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Thread: How Much Is Too Much?

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    Default How Much Is Too Much?

    I'm curious. I've gone back and read some of the longest topics that can possibly exist on any forum regarding martial arts. On both Martial Talk and Kenpo Talk, I've read where the AKKI's decision to cut some techniques, modify others, and change the forms to something more practical, have met with overwhelming resistance.
    My question is this:
    Isn't it possible that where someone can make a trail, that someone else can pave the road; and that yet someone else can design an "interstate/freeway"?
    Do we really need to learn 154 tech's + extensions and eight forms when, we can learn in half the time as much and develop our attributes as well?
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    Default Re: How Much Is Too Much?

    I believe in what Mr. Mills curriculum is teaching. I have seen the level of proficiency go up dramatically as well as the learning time decrease. I'm proud to be a part of the AKKI and what it teaches. IMHO no other organization is teaching what we teach or moving like us. Even when I was in the IKKA and not with Mr. Mills, you were always able to identify a Mills family group student, and that is a compliment. Now, that is not saying there are no other great Kenpoists out there. Some people prefer Planas, Tatum, Chapel, Speakman, Pick, (just to name a few) but I like the way Mr. Mills moves and I like how he has incorporated the weapons into the system. I felt that is what is best for me. Is it the best choice for you? Only you can answer that.

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    Default Re: How Much Is Too Much?

    oh aye.. even with all the changes.. bits of stuff is still in there if you look for it.

    actually i cant wait till the day i can start working on forms 4-6. you know be able to do katas and all and show other kenpoists and get comments, suggestions, critisizm, without all the "whats that/for?" questions. lol i even know a small arsenal of older techs that we dont do anymore for that purpose.

    techniques arent usually that hard for me to remember. so the shortening of the cirriculum doesnt really do anything for me preferance wise. tho id prefer to learn new techniques in my blacks, rather than extensions i could add on in the first place if i put my mind to it.

    but i like as a whole what we're doing, and where we're going.. just wish they'd hold a camp or a seminar or two out here once in a while. even if Mr. Mills wasnt able to travel. once a year just isnt enough for me to be able to make it to vegas.

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    Default Re: How Much Is Too Much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikael151 View Post
    I'm curious. I've gone back and read some of the longest topics that can possibly exist on any forum regarding martial arts. On both Martial Talk and Kenpo Talk, I've read where the AKKI's decision to cut some techniques, modify others, and change the forms to something more practical, have met with overwhelming resistance.
    My question would be, why do these people feel the need to "resist" the changes in Mr. Mills's organization in the first place? The only real answer to that is that they feel a need to validate what they do by devaluing what you do. Many condemn themselves in this way. So I'd just keep doing what you do and not worry about these detractors.

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    Default Re: How Much Is Too Much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikael151 View Post
    I've read where the AKKI's decision to cut some techniques, modify others, and change the forms to something more practical, have met with overwhelming resistance.

    Do we really need to learn 154 tech's + extensions and eight forms when, we can learn in half the time as much and develop our attributes as well?
    A question and a comment:

    (1) More practical techniques and forms in whose eyes?

    (2) The problem with the "half of the time" argument is that MANY school owners are abusing this way of thinking by tossing out techniques that they don't like, most often because they can't make them work for themselves because they were taught wrong or have refused to keep learning. So they try to justify their new and improved curriculum (improved in whose eyes?), hand out black belts quicker, and claim to be the "founder" of some supposed NEW style.
    I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
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    Default Re: How Much Is Too Much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikael151 View Post
    I'm curious. I've gone back and read some of the longest topics that can possibly exist on any forum regarding martial arts. On both Martial Talk and Kenpo Talk, I've read where the AKKI's decision to cut some techniques, modify others, and change the forms to something more practical, have met with overwhelming resistance.
    My question is this:
    Isn't it possible that where someone can make a trail, that someone else can pave the road; and that yet someone else can design an "interstate/freeway"?
    Do we really need to learn 154 tech's + extensions and eight forms when, we can learn in half the time as much and develop our attributes as well?
    If you look at any of the bigwigs/pioneers in modern martial arts, their personal art and the curricullum that they use to transmit that art usually change over time. And students of those different curricullums often bitterly oppose the previous and subsequent iterations.

    Change happens.

