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Thread: An Observation...and A Question...

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    Juggernaut is offline
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    Default An Observation...and A Question...

    I realize that I am a relative newbie within the realm or universe of Kenpo, however I have been seriously (obsessively) studying the martial arts for 17 years. I have read a great deal of threads on the various forums. And I have definitly learned a great deal as well as scratched my head a few times at some of the topics as in I haven't learned enough kenpo to assimilate some of the information. I have also watched hours upon hours of kenpo practitioners, instructors and so on....on youtube including the late SGM Ed Parker (which he is amazing to watch). There are many internet videos demoing one or more of the self defense techniques. I am aware that there are variations of the material that SGM Parker taught as well as extensions. It appears that "nearly" all of the demos or examples of techniques I have seen contain many prefix's or suffix's within the movement and in many cases is done as fast as possible making it very difficult to analyze or truely observe.

    Is it common within kenpo to prefix or suffix on a regular basis as a student becomes more advanced such as black belt?

    Personally I would think that a higher level would further refine, dissect, analyze, and "pressure test" the basic material so that it brings deeper understanding and potential application of the advanced movments. I myself have have really enjoyed looking at Delayed Sword from different perspectives as well as the principles that are the "skeleton" of the technique.

    The reason I even chose to finally ask this question here is that it is completely evident that there are some very high level martial artists within the kenpotalk boards. And from what I have read many of you if not most of you constantly strive to look deeper into your beloved art.

    Sorry for ranting...I hope it made sense.

    Thank you for your time,

    Respectfully

    James Bullock

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    Default Re: An Observation...and A Question...

    Great question.

    We all should strive to make our Kenpo our own, and this is done by utilizing the Equation Formula see Equation Formula

    Kenpo is not a cookie cutter art where we assume that everyone will or should move the exact same, and that there will never be any variables in an encounter, therefor the Equation Formula is used to expand what you already have and Tailor (Customize) the art to fit you. Tailoring Kenpo

    We all have our own unqiue flavor to this art that we love based upon our experiences, attitudes and beliefs. While you will see slight differences in techniques from prefixes, suffixes, inserts etc... if you look closely they all rely on the strong heart (base) of the technique.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: An Observation...and A Question...

    Hi Rod,

    Thank you for the links, I actually read those threads earlier today...I have already printed them out so I can read them more carefully....lol

    I understand that Kenpo is not a cookie cutter art and that it you are supposed to tailor it to fit your body type, abilities and so on. I am familier with making a martial art your own from my previous experience in JKD. Upon closer inspection of some of the videos that I have seen on youtube and many within kenptalk I do infact see the heart or base moves you are referring to. But there are also many I have seen where there is no "apparent" stance changes and that the hands are literally moving faster than the lower body can adjust to...thus lacking any transferrable depth of power and accuracy. Don't get me wrong some of the speed I see is extremely fast.

    In your opinion at what point does prefixing and suffixing the kenpo techniques become a detriment to your base techniques or overall ability to effectifely apply the technique?

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    Default Re: An Observation...and A Question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Juggernaut View Post
    Hi Rod,

    Thank you for the links, I actually read those threads earlier today...I have already printed them out so I can read them more carefully....lol

    I understand that Kenpo is not a cookie cutter art and that it you are supposed to tailor it to fit your body type, abilities and so on. I am familier with making a martial art your own from my previous experience in JKD. Upon closer inspection of some of the videos that I have seen on youtube and many within kenptalk I do infact see the heart or base moves you are referring to. But there are also many I have seen where there is no "apparent" stance changes and that the hands are literally moving faster than the lower body can adjust to...thus lacking any transferrable depth of power and accuracy. Don't get me wrong some of the speed I see is extremely fast.

    In your opinion at what point does prefixing and suffixing the kenpo techniques become a detriment to your base techniques or overall ability to effectifely apply the technique?
    Tailoring becomes more of problem to those who are not ready to do it. Too often beginners see the idea of tailoring as a good excuse for not having to really do all the work necessary to know the system properly.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: An Observation...and A Question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Broad View Post
    Tailoring becomes more of problem to those who are not ready to do it..
    Amen to that, Brother!

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    Default Re: An Observation...and A Question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Broad View Post
    Tailoring becomes more of problem to those who are not ready to do it. Too often beginners see the idea of tailoring as a good excuse for not having to really do all the work necessary to know the system properly.
    That completely makes sense and definitely answers my question. Thank you Rod!!

    Sorry the questions were kind of long winded...

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    Default Re: An Observation...and A Question...

    Questions are we are all here.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: An Observation...and A Question...

    James-
    Good observations and GOOD question!!

    Rob makes a fine point too.
    On the one hand, tailoring our techniques and our mechanics of motion are important to learn so that when one comes to USE the art we can do so extemporaneously. I, for one, believe that when we NEED to use our art, we will have the motion and the principles ingrained (if we are well prepared) and we will respond by adaptation.....not by through a verbatim technique that we learned line by line, move by move.

    However: on the other hand we MUST FIRST fully digest and assimilate the principles/concepts that each technique...BY THE BOOK....has to offer. We can not dispense with the goldmine of the techniques just so we can put our own personal touches on them. When we reach a higher level of cultivation and refinement (not JUST knowledge of and skill w/in a given technique) then we can begin to look at applying the equation formula in order to further our cultivation and ability to modify...within the bounds of LOGIC.

