Kenpo Self-Defense Drill for Beginners

Self-defence is a valuable skill for everyone to possess, and Kenpo, with its practical and effective techniques, offers a structured approach to self-protection. For beginners in Kenpo, it’s essential to start with foundational self-defence drills that help build skills, boost confidence, and instil the principles of this martial art. In this article, we’ll guide you through a comprehensive Kenpo self-defence drill designed specifically for beginners.

The Importance of Self-Defense Drills

Self-defense drills in Kenpo serve as a bridge between theoretical knowledge and practical application. They help you understand the principles of the martial art and develop the muscle memory required to execute techniques effectively in real-life situations. These drills also build your confidence, which is a key aspect of self-defence.

The Basic Kenpo Self-Defense Drill

Objective: To teach beginners a fundamental Kenpo self-defense sequence and emphasize the importance of balance, timing, and control.


Before you begin this drill, ensure that you have a basic understanding of your Kenpo stances, basic strikes, and the concepts of blocking and countering.

Drill Steps:

  1. Partner Up: Find a training partner of similar skill and experience level. Safety is paramount, so ensure you both wear appropriate protective gear if needed.
  2. Stance and Preparation: Both you and your partner start in your respective Kenpo stances. One person will take the role of the attacker, and the other will be the defender. The attacker initiates the action.
  3. Attack: The attacker begins by throwing a controlled and slow attack, such as a punch or a grab. The attack should be telegraphed initially for the purpose of practice.
  4. Defense: As the defender, your task is to block or evade the attack effectively. Use your Kenpo stances to shift your body and employ a basic block to neutralize the attack. For example, if the attack is a punch, you might use a forearm block.
  5. Counter: After successfully blocking or evading the attack, respond with a counterstrike or technique. Keep it simple; use a basic punch or kick to a vulnerable target like the solar plexus or groin. The goal is to create distance and disrupt the attacker’s balance.
  6. Control and Assess: As the defender, practice control. After your counter, maintain your balance and readiness. Assess the situation for additional threats or opportunities to escape.
  7. Switch Roles: After a few repetitions, switch roles so that both partners have the opportunity to practice as both attacker and defender. This provides a well-rounded experience and helps you understand both sides of the self-defense equation.
  8. Increase Complexity: Once you and your partner become more comfortable with the drill, increase the complexity by varying the attacks and responses. Include grabs, kicks, and different angles of attack.
  9. Practice Regularly: Consistent practice is key. Regularly revisit this drill to refine your techniques, improve your timing, and develop confidence in your self-defense abilities.

Final Thoughts

This Kenpo self-defence drill for beginners is a foundational exercise that lays the groundwork for your journey in martial arts and self-protection. Remember that proficiency comes with practice, and it’s essential to train safely and responsibly. Seek guidance from a qualified Kenpo instructor to ensure that you are executing techniques correctly and to address any questions or concerns you may have. With dedication and consistent training, you can develop effective self-defence skills and build the confidence needed to handle various situations.