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Thread: Tailoring Kenpo

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    Default Tailoring Kenpo

    Mr. Parker had talked about how many people are chastised for doing things that are not the same way that it was taught. He talks about how people should tailor their system to them self.

    He goes on to discuss two examples:
    1. A person was trying to buy a suit in a store that only sells size 44 suits, but the individual is a size 40. So the sales man gives him a diet to gain weight. Or visa versa.
    2. He than goes on and talks about a staight punch. Visualize your self in a horse stance and there is a vertical line infront of you. When throwing a straight punch you can turn your fist the very moment your elbow reaches the line, after the elbow reaches the line, or before you reach the line. All three of these will have the same affect. The underlying principle is torque in each example remains constant. It was the timing that changed not the principle.

    "Therefore, if a move changes in appearance yet give an individual maximum effectiveness without changing the underlying principle, IT IS CORRECT."

    He than goes on to give many other examples. But what I am trying to say is that event if a person is doing something that is not just like what is taugh but still ends up with the same results as a person that does it the way it is supposed to be they should not be critisized.

    That is just like a golfer. Everyone has their own type of swing, but if they end up with great results than it is not wrong.
    "To hear is to doubt. To see is to be deceived. But to feel is to believe." -- SGM Ed Parker

    "Sic vis pacem parabellum - If you want peace, prepare for war." -- "The Punisher"


    "Praying Mantis, very good. . . For catching bugs." --Jackie Chan

    "A horse stance is great for taking a dump" --Jet Li

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    Default Re: Tailoring Kenpo

    To be valid, those statements would have to be viewed in context. Where did Mr. Parker say that? When and to who? I agree with what you are saying, to some extent. But, taken at face value and without understanding, this is a recepie for problems. There are a lot of things that go on in any movement that are not apparent to an untrained person (as we all know). So, just because it looks good, or similar, doesn't mean it is. Basics are designed to ingrain patterns of movement into synaptic/muscle memory, and so must be done correctly. Tailoring should only be done for specific reasons and only with understanding. I'm a proponent of tailoring, but just anything doesn't go. Not saying you are wrong here, but I am saying be careful.

    Dan C
    There are things that are worth knowing for their own sake, worth finding for the pure joy of discovery.

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    Default Re: Tailoring Kenpo

    Tailoring is a prime aspect of Kenpo that sets it apart from other arts. TheDan does have a valid point, however. Tailoring should not be used as an excuse to deviate from the other principles of Kenpo. Unfortunately, this does occur.

    I believe tailoring deals primarily with applying the principles of Kenpo on an individual basis. While no two people are anatomically or physiologically the same, the basic scientific principles and concepts of Kenpo can be applied by anyone. Sure, no two people will execute a punch in the same manner, but both can apply the same principles that make the punch effective.

    My 0.02
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Tailoring Kenpo

    I will be a bit more harsh than thedan. I think, often, people take the idea of 'tailoring' and use it as a justification for poorly executed kenpo.

    It is true that a properly executed training horse stance will not have the same width between two individuals if individual A has a 36" inseam and individual B has a 27" inseam. If we were to view each individuals training horse stance, independently, and free of any reference to scale, both training horse stances should look alike. But, when viewed together, it would be obvious that individual A has a greater, measurable distance between his left heel and his right heel. I believe Mr. Parker's references to tailoring should be viewed as an acknoweldgement of this fact.

    Lt. Commander Data legs were 87.2 centimeters the day he came on line, and his legs, he tells us in 'Insurrection', will be 87.2 centimeters the day he goes offline. If we all had legs that were, and always would remain, 87.2 centimeters, we would not need 'tailoring'. (never pass up the chance for a Star Trek reference).

    Especially with the onset of easy web videos, we can all see vast amounts of kenpo. Have you seen the clip of Mr. Parker doing Short 3 without Fatal Cross? Is that tailoring, or is that doing the form incorrectly? I am beginning to find myself in the camp of: it is people doing kenpo incorrectly (as opposed to the tailoring camp).

    In one of my recent private lessons with Mr. Planas, he ended up correcting an awful lot in how I execute Long Form 2. This is a form I have been running for quite a few years, at this point. But in that form, I had much 'meaningless motion'. I think often, when we have incomplete understanding, 'tailoring' is an easy way to justify our knowledge.

    Get a good teacher, as close to the original system as you can.

