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    Default Instinctive Blocking

    American Chúan-Fa


    “Startle Response” Instinctive Blocking

    By
    Ron Chapél, Ph.D.


    At the level of Martial Science, all movements are governed or affected by the height, width, and depth of the action, along with the method and manner of execution, the desired target, and the weapon of choice along with the available angle of contact.

    Substantial attention must also be given to strict posture, the relative position of the feet, weight distribution, as well as the mental focus of energy relative to the intended action. All of these things have a profound effect, and can dictate the outcome beyond personal resolve.

    Taken these things into consideration, one of the unique things in the martial arts is the training associated with “blocking.” Never has the diversity of something so vital been greater then how the many different styles disciplines and teachers, approach this singularly important self-defense function. In many instances it will be your initial response to any external stimuli. Therefore it is paramount the blocking action be extremely functional and immediately executable for the relative layman.

    Unfortunately many contemporary self-defense based arts in their most common versions have taken on the philosophy of, “If the first move doesn’t work, move on to the next one” to justify it’s rapid fire execution. Called over-kill by outsiders and over-skill by the unknowledgeable insiders, this philosophy has some inherent shortcomings when it comes to blocking.

    Consider the importance of this basic action. If your blocks are not effective, chances are the opportunity to continue to your second move may not present itself. It prompted my teacher to tell beginners, “Distance is your best friend.” It also brings to mind an old Kenpo-Karate Yellow Belt saying about “horizontal meditation” brought on by hesitation.

    Therefore, in addition to other flaws, teaching styles dominated by motion concepts has a philosophical flaw of “Assumption of Failure.” This causes some to eschew significant blocks completely in favor of what they perceive to be faster, more efficient parries or soft, “liquid” movements.

    Other combat based martial disciplines use completely dysfunctional “hard” blocks that disappear in sparring along with their accompanying stances. Still other sport based significant contact activities resort to what is essentially a western boxing philosophy of “take it” or, cover up what you don’t want to get hit.”

    All except Western Boxing seem to either block for perceived proficiency, or abstract aesthetic cultural requirements. They fail to recognize the blocking process is designed to perform many functions on multiple levels. In American Chúan-Fa Blocking movements are designed to; create as well as move internal energy, create structural integrity and body alignment, provide basics for extrication skills, perform anti and counter grappling functions, and of course block assaults directed at the body’s head and torso.

    A well-designed self-defense technique is nothing more than the product of the execution of the sum total of its basic components. Movement that is explained, taught, and constantly corrected properly, will breed familiarity of thought and action and vicariously produce a speedy product results. There are no short cuts to efficient, consistent, and lasting physical movement.

    Moreover, you will find that expedient necessity coupled with required efficiency equals sameness of action regardless of, and in spite of the performer. Expressed another way, all things being equal if you are a weightlifter in addition to other factors, you must use the same technique as those who are the most anatomically and technically efficient. You cannot “do your own thing” and expect to consistently lift as much as those who rely on proper training.

    Ed Parker Sr. used a written language analogy to explain the conceptual process used in his commercial version of Kenpo- Karate. We use a similar but less abstract process in the American Chúan-Fa interpretation of his teachings.

    First, you should begin with “phonics” or phonetic movement to begin the training process of the body at the sub-skeletal level. Second you begin “printing” as we start the process of creating proper and effective muscle memory. Third as we begin to “write” our actions through fluid scriptive movements, we elongate circles and round corners and access the now created synaptic pathways or conduits of the brain that connects to the muscles. Finally after significant training of the mind and body, “shorthand” is employed.

    However, one must remember shorthand is a skilled option and not always the ideal. In Kenpo-Karate, shorthand is taught without the requisite phonics or basics as foundation and is often taught as the prevailing response instead of the optional character it should be. Because of this mistaken accelerated approach, internal energy, alignment, etc. relatively speaking are not obtainable.

    I was taught by Ed Parker Sr. all blocks are circular, and the proper execution of all the basic blocks can be found in a circle in one direction or the other. In fact all of the basic blocks are actually the same basic arm configuration. The only thing that actually changes is their relationship to the shoulder and the method and manner of execution geared for its intended use in conjunction with the Anticipated Point of Impact. Over time the circles in some instances become smaller and smaller in execution. At the truly advanced level this process can be attained subcutaneously and at mastership, becomes outwardly physically imperceptible in many cases.

