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Thread: Kenpo "travel steps" (footwork)?

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    Question Kenpo "travel steps" (footwork)?

    Does anyone know where I can find a resource (YT video or otherwise) showing and explaining something my dojo calls "travel steps"? This is footwork evidently used by kenpo practitioners in order to move around an opponent while striking them.

    I'm still having trouble programming them into muscle memory. They seem like a totally unrealistic way of moving around an opponent; maybe if I saw a video I'd understand them better.

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    Default Re: Kenpo "travel steps" (footwork)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Magpie View Post
    Does anyone know where I can find a resource (YT video or otherwise) showing and explaining something my dojo calls "travel steps"? This is footwork evidently used by kenpo practitioners in order to move around an opponent while striking them.

    I'm still having trouble programming them into muscle memory. They seem like a totally unrealistic way of moving around an opponent; maybe if I saw a video I'd understand them better.
    Sorry, but you need a high-level knowledgeable teacher for any significant exploration of correct footwork.
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    Default Re: Kenpo "travel steps" (footwork)?

    I have never heard the term "travel steps" before. Maybe if you described it, we could help out a bit more.
    "For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer."

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    Default Re: Kenpo "travel steps" (footwork)?

    Quote Originally Posted by punisher73 View Post
    I have never heard the term "travel steps" before. Maybe if you described it, we could help out a bit more.
    I don't doubt that the term "travel steps" is indigenous to my dojo, and only my dojo.

    Here's a description of travel steps from our orange belt student manual:

    "With your right leg back in a forward soft bow, rotate into a rear bow while at the same time stepping over
    towards the right. Rotate in transition and land in a rear bow position. Step to the right again with your left
    leg while simultaneously rotating back into a forward bow position. Remember that the rear leg travels and
    covers the distance while the front leg adjusts back into a well-aligned forward bow position."

    I've researched "Kenpo footwork/movement" online and cannot find anything about this anywhere.

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    Default Re: Kenpo "travel steps" (footwork)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Magpie View Post
    I don't doubt that the term "travel steps" is indigenous to my dojo, and only my dojo.

    Here's a description of travel steps from our orange belt student manual:

    "With your right leg back in a forward soft bow, rotate into a rear bow while at the same time stepping over
    towards the right. Rotate in transition and land in a rear bow position. Step to the right again with your left
    leg while simultaneously rotating back into a forward bow position. Remember that the rear leg travels and
    covers the distance while the front leg adjusts back into a well-aligned forward bow position."

    I've researched "Kenpo footwork/movement" online and cannot find anything about this anywhere.
    At a glance I would say it is a cross over, however your description is a bit foreign with (as I read it) a lack of direction (fwd and backward).
    "The problem is not whether or not you like bad kenpo, the problem is recognizing whether or not your kenpo is bad!"
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    Default Re: Kenpo "travel steps" (footwork)?

    Quote Originally Posted by sumdumguy View Post
    At a glance I would say it is a cross over, however your description is a bit foreign with (as I read it) a lack of direction (fwd and backward).
    It's not a crossover. I apologize for not being able to describe it properly. I guess one would have to see it on video (which I am NOT going to post).

    Let's put it this way...what sort of footwork would one use to move around an opponent who is standing still (unrealistic, I know, but remember, this is a drill)?

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    Default Re: Kenpo "travel steps" (footwork)?

    Is it similar to the angle adjustment in Five Swords?

    Unfortunately, from the description i can't figure out what it should look like to even point out a direction to help. There are some aspects of angling and moving to an opponent's blindspot that are very effective, even some maneuvers in arts to go from the front position to the opponent's rear using quick footwork and angle changes with the proper setup. None of that seems to match the way it is described.
    "For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer."

    Romans 13:4

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    Default Re: Kenpo "travel steps" (footwork)?

    Okay, I will do my best to break it down. This is a drill that I learned as an orange belt. It is performed with a partner, who stands still at attention stance.

    1. I start in forward bow facing opponent with right leg back, right heel is pointing up and ball of right foot is on the floor. Left leg bent at knee, left foot flat. Left hand chambered at waist, right hand in straight punch to opponent's face.

    2. Right foot steps out at 90 deg angle to the right. Left heel comes up as left foot rotates. Ball of left foot pivots while foot is on ground. Left hand punches (or strikes). At the same time strike lands, my right foot should land on the floor, toes pointed in the direction I am traveling.

