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Thread: Importance of Improvisation?

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    Default Importance of Improvisation?

    So......I was thinking...again....Yeah, I know I shouldn't... and was warned to stop it, but....anyway.......
    Shouldn't the ability to improvise be pretty high on the kenpo "to-do list?" I think most would agree that techniques will probably not go down in a street type scenario the same as they do when practiced in the dojo with a willing uke. What methods of training can you employ to promote a student's ability to adapt spontaneously to an ever changing combat environment?
    "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: Importance of Improvisation?

    At my tang Soo Do school part of our tests was somethign called Muggers ally... bassicaly you make two rows of everyone in class and one at a time you walk down the row.. people step out randomly and attack with random attacks..
    "Do you have any bactine? Some of this blood is mine."

    "Dear Die-ary, today I stuffed some dolls full of dead rats I put in the blender. I'm wondering if, maybe, there really is something wrong with me."

    -JTHM

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    Default Re: Importance of Improvisation?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrBunny
    At my tang Soo Do school part of our tests was somethign called Muggers ally... bassicaly you make two rows of everyone in class and one at a time you walk down the row.. people step out randomly and attack with random attacks..
    Like the Klingons with pain sticks?

    We call it 'walking the gauntlet'

    On my test, I found myself adding different extensions onto the various moves because I couldn't think of the right one and better to do something than do nothing.

    I have done a drill with my yellow belts where they take a technique and add either a prefix or a suffix to it. That's a fun one.

    Maybe I'll have them do that on Wed.

    --Amy
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    Default Re: Importance of Improvisation?

    Quote Originally Posted by amylong
    Like the Klingons with pain sticks?

    We call it 'walking the gauntlet'

    On my test, I found myself adding different extensions onto the various moves because I couldn't think of the right one and better to do something than do nothing.

    I have done a drill with my yellow belts where they take a technique and add either a prefix or a suffix to it. That's a fun one.

    Maybe I'll have them do that on Wed.

    --Amy
    your going to beat your yellow bets with pain sticks?

    wow that 2nd black went straight to your head hu?
    "Do you have any bactine? Some of this blood is mine."

    "Dear Die-ary, today I stuffed some dolls full of dead rats I put in the blender. I'm wondering if, maybe, there really is something wrong with me."

    -JTHM

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    Default Re: Importance of Improvisation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler
    Shouldn't the ability to improvise be pretty high on the kenpo "to-do list?" I think most would agree that techniques will probably not go down in a street type scenario the same as they do when practiced in the dojo with a willing uke. What methods of training can you employ to promote a student's ability to adapt spontaneously to an ever changing combat environment?
    (1) Practice ALL of the base techniques and know how they are directly related so that you can graft right into another technique should it be necessary.

    (2) Practice the extensions. They are there for a reason. The extensions offer the "what-if" scenarios off our base techniques. Don't listen to those who just claim that extensions are "FILLER WORK".....that is nonsense.

    (3) Fight as many talented fighters as possible and from as many arts as possible.....and try your Kenpo. If you can fight against a grappler....great....a guy who can fight stand-up and work the ground game.....even better. Again, try your Kenpo. Utilize your techniques, and blend with encounters as necessary.


    Jamie Seabrook
    www.seabrook.gotkenpo.com
    I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
    (Phillipians 4:13)


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    Default Re: Importance of Improvisation?

    The ability to improvise is very important, BUT it has a time and place. Too many times instructors try and get there student to that level way too early. Each student reaches that point in their training when everything just clicks and they start to see the light. There are many things instructors can do do that help a student tostart to understand the process but until it happens it can be forced.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: Importance of Improvisation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Broad
    The ability to improvise is very important, BUT it has a time and place. Too many times instructors try and get there student to that level way too early. Each student reaches that point in their training when everything just clicks and they start to see the light.
    One thing that I notice a lot of instructors do is "what-if" a zillion things per technique, when really what the students need is to learn the base technique (ideal phase) correctly in the first place.

