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Thread: Kenpo Based on Motion v. Chinese “Chi”

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    Default Kenpo Based on Motion v. Chinese “Chi”

    Kenpo Based on Motion v. Chinese “Chi”
    By
    Ron Chapél, Ph.D.

    “Chi” is a term that is used across the full range of the Chinese Culture, and is included in all of its diverse sciences. The reason for this is these sciences are all interconnected to and relate to the human body. This includes of course what my teacher, and I chose to call Martial Science. Additionally, you have medicine, philosophy, art, calligraphy, etc. The term has a range of meanings from the mundane to the esoteric depending on the context and the user's intention.

    In Martial Science, it is the result of anatomically correct neuromuscular coordination, major and minor sub-skeletal alignment, in conjunction with mental focus and proper breathing and timing. Briefly, it is a kind of energy created by the extremes of biomechanical efficiency, cultivated by sophisticated and knowledgeable training.

    "Chi" has also been described as an esoteric type of “life force” in Chinese Medicine and in the Chinese Cultural Philosophy. Common descriptions use terms like electricity, or energy flow as if it is a fluid. As a fluid, you’ll hear phrases like “let it flow.” Expressed in electrical terms, it can be “discharged, strong or weak, positive or negative.”

    Often the fluidic and electrical analogies are used in consort with each other. Expressing it this way embodies it with the characteristics of bio-energy that has the qualities of a fluid and some unseen force simultaneously.

    Discussions of “chi” centered on the life force analogy began with Chinese Philosophy. Under Taoist teachings, “chi” is the moving or animating force of the universe and is everywhere. The earth, heavens, and man are all a part of “the force.” For a man, life and chi are synonymous. No chi, no life. When the chi has been drained, disturbed or unbalanced there is illness or weakness. When it has been completely drained, death ensues. These functions of chi are all governed by natural laws.

    Even the modern Western Medicine interpretation gives this perspective merit. It has been shown through a process (although controversial), called Kirlian photography that all living things have an “aura” and a “life force” that can be seen and recorded on film. This energy or life force is so strong that the aura it manifests continues to display parts of the anatomy long after they have been removed through injury or accident.

    An amputation of a limb continues to maintain its “aura” emanating from the main life force as if this energy supports and perpetuates the whole of the being. The process has also shown, once an individual has passed away, the life force and its aura cease to exist. It has been further shown that individuals with well developed “chi” are capable of visualizing another’s “chi” through their own “aura’ with the naked eye.

    Chinese Philosophers classify force of this type as “vitalism.” The Chinese Doctrine of Vitalism suggests the functions of living organism are due to a vital principle separate and apart from physicochemical forces. In other words, there are processes that are not fully explained by the laws of physics and/or chemistry.

    Defining "chi" as a kind of biomechanical efficiency is not unique to physical activities like the martial arts. When applied properly it becomes Martial Science. In any physical discipline “chi” is viewed as a "quality." In competitive physical activities phrases like “He’s on fire,” He’s really feeling it,” or “He’s in the zone,” are common explanations for what cannot be easily explained otherwise.
    When used this way, "chi" refers to the resulting product, of proper alignment of the human body, and all its parts necessary to perform the function at the maximum mind-body focus. This results in efficient movement and the optimal and maximal use of what can be sometimes described as an effortless force. In striking situations when executed properly the effects although devastating, seem effortless to the person performing the action.

    Sometimes so much so, they report not even feeling the contact despite the results. Proper chi is, therefore, the optimal skeletal alignment and most coordinated use of the muscular and neuromuscular system, for the expressed purpose of generating the maximum amount of force with the minimal amount of effort, in conjunction with the mind and breath.

    Put more simply, the utilization of maximum force and effect with a minimum amount of effort. Without it, there is no “chi.” Without “chi” there is no efficient biomechanical movement. One cannot exist without the other. They feed on each other, and the catalyst to begin the process is built around the proper teaching of body mechanics. In western martial “arts”, this is lost, or more correctly, never found knowledge.

