Dissipating your FALL necessitates distributing the impact (with
the ground) to other surface areas of your body. It requires
transferring the shock of the impact to body parts that lead away from
the vital organs. Of importance are body limbs. Body limbs play an
integral part in disbursing shock. This is accomplished by allowing
your relaxed, but extended arms and legs to break the FALL a fraction
of a second prior to the body hitting the ground. This almost
simultaneous contact of the torso and limbs acts as a shock absorber
to help cushion the impact. The limbs are literally used to slap the
ground. Slapping disburses the body weight over a wider surface --
like having a book fall flat rather than hitting its corner. Although
the arms and legs may be employed separately, they normally work
together. If shoes are worn, they help to protect the bones of the
feet. However, since every move, concept, or principle has a reverse
and an opposite, the limbs can additionally be used aggressively.
Instead of breaking your FALL on the ground, you may wish to direct
your FALL to an opponent already on the ground in the hope of hurting
him. Through the use of proper timing, power can be greatly generated
via gravitational marriage during the course of the FALL. Whatever
combination is used to break the FALL you must quickly convert your
action into a positional check. Drawing your knees up and in while
keeping the arms tucked and elbows anchored helps to protect you from
an opponent's continued attacks from a standing position.
DIVES are unique methods that employ springs and flips. The moves
are quite exaggerated and are used to (1) avoid an attack, (2) work in
conjunction with an attack, or (3) can be combined as a defense and
offense. Because they are unique, DIVES (basically considered FOOT
MANEUVERS) are categorized separately. The chief characteristic of a
Dive is the height levels of the head and feet. In a DIVE, the head
lunges forward followed by the feet. At a certain period of the DIVE,
the height of the feet raises above the level of the head. It is this
relationship of height -- the feet being higher than the head -- that
separates a DIVE from a JUMP. Methods of JUMPING, such as leaping,
hopping, jumping side kicks, etc. do not have the feet go above the
level of the chest.

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.