    The term "what-if" raises doubt for the Kenpoist because one could essentially "what-if" until the cow jumps over the moon. Learn the techniques in the ideal phase, so that if something didn't go like you had initially planned, there is another ideal phase technique to flow right into.

    JMO.
    I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
    (Phillipians 4:13)


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    Default Re: Importance of Improvisation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seabrook
    One thing that I notice a lot of instructors do is "what-if" a zillion things per technique, when really what the students need is to learn the base technique (ideal phase) correctly in the first place.

    The term "what-if" raises doubt for the Kenpoist because one could essentially "what-if" until the cow jumps over the moon. Learn the techniques in the ideal phase, so that if something didn't go like you had initially planned, there is another ideal phase technique to flow right into.

    JMO.
    You hit the nail right on the head. The dreaded " What - If " syndrome can be a really big problem students and instructors need to concentrate on getting the core of the system down before bouncing off into a million tangents.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Alleydog is offline
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    Default Re: Importance of Improvisation?

    Ron,

    I really like to start my students with improvisational attack right at white belt. If we are teaching the art as Mr. Parker what’d it, I feel even the white belt can answer the improvisational attack.
    Let me clarify. Kenpo techniques should be taught in the idea phase, what if phase, and formulation.
    The only thing stopping the beginner from formulating, grafting, and answering the what if or even doing improvisational defense is the instructor.
    If you don’t have them do this at all levels how can you gage their progress. Watching them do the basics just isn’t enough. This is kenpo we are teaching not some traditional style.

    It’s funny I have had Black Belts for other schools and style come in and run a technique line with my advance class (blue and above). Many of them struggle with improve attacks where my blue and green belt just rock and roll right through. May have a problem picking up the strikes, executing without hesitation and keeping there basics together.
    I can’t say it is because they don’t do enough impromptu attacks or if that they get into it too late in their progression or what it is but it isn’t good to watch.


    Yours in Kenpo,

    Mike G

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    Default Re: Importance of Improvisation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seabrook
    One thing that I notice a lot of instructors do is "what-if" a zillion things per technique, when really what the students need is to learn the base technique (ideal phase) correctly in the first place.

    The term "what-if" raises doubt for the Kenpoist because one could essentially "what-if" until the cow jumps over the moon. Learn the techniques in the ideal phase, so that if something didn't go like you had initially planned, there is another ideal phase technique to flow right into.

    JMO.
    I agree about overdoing the what if business. You can what-if to the point where they won't think anything works. For most of the techniques the first move or two is likely to take them out anyway. A well-placed kick or punch can end things right there, so learning the ideal first, then adding a few things is the best thing to do, I think.

    --Amy
    The New Kenpo Continuum Book is now accepting submissions for volume 2. Our fabulous, ever-changing website is Sacramento Kenpo Karate.
    I'm a member of the Universal Life Church and the ULC Seminary. I'm also a Sacramento Wedding Minister and Disc Jockey
    New Cool (free) kenpo tool bar: http://KenpoKarate.OurToolbar.com/


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    Default Re: Importance of Improvisation?

    Quote Originally Posted by amylong
    I agree about overdoing the what if business. You can what-if to the point where they won't think anything works. --Amy
    Exactly Amy.
    I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
    (Phillipians 4:13)


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    Default Re: Importance of Improvisation?

    how 'bout showing how the technique is designed to cancel dimensions and through proper execution eliminate the majority of 'what-ifs'...

    "In the beginners mind there are many possibilities, but in the experts there are few" - Shunryu Suzuki

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    Default Re: Importance of Improvisation?

    Quote Originally Posted by pete
    how 'bout showing how the technique is designed to cancel dimensions and through proper execution eliminate the majority of 'what-ifs'...
    Ooooh, you mean like show the kenpo as it was intended? Interesting. Interesting.

