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Thread: knowing when something doesn't work

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    Default knowing when something doesn't work

    This was a quote in another thread (motion in forms) but it peaked my curiousity and wanted to create it's own thread instead of hijacking the other.

    There's nothing wrong with the methodology, and Parker built the flexibility in and encouraged it. He expected teachers that found something didn't work, to change it to something that does. The goal is for it to work, whatever you taught. Every teacher and student in that methodology is given that flexibility. For most, the easy answer is to just do what's written down or taught to them and hope it will work in the big game.
    At what point do you determine that the technique itself is flawed (for lack of a better term) and one that you personally just can't make work as is? Do you think an instructor should still leave the technique as is for students to find and question or show them the modification?

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    Default Re: knowing when something doesn't work

    Quote Originally Posted by punisher73 View Post
    At what point do you determine that the technique itself is flawed (for lack of a better term) and one that you personally just can't make work as is? Do you think an instructor should still leave the technique as is for students to find and question or show them the modification?
    I think the challenge is making the distinction between your two scenarios. Too often I’ve seen people muddle the line between the two. Let’s take them individually.

    Flawed – What process should you use to determine a technique is flawed? The starting criteria I would use would be to ask the question, “How many competent practitioners have I seen that have the same issues and challenges with this technique?” If other folks can pull it off as written, without “cheating” and without a hitch, then it’s probably not the technique. Another criterion I would consider is to closely look at the technique and see how many “rules” are broken or severely bent to make it work. Am I working against myself and having to disregard previously sound training just to accomplish the technique? Not to say that I won’t be exposed to something such as a new concept or principle. That’s part of the learning process, but I must put things through the common sense filter as well.

    Unworkable by me – The big question is, “Why”? Usually the answer lies in one of two areas… Is it a physical limitation related to my body? Is it a limitation due to my lack of skill, maybe one I’ve let slip over the years? Big difference between the two. Most folks declare a technique “unworkable by me” out of sheer laziness. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt! But it behooves me, as the practitioner, to make sure I’m doing everything I can to make the technique workable. Speaking from personal experience, sometimes it’s the smallest of things that make everything fall into place.

    As far as what you teach to your students. If you come to the determination that the technique is flawed then my recommendation is to teach the technique as written, but then thoroughly explain the reasons you now teach it differently or not at all. Give your students credit for having brains. They will either agree with your reasoning or disagree. Guess what, if they disagree you just might learn something. Obviously determining something unworkable by you doesn’t mean it’s gonna be unworkable by them.

    Respects,
    Bill Parsons
    Triangle Kenpo Institute
    www.trianglekenpo.com

    "I know Kenpo!" "Cool... do you know how to use it?"

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    Default Re: knowing when something doesn't work

    I would like to add to Bill's statement a little. First of all I agree with what he stated.

    There are many considerations one must consider.

    1) What is the nature of the attack? Does the attacker push or does he attempt a push for example?

    2) Does the attack support the response of the tech? When does the tech begin? Prior to the push landing or after it has landed for example.

    3) Does the instructor understand this relationship, and can they communicate
    the difference's.

    4) Does it feel right? Or do you have to force it, everyones body moves differently, however physical application of principles shouldnt be confused with conceptual ideas.

    My Respects
    Brad Marshall SP
    KKFI

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    Default Re: knowing when something doesn't work

    Good posts!

    I try to keep in mind what "phase" of the tech we're working on. Is it the "Ideal", the "What If", or are we "Formulating"?

    Every tech should be workable in the "Ideal" phase because we know the attack and know how our uke will respond to our counter. It's "Ideal" because all of the circumstances are "perfect".

    In the "What If" phase, we start to ask ourselves..."What if?" "What if he's out of range?", "What if he doesn't step-thru?", and all kinds of questions pertaining to our tech and the attack.

    The "Formulation" phase is where we make a plan to answer the questions that arise in the "What If" phase.
    After going through that process, we can "Tailor" and "Apply" our techs in a way that works for us as individuals (while utilizing the principles we're taught as well).
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    Default Re: knowing when something doesn't work

    Having moved away from the home school many years ago, we had no one to ask why a technique did not work properly. There was no other Kenpo in this area.

    We ended up taking every technique apart to see why it did or didn't work.
    We also went one step further to make sure it would work on someone much larger. If it didn't ,then we worked on it until it did. We had some people up to 300 lbs in class. We made it work on them. When it worked on all sizes of people we were satisfied with it. You have to work the technique enough to totally understand it.