    Tracy guys will argue for their 300+ techs.
    Later Parker for the 154+ (and then argue about the 32/24/16).
    IKCA guys for 55.

    What is the magic number? Are you going to get peeved if in 10 years somone takes the current AKKI curricullum and whacks out a third of it, and then goes and forms a new org? Presumably, everyone who makes changes in their art and curricullum does so for a reason. I won't argue with the right of that person to make a change, but you can often find me arguing the "why."

    As for your road analogy, yes someone can make a paved road into an interstate highway, they can also make a branch off that interstate that dead-ends in a residential cul-de-sac.

    Lamont
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    Default Re: How Much Is Too Much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikael151 View Post
    I'm curious. I've gone back and read some of the longest topics that can possibly exist on any forum regarding martial arts. On both Martial Talk and Kenpo Talk, I've read where the AKKI's decision to cut some techniques, modify others, and change the forms to something more practical, have met with overwhelming resistance.
    My question is this:
    Isn't it possible that where someone can make a trail, that someone else can pave the road; and that yet someone else can design an "interstate/freeway"?
    Do we really need to learn 154 tech's + extensions and eight forms when, we can learn in half the time as much and develop our attributes as well?
    What's your rush? It depends on how long you want to take and how broad of a scope you want your training to encompass. Are there things you may not learn by cutting out techniques? I would think that's a definite possibility. I'm in a system that, with A & B variations on most of them, has 257 techniques to get to BB, in addition to a couple of dozen forms and I don't know how many kicks. If I thought there was a lot of redundancy in the material, I might agree with you. But given that most techniques teach me something different, or a different way to put techniques together, or pushes me to the next level, I have no problem with the amount of material.

    Reducing the number of SD techniques would require more "free form" training to teach the things that are taught in those techniques, which would also take time. I think, in the end, you would end up in the same place in the same amount of time, having taken a slightly different path to get there.
    Last edited by jdinca; 05-25-2007 at 12:07 PM. Reason: .
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    Default Re: How Much Is Too Much?

    Keep in mind that the way kenpo curriculum focuses on these SD techs is sort of unique in the martial arts world. It's true, many other arts also have them to some degree, but they usually don't have nearly as many, and many arts don't use this approach at all. The Chinese arts in particular teach forms and useage drills designed to get you to understand how to use the material found in the forms in a widely creative manner. It allows you to get a lot of mileage out of a smaller body of material. A good example is Wing Chun, most branches of which only have 3 hand forms, two weapons forms, the wooden dummy form and drills, and various useage drills such as Chi Sau. Compared to most kenpo curriculums, Wing Chun is a very short system. But a skilled wing chun person certainly has no disadvantage. He has taken this relatively small body of knowledge and learned how to apply the lessons in any given situation.

    It is true that a lot of Chinese arts have more formal material than Wing Chun. Choy Li Fut, for example, has a huge body of forms. But the way the material is structured for teaching is certainly different from Kenpo's SD Tech approach.

    So I guess all I'm saying is keep it in perspective. The number of SD techs isn't always all that important, and it isn't the only way to structure and organize an art and a teaching method to give good results. If you have the right set of other tools in place, you could eliminate all the SD techs, and not lose anything for it.

    If Mr. Mills has reduced and/or otherwise altered the system that he teaches, and it gives good results, they he must have something figured out right. If it allows students to learn and develop skills more quickly, not just to get rank more quickly, but rather to raise the level of real skill and understanding more quickly, then I'd say it's a good thing.
    Michael


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    Default Re: How Much Is Too Much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seabrook View Post
    A question and a comment:

    (2) The problem with the "half of the time" argument is that MANY school owners are abusing this way of thinking by tossing out techniques that they don't like, most often because they can't make them work for themselves because they were taught wrong or have refused to keep learning. So they try to justify their new and improved curriculum (improved in whose eyes?), hand out black belts quicker, and claim to be the "founder" of some supposed NEW style.
    So, are you saying Mr. Mills is doing this? Please clarify.

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    Default Re: How Much Is Too Much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seabrook View Post
    A question and a comment:

    (1) More practical techniques and forms in whose eyes?