    But, what if the person is on drugs or is an alien or has bionic legs?

    Hmmmm. Then what?

    --Amy
    The New Kenpo Continuum Book is now accepting submissions for volume 2. Our fabulous, ever-changing website is Sacramento Kenpo Karate.
    I'm a member of the Universal Life Church and the ULC Seminary. I'm also a Sacramento Wedding Minister and Disc Jockey
    New Cool (free) kenpo tool bar: http://KenpoKarate.OurToolbar.com/


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    Default Re: Importance of Improvisation?

    or? what if it is a bionic alien on drugs... huh, huh, then watcha gonna do... lets see your kenpo save you now.

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    Default Re: Importance of Improvisation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seabrook
    (1) Practice ALL of the base techniques and know how they are directly related so that you can graft right into another technique should it be necessary.


    Jamie Seabrook
    www.seabrook.gotkenpo.com
    Definitely. And to add to this point, I think "improv" isn't of- the- cuff. It's truly something rehearsed in a different content.

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    Default Re: Importance of Improvisation?

    Quote Originally Posted by pete
    or? what if it is a bionic alien on drugs... huh, huh, then watcha gonna do... lets see your kenpo save you now.
    LOL. It's true. We'd all be helpless.

    I agree with Mikael151 too. That's why I like learning the extensions. It's just more practiced movements to do 'off the cuff'.

    --Amy
    The New Kenpo Continuum Book is now accepting submissions for volume 2. Our fabulous, ever-changing website is Sacramento Kenpo Karate.
    I'm a member of the Universal Life Church and the ULC Seminary. I'm also a Sacramento Wedding Minister and Disc Jockey
    New Cool (free) kenpo tool bar: http://KenpoKarate.OurToolbar.com/


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    Default Re: Importance of Improvisation?

    Lot's of excellent points.

    So far I gather most feel that training students in "grafting" drills and teaching extensions to established techniques is the way to help students to be able to adapt to ever changing variables.


    How about running technique lines or "in the middle" drills? Do you think that helps with this?
    "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: Importance of Improvisation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler
    Lot's of excellent points.

    So far I gather most feel that training students in "grafting" drills and teaching extensions to established techniques is the way to help students to be able to adapt to ever changing variables.


    How about running technique lines or "in the middle" drills? Do you think that helps with this?
    In the middle drills, as in Ninja in the middle? If so, then I'd so somewhat. I find that wish that drill, people tend to do one block and one strike and that's about it. And they often don't do anything else.

    --Amy
    The New Kenpo Continuum Book is now accepting submissions for volume 2. Our fabulous, ever-changing website is Sacramento Kenpo Karate.
    I'm a member of the Universal Life Church and the ULC Seminary. I'm also a Sacramento Wedding Minister and Disc Jockey
    New Cool (free) kenpo tool bar: http://KenpoKarate.OurToolbar.com/


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    Default Re: Importance of Improvisation?

    Amy,

    I think you would see more “technique like” combinations if “in the middle”, “bull in the middle”, “ninja in the middle”, impromptu drills were done on a regular basis.
    The students will improve.
    Also, you should see a marked improvement between the upper belts and lower belts.
    This is not only a great tool for the student to make that transition from set a technique into the more realistic type repose they will have in an actual altercation but good for the instructor to mark the improvement of the student.

    Yours in Kenpo,
    Mike G
    AKKI Westminster, MD

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    Default Re: Importance of Improvisation?

    I can't remember the fella's name (perhaps Katsudo or bdparsons could help) but there's a regular at the IKCA annual international seminar that suits up head to toe in padding and will rush you flailing wildly in order for you to practice this sort of thing.

    Anyway, if you have adequate padding (head/face/hands/arm/legs/feet/torso/) you could suit up at your school and be the attacker. Run a "reverse" in the middle kind of. Have the students circle you and you run at them randomly executing different attacks.

    ..just a thought.
    "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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