Kempo Karate - American Kickboxing

This program is for ages 12 and up

The Style: “Law of the Fist”

‘Kempo’ (alt. ‘Kenpo’) Karate belongs to a category of martial arts originally developed in Japan and brought to North America  in the early 20th century.  Kempo Karate was introduced to Canada in the 1950’s and traces its lineage through Margitte Hilbig and Olaf Simon. In it’s “traditional” form Kempo is a system of martial arts that incorporates techniques from karate, Japanese jiu-jitsu, kung-fu, and Japanese kickboxing.  In it’s “modern” form Kempo also incorporates techniques from Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai. The hallmark of Kempo Karate is its dynamic nature.  Effective techniques are assimilated while ineffective techniques are discarded.  It is for this reason that Kempo is considered to be more progressive than other styles of karate. The Panther Karate and Kickboxing Studio started in Edmonton in 1978 as a traditional Karate Studio and moved towards “full-contact karate” and “kickboxing” a couple of years later under the influence of Jimmy Walker, Mike O’Dell, and Daryl Duke. Daryl Duke, owner of the Panther Gym until 2000, eventually became the Welterweight Canadian and Commonwealth Kickboxing Champion, while Jimmy Walker enjoyed much success as a professional heavyweight fighter. Gary Dawson took over as Head Instructor of the Panther Karate Club in the early 1990’s.  Sensei Dawson is a 4th degree Black Belt who has over 35 years of experience in the martial arts.  Scott Ogonoski received his 1st Degree Black Belt in 1996 from Sensei Duke and Sensei Dawson, and his 2nd Degree from Sensei Dawson in 2003.

The Kempo Karate program follows the belt promotion requirements of the Panther Karate Club which was established in 1978 in Edmonton. Belts are awarded after students demonstrate proficiency at each stage of their training and pass a belt test which is administered by black belt instructors. Belts progress through the following colours:


Elements of the karate program include traditional stances, kicks, strikes, blocks and katas. Discipline, self control and respect are fundamental to the program. Self defence techniques involve the throws, trips, joint locks and chokes taken from Judo and Jiujitsu. Street practicality is enhanced by a large emphasis on boxing and kickboxing.

Some athletes in the program pursue the sport aspects of boxing and kickboxing. Members can compete in local tournaments and even progress to amateur sanctioned events.

The Kempo Karate program retains the Kempo backbone for belt grading and transmission of traditional techniques but places higher emphasis on kickboxing technique (boxing, clinch, leg kicks, knees, elbows) for practical application.

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4 weeks + Free Uniform

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