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Thread: Short Form 4 - Kongaika

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    Default Re: Short Form 4 - Kongaika

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikael151 View Post
    In Mr. Mills AKKI, we don't really do form 4. So I'm guessing Mr. Larry is doing this on his own.
    According to his website http://www.maxdojo.com/about_mrk.html he trained with Mr Mills Green through 2nd Black.. which im sure was back in the IKKA days. so yes he probably learned it directly from Mr Mills.. however how he may or may not do it now is on him. like you said more of a warmup, or maybe just to demonstrate the angles used in a Short version of a Long form.
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    Default Re: Short Form 4 - Kongaika

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikael151 View Post
    Three things right off the bat: In Mr. Mills AKKI, we don't really do form 4. So I'm guessing Mr. Larry is doing this on his own. Second, he doesn't seem too intense, looks like he's just warming up. Also, while I'm sure Mr. Mills was under Mr. Trejo at some point, he did spend a significant amount of time with Mr. Parker. I know Mr. Mills doesn't get credited with full stance changes from the videos posted on youtube, however, there are more sophisticated ways to move. Or, more efficient and practical maneuevers. Mr. Parker had a gift, Mr. Trejo has the gift, and so does Mr. Mills. Mr. Trejo may have passed on quite a bit of knowledge to Mr. Mills, however, to suggest that Mr. Mills never trained and had private lessons with Mr. Parker is just a little too much.
    Mr. Mills has been more than happy to credit his skill and knowledge to Mr. Parker, rather than take credit for himself.
    I am not sure where you saw anything in this thread to indicate that Mr. Mills didn't train with Ed Parker. And pretty much everyone agreed with you that he is a very talented martial artist. I stated that Mr. Trejo had significant input, but never stated it was exclusive. And it is not degrading, but very valuable, IMHO, to be able to say that. I know I hold my lessons from Frank Trejo in very high regard, and am very proud of the training received.

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    Default Re: Short Form 4 - Kongaika

    Quote Originally Posted by KenpoGhost View Post
    I'm sorry, what is MFL short for?
    Martial Fantasy League; M.F.L.
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    Default Re: Short Form 4 - Kongaika

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikael151 View Post
    Three things right off the bat: In Mr. Mills AKKI, we don't really do form 4. So I'm guessing Mr. Larry is doing this on his own. Second, he doesn't seem too intense, looks like he's just warming up. Also, while I'm sure Mr. Mills was under Mr. Trejo at some point, he did spend a significant amount of time with Mr. Parker. I know Mr. Mills doesn't get credited with full stance changes from the videos posted on youtube, however, there are more sophisticated ways to move. Or, more efficient and practical maneuevers. Mr. Parker had a gift, Mr. Trejo has the gift, and so does Mr. Mills. Mr. Trejo may have passed on quite a bit of knowledge to Mr. Mills, however, to suggest that Mr. Mills never trained and had private lessons with Mr. Parker is just a little too much.
    Mr. Mills has been more than happy to credit his skill and knowledge to Mr. Parker, rather than take credit for himself.
    Let's be clear, which I can do seeing how I was there when Paul showed up in the mid-eighties, and the reason he was not on the family tree published in Infinite Insights. He wasn't there. No one said Paul didn't take lessons with Mr. Parker, but like all students proximity plays a major part in the interaction. Mr. Parker's availability, and the fact that Paul didn't live in California are big factors. Mr. Parker handed off a great deal of Paul's training to Frank. (I was there when he started as well) A discussion with Frank can clarify that if you like.

    Mr. Parker did the same with many, many others that claim him solely as their teacher. In fact, he handed the bulk of them off to Larry Tatum, and all of them just like in Frank's case lay claim only to Ed Parker as their teacher, when in fact those two did MOST of the teaching for obvious reasons. They ran the schools, and were always there. Mr. Parker was hardly there, and in many cases hardly even home because he traveled extensively. The list of names contains a lot of now famous Ed Parker "students," and as evidenced by the Family Tree, only a few were actually exclusive Parker students.

