Earning a Purple Belt in Kenpo Karate

By December 1, 2019 December 5th, 2019 No Comments

A Purple Belt In Kenpo Karate. To Earn Your Purple Belt In American Kenpo Karate, You Must Learn And Demonstrate Competency In 4 Areas: 1) Self Defense Techniques; 2) Sets; 3) Forms; 4) Freestyle Moves.

1) Self Defense Techniques —  There are 24 techniques in the purple belt karate belt level developed by Sr. Grand Master Ed Parker. At purple belt level, the self-techniques include both offensive and defensive moves in response to multiple angles of attack.


Below is a list of the techniques organized by category of attack.

Grabs & Tackles

  • Charging Ram
  • Darting Mace
  • Twin Kimono


  • Snapping Twig
  • Parting Wings
  • Hooking Wings


  • Leaping Crane
  • Thundering Hammer
  • Shield and Sword
  • Sleeper


  • Swinging Pendulum

Holds & Hugs

  • Crushing Hammer
  • Squeezing The Peach
  • Gift in Return
  • Spiraling Twig

Locks & Chokes

  • Captured Leaves
  • Twirling Wings
  • Circling Wing
  • Bow of Compulsion
  • Cross of Destruction
  • Flight to Freedom


  • Evading the Storm
  • Calming the Storm

2) Sets

Finger Set 1 — Finger set 1 trains the open hands and fingers as offensive weapons that move in both straight lines and circles. Fingers are intended to hit soft targets.

Check out Casa de Kenpo’s Finger Set 1 demonstration.

Stance Set 1 — Stance Set teaches American Kenpo Karate’s basic stances: horse, neutral, cat, twist, reverse bow, forward bow, rotating twist, and fighting horse.

3) Forms — Forms are also known as katas. Short Form 2 is the kata required for purple Belt. This kata teaches you to advance while defending with the assumption that you cannot retreat backwards.

Short Form 2 contains a lot of information, including (but not limited to) the following:

Stances:  attention, horse, neutral, cat, wide rear twist, wide kneel, forward bow
Basic Blocks:  inward, vertical outward, upward, downward, extended ouward
Angle Changes:  45 °
Natural Weapons:  handsword, fist, middle knuckle fist, heel palm, half fist
Basic Methods of Execution:  thrusting, raking, snapping
Checking Strikes
Economy of Motion
Timing:  Hard and Soft rhythmic timing

4) Freestyle Techniques — these techniques are commonly used for sparring. At the purple belt level, practitioners are expected to incorporate more offensive maneuvers. Check out this demonstration from of freestyle techniques for purple, compliments of Casa de Kenpo.

Earning a Purple Belt in Kenpo Karate is quite an accomplishment, as it represents a growing mastery of the previous two levels and a growing level of sophistication.