion, and is the Police Pistol Champion of the Prestigious Police Pistol Governors Twenty. It has been said "A student that has trained in Karazenpo Go Shinjutsu Kenpo Karate in New England was either taught by Mr. Pesare or one of his pupils, or one of his pupils' pupil". S. George Pesare is the founder of Kempo Karate in New England. From this school would come black belts that would open school across America. Among these are: Grandmaster Roger Carpenter, Professor Nick Cerio (1936 -1998)
In 1966 Nicholas Cerio recevied his black belt in Kenpo from S. George Pesare. Nicholas Cerio soon after opened Cerio's Academy of Martial Arts. After studying with William Chun, Sensei Cerio was given permission to train under William Chow. On August 15, 1967 William Chow awarded him Shodan in Chinese Kenpo. In 1983 Edmund Parker awarded him 9th Dan. In 1989 the World Council of Sokes awarded him Above Ranking Status. He Passed away in 1998, and will be greatly missed by the martial arts community.
In 1991 Masters Self Defense Centers was formed. Professor Nohelty and Professor Bryant both hold multiple black belts in various styles of Kenpo. Both Nohelty and Bryant have been studying Kenpo, Kung Fu, Shotokan, Okinawan, Japanese, and Chinese weapons for over 40 years. The style has roots back to Karazempo Go Shinjitsu and Kajukenbo systems.
William St George 1939 - 2015 Husband, father, artist, martial artist and friend, Bill was one of the most talented people I have ever met and a wondreful friend. He will be greatly missed by all that had the honor of knowing him.
Walter Joyce passed suddenly, May 16, 2013. Walter had a great love of life. He was an avid golfer, an accomplished musician and a great martial artist.
Tuesday April 23, 2013 We lost another martial artist, son, brother, uncle and friend. John Santos was just 11 years old when he passed away, John was a yellow belt and an excellent student, he will be missed and remembered by all that knew him. God bless his family and friends.
Wednesday February 20, 2013 we lost another great martial artist, Instructor, Son, father and friend 5th Degree black belt George W. Devlin. He was my friend for 40 years and will be missed by all who knew him. God bless his family, friends and students.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 we all lost another great martial artist, Instructor, daughter, sister and friend 2nd Degree black belt Rosanna Doran. She was one of the nicest and most dedicated people I have known. The world is a lesser place today. She will be greatly missed. God bless her family, friends and students.
On Sunday January 22, 2012 the world lost a great martial artist, artist, father and friend Master Hugh Hanratty. He will be missed by all the people whose lives he touched in his short but full life. God bless his family, friends and students.