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White Tiger Kenpo

"The Peace of the Open Palm, Balanced by a Well Formed Fist."

Shihan Jim Rathbone copyrighted© 1993

Rank Requirements

Kenpo hands


Belt requirements

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The White Tiger system has over 600 techniques from yellow through Black. We cover almost all possible situations you can get yourself into.

The Diploma is your actual rank Anyone can buy a belt - you must earn your diploma

Kenpo Video Testing

Belt Rank Requirement Sheets

Testing Requirements

Yellow Belt Orange Belt Purple Belt Blue Belt Green Belt 3rd Brown 2nd Brown 1st Brown Black Belt


Yellow Belt

Yellow Belt

Yellow Belt Saying: When Two Tigers fight, one is Killed and the other is wounded.                                

Attacking the Circle ABC Stop Hit ABCDE
Chinese Sword AB Delayed Sword AB
Knee of Vengeance Fang of the Cobra
Twisting Talon ABCD Returning Dragon
Breaking the Sword AB Kenpo Shield AB
Japanese Strangle Hold AB Returning Dragon
Driving Elbow Crossing Guard
Circling Thorn Windmill Guard ABC
Scooping the Kick ABCD Dancer ABC
Opponents at Sides ABCD Returning Serpent






Front Snap Kick

Inward Block

Attention Stance

Outside Wrist Lock

Side Snap Kick

Scissor Block


Inside Wrist Lock

Back Kick

Upward Block



Front Kick Back Kick

Extended Outward Block

Horse Stance


Side Thrust Kick


Cat Stance


Step Wheel Kick


Dance Step


Turning Back Kick




Round House Kick




Forward Leg Wheel Kick




Crossing Back Kick




Note: All of the Kenpo Techniques have been given names to simplify teaching as well as learning the techniques. 

Words of Wisdom

Most commonly the authority of them that teach hinders them that would learn. 

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Orange Belt

Orange Belt

Orange belt saying: The WAY is in Nothing which is not of value

Orange belt is designed to teach you how to handle an opponent when they grab you.


Breaking The Cross

Headlock ABC

Aiming The Spear

Crash of the Eagles ABCD

Raising The Staff AB

Grasping Talon AB

Rocking Elbow

Tackle Technique ABCD

Reverse Hammerlock AB

Passing The Horizon AB

Anvil ABCD

Kimono Grab ABCD

Knee Lift

Lever ABC

Crane Leap ABCD

Crashing Elbows AB

Leg Pull

Heel Hook AB

Chokes ABCDE

Bending The Sword

Wrist Down Turn

Bridge AB

Trapping The Serpent

Eagle Beak ABC

Single Leg Takedown

Front Bear Hug ABCDE

Outside Leg Reap


Checking The Serpent



Jujits/Ground Techniques

Falls and Rolls

Sweeps, Reaps, Throws

Short 1

4 Corner Drill Stage 1

Forward Leg Arm Bar

Front Fall

Outside Leg Reap


Trapping Drill Stage 1

Figure 4 Lock w/takedown

Back Fall

Inside Leg Reap



Standing Armbar

Side Fall

Single Leg Takedown




Forward roll

Rear Level Throw

Words of Wisdom

Thrice is he armed that hath his quarrel just. But four times he that gets his blow in first.

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Purple Belt

Purple Belt

Purple Belt saying: Like a cobra, your strike should be felt before it is seen.

Striking Mace Kung Fu Cross
Crossing Talon ABC Divided Swords AB
Circling Elbows AB Gift
Locking Arm AB Opening Cowl AB
The Blitz ABC Slicing Dragon
Spiraling Wrist ABC Ascending To Heaven
Crash of the Eagles A-I Raising The Sword AB
Encircling Arms ABCD Arm Hook AB
Rising Elbow Crossing The Sun ABC
Guarding The Wall Attack from the Temple AB
Eagle Pin Bowing To Buddha AB
Striking Fang AB Dart
Shackle Break ABC Covering Talon AB
Drawbridge AB Wing Break ABCD
Full Nelson “U” Punch AB




Jujits/Ground Tech

Falls and Rolls

Sweeps, Reaps, Throws

Short 2

4 Corner Drill Stage 2

Neck Stock

Forward Roll Slap Out

Hip Throw

Long 1

Trapping Drill Stage 2

Cross Body Arm Bar

Jump Roll

Shoulder Throw



Standing Scissor Lock


Head Turn Throw



Goose Neck Lock



Words of Wisdom

Beware of entrance to a quarrel, but, being in, bear't that the opposed may beware of thee. 

