What is American Kenpo Karate?

Understanding Its Focus and Teachings

At Innovative Martial Arts Academy, we offer beginner and advanced American Kenpo Karate classes. Like all martial arts, American Kenpo Karate has its unique characteristics. 


What Is American Kenpo Karate?

American Kenpo Karate is a form of martial art originating in the 1940s, based on various martial art techniques, including Jiu-Jitsu, Karate, and Judo. American Kenpo has been refined into a highly effective and unique form of martial arts focusing on defense and immobilizing an attacker efficiently.


American Kenpo Karate is a popular form of martial arts in America. It’s easy to see why, as it is a martial art that is a well-crafted form of self-defense as well as physical training and exercise.


What Is American Kenpo Karate’s Focus?

The main focus of American Kenpo Karate is self-defense. This martial art applies logic and practicality to effective, powerful movements. In fact, it is mainly categorized by strikes performed by all parts of the body. This martial art is divided into four sections: 

  • The basics
  • Forms
  • Self-defense
  • Sparring. 

Students learn and progress through these sections, beginning with the basics and working up to sparring.


Each American Kenpo technique is taught in three phases: the ideal phase, the “what if” phase, and the formulation phase:

  • The Ideal Phase:  teaches students the fundamentals of every technique and how to use them in an ideal situation.
  • The “What If” Phase: teaches students to react in an unforeseen situation.
  • The Formulation Phase: teaches students the free form of American Kenpo that allows them to combine any technique and move to adapt to any situation.


What Does American Kenpo Karate Teach?

American Kenpo Karate is based on several kinds of martial art and combat forms, but the fighting style and philosophy of American Kenpo are truly unique. American Kenpo Karate teaches its students to learn and adapt from basic principles and techniques learned through the art.


Students of American Kenpo Karate are taught:

  • to develop environmental awareness 
  • structural stability and balance 
  • coordination
  • movement flow and speed
  • power
  • timing


The characteristics of American Kenpo Karate include:

  • a series of kicks 
  • open hand, punches
  • knee and elbow strikes 
  • throwing techniques
  • joint locking techniques
  • finger strikes


Try A Class!

At Innovative Martial Arts Academy, we’re all about FAMILY and FUN. Our Martial Arts training offers men, women, and children the opportunity to challenge their bodies and minds without the threat of injury and intimidation. Take on the best training in disciplines like Kenpo Karate, Kali, and Aikido and build your skills one day at a time with help of our dedicated instructors. 


We are proud to serve families across Wake Forest, Wakefield, and the surrounding area with a rewarding experience that can set you or your child up for success in all aspects of life. If you’re interested in learning about our martial arts program, contact us at 919.562.4663, or visit our website.  


Want to Read More About Martial Arts?

Take a look at some of our other articles about martial arts and IMAA’s course offerings? Check out the following related blog articles: 

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Our Reviews

William D.
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This place is great! Charles and his team have fantastic programs for kids. When we started our 3.5 year old son, I didn’t know what to expect. He quickly adapted to the classes and now loves going. Our 2 year old son loves watching and will start as well as soon as he turns 3. Innovative Martial arts also hosted their birthday parties. The kids had a blast doing different activities throughout the birthday party. Can’t say enough good things about this place, and what they teach!
Tara H.
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Innovative Martial Arts Academy (IMAA) is the best place to take martial arts. Charles Falk, the owner, and his staff do a great job teaching martial arts to the students and teaching each student to be confident and disciplined. My son has been with IMAA for eight years - he has earned one black belt and is working on his second.
Niko F.
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Not only are the staff amazing, but there is a mix of fun and learning in the curriculum. My 5 year old daughter absolutely loves this school. She has learned respect and many other aspects making her more focused and well behaved. I definitely recommend this school for you or your child.
Janice P.
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Great school with wonderful teachers. My daughter has a great time learning and everyone is friendly. There is even an adult class that allowed me to try to see if I liked it and everyone was very patient with me. I am thankful to have my daughter be a part of the Innovative Martial Arts Academy in Wake Forest and know she is benefiting from it in more than one way. It amazes me how fast she is learning and how hard she is trying. They have her trying to develop at her fullest with her mind, body, and spirit. I would recommend this school to anyone interested in martial arts.
Kristi F.
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Wonderful place for not only skill development but also personal development. Owner and instructors genuinely get to know students and families and care about them. The lessons learned will provide character growth as well as martial art skills. The owner is also a long time student of many different martial arts, he didn't just buy a franchise, and tries very hard to live what he teaches the students. Proud to have been in this dojo family for 6+ years and proud of the friendships we have made there!

Our Reviews