    This was and is not a knock on Paul, or anyone else but just a statement of fact as I am want to do. If anything, it was a compliment. In fact, Paul was the only black belt of his that Mr. Parker personally brought with him down to my very, very private school for evaluation, and spoke highly of Paul's potential, so let's not get overly defensive about things you might not be aware of please. Paul clearly had a "gift," that Mr. Parker identified. His fast twitch muscle reflex worked well for him as a world champion quick draw artist, and translates well into his Kenpo. That does not make him the stance technician that Frank Trejo is, probably because he doesn't need to be. But if his students mimic him as students are want to do, they will not achieve the level of success that he has sans his special talents and "gift."

    Pick your league and keep it real. When you want the locations of dead bodys to remain confidential, you don't want to rile up the mortician. Nobody is bad mouthing.
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    Default Re: Short Form 4 - Kongaika

    Quote Originally Posted by KenpoChanger View Post
    On the other hand, if you are big enough, your moves need to only make an impression; so, he may get away with fighting in this manner. A little guy, not so much.
    Sean
    That's true. People who are strong and/or big can often get away with that. But it's not reflective if a high level of martial knowledge or skill. Especially if the person deliberately chooses to go that route.
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    Default Re: Short Form 4 - Kongaika

    Quote Originally Posted by flying crane View Post
    That's true. People who are strong and/or big can often get away with that. But it's not reflective if a high level of martial knowledge or skill. Especially if the person deliberately chooses to go that route.
    Me Bubba. Me hit hard! Duh! I say let's give every big guy with a hard punch a black belt. Wait! They already do that. Never mind.
    "Nothing is more dangerous than the conscientiously ignorant, or the sincerely stupid." - Martin Luther King Jr.

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    Default Re: Short Form 4 - Kongaika

    Quote Originally Posted by arshaveli View Post
    I am not sure where you saw anything in this thread to indicate that Mr. Mills didn't train with Ed Parker. And pretty much everyone agreed with you that he is a very talented martial artist. I stated that Mr. Trejo had significant input, but never stated it was exclusive. And it is not degrading, but very valuable, IMHO, to be able to say that. I know I hold my lessons from Frank Trejo in very high regard, and am very proud of the training received.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc View Post
    Let's be clear, which I can do seeing how I was there when Paul showed up in the mid-eighties, and the reason he was not on the family tree published in Infinite Insights. He wasn't there. No one said Paul didn't take lessons with Mr. Parker, but like all students proximity plays a major part in the interaction. Mr. Parker's availability, and the fact that Paul didn't live in California are big factors. Mr. Parker handed off a great deal of Paul's training to Frank. (I was there when he started as well) A discussion with Frank can clarify that if you like.

    Mr. Parker did the same with many, many others that claim him solely as their teacher. In fact, he handed the bulk of them off to Larry Tatum, and all of them just like in Frank's case lay claim only to Ed Parker as their teacher, when in fact those two did MOST of the teaching for obvious reasons. They ran the schools, and were always there. Mr. Parker was hardly there, and in many cases hardly even home because he traveled extensively. The list of names contains a lot of now famous Ed Parker "students," and as evidenced by the Family Tree, only a few were actually exclusive Parker students.

    This was and is not a knock on Paul, or anyone else but just a statement of fact as I am want to do. If anything, it was a compliment. In fact, Paul was the only black belt of his that Mr. Parker personally brought with him down to my very, very private school for evaluation, and spoke highly of Paul's potential, so let's not get overly defensive about things you might not be aware of please. Paul clearly had a "gift," that Mr. Parker identified. His fast twitch muscle reflex worked well for him as a world champion quick draw artist, and translates well into his Kenpo. That does not make him the stance technician that Frank Trejo is, probably because he doesn't need to be. But if his students mimic him as students are want to do, they will not achieve the level of success that he has sans his special talents and "gift."