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Blue Belt

Blue Belt

Blue Belt Saying: Sometimes to walk the path, you must kill the snake.

Evading The Storm Spinning From The Sun AB
Bridging the Gap Folding Wings
Advancing Phoenix AB Vise
Two Headed Serpent AB Dancing With The Flame AB
Reversing Grasp AB Stretching The Bow ABC
Reaching For The Moon AB Arcing Blades AB
Flashing Daggers ABC Circle Of China
Bending The Limb AB Calming The Storm
Wrap Around ABC Returning Thunder
Crouching Falcon Chokes ABCDE
Darting Serpent The Serpent
Silk Wind Broken Staff
Capturing The Leaves Circling Serpent AB
Crossing The Lock AB Chinese “L” Choke AB
Darkness AB 5 Swords AB



Jujits/Ground Tech

Sweeps, Reaps, Throws

Short 3

4 Corner Drill Stage 3

Figure 4 Arm Bar

Leg Lock Takedown

Long 2

Trapping Drill Stage 3

Cross Body Arm Bar Standing

Shoulder Throw



Reverse Hammerlock

Head Hip Throw

Words of Wisdom

If the red slayer think he slays, Or if the slain think he is slain, They know now well the subtle ways I keep, and pass, and turn again. 

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Green Belt

 Green Belt

Green Belt Saying: Use reason not emotion, anger often hides deceit

Prayer Of The Dragon Sowing The Seeds AB
Turning The Key AB Flashing Wings ABC
The Butterfly AB Parting The Waves AB
Whirling Warrior ABC Winding Limbs ABC
Flowing Hands Brushing Wind
Whirling Blades AB Thundering Hammers
Whirlwind Checking The Tide
Crossing Hammers AB Crossing The Mountain
Two Man Swinging Gate Whirling Leaves ABC
Shogun AB Sweeping Wings
Knee Sweep Kneeling Tiger
Kung Fu Wrist AB The Lotus
Stone Warrior AB Attacking The Wall AB
Praying Mantis AB 7 Swords
Drums Of Manchu Reversing Hammers



Jujits/Ground Tech

Ground Locks

Mass Attacks


V Lock

Short 4

Knife Edge Arm Bar

Arm Bar


Chicken Wing

Pillow Arm Lock


Cross Body Armbar w/ Choke



    Mass Attack: is the #2 winning Kenpo Kata in the United States, for years it was #1, now dethroned by the Tiger and Crane. Feel free to modify this kata for competition. This kata was developed as a competition kata to be modified by each individual to best show off his/her ability and best movements.

 Words of Wisdom

I kill only when they attack me

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3rd Brown Belt

3rd Brown

3rd Brown Belt saying: The display of anger seldom achieves the desire goal

Spinning Hammers Eagles Talon
Dance Of Death AB Crossing Darts
Leap Of Death Bending The Staff
Miss Of The Leap ABC Dropping The Staff AB
Eagle Claw The Escape ABC
Eagle Miss Uncovering The Flame AB
Foot Rake Opening The Fan AB
Sleeper AB Double Blades
Startled Cat AB Clawing Panther AB
Manchurian Takedown A B Wind Storm AB
Shoalin Warrior AB 3 Winds Claw
Springing Tiger AB 3 Winds Fist
Raking The Ground Chinese Cobra AB
Slicing Knee Spider Captures Its Prey
Beggar Points The Way Taming The Cobra



Dark Room Staff

Long 4


   Dark Room Staff: Is a good solid introduction to the staff ("bo") as a weapon, it contains many of the stances, spins, and hand exchanges that will be needed in later staff kata. A set that can be used by beginners for early weapon competition. Even at Black Belt level if done properly, with power and focus, this set can be used in competition against any classical weapon kata! Trophies have been won at all levels with this set.