    3. My left foot takes a small "adjustment step" and I rotate my body into a rear bow as I strike with my right hand. At the same time, the ball of my right foot pivots and right heel comes up.

    4. Repeat Step 1 to continue moving around opponent in a CCW direction. To change direction, we are taught what's called a "moving switch" and you do the above steps, except moving in a CW direction around opponent, starting with the left foot taking that first big step out to the left.

    Like I said, I'm asking for clarification from other kenpo practitioners because this is evidently a cornerstone of my dojo's curriculum and I'm just trying to understand and implement it better.

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    Default Re: Kenpo "travel steps" (footwork)?

    The terminology is not consistent with my understanding of kenpo.

    You say 'rear bow' ... when executing a rear hand punch. This combination does not make sense to me.

    Other than that ... this seems to be the way a boxer might move (as my very limited understanding of boxing footwork goes). (left stance moving counter clockwise, rear foot steps first) left stance moving clockwise, front foot moves first).

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    Default Re: Kenpo "travel steps" (footwork)?

    Quote Originally Posted by michaeledward View Post
    The terminology is not consistent with my understanding of kenpo.

    You say 'rear bow' ... when executing a rear hand punch. This combination does not make sense to me.

    Other than that ... this seems to be the way a boxer might move (as my very limited understanding of boxing footwork goes). (left stance moving counter clockwise, rear foot steps first) left stance moving clockwise, front foot moves first).
    I agree. Nothing, as described, makes any sense from any rational execution perspective, and an unwillingness to post some type of video reference takes me back to where I started. "Find someone who can help you in-person." This medium does not serve what you seek well under the circumstances. I suspect there are significant differences of understandings in the terminology as described, making it difficult for those here to get on the same page with the posters question. Good luck
    "Nothing is more dangerous than the conscientiously ignorant, or the sincerely stupid." - Martin Luther King Jr.

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    Default Re: Kenpo "travel steps" (footwork)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc View Post
    I agree. Nothing, as described, makes any sense from any rational execution perspective, and an unwillingness to post some type of video reference takes me back to where I started. "Find someone who can help you in-person." This medium does not serve what you seek well under the circumstances. I suspect there are significant differences of understandings in the terminology as described, making it difficult for those here to get on the same page with the posters question. Good luck
    Thanks, everyone. Appreciate the help.

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    Default Re: Kenpo "travel steps" (footwork)?

    I've been digging around on the forum and have found old posts (the last one being from 2015) by another member who trained in the same Kenpo system as me. This member referred to his training as being "raised on a Kenpo island" because his instructor taught his own unique version of Kenpo which emphasized certain things and downplayed or ignored others. The "travel steps" of which I have been speaking are part of this system, and this is probably why it's not ringing any bells for anyone here.

    To be honest, I'm still a little concerned about the validity and effectiveness of this version of Kenpo in which I've been training. Having previously trained (however fleetingly) in other arts (TKD, Hapkido and Krav Maga), I feel like the curriculum is lacking in certain key areas.

    Again, thank you all for your help. Sorry the descriptions sounded so bewildering. And Doc...my unwillingness to post video is simply out of embarrassment at showing myself demonstrating a technique, not out of a desire to be cryptic or reticent about my training.

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    Default Re: Kenpo "travel steps" (footwork)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Magpie View Post
    I've been digging around on the forum and have found old posts (the last one being from 2015) by another member who trained in the same Kenpo system as me. This member referred to his training as being "raised on a Kenpo island" because his instructor taught his own unique version of Kenpo which emphasized certain things and downplayed or ignored others. The "travel steps" of which I have been speaking are part of this system, and this is probably why it's not ringing any bells for anyone here.

    To be honest, I'm still a little concerned about the validity and effectiveness of this version of Kenpo in which I've been training. Having previously trained (however fleetingly) in other arts (TKD, Hapkido and Krav Maga), I feel like the curriculum is lacking in certain key areas.

