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Thread: Traditional VS Evolution

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    Default Traditional VS Evolution

    Some hold that "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" and some feel "The only constant is change."

    What school of thought do you subscribe to? Do you feel that Kenpo was fine the way it was at the time of SGM Parkers death and doesn't need to change as it was and is an effective form of self defense. Or, do you feel that the art was meant to evolve and change with the times and not remain static?
    "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: Traditional VS Evolution

    I feel that it should do a little of both. There were many things that SGM Parker devised that havent changed and some things have that shouldn't have. Evolving with the times is also good in that you have modern situations that you may not have been confronted with in the "Traditional Times".

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    Default Re: Traditional VS Evolution

    I feel at that time Kenpo was perfect. But now people do not fight like they did back than. They throw multiple punches and many people know some style of martial art now. Don't get me wrong Kenpo I probably the best style out there. But it needs to be evolutionised.

    If you were to go up against a Jujitsu or Tae Kwon Do fighter, how would you fight with what we have learned?
    "To hear is to doubt. To see is to be deceived. But to feel is to believe." -- SGM Ed Parker

    "Sic vis pacem parabellum - If you want peace, prepare for war." -- "The Punisher"


    "Praying Mantis, very good. . . For catching bugs." --Jackie Chan

    "A horse stance is great for taking a dump" --Jet Li

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    Default Re: Traditional VS Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by parkerkarate
    I feel at that time Kenpo was perfect. But now people do not fight like they did back than. They throw multiple punches and many people know some style of martial art now.

    If you were to go up against a Jujitsu or Tae Kwon Do fighter, how would you fight with what we have learned?
    You mention that Kenpo was "perfect" at some time.....what time were you referring to? Have things changed that much since the "time" you were referring to? How do people fight differently "today" that EPAK doesn't already address?

    I am learning more and more about EPAK just as Ed Parker taught it, I just didn't know about it in the past. I think the problem with many EPAK instructors (I used to be just like this too) is that when they can't find the answers in EPAK, they think they had better look elsewhere to different arts. But in reality, the answers were right there in front of them the whole time.

    How would I fight a Jujitsu or TKD guy? I would use my Kenpo.
    I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
    (Phillipians 4:13)


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    Default Re: Traditional VS Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by Seabrook
    You mention that Kenpo was "perfect" at some time.....what time were you referring to? Have things changed that much since the "time" you were referring to? How do people fight differently "today" that EPAK doesn't already address?

    I am learning more and more about EPAK just as Ed Parker taught it, I just didn't know about it in the past. I think the problem with many EPAK instructors (I used to be just like this too) is that when they can't find the answers in EPAK, they think they had better look elsewhere to different arts. But in reality, the answers were right there in front of them the whole time.

    How would I fight a Jujitsu or TKD guy? I would use my Kenpo.
    In the 50's - 70's Kenpo was perfect. But now people do not fight the same way and more people know some form of martial arts. Have you ever been in a fight were someone just threw a step through punch. Or just one kick. We practice most of our techniqus with just one attack. But know that some black belts are revolutionizing for this decade. And thats what makes Kenpo event better.
    "To hear is to doubt. To see is to be deceived. But to feel is to believe." -- SGM Ed Parker

    "Sic vis pacem parabellum - If you want peace, prepare for war." -- "The Punisher"


    "Praying Mantis, very good. . . For catching bugs." --Jackie Chan

    "A horse stance is great for taking a dump" --Jet Li

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    Default Re: Traditional VS Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by Seabrook
    I am learning more and more about EPAK just as Ed Parker taught it, I just didn't know about it in the past. I think the problem with many EPAK instructors (I used to be just like this too) is that when they can't find the answers in EPAK, they think they had better look elsewhere to different arts. But in reality, the answers were right there in front of them the whole time.
    It seems to me that if the teaching vehicle requires much delving, analysis, formulation, or interpretation to find that the art really does have "the answer" to a problem, the teaching vehicle probably needs some work.

    If an art has several examples of multiple attacker defenses (and a fingerlock defense!), yet ignores what to do when someone is sitting on your chest and trying to flatten your face with punches. Ask the jui-jitsu guy what you should do in that situation and he'll say "upa."