    This philosophically contradicts the common misinterpretation of Ed Parker commercial Motion-Kenpo Karate Concept of “Economy of Motion.” Just because a motion is economical does not necessarily translate into efficiency on a grand scale. Motion-Kenpo Karate Concepts do not address the internal because by design they favor “motion efficiency over anatomical proficiency.” This favoring of motion has its advantage in that it allows a student to learn to use simple motion to possibly overwhelm an attacker rather quickly. Motion-Kenpo Karate’s only true stated goal is quick individual self-defense skills, and with proper instruction, it can do that very well.

    Motion-Kenpo Karate at its greatest depth explores motion in conjunction with its “Mathematical and Alphabetical Re-arrangement Concepts.” Because the possibilities and combinations are endless it can be “explored” forever, but this is “motion constipation,” and will never yield advanced knowledge beyond its motion base. Ed Parker was aware of this pairing of terms that created a commercially successful oxymoron, but because it was not representative of the whole of his methods, it was of little concern at the time.

    Besides, it served and continues to serve its purpose quite well for those with the intelligence to understand and teach it.
    If one were to examine a true biomechanical model, proper body alignment focuses on some fundamental elements. The use of the complete body as an efficient, integrated unit is paramount in execution. There is no singular part of the human anatomy that once moved, does not affect another part of, or the entire body in some way. Then, in conjunction with the correct coordination of the relaxation and the contraction of appropriate muscle groups, we finally, add the proper alignment of the sub-skeletal structure to transfer and/or receive external stimuli or force.

    Although this rather simplistic analysis of “chi” appears to be expressed in western scientific principles, an examination of 18th and 19th century Tai Chi shows that they discuss and place fundamental emphasis on many of these same essential biomechanical factors. Thus the explanation, although expressed in western terms is definitely Chinese, not western.

    Although “chi” or the internal is not represented in “Kenpo Karate,” it is represented in the more complete and true Kenpo product philosophy Mr. Parker worked on but never codified. I call my interpretation of his work American Chúan-Fa and its basics American Tactical Kenpo. Ed Parker always spoke of “…sub-categories of distance four” in Kenpo, and that is where the sub-title of SubLevel Four Kenpo came from which falls outside the definition of the four distances or ranges of combat.

    Here the relationship between antagonists is more intimate and specific in applications. This is where all the elements necessary to produce “chi” are greatly expressed but not exclusively. This is where the “whole” of Ed Parker’s genius resides and it exists exclusive of the terms “karate” and dominant “motion” concepts. I personally use the descriptive Martial Science term because it applies to all physical movement, along with its American Chúan-Fa Tactical Kenpo Martial Science components.

    Kenpo Karate teachers have realized their art is incomplete but many have not shared this with their students. Like parents, they answer questions with “because” while omitting the “I said so.” Martial art teachers often use the word "chi" similarly, as a catchall term for any aspect of the martial arts that they themselves don’t understand, understand only in a vague sense, or find difficult to articulate.

    Kenpo Karate violates some very important rules of learning. There is an assumption that learning any art happens in gradual stages and that each stage is laid on a foundation of what the student has already learned. Kenpo Karate routinely gives students information out of order and context through “what if” scenarios creating confusion. Taught properly, there is a very strict order to learning. Oftentimes, however, the student will ask questions about some aspect of the art that cannot usefully be answered because the student simply does not know enough to place the answer in context. Kenpo Karate by design must focus on self-defense skills immediately. Long-term benefit normally found in traditional martial art training is eschewed in favor of immediate, albeit limited, success.

    In the western arts, "chi" is used to describe phenomena that do not lend themselves to verbal articulation. Many aspects of physical arts are not easy to talk about; they are subjective feelings. Thus in sports, you hear phrases such as "in the groove," etc." In the creative arts, you will hear such things as "the words flowed out of me," "the band clicked," or "I found my rhythm." These types of expressions reflect very real experiences that are common to people involved in that activity. However, the experiences are not easy to articulate in concrete terms. Therefore, “chi” may be used as a catchall metaphor. To someone outside the art the metaphor makes little sense, but to someone who has had the same experience, the metaphor is clear.

