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Thread: Editorial:"Kenpo Evolves"

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    Default Editorial:"Kenpo Evolves"

    The subtitle on Black Belt Magazine reads, "Jeff Speakman Updates Ed Parker's Art." That caught my eye and I immediately flipped to page 74 to read more.

    According to the article, Jeff Speakman has revamped his curriculum, removing 1/3 of the techniques he used to practice and replaced them with "ground" techniuqes and modified another 1/3 to fit the new fight model.

    Mr.Speakman supports these changes saying, "Kenpo is unique among martial arts in that it's designed to accommodate evolution" and I'd have to agree. He cites the upsurge in popularity of MMA and the UFC as a primary reason for the changes as the chances of encountering a trained MMA fighter or someone that will try to emmulate the grappling styles they see on TV on the streets has drastically increased.

    According to the article, the process of evolution began by Mr. Speakmans student, Trever Sherman, going into the world of MMA to train and compete. According to the article, Mr. Sherman also gained experience as a referee which he claimed gave him the most insight into the transition to 5.0, "Refereeing taught me the boundries of what you can do and what rules are there to protect the fighter. I was interested in that because breaking the rules will give you success on the street. Breaking those rules takes you back to the heart of kenpo, which is about living, not about winning."

    The artcle includes some "still shots" of Mr. Speakman and Mr. Sherman performing some techniques. I have to give them "kudos" on 90% of them because all but one sequence ends with the defender regaining their footing from the "ground" position. I personally have taught this should be the final sequence in any altercation that goes to the ground; get back to a standing position as soon as possible. Based on my own grappling experience, what I've seen of 5.0 looks pretty solid thus far.

    My 0.02
    "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: Editorial:"Kenpo Evolves"

    I look forward to kenpo 5.0
    what I disagree with is the deletion of moves,
    he should of kept the kenpo pure and added some jjs to it or start looking within the system for some of the ground work. More so than the "dance of death" expose some of the Lua , chin na , small circle within kenpo.

    I dont feel that an upgrade is needed but I do feel that kenpo in a broad scope has been watered down by opportunists.(Mr Speakman is not one)
    I think Speakman has seen that kenpo fighters in the ufc and other mma events are at a disadvantage. Hell everything we learn that is fun is illegal in the competiation,(eye gouge groin shots). He is tailoring kenpo into a sporting event with some useful ju jit su.

    Simply put I like where he is going but I strongly disagree with removing kenpo. It part of the journey.When your at Speakman level you should of already tailored the art. Its the fast tracking of new students and advance students that makes me afraid that they are losing. Learn how to fight like Ed Parker, then learn how to fight like your self!
    Last edited by NickName99; 11-24-2006 at 02:39 PM.

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    Default Re: Editorial:"Kenpo Evolves"

    Lol I got mixed feelings!, I guess I need to be more educated

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    Default Re: Editorial:"Kenpo Evolves"

    Quote Originally Posted by NickName99 View Post
    ...what I disagree with is the deletion of moves, he should of kept the kenpo pure and added some jjs to it or start looking within the system for some of the ground work....I think Speakman has seen that kenpo fighters in the ufc and other mma events are at a disadvantage. ... He is tailoring kenpo into a sporting event with some useful ju jit su. ... Its the fast tracking of new students and advance students that makes me afraid that they are losing. Learn how to fight like Ed Parker, then learn how to fight like your self!
    First off, I'd say it depends on what was removed, what was put in, and how he trains the entire carriculum. Mr. Speakman is certainly qualified to make changes in his system and still keep it EPAK.

    AS to his "tailoring kenpo into a sporting event with some useful ju jit su," I'd suggest you read the original post more closely. I've highlighted a few key phrases below:

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler View Post
    ...Jeff Speakman has revamped his curriculum, removing 1/3 of the techniques he used to practice and replaced them with "ground" techniuqes and modified another 1/3 to fit the new fight model.

    ..."Kenpo is unique among martial arts in that it's designed to accommodate evolution" ... He cites the upsurge in popularity of MMA and the UFC as a primary reason for the changes as the chances of encountering a trained MMA fighter or someone that will try to emmulate the grappling styles they see on TV on the streets has drastically increased.

    ... the process of evolution began by Mr. Speakmans student, Trever Sherman, going into the world of MMA to train and compete. ... also gained experience as a referee which he claimed gave him the most insight into the transition to 5.0, "Refereeing taught me the boundries of what you can do and what rules are there to protect the fighter. I was interested in that because breaking the rules will give you success on the street. Breaking those rules takes you back to the heart of kenpo, which is about living, not about winning." ...
    I havn't seen any of the 5.0 material yet, and wouldn't be qualified to sit in judgement of Mr. Speakman if I had. My gut reaction is that this is probably a good thing, but that's just me...

    and my uninformed opinion.