   Long 4: This is the most request kata out of the Kenpo system (except Tiger and Crane) than any other kata.
It takes 2 minutes and 40 seconds (on the average) to perform the kata, and almost three hours to show you how to do it! This is a classic Kenpo kata. It is Ed Parker's masterpiece, that was developed in the early 1960's. If you perfect only one Kenpo kata, let it be this one.

  Words of Wisdom:

It would grieve me to kill you, But you are really very much in my way.

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2nd Brown Belt

3rd Brown

2nd Brown Belt saying: Imagination is the first building block of reality.

The Bladed Gift The Dragon Flicks Its Tongue
Rocker ABC Reversing The Cobra
Circling The Sun AB Covering The Flame AB
Leveling The Clouds Cobra & The Mongoose AB
Broken Wing The Crane Stretches Its Wings
Catching The Dragons Tail Dance Of The Mongoose AB
Monkey Elbow Offers Of Dust AB
Striking Asp Ming's Sword AB
Dragon Whips Its Tail Chinese Fan
Pushing The Circle Locking The Gate AB
Circles Of Glass Circle Of Fire
Japanese Hands AB Circle Of Steel
Waterwheel Hands Of Death
Tumbling Clouds Moment Of Truth
Soaring Hawk Falling Circle



Skylight Staff

Book Set


    Panther Set (Book Set): The nickname "Book Set" comes from the fact it was meant to be the kata featured in Ed Parker's book, Secrets of Chinese Kenpo. Because of the problems that developed between Ed Parker and James Wing Woo (the man who had been helping with the book) this set was removed and replaced with Two Man Set, also known as the Black Belt Set (This is set is not part of our system) because in the early days of Kenpo it was the most advanced set taught as a requirement for Black Belt!

   Skylight Staff: Formerly #2 Staff Set teaches you to develop power with the staff and teaches full length use of the staff to develop reach and power. Done properly it is as powerful as any set out there. While it has classical Chinese applications it can stand on its own against any hard style weapons. Skylight staff is a power set that can be used in any competition when you must complete against traditional Japanese and Okinawan staff sets.

Words of Wisdom:

I weigh the man not his title; 'tis not the kings stamp can make metal better or heavier.


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1st Brown

3rd Brown

1st Brown Belt saying: When there is freedom from mechanical conditioning, there is simplicity.

Evasion Of The Dragon Dancing Dragon
Bowing To The Dragon Capturing The Wind
The Dragons Hammer Swinging Pendulum
The Dagger AB Twisting Staves
The Mantis Guiding The Staff
Dancing Mantis Cyclone
Sticks Of Satin AB Double Spear ABCD
Vipers Coil Destructive Wind
Advancing Hammers Whirling Thorn AB
Sweeping Arm Hook Thunder In Darkness
Snapping The Twig Advancing Storm AB
Braking The Yoke Attacking Mantis
Prayer Of Death Dance Of The Dragon
Caught In The Nettles Praying At The Wall
Crane Defends Its Nest Dance Of The Crane



Tiger & Crane




    Tiger and Crane: There has been some misunderstanding about the use of the Tiger and Crane as a Kenpo set. Professor William K.S Chow, the co-founder (along with James Mitose) of the style we call Kenpo, was originally trained by his father (Hoon "Hun" Chow) in the Classical Chinese martial arts - namely "Hung Gur". The Tiger and Crane (Fu Hook Seung Ying) is the definitive form of the Hung Gar system containing all the complete self defense hand movements of the system. The Tiger and Crane is the bridge between the system we have now and the original system that Professor Chow learned and passed on the Ed Parker. Ed in turn, introduced the kenpo taught to him by Professor Chow to the United States. For this reason it is continued to be taught as part of the modern Kenpo system. This kata keeps us aware of the one origin of our art. The American Kenpo system no longer teaches this kata.
Done properly the Tiger section of the Tiger and Crane is on of the most beautiful and powerful of all kata. For this reason it is possible to get high scores in competition even from Japanese or Korean judges.
Tiger and Crane (only the Tiger section is performed) is the #1 winning Kenpo kata in the United States. If you want to develop one winning kata for competition, this is it.

