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Thread: Did Mr. Parker throw the baby out with the bath water?

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    Default Did Mr. Parker throw the baby out with the bath water?

    In removing "cultural accoutrement" for the kenpo system, was some essential information lost? Kenpo is a wonderfully documented system of destruction and the web of knowledge provides a comprehensive framework to study attacks and defenses but there is no information about meridians, internal energy, meditation etc. that most traditional systems have. As a business model, setting the system up this way allowed the system to flourish but as far as martial system I believe it to have been detrimental.
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    Default Re: Did Mr. Parker throw the baby out with the bath water?

    Quote Originally Posted by punkmonkey View Post
    In removing "cultural accoutrement" for the kenpo system, was some essential information lost? Kenpo is a wonderfully documented system of destruction and the web of knowledge provides a comprehensive framework to study attacks and defenses but there is no information about meridians, internal energy, meditation etc. that most traditional systems have. As a business model, setting the system up this way allowed the system to flourish but as far as martial system I believe it to have been detrimental.
    I thought everyone already knew that the mystical stuff was done away with not for business which would have benefited from added mysticism but for the unscientific baloney that it is.
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    "I don't see that once my students learn kenpo, they'll modify it, they'll perfect it, and that's where they will excel." ~Ed Parker

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    Default Re: Did Mr. Parker throw the baby out with the bath water?

    I believe, YES, a lot of info was lost.

    I'm about to use an analogy that may piss some folks off but......when McDonald's was founded, it was done so on the idea that a system could be set in place to allow workers with zero knowledge of food preparation to consistently make burgers. No need to train them on great amounts of food prep, no need for seasoned cooks with plenty of experience and expertise - the end product didn't require it.

    Mr. Parker did the same thing with his conceptual/commerical model - he made a blueprint that would that a student from A to B with lotsa macro detail and little micro detail; a motion-based method of self-correction that gives a generalized general idea, but left a lot open to both interpretation and outside influence.

    Just is what it is. It's genius, is more a stage than a platform that supports a stage.
    Last edited by JayWilson; 07-03-2014 at 10:40 AM.
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    Default Re: Did Mr. Parker throw the baby out with the bath water?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenposoldier01 View Post
    I thought everyone already knew that the mystical stuff was done away with not for business which would have benefited from added mysticism but for the unscientific baloney that it is.
    so when I'm told to hit Lung 1, what does that mean? It's not in the system, it's a part of TCM. On meditation 4 scientific studies on how meditation can affect your heart and brain | TED Blog. On Qigong (internal energy work) A Comprehensive Review of Health Benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi No matter what paradigm you follow, it is only a model and can never fully encompass reality.
    The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do. ~Thomas Jefferson
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    Default Re: Did Mr. Parker throw the baby out with the bath water?

    Quote Originally Posted by punkmonkey View Post
    In removing "cultural accoutrement" for the kenpo system, was some essential information lost? Kenpo is a wonderfully documented system of destruction and the web of knowledge provides a comprehensive framework to study attacks and defenses but there is no information about meridians, internal energy, meditation etc. that most traditional systems have. As a business model, setting the system up this way allowed the system to flourish but as far as martial system I believe it to have been detrimental.
    I'm sorry you feel that way. You could always choose another gimmick.
    Also Mastering Tsing Tao.

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    Default Re: Did Mr. Parker throw the baby out with the bath water?

    Wow. Some people just love to attack.

    You are allowed to question, and sometimes those questions may lead you to decide the only way to progress is to regress. There is not only one right answer. Perhaps something WAS lost. Or perhaps not. Maybe this person who is not around to ask any more, whittled things away with the hope that the student studying his system would improve the system. And maybe he knew that for some, this would mean integrating some things back in.

    You don't have to "choose a different gimmick" if you question something in this art. That is why we are all here on Kenpotalk after all. To question and explore. If we were not willing to hear answers we had not already come up with, we would not ask the question.

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    Default Re: Did Mr. Parker throw the baby out with the bath water?

