Only A Warrior May Choose To Walk Away




The Rules and Characteristics of

Sil Lum Kenpo Ryu

By Jim Hanna



The first rule of Sil Lum Kenpo Ryu is awareness. All successful self defense is predicated upon this rule. You can not successfully defend yourself if you are not properly aware. It does not matter if you hold a black belt, if you are armed with a weapon, or if you can bench press 400 pounds. If you are not aware, then you will be injured or killed. Only through this, the first rule of Kenpo, is one protected from all of the forms of violence, i.e. direct violence, indirect violence, chance encounter, or reckless/negligent violence. A simple code for reminding us of awareness is the color code of combat. White = relaxed and unaware. Yellow = relaxed but alert. Orange = anticipating a problem. Red = action is occurring. Black = deadly force confrontation.



The second rule of Kenpo is fighting spirit. This rule can be summed up in the epigram: "will beats skill". More properly stated: "will without skill beats skill without will." The development of fighting spirit is absolutely necessary in order to implement any of the physical skills of Kenpo. It involves the "never give up" attitude but extends beyond that to the willingness to cause trauma and even death to an attacker(s). It is the fuel needed to ignite and power a self defense technique during an actual gut check assault.



The third component of Kenpo is physical skill. Physical skill is embodied in and developed through the curriculum of Kenpo. Numerous self defense techniques are taught for a variety of self defense situations. These situations include escapes and counters for grabs, pushes, holds, locks, chokes, throws, punches and kicks. As one's skill develops, escapes and counters to multiple assailants is learned. Next, unarmed defenses against various weapons attacks are learned. These include attacks with sticks, knives, and pistols. At the highest level, spontaneous responses are initiated against any combination of attacks, i.e. multiple attackers with and without weapons. The curriculum of Kenpo not only teaches the "how" of physical skill but also gives examples of the "when". When the techniques are learned and mastered then "ability" is attained. When "ability" is coupled with "awareness" and "fighting spirit" then "capability" is attained. Then through constant practice "capability" is maintained.


Sil Lum Kenpo Ryu Federation