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Thread: Is Kenpo a "system"?

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    Default Is Kenpo a "system"?

    Reasons you think so, and reasons you don't.

    My own opinion is that if it is, I'm not yet in a place that I can recognize it as one.
    "To be, rather than to seem"

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    Default Re: Is Kenpo a "system"?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkC View Post
    Reasons you think so, and reasons you don't.

    My own opinion is that if it is, I'm not yet in a place that I can recognize it as one.
    Some chum for the water. Kenpo is a style of martial arts within which exists systems of training.
    Be careful what you say, some may take it the wrong way.

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    Default Re: Is Kenpo a "system"?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdinca View Post
    Some chum for the water. Kenpo is a style of martial arts within which exists systems of training.
    I smell chum.
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    Default Re: Is Kenpo a "system"?

    Yes, American Kenpo and most other Kenpos are indeed a system. There are requirements and methodologies inherent in the training of it. "Style" would be one's own interpretation of the system.
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    Default Re: Is Kenpo a "system"?

    Can you describe in greater detail what makes it a system? What is "systematic' about it?
    "To be, rather than to seem"

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    Default Re: Is Kenpo a "system"?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkC View Post
    Reasons you think so, and reasons you don't.

    My own opinion is that if it is, I'm not yet in a place that I can recognize it as one.
    Who's Kenpo?
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    Default Re: Is Kenpo a "system"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc View Post
    Who's Kenpo?

    Exactly.
    "To be, rather than to seem"

    "Fix your rear foot ... What the hell is wrong with you?"

    "...I already watched the videos, and quite frankly, they're bullsh*t."

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    Default Re: Is Kenpo a "system"?

    We need a definition, so will this one do, or should we find a better one?

    . A group of interacting, interrelated, or interdependent elements forming a complex whole.
    "To be, rather than to seem"

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    Default Re: Is Kenpo a "system"?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkC View Post
    Can you describe in greater detail what makes it a system? What is "systematic' about it?
    A system is a method of training that utilized with a group of people will produce consistent, reliable, quality results.
    Be careful what you say, some may take it the wrong way.

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    Default Re: Is Kenpo a "system"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc View Post
    Who's Kenpo?
    Our's

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    Default Re: Is Kenpo a "system"?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdinca View Post
    A system is a method of training that utilized with a group of people will produce consistent, reliable, quality results.
    In that case, then there would appear to be many instances where Kenpo is not, in fact a system.
    Certain schools would definitely qualify, but many others not so much.
    Or maybe it's not the system at fault, but the instructors.

    BTW, can you describe the cosistent, reliable and quaity results?
    "To be, rather than to seem"

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    Default Re: Is Kenpo a "system"?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkC View Post
    In that case, then there would appear to be many instances where Kenpo is not, in fact a system.
    Certain schools would definitely qualify, but many others not so much.
    Or maybe it's not the system at fault, but the instructors.

    BTW, can you describe the cosistent, reliable and quaity results?
    Couldn't resist the chum, could you? ;-)

    Consistent as in the students are all taught the same principles by the same method with relatively the same results.

    Reliable in that you know if you utilize the standard method, you will get results consistent with what other students can do. Yes, there will be some variation based on individual ability but a sound, consistent method of instruction should be able to minimize that and you should be able to rely on the results. Reliable also in the fact that what is taught can be backed up by sound principles of movement.

    Quality, therein lays the rub. Who's definition of quality? Our "stye" became a system in '94 at the urging of several very influential people in the Kuoshu world because of our consistent success in national and world competition(full contact as well as forms). Other people will develop a method of teaching and call it a system, producing excellent martial artists with no quantifiable way to measure it, other than the student knows what they're doing and why they're doing it and the basic principles of movement have been utilized in the instruction. In the end, quality is in the eye of the beholder.

    And yes, there are a number of good systems out there taught by not so good teachers. Tends to muddy the whole conversation.
    Be careful what you say, some may take it the wrong way.

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    Default Re: Is Kenpo a "system"?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdinca View Post
    Couldn't resist the chum, could you? ;-)

    Consistent as in the students are all taught the same principles by the same method with relatively the same results.

    Reliable in that you know if you utilize the standard method, you will get results consistent with what other students can do. Yes, there will be some variation based on individual ability but a sound, consistent method of instruction should be able to minimize that and you should be able to rely on the results. Reliable also in the fact that what is taught can be backed up by sound principles of movement.

    Quality, therein lays the rub. Who's definition of quality? Our "stye" became a system in '94 at the urging of several very influential people in the Kuoshu world because of our consistent success in national and world competition(full contact as well as forms). Other people will develop a method of teaching and call it a system, producing excellent martial artists with no quantifiable way to measure it, other than the student knows what they're doing and why they're doing it and the basic principles of movement have been utilized in the instruction. In the end, quality is in the eye of the beholder.

    And yes, there are a number of good systems out there taught by not so good teachers. Tends to muddy the whole conversation.
    Very well said sir.
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    Default Re: Is Kenpo a "system"?

    He is a guy I lived up the street from for a while...

