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Thread: Can we save Kenpo

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    SPK,Grasshopper is offline
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    Post Can we save Kenpo

    This is the only problem I have with Kenpo. A lot of the people that I've talked to here and off the web. They say or act like there Kenpo is the only Kenpo. Is this the way Mr. Parker wanted us to be? Or do you think that he wanted us to come together, not to have a one Kenpo but to see how we can improve his Kenpo. Improve, Improve is not change just to change but to make better. I think we have got off track form this. There is a lot of Kenpo people that are very good and they have different ways to do technique's and kata's. If we are all made same it is cool to have one Kenpo, But we are not made the same. I think if we do not stop this we will all have something but it will not be Kenpo
    What do you think about this. Can we save Kenpo or will we kill it.
    "Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else, YOU are the one who gets burned."
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    Default Re: Can we save Kenpo

    There will always be "parameters defining" the way we use our fists.
    Sean

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    Default Re: Can we save Kenpo

    If we all followed the same path there would only be growth and exploration in one direction.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    SPK,Grasshopper is offline
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    Default Re: Can we save Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Broad View Post
    If we all followed the same path there would only be growth and exploration in one direction.
    Mr.Broad I do not want the same path but the one next to you.
    "Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else, YOU are the one who gets burned."
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    Default Re: Can we save Kenpo

    Let's put it in context. Making everybody do the same style of kenpo would be like making everybody do the same style of CMA. No northern mantis, no southern long fist, just one style for everbody.

    I think we need to look at kenpo in the broader spectrum, as we do kung fu. It's the underlying principles that truly matter. Adjusting how you apply those underlying principles, as long as it makes sense and is valid, should be acceptable. Even though the styles can look very different, kung fu still looks like kung fu. No matter what style the style of kenpo is, as long as it can be recognized as kenpo, it shouldn't be a problem.

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    Default Re: Can we save Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by jdinca View Post
    Let's put it in context. Making everybody do the same style of kenpo would be like making everybody do the same style of CMA. No northern mantis, no southern long fist, just one style for everbody.

    I think we need to look at kenpo in the broader spectrum, as we do kung fu. It's the underlying principles that truly matter. Adjusting how you apply those underlying principles, as long as it makes sense and is valid, should be acceptable. Even though the styles can look very different, kung fu still looks like kung fu. No matter what style the style of kenpo is, as long as it can be recognized as kenpo, it shouldn't be a problem.
    Obviously the start of a new thread but could you be specific on what is not kenpo and why?
    Sean

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    Default Re: Can we save Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by KenpoChanger View Post
    Obviously the start of a new thread but could you be specific on what is not kenpo and why?
    Sean
    So go ahead and start the thread...
    Michael


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    SPK,Grasshopper is offline
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    Default Re: Can we save Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by SPK,Grasshopper View Post
    If we are all made same it is cool to have one Kenpo, But we are not made the same.

    jdinca I'm not saying to be the same, but we must have the same principles and not be weak in them. If you take out marriage of gravity the most underlying of our principles your techniques will look different and you will move different, you will not be Kenpo.
    "Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else, YOU are the one who gets burned."
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    Default Re: Can we save Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by SPK,Grasshopper View Post
    jdinca I'm not saying to be the same, but we must have the same principles and not be weak in them. If you take out marriage of gravity the most underlying of our principles your techniques will look different and you will move different, you will not be Kenpo.
    At what point does something "not be Kenpo?" Kenpo is just a name for a not really all that cohesive martial art lineage. You can't define something by universal principles, karateka and judoka (and everyone else) use MoG. Kenpo is just a name, trying to put boundaries on what is and what isn't kenpo is self-defeating. Many people are eager to claim Chuck Liddell as a kenpoist, does what he do look ANYTHING like what you do??? Probably not. Is he kenpo?

    Let the arts go their own way, that is the history of kenpo, Mitose, Chow, Emperado, and Parker all taught distinctly different material. Is it any surprise that their students have done the same? So now you want to somehow stop this change so that we can all be one big happy kenpo family?

    "When pure knuckles meet pure flesh, that's pure karate, no matter who executes its or whatever style is involed."

    Lamont
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    Default Re: Can we save Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by KenpoChanger View Post
    Obviously the start of a new thread but could you be specific on what is not kenpo and why?
    Sean
    What is not kenpo is those arts that do not incorporate the underlying principles of movement, timing, etc., that Parker/Chow/Mitose, take your pick, utilized as the basis of their system. Kenpo in all it's varying forms is typically recognizable as kenpo. As an example, we consider our system to be CMA but it is definitely recognizeable as kenpo because the underlying principles of the system are heavily based in EPAK and the Tracy system. We compete in a national kuoshu tournament every year and do very well. But one thing the trained eye can notice is that the movement is influenced by kenpo. It has more power than typical CMA, it's a little harder than CMA. The stances, timing and so forth also carry some hallmarks of kenpo, even though the form that is being performed is kung fu.

