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Thread: What if ...

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    Default What if ...

    I was kind of noodling around here on the forum when a question or two struck me that I would like to put out here.

    First off, in my little model of the world, I imagine that some, if not all, of you have a copy of or have seen the cd/dvd version of the original four films that Chuck Sullivan and SGM Parker put out in 1959/60 in Black Belt Magazine?

    It was, without the inclusion of short 1, and short 2, supposedly the sum total of the "organized" system of Kenpo as it was "back in the day". It included 32 techniques, without names, only numbers. It had short 3, the two man Black Belt set, and staff set on it.

    I guess what I am getting to asking those who have seen the film ...

    Is it a viable self defense system as it stands?

    How would you teach it in such a way to make it a commercial entity?

    I think that it would be good here to say, let your imagination run wild.

    I am simply curious about it. I'd kind of like to work toward inferences by other folks who are on this end of the Kenpo tunnel, to see how things might have developed otherwise... Consider it more an exercise in "what if" than anything else.

    Thanks for your inputs.

    Dan

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    Jim Hanna is offline
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    Default Re: What if ...

    Alittle off subject but I think that any discussion concerning the number of techniques in kenpo should also discuss the number of unarmed katas.

    I am of the mind that there are not too many techniques, but there are too many unarmed forms. I am somewhat dumbfounded when I read posts that state that there are too many techniques, and yet the poster never questions how many forms and sets have been created.

    Jim

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    Default Re: What if ...

    I think the focus is too much on the quantity instead of the quality.
    "I'd rather have 10 techniques that work for me than 100 that work against me." -SGM Ed Parker.

    There is a finite number of ways in which a human being can be attacked by another human being(s).

    That being said, I again state with exetreme enthusiasm that I personally believe the principles behind the techniques is what's important.

    One of those principles is tailoring. IMHO, it sets us distinctly apart from almost all traditional systems. Everyone is anatomically and physiologically different. SO...it only makes sense that no two individuals would execute "Five Swords" exactly the same way. You take that to the next logical step and filter it through 5-6 instructors down the line and you end up with a technique that looks nothing like the original. Is it wrong? Not if it works for the person executing it. Should the new altered technique be added to the syllabus? Some think so...and the number of techniques in thier syllabus grows.

    I guess it boils down to one's mindset. I'm of the mind that basics should be taught first and stressed throughout, followed by basic techniques that are fundamentally sound in principle. Then, encourage the student to explore and test variations in class (as when running a technique line). Teach them to borrow, graft, and adapt. In affect teaching them "how" to instead of "what" to do. It's like the old saying, "Give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach him HOW to fish and feed him for life." IMHO, students will react more spontaneously if they used at least some of their own brain power to figure out a defense against an attack. I've heard that Kenpo is supposed to be a "thinking person's art," so I make my students think...I don't try to spoon feed them every thing.

    In short, I don't think the number of techniques means a thing as long as you have enough in your repetoire/syllabus to cover all types of attacks and that they demonstrate all the principles of Kenpo. The same goes for forms. IMHO
    "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: What if ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler
    I think the focus is too much on the quantity instead of the quality.
    "I'd rather have 10 techniques that work for me than 100 that work against me." -SGM Ed Parker.
    ... and that's pretty close to what you'll actually ever need.
    There is a finite number of ways in which a human being can be attacked by another human being(s).
    Absolutely
    That being said, I again state with exetreme enthusiasm that I personally believe the principles behind the techniques is what's important.
    Once again, very well said sir
    One of those principles is tailoring. IMHO, it sets us distinctly apart from almost all traditional systems.
    Unfortunately, it is the reason that most are so bad. (Be careful with the collective pronouns sir. ) "Tailoring" was prominent and placed by Parker in his commercial art for many reasons. However, tailoring in the real world of martial science should be the province of the knowledgeable not the novice student or teacher. Basics should be learned correctly and inculcated completely before the thought of tailoring even enters your mind absent instructor direction. Yes, it sets you apart from traditional systems, and it is what makes you so bad. Commercial Kenpo (and even kenpo in general in the Parker Lineage) has never taught basics; therefore tailoring is necessary to achieve some level of functionality.
    Everyone is anatomically and physiologically different. SO...it only makes sense that no two individuals would execute "Five Swords" exactly the same way.
    Well here, you are incorrect sir. It would be of great surprise to all the doctors that studied human anatomy in medical school that they wasted their time, only to discover everyone is 'different.' Of course, that is not what you meant but it is indicative of the mindset that permeates that wing of kenpo to justify no one actually knowing anything, or being responsible for HOW something should absolutely be done. In reality, only minor variations exist between individuals that usually apply to height, and girth, and other natural variations in body geometry. Nevertheless, everyone functions the same. Proper human movement is ONE WAY, and has no personal preference in its formula. Only through this method may you reach the higher levels of execution. Commercial Kenpo however was not designed to get you there so it serves its purpose. Just don't expect to get there through that, as a vehicle. It’s not possible.

