View Poll Results: Can a "New Generation" Overcome the Fragmentation of Kenpo/Kempo

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  • Yes, The Furthering of the Art is Our Priority

    15 42.86%
  • No, The Damage is Done and Can Not be Overcome

    9 25.71%
  • Not sure, that's a lofty goal!

    11 31.43%
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Thread: Come Together

  1. #1
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    Default Come Together

    I absolutely HATE POLITICS IN KENPO!!

    Politics and ego have no place in Kenpo/Kempo. Nothing positive ever results from it. Only negative.

    No two people will ever see eye-to-eye on everything. Why does such a wonderful art like Kenpo have to suffer becuase of ego and/or financial gain. Kenpo claims to be "the thinking man's art". Well, intelligent people can debate and discuss issues without the conversation degrading into insults and name-calling. And, if they cannot find some sort of compromise or common ground can politely agree to disagree while still respecting the other persons point of view.

    Bickering and segragation do nothing for the furthering of the art and I challenge anyone to present a reasonable argument to the contrary. I apologize for the "soap box" moment and this post may be out of line, but I admit to getting easily irritated by the "politics" that seem to be more prevelent in Kenpo than any other art.

    It quite litteraly breaks my heart because I do so love the art and I've met and spoken with so many talented and intelligent folks from different schools, organizations, and lineages and learned so much from them by keeping an open mind. Kenpo has been fragmented long enough and it's past time to put all the BS behind us. IMHO

    This post isn't directed toward anyone or anything....like I said, "politics" is a hot button with me and I'm simply sick of seeing it. I want to the world to know how great our art is.

    As Sifuroy pointed out, we are a new generation. Do you think we can overcome the fragmentation of the art and come together and share ideas and perspective and grow together as SGM Parker had hoped in the spirit of the original IKC's? Keep in mind, this doesn't mean joining together under a single organization or curriculum. It means promoting the art itself and putting it ahead of personal or organizational agendas. We on KT may represent a small fraction of the Kenpo/Kempo community but we've defineatley proven that this is a possibility.

    ....your thoughts?
    "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

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Come Together

    My optimist side says and hopes Yes!
    PARKER - HERMAN - SECK

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    Default Re: Come Together

    I voted "yes". I've learned a lot just from being on this website. I understand how EPAK became fragmented after SGM Parker's death-so many of his best students were type "A" personalities. They had to be to excel at an art that was and is constantly evolving. Now that they've pretty much paved the roads, we get to drive down them and wave at each other when we meet at the intersections.
    Having said that, I'm going to go beat up a hippy or not hug a tree or something.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Michael Huffman
    1st Black, AKKI
    www.akki.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Come Together

    I think a lot of this is basic human nature, sad to say. I've always wondered if other well known martial arts organizations suffered from the same in-fighting once the "Top Guy" passed away. Does anyone know how the Dan Zan Ryu folks functioned after Prof Okazaki passed on? Were there splits amongst his senior students? What about Sensei Ushebia (sp?) and the Aikido folks? I seem to remember reading an article where SGM Ralph Castro plainly stated that his son Rob was to be his successor. Without saying so, the article seemed to imply this was to avoid the type of fragmentation that occurred within the IKKA after SGM Parker's passing.

    If you look a little closer at religious history, I think it easy to find similar parallels. As for me....none of it really matters that much. My total time in the art is under 7 years, and I've only had 2 instructors. Both could / can move, hit, blast, flow....if I could even attain 10% of their skill I'd be happy.

  5. #5
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    Carol is offline Deo duce, ferro comitante
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    Default Re: Come Together

    *shrug*

    I personally don't think Kenpo has to be "united" for it to progress. If I'm satisfied with my training ROI then I don't bloody care if school A has X techs per belt and School B has Y techs per belt, and School C does Hooking Wings differently than school D.

    There is similar stuff going on in the FMAs, particularly with Modern Arnis. My school stepped away from Modern Arnis, away from all the orgs, and away from uniforms and belt ranks and chose to focus completely on the training. I'm not suggesting that such steps are the solution to every problem but I'm a little disappointed that there is so much pissing and moaning than there are positive or inspiring stories about a cool seminar or a great moment in class or even an interesting idea seen in (gasp) someone else's school. But then again, it takes leadership to share an inspiring story and not everyone has that quality.

    I don't know if Kenpo will be united, and don't really care if it is. It will still be a matter of those that can, do....those that can't, complain.

  6. #6
    profesormental is offline
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    Default Re: Come Together

    Greetings.

    First, I have to comment on Crippler's avatar... DETHKLOK RULES!

    Second, "politics" are a good thing... it comes with organizational structures. Organizational structures help people unite efforts to make something bigger than just one person can do, and in much less time. This way just one person is not overworked and the pressure of all the work that has to be done is lessened.

    Yet they can be bad, when the organization benefits just the top floors.

    Specially if they were built with that intention in mind.

    Lot's more to talk on this, yet it's something along those lines.

