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Thread: Artical I found on Sub-Level Four!

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    Default Artical I found on Sub-Level Four!

    this article I found at www.blackbeltmag.com.




    KENPO NERVE STRIKES
    Loren Franck







    Learn the Fighting Secrets Ed Parker Didn’t Want You to Know!

    Effects of momentum and negative body posture: Rod Perez (left) pushes Ron Chapél into a negative body posture (1). Chapél pivots to absorb the momentum, and after pinning the opponent’s arm, he strikes a nerve in his triceps tendon (2). Maintaining the pin, Chapél hits another nerve on his arm, forcing him into a negative body posture and causing his head to turn slightly to the left (3). Chapél then strikes a facial nerve and pins the other man’s elbow, thereby maintaining his negative posturDefense against a punch: Ted Humphrey (left) begins a right-hand punch aimed at Ron Chapél’s head (1). Chapél assumes a positive body posture (2), then steps inside, hammers a nerve in the opponent’s shoulder, “unweights” his right leg and strikes an arm nerve (3). Next, Chapél hand-swords a nerve on the other man’s neck and adds a slap check (4) before finishing with a heelpalm strike (5).Effects of negative and positive body posture: As Ricky Perez prepares to bear-hug Mercedes Chapél (1), she steps forward to brace herself, secure her balance and absorb his momentum (2). She then moves her left foot forward, settles into a positive body posture, hooks her opponent’s arms and pullsthem downward, thus forcing him into a negative body posture, opening his body cavities and making it impossible for him to lift her (3). Chapél assumes a horse stance (4), forcing the assailant further into a negative posture, which opens targeted nerve cavities. After breaking free, she hammerfists the nerves on his lower centerline (5).
    For the past half-century, many names have been linked to Ed Parker, the legendary founder of American kenpo. World leaders, star athletes and Hollywood celebs have craved knowledge of his practical, effective fighting system. Even the King, Elvis Presley, was hooked. But few people were closer to Parker than Ron Chapél, who assisted him with his writings and for 12 years was éminence grise at the International Karate Championship, Parker’s long-standing but now-defunct Long Beach, California, extravaganza. Recently promoted to 10th degree black belt, American kenpo’s highest rank, Chapél was a stellar student for nearly three decades under Parker, who suffered a fatal heart attack in 1990.

    “Many people think Ed Parker taught identical concepts and fighting methods to all his black belts,” says Chapél, who holds a doctorate in anatomical physics. “Actually, he shared different concepts with different students. Nerve strikes, which I’ve named ‘sub-level four kenpo concepts,’ were extremely important during our training together.” In this exclusive Black Belt interview, Chapél reveals why sub-level four may be the most lethal aspect of American kenpo—and why its tenets remain carefully guarded.

    —L.F.


    BB: Conceptually, what are American kenpo’s sub-level four strikes?

    Ron Chapél: They’re various strikes and other forms of pressure applied to the body’s vulnerable nerves. Often called cavity presses, nerve strikes are rare in many modern-day martial arts, but they’ve been part of the traditional Chinese healing arts for centuries.

    They’re certainly not confined to American kenpo. Most martial artists are familiar with acupuncture, which uses certain points on the body for healing. But these points also have destructive applications, which we take full advantage of in martial science.

    BB: Why are nerve strikes so important?

    Chapél: Unless you study a true martial science, one tested in the laboratory of experience, they probably won’t mean much to you at all. Many martial artists are happy with their current course of study and would rather not learn a lot of pressure-point applications.

    Throughout much of the world, martial sport is the most popular aspect of martial arts training. No-holds-barred fighting and point fighting attract the lion’s share of attention.

    Unfortunately, the public believes that these martial sports are the same as real fighting. There’s a tremendous difference between competition and combat. Most martial arts contain strikes aimed near nerves and other soft tissue, but nerve activation is entirely different.

    BB: What do you mean by “nerve activativation”?

    Chapél: Practitioners of motion kenpo and other so-called street martial arts often target their opponents’ eyes, temples, testicles and throats. Why?