    When the basic principles of a system strays away from the what the people that brought kenpo into existence envisioned, I would say that it stops being kenpo.

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    Default Re: Can we save Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by SPK,Grasshopper View Post
    jdinca I'm not saying to be the same, but we must have the same principles and not be weak in them. If you take out marriage of gravity the most underlying of our principles your techniques will look different and you will move different, you will not be Kenpo.
    On this we agree. I think what would save kenpo more than anything would be instructors and school owners making sure they know what the hell they're doing before letting the first student through the door. This however, is an issue with MA in general and not just kenpo.

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    Default Re: Can we save Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by jdinca View Post
    What is not kenpo is those arts that do not incorporate the underlying principles of movement, timing, etc., that Parker/Chow/Mitose, take your pick, utilized as the basis of their system.

    ...

    But one thing the trained eye can notice is that the movement is influenced by kenpo. It has more power than typical CMA... even though the form that is being performed is kung fu.
    I appreciate the strong sense of loyalty that people have toward their art, but I also believe it is easy to get caught up in thinking that kenpo has these aspects that are somehow unique to it. These principles of movement, timing, etc. are not unique to kenpo. They are found in many, if not all other arts. They may be known by other names, or they may even not be specifically identified and named as such, but they are there nonetheless.

    As far as power goes, CMAs, when done well, develop tremendous power, definitely to rival the most powerful kenpoists. Again, this is not something that kenpo holds a monopoly on.

    I just think it is important to not forget this, and avoid falling into the trap of thinking that kenpo is unique in ways that it really is not. It does have certain unique approaches to organization and such that make it distinct from other arts. It is an effective, hard-hitting and practical art. It offers plenty to keep you busy for a lifetime of training. But it is far from the only art that has these attributes.

    I would be curious to see comments like these posted over in the general discussion area of Martialtalk, and see what kind of response the Non-kenpo people give.
    Michael


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    Default Re: Can we save Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by flying crane View Post
    I appreciate the strong sense of loyalty that people have toward their art, but I also believe it is easy to get caught up in thinking that kenpo has these aspects that are somehow unique to it. These principles of movement, timing, etc. are not unique to kenpo. They are found in many, if not all other arts. They may be known by other names, or they may even not be specifically identified and named as such, but they are there nonetheless.

    As far as power goes, CMAs, when done well, develop tremendous power, definitely to rival the most powerful kenpoists. Again, this is not something that kenpo holds a monopoly on.

    I just think it is important to not forget this, and avoid falling into the trap of thinking that kenpo is unique in ways that it really is not. It does have certain unique approaches to organization and such that make it distinct from other arts. It is an effective, hard-hitting and practical art. It offers plenty to keep you busy for a lifetime of training. But it is far from the only art that has these attributes.

    I would be curious to see comments like these posted over in the general discussion area of Martialtalk, and see what kind of response the Non-kenpo people give.
    You are quite right, many, if not all of these principles are not unique to kenpo but many of the approaches used to apply them are. CMA can deliver plenty of power but the movement used to achieve it looks slightly different. Karate also can deliver a lot of power but it doesn't look like cma, muay thai, TKD, etc. That's primarily what my clumsy attempt was trying to get across. There are underlying methods of movement to apply the principles that are unique to kenpo. Doesn't mean it's better, just means that it's different.

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    Chris Armstrong is offline
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    Default Re: Can we save Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by SPK,Grasshopper View Post
    This is the only problem I have with Kenpo. A lot of the people that I've talked to here and off the web. They say or act like there Kenpo is the only Kenpo. Is this the way Mr. Parker wanted us to be?
    I think this kind of thing is a problem anytime you have something that was created by an inspired, driven and charismatic person and then is left to "us regular folks" who want to keep it going after the founder has died. People want to establish legitimacy by remaining faithful to the founder's ways, while others want to distinguish themselves by developing "new ways" beyond those of the founder. It's not limited to the martial arts. This is an old story. We can see many examples, in philosophical/political movements - really in any hierarchical system/organization with this kind of founder/disciple dynamic.

    No, I don't think Mr. Parker wanted it this way.

    In his own words:

    “When I am gone, I hope that people won't try to traditionalize my Art. I want you to always remember that Kenpo will always be the Art of Perpetual Change. If you remember this, then the Art will never become obsolete because it will change with the times. While the ignorant refuse to study and the intelligent never stop, we should always be mindful of the fact that our reward in life is proportionate with the contributions we make. A true Martial Artist is not one who fears change, but one who causes it to happen. To live is to change, and to obtain perfection is to have changed often. Progress is a necessity that is a part of nature. While it is true that casting the old aside is not necessary in order to obtain something new, we should study old theories not as a means of discrediting them, but to see if they can be modified to improve our present conditions. A word of advice, The humble man makes room for progress; the proud man believes he is already there."
    Edmund Kealoha Parker Sr.
    Volume 2, Infinite Insights