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    Default Re: Tailoring Kenpo

    Is it possible for the one that created the form in the first place to do it incorrectly?
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Tailoring Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler View Post
    Is it possible for the one that created the form in the first place to do it incorrectly?
    If he wanted to deliberately show an example of poor technique, and used the form as the vehicle, then yes. Actually, I think anybody can have an "off" or "lazy" day, and can give a poor rendition of a form, even if that person created the form in the first place. Just because he is the creator, doesn't mean he always does everything perfectly. He's human too, and is prone to the shortcomings and mistakes that being human entails.

    If he was doing all portions of the form correctly, but chose to eliminate a piece of the form, then in my opinion, no, it is not incorrect, it is just incomplete compared to what has become the established standard body of knowledge contained in the form. But of course there would be little stopping him from deciding to eliminate a portion of the form, and making that the new "standard". In fact, others might have good reasons for doing so as well. It would be a departure from the original, no longer "Ed Parker's" kenpo, since Ed Parker didn't create or teach it that way, but it could still be a good, solid form based on strong technique and principles.
    Michael


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    Default Re: Tailoring Kenpo

    Mr. Parker was a truly smart man. If he was around today. His style of kenpo would change and grow as he would have changed and grown.

    My 2 cents

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    Default Re: Tailoring Kenpo

    In my opinion, Tayloring means that when push comes to shove and you need to use your skills to defend yourself or a loved-one, you understand that you will probably never get a textbook technique to work exactly how it was taught. Instead, the techniques are used as a starting point, things to work with, tools in your tool box. But every encounter is different, you cannot predict exactly how it will unfold, so you need to be able to alter and adjust any technique under the heat of battle, to meet the demands of a chaotic, unpredictable, and ever-changing hostile environment. If you can do that, they you have successfully taylored.

    But when you practice, you practice the methods as they have been taught to you, as well as you are able.

    Now keep in mind, everyone understands things differently, or at least on a different level, from everyone else, and NOBODY understands things absolutely perfectly. This includes Mr. Parker, and all of the seniors who are still out there. Of course their understanding is far greater than that of most of us, but it still is not perfect.

    So our ability to successfully taylor is based on how well we understand the material. But even a low level student needs to taylor, if he needs to actually defend himself. If a black belt won't get a SD tech to work exactly like the textbook, then of course a yellow belt won't be able to either. But if that yellow belt needs to defend himself, he needs to understand that he can change the application of the tech, or portions of the tech, to meet the circumstances. This need can arise for anyone, regardless of their level.
    Michael


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    Default Re: Tailoring Kenpo

    In my opinion, Tayloring means that when push comes to shove and you need to use your skills to defend yourself or a loved-one, you understand that you will probably never get a textbook technique to work exactly how it was taught. Instead, the techniques are used as a starting point, things to work with, tools in your tool box. But every encounter is different, you cannot predict exactly how it will unfold, so you need to be able to alter and adjust any technique under the heat of battle, to meet the demands of a chaotic, unpredictable, and ever-changing hostile environment. If you can do that, they you have successfully taylored.

    But when you practice, you practice the methods as they have been taught to you, as well as you are able.

    Now keep in mind, everyone understands things differently, or at least on a different level, from everyone else, and NOBODY understands things absolutely perfectly. This includes Mr. Parker, and all of the seniors who are still out there. Of course their understanding is far greater than that of most of us, but it still is not perfect.

    So our ability to successfully taylor is based on how well we understand the material. But even a low level student needs to taylor, if he needs to actually defend himself. If a black belt won't get a SD tech to work exactly like the textbook, then of course a yellow belt won't be able to either. But if that yellow belt needs to defend himself, he needs to understand that he can change the application of the tech, or portions of the tech, to meet the circumstances. This need can arise for anyone, regardless of their level.

    __________________
    Michael


    I agree nice..
    Kosho



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    Default Re: Tailoring Kenpo

    The way I see it the basics and such should be very similar. To me tailoring means one guy can kick above his head while another cannot. So if a technique calls for a kick above the head and you cannot do it does that make you a poor kenpoist? A quote I have heard is " A broken nose is a broken nose whether from an elbow or a fist"

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    Default Re: Tailoring Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by michaeledward View Post
    I will be a bit more harsh than thedan. I think, often, people take the idea of 'tailoring' and use it as a justification for poorly executed kenpo.

    It is true that a properly executed training horse stance will not have the same width between two individuals if individual A has a 36" inseam and individual B has a 27" inseam. If we were to view each individuals training horse stance, independently, and free of any reference to scale, both training horse stances should look alike. But, when viewed together, it would be obvious that individual A has a greater, measurable distance between his left heel and his right heel. I believe Mr. Parker's references to tailoring should be viewed as an acknoweldgement of this fact.

