To understand Kenpo techniques and how they function, you must
have knowledge of physics. It is the study of our body and how our
senses, through the use of mathematical laws, theories, concepts and
principles of mass, speed, body alignment, angles, body momentum,
gravitational marriage, rotating force (torque), focus, stability,
power, penetration, etc., can make our body function intuitively. An
in-depth study of these theories, concepts, and principles of physics
will also reveal the sophisticated basics that are contained within
embryonic basics.
"He who hesitates meditates in a horizontal position", is a
statement I use to imply the need for prompt action. It is a statement
referring to terms related to speed. "Do it now", "I want it done this
instant", "be prompt", "you'd better be fast", "be quick about it",
"you must do it rapidly", "it depends upon the swiftness of your
action", are terms that imply speed, or
act to hasten velocity irrespective of direction or dimension.
As we study these terms we learn that they are concepts related
to distance and time. By definition speed is equal to the distance
divided by the time (s=d/t) it takes to act or move.
Speed, however, goes beyond the definitions described. Like the
Eskimo who uses a number of terms to describe the types of snow, we,
too, must distinguish and categorize speed to make it meaningful to
the Kenpo enthusiast. There are three categories of speed --
perceptual, mental, and physical (body performance). However, although
categorized separately in order to analyze what speed entails, they
nevertheless function as one.
Perceptual speed is the quickness of the senses to monitor the
stimulus that it receives, determine the meaning of the stimulus, and
to swiftly convey the perceived information to the brain so that
mental speed can parlay the response. To the Kenpoist, it is the feel
or smell of trouble, a sound that detects trouble, a sign or gesture
that suggests trouble, seeing the incoming strike, the inviting
opening, or the opportunity to attack or counterattack. Speed of this
type can be increased by maintaining alertness and by conditioning
the senses to harmonize with environmental awareness (see Volume I,
Chapter 11).
Mental speed is the quickness of the mind to select appropriate
movements to effectively deal with the perceived stimulus. Speed of
this type, however, can only be increased by practicing the various
aspects of Kenpo techniques on a regular basis. This involves learning
the techniques to a point of total familiarity and instinctive
response (mental speed) in nullifying the threat. As you broaden your
knowledge of alternatives and can conceptualize the random answers
that exist in your subconscious mind, your instinctive response
(mental speed) increases proportionately when it is triggered by the
perceived stimulus.

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.