    Quote Originally Posted by punkmonkey View Post
    In removing "cultural accoutrement" for the kenpo system, was some essential information lost? Kenpo is a wonderfully documented system of destruction and the web of knowledge provides a comprehensive framework to study attacks and defenses but there is no information about meridians, internal energy, meditation etc. that most traditional systems have. As a business model, setting the system up this way allowed the system to flourish but as far as martial system I believe it to have been detrimental.
    Did Mr. Parker have the knowledge of this cultural information at the time he was designing the commercial system? Who were his instructors that passed on this information to a relative outsider? As far as I know it doesn't exist in the regular framework of the Tracy system, though aspects of this may have been added over time, but from a very early period it wasn't taught in this manner.

    Or is it that Mr. Parker taught a system that was easily marketable, but continued to develop his personal knowledge to later include this sort of "cultural accoutrement" in his own personal system?
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    Default Re: Did Mr. Parker throw the baby out with the bath water?

    That is a thought. And here is another. Perhaps much of it is there for those who can recognize it as such. For example: "Hit him HERE. Then HERE. THEN here." Each of those points are on a meridian, and required to be in that particular sequence for a K.O.. And through this way of teaching, students are learning these concepts without the vocabulary.
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    Default Re: Did Mr. Parker throw the baby out with the bath water?

    Quote Originally Posted by punkmonkey View Post
    In removing "cultural accoutrement" for the kenpo system, was some essential information lost? Kenpo is a wonderfully documented system of destruction and the web of knowledge provides a comprehensive framework to study attacks and defenses but there is no information about meridians, internal energy, meditation etc. that most traditional systems have. As a business model, setting the system up this way allowed the system to flourish but as far as martial system I believe it to have been detrimental.
    OK let us look at it logically and with combat as our centerpiece. The question is "was some essential information lost but what do you consider essential?" A skilled combatant will attack available openings or create openings to allow for a precise angle of execution to a precise target with the required penetration. Their accuracy will result from using a precise angle of execution during the window of opportunity or with the right timing. Simultaneously a skilled combatant will endeavour to protect their most vital targets through positioning and by avoiding reckless attacks, to own those lines of attack to their own vital targets. That is offensively and defensively educated movements that are not limited to only working on stationary targets. Now examine the origin of striking acupuncture points, during the Song and Ming dynasties (much earlier in India) points for moxibustion and acupuncture became better documented and through trial and error the doctors of the time figured out that they should not jam needles into some places on the body. I mean not exactly rocket science but you can probably think of a few places right now where you do not want someone to jam a needle lol. OK so some of these doctors and scholars started to carry sharp objects and using them to poke at the "forbidden points" for self-defense. If you think about it, all over the world people had developed an understanding of the most effective ways to kill someone, to restrain someone, to tie someone up, to extract information from them and so on. Not all of it is directly tied to the Chinese methods of acupuncture but you will see a ton of overlap because a target that gets results is going to be noted by experienced combatants.

    So the part that is tied to TCM is really irrelevant to the skilled combatant. First you have the Polarity theory and phases of change which lead to the five element cycles, applied to the human bodies organs and the theory of certain organs being fed Chi in alternating two hour cycles based on the Chinese Zodiac (and we all know how scientific the zodiac is). Applied to the forbidden needling points lead to theories on how to open or close a cavity, the idea is that you seal a point so that you obstruct the blood, breath and nutrients to a given yin or yang organ but step back and ask yourself why are you attacking X target with Y method in combat... Ok so you wanted a specific result fine, now look at the method of activating that point is it a practical method that can be executed against a fully resistant enemy, hell bent on stomping you into a coma if the answer is yes, congratulations without needing to being a Doctor of herbal medicine and TCM you have done what countless Kenpoists have also done, learned ways of attacking targets to produce positive results in combat. So are you actually missing some essential information? Again we go back to essential for what? If you think you need to immerse yourself in ancient Chinese mysticism before you can surpass some functional ceiling by all means immerse yourself. However the essentials in my opinion are centered around effectiveness in combat not carrying around a hair pin and poking people in forbidden acupuncture points although a pointy keychain or re-enforced self-defense pen is excellent for that.

