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Thread: Kenpo Beat/Rhythm

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    Default Kenpo Beat/Rhythm

    Last night in class, we were discussing how there is a definite rhythm in Kenpo. We were talking about how Mr. Parker played the ukelele and that being a musician probably had a big influence on putting together some of the technique timing, kata timing, etc.

    What, if anything, have you heard about this?

    Have any of you (maybe musicians or others) noticed different beats/rhythms while doing your Kenpo? I know I have........and it's funny (for me anyway) how it becomes sort of ingrained in that if I have not done the techs/katas for awhile, I will know I am missing something when the beat/rhythm is off......often times, I've caught myself leaving out an entire move based on this.......am I crazy?!!

    Also, do you think that having a good sense of rhythm makes you better, in general, in the martial arts? Does it help you develop or get better in this area? I tend to think so.....

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    Default Re: Kenpo Beat/Rhythm

    I might be the only one, but I think using a rhythm is a bad thing. Rhythm makes you predictable and being predictable is dangerous in a fight situation. If your opponent picks up on it he can use it against you. I try to vary the "tempo" of techniques and katas when practicing to avoid this. I also think it can make you choppy and not flow with the reaction of the opponent and the openings created by the reaction.

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    Default Re: Kenpo Beat/Rhythm

    dsp, you are not alone...

    pete

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    Thumbs up Re: Kenpo Beat/Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by Shodan
    Have any of you (maybe musicians or others) noticed different beats/rhythms while doing your Kenpo? I know I have........and it's funny (for me anyway) how it becomes sort of ingrained in that if I have not done the techs/katas for awhile, I will know I am missing something when the beat/rhythm is off .... Also, do you think that having a good sense of rhythm makes you better, in general, in the martial arts? Does it help you develop or get better in this area? I tend to think so.....
    Yes, I definitely notice a rhythm when doing Kenpo. When I haven't practiced a form or a technique in a while, I'll know that something is wrong because the timing won't "feel" right or "sound" right. However, I do agree with Pete & dsp regarding rhythm in sparring - you are definitely in trouble if you keep a certain rhythm & your opponent picks up on it.

    My personal opinion is that there is a rhythm to everything in life: cooking, martial arts, work, personal relationships, etc. I'm not a instructor, but I think that having a sense of rhythm does help one learn the Art better (at least in my case).

    Good thread topic, Shodan!
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    dsp
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    Default Re: Kenpo Beat/Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by Gin-Gin2
    However, I do agree with Pete & dsp regarding rhythm in sparring - you are definitely in trouble if you keep a certain rhythm & your opponent picks up on it.

    Good thread topic, Shodan!
    Why would you single out sparring? What about forms and working techniques? Once you develop the habit of doing things to a rhythm or beat that's how you are going to do things. You fight like you train. I try to work on flowing from move to move based on the reaction to the strike and the opening it creates and when, not some internal pace. To do that you have to be making enough contact to get an honest reaction from your partner, though. Even with forms, I visualize an opponent's attack, do the counter and visualize the reaction, I also try to change the attack around a lot, to see how many ways a sequence in a form or technique could work.
    Everyone's different, that's just how I see it.

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    Lightbulb Re: Kenpo Beat/Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by dsp
    Why would you single out sparring? What about forms and working techniques? Once you develop the habit of doing things to a rhythm or beat that's how you are going to do things. You fight like you train. I try to work on flowing from move to move based on the reaction to the strike and the opening it creates and when, not some internal pace. To do that you have to be making enough contact to get an honest reaction from your partner, though. Even with forms, I visualize an opponent's attack, do the counter and visualize the reaction, I also try to change the attack around a lot, to see how many ways a sequence in a form or technique could work. Everyone's different, that's just how I see it.
    Hi dsp,

    I guess I should have qualified my post by saying that I notice a rhythm in the Ideal Phase of techniques & forms. If I have been away from training for a while (due to injury or some other reason), I go back & practice my basics, Forms, & SD techniques - in the Ideal Phase. Occassionally in class we will do a technique line as you described, working on "flowing from move to move based on the reaction to the strike & the opening it creates": we're told to do an attack- a kick, rt. step through straight punch, cross grab, whatever... & the defender is to do whatever techniques they can based on the attack & the attacker's reactions without stopping, so that we learn how to graft pieces of techniques together (we also learn "what ifs").