    (2) The problem with the "half of the time" argument is that MANY school owners are abusing this way of thinking by tossing out techniques that they don't like, most often because they can't make them work for themselves because they were taught wrong or have refused to keep learning. So they try to justify their new and improved curriculum (improved in whose eyes?), hand out black belts quicker, and claim to be the "founder" of some supposed NEW style.
    I would say that the AKKI have a unique perspective, but, it's still Kenpo as Mr. Mills learned from SGM Parker.
    And the AKKI is NOT a black belt factory. I'm at brown and quite happy with it. I haven't moved up in rank for over a year and am in no hurry to.
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    Default Re: How Much Is Too Much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikael151 View Post
    I'm curious. I've gone back and read some of the longest topics that can possibly exist on any forum regarding martial arts. On both Martial Talk and Kenpo Talk, I've read where the AKKI's decision to cut some techniques, modify others, and change the forms to something more practical, have met with overwhelming resistance.
    My question is this:
    Isn't it possible that where someone can make a trail, that someone else can pave the road; and that yet someone else can design an "interstate/freeway"?
    Do we really need to learn 154 tech's + extensions and eight forms when, we can learn in half the time as much and develop our attributes as well?
    Their is a story for evey tech. That and 600 others deserve a look but their is a point when they all just seem to blend together motion wise into neat little groupings; and, there is no end to the ways you can group them: by attack, by left hand and right hand associations, by motion, by theme, et cetera.
    Sean

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    Default Re: How Much Is Too Much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikael151 View Post
    I would say that the AKKI have a unique perspective, but, it's still Kenpo as Mr. Mills learned from SGM Parker.
    And the AKKI is NOT a black belt factory. I'm at brown and quite happy with it. I haven't moved up in rank for over a year and am in no hurry to.
    I've been at 3rd degree brown for two years now. Granted, it's been my lack of time that's caused it but two years is much longer than I had originally planned on. Oh, well, it's the journey after all, isn't it?
    Be careful what you say, some may take it the wrong way.

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    Default Re: How Much Is Too Much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roadrunner View Post
    So, are you saying Mr. Mills is doing this? Please clarify.
    I have never met Mr. Mills, nor have I seen him move, with the exceptions of some video clips (his speed and power impreseed me).

    But, I will say that in MOST circumstances, deletion of techniques and creating a "NEW KENPO" is typically the result of personal preference and not what is best for students.
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    Default Re: How Much Is Too Much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikael151 View Post
    I would say that the AKKI have a unique perspective, but, it's still Kenpo as Mr. Mills learned from SGM Parker.
    And the AKKI is NOT a black belt factory. I'm at brown and quite happy with it. I haven't moved up in rank for over a year and am in no hurry to.
    I haven't seen a lot of AKKI guys move so I can't speak for that association. I just don't agree at all when the AKKI group claim that there Kenpo is more logical, practical, and efficient.

    Again, in whose eyes?

    There are way too many factors (ie. how often an individual trains, who the EPAK practitioner trains under) for one to claim that the AKKI has made Kenpo practitioners better than their EPAK counterparts.
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    Default Re: How Much Is Too Much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seabrook View Post
    I haven't seen a lot of AKKI guys move so I can't speak for that association. I just don't agree at all when the AKKI group claim that there Kenpo is more logical, practical, and efficient.

    Again, in whose eyes?

    There are way too many factors (ie. how often an individual trains, who the EPAK practitioner trains under) for one to claim that the AKKI has made Kenpo practitioners better than their EPAK counterparts.
    This is true and a very good point. That is why I chose to say that the AKKI has a unique perspective. However, most of the AKKI's black belts were in the IKKA and all of them say that training under Paul Mills has helped them to progress and move the way one would expect 10th degrees to move.
    So to answer "in whose eyes"; I would say people who already had a strong foundation in EPAK.
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    Default Re: How Much Is Too Much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seabrook View Post
    There are way too many factors (ie. how often an individual trains, who the EPAK practitioner trains under) for one to claim that the AKKI has made Kenpo practitioners better than their EPAK counterparts.