    Pick your league and keep it real. When you want the locations of dead bodys to remain confidential, you don't want to rile up the mortician. Nobody is bad mouthing.
    Thank you, gentlemen. I appreciate the clarification.
    I wasn't sure, but I had the thought that a lot of "first generation" students or seniors spent time under the wing of other top black belts. At Jeff Speakman's school, he has a picture of him being kicked into black (I think) by Larry Tatum.
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    Default Re: Short Form 4 - Kongaika

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikael151 View Post
    Thank you, gentlemen. I appreciate the clarification.
    I wasn't sure, but I had the thought that a lot of "first generation" students or seniors spent time under the wing of other top black belts. At Jeff Speakman's school, he has a picture of him being kicked into black (I think) by Larry Tatum.
    My point exactly sir. Jeff was a student of Ed Parker for sure, but the bulk of his day-to-day training came from Larry - not a bad thing, and clearly Parker was his teacher as well. No different with Paul. Very few of us may claim Mr. Parker as our ONLY Kenpo Teacher, and Paul had instruction in Kenpo even before he came to Mr. Parker and Frank. Jeff was an accomplished black belt when he met Mr. Parker, sent to him by his Goju Teacher Lou Angel. I have an asterisk by my name on the family tree myself, having been a black belt when I met Mr. Parker and switching lineage, however he was my only Kenpo teacher. All the good guys are "mutts" on some level. Chow, Parker, Emperado, LeBell, Jay, Lee, etc. No harm, no foul.
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    Default Re: Short Form 4 - Kongaika

    Here is a good looking Short Form 4. (Not sure who the martial artist is though.)


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    Default Re: Short Form 4 - Kongaika

    Quote Originally Posted by Crouching Tiger View Post
    Here is a good looking Short Form 4. (Not sure who the martial artist is though.)

    Typical, but in my world horrible execution. But that is what I've been saying for years. Kenpo Karate in general and specifically the forms are martial performance art, with a complete detachment from reality.

    What a person "sees" is based on their perspective of training. One person sees something good, and yet I know from my teacher that he would cringe looking at this. But, he also did the same looking at old footage of himself. Until Kenpo Karate gets beyond this, it will always be mired in "WuShu" Country because that's what it is in forms competition. "Kenpo WuShu."

    I always tell my students when looking at video, "Take your hand and cover the top half and do nothing but look for the stances, footwork, and maneuvers. Chances are, you see very little, if anything at all." Yet everyone was trying to duplicate his movements and had no idea why they couldn't. Simple, they never had the tools to do so because he didn't teach them.

    Ed Parker was an anomaly. What he sold, is not what he himself did."
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    Default Re: Short Form 4 - Kongaika

    Quote Originally Posted by nelson View Post
    Interesting last statement!
    Well that's the part that nobody wants to hear. How many times have you seen me say that NONE of the pre-Ed Parker Kenpo Karate students transferred to the "new" system? NOT ONE. Remember Mr. Parker stopped teaching in the sixties on a regular basis in any school, and began to teach almost exclusively in seminars while traveling on the road where he began teaching conceptual ideas, not specific basics. After all, who wants to pay to go to a seminar and drill the proper execution and movement in a neutral bow for 2 hours? No, they want to work on Five Swords, and even then Mr. Parker refused to show them a definitive way to perform it because there wasn't any.

    While in the right hands the "system" may produce, for the vast majority of people it is limited and structurally teaches no basics at all. It is a system that tells you a lot of "what" to do, but never tells you "how" unless your individual teacher already knows "how" as the system was created and designed. That is why Mr. Parker recruited seasoned black belts in the beginning. This also accounts for the wide variance in "basic" execution, as black belts brought their own basics with them when they began teaching Mr. Parker's concepts. How many times have you seen someone do Short One, and the only block that protects their head is the upward block? Follow the line back and you run into a Traditional Japanese Instructor interpreting the "system" as an Ed Parker recruit. And to make matters worse, after a generation, even those basic were essentially abandoned.

    I've seen and talked to many an intelligent instructor who struggles with trying to make sense of the system. They want to still honor it while trying to stay true and loyal to Mr. Parker, but acknowledging things "That won't work." Than there are the "purists" who insist that if you change anything, "You're not doing Ed Parker's Kenpo Karate." because they don't even understand the system. They cling to the Big Red technique manuals as "biblical" works, mistakes and all. Then there's the "American Kenpo" crowd that insist that's the name when Mr. Parker named it something different for a very specific reason. Than there are the "distance students." Like it or not the majority of Mr. Parker's "private" students didn't even live in the same city, county, state or in some instances country as he, so how does that work? It goes on, but the point is there is no direct line from Mr. Parker's teaching to the feet of a student, and all kenpo is not the same or remotely close to being "equal."