    With forms, I do pretty much the same thing you do: visualize the attack (or, in the case of the 1 & 2 forms, "possible" attacks), do the counter, & then visualize my attacker's reaction. However, I've never changed the attack around in a form before as you put it, "to see how many ways a sequence in a form would work"--would you please give me an example of how to do that? I'd like to try it sometime, & thanks for giving me another idea on how to practice/learn Kenpo!

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    dsp
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    Default Re: Kenpo Beat/Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by Gin-Gin2
    Hi dsp,

    I guess I should have qualified my post by saying that I notice a rhythm in the Ideal Phase of techniques & forms. If I have been away from training for a while (due to injury or some other reason), I go back & practice my basics, Forms, & SD techniques - in the Ideal Phase. Occassionally in class we will do a technique line as you described, working on "flowing from move to move based on the reaction to the strike & the opening it creates": we're told to do an attack- a kick, rt. step through straight punch, cross grab, whatever... & the defender is to do whatever techniques they can based on the attack & the attacker's reactions without stopping, so that we learn how to graft pieces of techniques together (we also learn "what ifs").

    With forms, I do pretty much the same thing you do: visualize the attack (or, in the case of the 1 & 2 forms, "possible" attacks), do the counter, & then visualize my attacker's reaction. However, I've never changed the attack around in a form before as you put it, "to see how many ways a sequence in a form would work"--would you please give me an example of how to do that? I'd like to try it sometime, & thanks for giving me another idea on how to practice/learn Kenpo!

    Since I don't do EPAK I can't give you any specific examples of how I mentally change the attack. Basically, take a technique or a section of a form and see how many different situations it would work for, without modifying the movements. A very simple example is for a downward block, maybe it's a low front punch or maybe a kick you're blocking. If you are doing something like a left upward block - right upward block - left punch, etc., the obvious attack (to me) would be a right hammer then a left hammer. Maybe they pull the right back and do another right hammer, or maybe the second hammer never comes, then the second block turns into a forearm to the face. That's just a couple of ideas off the top of my head. Hopefully, that makes some sense. It hard to get some things across thru the keyboard. Just pick a sequence of moves and play around with it. As long as it gets you thinking.

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    Default Re: Kenpo Beat/Rhythm

    Yeah- I guess I was thinking more along the lines of the ideal phase as well. Certain instances seem to require a beat or rhythm such as the arm clear and chop in Lone Kimono.....timing maybe is a better word.

    I am aware that you don't want to get stuck in a set beat or rhythm for all your training, but I do think that these things can be found throughout Kenpo. There is usually a consistency of speed when working the forms to make them less choppy.....or at least I see them most done in a fluid fashion.....

    Any more thoughts here? Interesting posts guys.........

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    Default Re: Kenpo Beat/Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by dsp
    Why would you single out sparring? What about forms and working techniques? Once you develop the habit of doing things to a rhythm or beat that's how you are going to do things. You fight like you train. I try to work on flowing from move to move based on the reaction to the strike and the opening it creates and when, not some internal pace. To do that you have to be making enough contact to get an honest reaction from your partner, though. Even with forms, I visualize an opponent's attack, do the counter and visualize the reaction, I also try to change the attack around a lot, to see how many ways a sequence in a form or technique could work. Everyone's different, that's just how I see it.
    dsp, thats pretty much how i see it too!

    only i'd rely less on visualization and more on developing an actual internal experience, or feeling, using counter resistance. visualization can be like a crutch, where just like a rhythm, it can lull you into a pattern.