    Partly because these fighting systems lack nerve-strike applications. If soft tissue must be your first target, nerve strikes are noticeably absent from your curriculum. Correctly use nerve strikes, however, and you can completely control the injuries inflicted on your adversaries.

    Your force can be lethal or mitigated.

    This is extremely advantageous because the amount of force used is an important legal issue in self-defense.

    After learning how nerve strikes work, you can fully implement such vital concepts as internal energy, positive and negative body posture, and structural integrity.

    BB: When should nerve strikes be used?

    Chapél: In sub-level four kenpo? Always.

    They’re essential to our core curriculum. But it’s not enough to locate the body’s vital nerves. You must become skilled in other areas of martial science, too. You also need proper body mechanics to execute nerve strikes effectively. Nerve cavities move as body posture shifts, so access to them changes.

    BB: So it’s best to perform American kenpo nerve strikes within a battery of diverse concepts and techniques.

    Chapél: To use sub-level four effectively, you must combine additional information with your knowledge of nerve strikes. In essence, this blend makes their application effective. Some people study acupuncture charts and then try to figure out how to perform nerve strikes. Regrettably, it’s not that simple.

    You need the correct executions associated with proper body mechanics.

    And if you plan to open nerve cavities, misalign your opponents and limit their movements, you must induce negative body posture.

    BB: Your approach seems complex.

    Chapél: It might seem so initially, yet even my beginning students practice it every day because it’s built into our curriculum.

    Granted, nerve strikes aren’t widely taught in the United States. And when they are, the instruction is usually superficial. Too many martial arts students attend class just for the workout, but a good sweat doesn’t mean you learn anything worthwhile. Sub-level four training is different. It’s physically demanding and mentally rigorous.

    BB: Where did you learn about nerve strikes?

    Chapél: hapél: From Ed Parker. While helping me improve the kenpo lessons I was giving, he began teaching me about pressure points. Before I met Mr. Parker, I studied martial arts with Grandmaster Ark Wong, who had collaborated with him, so I was familiar with many of my newfound American kenpo movements.

    However, Ed Parker was able to fully explain what I was doing.

    BB: You claim kenpo nerve strikes have been continually updated.

    Chapél: American kenpo has been refined since its inception. It has never been set in stone; it’s never been static.

    Ed Parker didn’t want it that way. He always tried to advance American kenpo, even if such progress further simplified it. Throughout my 39-year kenpo career, I’ve taught at colleges and universities, much like Ed Parker did when he began teaching. This allowed him to use my kenpo classes as experimental laboratories—all of which played a major role in the curriculum he was developing.

    BB: When did he begin teaching his students about nerve strikes?

    Chapél: In his first book, Kenpo-Ka- rate, originally published in 1961. It didn’t reveal everything he knew about nerve strikes, but it did shed some light. This groundbreaking treatise includes charts, references to nerve locations and consequences of striking select body parts. Mr. Parker soon stopped writing about nerve strikes, though, because they require handson instruction.

    BB: How flexible was his course work?

    Chapél: The curriculum was very rigid then. Unless he said otherwise, there was only one proper way to execute each technique. This differed radically from the conceptual teaching method he normally used, which stressed “tailoring” and “rearrangement concepts.”

    Sub-level four maintains Mr. Parker’s perspective of conceptual inflexibility.

    Take slap checks, for example. Known as pak sao in wing chun kung fu, American kenpo slap checks began with Ed Parker, and my students have always used them. But until recently, some motion-kenpo students had never heard of slap checks.

    BB: But what specific nerve strikes did he teach you?

    Chapél: There are no specific nerve strikes in American kenpo. Nerve cavities pertain to anatomical science, but the application method I use—sublevel four—can change across circumstances.

    See the difference? It’s like the English language, which contains nouns, verbs, vowels and other components.

    A vowel nerve, for instance, would be a specific lung point on an arm. What really makes it interesting, though, is the defined body posture integral to the process. Weight distribution and other variables are crucial, too. Unfortunately, few martial arts instructors ever refer to negative and positive posture.

