Gen Yuan Kempo “Quan Fa”

Gen Yuan Kempo is exclusively “Shane Lear’s art”. It represents the melding of all his martial and healing studies under multiple masters across the US, Asia and Europe. The result is a unique yet traditional blend of martial arts and healing.

The name Gen Yuan Kempo (根源拳法) represents the contributions from both the Chinese and Japanese arts. The kanji for the first two characters (根源) Gen and Yuan in Chinese, translate as “the root source”. The kanji for the second two characters (拳法) are Quan and Fa in Chinese and Kempo in Japanese. In both languages they translate as “fighting technique”. Shane has chosen to use a mix of Chinese and Japanese in the name, hence Gen Yuan Kempo or “the root source fighting technique”.

This name resonates with Sifu Lear’s training on many levels. First, the name itself represents his training that spans both the original Chinese and later Japanese perspectives on the fighting and healing arts.

Next, the “root source” meaning of Gen Yuan represents Shane’s desire to always uncover the deepest principles of the arts. It is very easy to try and simply mimic a movement or technique, but much harder to understand all the root principles that underlie any method.

There is also a very personal meaning to the term Gen Yuan. When Shane was studying in China, one of the monks brushed the Gen Yuan charaacters and gave it to Shane telling him that this was “his symbol” and represented an important aspect of his life. It is a copy of the monk’s brush work that occupies the center of the Gen Yuan Kempo patch.

The patch contains the core five animals that are the foundations of the earliest Chinese arts. Each animal is a different style or perspective of fighting (Dragon, Leopard, Crane, Tiger, Snake). The five-animal perspective carries over into all of the methods that are a part of the Gen Yuan system – striking, joint locking, throwing, and ground work – as well as meditation and energy work (qigong). The yin-yang symbol forms the background or “root” of the patch. Understanding and balancing the energies of life (yin and yang) is the fundamental principle of Gen Yuan Kempo.

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