    In the end my beef with TCM as it relates to Martial Arts is that it looks like a flowery way to explain some rather simple things and throw in a little BS on the side. So I use a striking block on this needle sized point next to 10 other needle sized points and that opens up this other needle sized point on the guys face... so that when I hit it while I bite my lip and squeeze my tush at the right time of day I will cause a complete shutdown of the opponent, a resultant knock out and if I do it and press this point on my own body I will become immovable in the event the opponent should try to tackle me while I execute this sequence. Meanwhile I could have just hit the guy in the face and knocked him out without all the mystery and mysticism, I mean sure it does not sound as cool and maybe takes away all the fun out of it but as for what is essential in combat, nah that stuff is better left for the docs in Chinatown who can use it to help you when you are sick.
    Last edited by Kenposoldier01; 07-04-2014 at 03:26 AM.
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    Default Re: Did Mr. Parker throw the baby out with the bath water?

    Quote Originally Posted by lenatoi View Post
    That is a thought. And here is another. Perhaps much of it is there for those who can recognize it as such. For example: "Hit him HERE. Then HERE. THEN here." Each of those points are on a meridian, and required to be in that particular sequence for a K.O.. And through this way of teaching, students are learning these concepts without the vocabulary.
    If there are viable targets on that meridian, I'm sure it could be listed as a target in commercial kenpo, but why go further?
    Also Mastering Tsing Tao.

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    Default Re: Did Mr. Parker throw the baby out with the bath water?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenposoldier01 View Post
    OK let us look it logically and with combat as our centerpiece.
    This is where the disagreement lies. I think there should be more to a martial system than just combat. What of the care and rejuvenation of the body after the altercation if you survive? What of recovering from the psychological impact of possibly maiming or killing someone else? These are some topics I would consider essential. Again I think kenpo is a fantastic system for bringing mayhem but as I have learned it so far, there is no other aspect of the system. And if you have an unskilled instructor there is a significant chance of personal injury simply in training the basics incorrectly (which is true of any system).
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    Default Re: Did Mr. Parker throw the baby out with the bath water?

    Quote Originally Posted by punkmonkey View Post
    This is where the disagreement lies. I think there should be more to a martial system than just combat. What of the care and rejuvenation of the body after the altercation if you survive? What of recovering from the psychological impact of possibly maiming or killing someone else? These are some topics I would consider essential. Again I think kenpo is a fantastic system for bringing mayhem but as I have learned it so far, there is no other aspect of the system. And if you have an unskilled instructor there is a significant chance of personal injury simply in training the basics incorrectly (which is true of any system).
    Recovering from psychological impacts? Why did you act with force in the first place?
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    Default Re: Did Mr. Parker throw the baby out with the bath water?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastcoastkenpoist View Post
    Recovering from psychological impacts? Why did you act with force in the first place?
    just because you were justified to act with force to survive does not mean that there will not be psychological trauma. PTSD is a clear indication of this. Since we are training for battle, why wouldn't we also train for the "natural reaction to the inhuman conditions of the battlefield"? Transcendental Meditation for PTSD | Lt. Gen. Clarence E. McKnight Jr.
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    Default Re: Did Mr. Parker throw the baby out with the bath water?

    Quote Originally Posted by punkmonkey View Post
    This is where the disagreement lies. I think there should be more to a martial system than just combat. What of the care and rejuvenation of the body after the altercation if you survive? What of recovering from the psychological impact of possibly maiming or killing someone else? These are some topics I would consider essential. Again I think kenpo is a fantastic system for bringing mayhem but as I have learned it so far, there is no other aspect of the system. And if you have an unskilled instructor there is a significant chance of personal injury simply in training the basics incorrectly (which is true of any system).
    You might want to contact Ted Sumner of San Jose Kenpo. He addresses some of these things in his program.

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    Default Re: Did Mr. Parker throw the baby out with the bath water?