    Many times, when an organization is built on the vision of someone, and that someone dies, the organization tends to collapse, because the leadership that is there doesn't have the same vision, goals and/or skills.

    Then it fragments into the visions of the leaders that are there...

    If it survives, it undougbtedly changes. The direction might be good for the members, or not.

    YOu can learn a lot from organizations that thrive and have passed through the hands of many leaderships and generations.

    Very interesting.

    Enjoy!

    Juan M. Mercado

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    Default Re: Come Together

    In some ways the competition between organizations at times can be good for students. It pushes top level instructors to be better and create new and innovative ways of approaching our material. Petty bickeing does nothing for anyone, but is part of human nature and unfortunately is part of every facet of life.

    Not everyone can get along with every person so there will always be conflicts, or as my Grandpa used to say, "If we all liked the same thing then everybody would be naked chasing your grandmother around the house."
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Come Together

    I'm just not sure. Growing up in Providence, Rhode Island I lived within a block of Mr. Pesare's Kenpo school and was flanked by schools under the banner of Mr. Ciero & Mr. Villari. As I got older I thought that the politics would subside. Just last month I was meeting with my first Ju Jitsu instructor and we were talking about the fact that I had moved on to EPAK from Aikido. He then went on an on about Ciero Kenpo. Prior to me finding an EPAK school I found a Kensho Ryu school, branch off of Mr. Ciero's tree, and got the this is better kenpo talk from an instructor who was in his early 20's. I IN NO WAY MEAN TO DISRESPECT ANYONE OR THIER ART. They have the right to feel the way they do. What these interactions showed me was that this fractured society of Kenpo / Kempoists is that the fissure is there between the different branches. I do not believe it is one art that perpetuates this thinking. I just think we need to look at the different flavors of Kenpo / Kempo and figure out what best fits you. Once that is done then your journey on what ever path chosen can begin. Once your choice has been made there should be no politics, just training and cultivating your knowledge of the style of Kenpo , Kempo.

    Best Regards

    Chris
    "Fear is the true opiate of combat."

  9. #9
    Kosho Gakkusei is offline
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    Default Re: Come Together

    Division = more than one vision.

    To have one vision there must be one visionary that all will follow - I don't forsee all these GMs and Style heads humbling themselves and chosing one person and saying what this person says is what Kempo is and what they say is where Kempo should go.

    Can we chose to be respectful to each other? Yes. Can we learn to see the similarities and get past prejudice and learn from each other? Possibly.

    _Don Flatt

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    Default Re: Come Together

    In order to not be fragmented, all kenpo schools would have to be teaching the same core curriculums, since this is already not the case it's not possible to put the genie back in the bottle. It doesn't help when people go on the premise that it "must evolve" and change with the times. Who will decide what the changes are? One person wants to evolve one way, and another person the other. This increases the fragmentation. That is part of what is great about America, imo, people can try and improve and make a better mousetrap, and let the marketplace decide. Politics are for the people who don't like what happens in the marketplace.

  11. #11
    John Brewer's Avatar
    John Brewer is offline Starting Over
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    Default Re: Come Together

    I think to be united does not mean we do not disagree on some things. I think it means, as the Crippler said above, we can intelligently discuss the differences and not end up name calling or bashing. As for my answer I said yes. Just look at this site. How many different styles and opinions do we have?

  12. #12
    pete is offline
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    Default Re: Come Together

    the beatles broke up in 1970. each of the 4 went on to do very different things musically, and each had their share of individual success. All the while, the fans hope for a reunion that would never be, could never be. and in December of 1980, the dream was over.

    now does that make the beatles music any less relevant today, or make their art any less meaningful. are young musicians still influenced by their sound? are some more influenced by john lennon, and others by george harrison?

    some things just aren't meant to be, some things really shouldn't be (we really don't need another who reunion). all things must pass.

    come together, right now, over me...
    "Rust Never Sleeps" - N.Young.

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    Default Re: Come Together

    Politics and ego are unfortunate parts of our human nature at this time. My unwillingness to NOT speak my mind has cost me some training contacts. I've moved to Nor Cal from So Cal, and there are some dedicated folks out here who would make good training partners. I have been itching to make a couple of video's of some things for Members in Motion threads, as well as to plainly illustrate or demo some "colliding body" things on various threads that have come up (a picture's worth...). But you need a body to do that.

    Unfortunately, these good folk belong to lineages that I have publicly expressed some contentions with, and in so doing, nudges from within their organizations to avoid me have trickled down. That has left me sans training partner, video uke, etc. I'm gonna have to find a newbie and train him up, just so I can have either.

    I was seriously P.W.'d in my first big relationship, but the gal was stunningly gorgeous and built like a playboy bunny (looked like a cross between Paulina Porizkova and Cindy Crawford...smokin' hot and wicked wild, but wierd as the day is long), I was 18 (you know the saying), and the play was great. So I swallowed my pride and stayed for as long as I could. She was my first drunken love, and although the context was dysfunctional, I would have endured some berating for the trade; I could take my ego shots and criticisms, and deliver anyway.