    Ask the kenpo instructor and it'll go something like this (if you are lucky);

    Instructor: "Ok, this is just like Sleeper but on a horizontal plane with some adjustments. First, bend your knees so that you can establish your base and put the left foot on the outside of his so that you check his leg. Good, now do a big pelvic thrust using Reverse Marriage of Gravity to 45 degrees to disrupt his base. The left hand should do an inward parry so that you are outside his right arm, and maintain that as a pinning check to check his width. Do a right palm-heel to his mastoid, and then pull him down so that you have a sleeper hold. Pulling him down will disrupt his height, width, and depth. Roll to your left, you'll now be on top, establish your base and use marriage of gravity to aid in your strikes. You need to do this quickly, and watch out when you are defending so that they don't armbar you.

    Student: "Whats an armbar?"

    Instructor: "Well its like Crossing Talon, but done with the whole body...."

    If you are unlucky, the instructor will say something like, "We're kenpo, if you do XXX ram technique right you won't go to the ground" or more likely something that includes the words "bite, pinch, gouge, and fish-hook."

    From the above example, it is fairly clear that jui-jitsu addresses this situation within the bounds of its teaching vehicle. Kenpo might do this, but in a manner that it won't (or demonstrably hasn't) transmit well through the generations. I don't see any reason not to add a tech that addresses such a situation. But (gasp) that may mean altering the way the art is taught....

    Lamont
    Pekiti Tirsia Kali and Kenpo Karate
    www.blackbirdmartialarts.com

    “He, who will not reason, is a bigot; he, who cannot, is a fool; and he, who dares not, is a slave.”
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    "This person is as dangerous as an IED."

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    Default Re: Traditional VS Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler
    Some hold that "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" and some feel "The only constant is change." What school of thought do you subscribe to?
    The school of common sense.

    Learn the base, and adjust it to fot you. But just because an adjustment fits you doesn't mean the base has to be adjusted.

    Other arts/systems- working with others doesn't mean AK is lacking, or that the vehicle to teach the art is flawed. Working with others lets you see different things coming at you, helps you to work outside the box, and gives you a different viewpoint to what you do. But invariably, when I've worked with another stylist, I've found what he does addressed somewhere in AK.

    Grappling- we all know that it is addressed in AK. But it is enough different, and few enough AK people really know how to handle a trained grappler with Kenpo (and I'm not one of them, sad to say), that it is probably a good idea to study grappling on the side. That doesn't mean AK is deficient, just that we are not yet effective. A good grappling instructor can change that. Common sense.

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    Default Re: Traditional VS Evolution

    Im kinda in the middle...on one hand Im all for customizing and making something fit and streamlining...but on the other hand, if you take out/change too much, what you do may not be recognizable to another practitioner. The school I was at took out things if they didn't like em. Changed things all the time...I went to my first kenpo camp and felt out of place because of it.

    So Im gonna say keep the system as it is, but play with it. Show the original technique and when your students have it down, show your variations.
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    Default Re: Traditional VS Evolution

    A punch is still a punch, and a kick is still a kick, and they still hurt the same as they did in the 50's, whether it be be 1750, 1850, or 1950 or even 2050.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: Traditional VS Evolution

    I beleive that AK was porposefully created to be an ever-evolving art. SGM parker said himself that he hoped the art would continue to evolve and improve into the future. (not his exact words) I think that to "traditionalise" the art would be a disservice to future students. At the same time, we should always remember our roots, as well as our fundamental bases and truths.

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    Default Re: Traditional VS Evolution

    Focus on the basics. As your understanding grows you will become aware of the hidden applications for AK you did not notice before. Something very basic and solid, but fully understood can be applied to many situations. Go beyond learning techs for this or that and you can apply AK to any situation. Be open to evolution, but don't think AK is incomplete. Looking outside of AK may help you see things in a different way and lead to a revelation of how AK can be applied.

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    Default Re: Traditional VS Evolution

    Lots of great posts folks!

    My instructor uses an analogy that I think says it all.

    Kenpo is lke a stew. Everyone makes their stew according to their taste. We provide the base, or broth. You add in carrots, peas, beef, onions... whatever you like based on your taste (or needs.)

    Kenpo is by no means defficient in any way and I feel it is flexible enough to allow for adequate defense regardless of the modern environment. But, if you want to know how a grappler or boxer will fight...go find one and ask him! You Kenpo will adapt to deal with the answer as the principles are sound. I think that is the key, being knowledgable enough to be able to apply the principles effectively. "Knowledge is not enough, you must apply. Desire is not enough, you must do." -Bruce Lee
    "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: Traditional VS Evolution

    Remember, a change happens becuse something must be out of place, not that if ain't broke dont fix it thing; every human nature has adjust to change at some level at evolution, it's a nature law, so, as so the martial art must and will change.