    I taught an "open" class recently and began by asking everyone if they knew how to make a fist. They all replied they did. Certainly in a martial arts class somewhere along the line someone taught these high ranking black belts the proper way to maximize and execute the simple act of closing your hand to make a fist. I was taught that you don't punch with your fist, and that you punch with your entire body with it being firmly rooted to the ground generating tremendous amount of power, and that your fist is only the point of contact when you strike. So, I had every stand up in a natural stance with no brace, extend their hand forward and make a fist. I then walked by and pushed mildly on their fist, and watched all of them stumble backwards unable to maintain their position.

    Telling someone to "make a fist" is a concept telling them "what" to do. It is not a principle. Teaching them "how" to do it, and then allowing them to physically prove and feel it for themselves, is "teaching" basics. "Teachers" were supposed to learn and teach basics for their students. They didn't. Don't blame the system, blame the guy standing in front of you. That is the singular lesson I got from sitting on testing boards with Mr. Parker. He said, "If the guy in front of you doesn't perform well, don't blame him. Find his teacher and ream him for not doing his job." But the system spiraled out of control and that never happened.

    Dam you Nelson, you always make me go on rants.
    "Nothing is more dangerous than the conscientiously ignorant, or the sincerely stupid." - Martin Luther King Jr.

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    Default Re: Short Form 4 - Kongaika

    I saw some bad habits, and some clearly missed opportunities for power, but it didn't look that bad to me. LOL
    Also Mastering Tsing Tao.

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    Default Re: Short Form 4 - Kongaika

    I saw a lot is stepping and position- changing with the stances. But none of it gave power to any of the techniques. Torso was disconnected from the legs. All arm-power in the techniques.
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    Default Re: Short Form 4 - Kongaika

    Quote Originally Posted by flying crane View Post
    Torso was disconnected from the legs. All arm-power in the techniques.
    Exactly. This is because of a lack of basic training that removes proper stances and their transitions from the power generation equation of Kinetic Linking of the body in movement, in favor of "flashy hands" that appear to the uninitiated to be well done.

    In all fairness the hand movements sans stances and footwork, may be effective depending upon targeting from the sheer weight of the hands and arms themselves. However, anyone can smack somebody in the face, poke them in the eye, slap them in the testicles, and claw the face with minimal training from day one and hurt someone. There isn't much training in that, and the multitude of strikes in a single technique that many find so fascinating, just exemplifies the weakness and lack of effectiveness. If a guy is standing still and you have to hit him 20 times, then you're not very good.

    But to the general public raised on "chop sockey" movies, this is reality because they simply don't know any better, thus it is a perfect sales presentation. Oddly enough, even though Bruce Lee was not that knowledgeable with a limited perspective (according to Wally Jay, Ed Parker, as well as others), He found success by bringing a measure of reality to his films previously lacking. Looking back on his many mass attacks in Enter The Dragon, the first thing you realize is he dispatched each attacker with a single blow or kick, rarely striking a single attacker more than once.

    Kenpo Karate can be very impressive if you don't know what you're looking for, and understand the principles necessary in real life to be effective. Paul Mills and some of his guys do an excellent presentation, so does Larry and a few of his crew, and there are others as well. The better the "presentation," the better are the odds that it MAY be effective, so I'm not saying presentation is all bad.

    Than there are people like my good friend Bob White who was full of fire when he was a Blue Belt when we first met. (We go back of few days). He has a crew where reality takes a more prominent role in their training. Some of the "technicians" used to whisper that "Bob White doesn't really teach Kenpo," to which I would always reply, "Really? Come back and tell me that after one of his guys punches you." Bob White's training exemplified Mr. Parker's saying, "When pure knuckle meet pure flesh, that my friend is pure Karate."

    All the old school guys like Chuck Sullivan, Steve LaBounty, etc stuck to their guns and shied away from the "new age" flavor of Kenpo in favor of a more direct approach. Guys like David German stuck with and emphasized the "infusion" of jiu-jitsu in their Kenpo to maintain that "reality contact" effectiveness, while Joe Dimmick did a similar approach with his early departure in his Sam Pai Kenpo. Danny Inosanto I first met when he was still with Ark Wong who, after a stint with Ed Parker, looked for more of that "reality" in training with and teaching Bruce Lee. Few actually knew that Danny came from Ark Wong, and that he was an accomplished Filipino practitioner in Kali and Escrima already.