    case in point: ever do a form over and over in the same room, then try to do it somewhere else or even just facing a different direction and it just doesnt feel right... thats the negative effect of visualizations.

    shodan, with lone kimono, the first sequence has you either break or hyper-extend the elbow and your opponent should be up on his toes. you should feel yourself in superior position and realize his loss of root, then you can begin to clear the arm. using frictional pull, the clear will draw his throat down and in towards your left chop. think less about timing, and more about cause and effect.

    to borrow dsp's closing line, everybody;s different, that's just how i see it!

    pete

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    Default Re: Kenpo Beat/Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by Shodan
    Yeah- I guess I was thinking more along the lines of the ideal phase as well. Certain instances seem to require a beat or rhythm such as the arm clear and chop in Lone Kimono.....timing maybe is a better word. I am aware that you don't want to get stuck in a set beat or rhythm for all your training, but I do think that these things can be found throughout Kenpo. There is usually a consistency of speed when working the forms to make them less choppy.....or at least I see them most done in a fluid fashion.....Any more thoughts here? Interesting posts guys.........
    No problem, Shodan. I figured you were talking about the ideal phase. Like dsp said, sometimes it's hard to convey exactly what you mean through the keyboard, even with all of the smilies we have. After I typed my first post I thought you might have also been talking about timing, but wasn't sure. Anyway, they are closely related & I agree with you that they are found throughout Kenpo.

    As for consistency of speed to make the forms appear "less choppy" or more fluid, I'll let the instructors out there comment on that...


    P.S. - Thanks for the advice, dsp. I agree that anything that gets one to think about or re-evaluate what they do is a good thing.
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    Default Re: Kenpo Beat/Rhythm

    ed parker explains it in his books.. the whay i have interperated its is in defying the storm, once you do the beginning of the tech. twards the end when you execuite the knee strike to the sternum and then the elbow strike to the back.. after doing the knee strike you can settle back in a netural bow or you can change the timing on it to quartar beet timing so that right after you exicute the knee strike you drop the elbow on the spine while the persons body is still rising from the knee strike (this way the elbow is driving them back down with opposing forces) you can change the timeing on most of the tec. try it out some time..

    shane

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    Default Re: Kenpo Beat/Rhythm

    I like to play with different rhythms when doing both techniques and with katas. Sometimes I do the katas to different songs and try to match the beats.


    Doing this breaks up any tendencies to do the move the exact same way every time. It also puts the technique more in body react mode, rather than having to necessarily think about each one.

    If you ever try to do a kata faster than normal to the beat of music, you'll quickly learn how well you really know the kata.

    As for the different directions, I agree that can mess you up. I practiced my katas facing several different walls to avoid that. I asked my brother to videotape me doing them and in order for him to get the view right, he had me turn to a weird corner angle. That threw me off completely!

    I could do them facing any of the walls, but a 45 degree angle messed me up. What should've taken 45 minutes ended up taking 2 1/2 hours to shoot!

    I'll know how it looks in a few weeks when he's done editing it.

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    Default Re: Kenpo Beat/Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by dsp
    I might be the only one, but I think using a rhythm is a bad thing. Rhythm makes you predictable and being predictable is dangerous in a fight situation. If your opponent picks up on it he can use it against you. I try to vary the "tempo" of techniques and katas when practicing to avoid this. I also think it can make you choppy and not flow with the reaction of the opponent and the openings created by the reaction.
    I really believe that Everything has a rhythm, everything. You can either notice it, modify it's pace/tempo...etc. to benefit you and what you are trying to do....OR not. I think that if you study the rhythm's of Kenpo (Sets, forms, drills, techs, freestyle....etc., all of it) and continually alter them, place emphasis at different points....vary things up a great deal, that you'll find more use in your movements than you would have otherwise.
    I really don't see how rhythm makes anything predictable, it's not like you are trying to move in iambic-pentameter. How do you think Rhythm makes you 'predictable'??

