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History of Shojukempo ryu

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The History of Shoju-kempo ryu
 by founder
Hanshi Larry S. L. Martin
10th Dan Grandmaster / Soke / Prof.

This Traditional Japanese Ryu is a Combination of 3 Major Ryu's (styles) Sho-Shotokan, Ju- Aikijujitsu, and Kempo. Founded in the year of 1978 by Soke Martin after winning the New England Middleweight title in Kickboxing, Soke Martin was sick of the one style training, so he and 3 of his Black Belt Students came up with the Ryu called Shojukempo .

Teaching traditional Shotokan Karate-do & Okinawan Kempo as the foundation of Shojukempo, adding Combat Aikijujitsu as the finishing touch. This 24-year-old Ryu has made its way into the lives of many Rhode Islanders and has spread to N. Carolina, Conn., Delaware N.J. and Romania.

I have trained with many well known Grandmasters in my time, men like Grandmaster William R. Gregory of the Kajukenpo Pai Lum System, Grandmaster Daniel K. Pai founder of the Pai Lum System, Grandmaster Nick Cerio of the Nick Cerio Kenpo Jujitsu System, Grandmaster George Pasere of the Karazenpo Goshin Jitsu System, Grandmaster Ed Parker of American Kenpo, Grandmaster Kali K. Griffen of Kajukenpo Pai Lum, Maestro Guseppi Guaraldi of the JKA Shotokan Karate-do, Shihan Earnest St. Laurent Sr. of Shotokan Karate-do, Shihan Lee Getty of the Kyokushinkai Karate-do, Master Richard Chun of Moo Duk Kwan Taekwondo, and Sensei Joe Fri of Goju-kan Karate-do. These Martial Art Masters were the force behind me to form the Shojukempo System.

We practice more (Kata) forms then (Kumite) fighting, and for this reason, Kata teaches you the Basic's of fighting. The more Kata you practice the better you get in Kumite, Master Funakoshi believed in Kata practice 5000 time or more! We follow the teachings of Master Gichin Funakoshi to the book! Some Kata we practice are from Chito-ryu, Shindo-do Ryu, Goju-ryu & Okinawan Kempo, there is about 50 Kata in the Shojukempo System. All classes are taught in the traditional Japanese manner! But if any Shojukempo student is backed up against the wall they will fight to win!

Shojukempo teaches discipline, respect, honor, and academics. All Shojukempo students’ academics must be an A+ or a B+ in order to advance to the next rank! We don't give our rank you have to earn it the hard way!

The founding members of Shojukempo are Prof. Larry S. L. Martin 10th Dan., with 41 1/2 years of Martial Art training, Hanshi Robert M. Handley 9th Dan., with 41 1/2 years of Martial Arts training, Kyoshi Raheem Bay Haq Darden 8th Dan., with 38 years of Martial Arts training, Sijo Samadd Haq Darden 9th Dan., with 39 1/2 years of Martial Arts training.

Some of you are saying to yourselves, another Karate System? But Shojukempo Karate-do is not just another Karate style or System. It’s the 3 Ryu’s (styles) of Traditional Martial Arts that makes this Ryu different from other Ryu's. We Practice the old Way of Master Gichin Funakoshi. 

Before he came to Japan he was practicing Shorin-ryu & Shorei-ryu plus other styles, but Shorin-ryu and Shorei-ryu are the major two styles that he combined together to form the modern style called Shotokan. 

Shojukempo, you can say was formed the same way. We have both of his arts together, his old way and his new modern way. 

Shojukempo students’ practice the old Kata, which Funakoshi learned in his home land of Okinawa. Most of the Kata are Chinese influenced with Chinese names. Our students learn Okinawa Kempo version and the Japanese version. It is so cool to see the students practice the old and the new way.

Okinawa Kata Pinan, Chinto, Koshokun, Jitte and Passai, are from the Shorin-ryu Style. Naihanchi, Jion and Wanshu, are from the Shorei-ryu Style. 

Now the Japanese Version are the same but with a slight change Heian, Chinte, Tekki, Bassai-dai, (Bassai-sho), Kanku-dai (Kanku-sho), Jitte, Jion, Jiin and Unsu, Empi, Soshin, Nijushiho, Gojushiho-dai (Gojushiho-sho), Gankaku, Hangetsu, Wankan, Meikyo, Ju-no Kata (ten no Kata) and Taikyoku. Now these 4 Kata were put together by Master Funakoshi's Son.

We are the only dojo in the Country that still practice the Taikyoku Kata. The Taikyoku Kata are the introductory Kata for the beginner student, in the other dojo's they start with the Heian Kata as an introductory Kata.

In my last article I said that we practice Shotokan Karate-do to the book. When I mean to the book its;

1. Kihon (meaning basic's)

2. Kata (meaning forms)

3. Kumite (meaning fighting)

Where we left off...we talked about the 3 Ks, Kihon, Kata, and Kumite. Now I will take you through the Kempo side of Shojukempo. In the world today there are many versions of Kenpo & Kempo. At our dojo we the Okinawan Version of Kempo. Now, I have trained under many well know Grandmasters from around the country. Men like Grandmaster George Pasere of the Karazenpo Go Shinjutsu System, Grandmaster / Prof. Nick Cerio of the Nick Cerio Kenpo Ju-jitsu System an offshoot from the Karazenpo Go Shinjutsu System. Grandmaster William R. Gregory of the Kajukempo System which is an offshoot from the Nick Cerio System, Grandmaster Ed Parker of the American Kenpo System, which is an offshoot from the Kosho Ryu System under Grandmasters William K. S .Chow and Frank Chow. 

 Now what make theses Ryus (styles) different are these great men where from different parts of the country. Teaching their versions of Kenpo, Kempo Karate-do in the States. American Kenpo Ed Parker California, Hawaiian Kenpo or Kosho Ryu Kenpo William K. S. Chow, Japanese Kosho Ryu Kempo James Mitose, Hawaiian Karazenpo Go Shinjutsu Victor "Sonny" Gascon which was known as Shaolin Kempo or Shaolin Chuan Fa. Hawaiian Kajukenpo was founded by Sijo Emperado. There are four other men responsible for the Kajukenpo System, Hawaiian Pai Lum Tao Grandmaster Daniel K Pai.

There are many dojos around the world and the United States that teach many different versions of Kenpo, Kempo. Some teach the Chinese version of Kenpo Chuan Fa, some teach the Hawaiian version of Kenpo or Kempo, some teach the American version of Kenpo, and some teach the Japanese Version of Kempo. Chinese, Okinawan, and Japanese movements with soft & hard techniques influence some of the Kata. 

Now at the Rhode Island Shotokan Karate Hombu Dojo headquarters, Hanshi Martin teaches the different versions of Kata to his Shojukempo students, to show respect to the men that passed away, men like Grandmaster Ed Parker, Prof. Nick Cerio, Grandmaster William R. Gregory, Grandmaster Daniel K. Pai. I have taken 2 Kata from each of these mens Ryu to make Shojukempo a unique system to study, for everyone who is truly interested in learning the true meaning of Martial Arts!