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Toledo 419-473-1519
Sylvania 419-885-1519
Bedford, MI 734-850-1519


All the strength you'll ever need...
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 spelling.

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.


Copyright 2006 Kempo Martial Arts. All rights reserved