    Quote Originally Posted by punkmonkey View Post
    This is where the disagreement lies. I think there should be more to a martial system than just combat. What of the care and rejuvenation of the body after the altercation if you survive? What of recovering from the psychological impact of possibly maiming or killing someone else? These are some topics I would consider essential. Again I think kenpo is a fantastic system for bringing mayhem but as I have learned it so far, there is no other aspect of the system. And if you have an unskilled instructor there is a significant chance of personal injury simply in training the basics incorrectly (which is true of any system).
    Having some basic first aid and emergency life saving skills and how to treat some combat injuries as well as keeping some medical kits near by (I keep two in my car, one in my martial arts bag and all kinds of stuff in my place) and knowing how to improvise things in your environment to create splints, pressure dressings and tourniquets, learning some basic herbology and survival skills are useful augments to your combative skills I have seen such skills and knowledge save lives in the aftermath of attacks so I am not knocking anyone who wants to learn how to treat injuries, bone setting, massage, resuscitation all that is perfectly valid. You say there should be more to a martial system than just combat, we don't really disagree there but it is essential to have logic and combat as the centerpiece of a martial system if the objective is surviving long enough for your knowledge of healing methods to be put to any use. One of the things you learn is to engage the enemy first before you attempt to render aid, otherwise you're going to simply add to the number of people needing treatment. I don't think a martial system can be a martial system without combat as the centerpiece, if health is the primary focus its a health system or exercise system with maybe some martial benefits. Even if combat is the centerpiece which is the case with many martial arts building the system around it logically is often too hard for people so they fall back on gimmicks, mysticism and hiding behind the fog of mastery. Have you seen the guys that actually believe they can execute no touch knockouts by projecting or manipulating chi from afar or the guys who think they can focus chi into an area of their body and make it impervious to blades. How about the guys who think they can hit needle sized targets on a moving resisting opponent. Have you ever tried to play the game operation lol imagine playing it while someone is shaking the table. Of course many methods exist for attacking weak points on the body, it is not limited to striking, in fact much easier to use in grappling as long as you are doing so logically it does not matter if you call the point by a specific name or believe that you are sapping the opponent's soul when you attack it as long as it works for you in combat.
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    Default Re: Did Mr. Parker throw the baby out with the bath water?

    Quote Originally Posted by punkmonkey View Post
    so when I'm told to hit Lung 1, what does that mean? It's not in the system, it's a part of TCM. On meditation 4 scientific studies on how meditation can affect your heart and brain | TED Blog. On Qigong (internal energy work) A Comprehensive Review of Health Benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi No matter what paradigm you follow, it is only a model and can never fully encompass reality.

    Are you sure hitting lung 1 is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) are you sure you are not confusing some Traditional Chinese Martial Art method that explained its target methods using the medical and anatomical knowledge of the time which just happened to be what we call today TCM? It is difficult to talk TCM with people especially martial artists because some of them have drastically different ideas about every aspect of this including where the actual point is located lol or like me they suspect that it is just another way of explaining a cause and effect relationship. When you say hit lung 1 what kind of hit are you talking about, at what angle and depth are we talking about, what were you actually trying to accomplish that caused you to target that location?

    You also stated "it's not in the system" these days this has become sort of an empty assertion because the system is what you make it. If you work to perfect it you will excel and what you may believe is not there you may find hidden in a form, set or salute, you may go study some other martial art and suddenly realize oh wow that is in the Kenpo I learned from my Instructor. It happened to me a lot when I got into Tai Chi Chuan, I kept finding parts of Tai Chi Chuan that were in Kenpo and suddenly realized that all of Tai Chi Chuan was in Kenpo, later on I learned the history of James Wing Woo having a hand in the design of our forms and sharing information with Mr. Parker and I wondered if that is why I am finding Tai Chi Chuan throughout the Kenpo I learned or if the concepts and principles in Kenpo are just so universal when it comes to Combat that any other art that approaches the subject cannot but have overlapping similarities.
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    Default Re: Did Mr. Parker throw the baby out with the bath water?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenposoldier01 View Post
    If you work to perfect it you will excel and what you may believe is not there you may find hidden in a form, set or salute, you may go study some other martial art and suddenly realize oh wow that is in the Kenpo I learned from my Instructor.
    So why shouldn't this information be explicitly stated. To have to go and study another art to find meaning in what you're currently doing shows a lack of information, either in the system itself or the instruction being received.
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    Default Re: Did Mr. Parker throw the baby out with the bath water?

