When you are told to choose any martial art between Kenpo and Kyokushin to train, which one do you think you go with?

Indeed, you will have a hard time choosing since you may be unfamiliar with these combat tactics. Basically, Kenpo and Kyokushin purpose defending, attacking, and weakening the opponent using various combat tactics.

You are not far from choosing whether to go with Kenpo or Kyokushin. By going through this article, you will learn about these two martial arts, their differences, and similarities, and understand their basics.

Differences between Kenpo and Kyokushin


If you are not aware, Kenpo just originated from karate-based China. It was called “Chuan Fa ” meaning fist law.

Before spreading to Okinawa, Chuan Fa was practiced in early Shaolin. In Okinawa is where this combat art was named Kenpo before spreading to other parts of the world.

The practitioners of Kenpo used a mixed combat tactic and made this form of karate an indigenous blended art.

For example, practitioners borrowed most tactics from the wrestling of Europe and the boxing of the United States.

This blending of various arts into one form created Kenpo which was systematic and unique.

The general form of Kenpo is meant to defend and attack stopping the opponent through various tactics.

Kenpo involves tactics such as chokes, locks, punching, kicking, pulling and pushings, grabbing, and holding.

The Kenpo fighter can combine all these tactics to attack the opponent. Weapons are also used in Kenpo although they may be light ones.

There are five anatomical systems or arrays of attacks practitioners(fighters) of Kenpo can use to strike their opponents. These include

  • muscular system
  • The neurological(nerves) system
  • articular i.e bones & joints
  • circulatory system, i.e blood system
  • respiratory system, which includes breath

While utilizing the body parts like the forehead, toes, and fingertips, the Kenpo fighter launches blindingly fast strikes hitting multiple targets in the opponent’s body.


Just like Kenpo, Kyokushin is a kind of karate–the difference is that it is a martial art with roots in Japan.

Kyokushin is a style of fighting characterized by hard training, stand-up fighting, and a discipline for self-improvement.

Moves of Kyokushin are meant to destroy the opponent. It involves techniques useful in fighting at both close contact and distance attacking.

There is the usage of knees, nasty punches, barrage strikes, and vicelbowselbow to either back off or damage the opponent.

Similarities between Kenpo and Kyokushin

  • Kenpo and Kyokushin are both karate combat styles.
  • Both Kenpo Kyokushin styles emphasize teaching discipline and defense besides improving physical health.
  • Both combat tactics are an all-inclusive system of martial arts that is based on the ancient martial arts that have been applied to solve modern-day violent techniques using practicality and logic to survive non-consensual violent confrontations.
  • They are both characterized by the use of powerful quick moves from the natural weapons of the body and powered by quick stance transitions that make up the footwork.
  • Both Kenpo and Kyokushin use kicks, elbows, open-hand strikes, knees, and elbows to disable opponents.
  • They both teach thief practitioners to breathe and block strikes properly.
  • They both utilize weapons and the commonly used weapons are knives and daggers.
  • Both Kenpo and Kyokushin feature a common goal; self-defense.

Which is better to learn?

Kenpo and Kyokushin are good but Kyokushin is far better even though not known by many. Kyokushin is better because it features intense Intense training techniques while emphasizing low but powerful kicks. Additionally, it featured a good share of stand-up grappling throws techniques.

Just like other karate martial arts, Kyokushin emphasizes solid punches and power alongside speed.

Kyokushin karate has been known to be the strongest karate because of its incredible strength feats and endurance performed by Masitatsu, its founder.

It is also considered strong for its rigorous tournament and training requirements.

What to choose?

Kenpo and Kyokushin are good and you can choose any of the two depending on your likes, preferences, and capability.

But if you wish to choose the better style with the best strike then Kyokushin could be the right choice for you.

Kyokushin can be the best choice because it is useful and realistic in self-defense as it is not just about using sheer power but skill.


Kenpo is a combat system that originated in China with its roots in Shaolin. The martial art is a mixed martial art where its practitioners mixed elements from other martial arts into its style.

These defense and attack systems involve holds, pulls, grabs, locks, kicking and punching chokes, multiple components, and a blend of all the elements.

The system uses a wide range of attacks on the five anatomical systems: muscular system, nerves, articular, respiratory and circulatory.

Kyokushin on the other hand is a bare-knuckle karate that originated in Japan by Masutatsu.

Martial arts emphasize close-range fighting where practitioners use kicks to the legs, head, and body and also punches to the upper body below the neck area.

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