Kempo is a 3,000 year old art based on the natural laws pertaining to all human beings. When we say “Kempo First” we remind ourselves to put these natural laws first in our lives. We are not a religious organization, though we share many of the same goals of self improvement.

Our Kempo system is based on movement in the eight directions of the octagon, with the movements developing into evasion, striking, and natural folding techniques. The style is characterized by a smooth flow of movement. We have a direct lineage from Mitosi Sensei’s Koshu Ryu Kempo teachings.

Hanshi Carlson has over 50 of teaching experience. He serves as a member and technical advisor for the New World Martial Arts Society, United Martial Arts Alliance, and the American Karate Association.

Min Zin

Hanshi Carlson is proud to have been passed the knowledge of Min Zin by Doctor Maung Gyi. The method that Hanshi teaches is known as the “Meditation of the Stones.”

Min Zin, meaning “Controlled Path,” is an ancient Bando healing system that is suspected to be the oldest known form of moving meditation. It is similar to Chinese Chi Gung, though is thought to have originated in the traditions of Indian yogis.

It is an inner discipline to generate, store, and transmit internal energy to reach a balanced flow of energy through the body. Combined with chi gung breathing the meditation helps strengthen the body and clear the mind.

Meditation calms the body and the mind. It helps manage stress and provides a conduit by which emotional wounds can be healed.

Hanshi Ron Carlson

“My first introduction to the martial arts was in 1954 when, at the age of 17, I joined the U.S. Marine Corps and was introduced to hand to hand combat.” Ron was assigned as a military policeman in the San Diego area at the end of the Korean War.

“A lot of G.I.’s were bringing back Martial Arts from Okinawa, Japan, Korea, and China. My first Kempo teacher was a brown belt in an Okinawan system and we would train in our off duty time and on weekends.”

Upon his return to the Denver area in 1958 there were only two martial arts schools in the area, both teaching Judo. In 1963, Ron’s Judo and Shotakan Karate instructor returned from a three week trip to California to announce that the school was changing to Kempo and Gung Fu. Ron has been in love with Kempo ever since.

“I was introduced to Mitosi’s Kosho Shori Ryu Kempo in 1981. In around 1986 I merged the Kuo-Jen Lu Kung Fu system which was developed by a dear friend, Sifu Wayne Welsh and his senior student Sifu Ray Tarkington.” That merging gave birth to Gow-Ren-Lu (“The path to becoming a better human being”) Kempo and Gung Fu, the system that Ron has taught since 1994.