    BB: Where did he learn the nerve-strike concepts he taught you?

    Chapél: Mr. Parker was a great ambassador.

    Friendly with everyone in the martial arts, he shared his knowledge with instructors from various fighting systems. Fortunately, these instructors reciprocated. In the earliest days of American kenpo, he worked with Ark Wong, Lao Boon, Jimmy H. Woo, James W. Woo (not to be confused with Jimmy Woo) and many other masters. Chinese nerve strikes have never been widely taught to non-Chinese Americans, and much of what these masters taught Mr. Parker is still privileged information among the Chinese. There are books about Chinese nerve strikes, but these writings don’t give enough information to be used in the real world.

    BB: One theory is that Parker learned his nerve strikes from William Chow.

    Chapél: His knowledge of nerve strikes did not come from William Chow, who served as his instructor in the late 1940s. Chow influenced Ed Parker tremendously, but Chow didn’t even teach forms—and the Chinese hid treasures of information within various forms and sets. As Mr. Parker worked on the material, he assembled pieces of an information puzzle to fit his vision of kenpo. For example, he would teach me a technique, only to revise it later, saying, “No, Ron, that won’t give you the effect you need.” In some ways, he was like other American martial artists. But in so many other ways, he was decades ahead of his time.

    BB: What made him different?

    Chapél: He was acutely aware of what he did not know, and he diligently sought that missing information from people who had it. He took everything in, determined its worth and rejected the impractical—a process he called “comparative analysis.” He emphasized repeatedly that he never changed American kenpo; he merely refined it.

    And some students, beginning and advanced alike, quit training with him because he challenged them to learn the latest refinements. Loyal, older generations of black belts were promoted primarily because of their longevity and personal service. It was a common practice in many fighting systems, but Ed Parker wanted to modify it. He routinely cautioned each new generation of black belts, “Just because the stripes show, don’t mean you know.”

    BB: Apparently, sub-level four is more concerned with nerve-strike concepts than rote techniques.

    Chapél: That’s correct. Again, Ed Parker’s experience provides perspective.

    Many of his first black belts were already skilled in other martial arts. But these students converted to Ed Parker’s logic, and his logic was astounding. Although many of their fundamentals differed from what he taught, these early students possessed basic martial arts skills. And American kenpo students have displayed this diversity in fundamentals ever since. You see, Ed Parker didn’t teach a lot of rudimentary moves to students. Rather, he taught basic concepts—what a maneuver was designed to accomplish. He revealed how to make it functional, which is a teach- ing approach all but nonexistent in traditional martial arts.

    BB: How do nerve strikes affect their victims?

    Chapél: That depends on many variables, including the person’s posture when he’s struck, the nerves impacted and the nerves activated before or after the application. In sub-level four, we frequently activate specific nerves to create a desired physical reaction and posture. This enables us to access the next nerve in the destructive sequence.

    Sometimes a nerve-strike victim experiences physical/mental disassociation, which resembles a technical knockout in boxing. Essentially, you know what’s occurring but can’t do anything about it. This helplessness ranges from inability to remain steady on your feet to loss of consciousness. The number of nerves activated, the order in which they’re activated, the time of day, and other variables profoundly affect the outcome.

    BB: After reading this, some senior American kenpo instructors might say, “Ed Parker never taught nerve strikes to me.” Your comments?

    Chapél: Here’s the real question for these instructors: If Ed Parker had information about nerve strikes, why didn’t they learn it from him? And that’s best answered by each indi- vidual. The knowledge of nerve strikes exists in American kenpo. The applications of this information are real and extremely effective, and anyone who suggests Ed Parker didn’t possess this knowledge is sadly mistaken. In fairness, many students stopped training seriously with Mr. Parker before he began teaching nerve strikes. Some students weren’t the caliber they proclaimed to be or simply didn’t spend enough time with him. Others had commercial schools and didn’t need to know about nerve strikes. But regarding who learned what, that’s not for me to say. I was Ed Parker’s longtime friend and dedicated student, but was I privy to everything he taught, and to whom? No way. As we speak, someone might be working on kenpo applications Ed Parker taught him—applications I never learned. I’m only respon- sible for what Mr. Parker taught me, not for what others don’t know. Quite frankly, those who focus on the origin of American kenpo nerve strikes are suspect. My students know the nervestrike applications Ed Parker taught me. Ed Parker Jr. knows these applications, too. I’ve seen a few kenpo practitioners try them, but they’re way off. Their techniques, corrupted for the purpose of public demonstrations, would never work in real life.

