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    Default Importance Of Environment

    IMPORTANCE OF ENVIRONMENT

    by
    ED PARKER

    ENVIRONMENT is our first and primary consideration. It, above all
    considerations, dictates what we can or can't do. Consequently,
    environment regulates our actions when we are traveling to and from
    home, to work, on business or vacation trips, when we are fighting, or
    when we are involved in other favorable or awkward circumstances.
    Therefore, an in-depth study is necessary to understand environment
    and how it can be used for or against us, especially when we are
    traveling outside of our element. Traveling to new and unfamiliar
    surroundings and circumstances can often make a difference if we're
    not prepared psychologically or physically.

    Environment entails conditions that confront us on a daily basis.
    It involves social and cultural conditions, objects around us, mental
    fears, thoughts, and trepidations; the condition of our bodies, body
    language, weather conditions, our opponent's ability, objects which
    you or your opponent may use as weapons, and all other factors that
    influence our chances of survival. It is everything around you, on
    you, and in you at the time of a confrontation.

    Since environment entails everything that is around you, on you,
    and in you, it is, therefore, important that we take the time to
    examine the dangers and benefits of environment.

    THE DANGERS -- Do not overlook the fact that an opponent may be
    wise in using environment to his advantage. He may be a seasoned
    street fighter who is aware of the benefits of his surroundings. Each
    fighting session becomes a learning experience that helps him to
    increase his skill and improve his chances of victory. He has savvy of
    the wall, ground, car fender, etc. To him they are objects that can be
    used to drive a head into, act as a support to increase the
    effectiveness of his punches or kicks, or momentarily prevent his
    opponent from striking back. He knows the dual effects of a bottle,
    ash tray, tire iron, etc. While they may be used as containers to hold
    liquids, to keep cigarette and cigar ashes from littering the table, a
    tool to fix a flat tire, etc. they are, nevertheless, weapons that can
    be employed to hurt you. Naturally, this describes any free object
    that can be used as a weapon. Obviously, if there is any indication
    that an opponent has knowledge of how to employ environment to add to
    his skill, you must not only learn how to counter this, but to use
    objects as weapons as well.

    Street knowledge also sharpens a street fighter's senses. He can
    read his victim's body language. Therefore, look confident at all
    times. Look as if you know what you are doing and where you are going.
    Be careful about who you ask for directions or who may be close by
    when you are questioning a police officer, mailman, or whoever.
    Remember body language goes beyond the look of confidence. Plan ahead
    when you travel in terms of where you travel and what you wear.
    Looking like a typical tourist burdened with camera equipment, bags,
    or expensive jewelry can place you at great risk. You may be one lone
    person and the enemy three or four. Assailants seem to feel powerful
    when they are in a group and more often, than not, they do have the
    edge.

    THE BENEFITS -- Environment can be useful when you are (1)
    guiding and directing an opponent into surrounding objects, or when
    you are (2) using environmental objects as weapons that can strike or
    be thrown, especially when you are confronted by an armed opponent.
    Therefore, view all predicaments sensibly and realistically since your
    natural weapons may not always be the solution to your problem. When
    such predicaments occur, use environmental objects to overcome your
    attackers. However, to use them effectively learn and practice methods
    of executing them. Foot maneuvers, angle changes, directional changes,
    should be included in your vocabulary of knowledge.

    When you are using environmental objects, you have one of two
    choices, (1) you can guide an opponent into a wall, stanchion, chair,
    table, etc. or (2) direct the chair, table, etc. into your opponent by
    pushing, holding, throwing or striking with these objects. However,
    the study of environmental objects should be pursued in depth. You
    should not only consider those usable objects that surround you, but
    those that may be found on you at the time trouble occurs. A comb,
    brush, lipstick tube, pen, pencil, keys, purse, belt, shoes, etc. are
    all useful items of defense. Yes, the bottle, the ashtray, the chair,
    are effective, but do not overlook those personal items that can also
    be used.

    While shoes can be effective weapons while you are kicking, you
    should consider other possible alternatives for their use. For
    example, instead of wearing both of your shoes against a knife
    wielding opponent, it would be wise, if time permits, to place a shoe
    on one of your hands while the other shoe remains on your foot. If you
    are right handed, place your left shoe on your right hand. The shoe on
    your right hand could then be used as a defense against the knife
    while the shoe on your right foot remains free to be used to kick
    with. Hopefully, the shoe on your right hand will lessen the chance of
    your getting cut. The shoe on your hand is not only to be used to
    block with. It can be used to strike your opponent's crucial areas as
    well. To expedite matters, it would be helpful to be wearing slip on
    shoes that can be slipped off easily if needed.

    In summary you can guide or direct:

    1. Targets to objects -- walls, stanchions, chairs, etc.
    Properly executed, you can guide and direct an opponent to a
    specific angle toward the wall and floor so that his neck can
    be snapped. You can guide an opponent to strike objects at
    various height levels. For example, you can force his head tof
    the bar, then to the bar stool, and finally to the floor --
    three different heights and points of contact, with each
    benefiting from the use of gravitational marriage. Tri-level
    strikes can be extremely effective.

    2. Objects to targets -- chairs, bottles, keys (in your hand),
    keys on a key chain (as a nunchaku), comb, brush, lipstick
    tube, pens, pencils, purse, strap on a purse (to choke with),
    belt, belt buckle, rings, umbrella, massive bracelet,
    newspaper, magazine, spoons, forks, knives, broom, golf club,
    kids baseball bat (as defense and offense), hot coffee, tea,
    chocolate, soup; salt or pepper (to the eyes) -- the distance
    between the legs of chairs to break an arm or a leg, the
    distance between the door and door frame, window and window
    sill, chest doors and chest, car doors and windows.

    Be aware of all facets of your environment. As part of your
    awareness, make psychological preparedness one of your priorities.
    Then study all of the necessary precautions for personal safety by
    earnestly learning how to defend yourself. Coupled with this to make
    it work, develop a sound, positive attitude.


    Ed Parker Sr. Memories
    Archived with the permission of Ed Parker Jr.
    Ed Parker Sr. was the founder of the art known today as American Kenpo.
    In these files, Ed Parker Jr. shares his fathers unpublished notes and other memories with us.

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to Bob Hubbard For This Useful Post:

    MARSHALLS KENPO (07-02-2007)

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