November 2022 Book Survey Part 3


 Welcome to the November 2022 book survey, part three. I decided to break this month's survey into four posts. Part one is here. Part two is here.


In November 2022, I (Richard) continued my reading plan. The major theme for this month is American Kenpo Karate, with Okinawan karate as a sub-theme. I've practiced both, so I'm a sympathetic reader. This post focuses on a five more books on American Kenpo Karate.  

Kenpo Karate x01 Series, Lee Wedlake Jr, 2000-2008

From 2000 to 2008, one of the top American Kenpo Karate instructors, Lee Wedlake Jr, published a series of books. They each had a x01 number, similar to many college classes. I bought the first two, in 2000 and 2002, titled Kenpo Karate 101 and Kenpo Karate 201. I did not buy the follow-on books, as I was not practicing Kenpo when they arrived. 

Each book covered the following:

  • 101: Introductory material
  • 201: Short and long forms 1 and 2
  • 301: Short and long form 3
  • 401: Form 4
  • 501: Form 5
  • 601: Form 6

All of these books are out of print and tough to find, but that is not a problem due to another book in this survey.

Each of these titles is a black and white paperback measuring 5 1/2 inches by 8 1/2 inches. I believe if you have the entire set, the spines form some sort of belt or stripe pattern.

Mr. Wedlake is a great writer with a grounded, practical nature to his Kenpo. Looking online, it appears he was still offering seminars as of August 2022. 

Further Insights into Kenpo: The Collected Articles of Lee Wedlake, Lee Wedlake Jr, 2001

Between Kenpo 101 in 2000 and Kenpo 201 in 2002, Mr. Wedlake published Further Insights into Kenpo. I know I ordered my copy directly from Mr. Wedlake as he signed it for me. This is another book in the same format as the x01 series, and offers 148 pages of philosophy on Kenpo.

The Kenpo Compendium: The Forms and Sets of American Kenpo, Lee Wedlake Jr, 2015

I pleased to say that those looking for Mr. Wedlake's out of print material can turn to his 2015 book The Kenpo Compendium. My copy is a black and white paperback measuring 6 inches by 9 inches, with 384 pages. Mr. Wedlake also sells a Kindle version, which is not a print replica but a reflowable text edition.

This book appears to incorporate material from the x01 series, and adds sets plus forms 7 and 8. 

This material is more text-heavy than most technical martial arts books. Rather than show a series of pictures depicting the forms, Mr. Wedlake tends to rely on exposition. 

Before leaving Mr. Wedlake, I'd like to mention that in late November 2022 he published another book, titled Lee Wedlake's Kenpo Companion. Based on the preview, it appears to be a new collection of essays, captured in 469 pages. The book is available in print and Kindle editions, but I do not have a copy.

Kenpo Karate: The Art of Spontaneity, Sascha Williams, 1995

The last book in this survey is by a different author. Kenpo Karate: The Art of Spontaneity by Sascha Williams is out of print and apparently impossible to find. I was pleased to see Mr. Williams is still very much active. You can watch his instruction on YouTube.

My copy of this book is a black and white paperback measuring 5 1/2 inches by 8 1/2 inches. It is a collection of articles interpreting Mr. Parker's American Kenpo Karate. "Spontaneity" is not the word I would associate with American Kenpo Karate, but I appreciate Mr. Williams' commitment to finding that in his art.


If you study American Kenpo Karate, your best bet is Mr. Wedlake's book The Kenpo Karate Compendium. I bought a copy to better understand what I had learned during my brief time in the style. 

On this day in 1990, Mr. Parker unexpectedly passed away. RIP Mr. Parker.

In the next post we will finish the month of November with a look at a few non-Kenpo karate books.

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