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Kenpo Terms



Salute - Refers to a heel palm strike as used in a technique.

Salutation - A series of moves and/or gestures in Kenpo to indicate respect to one you are greeting or competing against at a tournament, in opening and closing a class, etc.

Scooping - The execution of a weapon that resembles the dipping motion of a shovel. It is literally a reverse hook that is delivered vertically.

Self-Correcting - Having a thorough knowledge of the principles, concepts and theories of the Martial Arts so as to have the ability to consistently make correct judgments to maximize every move.

Sentences of Motion - Same as paragraphs of motion, only the techniques are not as prolonged.

Set - A term used by Western Chinese to describe a form. See definition of form.

Settle - The gradual sinking of your body weight and height each time you alter the width or depth of your stance. Gravitational marriage occurs with each height adjustment.

Set-Up - Refers to conditioning your opponent to react in a specific manner so that his response corresponds to your desired strategic plan.

Shaolin Monastery - The most famous historical temple in China where many of the monks who trained in the Martial Arts became noted masters in the hope of recapturing China from the Manchurians and restoring China to its rightful heirs. Shorinji Temple

Shotokan - A Japanese system of Karate developed by Gichin Funakoshi.

Shovel Kick - A specific method of kicking where the path of the action resembles the dipping motion of a shovel when it is in use. This special kick allows your foot to strike two targets with the same move.

Shuffle - Shifting the body forward and back to close or increase the distance between you and your opponent.

Signify - A physical gesture using the fingers to indicate the number of the Form that is about to be demonstrated.

Sil Lum Monastery - A Cantonese term for the Shaolin Monastery.

Skeletal Bones - Human bones that form the framework that support tissues and protect the internal organs of our bodies and which certain Kenpo strikes, etc. destruct.

Slicing - An offensive maneuver whereby the weapon being used skims the surface of the target being struck. This action is normally restricted to using a specific area of your natural weapon where no real depth occurs during contact, i.e., an eye slice. However, although the depth is not as penetrating as a rake, it is, nevertheless, effective. It is basically a minor move that is used to set your opponent up for a major move.

Sliding Check - A specialized pinning block that travels on an opponent's body by sliding from one leverage point to another. During the course of each slide, constant body contact is maintained so as not to allow for retaliation. This is a form of body contouring.

Snapping - A method of execution requiring the natural weapon to strike out and back with greater magnitude than the action of a whip and is much like that of a striking serpent.

Solar plexus - Always hit solar plexus at a 45 degree angle (up or down) because it's thin and a straight on strike is likely to miss it.

Sophisticated Moves - Single moves that have multiple results.

Sophisticated Simplicity - Basic movements that entail more than the eyes can see, though singular in appearance, they are multiple in action.

Southern Systems - Generally refers to those Martial Art systems practiced in southern China. These systems concentrated more on hand instead of foot movements.

Spear - Refers to a finger poke as used in a technique.

Specialized Moves and Methods - Moves and methods that have distinct characteristics of their own. They are neither blocks or strikes and are, therefore, in a category or division apart from the others.

Speed - Equal to the distance divided by the time (s=d/t) it takes to act or move. There are three categories of speed-perceptual, mental, and physical (body performance). However, although categorized separately in order to analyze what speed entails, these three elements, nevertheless, function as one.

Spiritual Sensitivity - Level of mental development that is brought about by the harmonious unification of the conscious and subconscious minds which unrestrictively allows one unlimited perceptual latitude.

Spiritual Unification - Synchronization of the powers of the mind.

Spontaneous Stage - The stage where the student's reactions are performed naturally, impulsively and without restraint, effort, or premeditation.

Step Drag - Stepping forward or back with one foot as the other drags to meet it. This is one of the three methods of executing a shuffle.

Step Through - The execution of one full step forward or back, or in the case of a step through kick, it means kicking with the rear foot and planting that foot forward or kicking with the forward foot and planting that foot back.

Stomping - A thrusting method using the foot to strike down toward targets located on or near the ground.

Street Fighter - Usually an individual without any formal training who fights without ethics. Anything goes even if weapons are needed to be assured of victory.

Street Freestyle - Kenpo stylists who are street fighters with formal training. Moves are used scientifically to obtain the best results in the shortest period of time against one or more aggressors. Rules do not exist in such encounters.

Strike - The delivery of natural body weapons in hitting human targets, the method of which excludes punches and kicks.

Striking Block - Any block that bucks or goes against the force of an opponent's strike.

Storm - Refers to a club attack as used in a technique.

Style - Is the word used to describe the manner in which an individual applies and executes the system he has learned.

Superconscious State - This state is created when the conscious and subconscious minds harmonize and work as one to bring about that genie which is in each of us. When brought to the surface, this genie performs beyond the limits placed upon our natural or normal self.

Surface Concentration - Is concerned with the impact force between weapon and target and the resulting stresses that occur. It follows the principle of a pin or a nail where the surface of the natural weapon being used is as small an area as possible in order to have a more penetrating effect on the target.

Switch - Is changing from one stance or position to another while in place. This is done while moving the feet from one spot to another. This involves a lead leg where one or two things can happen, (a) you can step back then move forward, (b) step forward then move back, or a third possibility jumping in place.

Sword - Refers to the knife edge of the hand as used in a technique.

System - Is the unification of related concepts, ideas, principles, facts, truths, and basic elements of a particular school of Martial Arts.