    Ken Po but I think he spelled his name "Polanski" he just went by "Po"

    But seriously.... let me ask this to the original question. Does it being a "system" or a "style" or a "way" or an * insert esoteric intangible idealistic word here * make you move any better, have better reflexes, hit harder or with more accuracy?

    just a bunny's thoughts on a Bunny day.

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    Default Re: Is Kenpo a "system"?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrBunny View Post
    He is a guy I lived up the street from for a while...
    But seriously.... let me ask this to the original question. Does it being a "system" or a "style" or a "way" or an * insert esoteric intangible idealistic word here * make you move any better, have better reflexes, hit harder or with more accuracy?
    Nope. But if it is not systemized then there is no way to classify, compare or propogate the information in an efficient manner. It's not a practitioners prowess that makes the system or not, it's the way information is transferred and verified from one person to the other.
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    Default Re: Is Kenpo a "system"?

    You know, the reason I started the thread was because it was suggested in another that it would be a good discussion. I beleive we were originally talking about "American Kenpo:, which Doc says doesn't really exist as a system. I probably misquoted him, but I'm sure he'll fix me if I did...
    As for later editions, some say some of them are indeed systems, so let's discuss in a little detail what are the aspects of them that make them systems? What's systematic? Doc's SL-4 seems to fit the bill, at least from what little I've been exposed to.
    "To be, rather than to seem"

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    Default Re: Is Kenpo a "system"?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkC View Post
    You know, the reason I started the thread was because it was suggested in another that it would be a good discussion. I beleive we were originally talking about "American Kenpo:, which Doc says doesn't really exist as a system. I probably misquoted him, but I'm sure he'll fix me if I did...
    As for later editions, some say some of them are indeed systems, so let's discuss in a little detail what are the aspects of them that make them systems? What's systematic? Doc's SL-4 seems to fit the bill, at least from what little I've been exposed to.
    Keep in mind, anything can be a system if it is YOUR system. (Does that sound familiar?) Even the lack thereof, is a system if that is your system. I think the context of the discussion has to be clarified, and narrowed to "traditional martial arts systems." While some may balk at the word "traditional," that is the level of comparison and definition I believe is meant by the question. In that context, the commercial Kenpo of which most of us are familiar would not qualify for a plethora of reasons.
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    Default Re: Is Kenpo a "system"?

    Quote Originally Posted by punkmonkey View Post
    Nope. But if it is not systemized then there is no way to classify, compare or propogate the information in an efficient manner. It's not a practitioners prowess that makes the system or not, it's the way information is transferred and verified from one person to the other.
    This quasi-system as I understand it, is one of ideas and training methodologies that suggest what you need to achieve, but distinctly avoids teaching you exactly how to do it. It is a system only in the most general of terms, and when it is recognized that this "system" is supposed to generate specific physical skills, than without the "how" the system becomes a paper tiger left to the skill and knowledge of the person teaching as the only real foundation of a systematic approach. From that the individual creates his own "style" of utilization based on the system of learning. This is why the "system" itself cannot generate teachers. It only teaches "what." With no other experience other than "the system," new found instructors are full of "what's," with very few "hows" other than those given to them by someone else who wasn't taught "how" either. Therefore the argument of a codified "system" is moot. The "system," if it actually exists, can only be like the subsequent style of its students, a product (good or bad) of the individual. A good "system" is supposed to generate "good results' more often than not. That is why you have a system in place. If the product is hit and miss, than the "system" is no better than a random exploration of the subject matter.

    The one thing that I presume most could agree on is, traditional martial arts styles have an extremely particular method of doing everything, with uniformity and conformity being the norm rather than the exception, as it is in modern eclectic self defense models. The American Culture of "doing your own thing" demands a business model that allows the student that freedom to lower the level of commitment, and still participate without becoming bored. Remember martial arts all came from very rigid disciplined cultural models, and was brought to the "freedom of expression" culture of the U.S. gaining its popularity during the sixties when personal freedom of expression was beginning it heyday. Discipline was a given in the progenitor cultures, and only the information had to be conveyed. When you have to instill discipline as well as teach, than it become like the public school system. The lowest common denominator prevails, the undisciplined get the most attention, and the few disciplined end up teaching themselves - but everybody graduates

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    Default Re: Is Kenpo a "system"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc View Post
    " A good "system" is supposed to generate "good results' more often than not. "
    Minor point.. I would disagree in that a good system.. by definition would generate consistent results. Good or bad are interpretation. I could create an exceptionally good system churning out poor results consistently and they system itself would be effective.

    I think to be able to put the Kenpo that is taught by any particular individual in the category of a system or a style or what have you.. you first must define a "System" or a "Style" or a what have you. Otherwise the debate can go on indefinatly due to interpritation.

    Thoughts?

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    Default Re: Is Kenpo a "system"?

    Funny, I always thought "systems" were created to produce efficient, effective, and consistent results. Who would intentionally put together a system to be inefficient and produce negative results in the martial arts? That is what we're talking about, not the abstract.
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