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Thread: What If There WAS A Successor?

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    Default What If There WAS A Successor?

    Kenpoists seem to love "What Ifs," so here's one to discuss...

    When Mr. Parker died he left a handful of 7th degree black belts, a number of very able and knowledgeable 6th degree black belts and under, and an association destined to fragment with his demise. If Mr. Parker ever selected a successor, he certainly did not announce it. Many have stepped forward since his death claiming to be (in one way or another) the "true heir" of Mr. Parker's Kenpo.

    What if Mr. Parker had named a successor and put in place the necessary organizational guidelines to make transition to a new IKKA head a smooth process? What would have happened in the years following Mr. Parker's death? Would the IKKA (as it existed in Mr. Parker's lifetime) still exist? Would the Kenpo community be more united? Was there anyone in Mr. Parker's lifetime whose selection as successor would have been generally accepted and who could have led in a way that honored Mr. Parker's legacy?

    I believe many would still have left Mr. Parker, just as many had already left him to go their own way before his death. But would these departures have enhanced the totality of Kenpo, or merely created division, animosity, and rivalry as is so often the case today?
    Joel Ellis
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    Default Re: What If There WAS A Successor?

    i think it would be the same. like one reason he didn't "appoint" a successor was because of the fact that's more of a asian custom, passing the system on.. if i'm not mistaken. there was already the tracy offshoot, i believe the WKKA was started before his death as well. and there were people who either left or were kicked out of the IKKA. so really, a successor in that sense, wouldn't have mattered as much.
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    Default Re: What If There WAS A Successor?

    And then again, naming a successor, while may be easier for the politics of an organization, would prove sticky with human relationships. Had Mr. Parker named a successor, some of the other 7th dans, as you've mentioned, may wonder, "Why him [choice of successor]? Why not <insert name of another 7th dan>?"

    Many of those who were with Mr. Parker were with him from nearly the very beginning--yes, even first generation students of his. Maybe Mr. Parker did not really intend to have just one line. Perhaps he knew [having stated many times Kenpo as a style is flexible/adjustable according to situations] and understood the power of choice, his students would have their own interpretation and form their own lines--thus Mr. Parker encouraged this as a way of spreading his knowledge? His decision not to name a successor may be intentional.

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    Default Re: What If There WAS A Successor?

    There are several reasons why Mr. Parker didn't name a successor. Personally, had it been addressed early enough, I think you would have a little more cohesiveness and consistency than what currently exists.
    Be careful what you say, some may take it the wrong way.

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    Default Re: What If There WAS A Successor?

    Most people do not follow organizations. People will follow an individual that can lead. A successor would not have been Ed Parker Sr., so it would have only delayed the inevitable.
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    Default Re: What If There WAS A Successor?

    I agree with jdinca. I believe the only way any "successor" would have had any chance of being accepted in general necessitated an early succession, well before Mr. Parker's departure from the scene (ie, retirement). With Mr. Parker's personality that was not going to happen. Even if it would have happened full acceptance was not likely, too many egos involved. I'm not pointing any fingers whatsoever, just making a statement of fact. Had an official successor been named, I agree that many of the same things would have happened concerning split-offs, etc. It just would have taken longer and had much more animosity involved.

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    Default Re: What If There WAS A Successor?

    AKKI may have remained an organization, if a majority of the members paid their dues. Though they did not.

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    Default Re: What If There WAS A Successor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastcoastkenpoist View Post
    AKKI may have remained an organization, if a majority of the members paid their dues. Though they did not.
    Has the AKKI disbanded or ceased to function as an association?
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    Default Re: What If There WAS A Successor?

    I think the AKKI folded and the name was sold to someone else, but I may be wrong and thinking of a different org. IKKA?
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    Default Re: What If There WAS A Successor?

    AKKI is still around, it's Paul Mills org. Jut googled the initials.
    http://www.akki.com/
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    Default Re: What If There WAS A Successor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Hubbard View Post
    AKKI is still around, it's Paul Mills org. Jut googled the initials.
    http://www.akki.com/
    I did the same but wondered whether something had happened that the website did not reflect.
    Joel Ellis
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    Default Re: What If There WAS A Successor?

    Quote Originally Posted by J Ellis View Post
    Kenpoists seem to love "What Ifs," so here's one to discuss...

    When Mr. Parker died he left a handful of 7th degree black belts, a number of very able and knowledgeable 6th degree black belts and under, and an association destined to fragment with his demise. If Mr. Parker ever selected a successor, he certainly did not announce it. Many have stepped forward since his death claiming to be (in one way or another) the "true heir" of Mr. Parker's Kenpo.

    What if Mr. Parker had named a successor and put in place the necessary organizational guidelines to make transition to a new IKKA head a smooth process? What would have happened in the years following Mr. Parker's death? Would the IKKA (as it existed in Mr. Parker's lifetime) still exist? Would the Kenpo community be more united? Was there anyone in Mr. Parker's lifetime whose selection as successor would have been generally accepted and who could have led in a way that honored Mr. Parker's legacy?

    I believe many would still have left Mr. Parker, just as many had already left him to go their own way before his death. But would these departures have enhanced the totality of Kenpo, or merely created division, animosity, and rivalry as is so often the case today?
    It may have eliminated some BS, but as its been said, other groups were already active, so I doubt it would've changed much. Look at Kajukenbo. Sijo Emperado passed, and AFAIK, there is no designated successor. All of the respectable groups are most likely under a GM, so while some things may've changed, on the surface, things seem to be running as normal.

