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About Our Style

American Combat Kempo was originally derived from Mixed Martial Arts by Carter Hargrave (realkarate.com), styles include: Karate, Japanese Jiu-Jitsu and Kobu-Jitsu.  American Combat Kempo is designed for everyone regardless of physical ability or experience. Because our style was designed for anyone, it can be adapted to fit your lifestyle. Even if you are disabled and in a wheel chair we can show you how to use what you have, that way you can defend your life and the lives of those around you.
Here at Boulder Kempo we strive to teach you the best self-defense style, which is why we work with cage/pride fighters on a regular basis. By being diverse in our styles it allows us to teach a self-defense style that is right for you.  The best part about Boulder Kempo?  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain since your first class is *FREE* for you to try.

Be prepared, rather than dead..
Our classes can save your life - is there any excuse not to?

Our classes are a great place to learn self-defense, at Boulder Kempo we provide a non-hostile environment to promote learning so that you can better focus on technique. We can trace our heritage to the legendary female sensei, Yim Wing-Chung and her female instructor Ng Mui.  Legend has it that Yim developed Wing-Chung after needing to defend herself from an abusive husband.


Our head Sensei Frank Deck brings 10 years of teaching experience. He has studied over 30 different styles of martial arts and stepped into the cage multiple times.



Hargrave Martial Arts Self Defense in Action:

Following information is from realkarate:

These are a few of my students who have used their martial arts skill I have taught them to defend their lives. Many of them are beginners who if they were taking lessons somewhere else would not have survived.

11 yr old student severely bullied at school on a daily basis by larger stronger student. Student (yellow belt) after having his lunch tray dumped on the floor yet again, in front of entire grade (and principle) in lunch room struck bully in throat and took him to the floor. My student was suspended for a few days, but immediately after the school principle whispered "that was cool, where did you learn that".

7 yr old student attacked on school bus with scissors. Student (yellow belt) disarmed attacker and took him to the bus floor.

10 yr old student attacked by a 12 yr old with a hammer. Student (yellow belt) disarmed attacker and slammed him on the ground.

Attempted car jacking in Tulsa bank parking lot. Student (brown belt) disabled armed attacker who suffered from groin and bleeding face injuries.

Attempted car jacking in Tulsa Target parking lot. Attacker stabbed at student (orange belt) injuring his favorite shirt, Student took knife from attacker, stabbed him in the butt and waited for police who arrested attacker who had 8 arrest warrants.

Student was filling up with gas at QT in mid town when he felt man stealing his wallet. Student (orange belt stripe) struck the assailant in the face and then took him to the pavement. Tulsa police were in the parking lot and saw the incident and picked the injured attacker up off the ground and helped him to jail.

Student was filling up with gas at Texaco in south Tulsa when a very large hostile yelling man attempted to grab student. Student (orange belt) knocked the much larger attacker unconscious as he fell to the ground. Texaco attendant said there had been problems before with this individual.

Student was on vacation in New York when he was stabbed by a robber in the shoulder. Student (brown belt) struck mugger rupturing his ear and injuring his arm as he took him to the ground. Police arrested attacker after the hospital stay.

Female student was attacked in her south Tulsa apartment late one night. The student heard the attacker at her bedroom window after he had cut the screen and opened it. As he attempted to climb in she grabbed him by the back of the neck and punched him in the face repeatedly, then slammed his head into the window sill repeatedly. He fell outside and rolled around in the flowers and shrubs then stumbled away badly beaten and bleeding.

When crime and violence comes to you, will you be ready?

My students are.


· Kempo = Fist Law

· Karate = Empty Hand

· Ju-jitsu = Gentle Art

· Kobu-jitsu = weapon art


Some situations you would learn to defend yourself from:

· Getting in/out of a car

· Using a restroom

· Being mugged at knife/gun point

· An attempted kidnapping

· Sitting down

· Waking from a deep sleep

· On your knees

· Any situation you can think to ask us about!


Kempo Karate, or Shaolin Kempo as it is sometimes called, is one of the oldest forms of martial arts. It is generally understood that all martial arts began in India, although there are references of combat arts in ancient Egypt .