    BB: Why did Parker make such a spe- special cial effort to teach nerve strikes to you personally?

    Chapél: Perhaps because I was a police officer. He also wanted us to co-author a series of books and videos targeted to cops and security personnel. Cops fascinated Ed Parker. While a brown-belt instructor at BYU, some of his students were Utah Highway Patrol officers.

    He’d hang out with them, inquire about their procedures and ask about the curriculum at police academies.

    BB: Can anyone use American kenpo nerve strikes?

    Chapél: Sub-level four isn’t for everyone.

    Motion kenpo was designed to put American kenpo on the map, which it did. But motion kenpo appeals to students who don’t want a staunchly traditional discipline. Motion kenpo is eclectic and fairly free in form, and it allows personal preferences during execution. Sub-level four kenpo is somewhat similar but is a distinct process that provides unique knowledge and skills. Some students learn part of its curriculum and believe they can discover the rest on their own. You can’t learn it unless someone teaches it to you.

    BB: What do you tell students on their first day of sub-level four training?

    Chapél: Take your time because there’s a lot to learn. No matter how starved for knowledge you are about American kenpo nerve strikes, time is the major ingredient of your success.

    Learn the basics thoroughly.

    They’re the building blocks to your martial arts house. And if you want your house to withstand the test of time, its foundation must be solid.

    Since Ed Parker died, I’ve been organizing and refining sub-level four material.

    I’ve been writing curriculum and course books. I don’t believe the information exists elsewhere, and after all these years, I’m only beginning to see daylight. Mr. Parker left me a treasure chest of information, much of which I was forbidden to teach while he was alive. It was his baby then; now it’s mine. He left all of his notes and files to Ed Parker Jr. and me. It’s awesome material. The man was more than a great thinker. He was a genius.

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    Default Re: Artical I found on Sub-Level Four!

    In case anyone's wondering, the title:

    "Learn the Fighting Secrets Ed Parker Didn’t Want You to Know!"

    was not Ron Chapél's idea. It was added by BB Mag. to stir up controversy. Ed Parker always made it clear that he wanted Doc to share the things he learned with others.

    Chris

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    Default Re: Artical I found on Sub-Level Four!

    Not that it's that important...but anyone else notice the folks in the white gi's Kenpo patches are "crooked". LOL.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Artical I found on Sub-Level Four!

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler
    Not that it's that important...but anyone else notice the folks in the white gi's Kenpo patches are "crooked". LOL.
    That's the way Doc requires them to be sewn on...so that 2 points are touching the boarder.

    Doc told me that Ed Parker once asked him why they were crooked and Doc replied, "Because we're different." Parker said, "I like that."

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    Default Re: Artical I found on Sub-Level Four!

    we always sewed them on like that to honor GM Parker in death..
    "Corrupt, but Ruthless."

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    Default Re: Artical I found on Sub-Level Four!

    It would make it easier to line it up for sewing...but... I didn't really think it was a big deal. I defineatley didn't know it was done on purpose. Well, at least I learned something new today. BTW, where's your avatar Tess?

    ...OH...and in regards to the actual post...good article! Thanks for posting it.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Artical I found on Sub-Level Four!

    I remember when this article first came out, it was pretty good.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: Artical I found on Sub-Level Four!

    This sounds .. very interesting to me i was told the ultimate expression of kenpo is through use of a knife.. Where can i find out more about Kenpo nerve strikes?

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    Default Re: Artical I found on Sub-Level Four!

