Why Study Kenpo?


Self defense is the right to protect oneself, and in some cases others, against violence or threatened violence with whatever force or means are reasonably necessary.

Three questions are usually asked in most self defense cases:

Who was the aggressor?

Was the defender’s belief that self-defense was necessary a reasonable one?

If so, was the force used by the defender also reasonable?


Obviously the goal is never to be in a situation where the defending yourself or those around you becomes necessary, but we all know it may happen. How do the questions and theory about self defense translate over to actually having to use it? Or, more precisely, how does that affect what we do and how we teach here at Triangle Kenpo Institute? Let’s take a look at the questions one by one…

WHO WAS THE AGRESSOR? What we teach is only to be used in a defensive manner, period. Misuse of the skills taught at TKI to start trouble or instigate an altercation is grounds for immediate dismissal.

WAS THE DEFENDER’S BELIEF THAT SELF DEFENSE WAS NECESSARY A REASONABLE ONE? Self defense is rooted in the belief that people should be allowed to protect themselves from physical harm. The first step that occurs in any self defense situation is acceptance. Acceptance of the fact that protecting yourself may be necessary. This comes about through environmental awareness; knowing what is happening around you at any given time.  This means that a person does not always have to wait until they are actually attacked to act in self defense. If a reasonable person in the same circumstances would think that they are about to be physically attacked, they have the right to act first to prevent the attack.

IF SO, WAS THE USE OF FORCE USED BY THE DEFENDER ALSO REASONABLE? Kenpo is designed to act quickly and decisively to end an attack. To the untrained eye is often looks like the attacker is overwhelmed by by a flurry of damaging moves by the defender. Naturally the question arises, “How much is enough?” The answer lies in the reaction of the attacker. In Kenpo you are taught ways to regulate your response to an attack; to cease your defense when the individual is no longer a threat. In Kenpo techniques (responses to attacks), there are natural places within the technique known as “points of stop” where stopping your defense is natural and will not put you in a vulnerable position. Remember, as a defender you have a legal and moral obligation to stop when the threat is neutralized. Through the process of learning these techniques and the points of stop within them, you will develop the ability to know when “enough is enough”.

© Triangle Kenpo Institute 2017