The following Documentation is of great historical importance to any Kenpo / Kempo historian.
THE TEXT BOOK
PRACTICED IN JAPAN
by S. K. UYENISHI
This JU-JUTSU book was written when all of this information was current.
Kempo was a well known and established killing art!
In 1878 the new Japanese government eliminated two traditions: first they eliminated the Samurai as a class and outlawed their wearing of swords and at the same time. KEMPO was declared an illegal practice when the sanctity of human life was recognized under the new regime. Prior to this time the Samurai had the power of life and death over anyone of less rank. If they thought a commoner or peasant had offended them in anyway, they could kill that person with complete immunity.
For those of you who saw the TV show Shogun there is a classic example. In one of the opening scenes peasant does not properly bow to a Samurai - for this offense the offended Samurai draws his sword and beheads the offender. Wiping his blade of the blood he continued on his way.
This JU-JUTSU book also indicates that at this historical period Kempo was a well known Deadly, killing art. Also the Japanese were well aware of its Chinese origin. During this period in Japan's history they were trying to eliminate as many foreign influences as possible. At this same time they also outlawed the various sects of Zen and Buddhism and once again established Shinto, with the emperor being a God as the official religion of Japan.
As Practiced in Japan
Being a simple treatise on the
Japanese Method of Self Defense
By S. K. UYENISHI
Instructor to the following Colleges in Japan
Riku-gun yo-nan gako (The Military College for Officers)
Tai-iku-kai (The Imperial Military College of Physical Training
Shi-han-gako (The School of Instructors)
Jun sa kio-shun sho (The Police Training School)
All Government Schools in Osaka
The Army Gymnastic Staff Head Quarters Gymnasium, Aldershot
With a Word Portrait of the Author by Percy Londhurst*
ATHLETIC PUBLICATIONS LTD.
324 Gray's Inn Road, London, W. C.
As you can see, the author S. K. UYENISHI has very impressive credentials. His father Kichibe Uyenishi was also a great Ju-Jutsu instructor and practitioner. The father of the author was alive during this turbulent period (1867-1899) of Japanese (and Martial Arts) history were the old feudal system of Japan was replaced by the Meiji regime.
One of the styles alluded to, known as the Kempo, which may be roughly described as a Method of killing people, possessed many points of resemblance to Ju-jutsu but was totally different in practice, being a system of self-defense against sudden attack with intent to kill and replying thereto in kind. It was certainly more closely related to ju-jutsu than are Boxing (even under the old Prize Ring rules) or le savate to Wrestling. It might perhaps be best compared to that very strenuous old Greek Physical Contest, which was known as the Pancration. By-the-way, I may here remark on the possible derivation of the old English phrase "Kempery man" and the Anglo-Saxon cempa, signifying "a warrior," from the Japanese Kempo. This is a point which should not be without interest to etymologists, and particularly to those who follow the late Professor Max Muller in his theory of the Indo-Germanic origin of the Anglo-Saxon Race.
Kempo, of course, was a system of attack and defense which branched off from ju-jutsu into the paths of strenuous endeavor, but, apart from the fact that it was less scientific than, ju-jutsu, it was declared an illegal practice when the sanctity of human life was recognized under the new regime.
Another analogous system, known as tori in some parts of Japan and as shime in others, was an extension of ju-jutsu in, the department of ground work, and it is more than possible that many of the locks and holds of ju-jutsu were originated by exponents of tori. The last named system cannot, however, be compared with the "soft art" as a method of self-defense, as but slight importance was devoted to "throws," the modus operandi being mainly confined to falling to the ground yourself