    I guess I didn't see this as the focus of the initial posting. I figured it was really about Mr. Mill's approach and the changes he made, and how those who train with him feel it is an effective path. I didn't see it as a claim of absolute superiority over other EPAK branches in some way. Just that for Mr. Mills and those who train with him, they like what they have...
    Michael


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    Default Re: How Much Is Too Much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seabrook View Post
    But, I will say that in MOST circumstances, deletion of techniques and creating a "NEW KENPO" is typically the result of personal preference and not what is best for students.
    I understand your position here, but at the same time, I'm not sure a blanket statement like this really holds water. Maybe in some cases, but not always. In MOST cases? I dunno. Maybe, maybe not. Without examining someone else's methods, I don't think that judgement can really be made. Even if you do examine their methods and determine that you still feel their "new kenpo" is a result of poor understanding, it could still be vastly superior for that person. A martial art is very personal, and what works well for one person may never work so well for another, regardless of how well it is understood. Things get changed. It's really not a big deal in many cases. Find the method that works best for you. If that means keeping everything exactly how it was taught to you, then great. If it means changing some things so they work better for you, then great. After all, Mr. Parker was creating NEW KENPO all the time, if the vast number of postings on this forum have any truth in them...

    The poor NEW KENPOs will fall by the wayside, and those that have merit will survive and be passed on.
    Michael


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    Default Re: How Much Is Too Much?

    Did Chow like what Parker did with what he taught him?

    People naturally resist change, especially males and martial arts is predominantly made up of males.

    However, change is necessary and will come regardless of whether you want it or not, or perhaps more aptly stated whether you want to be a part of it or not.

    Mr. Seabrook does make a valid point in that we should not use "change" or "evolution" as an excuse to rid our curriculums of things we simply don't "like." If they have a practical use, they should remain in some capcity.

    It's important to continuously evaluate your training, and look for holes in it. Any area that needs improving demands your immediate attention. However, when looking for a base to train from should you look for a curriculum of 300+ techs, 154, or just 55 techs? That's a personal call. I'm just glad I have so many good options! If I were restricted to just one, I would be limited in being able to address those "holes" I spoke of earlier.

    I don't think many on this board, being from various backgrounds, would say too many negative things about the heads of any of the organizations mentioned, Mr. Mills included. Though I'm not an "AKKI guy" I really respect Mr. Mills and what he's done. One day, if I get around to it, I wouldn't mind delving more deeply into his curriculum. Some of the speed drills I've seen from his camp are truely amazing!
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    Default Re: How Much Is Too Much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler View Post
    Did Chow like what Parker did with what he taught him?

    People naturally resist change, especially males and martial arts is predominantly made up of males.

    However, change is necessary and will come regardless of whether you want it or not, or perhaps more aptly stated whether you want to be a part of it or not.

    Mr. Seabrook does make a valid point in that we should not use "change" or "evolution" as an excuse to rid our curriculums of things we simply don't "like." If they have a practical use, they should remain in some capcity.

    It's important to continuously evaluate your training, and look for holes in it. Any area that needs improving demands your immediate attention. However, when looking for a base to train from should you look for a curriculum of 300+ techs, 154, or just 55 techs? That's a personal call. I'm just glad I have so many good options! If I were restricted to just one, I would be limited in being able to address those "holes" I spoke of earlier.

    I don't think many on this board, being from various backgrounds, would say too many negative things about the heads of any of the organizations mentioned, Mr. Mills included. Though I'm not an "AKKI guy" I really respect Mr. Mills and what he's done. One day, if I get around to it, I wouldn't mind delving more deeply into his curriculum. Some of the speed drills I've seen from his camp are truely amazing!
    Very well spoken.
    Also,
    Mr. Seabrook has a valid point, but, I'm not talking about some guy who learned a little Kenpo and then started his own thing. Mr. Mills was one of SGM Parker's top guys, and even taught a seminar at the first camp after SGM Parker's passing. I'm sure he's capable of making the decision of what to delete, add, or rearrange.
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    Default Re: How Much Is Too Much?

    i wish there wasnt so much politics, then people could have a better idea of what we're doing. really i see a major difference in how we move differently..