    Kenpo is another great love in my life, and I would surely benefit if the demigods of kenpo were better at taking their shots, then delivering anyways. Unfortunately, the same ego's that drive them toward perfectionism also drive them towards tribalism.

    Regards,

    D.
    Clear mind, clear movement. Mastery of the Arts is mastery over the Self. That in this moment, this motion, the thoughts, memories, impulses and passions that cloud the mind must yield to the clarity of purpose, and purity of motion.

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    Default Re: Come Together

    I firmly believe that diversity is productive. I'm not talking about uniformity or allegence to a single entity. Crane557 is on the same page with me. I'm speaking of the negative impacts of the fragmentation.
    "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: Come Together

    Quote Originally Posted by profesormental View Post
    Greetings.

    First, I have to comment on Crippler's avatar... DETHKLOK RULES!

    Juan M. Mercado
    They are Metal Gods!
    ...don't forget...."Pickles Nickles! 'Cause Nickles is money too!"
    "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

  16. #16
    Kosho Gakkusei is offline
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    Default Re: Come Together

    Personally, I choose to avoid useless debates that will do nothing to help the person I'm arguing with - that way I can learn something from them and perhaps they may learn something from me if they don't get hung up on our differeces of opinion.

    _Don Flatt

  17. #17
    sifuroy is offline In Memory of our Departed Friend
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    Default Re: Come Together

    AS usual Celtic has come up with something we are all interested in. That is what Keeps KT going. Getting you to think. I was surprised that anyone had read some of my ravings. I am not the brightest bulb on the tree,maybe the oldest that flickers on and off.

    With the facilities we now have at hand we can now find out almost anything about another branch of Kenpo. Take the time to use these facilities and learn about the others. Are they really so different? just because they do 5 swords differently is it wrong? Ask first ,will it work? If it does add it to your list of techniques.I have seen at least 6 variations of that Techniique alone and could go right on down the line with variations to most of the techniques.
    Some styles of Kenpo have variations on each tech,While others teach you to be able to match the tech. to the situation. Who is right? Who cares? They are both right. We worry way too much about our differences when we should be looking about our simularities.

    It was bound to happen After SGM Ed Parker died that someone would want to become the head of all Kenpo. Then politics started to raise it's ugly head. There can be a lot of good said about most of them vying for the position.. A lot more good than bad! We each have our own ideas of who that should have been. Didn't happen that way. In the end most of the top people went their own way. Was that bad? I really don't see that Kenpo has suffered too much from it. Most of these people have taken what they learned and added a lot to it. That certainly didn't hurt us. Also most of them will share what they have done to their system. I see some very good 10th degrees out there that have a lot to give us. Are we smart enough to accept it or are we going to let politics keep us from doing so.
    Ed Parker is gone let us honor him by continuing to Build on to his Kenpo
    and make it even better. We have plenty of room for new ideas. Didn't he say Kenpo was a Gaseous Art ever changing?

    This is not the last time that succession to the throne will come up. There are other large kenpo Organizatios out there that will have the same thing happen. I hope they have learned something from all this. SGM Ralph Castro Promoted His son Rob to 10th degree and designated him. At least he has planned ahead. Don't know about the others.

    Only my feeble opinion. I am seldom right about anything,Ask My wife

    I am Most Respectfully.
    Sifuroy

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    Default Re: Come Together

    I would like to believe what you wish to see is possible, crippler. However, the Kenpo/Kempo community (like any community) is just a microcasom of the world we live in. There are those among us with rightous ideals and intents. There are those who thoughts do not expand past out immediate needs or goals, and there are those who concern themselves with political, economic, or other selfish gains. Perhaps the best we can hope for is to reach like minded warriors, share knowledge and build friendships. That way we progress towards a larger brotherhood one relationship at a time.

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    Default Re: Come Together

    Quote Originally Posted by mike2011 View Post
    I would like to believe what you wish to see is possible, crippler. However, the Kenpo/Kempo community (like any community) is just a microcasom of the world we live in. There are those among us with rightous ideals and intents. There are those who thoughts do not expand past out immediate needs or goals, and there are those who concern themselves with political, economic, or other selfish gains. Perhaps the best we can hope for is to reach like minded warriors, share knowledge and build friendships. That way we progress towards a larger brotherhood one relationship at a time.
    That's all true, brother. I guess I'm too much of an idealist at times. I suppose I watched too much "Kung-Fu" theatre as a kid and got caught up too much in the hype of "honorable warriors." 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: Come Together

    This issue isn't unique to kenpo. It's rampant throughout martial arts and quite frankly, probably always has been. Look back to the fallout between Parker and the Tracy brothers. I also know of several incidents where honorable people were attacked by someone who felt that their legacy/ability to make money was being impinged upon. Us just doing the best we can to avoid those things goes a ways to help, especially if we carry that to others we come in contact with. To be honest, these very issues is why our GM has stayed out of the limelight, even though he was one of the first Tracy BB's and for years, was the only 10th degree besides Al Tracy in this country in the Tracy system.

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