    What I'm saying is, there's two sides to this coin. Tailoring is an important step, a useful step, but it's not the first step....and not an early step. It needs to be kept in perspective and we must not let the cart come before the horse.

    so, bearing this in mind, look at the people that you are observing here James. SGM Parker? You better believe he could tailor....IN HIS SLEEP!
    Then the others? You say they are high level? Well...there ya go.
    What are these people doing? They're not teaching. They're not practicing.
    They are doing a demonstration, the purpose of which is ...for lack of a better term.....to show off. Really. That's what it is. It's to demonstrate the HIGHER END stuff, that makes your jaw drop.

    The coolest part about Mr. Parker though, was when he'd take someone from a different art and take their basics apart, and show them a better way to do them and a better reason. THAT was what impressed me. The tailoring and the "flair"....yeah, I'll eat that up too......
    but what the man did to the MIND of other martial artists...!!!
    Like setting a BON fire in the middle of Miles of dry sticks!!!

    Hope I wasn't too confusing.
    Your Brother
    John
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    Default Re: An Observation...and A Question...

    Hi John,

    Not confusing at all.....excellent points.


    However: on the other hand we MUST FIRST fully digest and assimilate the principles/concepts that each technique...BY THE BOOK....has to offer. We can not dispense with the goldmine of the techniques just so we can put our own personal touches on them. When we reach a higher level of cultivation and refinement (not JUST knowledge of and skill w/in a given technique) then we can begin to look at applying the equation formula in order to further our cultivation and ability to modify...within the bounds of LOGIC.
    I ESPECIALLY agree with your above statement. This should be read by every martial artist from every art. Too many people want to arrive before they have even truely begun the journey.

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    Thumbs up Re: An Observation...and A Question...

    There should be a catagory of "poster of the month, or week". This Kenpo Guy had the best post of the week...ever!
    Brother John would be off the charts.
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    Default Re: An Observation...and A Question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Juggernaut View Post
    Too many people want to arrive before they have even truely begun the journey.
    I FULLY agree!

    ...and I especially agree with
    This should be read by every martial artist from every art.
    in regards to what YOU said.
    Why not make it your tag-line?


    I love this subject, BTW. I think that Mr. Parker emphasized LOGIC & BASICS above all else for a Very good reason.

    Your Brother
    John

    PS: I look forward to MORE great questions from you bro.
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    Default Re: An Observation...and A Question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikael151 View Post
    There should be a catagory of "poster of the month, or week". This Kenpo Guy had the best post of the week...ever!
    Brother John would be off the charts.
    Coming from a fine AKKI Kenpoist...
    I can live off that compliment for a LONG time.



    Your Brother
    John
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    Default Re: An Observation...and A Question...

    Yet more great posts...

    I look forward to asking more questions!


    Regards,

    James Bullock

    P.S. I will not be posting again till sunday :-( I have to go to Iowa ( to meet the girlfriends grandparents)....

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    Default Re: An Observation...and A Question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Juggernaut View Post
    I have to go to Iowa ( to meet the girlfriends grandparents
    WOW.....
    good luck with THAT.

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    Default Re: An Observation...and A Question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Juggernaut View Post
    Yet more great posts...

    I look forward to asking more questions!


    Regards,

    James Bullock

    P.S. I will not be posting again till sunday :-( I have to go to Iowa ( to meet the girlfriends grandparents)....
    Each member has their own individual interpretration of "Proper Kenpo"; so, you are going to get a lot of answers. LOL
    Sean

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    kenpochrstn is offline
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    Cool Re: An Observation...and A Question...

    Quote Originally Posted by KenpoChanger View Post
    Each member has their own individual interpretration of "Proper Kenpo"; so, you are going to get a lot of answers. LOL
    Sean
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    Default Re: An Observation...and A Question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Juggernaut View Post
    But there are also many I have seen where there is no "apparent" stance changes and that the hands are literally moving faster than the lower body can adjust to...thus lacking any transferrable depth of power and accuracy. Don't get me wrong some of the speed I see is extremely fast.
    Jug, good observations. There is a lot of stuff on the net that is just bad Kenpo. No stance changes, upper body leading the lower or just completely disociated. Swiping, brushing weak movments that don't effect the dummy. But, there is some good stuff too.

    Look at the stuff Josh Ryerson or Larry Tatum put up. Plenty of speed with really good basics. There is some stuff with SL-4 people who have great power and structure and still have good speed, and their basics are off the chart. I'd say just be careful about what you see on the net, or in videos. I have some really bad examples of Kenpo in my video library. One is a national champion in self defense competitions. His moves are so flippy and weak as to be sickening to watch. But, they impress judges, I guess.

    Also, I wouldn't write off everything that I don't understand. Ask Dr. La Tourrett about speed hitting and the principles involved. He'd be the expert here, and could tell you (us) what to look for in good speed technique.

    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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    Juggernaut is offline
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    Default Re: An Observation...and A Question...

    Thanks for your insight Dan,

    I have seen many of Mr. Tatum's DVD's and he is absolutely amazing to watch. Very impressive indeed.

    I hope to get many more of his work as to have an example of great Kenpo.

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