    However, on the less legitimate side even in “Kenpo,” sometimes the term "chi" is used as nothing more than a way to hide the teacher's ignorance. It seems an unfortunate reality that in all times and places martial arts fraud has been prevalent. Not just recently in contemporary America, but in the Japan of Miyamoto Musashi's time, and pre- World War II Hawaii. Unfortunately, high percentages of martial arts instructors do not know or understand their own art in any depth. Thus, the use of terms such as "chi" provides a convenient cover for their ignorance.

    The fact that such a central concept as chi has multiple uses is a result of a number of factors, not the least of which is the reality that fraud, charlatanism, incompetence, and ignorance are prevalent in the martial arts. We can take some cold comfort in realizing that the use of "chi" to cover fraud and ignorance is not a recent phenomenon but rather a traditional part of the martial arts of any nation or of any time period.

    The two fundamentally different views of chi owe their existence to factors in Chinese Culture. However, beyond that, there are also factors in Chinese culture that have lead to the multiple and sometimes confused understandings of “chi” in the martial arts as it spread outside of China.

    Firstly, most of the theory surrounding the Chinese Martial Sciences including the concept of “chi” dates back to pre-modern scientific methods. The martial arts were not subjected to modern scientific methods of scrutiny until late in the 20th century. Prior to that, Chinese martial arts practitioners were long on practical experience but lacked the type of quantifiable information that is the basis of modern scientific study.

    Because of the many wars and conflicts, the availability of human bodies for experimentation and examination for the effects of applications were quite plentiful. It wasn’t difficult to discover what worked, but the quantification of the “why” scientifically was not yet available. Because of this, it was difficult to distinguish the separate entities inherent in high-level martial science skill and performance. Therefore, the Chinese themselves used terms like "chi" vaguely to describe a mix of principles that could not be separated through experimentation.

    Even in western boxing as well as other modern athletic endeavors, the various scientific approaches to human performance have only recently begun to be measured and validated scientifically. In addition, China has always had a tradition-bound culture for most of its history. This has manifested itself in a very specific relationship between students and teachers. All arts are regulated strictly. Two basic rules are that teachers do not "explain" to students and students do not question teachers.

    This tradition extends itself to all student-teacher relationships. If the martial arts teacher says something, the student will never inquire beyond that and the teacher will not explain beyond his own statement. As a result, vague and confused ideas are passed on, and that includes "chi."

    A third factor is that Chinese language and literary forms, do not lend themselves to specific discussions of martial science. The classical Chinese is purposely vague and overly flowery. “The rising eagle grasping with the invisible talon.” Although great for poets and philosophers, it is poor when it comes to concrete discussions of things such as science.

    To make sense of martial arts material written in classical Chinese the reader must have a background in the martial arts. Even so, written material in Chinese does not lend itself to do much to clarify what “chi” is. Taken together, these three factors are in large part responsible for the different frameworks and nuances of meaning that "chi" has in the modern martial arts.

    Chi as life force is the most widespread and traditional explanation. Chi as biomechanics is the most provable explanation from a scientific perspective. Moreover, regrettably, ignorance is the most common use of the term.
    swhitney222 likes this.
    "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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    Default Re: Kenpo Based on Motion v. Chinese “Chi”

    How does acupuncture fit into the "chi" concept? Do placements of pins into the human skin influence "chi"? I get the sense that there may be something to it but, I've never heard of any good science around it.
    Basics, the rest is bullshytery.

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    Default Re: Kenpo Based on Motion v. Chinese “Chi”

    Quote Originally Posted by DRANKIN View Post
    How does acupuncture fit into the "chi" concept? Do placements of pins into the human skin influence "chi"? I get the sense that there may be something to it but, I've never heard of any good science around it.
    Big D, good question. As explained "chi" is more of a euphemistical term for a variety of bodily functions that all come together to create the optimum in performance. We see it in sports all the time when we see athletes perform consistently at the extremes of human capability. So once we accept what "chi" actually is, we can put it in its rightful place as AN element to optimal performance, but not all-encompassing. When you introduce acupuncture or Chinese Healing we are only addressing one factor of balancing the body's internal health and alignment of energy flow that has been shown to have scientific validity even with Western Medial Skeptics. But this may only be the beginning of the process for our purposes.

