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Kenpo Terms



Back-Up-Mass - The use of body weight that is directly behind the action that is taking place. For example, (1) a punch delivered when the elbow is directly behind the fist, or (2) the bracing of one finger directly behind the other when delivering a two finger chop to the throat, etc. Back-Up Mass is greatly enhanced when proper body alignment is achieved. Body alignment gets mass into proper perspective and allows the body to take full advantage of channeling weight and energy while traveling in the same direction (directional harmony)

Balance - Two triangles, head and chest. If they point in different directions, balance is off.

Basics - Simplified moves that comprise the fundamentals of Kenpo. They are divided into stances, maneuvers, blocks, strikes, parries, kicks, punches, specialized moves and methods, etc.

Belt Ranking System - A colored belt system used to grade the students' ability and proficiency. This judgment is determined after a student undergoes a performance test.

Black Dot Focus - Our Kenpo concept of focus. We visualize a black dot on a white background representing total awareness. Our concern is not only to maximize power, but protection as well.

Block - A defensive maneuver used to check or hinder an opponent.

Bob and Weave - Body maneuvers used to avoid an attack. A "bob" involves a vertical movement of the body. A "weave" is a horizontal side to side movement of the body.

Body Alignment - This involves the placing of angles into perspective. It is the coordination of body parts in order to harmonize the angles at which they travel. All parts of the body are aligned to travel in one direction. This principle, when followed, automatically triggers the principle of back-up-mass where body weight enhances your action.

Body Fulcrum - Using the natural curvatures of the body as launching platforms to accelerate the speed and force of the Conchaku or other short weapon.

Body Fusion - A concept in which body parts move as a unit prior to relaying action to other parts of the body. These body parts are literally fused together in order to function as a single unit. Body fusion can occur any time during the course of a sequential flow of action.

Body Momentum - The utilization of body weight to increase the force of your action. It involves the coordination of mind, breath, strength, and body weight while shuffling forward or in reverse so that all forces are moving in unison.

Branch - Refers to the leg as used in a technique.

Borrowed Force - An opponent's force which is used to defeat him. This can be accomplished by going with the opponent's force or, upon occasion, going against his force. The concept allows your opponent's force to enhance the effectiveness of your action.

Borrowed Reach - You can have Borrowed Reach without Borrowed Force, but not the other way around. Use Borrowed Reach to get Borrowed Force. A kick to the groin, gives you Borrowed Reach (bends attacker over and gets them closer to us) but we don't get Borrowed Force until you follow the kick with a strike.

By-The-Numbers - Methods used to teach beginners the basics. Each step is given a number. This is similar in principle to using phonics.