    There are obviously more, but my point is these are seniors. Ed Parker's Kenpo Karate has its own set of "seniors" whose singular significant experience is the very limited presentation laden "Kenpo-Karate" itself, and its functional ceiling that limits growth potential. You can rise to a significant level, but still be low on the overall scale of martial arts in general because of the lack of information. Kenpo Karate was designed to teach a guy with no street experience how to survive in most situations, and give him limited skills he didn't have before. With a decent teacher, it does exactly that. The problem is the inflated ranks are in an art that is less substantive than many other more traditional arts, and when you go to "play" with others, you find that out very quickly.

    The best Kenpo practitioners are those like Dr. Dave Crouch, or Martin Wheeler, who leave the comfort of Kenpo after getting significant rank, and venture out to learn the real martial arts from other perspectives. Or, those that came from other more traditional arts like "old school" Hapkido, Shotokan, Goju, Okinawa-te, Jiu-jitsu, etc, and added some Kenpo ideas to what they already know.

    So you see, Mr. Parker had it right in the beginning. Recruit other black belts and let them teach his concepts infused with their previous training and experience. But, that should also tell you just how much is actually missing from the Ed Parker Kenpo Karate experience in training with born and bred Ed Parker Kenpo Karate teachers.

    The people you call "seniors" who taught many of you, may be knowledgeable in Ed Parker's Kenpo Karate, but it also explains why I look at a video and just shake my head. Someone once said, "You don't know what you don't know." I say, You can't see what you don't know to look for." Someone once said, "Ignorance is bliss," which is why the M.F.L. is so popular, and why they keep to themselves.

    I do a camp every year for my old college roommate Dr. Cliff Stewart called, Camp Of the Masters in Southern California's Woodland Hills. (October 14-16 this year). He brings in masters from every art you can think of from Silat, Escrima, Sambo, Capoeira, African Arts, etc. My presentation is always the last on Sunday afternoon, and very well received by all. I'm just happy to do it again this year. But if you want to know if your stuff is good, you got to jump in the pool with other swimmers.

    Blame Nelson for this rant - it's all his fault.
    Last edited by Doc; 10-11-2016 at 06:29 PM.
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    Default Re: Short Form 4 - Kongaika

    In your opinion, why do you think Mr. Parker sought out experienced Black Belts in other systems to propogate "the system". Was it in hopes that folks with some semblance of sense would latch onto the principles and concepts? I know that Mr. Sullivan was someone who had no formal martial arts experience before starting with Mr. Parker. Yet he has always had an eye toward the practical approach, or in your words "direct". Did many others fall into this category?

    Respects,

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    Default Re: Short Form 4 - Kongaika

    Quote Originally Posted by hemorrhaging View Post
    In your opinion, why do you think Mr. Parker sought out experienced Black Belts in other systems to hemorrhaging "the system". Was it in hopes that folks with some semblance of sense would latch onto the principles and concepts? I know that Mr. Sullivan was someone who had no formal martial arts experience before starting with Mr. Parker. Yet he has always had an eye toward the practical approach, or in your words "direct". Did many others fall into this category?

    Respects,

    Bill Parsons
    Triangle Kenpo Insitute
    Well sir, the direction that Mr. Parker found himself going toward was created by circumstances not of his control. Caught in a financial bind because of a failed business proposition where he invested heavily, forced him to file for bankruptcy and homestead his home. Prior to that he was on a different path and was leaning heavily toward the "American Kenpo" he never created. This American Kenpo was to use old school strict Traditional Methods of teaching with a modern approach to disseminating knowledge.

    Instead he needed a version of his art(s) that he could proliferate on a larger scale, that didn't require him to teach everyday in a school morning until night. He recognized his single best resource and asset was his own knowledge and skill, but he also knew he could not possibly be everywhere he needed to be to be successful.