    Dan C
    There are things that are worth knowing for their own sake, worth finding for the pure joy of discovery.

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    Default Re: Editorial:"Kenpo Evolves"

    Dont miss understand me, I think Mr Speakman is a very qualitifed kenpoist,
    I hold him in high regards. I say add to kenpo dont delete. Your right though I'm not educated enough on what the real core of kenpo 5.0 is. Very curious.

    I remember that Mr.Speakman was an avid purist when it came to kenpo.
    Refusing to wear any 10 degree, he said that was an honour only to Mr.Parker.
    What I'm saying is that he was very upset in the 90's that kenpo since Parkers death got sloppy and the dropping of techniques. He was one of the only voices that didnt preach change. Im sorry if I touched a nerve. Im upset that he changed his mind.

    Kenpo is designed to incorporate your personnel style.Im curious if he is exploring the ju jit su within kenpo before dropping techs.

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    Default Re: Editorial:"Kenpo Evolves"

    change is hard sometimes!

    Im not writing these replies as a sort of
    critique. I am truely sorry to anyone who through my ingorance thinks that Im a critic. I'm not educated enough pass judgement. Only concern and curiousity!

    I do however view this as an awesome topic and would like to explore further. btw Im not sure how I got this bold on when Im typing but how do you turn it off?


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    Default Re: Editorial:"Kenpo Evolves"

    I'm only just beginning to look at the 5.0 stuff, but some of the ones he changed, like shielding hammer, I think is much better.

    Many of the ones he changed are mostly changes to the beginning of the techniques. Many of them now start from a left neutral bow. He's assuming that people are going to jump in to fight from the get-go, so that the defender will start from a neutral bow. He also assume that an attack is likely to start with a left jab, right cross or something along those lines.

    Some of the ones I've seen that have been changed are moves that I didn't care for, personally. There are also some that I liked that have been removed, but I can always teach those as extra material in my own school.

    I'm looking forward to getting the dvds. When I do, I'll keep everyone updated.

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    Default Re: Editorial:"Kenpo Evolves"

    I was reading kenponet.com forums today and came across another thread about the 5.0 project.
    Is it true that Mr.Speakman was taught these techniques by Ron Chapel, Larry Tatum, Huk Planas and Frank Trejo?

    Does anyone and expecially Doc can provide some light onto this?
    http://www.kenponet.com/

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    Default Re: Editorial:"Kenpo Evolves"

    Don't you know better than to go to kenponet?

    I was wondering how long it would take for someone to comment on Mr. Speakman "Removing" techniques. While kenpo is a technique driven system, the techniques taught are based on principles. Sometimes we lose sight of this fact being blinded by a strict adherence and loyalty to our school and/or curriculum.

    I applaud what Mr. Speakman is doing. He is living up to the true definition of American Kenpo as defined in the Encyclopedia of Kenpo; adapting the art to deal with the mode of fighting most prevelent on the streets today.

    Granted, Kenpo already has techniques and methods to deal with tackles and grabs. But we're talking about "shoots" which are a tad different in how they are executed. Besides, Mr. Speakman isn't some "hack" off the street that nobody knows or respects. We all know he knows what he's talking about when it comes to Kenpo.

    Being that I have a grappling background, I'm very interested in seeing his approach. The difference is that he sent a kenpoist into the world of grappling, and I'm a grappler that came into the world of Kenpo. The perspectives will probably be a bit different and even though I implement the ground game into our classes, I think he'll have something new to teach me.
    "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: Editorial:"Kenpo Evolves"

    LoL Ive should of known better... thanks for the wake up call

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    Default Re: Editorial:"Kenpo Evolves"

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler View Post
    While kenpo is a technique driven system, the techniques taught are based on principles. Sometimes we lose sight of this fact being blinded by a strict adherence and loyalty to our school and/or curriculum.

    I applaud what Mr. Speakman is doing. He is living up to the true definition of American Kenpo as defined in the Encyclopedia of Kenpo; adapting the art to deal with the mode of fighting most prevelent on the streets today.