    Lt. Commander Data legs were 87.2 centimeters the day he came on line, and his legs, he tells us in 'Insurrection', will be 87.2 centimeters the day he goes offline. If we all had legs that were, and always would remain, 87.2 centimeters, we would not need 'tailoring'. (never pass up the chance for a Star Trek reference).

    Especially with the onset of easy web videos, we can all see vast amounts of kenpo. Have you seen the clip of Mr. Parker doing Short 3 without Fatal Cross? Is that tailoring, or is that doing the form incorrectly? I am beginning to find myself in the camp of: it is people doing kenpo incorrectly (as opposed to the tailoring camp).

    In one of my recent private lessons with Mr. Planas, he ended up correcting an awful lot in how I execute Long Form 2. This is a form I have been running for quite a few years, at this point. But in that form, I had much 'meaningless motion'. I think often, when we have incomplete understanding, 'tailoring' is an easy way to justify our knowledge.

    Get a good teacher, as close to the original system as you can.
    I love this post. Thank you, Michael. Well said.
    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: Tailoring Kenpo

    I think the Michaels are unanimous on this one.
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    Default Re: Tailoring Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler View Post
    Tailoring is a prime aspect of Kenpo that sets it apart from other arts. TheDan does have a valid point, however. Tailoring should not be used as an excuse to deviate from the other principles of Kenpo. Unfortunately, this does occur.

    I believe tailoring deals primarily with applying the principles of Kenpo on an individual basis. While no two people are anatomically or physiologically the same, the basic scientific principles and concepts of Kenpo can be applied by anyone. Sure, no two people will execute a punch in the same manner, but both can apply the same principles that make the punch effective.

    My 0.02
    I believe other arts do tailor to the individual, its the arcane teaching methods this concept was meant to address.
    Sean
    PS wow this is the first time in about a year this site has let me post

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    Default Re: Tailoring Kenpo

    If you look at kempo in the whole big picture, many martial artist have change and tailored it to fit their own needs. Mitose Kempo doesn't look completely like Okinawan Kempo. Chow's Kenpo doesn't look like Mitose's Kenpo. Parker's Kenpo doesn't look any thing like Chow's. Parker took many of the Jujutsu type techniques out, at least in the early stages. Parker added all of the short and Long forms. Mitose, and Chow never used these forms.

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    Default Re: Tailoring Kenpo

    Has anyone else realized the answer to this question is almost always...

    1) I think....

    and

    2) To me.....

    ...there is a reason for this...
    James Hawkins III, SI
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    Default Re: Tailoring Kenpo

    Everybody moves differently. That's just the way we're built. Tailoring should be used to take those differences into account. The caveat is that the underlying principles should not be compromised. In the case of a physical limitation, then tailoring can be used to make it possible for the individual to do the movement, with the goal being to keep AS CLOSE to the underlying principles as possible. The latter is too often used for everybody, hence Michaels valid points regarding tailoring being an excuse for bad kenpo.

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    Default Re: Tailoring Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by KenpoJuJitsu3 View Post
    Has anyone else realized the answer to this question is almost always...

    1) I think....

    and

    2) To me.....

    ...there is a reason for this...
    Qualifying is not a sin. It gives you a "Margin For Error"
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    Default Re: Tailoring Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by KenpoChanger View Post
    Qualifying is not a sin. It gives you a "Margin For Error"
    Sean
    Where I was going with that is that the reasons for and against tailoring are as varied as the tailoring itself. It is a question that has no definitive answer by design.
    James Hawkins III, SI
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    Default Re: Tailoring Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by jdinca View Post
    Everybody moves differently. That's just the way we're built.
    Last time I checked, my body moved pretty much the same as everyone around me.... knees bend the same direction, bicep flex moves my hand closer to my shoulder... etc... so what do you mean???

    what kind of ANATOMICAL differences would call for tailoring? other than SIZE or IMPAIRMENT. I imagine all kinds of emotional and mental "differences" lead someone into tailoring...

    by tailoring I am assuming that means - modifying the base "ideal" technique to create a new base. Different than what-if scenarios...

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    Default Re: Tailoring Kenpo

    Before you do any tailoring, Make sure you know the correct way first. When you change or improperly apply bows or stances , you are not tailoring you are only getting sloppy with execution. That is not tailoring, only an excuse.
    Before you " tailor a Tech. Make sure you understand and are executing it properly. Than if you are ,why does it need tailoring? Tailoring is one thing ,changing the moves of a tech is something else. Take 5 swords.
    How many variations are there of that? Are the different ways of doing it Tailoring or simply because you like another move better?

    anyway another way to think aboout it.

    I am Most Respectfully,
    sifuroy

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