    Quote Originally Posted by punkmonkey View Post
    So why shouldn't this information be explicitly stated. To have to go and study another art to find meaning in what you're currently doing shows a lack of information, either in the system itself or the instruction being received.
    ...but God forbid we should hold the ignorance of the student responsible for their own lack of ability to see what is really hidden in plain sight. It is actually possible that the reverse is true and due to the tremendous amount of "information" available and the instructors teaching priorities could result in not taking the time to say "Oh and you know the traditional "Gaotanma" application in Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan is not so different from this portion of Snapping Twig, I mean maybe the instructor was too busy teaching Kenpo to point out every overlapping martial art. I learned some punching methods as a yellow belt that years later I found were a part of Xingyi Quan does this mean my instructor should have explained five element relationships and let me know that these methods are categorized as "Sparrow Hawk" in Xingyi Quan? I mean why would that even be essential? We were really occupied with me actually doing it correctly and making sure I did not recklessly leave myself open to a counter attack in the process so we really did not have time to also cover a Xingyi syllabus just to show overlapping knowledge or another way to categorize and organize a system. Perhaps if I had been a better student I would have realized it right away or we would have had more time to discuss things like that. I remember going over a lot of scissoring, sweeping low line takedowns from a fallen position that matched what I was later shown in Silat again should my instructor have taken the time to say you will find this action is popular in Silat and also with some practitioners of Hapkido, nope but he did take the time to say to me years ago that, "Long ago martial arts were like this" showing his hands apart "nowadays martial arts are like this" grasping his hands together. That was his way of saying that people have begged, borrowed and stolen from each other over the generations and our Kenpo is not a system born in a vacuum, in your quest for perfection you will come to find a great deal of "information" in the system that is also in other systems, even if explained, focused on or looked at differently in those systems. So when you ask why shouldn't this information be explicitly stated and reach a conclusion that it is the instructors "lack of information" it very well could be that their was something a little more important to cover than for example a Traditional, Chinese, Medical, mystical, Taoist explanation for why striking this series of points on the arm/heart meridian is enhancing the follow up strike in the sequence, you know stuff to do with actual survival in combat but I know that is probably not that interesting for some folks and that is another wonderful thing about the United States of America, we have plenty of other martial arts instructors with various approaches, systems, styles so a student can just move on and keep looking until they find that instructor who is going to give them the kind of experience that they may have preconceived and desired. I mean who did not want to meet Pai Mei (Bak Mei) and learned the five point exploding heart technique after watching Kill Bill II.
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    Default Re: Did Mr. Parker throw the baby out with the bath water?

    Quote Originally Posted by punkmonkey View Post
    just because you were justified to act with force to survive does not mean that there will not be psychological trauma. PTSD is a clear indication of this. Since we are training for battle, why wouldn't we also train for the "natural reaction to the inhuman conditions of the battlefield"? Transcendental Meditation for PTSD | Lt. Gen. Clarence E. McKnight Jr.
    I'm sorry but are you saying that you train for PTSD?
    ~Sami Ibrahim

    "I don't see that once my students learn kenpo, they'll modify it, they'll perfect it, and that's where they will excel." ~Ed Parker

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    Default Re: Did Mr. Parker throw the baby out with the bath water?

    Let's go back to what you mean in your original question. Tell us exactly what is missing that was specifically in traditional Chinese kenpo/kempo. And then we can discuss each one individually and whether or why it is not in "the system" now. Perhaps if you point out specifics, I will be more inclined to see your point of view.
    Kenposoldier01 likes this.

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