    Many in the martial arts have attempted to explore meridian and nerve cavity activations by reverse engineering acupuncture charts to learn "point" and vulnerability locations on the human body. This would be a huge mistake. The Chinese Knowledge Tree is quite extensive and allows among its many branches of interpretations that there are "healing" applications as well as "destructive" ones as well, with both utilizing essentially the same information from the two diverse perspectives.

    But here is where it gets interesting. The Healing information is fairly well known with many practitioners, and with many boards and government-sanctioned licensing entities to ensure competency and consistency in treatment applications. However, the "destructive" side has always been a well guarded "secret" if you will by the Chinese Community. It is real and effective but not magic and requires extraordinary knowledge of human anatomy postures, both static and dynamic. This is the element that modern artists never had, therefore do not understand.

    If you look at an acupuncture chart, first they are all interpretations and vary greatly from chart to chart depending upon their source. So, even having a chart is not going to yield the information someone might want. They are heavily dependent upon the individuals' experience and skill to actually know the location of cavities or points, as well as the angle of the depth of penetration to affect the outcome desired. This is huge, and why "charts" are only a general guide. But the really big secret is posture.

    When you examine the general knowledge acupuncture charts, all of them have the model in a supine or prostrate posture front and back. That's because the human body is a living entity that shifts and moves subcutaneously as posture changes, therefore access points to meridians do the same. So in most cases, the access to meridians and point cavities when an individual stands up and becomes mobile will have most useful points for destructive interactive application, will be predicated on the subject's posture of the moment, which changes from one jiffy-second to the next. Without the knowledge and ability to understand and read "martial Posture," having information of acupunctures so-called points positions is virtually irrelevant.

    I've seen many who practice this, but they hit people so hard knowledge of point locations don't matter. So "Posture" is the missing element to access this information. Whenever someone talks to you about these things, and there are some famous ones out there who have written many books on the subject, if they don't include the posture with the location and method and manner of the points of activation, they either don't have the information or they are not being candid with you sir.

    So, "CHi" is real, but Western Medicine rather than trying to explain it, simply licenses its practitioners to do it because they've seen its positive results on patients.
    DRANKIN likes this.
    "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


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    Default Re: Kenpo Based on Motion v. Chinese “Chi”

    One of the things that always fascinated me by many of the Kenpo SD techniques is how they are designed to "set up" the human body for particular strikes. I believe many instructors do not get what Mr Parker may have intended with how these techniques were to "set up" the opponent's posture. I certainly do not get it entirely but I do recognize that there was more to it than was often being shown.

    And I'll throw a name in here, Mr. Rainey, who has shown me subtle taps and positioning of an opponent that completely break down one's balance. And I know he is doing it instinctively, which completely blows my mind.
    Last edited by DRANKIN; 03-22-2018 at 04:48 AM.
    Basics, the rest is bullshytery.

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    Default Re: Kenpo Based on Motion v. Chinese “Chi”

    Quote Originally Posted by DRANKIN View Post
    One of the things that always fascinated me by many of the Kenpo SD techniques is how they are designed to "set up" the human body for particular strikes. I believe many instructors do not get what Mr Parker may have intended with how these techniques were to "set up" the opponent's posture. I certainly do not get it entirely but I do recognize that there was more to it than was often being shown.

    And I'll throw a name in here, Mr. Rainey, who has shown me subtle taps and positioning of an opponent that completely break down one's balance. And I know he is doing instinctively, which completely blows my mind.
    Thee are some hidden gems even within the much-maligned Ed Parkers' Kenpo Karate. Mr. Parker left hints all over the place and waited for students to ask the right questions. According to him, few ever did.