    Most versions of Kenpo-Karate are obsessed with what they perceive to be “necessary expediency”. This mindset causes them to view larger circular execution as “slower,” and therefore inferior. For these practitioners, “point of origin” means only linear actions. They fail to recognize the term applies to both linear, and circular movement. Blocking in a straight line is of course direct but is NOT always, (contrary to popular belief), anatomically efficient, or relatively effective in comparison, and is at best defensively singular in purpose in many instances.

    It must be understood the attached articulated armatures of the human torso are designed like a “ball and socket” and must be rotated to maximize all aspects of its use. This “sets” the ball into the socket, aligns the sub-skeletal structure, allows internal energy to flow through Kinetic Linking, and creates anatomical efficiency and congruency necessary to function with maximum effect and integrity of the desired action.

    Speed is in no way sacrificed. The body and mind are being trained and in a relatively short period of time, speed is attained in addition to many other vicarious benefits of the process. Anatomical speed is often mistakenly thought of as a “swiftness of mechanical movement.” In reality speed is a byproduct of mental and physical familiarity.

    Like the assembly line worker who does the same movements over and over, not only does his action become more efficient over time, but they also become faster without conscious effort to facilitate the movement. His mind and body becomes “conditioned” to function together and significant synaptic pathways are created between the brain and the body.

    This mental and physical conditioning is what we call “muscle memory.” We all have experienced this in some way or another. Sometimes your “body” knows what to do even when your conscious mind is distracted. Have you ever had trouble recalling a phone number, but when a phone is in front of you your hand seems to “remember” the number? When we use conventional phone keypads to access a particular number on a consistent basis, we always make the same movements in the same pattern and usually with the same hand digit.

    Therefore, Like the assembly line worker who is slow and clumsy in the beginning, when we begin American Chúan-Fa Training at the Martial Science level, all movement should be “phonetic” so we may “learn” the action and create proper muscle memory.

    This is why Ed Parker Sr. always said, “Practice does not make perfect, only perfect practice makes perfect.” When this is done consistently, then “Perfect practice will make permanent.” Only through consistently performing your basics correctly will this occur. Being exposed to basic movements without significant and diligent corrections of their execution is not enough to produce efficient synaptic pathways for self-defense technique applications.

    The human body has a built in mechanism designed to help protect itself from injury or discomfort. The “blink of Startle Reflex” as an example is a part of that mechanism. A piece of paper suddenly thrust into the face, or even a loud noise can activate your blink and autonomic reflex.

    In sudden anticipation of contact the body reflexively adjusts to absorb and protect itself form the anticipated intrusion. Depending upon the level of perceived threat, the body may blink the eyes, tense and position the torso, or raise the arms or duck. Although some speak of training to respond instantly to external stimuli, the autonomic nervous system and its “startle reflex” will always prevail prior to any other movement, regardless of training.

    Simply put, the body instinctively moves to protect itself with this reflex when surprised or startled. It is only prudent in any training designed to be used to defend ourselves from known as well as unknown surprise encounters, that this “startle reflex” be examined and incorporated so reflex actions may be and integral part of any physical response. In American Chúan-Fa, this is known as “Startle Reflex or Instinctive Blocking.” In this way all blocking essentially conforms to anatomically correct movements initiated by the startle reflex instinct, and therefore the body utilizes synaptic pathways already in existence.

    This not only makes the initial movement of blocks anatomically correct with proper alignment of the skeletal sub-structure, but under stress the body will initiate a natural reaction and flow to the block more readily through “muscle memory” already established.

    Human anatomy Startle Reflex is not unique in nature. The body knows what to do. It is only prudent to take advantage of pre-existing bodily instincts whenever possible, whether teaching or training.
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    "Nothing is more dangerous than the conscientiously ignorant, or the sincerely stupid." - Martin Luther King Jr.

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    "It's much easier to quote, than to know." - Ron Chapél


    www.MSUACF.com

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    Default Re: Instinctive Blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc View Post
    American Chúan-Fa


    “Startle Response” Instinctive Blocking

    By
    Ron Chapél, Ph.D.


    At the level of Martial Science, all movements are governed or affected by the height, width, and depth of the action, along with the method and manner of execution, the desired target, and the weapon of choice along with the available angle of contact.

    Substantial attention must also be given to strict posture, the relative position of the feet, weight distribution, as well as the mental focus of energy relative to the intended action. All of these things have a profound effect, and can dictate the outcome beyond personal resolve.