    My students all do "Five Swords" the same very exactly in their training. All of them are effectively devastating, because they are anatomically correct. Is there more than one way you could do "Five Swords" and still be correct? Absolutely, but you'll never find any of the many variations tailoring on your own, instructors or students. Some move faster than others do at the same level. Some strike a bit harder, some work at bit harder, but all are effective and are building a foundation that ONE DAY may allow them to begin the tailoring process, but only from a well-trained and educated perspective.

    Funny how a pro basketball player working on his game from childhood to the pros shoot hundreds of thousands of jump shots, and all the coaches show them one way to do it to be successful. From that respect, commercial kenpo is playground martial arts with no real direction or knowledgeable coach. That is only what it was intended to be. Fortunately, even the playground can create some decent players. This is just not good enough to get to the pros or even college without good coaching to show them how to use their talent correctly.
    You take that to the next logical step and filter it through 5-6 instructors down the line and you end up with a technique that looks nothing like the original. Is it wrong? Not if it works for the person executing it. Should the new altered technique be added to the syllabus? Some think so...and the number of techniques in thier syllabus grows.
    Now I think we get to what you were really trying to say. Moreover, on this note I do indeed agree with you.
    I guess it boils down to one's mindset. I'm of the mind that basics should be taught first and stressed throughout, followed by basic techniques that are fundamentally sound in principle.
    This is correct. The problem is most don't know how to do this correctly because they are not 'coaches' nor have they ever learned how to coach or have anywhere near the knowledge necessary to be a coach. However, the vehicle of commercial kenpo itself only requires that YOU be personally competent to your own standards to "coach" or teach. You 'learn, the material, now you teach it.
    Then, encourage the student to explore and test variations in class (as when running a technique line). Teach them to borrow, graft, and adapt. In affect teaching them "how" to instead of "what" to do. It's like the old saying, "Give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach him HOW to fish and feed him for life." IMHO, students will react more spontaneously if they used at least some of their own brain power to figure out a defense against an attack. I've heard that Kenpo is supposed to be a "thinking person's art," so I make my students think...I don't try to spoon feed them every thing.
    That is the problem. However if you're only going to stay on the 'playground,' that's fine. Just about everyone is equal and are responsible for their own performance on the playground. That is the venue of commercial kenpo. It sets a standard for itself, not for the arts in general. Giving an adolescent freedom to do whatever he wants is not likely to have a significantly positive results without guidance and life experience. Most come to a kenpo school because they didn't have the experience in the first place. Unfortunately, if they are looking for more, they are only going to get 'playground experience' in the school. They are all children in need of ‘adult’ supervision, but the process only allows the blind to be led by the guy with slightly more vision than they do.
    In short, I don't think the number of techniques means a thing as long as you have enough in your repetoire/syllabus to cover all types of attacks and that they demonstrate all the principles of Kenpo. The same goes for forms. IMHO
    See, we're back to total agreement again sir.
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    Default Re: What if ...

    Quote Originally Posted by sigung86
    I was kind of noodling around here on the forum when a question or two struck me that I would like to put out here.

    First off, in my little model of the world, I imagine that some, if not all, of you have a copy of or have seen the cd/dvd version of the original four films that Chuck Sullivan and SGM Parker put out in 1959/60 in Black Belt Magazine?

    It was, without the inclusion of short 1, and short 2, supposedly the sum total of the "organized" system of Kenpo as it was "back in the day". It included 32 techniques, without names, only numbers. It had short 3, the two man Black Belt set, and staff set on it. I guess what I am getting to asking those who have seen the film ... Is it a viable self defense system as it stands?
    Sure Dan, it WAS. It still has some validity today, but the world evolves and changes. When that material was put together, it was state of the art. Now it's what Parker himself called, "old Kenpo." But keep in mind there are those who still teach and embrace that material. But most had no experience or knowledge of the martial arts then, so whomever you came up against was completely ignorant of the possibilities of a response.
    How would you teach it in such a way to make it a commercial entity?
    Parker already did that didn't he? He distilled everything down to conceptual ideas for student and teacher interpretation. No one had to be a real expert, just as long as it worked for you. Made sense then because Parker was the only expert, and he couldn't be everywhere or be on the floor everyday all day making sure only a handful of people had stances that were correct.
    I am simply curious about it. I'd kind of like to work toward inferences by other folks who are on this end of the Kenpo tunnel, to see how things might have developed otherwise... Consider it more an exercise in "what if" than anything else.

    Thanks for your inputs.

    Dan
    Go to bed Dan, it's been a long day.
    "Nothing is more dangerous than the conscientiously ignorant, or the sincerely stupid." - Martin Luther King Jr.

    "Knowledge speaks but wisdom listens." - Ed Parker Sr.

    "It's much easier to quote, than to know." - Ron Chapél


    www.MSUACF.com

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