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Kempo Martial Arts - A Brief History
Kempo Martial Arts Centers are located in
Toledo and Sylvania, Ohio. Sensei Tom Nehring is the owner and Head Instructor.
With 250 members, the Kempo Martial Arts team believes human development to
be the worthiest of goals and the Kempo atmosphere to be superior for nurturing
growth in people. We are dedicated to helping those we serve as well as our
teammates to develop physically, emotionally and spiritually. We use
martial arts based self-defense and conditioning programs as well as the latest
exercise science and training technologies to help all those in Kempo develop to
their fullest potential. We offer improved health, security, confidence,
self-discipline, power, excitement, peace, hope and strength as our products.
As some readers may know most Japanese martial
artists are considered hard stylists. Hard styles are characterized by
sharp, quick powerful movements. Some Japanese styles focus on breathing
techniques to enhance power. According to legend, some time ago (probably more
than 100 years) a few Japanese artists traveled to China and returned with an
array of much softer techniques and skills. Descendants of these warriors were
W.K.S. Chow and James Mitose. Chow and Mitose trained together and may have at
one time been partners. When these two finally separated, each to teach on his
own, Chow called his art Kenpo. Mitose called his Kempo.
Ed Parker, A Hawaiian descendant of king Kamaya Maya, studied with William Chow
(son of W.K.S. Chow). Ed Parker moved to the mainland in the 1950's and taught
Kenpo extensively in California. Al and Jim Tracy learned Ed Parker's Kenpo
system and then opened Kenpo schools throughout the United States. Frank Demuro
and Jerry Maggard opened a Tracy's club in 1969, but soon changed the name to
Midwest Studios of Self-Defense. As we understand it, the name was changed in
order to introduce material from Frank's previously studied style of Tang Soo
Do. Today, we still teach Frank's kipon and pinon katas. The name change meant
he no longer taught a strict Tracy's system of Kenpo.
Tom Nehring became a Tracy's student in 1975.
In March of 1976, Midwest Studios of Self-Defense closed its doors. Tom Nehring
bought the equipment in April of that year, hired instructors Jesse Mendoza and
Mike Sherman and opened the first Chinese Kempo Karate location. Without the
rights to use the Tracy's Kenpo name, Tom reverted to James Mitose's KEMPO
Since 1976, Kempo Martial Arts centers have
grown to approximately 250 members, serving Toledo and Sylvania Ohio and much of
southeast Michigan including Temperance, Lambertville and Blissfield. Tom and
his instructors have refined and developed our KEMPO system to its present state
using principles of physics, boxing, and kickboxing. We at Kempo Martial Arts
believe human development is the worthiest of all goals and the Kempo atmosphere
to be the superior condition for developing the inner
strength needed to grow.