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Trying to remember the name of a kempo style I did as a child.

  • It had the 7 star blocking pattern as a white belt sequence.
  • It was a five animal (tiger, leopard, crane, snake, dragon) style. Each animal was associated with a range of belts. For example, tiger was associated with white through (i believe) orange.
  • One of the yellow belt sequences was "Tiger Vs. The Clock".
  • The salute involved raising the hands above the head and forming a triangle with the forefingers and thumb.
  • It was, in fact, spelled Kempo rather than Kenpo.

I don't think it was Villari's Shaolin Kempo Karate. This is for a couple of reasons:

  • I don't think Karate was in the name of the style (could be wrong)
  • Nor do I think Shaolin was in the name of the style (could be wrong), though pains were taken to associate the origin of the style with the Shaolin temple.
  • I am fairly certain the name Villari was not in the name of the style, nor was it ever mentioned.

I'm hoping that the above bullet points will help someone who has practiced the style to identify it based on the content of the curriculum.

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Maybe White Tiger Kempo? A lot of what I see in what you wrote points to Ed Parker, Nick Cerio, Villari, and the Kajukenbo system. Another thing to keep in mind is that "kenpo" is often used interchangeably with "kempo", even in the same martial art. Sometimes it's spelled a different way just to spin off a school and separate from the main branch, but it's often just up to a particular preference. There's also "5 Animal Kempo" out there. I don't know if any of those styles are a direct hit. –  Steve Weigand Dec 31 '13 at 4:57

1 Answer 1

Sounds to me like a stylized version of American Kenpo (Ed Parker, Tracey, etc.). I practice Tracey Kenpo and we've got a technique we learn as yellow belts called "Attacking Circle" which is used to teach clock-based directions (e.g. Move to 3 o'clock, step to 4:30, etc.) which could easily be called "Tiger vs The Clock" if you were feeling artistic.

This is also consistent with the salutation you describe. you can see the american kenpo salutation here:

My school also associates orange belt with Tiger.

As with many martial arts systems, there is a lot of variety in how the art is taught, practiced, the nomenclature, etc. from dojo to dojo. you can often use the differences to track back and see who taught whom (ie your sensei's unique features probably track back to his sensei).

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