    Taken these things into consideration, one of the unique things in the martial arts is the training associated with “blocking.” Never has the diversity of something so vital been greater then how the many different styles disciplines and teachers, approach this singularly important self-defense function. In many instances it will be your initial response to any external stimuli. Therefore it is paramount the blocking action be extremely functional and immediately executable for the relative layman.

    Unfortunately many contemporary self-defense based arts in their most common versions have taken on the philosophy of, “If the first move doesn’t work, move on to the next one” to justify it’s rapid fire execution. Called over-kill by outsiders and over-skill by the unknowledgeable insiders, this philosophy has some inherent shortcomings when it comes to blocking.
    Are you talking about "double factoring" here? Other than that, Kenpo techniques typically start with ONE defensive movement, sometimes followed by a flurry of strikes. Regarding the latter, I in fact wonder: Which opponent will, after having been poked in the eyes, chopped in the throat and kicked in the groin, still be standing there in order to have a knee blown out? But if your first techniques were indeed so ineffective, what makes you think that the x-th would make any difference? Or that you would actually still be able to deliver it?

    Consider the importance of this basic action. If your blocks are not effective, chances are the opportunity to continue to your second move may not present itself. It prompted my teacher to tell beginners, “Distance is your best friend.”
    As far as not getting hit, that is entirely correct. The downside is that you may not be able to resolve the problem from a distance (unless you talk your way out, run away, throw something at the aggressor etc), and, once you are on the defensive side, end up getting hit anyway.

    It also brings to mind an old Kenpo-Karate Yellow Belt saying about “horizontal meditation” brought on by hesitation.
    Yeah, that ties in with what I just said.

    Therefore, in addition to other flaws, teaching styles dominated by motion concepts has a philosophical flaw of “Assumption of Failure.” This causes some to eschew significant blocks completely in favor of what they perceive to be faster, more efficient parries or soft, “liquid” movements.

    Other combat based martial disciplines use completely dysfunctional “hard” blocks that disappear in sparring along with their accompanying stances.
    I always found it funny how I was instructed to train so many hard blocks in Shotokan which nobody ever used in sparring. It was not until much later that I found out that what was said to be a block is in truth often something quite different (especially in forms).

    That said, hard blocks can sometimes be useful against committed attacks involving wide movement (haymakers).

    Still other sport based significant contact activities resort to what is essentially a western boxing philosophy of “take it” or, cover up what you don’t want to get hit.”
    Not always a functional option.



    All except Western Boxing seem to either block for perceived proficiency, or abstract aesthetic cultural requirements. They fail to recognize the blocking process is designed to perform many functions on multiple levels. In American Chúan-Fa Blocking movements are designed to; create as well as move internal energy, create structural integrity and body alignment, provide basics for extrication skills, perform anti and counter grappling functions, and of course block assaults directed at the body’s head and torso.

    A well-designed self-defense technique is nothing more than the product of the execution of the sum total of its basic components. Movement that is explained, taught, and constantly corrected properly, will breed familiarity of thought and action and vicariously produce a speedy product results. There are no short cuts to efficient, consistent, and lasting physical movement.

    Moreover, you will find that expedient necessity coupled with required efficiency equals sameness of action regardless of, and in spite of the performer. Expressed another way, all things being equal if you are a weightlifter in addition to other factors, you must use the same technique as those who are the most anatomically and technically efficient. You cannot “do your own thing” and expect to consistently lift as much as those who rely on proper training.

    Ed Parker Sr. used a written language analogy to explain the conceptual process used in his commercial version of Kenpo- Karate. We use a similar but less abstract process in the American Chúan-Fa interpretation of his teachings.

    First, you should begin with “phonics” or phonetic movement to begin the training process of the body at the sub-skeletal level. Second you begin “printing” as we start the process of creating proper and effective muscle memory. Third as we begin to “write” our actions through fluid scriptive movements, we elongate circles and round corners and access the now created synaptic pathways or conduits of the brain that connects to the muscles. Finally after significant training of the mind and body, “shorthand” is employed.

    However, one must remember shorthand is a skilled option and not always the ideal. In Kenpo-Karate, shorthand is taught without the requisite phonics or basics as foundation and is often taught as the prevailing response instead of the optional character it should be. Because of this mistaken accelerated approach, internal energy, alignment, etc. relatively speaking are not obtainable.