    Hitting on the idea of a system based on ideas and teaching "motion" over "hard basics" was revolutionary in the martial arts and had never been done before. The idea came to him while running film of himself backwards on a projector. His was the first truly commercial martial art designed from the ground up to be a business. Even the Pasadena School was the first commercial building in the U.S. built from the ground up to be a "Karate School." Basing it on the Arthur Murray Dance Studios Business Plan was also a stroke of genius that turned students that paid the studio to teach and worked as defacto paying employees as a part of rank requirements.

    But in order for this plan to work he needed Black Belts at a time when he was hemorrhaging black belt students who were leaving to start their own businesses. He knew that if he could convince black belts of the viability of his ideas, and gave them flexibility to teach as they choose, he could recruit outside black belts with the lure of non-traditional flexibility in their teaching, as well as lucrative business potential in his methods. He needed these black belts in order to succeed with this method, at least until subsequent generations of promoted black belts could be utilized to teach the systems. This was possibly the biggest fatal flaw to viability of this method.

    Previous to all of this Mr. Parker's focus was more on the intricacies of the art, and expanding his knowledge. This shifted to proliferation and commercialization over that by necessity, to survive his own personal circumstances as a man with 5 children, a wife, and mother to support.

    In consultation with his teacher Kwai Sun Chow, who had turned down the fulfillment of Parker's promise to bring him to the mainland and teach, (Chow had told him he was "on his own now."), Parker's singular focus shifted completely. And while this didn't mean he abandoned his "American Kenpo" dream, it became a personal quest in his own execution of the art, that would never see the light of day in his general teaching, although glimpses of his progress can be seen in how he changed over the years on film and video.

    All the "old school" guys were more direct in their approach, as that was the "norm" of the day, and Mr. Sullivan was no exception and never transitioned to the "new" art, instead sticking with the original Kenpo methods that everyone had already come to know as practical and effective. Chuck's teaching was always known as "hard" and tough, and he ran the premier "fighting" school of the day with the likes of John Henderson, and Steve Sanders as students. The training was old school, and not "student friendly" for the likes of women, children, and less than physical types Mr. Parker needed to appeal to for business purposes. Injuries were common, and split lips and bloody noses were an acceptable part of training among the assortment of ex-military, bouncers and bikers-types that trained regularly. There were no kids, women, or "older" people to speak of. It was Kenpo down and dirty. Chuck Sullivan built on that theme, as well as others from that era. Keep in mind there are few that are senior to Chuck Sullivan. Very few.

    Mr. Parker's hope through his Infinite Insights Series was to proliferate his ideas even more. Many thought Mr. Parker wrote the books for the Kenpo Community, but in reality he wrote them for all martial artist in hopes they would adopt the ideas they liked to their own arts. This is why some of the concepts contradicted each other in the books. He felt if you didn't like one, you might like the other. A "shotgun approach" he called it as Edmund and I helped him with the series. But also keep in mind the first installment was published in 1981, and was an interpretation of information Mr. Parker had accumulated in the sixties and early seventies. ostensibly, the information was ten years old when it was published.
    Star Dragon likes this.
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    bdparsons (10-12-2016),nelson (10-12-2016),punisher73 (10-14-2016)

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    Default Re: Short Form 4 - Kongaika

    Well, some of us will.
    "Nothing is more dangerous than the conscientiously ignorant, or the sincerely stupid." - Martin Luther King Jr.

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    Default Re: Short Form 4 - Kongaika

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc View Post
    Well, some of us will.
    My boys have instructions to hike my ashes up to a specific waterfall in the Sierras, and throw them in the water. No funeral. I'd hate the embarrassment of no attendees.
    Clear mind, clear movement. Mastery of the Arts is mastery over the Self. That in this moment, this motion, the thoughts, memories, impulses and passions that cloud the mind must yield to the clarity of purpose, and purity of motion.

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    Default Re: Short Form 4 - Kongaika

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dave in da house View Post
    My boys have instructions to hike my ashes up to a specific waterfall in the Sierras, and throw them in the water. No funeral. I'd hate the embarrassment of no attendees.
    Well, around here trash day is on Thursday's so ......
    "Nothing is more dangerous than the conscientiously ignorant, or the sincerely stupid." - Martin Luther King Jr.

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    Default Re: Short Form 4 - Kongaika

    I thought it looked pretty good, but I like to see, hard forward bows, and these were a little lax.

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