    My best advice to you

    Dragonkenpo

    Master Ricardo Sanabria
    5th Degree Black Belt
    From Puerto Rico

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    Default Re: Traditional VS Evolution

    Not everyone is built the same and a technique that may work just fine for one person may need to be slightly adapted for another. That is the beauty of Ed Parker Kenpo. Ed Parker Kenpo is evolutionary and was meant to be. My studio brought in Ed Parker Jr. a year or so ago and he seemed quite impressed with some of the changes that had been made in his father's style. From his reaction I believe Kenpo is meant to evolve.

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    Default Re: Traditional VS Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by usafguard
    Not everyone is built the same and a technique that may work just fine for one person may need to be slightly adapted for another. That is the beauty of Ed Parker Kenpo. Ed Parker Kenpo is evolutionary and was meant to be. My studio brought in Ed Parker Jr. a year or so ago and he seemed quite impressed with some of the changes that had been made in his father's style. From his reaction I believe Kenpo is meant to evolve.
    Could you tell us on what he has changed?
    "To hear is to doubt. To see is to be deceived. But to feel is to believe." -- SGM Ed Parker

    "Sic vis pacem parabellum - If you want peace, prepare for war." -- "The Punisher"


    "Praying Mantis, very good. . . For catching bugs." --Jackie Chan

    "A horse stance is great for taking a dump" --Jet Li

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    Default Re: Traditional VS Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by parkerkarate
    Have you ever been in a fight were someone just threw a step through punch. Or just one kick.
    To be honest, that is the way a LOT of people who are highly trained in the martial arts fight when they spar....one move at a time (which, of course, I don't recommend).

    So, yes, I think that people without significant training often throw one move at a time because they put their full commitment into the strike. At the same, if they were to throw 5,6, or say, 7 moves at once, what happened to our Kenpo defense? Did it really take that long for our Kenpo to "kick in"?
    I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
    (Phillipians 4:13)


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    Default Re: Traditional VS Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by Blindside
    It seems to me that if the teaching vehicle requires much delving, analysis, formulation, or interpretation to find that the art really does have "the answer" to a problem, the teaching vehicle probably needs some work.

    Lamont
    Why don't credible universities give out PhD's in 3 years? Because, you need to WORK at the field of study to become an expert in the area. Kenpo, like any art, takes time and PATIENCE.

    Too many want all of the answers to quick, and yet they don't even know the questions they are asking.

    So what do people do? They seek rank elsewhere in other arts, or they self-promote, or find an association that gives rank out like candy. Similarly, some people don't want to devoate an average of 10+ years of university to obtain a PhD, so they buy their PhD online by some fly-by-night "university" that will award you the degree if you give them the money.
    I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
    (Phillipians 4:13)


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    Default Re: Traditional VS Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Broad
    A punch is still a punch, and a kick is still a kick, and they still hurt the same as they did in the 50's, whether it be be 1750, 1850, or 1950 or even 2050.
    Rob,

    That is worthy of a quote in a book!

    You couldn't be more right.
    I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
    (Phillipians 4:13)


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    Default Re: Traditional VS Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler
    Kenpo is lke a stew. Everyone makes their stew according to their taste. We provide the base, or broth. You add in carrots, peas, beef, onions... whatever you like based on your taste (or needs.)
    So then, at what point CC is it no longer Kenpo?

    Example:

    I have been at so many tournaments over the years that have a "Kenpo Forms" division. Typically 10% of the competitors do what I would call Kenpo. The other 90% looks NOTHING like Kenpo. From the analogy you gave above, WHEN do you draw the line as to what you can and cannot call "Kenpo"?
    I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
    (Phillipians 4:13)


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    Default Re: Traditional VS Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by Seabrook
    Why don't credible universities give out PhD's in 3 years? Because, you need to WORK at the field of study to become an expert in the area. Kenpo, like any art, takes time and PATIENCE.
    I shouldn't need a Ph.D in an art to be taught how to stop someone from sitting on my chest and trying to punch my head in.

    Lamont
    Pekiti Tirsia Kali and Kenpo Karate
    www.blackbirdmartialarts.com

    “He, who will not reason, is a bigot; he, who cannot, is a fool; and he, who dares not, is a slave.”
    ~William Drummond

    "This person is as dangerous as an IED."

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