    I was taught by Ed Parker Sr. all blocks are circular, and the proper execution of all the basic blocks can be found in a circle in one direction or the other. In fact all of the basic blocks are actually the same basic arm configuration. The only thing that actually changes is their relationship to the shoulder and the method and manner of execution geared for its intended use in conjunction with the Anticipated Point of Impact.
    An interesting statement and observation.

    Over time the circles in some instances become smaller and smaller in execution. At the truly advanced level this process can be attained subcutaneously and at mastership, becomes outwardly physically imperceptible in many cases.

    Most versions of Kenpo-Karate are obsessed with what they perceive to be “necessary expediency”. This mindset causes them to view larger circular execution as “slower,” and therefore inferior. For these practitioners, “point of origin” means only linear actions. They fail to recognize the term applies to both linear, and circular movement. Blocking in a straight line is of course direct but is NOT always, (contrary to popular belief), anatomically efficient, or relatively effective in comparison, and is at best defensively singular in purpose in many instances.

    It must be understood the attached articulated armatures of the human torso are designed like a “ball and socket” and must be rotated to maximize all aspects of its use. This “sets” the ball into the socket, aligns the sub-skeletal structure, allows internal energy to flow through Kinetic Linking, and creates anatomical efficiency and congruency necessary to function with maximum effect and integrity of the desired action.

    Speed is in no way sacrificed. The body and mind are being trained and in a relatively short period of time, speed is attained in addition to many other vicarious benefits of the process. Anatomical speed is often mistakenly thought of as a “swiftness of mechanical movement.” In reality speed is a byproduct of mental and physical familiarity.

    Like the assembly line worker who does the same movements over and over, not only does his action become more efficient over time, but they also become faster without conscious effort to facilitate the movement. His mind and body becomes “conditioned” to function together and significant synaptic pathways are created between the brain and the body.

    This mental and physical conditioning is what we call “muscle memory.” We all have experienced this in some way or another. Sometimes your “body” knows what to do even when your conscious mind is distracted. Have you ever had trouble recalling a phone number, but when a phone is in front of you your hand seems to “remember” the number? When we use conventional phone keypads to access a particular number on a consistent basis, we always make the same movements in the same pattern and usually with the same hand digit.

    Therefore, Like the assembly line worker who is slow and clumsy in the beginning, when we begin American Chúan-Fa Training at the Martial Science level, all movement should be “phonetic” so we may “learn” the action and create proper muscle memory.

    This is why Ed Parker Sr. always said, “Practice does not make perfect, only perfect practice makes perfect.” When this is done consistently, then “Perfect practice will make permanent.” Only through consistently performing your basics correctly will this occur. Being exposed to basic movements without significant and diligent corrections of their execution is not enough to produce efficient synaptic pathways for self-defense technique applications.

    The human body has a built in mechanism designed to help protect itself from injury or discomfort. The “blink of Startle Reflex” as an example is a part of that mechanism. A piece of paper suddenly thrust into the face, or even a loud noise can activate your blink and autonomic reflex.

    In sudden anticipation of contact the body reflexively adjusts to absorb and protect itself form the anticipated intrusion. Depending upon the level of perceived threat, the body may blink the eyes, tense and position the torso, or raise the arms or duck. Although some speak of training to respond instantly to external stimuli, the autonomic nervous system and its “startle reflex” will always prevail prior to any other movement, regardless of training.

    Simply put, the body instinctively moves to protect itself with this reflex when surprised or startled. It is only prudent in any training designed to be used to defend ourselves from known as well as unknown surprise encounters, that this “startle reflex” be examined and incorporated so reflex actions may be and integral part of any physical response. In American Chúan-Fa, this is known as “Startle Reflex or Instinctive Blocking.” In this way all blocking essentially conforms to anatomically correct movements initiated by the startle reflex instinct, and therefore the body utilizes synaptic pathways already in existence.

    This not only makes the initial movement of blocks anatomically correct with proper alignment of the skeletal sub-structure, but under stress the body will initiate a natural reaction and flow to the block more readily through “muscle memory” already established.

    Human anatomy Startle Reflex is not unique in nature. The body knows what to do. It is only prudent to take advantage of pre-existing bodily instincts whenever possible, whether teaching or training.
    One example for a defense that resembles a natural protective movement is the beginning of Thrusting Wedge. The Taiji form in the Yang style starts in a very similar fashion. From there you can flow into a number of different follow-ups.

    Just some thoughts.

