Everyday Americans are inundated with influences that encourage people to be overly competitive. From the Pepsi Challenge to professional sports, our culture places an inordinate value on choosing one thing over another because it is “better.” In terms of deciding whether Shaolin Kempo or Ju-Jitsu is the right discipline to study, it’s important to understand that martial arts are not about perceived external competition.
Studying these practices involves striving for technical excellence and personal growth. The underlying ethical teachings of Shaolin Kempo and Ju-Jitsu are quite similar. And the self-defense strategies tend to be complementary. If you are considering embarking on a martial arts journey, these are things worth considering about Shaolin Kempo and Ju-Jitsu.
What Does Shaolin Kempo Involve?
Although it traces its roots to the Shaolin Temple in 495 AD, it is a relatively modern school of thought. Shaolin Kempo was developed and popularized during the 1960s and 1970s by Grandmaster Fredrick J. Villari. He combined Eastern traditions with Western fighting styles to create comprehensive strategies that include strikes, kicks, felling, and grappling.
Shaolin Kempo borrows many of the most effective techniques from other disciplines. For instance, the grappling and felling techniques owe a tip of the cap to Mongolian wrestling as well as Ju-Jitsu. But what distinguishes it from Ju-Jitsu are the fluid blocks, strikes, direct punches, and powerful kicks. All told, learning Shaolin Kempo introduces students to more than 120 kicks, 300 strikes, 100 defensive postures, pressure points, and 35 forms that have passed on for centuries.
What Does Ju-Jitsu Involve?
Consistent with other martial arts, Jujitsu teaches ethical lessons that involve humility and respect. It has been dubbed the “gentle art” because it is a ground-based self-defense system that traces its roots to Buddhist monks in India 4,000 years ago. The felling and grappling system was refined into its modern incarnation in Japan, before migrating to Brazil during the early 1900s.
Brazilian Ju-Jitsu has become something of a phenomenon in South and North America. That may largely be due to its widespread use in popular UFC bouts. Unlike the sweeping movements of Shaolin Kempo and other open-hand martial arts, Ju-Jitsu leans on techniques such as the following.
- Joint Locks
- Choke Holds
- Arm Bars
Ju-Jitsu studios generally teach a limited number of strikes. These are typically designed to gain control over an opponent. For example, Atemi involves striking pressure points to knock an adversary off balance or incapacitate one. Strikes are also a strategic way to distract an opponent to gain leverage through a ground-based hold.
Key Differences Between Shaolin Kempo and Ju-jitsu
Shaolin Kempo and Ju-Jitsu are considered appropriate for young children when taught in an accredited self-defense studio. But parents and adults interested in studying martial arts would be well-served to consider key differences.
Ju-Jitsu focused primarily on ground-based control over an opponent. The techniques involved naturally lend themselves to the use of muscular strength and competitive platforms such as UFC. Brute force may not necessarily be required to master Ju-Jitsu, but the strategies differ from the fluid motions of Shaolin Kempo.
In Shaolin Kempo, free and flexible katas are learned that tend to enhance flexibility and cardiovascular endurance. In terms of real-life application, kicks, strikes, punches, and defensive postures may be better suited to prevent bodily harm from a street attacker. Takedowns and grappling also position you on the ground, making you vulnerable to a second assailant.
While both systems provide valuable whole-person benefits, it’s important to make an informed decision about which respected discipline serves your interests and goals.
How to Get Started Learning Martial Arts
The United Studios of Self Defense Vancouver offers world-class instruction in three different types of self-defense and martial arts: Shaolin Kempo, Tai Chi, and Kung Fu. We offer both group instruction and one-on-one classes to fit your schedule and instruction needs.
We offer classes for all skill levels, from beginner to advanced in each of the above three disciplines. Classes are available for both adults and children. If you or a family member would benefit from learning Shaolin Kempo or another martial art, contact United Studios of Self Defense Vancouver today.
Contact USSD Vancouver
The United Studios of Self Defense (USSD) Vancouver offers world-class instruction in three different types of self defense and martial arts: Tai-Chi, Kung Fu, and Shaolin Kempo. We offer both group instruction and one-on-one classes to fit your schedule and instruction needs. We offer classes for all skill levels, from beginner to advanced in each of the above three disciplines. Classes are available for both adults and children.
Contact us today to learn more about our martial arts programs or to set up a time to visit one of our classes in person. Our instructors work with students at every age and stage of martial arts development and are dedicated to helping you cultivate self defense skills that meet your goals and make you feel great about yourself.
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