    Again, thank you all for your help. Sorry the descriptions sounded so bewildering. And Doc...my unwillingness to post video is simply out of embarrassment at showing myself demonstrating a technique, not out of a desire to be cryptic or reticent about my training.
    I understand where you're coming from, and being from a "Kenpo island"myself I totally get it. In essence, we're just not speaking the same language. This is why the bulk of written martial arts material has always been essentially, "picture books" because the physical language can be daunting between martial cultures so you are far from being alone.
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    Default Re: Kenpo "travel steps" (footwork)?

    I think I get it. Here's how I'm interpreting this:

    Starting from a right hard bow punch to 12 o'clock, step the right foot to 3 o'clock into a left hard bow punch facing 3 o'clock, adjust the left foot back and drop into a soft bow facing 9 o'clock while delivering a right rear hammer fist to 3 o'clock.

    I'm visualizing this more in terms of a piece of kata rather than a technique (short/long 1 and 2 type of feel).

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    Default Re: Kenpo "travel steps" (footwork)?

    Quote Originally Posted by kenporider View Post
    I think I get it. Here's how I'm interpreting this:

    Starting from a right hard bow punch to 12 o'clock, step the right foot to 3 o'clock into a left hard bow punch facing 3 o'clock, adjust the left foot back and drop into a soft bow facing 9 o'clock while delivering a right rear hammer fist to 3 o'clock.

    I'm visualizing this more in terms of a piece of kata rather than a technique (short/long 1 and 2 type of feel).
    Hard/Soft Bows???? Never heard of such a thing.
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    Default Kenpo "travel steps" (footwork)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc View Post
    Hard/Soft Bows???? Never heard of such a thing.
    That’s actually terminology we used in the system I studied in.

    A hard bow would be a forward bow where the center of gravity is moved back so your weight is evenly distributed on both feet.

    A soft bow is where the rear foot is moved forward and you’re on the ball of the foot. The back knee is bent and the center of gravity as a result is lower but still evenly distributed front to back.

    I believe it’s Tracy terminology.
    Be careful what you say, some may take it the wrong way.

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    Default Re: Kenpo "travel steps" (footwork)?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdinca View Post
    that’s actually terminology we used in the system i studied in.

    A hard bow would be a forward bow where the center of gravity is moved back so your weight is evenly distributed on both feet.

    A soft bow is where the rear foot is moved forward and you’re on the ball of the foot. The back knee is bent and the center of gravity as a result is lower but still evenly distributed front to back.

    I believe it’s tracy terminology.
    interesting, never heard that before.
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    Default Re: Kenpo "travel steps" (footwork)?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdinca View Post
    That’s actually terminology we used in the system I studied in.

    A hard bow would be a forward bow where the center of gravity is moved back so your weight is evenly distributed on both feet.

    A soft bow is where the rear foot is moved forward and you’re on the ball of the foot. The back knee is bent and the center of gravity as a result is lower but still evenly distributed front to back.

    I believe it’s Tracy terminology.
    Just curious here, why would it be a "forward" bow if you are not forward? correct me if I am wrong here but the fwd bow has a distribution of 60/40 and neutral bow 50/50.... the soft bow I have heard of and use in freestyle but it was referred to as a "tiger stance" but still a 50/50 weight distribution. This was done more for mobility than lowering of the center of gravity.
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    Default Kenpo "travel steps" (footwork)?

    It’s not a forward bow. The stance is basically the same as the forward bow but the weight distribution is 50/50, not 60/40, hence the difference in terminology.
    Be careful what you say, some may take it the wrong way.

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    Default Re: Kenpo "travel steps" (footwork)?

    Quote Originally Posted by sumdumguy View Post
    Just curious here, why would it be a "forward" bow if you are not forward? correct me if I am wrong here but the fwd bow has a distribution of 60/40 and neutral bow 50/50.... the soft bow I have heard of and use in freestyle but it was referred to as a "tiger stance" but still a 50/50 weight distribution. This was done more for mobility than lowering of the center of gravity.
    I agree and it highlights the importance of terminology in structure and the teaching process. Mr. Parker always told me terminology should be as much as possible descriptive of what it was attempting to convey in some manner, or at the very least metaphoric as in technique names. A "forward bow" that is not "forward" belies that fact. But this is why discussions are so important. If not for this exchange, I would have never known that there are some who have a "forward bow" that is not used in a "forward" manner in execution. And to be clear, as long as the people who are supposed to know the difference do, it doesn't matter, but I just got smarter. Thanks for that.
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