    I am Most Respectfully,
    Sifuroy

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    Default Re: knowing when something doesn't work

    It's simple. Ask your instructor how to make it work for you. Phases don't matter. Almost no one is qualified to actually move beyond the "ideal" or "Default" stage until they understand their own body mechanics. Few do, although almost everyone thinks they do. It's your butt that walks out the door and hits the streets. Your teacher should be able to give you a reasonable expectation of functional success within a reasonable time period. What they share with you, should be a skill you can see yourself acquiring. If they don't have the answers, move on.

    Now as an instructor your responsibility is to the student not to the "system." If you don't understand something, and can't get it to work for your students, and can't get the information from somewhere, change it to something that does work.

    People come to you, not to learn a system of teaching, but how to defend themselves. IF you choose to archive a dysfunctional "system" for yourself, do not visit the dysfunction on your students. You work it out for yourself, then teach it.
    "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


    www.MSUACF.com

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    Default Re: knowing when something doesn't work

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc View Post
    It's simple. Ask your instructor how to make it work for you. Phases don't matter. Almost no one is qualified to actually move beyond the "ideal" or "Default" stage until they understand their own body mechanics. Few do, although almost everyone thinks they do. It's your butt that walks out the door and hits the streets. Your teacher should be able to give you a reasonable expectation of functional success within a reasonable time period. What they share with you, should be a skill you can see yourself acquiring. If they don't have the answers, move on.

    Now as an instructor your responsibility is to the student not to the "system." If you don't understand something, and can't get it to work for your students, and can't get the information from somewhere, change it to something that does work.

    People come to you, not to learn a system of teaching, but how to defend themselves. IF you choose to archive a dysfunctional "system" for yourself, do not visit the dysfunction on your students. You work it out for yourself, then teach it.
    Makes sense. Thank you, sir!
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    Default Re: knowing when something doesn't work

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc View Post
    Now as an instructor your responsibility is to the student not to the "system." If you don't understand something, and can't get it to work for your students, and can't get the information from somewhere, change it to something that does work.

    People come to you, not to learn a system of teaching, but how to defend themselves. IF you choose to archive a dysfunctional "system" for yourself, do not visit the dysfunction on your students. You work it out for yourself, then teach it.
    WOW...Doc, can I PLEASE quote you on that someday!! Spoken like an old cop
    www.hunterskarate.com

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    Default Re: knowing when something doesn't work

    Quote Originally Posted by Hunter View Post
    WOW...Doc, can I PLEASE quote you on that someday!! Spoken like an old cop
    Of course sir. One of the things that really tans my already darkened hide is the blurring of the lines of the "arts," and the so-called preservation of the "system." This is doublespeak for "I don't know a dam thing, so I'll just teach what I was taught and not think."

    Especially in Mr. Parker's commercial system, the over-riding theme and purpose was function for the student. It is a self defense system, not an 'artistic' one. Everything must take a back seat to function. Its not a 'performance art,' or a martial discipline. It is a self defense art whose primary goal is to teach people to defend themselves. And while this works at various levels of efficiency predicated on whose interpretation is taught, that is its number one purpose.

    Those that choose to add 'artistic aspects,' performance routines, and unrealistic approaches in some disguised effort to "preserve the system," are either disingenuous, or ignorant of the purpose of what Parker was trying to do. "Preserving or traditionalizing the system" is a simple coverup for those unwilling to think, and Parker said so specifically in reference to his commercial system, and asked students not to traditionalize it. (infinite Insights Vol. 1)

    Excuse me I'm on a rant sir.
    "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


    www.MSUACF.com

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    Default Re: knowing when something doesn't work

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc View Post
    Of course sir. One of the things that really tans my already darkened hide is the blurring of the lines of the "arts," and the so-called preservation of the "system." This is doublespeak for "I don't know a dam thing, so I'll just teach what I was taught and not think."

    Especially in Mr. Parker's commercial system, the over-riding theme and purpose was function for the student. It is a self defense system, not an 'artistic' one. Everything must take a back seat to function. Its not a 'performance art,' or a martial discipline. It is a self defense art whose primary goal is to teach people to defend themselves. And while this works at various levels of efficiency predicated on whose interpretation is taught, that is its number one purpose.

    Those that choose to add 'artistic aspects,' performance routines, and unrealistic approaches in some disguised effort to "preserve the system," are either disingenuous, or ignorant of the purpose of what Parker was trying to do. "Preserving or traditionalizing the system" is a simple coverup for those unwilling to think, and Parker said so specifically in reference to his commercial system, and asked students not to traditionalize it. (infinite Insights Vol. 1)

    Excuse me I'm on a rant sir.
    ooooh ooooh *gets his popcorn*
    ~ Steve Zalazowski
    Continuing Student of the Arts.

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