    Quote Originally Posted by green_blurr
    This sounds .. very interesting to me i was told the ultimate expression of kenpo is through use of a knife.. Where can i find out more about Kenpo nerve strikes?
    Just do your kenpo correctly as taught by a competent instructor and you will probably be doing nerve strikes without knowing it.

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    Chris Armstrong is offline
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    Default Re: Artical I found on Sub-Level Four!

    Quote Originally Posted by green_blurr
    This sounds .. very interesting to me i was told the ultimate expression of kenpo is through use of a knife.. Where can i find out more about Kenpo nerve strikes?
    Then Doc Chapél is your man, if you're in the Los Angeles area or want to travel here periodically. Doc loves to have students visit him and will teach you "till the last dog is dead." He's so generous that you'll wear you out mentally and physically WAY before he's ready to stop teaching you. You can check out the Sub-Level Four section on this forum. There will be a little info there, but you really need to get hands-on instruction in this stuff.

    Depending on where you are in the country (USA), two other superb Kenpoists who use a lot of nerve striking are Mike Lambert and his student Lee Epperson. I forget what city they're in, but you can Google them.

    An interesting sidebar: I'm doing some research into the origins of American Kenpo and I have 5-6 pages of Ed Parker's notes wherein he seems to be fleshing out many possible defenses on the inside and outside of a right punch and he mentions striking nerve points on the attacker's arm, leg and torso. So he was thinking along these lines early on. BTW, he also mentions nerve strikes and includes an anatomical nerve chart in his 1960 book, "Kenpo Karate - Law of the Fist and the Empty Hand."

    Chris

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    Default Re: Artical I found on Sub-Level Four!

    Great article, but I couldn't help but wonder if the yellow belt had dinner plans
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    Default Re: Artical I found on Sub-Level Four!

    Quote Originally Posted by katsudo_karate
    Great article, but I couldn't help but wonder if the yellow belt had dinner plans
    She is kinda cute....but I think probably too young for you Old-Timer! LOL.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Artical I found on Sub-Level Four!

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler
    She is kinda cute....but I think probably too young for you Old-Timer! LOL.
    ROFL!!
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    Default Re: Artical I found on Sub-Level Four!

    The article names her as Mercedes Chapel. Just a word of warning...

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    Default Re: Artical I found on Sub-Level Four!

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidCC
    The article names her as Mercedes Chapel. Just a word of warning...
    Nothing but respect for all people she is a beautiful girl.
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    Default Re: Artical I found on Sub-Level Four!

    What's that guy behind her doing? It looks like he's having an allergic reaction to his deoderant. "Grrrr....my armpits are on fire!"

    Could you imagine showing up to pick up your date and finding out their dad was a Kenpo senior!? "Yes sir, you say have her home by 11:00? She'll be home at 10:45!"
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Artical I found on Sub-Level Four!

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler
    Could you imagine showing up to pick up your date and finding out their dad was a Kenpo senior!? "Yes sir, you say have her home by 11:00? She'll be home at 10:45!"
    And then....Would you like to come with us? (shudder)
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    Default Re: Artical I found on Sub-Level Four!

    Quote Originally Posted by amylong
    And then....Would you like to come with us? (shudder)
    Heck Id beg him to come with us and sit next to him at dinner! Maybe some of that hard earned wisdom would rub off on me.
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    Default Re: Artical I found on Sub-Level Four!

    Quote Originally Posted by katsudo_karate
    Heck Id beg him to come with us and sit next to him at dinner! Maybe some of that hard earned wisdom would rub off on me.
    It would be hard NOT to ask them along wouldn't it? LOL. If you did though, you probably wouldn't get a second date so you better pick his brain for everything he's got!
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Artical I found on Sub-Level Four!

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler
    It would be hard NOT to ask them along wouldn't it? LOL. If you did though, you probably wouldn't get a second date so you better pick his brain for everything he's got!
    Trust me. She's in her mid-twenties, and you will bring her back. She's a B.A.P. (Black American Princess) and very expensive.
    "Nothing is more dangerous than the conscientiously ignorant, or the sincerely stupid." - Martin Luther King Jr.

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