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    Default Re: Can we save Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by jdinca View Post
    You are quite right, many, if not all of these principles are not unique to kenpo but many of the approaches used to apply them are. CMA can deliver plenty of power but the movement used to achieve it looks slightly different. Karate also can deliver a lot of power but it doesn't look like cma, muay thai, TKD, etc. That's primarily what my clumsy attempt was trying to get across. There are underlying methods of movement to apply the principles that are unique to kenpo. Doesn't mean it's better, just means that it's different.

    ahh, understood.
    Michael


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    Default Re: Can we save Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by SPK,Grasshopper View Post
    ... A lot of the people that I've talked to here and off the web... say or act like there Kenpo is the only Kenpo. Is this the way Mr. Parker wanted us to be? Or do you think that he wanted us to come together, not to have a one Kenpo but to see how we can improve his Kenpo... Can we save Kenpo or will we kill it.

    Forget saving Kenpo. Your premise is flawed, in that you've not shown it needs saving. Same with killing it. I doubt any (or all) of us could kill Kenpo. Aside from that, you have a really good point and an interesting post.

    I know a lot of martial artists, and too many of them are Kenpoists, who have the attitude you describe. My experience has been that they are killing their own personal art. By refusing to interact with other systems, Kenpo and otherwise, they achieve far less understanding than their peers who do. Exposure to different perspectives can exponentially increase learning. It raises questions you might never have otherwise asked, or looked for answers to in your own art. It shows how the same principles are differently applied. You see things come at you that are not in the same old rut as in your school, where everyone is trained the same.

    Then there are those who refuse to look at anything different in Kenpo because they are too invested in their own ego, or in teaching things the same way so as not to appear they didn't have all the answers. They only short themselves when they refuse to learn any more, for whatever reason.

    What I get from your post is that, instead of saving Kenpo, we need to shelve our egos and save ourselves from self inflicted ignorance!

    Another opinion from the bottom.
    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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    SPK,Grasshopper is offline
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    Default Re: Can we save Kenpo

    Armstrong and Thedan thank you for reading my post and understanding that I do not think we all should be the same.....
    And for the people that are not understanding exactly what I'm trying to saying. I am not saying that we should all have the same Kenpo just the same basic principals that all Kenpo was founded on. Just like our founders Mitose, Chow, Emperado, and Parker who developed the first styles. All of them used basics principals such as marriage of gravity rotational force and checking. Those are some of basic principals that I think no one should stray away from. You have to think about how those basic principals that they put in to the art are the factor in helping to make those little changes so big.
    "Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else, YOU are the one who gets burned."
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    Default Re: Can we save Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by SPK,Grasshopper View Post
    Armstrong and Thedan thank you for reading my post and understanding that I do not think we all should be the same.....
    And for the people that are not understanding exactly what I'm trying to saying. I am not saying that we should all have the same Kenpo just the same basic principals that all Kenpo was founded on. Just like our founders Mitose, Chow, Emperado, and Parker who developed the first styles. All of them used basics principals such as marriage of gravity rotational force and checking. Those are some of basic principals that I think no one should stray away from. You have to think about how those basic principals that they put in to the art are the factor in helping to make those little changes so big.
    Everybody uses those basic principles, I can give you examples from the first kata I learned in Isshin-ryu about MoG, rotational force, and checking. Every art I have studied (kali, bjj, karate, kenpo, kajukenbo, kenjutsu) uses them in some combination, those basics principles are universal among the martial arts, hell you can't walk without using MoG. If kenpo is unique, it isn't because of those principles, if you need to define kenpo you are going to have to be far more specific than you are now.
    Pekiti Tirsia Kali and Kenpo Karate
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    Billy Lear is offline
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    Default Re: Can we save Kenpo

    Excerpted from Black Belt Magazine, July 1979:
    "I don't see that once my students learn kenpo, they'll modify it," he said "They'll perfect it. And that's where they will excel."

    --Ed Parker
    I wonder what the difference between modification and perfection is?

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    Default Re: Can we save Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan View Post
    I know a lot of martial artists, and too many of them are Kenpoists, who have the attitude you describe. My experience has been that they are killing their own personal art. By refusing to interact with other systems, Kenpo and otherwise, they achieve far less understanding than their peers who do.
    Thanks for a terrific point.

    But... I think that far too many dabble for the sake of change, not understanding. I also think that most of these same folks look elsewhere far too soon in their training. It needs to be understood that the interaction you speak of, regardless of experience, does not necesarily mandate any changes take place to what someone already does. Change may be a result, but it should never be the goal. The primary goal of any interaction should be to deepen one's understanding of what they already do. This process results in a thinking martial artist, and those are the ones to watch out for.

    Respects,
    Bill Parsons
    Triangle Kenpo Institute
    www.trianglekenpo.com

    "I know Kenpo!" "Cool... do you know how to use it?"

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