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    Default Re: Instinctive Blocking

    I'll just throw this in here:

    A reason people don't usually use "hard blocks " in sparring is because .... It's SPARRING , not fighting. Although if you watch so e MMA matches, you can see guys using pieces of the traditional blocking movement.
    And that's the thing. You train an entire movement in class, but in real life, you often only have time or distance to use a piece of the whole thing.
    But, I have and still do use traditional blocks in sparring, and my students do too. Sometimes most of the movement, sometimes part of it.
    And yes, there's also the thing that what's taught as a block is sometimes a break, or a strike, or throw.
    But sometimes a block is just a block. The way Doc teaches them, they are an often devastating first response to an attack.
    "To be, rather than to seem"

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    Default Re: Instinctive Blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkC View Post
    I'll just throw this in here:

    A reason people don't usually use "hard blocks " in sparring is because .... It's SPARRING , not fighting. Although if you watch so e MMA matches, you can see guys using pieces of the traditional blocking movement.
    Can you provide any examples?

    And that's the thing. You train an entire movement in class, but in real life, you often only have time or distance to use a piece of the whole thing.
    Obviously, starting blocks from anywhere except Point of Origin is out of question.

    But, I have and still do use traditional blocks in sparring, and my students do too. Sometimes most of the movement, sometimes part of it.
    Interesting. I have spontaneously and successfully employed an outward block (palm facing me) against an upper level punch on some rare occasions. In Karate's linear kind of sparring, with straight and snapping punches, generally parries are most feasible, in my experience. Traditional hard blocks are too slow, even without wind-up.

    And yes, there's also the thing that what's taught as a block is sometimes a break, or a strike, or throw.
    But sometimes a block is just a block. The way Doc teaches them, they are an often devastating first response to an attack.
    Again, hard blocks are good against "all out" attacks (typically delivered with wide round motions), especially if used to hit certain kyusho.

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    Default Re: Instinctive Blocking

    "Hard" blocks, traditional blocks, etc. are meant to be used against all out attacks, not in sparring. Many people confuse sparring with real life.

    Every movement has a point of origin, it starts somewhere, no matter what path it takes to a target. This and economy of motion are two things many kenpo people don't understand correctly.
    "To be, rather than to seem"

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    Default Re: Instinctive Blocking

    Machida does a sloppy upward block en route to knocking Bader out.
    "To be, rather than to seem"

    "Fix your rear foot ... What the hell is wrong with you?"

    "...I already watched the videos, and quite frankly, they're bullsh*t."

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    Default Re: Instinctive Blocking

    Articles by my friend Dan. Agree or not, there's interesting stuff in them.

    The Way of Least Resistance: Why blocks DO work


    The Way of Least Resistance: There are no blocks in MMA?


    The Way of Least Resistance: Hard blocks






    Sent from my iPad
    "To be, rather than to seem"

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    Default Re: Instinctive Blocking

    When sparring, distance and timing are key, of course. Most often competitors are more focused on scoring then defending.
    ive used inward blocks in sparring a lot, usually causing my opponents some discomfort.
    again though, sparring is one thing, fighting is another....
    "To be, rather than to seem"

    "Fix your rear foot ... What the hell is wrong with you?"

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    Default Re: Instinctive Blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkC View Post
    "Hard" blocks, traditional blocks, etc. are meant to be used against all out attacks, not in sparring. Many people confuse sparring with real life.
    But that's what I'm saying!

    Every movement has a point of origin, it starts somewhere, no matter what path it takes to a target. This and economy of motion are two things many kenpo people don't understand correctly.
    What I mean is that in reality things happen too fast for you to cock your fist by your ear etc prior to a block. I can't imagine that by "doing the full movement", you mean going through that kind of retraction first.

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    Default Re: Instinctive Blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkC View Post
    When sparring, distance and timing are key, of course. Most often competitors are more focused on scoring then defending.
    ive used inward blocks in sparring a lot, usually causing my opponents some discomfort.
    again though, sparring is one thing, fighting is another....
    Used them only in prearranged three-step and one-step sparring. And yeah, I got complaints too.

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    Default Re: Instinctive Blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by nelson View Post
    Instinctive blocking to me is what you do when you are jumped or attacked. It occurs without any conscious thought because if you have to think you are screwed anyway ! The response patterns that you learn early in your journey stay with you for a lifetime. This is why it is essential to train under a master instructor if you are fortunate enough to find one.
    The more closely a block mimicks an instinctive movement, the easier it will be to employ in an emergency. Yes, what you first learn tends to stick. Not that such patterns could never be altered, but it takes extra effort.