    Asa was always a good student of mine. He and his brother Michael were always naturally gifted and really good people. One of the few from our Chinese Kenpo days that still calls me "Xifu."
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    "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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    Default Re: Kenpo Based on Motion v. Chinese “Chi”

    Hi Doc,

    Great article, I train in Tai Chi and EPAK and I am consistently looking at the similarities between principles and concepts of the two arts. comparing the terminology from the two arts seems to be the toughest part. since Tai Chi is not explained like a science of motion like it is in kenpo translating it into a scientific concept can be difficult. but I believe it can be all incorporated into your basics, like you mentioned body alignment and mind and body coordination. your article explains it well.

    thanks

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    Default Re: Kenpo Based on Motion v. Chinese “Chi”

    Hi Doc

    That's an interesting article, and I agree to it overall, but it would be more accurate to state that the application of chi is facilitated by or even based on body mechanics, without, however, being identical with, or reducible to, the latter. I have seen plenty of attempts to explain chi away as nothing but body mechanics, but none of them truly does the topic justice, in my view.

    Where I fully agree with you is in regards to the closeness of Mr. Parker's own interpretation of the Kenpo system to the internal arts, an insight I gained in the early 2000's and talked about relentlessly ever since I joined this forum, for instance here:

    What if

    And here:

    What if


    And, most recently, here:

    Vertical punch double strike

    Where I wrote:

    I actually suspect that such technical variance is typical of the "internal arts" - which Kenpo arguably belongs to itself, at least to a degree.
    To which you responded in this post:

    Vertical punch double strike

    Saying:

    I only take issue with EPKK being considered an 'internal" art. It is about a far away from that as Tae-Bo.
    And you elaborated on this in the same thread here:

    Vertical punch double strike

    No sir, Ed Parker's Kenpo Karate is about as far from being "internal" as you can get by design. Simply, as you already know, "internal" requires very SPECIFIC movements executed and trained with consistent congruency in all aspects of the movements.
    A position which, however, you have clearly revised when in above article you wrote:

    Although this rather simplistic analysis of “chi” appears to be expressed in western scientific principles, an examination of 18th and 19th century Tai Chi shows that they discuss and place fundamental emphasis on many of these same essential biomechanical factors. Thus the explanation, although expressed in western terms is definitely Chinese, not western.

    Although “chi” or the internal is not represented in “Kenpo Karate,” it is represented in the more complete and true Kenpo product philosophy Mr. Parker worked on but never codified.
    To my delight, bringing your view rather close to mine.
    It does take courage to reconsider one's views and publicly express this... Therefore kudos to you!
    Last edited by Star Dragon; 03-22-2018 at 11:09 PM. Reason: Original hyperlinks didn't work, so I had to post system-generated ones instead.

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    Default Re: Kenpo Based on Motion v. Chinese “Chi”

    Quote Originally Posted by Star Dragon View Post
    Hi Doc

    That's an interesting article, and I agree to it overall, but it would be more accurate to state that the application of chi is facilitated by or even based on body mechanics, without, however, being identical with, or reducible to, the latter. I have seen plenty of attempts to explain chi away as nothing but body mechanics, but none of them truly does the topic justice, in my view.

    Where I fully agree with you is in regards to the closeness of Mr. Parker's own interpretation of the Kenpo system to the internal arts, an insight I gained in the early 2000's and talked about relentlessly ever since I joined this forum, for instance here:

    What if

    And here:

    What if


    And, most recently, here:

    Vertical punch double strike

    Where I wrote:



    To which you responded in this post:

    Vertical punch double strike

    Saying:



    And you elaborated on this in the same thread here:

    Vertical punch double strike



    A position which, however, you have clearly revised when in above article you wrote:



    To my delight, bringing your view rather close to mine.
    It does take courage to reconsider one's views and publicly express this... Therefore kudos to you!
    Been trying to post for a couple of days. "Page not working."
    "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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    Default Re: Kenpo Based on Motion v. Chinese “Chi”

    You must understand the overall initial goal of Ed Parker's Kenpo Karate was to lead students to a much loftier place over time if they learned their lessons and engaged in serious inquiry and exploration. The hints were there, but you had to not only ask, you had to ask the right questions. Kenpo Karate has since de-evolved to a mish-mash of different interpretations, none of which are founded on the necessary biomechanical basics to achieve the "chi" that many seek. Obviously, there are a few who do a better job than others, however, the foundation of basics is just not present in the curriculum, therefore, must be drawn from "somewhere else."

