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Thread: My Dinner with Andre'...I mean, Rich Hale

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    Default My Dinner with Andre'...I mean, Rich Hale

    I recently had the pleasure of spending a little bit of mat time with Rich Hale. I had a good time training with someone who is as much of a dork as I am, but who moves well and has such a deep understanding of Ed Parker’s Kenpo. Some standouts:

    Hale’s kenpo notebook: Rich spent years…literally…making a software version of a kenpo notebook. It includes the techniques, like any notebook should. But it also has a lot of value-added functions in it. Each technique has a “technique notes” function on it, which includes comments on important themes, what-ifs, and other ideas associated with the technique. The “notes” page alone would make this a helluva must-have for any serious kenpoists. He also has hot buttons for technique principles, and some cool tribute area and photo galleries of Mr. Parker, and sundry oldsters. No, I’m not getting paid to plug his notebook: It just really is that good.

    Similar movement: I have some “mixed” roots in kenpo, with training in kenpo cousin arts as well as some Japanese hard style stuff, Japanese and Brazilian jujutsu, and miscellaneous other martial schmutz. I spent a comparatively very small amount of time with Mr. Parker, during which I sought to pick up his stylistic mannerisms for delivery of basics within techniques, and thought processes behind them (as opposed to new or secret moves). This has left me with a different movement signature than many in kenpo…wider circles, harder blows…it shouldn’t be alien, but with so many doing short, powerless, sloppy/choppy kenpo, I have become something of an anachronistic anomaly. Rich’s memory for techniques and details is much better and more thorough than mine (as is his physical conditioning), but in many ways, we moved with some degree of similarity, which I took as a good sign. Of course, I still think I’m better looking, but I’m sure his lovely wife would not agree. As for conditioning, it should be noted for the record that Mr. Hale and his wife are both really sick people in need of psychotherapy to help them overcome the detrimental effects of dozens of Mt. Whitney climbs, marathons, eco-challenge level trips through the Grand Canyon, and various other things that people do to their bodies in lieu of hedonistic sloth. Of which I am a big fan, mind you.

    Intensity & Authority: In my pea-little brain, what’s lacking in kenpo nowadays – in addition to sound mechanical excellence in execution of the basics – is intensity. I’m still recovering from a recent car wreck that dang near killed me, so I am a little gun-shy, and taking it a bit slow. Still, even on a good day with lots of sleep and much conditioning on my part, Rich has excellent intensity that leaves me weighing in much too light. And that sneaky rear hand of his pairs ominously to my bad habits.

    Technique Knowledge vs. Technique Function: Something I’ve had pounded into my head since I was a wee lad is that kenpo techniques aren’t about the stated technique. They’re about the skills you develop from within the practice of the technique. In other words, if a guy comes up to you and throws a punch, you would be missing the point of kenpo entirely if you attempted to use Five Swords, or any other technique against a punch, as a reply. They teach you ideas and mechanics and applications and possibilities, which you – as the artist – use as a canvass to create on an as-needed, on-the-fly piece. Rich has a wealth of knowledge about themes within kenpo, and combined with his excellent memory (for an old man), this makes the workouts quite interesting. Once you get the purpose of a technique down, then extrapolations or explorations can be better delved, without taking away from the function of the tech. Unfortunately for me, that means that Rich has some kewl inserts and “on the way’s” to share with the unexpecting and easily bruised.

    There’s a lot of good stuff out there, if you know where to look and are willing to be humble enough to open up and learn.

    I had a blast Rich. Thank you for taking the time to play with little ole me, and I look forward to the next time.


    Best Regards,

    Dave Crouch


    PS – I’m still not sore.
    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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    Richard Finn is offline
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    Default Re: My Dinner with Andre'...I mean, Rich Hale

    I don't know Rich other than an email when he sent me his Kenpo Journal. I have found it to be an excellent aid to my training. I love the definition section. Its great to read about the principles but at my young level I need to look them up. Most authors don't make much on what they produce. Writing is said to be done for the love of the subject. Rich clearly loves his subject. I hope he makes a few bucks in the process. His work fills a needed niche!
    Hands on Healer

    "If you can not be King be a healer."

    "The hands of the King are the hands of a healer"

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    Default Re: My Dinner with Andre'...I mean, Rich Hale

    Hale’s kenpo notebook: Rich spent years…literally…making a software version of a kenpo notebook.
    It is cruel to post such a glowing description and not also tell people how to get one Or is it as simple as "Just call him and ask for one" ??

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    Default Re: My Dinner with Andre'...I mean, Rich Hale

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidCC View Post
    It is cruel to post such a glowing description and not also tell people how to get one Or is it as simple as "Just call him and ask for one" ??
    Check his website at www.pacifickenpo.com

    Or e-mail him and ask for one.
    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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    Sentinel is offline
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    Default Re: My Dinner with Andre'...I mean, Rich Hale

    I haven't seen any of Mr Hale's material, but I think the addition of a "notes" section to technique descriptions on the books is a fantastic idea.

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    Default Re: My Dinner with Andre'...I mean, Rich Hale

    I like the notes idea as well. I'm so used to writing things down in my journal. I wonder if this would be a tough transition? Maybe I'll give it a shot one day.
    "Fear is the true opiate of combat."

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