A man named Bodhidharma (Bow-dee-HAR-ma) was a Buddhist monk who traveled into China. He arrived in Shaolin-si (small forest temple) in about 527 A.D, from India and taught Zen Buddhism. He also introduced a systematized set of exercises designed to strengthen the mind and body. These exercises  marked the beginning of the Shaolin style of temple boxing. Bodhidharma's teachings later became the basis for the majority of Chinese martial arts.  The monks were in a poor condition due to the  amount of time they spent sitting in meditation without any physical exercise.  In return for the monks teachings and lodging, Bodhidharma taught them his fighting art, Chuan Fa, which is Chinese for Kempo, as well as the Buddhism principles.  Thus Kempo's origins are in China from the monks of the Shaolin. The English definition of Kempo is fist law, or hard fist.

In 1921, five year old James Mitose (my-TOE-she) went to Kyushu from his home in Hawaii to study with his uncleChoki Motobu, who was a Kempo master. For fifteen years he studied this art, which was a direct descendent of the original Chinese Chuan Fa. Mitose returned to Hawaii in 1936 to train others. One of his black belts was William K.S. Chow. By 1949, Chow had attracted a following of students to his own teaching style and opened a Dojo at a YMCA. To make his art more distinctive from Mitose's Kempo, he named his style Kenpo. Since then there have been numerous modifications of the original teachings.

When Professor Hargrave founded American Combat Kempo and Combat Martial Arts, it was his goal to return to the original teachings of Kempo that were more effective for self defense, and more harmonious in nature. The low and wide stances that have been the norm for karate arts for many years were changed in favor of upright combat stances for greater mobility and speed. The kicks were brought back to their original form of low level devastation strikes for maximum impact and effectiveness. While the majority of arts require the student to be a black belt before being allowed to practice weapons, American Combat Kempo requires that the student be extremely proficient with various weapons before being allowed to test for the coveted Black Belt.

Another interesting aspect of American Combat Kempo is the ability to test for any rank at any time. There are no time in belt grade requirements. If you have the ability and knowledge you may test for the rank belt. If you can demonstrate all the material in the training manual for black belt the day you start, you will be promoted. Of course the likelihood of that happening is roughly the same as Ed McMahon coming to your door with a check.

Another wonderful aspect of Kempo is its great versatility. Unlike many arts, such as sport tae kwon do or sport karate you don't have to have supernatural flexibility, and practicing wont destroy your joints. The high flashy kicks are never used in defense, unless you want to lose the fight or your life.

All maneuvers, while not easy, can be mastered by anyone.

Kempo's main components are of course the striking and kicking, but also joint locks (when you don't want to injure your attacker) and various takedowns and throws.
We wear black uniforms (GI) and we issue beautiful internationally recognized certificates of rank, with testing available to ninth degree black belt. For his work in bringing this art back to its original form Professor Hargrave has been honored with the founders award, the founder / SOKE of American Combat Kempo / Combat Martial Arts.



DESHI: Disciple or trainee - A student regardless of rank.
KOHAI: Junior - A beginning student.
SEMPAI: Senior - A title given to brown belts if no black belts are present.
SENSEI: Teacher or instructor - A black belt qualified to teach.
SHIHAN: Master teacher - Instructor of very high rank, sixth degree or above.
SHIDOSHI: Leader or Teacher.
SOKE: Headmaster of a Ryu or System



TITLE (Not all receive titles)

TASHI: Expert - A third or fourth degree black belt.
RENSHI: Polished expert - A fifth or sixth degree black belt.
KYOSHI: Expert instructor - A sixth or seventh degree black belt.
HANSHI: Master - A respected master of eighth to tenth degree black belt.
PROFESSOR: Master- High master in system of martial arts (any origin), usually a Grandmaster.



O'SENSEI: Great instructor - Highest master within a system. A title generally reserved for Ueshiba or Funakoshi.
KAICHO: Master of the house - Senior master of a system.
MEIJIN: Expert - One who has mastered an art beyond the boundaries of physical prowess. A magician.
MENKYO-KAIDEN: A certificate of full proficiency in a Japanese martial art.



Color belts
White, 10 Kyu
Yellow, 9 Kyu
Yellow 1 stripe, 8 Kyu
Ornage, 7 Kyu
Orange 1 stripe, 6 Kyu
Green, 5 Kyu
Green 1 stripe, 4 Kyu
Brown, 3 Kyu
Brown 1 stripe, 2 Kyu
Brown 2 stripe, 1 Kyu

Black belts
Shodan, 1st degree
Nidan, 2nd degree
Sandan, 3rd degree
Yodan, 4th degree
Godan, 5th degree
Rokudan, 6th degree
Shichidan, 7th degree
Hachidan, 8th degree
Kudan, 9th degree
Judan, 10th degree

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 October 2011 20:23