The time: nearly fifty years ago. The place: lawless streets of Hawaii. The man: William Kwai Sun Chow, who later is known in the martial arts world as Professor William "Thunderbolt" Kwai Sun Chow.
As years went on Professor Chow's amazing fighting style and reputation travels through-out the world, yet very little is known of the man himself. From the 60's through the 80's, more and more martial artists flocked to Hawaii to obtain training from him, yet very few lasted his brutal style of training.
Professor Chow learned and started his martial arts training with his father, an immigrant from Shanghai, China where he was a Buddhist Priest in the temples thereof. Priest Hoon Chow taught his son, William, the ways of Zen as taught in the Temples of China. The training was intense yet William felt that the training ways of his father was not practical in the streets of Hawaii and so he started to design the training techniques and methods to fit a unique fighting style, which worked as a street defense. His father journeyed back to China so Professor Chow sought after others that he could train with.
James Mitose and Kosho-Ryu Kenpo
In Hawaii at that time was a martial artist named James Masayoshi Mitose. Mitose ran a Kenpo-Jujitsu dojo (taken from James Mitose's book titled; What is Self- defense?; Copyright 1953) and Chow soon became a part of that dojo. It is often said that Chow learned all he had from Mitose, but men who trained with both, agree that James Mitose ran the business side of it all and was a very intellectual person, while Chow was the Technician and trained others in the hand to hand portion of the arts. The union was short and soon both men parted their ways with Mitose having his system known as the Kosho-Ryu Kenpo and Chow named his system Chinese Kempo of Kara-Ho Karate.
Both men had their own following. As Professor Chow started to teach in various areas of the island he acquired several students who had become quite well known in the martial arts world today. Some of these men were Edmund Parker, Adriano Emparado and Sam Kuoha. Many other martial artists sought after Professor Chow's teachings and have also made claims to being a strong part of his leaneage. Because of his explosive and rapid firing of techniques to the vital areas of the body, he was referred to as the man that struck like a thunderbolt. This stuck and he was nicknamed, Thunderbolt.