    If this were to happen it would most likely be from someone whose initial training and experiences were from more traditional arts, regardless of nationality origin. Many from "Kenpo Karate" tend to be "intellectual snobs" who seize upon the basic conceptual construct of Kenpo Karate to spout reams of vocabulary and principles of the concept, that, unfortunately, does not translate to physical skills even of the concepts of which they speak. We just had an example here from someone who decided the forum was "stupid" simply because someone imminently more educated than they corrected something simple they said.

    You and I go back and forth, along with others here, and we hash out our differences but at the end of the day, it is a learning experience and an exchange of knowledge, experience, and ideas. Those who were born in the commercial world of "Kenpo Karate" have no understanding beyond the conceptual ideas it presents, and therefore no experiences with which to compare. These people have no idea that in the world of martial arts, Ed Parker's Kenpo Karate as created is an anomaly. A system that is only idea driven with no defined basics that allow students and teachers alike to explore and change their lessons to personal preferences as they attempt to not only learn but be physically competent at the same time. The really smart ones distill the information down to a practical applicable methodology that is functional, like my good friend Bob White, (not to exclude others but Bob is a successful master of it and has been for many decades), and Mr. Parker had no problem with any of it. He only asked that what you did make sense and was functional. That was and always has been the goal of Ed Parker's Kenpo Karate, Sadly for many that ship sailed decades ago.

    People like yourself come to "Kenpo" and see it through the eyes of an intelligent, experienced, and knowledgeable practitioner whose world doesn't revolve around conceptual ideas, vocabulary, and quaint sayings. Not that they are bad things but people like yourself, see them through different eyes and don't necessarily accept things just because Mr. Parker wrote or said something. My best lessons were when we argued and disagreed. He relished the challenges and in his own words, "It keeps me sharp." I feel the same way. If you can't stand to be challenged than maybe your position isn't very strong. Yeah, this is a "Kenpo Forum" but have you ever noticed the plethora of individuals here who are into Kenpo as a second, third, or even fourth art? The diversity here is great and the bulk of the intelligent exchanges are from these people and the few "Kenpo" folks that at least get it and hunger for more.

    So, I enjoy the exchanges and like most from your generation, background, and experiences, we tend to agree at the end of the day more than we don't.
    "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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    Default Re: Kenpo Based on Motion v. Chinese “Chi”

    So, when I speak of "chi" in context of Ed Parker's Kenpo Karate, the basic idea of the methodology has no manner of achieving the goal of "chi" movements because basics are not meticulously defined, and that is a necessity to achieve that goal.

    The fact that those elements exist in Ed Parker's Kenpo Karate at all is a testament to Mr. Parker's genius, but just because it has extrapolatable information doesn't make it a "chi" art.

    If I give someone a basketball with a world globe imprinted on it who can't read, they won't be able to find Istanbul even though it is right in front of their face. More than likely for most, they'll just end of playing ball, while the earnest will be curious about the shapes and marking on the ball and work to find answers to their meanings.

    Mr. Parker's approach was academic first that led to the physical applications and understandings. As an educator, he created a systematic method to get people started in the right direction, but allowing them to seek their own level was genius.