 Words of Wisdom:

Indifferent to pleasure and pain, to gain and loss, to conquest and defeat. Thus make ready for the fight.

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Black Belt

Black Belt

Black Belt Saying: The peace of the open palm, Balanced by a well formed fist.

Chinese Pincers AB Corkscrew
Crossing Hooks Falling Hammers
Turning The Flame AB The Whip
Stopping The Staff Winding Elbows
Twisting Vines Twisting Serpent
Breaking The Staves Chopping The Log
Hands Of Jade Falling Tree
Spinning Log The Python
Lever Of Ming Calming The Waves
The Lion AB The Monk And The Tiger
Double Lance Tiger Corners its Prey
Flashing Of The Tigers Claw Turning From The Beggar
Returning Fist 4 Fist
Falling Blades Advancing Dragon AB
Crossing Swords Vengeance From Above



Words of wisdom

A teacher is like a needle, and his pupils are like thread. If the teacher is wrong, his pupils are bond to be wrong. The thread follows wherever the needle guides.

2nd Degree Black Belt

You must wait 2 years from you Black Belt test before testing for 2nd.

2nd Black is follow ups to your Yellow, Orange and Purple belt as well as introducing new concepts

Click here to preview 2nd Black Belt

Stop Hit ACD Lever
Chinese Sword AB Raising the Staff
Trapping the Sword AB Striking Fang
Knee of Vengeance Dart
Twisting Talon ABC Trapping the Sword
Spider Spins its web Wings of Devastation
Windmill Guard A Circling Blades
Kung Fu Cross Dropping the Sword
Typhoon Falling Dragon
Double Headed Dragon Attack from the Temple
Gift Brush with Death
Avenging Swords Twirling Wings
Reversing Hammers Arm Hook
Crane Leap Striking Mace
Crashing Elbows Japanese Strangle Hold


3rd Degree Black Belt

To qualify for 3rd Black it must have been at least 2 years since your 2nd Black Belt test.

3rd Black introduces the student to 15 basic knife initiation moves in which case the student will need to finish up the move as well as 15 self - defense techniques that introduce the student to new concepts

15 Knife Technique
15 Self Defense Techniques
Evading the Lance Battering Ram
Raining Lance Encounter with Danger
Avoiding the Serpents Thorn Detour from Doom
Sheltering Lance Leap from Danger
Crossing Lance Shields of Iron
Lances The Weave
Falling Lance Falling from the Clouds
Defanging the Snake Striking Daggers
Dancing Thorn Capturing the Serpent
Slashing Thorn Serpent Coils its Prey
Shielding Lance Changing Wind
Snake Avoids the Mongoose Reversing the Serpent
Snake Strikes the Mongoose Tails of the Serpent
Shield and Sword The Beggar
Twisting Lance Scorpion Sting


4th Degree Black Belt

To qualify for 4th Black Belt you must have:

  • Have Instructors Permission
  • Been at least 3 years from the date of your 3rd Black Belt test
  • you have created 30 self defense techniques
  • You must have created a 20 technique kata of your own
  • You must be able to demonstrate all 30 self defense techniques at full speed and power on an opponent
  • You must be able to explain and demonstrate your Kata

    5th Degree Black Belt

    Must have been at least 3 years since your 4th Black Belt test and you must be able to demonstrate your choice of a weapons form either Stick, Knife or Sword. The student must also be able to demonstrate the application of the form.

    6th Degree Black Belt

    Must have been at least 3 years since you were awarded your 5th Black and have contributed something back to the art.


    7th Degree Black Belt

    Must have been at least 4 years since you were awarded your 5th Black and have contributed something back to the art.

    8th Degree Black Belt

    Must have been at least 5 years since you were awarded your 5th Black and have contributed something back to the art.

    9th Degree Black Belt

    Must have been at least 6 years since you were awarded your 5th Black and have contributed something back to the art.

    10th Degree Black Belt

    Reserved from Grandmaster of the system, in this case Grandmaster Jim Rathbone


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