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    Default Re: Kenpo Beat/Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother John
    I really believe that Everything has a rhythm, everything. You can either notice it, modify it's pace/tempo...etc. to benefit you and what you are trying to do....OR not. I think that if you study the rhythm's of Kenpo (Sets, forms, drills, techs, freestyle....etc., all of it) and continually alter them, place emphasis at different points....vary things up a great deal, that you'll find more use in your movements than you would have otherwise.
    I really don't see how rhythm makes anything predictable, it's not like you are trying to move in iambic-pentameter. How do you think Rhythm makes you 'predictable'??

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    If you're varying so much I don't consider that a rhythm. To me it is a regular recurrence or a specific pattern. I think it would be obvious why moving in such a way would make you predicable. Figure out the pattern and you'll know when the next move is coming. If our ideas of rhythm are different, so will our opinions of predicability. Modifying pace and tempo break the rhythm so you aren't saying things much different than I am, the only thing that changed is how you view rhythm.

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    Default Re: Kenpo Beat/Rhythm

    ahhh....
    OK

    See, we DO view Rythm very differently.
    so be it...


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    Default Re: Kenpo Beat/Rhythm

    Everything has a rythm to it especially Kenpo. A rythm is like a pattern in some terms. Just like in a piece of music it has a time signiture which tells you the speed that the piece should be played. You can play with rythm in Kenpo. Take Five Swords for example, some people teach the first two things as separate things (block than chop). Why cant you do a parying type block while transitioning into a right neurtal bow to deliver the chop. Make all of that one. Than the same thing for heel palm/finger spear to the upper cut. That can be numer two. Than bounce from the upper cut to the second chop to the throat, colar bone, or neck. So on and so fourth......
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    Default Re: Kenpo Beat/Rhythm

    there is an important and often overlooked component in music, syncopation.
    syncopation is dependent on a good sense of rhythm.
    if we take a look at simple 4/4 time in music, one would count - 1,2,3,4 for the quarter note. if we were to count using sixteenth notes we would have - 1-e-and-a, 2-e-and-a, 3-e-and-a, 4-e-and-a.
    using the syncopation device, one can keep their own rhythm and allow themselves to work inside that rhythm by accenting different points along their timeline.
    this is often overlooked by beginners in music and martial arts.
    if i have a rhythm that my opponent is following, i can use that to my advantage to see when he attempts to strike out at me. your opponent is at his most vulenerable from a balance standpoint at the beginning of his movement, because he is in a "weightless" state, or you could say yin seeking yang.
    if he is attempting to strike me on the 3 count of my movement, i strike him with the -a of my 2 count.....because he would already be in motion in order to land on the 3 count.
    if i was to strike using a sixteenth-eighth-sixteenth type count, it would totally appear to be outside of my normal rhythm.

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    Default Re: Kenpo Beat/Rhythm

    that is, of course, provided you are not fighting a drummmer.

    dont like patterns that depend on rhythms, do like patterns that depend on catalysts.

    pete

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    Default Re: Kenpo Beat/Rhythm

    everything you do depends on rhythm. if you were to take rhythm away you would be left with a disjointed and unconnected movement.
    if you rely on your opponent to act as a catalyst to your method.....then they are essentially leading you.
    you also stated that you like patterns......a pattern is something that is set and easy to follow, much like a rhythm that goes 1,2,3,4.

    do you have a fear of drummers that we need to address?

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    Default Re: Kenpo Beat/Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackcatbonz
    everything you do depends on rhythm.
    not true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackcatbonz
    if you rely on your opponent to act as a catalyst to your method.....then they are essentially leading you.
    exactly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackcatbonz
    you also stated that you like patterns......a pattern is something that is set and easy to follow, much like a rhythm that goes 1,2,3,4.
    i was thinking more of the universal pattern, the tai chi or yin/yang symbol, the trigrams of the bagua, the constructive and destructive sequences of the 5 elements...

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackcatbonz
    do you have a fear of drummers that we need to address?
    no, but you may develop one if that is your fighting strategy against a good one who plays behind the beat...

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