    I forget the name (i have kenpoheimers at Purple.. oh geez) of the technique. one of the club ones, that the story goes nobody could pull it off (if the attack was at full speed) except Mr. Parker. Mr. Mills and other people would get head gear on and try it full speed, full contact and would still get hit.. we changed it. my view on this, (if it's fact).. is if people at higher levels are still getting hit by the attack.. why would you want to teach it to a purple belt? it doesnt make sense to me that you would have a technique that would be unusable (even in a controlled environment) till years later?

    i dont know why theres so much argument.. its what we do.. you do what you do. we dont "throw out" old techniques.. it may not be required for a belt level.. many of the AKKI board were in the IKKA, AKKS, what have you.. plenty had worked with Mr. Parker as well. its not ALL Mr. Mills examining everything. they still have that knowledge and library of Kenpo to draw from.. the fact when they develop techniques, Mr. Mills is always formulating and testing ideas on people, and refining the cirriculum over and over.. as im sure some of you can attest to witnessing, or hearing about from your instructors training at 3am.

    if you (anyone, im not pointing fingers) think the AKKI is a belt factory because someone could reach black in maybe 3-4 years.. id have to say you're mistaken.. there is alot to learn, and a standard of proficiency.. you HAVE to test for black in Vegas under the eye of Mr. Mills and the Directors.. i was Orange for a little over a year.. mainly because work was inhibiting my home training.. but that and i spent time working on clubs, and extra cirricular training (like learning some basic aikido, and some of the older Kenpo techniques as well). as well as plenty of "basics nights"..

    the fact to reach brown belt you have to go through the first level of club cirtification.. which is a "belt" in itself when you look at how much you can delve into it, in terms of techniques, drills and the sets and kata. as well as the knife cirriculum for first black..

    there's talk about needing X number of techniques, because they all teach something.. thats great. im all for that.. and i whole heartedly agree. im sure there were other reasons for omitting some techniques, as well as altering some. some may have been precieved redundant.. some there were "holes".. Delayed Sword was originally a grab defense, correct? but iv always seen it taught as a punch defense.. and everyone's heard/seen "well what if the guy is a grappler and slips and shoots" argument.. things like that.. im purple and i still dont like the idea of my legs leaving the ground (aside from sparring), except a stomp or sweep.

    we still work Thrusting Prongs.. i cant see why.. putting both my hands in the same area or zone or whatever on my attacker.. muchless leaving my head open to a headbutt or a swinging fist doesnt excite me, and says "dont do this in real life".. but im sure theres something to learn from it.. i never liked/understood Crashing Wings till someone pointed out, its not just a bear hug.. it can be a suplex type attack, or part of a BJJ technique actually, where they grab, and hook a leg and take you down..

    also in Kenpo, (and iv seen some in the AKKI as well) is techniques where you spin (like Flashing Mace, which we dont require, but i know).. why on earth would i want to turn my back on an opponent, even for a moment? it doesnt make sense to me.. it might never. but im open to learning why it might be useful aside from giving you more choices for weapons to use.

    how about that technique where you grab the person's leg, by reaching between your legs? doesnt make sense to me.. looks pretty vounerable, or possible way to strain your back im sure they're going to be resisting).. Bowing to Buddah.. you dont get much simpler than that.. and thats a brown technique if im not mistaken? we dont do it, except in the kata.. but i like that techniqe.. especially if you're (heaven forbid) beaten down to a kneel. or in the case of women's self defense.. hey rock on sisters.


    question.. if Mr. Parker were alive. and significantly changed the system (like he had before).. would you accept it as the right thing, even question it? why should that matter? the man was a genious.. a revolutionary, and worth the respect people give him.. but Kenpo is not Ed Parker, nor is Ed Parker Kenpo.. Hes unfortunatly gone.. it sucks. lots of Kenpoists never got to meet him. i would have loved to. but hes not (at least he should not) the "be all end all of Kenpo".. Kenpo is still alive and kicking.. and grappling, and punching, and.. etc.... i dont think ANYONE could say the Kenpo he would be working on now would be the same as it was when he was alive.. especially since he missed the big boom of Muay Thai and the Gracie craze..

    He developed (the American style anyways) to fit the Person not the Person to Kenpo.. i agree there should be limitations and cautions to tailoring.. and some people abuse it when it comes to their personal use.. but when someone is well educated enough to make changes in what he/she choses to teach their students, because it might make them better... thats enough for me if they're teaching what i want..

    so please dont regard us as ppl trying to short cut the system, or just recklessly tossing out old material..

  35. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to madeku For This Useful Post:

    KenpoJuJitsu3 (06-06-2007),Mikael151 (05-25-2007),thedan (05-29-2007)

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