    So the real question for most is, are you just playing ball, or are you actively trying to educate yourself to understand more?
    "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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    Default Re: Kenpo Based on Motion v. Chinese “Chi”

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc View Post
    So, when I speak of "chi" in context of Ed Parker's Kenpo Karate, the basic idea of the methodology has no manner of achieving the goal of "chi" movements because basics are not meticulously defined, and that is a necessity to achieve that goal.
    I agree, overall. Although the internal arts also allow for the possibility of personal development, the intrinsic principles of internal movement need to be thoroughly defined and diligently ingrained. While the application of chi arguably transcends pure body mechanics, the latter nonetheless provides the indispensable foundations for the former.

    The fact that those elements exist in Ed Parker's Kenpo Karate at all is a testament to Mr. Parker's genius, but just because it has extrapolatable information doesn't make it a "chi" art.
    Agreed. But as you suggested, it can be "extrapolated" into a "chi art".

    If I give someone a basketball with a world globe imprinted on it who can't read, they won't be able to find Istanbul even though it is right in front of their face. More than likely for most, they'll just end of playing ball, while the earnest will be curious about the shapes and marking on the ball and work to find answers to their meanings.

    Mr. Parker's approach was academic first that led to the physical applications and understandings. As an educator, he created a systematic method to get people started in the right direction, but allowing them to seek their own level was genius.
    Indeed. And it is quite regrettable that some instructors fall short of comprehending those philosophical underpinnings and teach their personal interpretation in a dogmatic way. However, it takes extensive knowledge of different methods of execution and their underlying principles (of the kind Mr. Parker posessed) in order to provide the student with sensible guidance in their pursuit of individual development.

    So the real question for most is, are you just playing ball, or are you actively trying to educate yourself to understand more?
    With me, it's the latter, as you know. Was done playing ball long ago.


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    Default Re: Kenpo Based on Motion v. Chinese “Chi”

    Quote Originally Posted by DRANKIN View Post
    How does acupuncture fit into the "chi" concept? Do placements of pins into the human skin influence "chi"? I get the sense that there may be something to it but, I've never heard of any good science around it.
    There was a group of academics and researchers into some "froo" stuff who got together a couple years back. They put their heads together at their conventions, and wrote a "post-materialist manifest", critiquing materialist science as having gone too dogmatic to really be scientific anymore. In the manifesto, they describe the purpose of science, point out how the rational-materialist model has become a demagoguery which no longer investigates recurrent phenomena, and which has decried recurrent area of human existence as bogus and ignored it, engaging in contempt prior to investigation. The then list a bunch of areas which could yield interesting stuff, if anyone would seriously look into them. It has its flaws, but also has some excellent points.

    As for chi existing or not, I've met clueless acupuncturists, and jaw-dropping amazing ones. I affiliate with an old, semi-retired Chinese fellow who has been doing it his whole life. The guy is a friggin' miracle worker, generating results well beyond any possible realm of placebo effect. Sadly, the scientific model has opted to classify clinical evidence as among the weakest forms of evidence. But for myself, and every person he has helped out of dire illnesses, clinical evidence is the only level that counts.

    I won't hijack the thread, but if I make it up your way, we should grab a beer. The acupunk stories I could tell...
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    Default Re: Kenpo Based on Motion v. Chinese “Chi”

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dave in da house View Post
    There was a group of academics and researchers into some "froo" stuff who got together a couple years back. They put their heads together at their conventions, and wrote a "post-materialist manifest", critiquing materialist science as having gone too dogmatic to really be scientific anymore. In the manifesto, they describe the purpose of science, point out how the rational-materialist model has become a demagoguery which no longer investigates recurrent phenomena, and which has decried recurrent area of human existence as bogus and ignored it, engaging in contempt prior to investigation. The then list a bunch of areas which could yield interesting stuff, if anyone would seriously look into them. It has its flaws, but also has some excellent points.
    Very interesting. This reflects what I have been thinking and trying to express for a long time. Is there a link that you could share?

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    Default Re: Kenpo Based on Motion v. Chinese “Chi”

    Quote Originally Posted by Star Dragon View Post
    Very interesting. This reflects what I have been thinking and trying to express for a long time. Is there a link that you could share?
    Manifesto for a Post-Materialist Science - Campaign for Open Science
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    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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