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    Default Re: What If There WAS A Successor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastcoastkenpoist View Post
    AKKI may have remained an organization, if a majority of the members paid their dues. Though they did not.
    i believe you mean IKKA sir. there are to many groups out there with so few letters used.
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    Default Re: What If There WAS A Successor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastcoastkenpoist View Post
    AKKI may have remained an organization, if a majority of the members paid their dues. Though they did not.
    I should have written IKKA

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    Default Re: What If There WAS A Successor?

    What if a frog had wings? Who knows?

    From my understanding, in-fighting and politics existed when SGM Parker was alive... they didn't just crop up after his death. Naming a successor may have only made the eventual divisions even worse... or not.

    If it was so important, then why do you think SGM Parker DID NOT name one?

    Perhaps that should be the focus of your thoughts instead of delving into the realm of what could have been.

    My Ę2 is that SGM Parker was a genius and viewed things from an abstract philosophy that most simply can't wrap their heads around. As much time as SGM Parker put in to evolving, documenting, and codifying his art don't you think he would have taken the time to establish something like a successor if he thought it important to perpetuating the art?

    How about this for a theory:

    SGM Parker, being a non-traditionalist and wanting to see "his" art grow and evolve even after his death, thought it best not to name a successor.

    Naming a successor and allowing an organization to dictate how everyone in the world should do their techniques down to the position of their pinky toe was counter to the philosophy of "making the art one's own."

    However, trusting that his existing "experts" and students (6th's and 7th's for example) were deserving of the rank he gave them, he entrusted them to perpetuate not only his teachings, but also "grow" the art with by adding to it their own unique experiences and perspectives.

    What better way to take an individual idea and have it grow, evolve, and become better than by allowing experts in the field to take the reins and run with it?

    Paul Mills approach to 5 Swords will be influenced by Paul Mills, and though similar in application to Chuck Sullivan's 5 Swords, will be different. Each "senior" has an opinion... most of us are painfully aware of that after being around for a minute or two...

    So what you have is a group of experts out there, taking what they learned from SGM Parker and applying their own unique takes to it... to the benefit of us all, if we choose to attend a seminar or join their organization and train under them that is.

    Would you rather be exposed to one way of doing something or several? Without a basis for comparison how do you know what's best for you? How would you know if one approach to learning kenpo was better for you than another if they were all the same?

    I'm only scratching the surface, but perhaps some of you understand. LOL

    Perhaps SGM Parker intended NOT to leave a successor and for good reason.
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    Default Re: What If There WAS A Successor?

    Hi Ceicei, Nelson, Crippler! Gee, but it's great to see familiar, friendly faces coming back to the forum. Good to see you all. And thought I'd take a moment in this thread to say so.

    However, in my paradigm of Kenpo, If Mr. Parker had, indeed, left a successor and promoted him to 10th... There would be more 11ths in Kenpo out there than you could shake a stick at. It seems to me that so very little of Kenpo is run on anything other than the "My **** is bigger than your ****" anymore, and most of the noticeable differences in style/method don't really bear much more than passing mention.

    But then I tend to be a little more of a mustang in my comings and goings and kind of outspoken in my observations.

    Anyway, Still glad to see you all again!

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    Default Re: What If There WAS A Successor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler View Post
    If it was so important, then why do you think SGM Parker DID NOT name one?
    Maybe he didn't name anyone because he thought he would live long enough to do so. I suspect, however, that your implication is correct. He didn't name one for a reason, and your explanation for why he didn't do so may be the correct one, though we will never know for sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler View Post
    Perhaps that should be the focus of your thoughts instead of delving into the realm of what could have been.


    I don't think the question of why Mr. Parker didn't name a successor ever has been or ever will be the focus of my thoughts. I've got too much else to occupy my attention trying to do my job effectively, raise my kids, take care of my wife, learn a new Kenpo curriculum, and continue to explore the system that first granted me a black belt. It was simply a question designed to encourage thought and discussion. Not everyone who comes to KT does so to discover how many different ways there are to execute Short Form 1. Some are perfectly content (or sufficiently overwhelmed) with their Kenpo studies offline that they do not need online discussion to be "strictly business." They come here because they love Kenpo, they love reading about it, talking about it, and having these kind of conversations. Hopefully there is something enjoyable and positive about these kind of conversations for at least some of our members, even if they are not everyone's cup of tea.

    BTW - I still want us to get on the mat together, especially based on the similarity of our backgrounds (IKCA, EPAK, and JJ, I believe?). I'm looking forward to the opportunity to together. I'm sure you have a lot to teach me, and I have a lot of questions.

    Joel
    Joel Ellis
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    Default Re: What If There WAS A Successor?

    I sure wish you guys would find a reason to visit San Antonio...

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    Default Re: What If There WAS A Successor?

    Quote Originally Posted by stone_dragone View Post
    I sure wish you guys would find a reason to visit San Antonio...
    I've heard there are nice people out there. At least, I've heard there are two.
    Joel Ellis
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    If it is important, do it every day. If it is not important, donít do it at all. (Dan Gableís coaching philosophy)

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    Default Re: What If There WAS A Successor?

    Quote Originally Posted by stone_dragone View Post
    I sure wish you guys would find a reason to visit San Antonio...
    Stoney... That's where I began my Kenpo journey back about 1971ish... LOL! I may be heading down there in the next year or so, if I do, I'll contact you and see if we can arrange a workout and dinner on the Riverwalk. S'okay?

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