Black Belt in Kenpo Karate

Black Belt in Kenpo Karate

According to Sr. Grandmaster Ed Parker’s Book 5, there are 3 levels of Black Belt Curriculum in the Kenpo Karate 24 Technique system. Today’s blog will focus on the 1st Degree Black Belt.

1) Self Defense Techniques: There are 24 techniques in the 1st degreekenpokarate level developed by Mr. Parker. At 1st degree Black Belt, the self-techniques revisit purple belt with extensions. The extensions offer the kenpoist the opportunity to anticipate and assume secondary attacks from the opponent. While there may not be full agreement about this, we assume that the secondary attack is coming from a resistant and engaged opponent (as opposed to an opponent who is incapacitated and not re-engaging). In the American Kenpo Curriculum, purple belt is the first level that introduces tackles as attacks. Starting with the orange belt extensions, the secondary attacks of tackles continue to expand the category. In the 1st degree Black Belt curriculum, there are two main themes to the secondary attacks: bear hugs & grabs & tackles (low & high/ body & wrist), and re-engaging from the rear & the ground (stomach and back).

Check out the ending to Captured Leaves that demonstrates how to defend against a secondary attack.

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

Grabs & Tackles:

  • Twirling Wings
  • Charging Ram
  • Darting Mace
  • Twin Kimono


  • Snapping Twig
  • Parting Wings
  • Hooking Wings


  • Leaping Cran
  • Thundering Hammers
  • Shield and Sword
  • Sleeper


  • Swinging Pendulum

Hugs & Holds:

  • Crushing Hammer
  • Squeezing the Peach/li>
  • Gift in Return
  • Spiraling Twig

Locks & Chokes:

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


  • Evading the Storm
  • Calming the Storm
  • Obstructing the Storm

2) Forms: Forms are also known as katas. Long Form 6 is the kata required for 1st Degree Black Belt in Kenpo Karate. This kata is composed of 13 techniquesdefending against the following weapons: knives, club, and gun. The techniques are performed on both the right and left side.

Check out Mr. Jeffcoat performing Long Form 6.

Techniques in Long Form 6

  1. Glancing Lance
  2. Unfurling Lance
  3. Clipping the Lance
  4. Thrusting Lance
  5. Raining Lance
  6. Capturing the Storm
  7. Circling the Storm
  8. Escape from the Storm
  9. Capturing the Rod
  10. Broken Rod
  11. Defying the Rod
  12. Twisted Rod


3) Sets: 2 Man Set or Black Belt Set

Check out Mr. Jeffcoat and Daniel Tyebkhan performing Black Belt Set

4) Freestyle Techniques: these techniques are commonly used for sparring. At the 1st Black Belt level, practitioners are expected to incorporate more offensive and multi-set maneuvers that may result in takedowns using sweeps, hook kicks, and roundhouse kicks.

Earning a Black Belt in Kenpo Karate is the result and accomplishment of many years of practice.  At Black Belt level, practitioners realize that it is only the beginning!