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    Default Re: Instinctive Blocking

    You train the entire movement endlessly and when you have to use only part of it, that part is stronger than it would be otherwise. And there are times when you can use the whole thing. Watch boxers throw hook punches in the ring. Mostly they're not going through the entire movement taught in every boxing gym, including the arm, the pivot , the feet, the torso. But they still knock each other out .
    "To be, rather than to seem"

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    Default Re: Instinctive Blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkC View Post
    Machida does a sloppy upward block en route to knocking Bader out.
    Bader shouldn't have telegraphed that right punch.

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    Default Re: Instinctive Blocking

    You can't always avoid telegraphing, so you have to do something else at the same time to cover it.
    "To be, rather than to seem"

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    Default Re: Instinctive Blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by nelson View Post
    You can block too quickly and still get hit if your timing is off.
    Amen. I broke a finger blocking a kick that way.
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    Default Re: Instinctive Blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by Star Dragon View Post
    Are you talking about "double factoring" here? Other than that, Kenpo techniques typically start with ONE defensive movement, sometimes followed by a flurry of strikes. Regarding the latter, I in fact wonder: Which opponent will, after having been poked in the eyes, chopped in the throat and kicked in the groin, still be standing there in order to have a knee blown out? But if your first techniques were indeed so ineffective, what makes you think that the x-th would make any difference? Or that you would actually still be able to deliver it?
    It would behoove you to not label all Kenpo with your own interpretation and experiences. I think it has been shown that "kenpo" is significantly diverse in reality regardless of lineage to make avoiding painting kenpo with a broad brush of understandings and definitions a must in conversations.

    That being said, you need to explain what you mean by "double factor." additionally the art I know doesn't begin with "one" defensive move, nor does it typically rely on methods that even unskilled can perform like "poking" the eyes, or "chopping" the throat.

    I agree with your assertion as I believe I expressed it in the article that, "moving on to the next move when the first fails" is a recipe for disaster. It would seem to call such a method as "over-skilled" would be missing the point, and "over-kill" assumes you actually can perform without a reasonable basis to make such an assumption.

    Assumptions are the mother of all "f••k ups," much like the maximum effective range of an excuse.
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    "Knowledge speaks but wisdom listens." - Ed Parker Sr.

    "It's much easier to quote, than to know." - Ron Chapél


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    Default Re: Instinctive Blocking

    By the way , Star Dragon, is that guy in the photo with the blades yourself, or just a photo you pulled off the net?
    "To be, rather than to seem"

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    Default Re: Instinctive Blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc View Post
    It would behoove you to not label all Kenpo with your own interpretation and experiences. I think it has been shown that "kenpo" is significantly diverse in reality regardless of lineage to make avoiding painting kenpo with a broad brush of understandings and definitions a must in conversations.
    Frankly, your reply has me mildly confused. I do believe I was making myself clear enough. But as always, I'm pleased to elaborate.

    That being said, you need to explain what you mean by "double factor."
    Well, that is what a number of SD techniques start with (at least according to widely used manuals). A few quick examples off the top of my head being Shielding Hammer, Checking the Storm, Thrusting Salute.

    additionally the art I know doesn't begin with "one" defensive move,
    I was referring to a pattern commonly found in the SD techniques. Let's just consider the ten Yellow belt techniques (in the most common curriculum, I think): Six of them start with a block (or double block). In at least one case, this is an attack at the same time.

    But what I was getting at, and my question to you: Which techniques exactly suggest multiple defences, allowing for one or the other to go wrong? (Beyond aforesaid "double factors".)

    nor does it typically rely on methods that even unskilled can perform like "poking" the eyes, or "chopping" the throat.
    Attacks to vital targets are in fact wide spread throughout the system. I could again easily give you a number of examples, but do I need to? In another thread, you elaborated yourself on the destructiveness of Kenpo the way it was established by Mr. Parker, and the historical background for that.

    However, Kenpo's emphasis on vital target strikes is not a unique feature, it shares this characteristic especially with various Southern Kung Fu styles and their derivatives, like Wing Chun, JKD, Splashing Hands.

    Now, maybe the system you are teaching is different; as far as I see, that would be rather the exception than the rule, and if so, I would like to hear more about it.