    Amen, brother.. i have to agree.. its not the techniques, its the principles.. without the right principles and basics.. you might as well be flopping your arms and legs about.. what the hell kind of art would you have without marriage with gravity, backup mass, opposing forces, contouring, tracking, etc. i dont know why ppl get so scared or annoyed when someone "alters" or "deletes" something from THEIR cirriculum.. for all i care someone can be teaching how to shoot fireballs out their arse.. "traditional" EPAK is always gonna be around.. i think its commendable that Mr. Speakman is encorperating more groundwork into HIS cirriculum.. does that mean the techniques that are no longer REQUIRED for rank not practiced, and that they no longer exist!?! no..

    I go to an AKKI school.. my teacher's first 3 black ranks were EPAK, and every now and then he mentions not caring for some things in favor of "the old way" lol and theres alot of the "old" ones he just never liked as well. sometimes we learn the older techniques, the differences, etc. i like and agree with alot of where the AKKI is going in terms of more multiple attackers, more drills, offensive techniques..

    I mean as far as I know.. the only big wigs out there really -doing- anything, in terms of tinkering and expanding on Kenpo are Mr. Mills, Mr. Chap'el, and now Mr. Speakman.. taking both what Mr. Parker worked on them with, as well as what they see as the needs of today.. im sure there's more but those are the main ones that come to mind..

    id love to do SL4 with all the muscle indexing and chi work, and 5.0 with kenpo principles in a ground environment (i think most would take to that much easier than BJJ, trying to get used to new labels).. but id love to learn those some day. right now im working on this leg of my Journey into Kenpo. i just wish ppl would show that its all here for you to chose what you decide to focus on.. its all Kenpo and its beautiful

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    Default Re: Editorial:"Kenpo Evolves"

    I just finished the article from BB on Kenpo 5.0 and it was interesting. It sounds like Mr. Speakman put a lot of time, thought and experimentation into the creation of 5.0. I do have question though, and this may be more of an issue with the way the article was done than with 5.0......in BB it shows a couple of instances where Speakman defends the initial attack, then closes and does a takedown into a grappling situation. I am not a grappler, but why would you initiate a ground fight if you are winning on your feet? The examples are from pages 76 and 78. Perhaps this was for illustrative purposes? Once they were on the ground I certainly liked how he dealt with his opponent.

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    Default Re: Editorial:"Kenpo Evolves"

    An important step in understanding how to defend against a particular style or method of attack is to understand how to execute 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: Editorial:"Kenpo Evolves"

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler View Post
    An important step in understanding how to defend against a particular style or method of attack is to understand how to execute it.
    This makes sense to me. I have done a very small amount of grappling but not nearly enough to consider myself experienced.

    Do we have any 5.0 people here? If so, does Speakman teach you to take people down or was this just done for the article?

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    Default Re: Editorial:"Kenpo Evolves"

    Quote Originally Posted by execkenpo View Post
    This makes sense to me. I have done a very small amount of grappling but not nearly enough to consider myself experienced.

    Do we have any 5.0 people here? If so, does Speakman teach you to take people down or was this just done for the article?
    Amy? Have you gotten your DVD's yet?
    "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: Editorial:"Kenpo Evolves"

    I have no issue with Master Speakman changing HIS style of kenpo. We have probably made more changes than he has. We have added ground fighting ,Pressure points ,Arnis, Gun fu Animal system technnigues, Other style of Kenpo(Prof. Nick Cerio) Techniques, and many more things to our Kenpo but we haven't taken anything away. We still have all of our basic Kenpo Techniques.

    Most Respectfully,
    sifuroy

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    Default Re: Editorial:"Kenpo Evolves"

    I just found out that some people I used to train with in Mississippi have switched over to Speakman's 5.0. One of our BB's is starting his own school and really likes the curriculum. I haven't talked with him personally, but I respected him a lot when I trained with him, so I'm sure it's a good system.
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    Default Re: Editorial:"Kenpo Evolves"

    I firmly believe that in order for any system of kenpo to be complete that it must address and include techniques for ground fighting. As with anything else, there are different methods and approaches to how this part of the curriculm is addressed, largely because of personal preference I'm sure. But, at least it's being addressed.
    "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: Editorial:"Kenpo Evolves"

    From what I have seen so far online thngs look great but I would really like to see a sampler DVD available for those interested. It could be a great tool for Mr Speakman if he had one that available to be sent out to those interested in the Kenpo 5.0
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: Editorial:"Kenpo Evolves"

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Broad View Post
    From what I have seen so far online thngs look great but I would really like to see a sampler DVD available for those interested. It could be a great tool for Mr Speakman if he had one that available to be sent out to those interested in the Kenpo 5.0
    I know that Mr. Speakman personally went to MS to put on a seminar for a small group of students. I think he would do the same for anyone else that wanted a personal demo of what he is doing, wherever they lived.
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