These are the individual moves, the building blocks of the Kenpo system. These include punches, kicks, elbows and other strikes, blocks, stances and foot manoeuvres.

Self Defence Techniques

Practised with a partner, self defence techniques teach how to survive various different forms of attack, and retaliate effectively. Each self defence scenario also serves as a means to teach wider concepts and principles, which relate to strategy or ways to maximise strength. Strategic lessons include how to prevent the attacker from launching additional strikes, or how your own strikes can be used to set up the next target, for example. Techniques reveal the potential applications of the body’s natural weapons, expanding awareness of the options available.

Sets & Forms

Sets and Forms are sequences of basics, practised without a partner. These are used for a number of reasons, such as to teach coordination of the upper and lower body, to perform offensive/defensive actions with the arms while moving around the floor, with proper effective timing. They also serve as a structured way to practise basics, and serve to remind the student that the ability to control another person’s body ultimately rests on the ability to control your own body.


Fight! Not full-contact. Sparring develops your ability to block unannounced attacks, and perception of your opponent’s vulnerabilities. Sparring also helps develop an appreciation of range, and the importance of stamina and efficient movement.


The Kenpo syllabus is divided into several coloured belt grades. Each grade presents new basics, techniques, sets and forms.