    I agree with your assertion as I believe I expressed it in the article that, "moving on to the next move when the first fails" is a recipe for disaster. It would seem to call such a method as "over-skilled" would be missing the point, and "over-kill" assumes you actually can perform without a reasonable basis to make such an assumption.

    Assumptions are the mother of all "f••k ups," much like the maximum effective range of an excuse.
    Looks like we have found some common ground at last.

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    Default Re: Instinctive Blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkC View Post
    By the way , Star Dragon, is that guy in the photo with the blades yourself, or just a photo you pulled off the net?
    Pulled it off the net. I am the slim type.

    This is me:


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    Default Re: Instinctive Blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by Star Dragon View Post
    Frankly, your reply has me mildly confused. I do believe I was making myself clear enough. But as always, I'm pleased to elaborate.

    Well, that is what a number of SD techniques start with (at least according to widely used manuals). A few quick examples off the top of my head being Shielding Hammer, Checking the Storm, Thrusting Salute.

    I was referring to a pattern commonly found in the SD techniques. Let's just consider the ten Yellow belt techniques (in the most common curriculum, I think): Six of them start with a block (or double block). In at least one case, this is an attack at the same time.

    But what I was getting at, and my question to you: Which techniques exactly suggest multiple defences, allowing for one or the other to go wrong? (Beyond aforesaid "double factors".)
    OK you seem to be focused on your interpretation of Ed Parker's Kenpo Karate, so that gives it context. While the "double factor" is talked about in EPKK, the interpretation has to come from whomever is teaching. Coming from the 5 Family/Animal Chinese Kenpo perspective as I was taught, there was never an actual double factor but in fact, there was a "triple factor" executed before you have reached the actual "block." A reminder that EPKK is an outline severely limited to its conceptual base, and only has meat on the bone from someone who can put it there. A good example can be found in "Short Form One." I have never seen an interpretation by anyone that was actually correct that contained all of the information available in that form. For most, even the execution is severely limited and mostly dysfunctional, as most seem to perform some hybrid cross between the Japanese roots of the blocks, and a poor modern interpretation. The same could be said of Long Form One as well, with the "triple factor" forming the base of execution and the "block" taking on a potential offensive nature before the counter punch. But, like anything else, it depends upon who teaches you and their level of knowledge sir.

    Attacks to vital targets are in fact wide spread throughout the system. I could again easily give you a number of examples, but do I need to? In another thread, you elaborated yourself on the destructiveness of Kenpo the way it was established by Mr. Parker, and the historical background for that.
    We must define "vital targets" to start. In my understanding and the way I was taught, EPKK doesn't attack "vital targets" in the sense it attacks soft tissue to insure self defense viability. "Vital Targets" were always presented to me as a higher level of information, and that anyone who walked in the door had most of the skill they needed to poke someone in the eye already, which is why EPKK focused on soft tissue assaults to begin with. This was much like the short term self defense courses it was based upon. Someone grabs your shoulder, hit them in the throat, smash them in the groin, and poke them in the eye. The last time Mr. Parker discussed "vital targets" in the sense I believe you mean, was in the his Kenpo Karate book published in 1961. Later when he created Ed Parker's Kenpo Karate the term took on a different meaning.
    However, Kenpo's emphasis on vital target strikes is not a unique feature, it shares this characteristic especially with various Southern Kung Fu styles and their derivatives, like Wing Chun, JKD, Splashing Hands.
    And yet none of these contain the higher information of the Chinese Arts, and were never meant to be. EPKK in many ways is derived from these arts or similar interpretations, and I was fortunate to know two of the progenitors of these arts and understand their focus. Splashing Hands as presently constituted is a poor derivative of Mok Gar, while JKD is a "sparring based" open interpretation of a conceptual training regimen
    Now, maybe the system you are teaching is different; as far as I see, that would be rather the exception than the rule, and if so, I would like to hear more about it.
    Yeah it is a different "kenpo" system born out of necessity because of the way i was taught. I was never taught EPKK by Mr. Parker, and my initial lessons predate the existence of that material. Nevertheless, I was taught to interpret it should I choose to, and it does indeed contain the roots of some very useful and valuable information provided you have someone who can transcend the outline and put some meat on them bones. Those who are a product of the system, unfortunately do not have the capacity to do that.
    "Nothing is more dangerous than the conscientiously ignorant, or the sincerely stupid." - Martin Luther King Jr.

    "Knowledge speaks but wisdom listens." - Ed Parker Sr.

    "It's much easier to quote, than to know." - Ron Chapél


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