View Poll Results: Have you Seen this Before?

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  • Yes, I have.

    10 45.45%
  • No, I have not.

    7 31.82%
  • Yes, I have taken this Pledge.

    5 22.73%
  • No, I have not taken this Pledge.

    4 18.18%
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Thread: A Matter of Curiosity!

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    Default A Matter of Curiosity!

    I am just curious. So please indulge me my whimsy if you would be so kind.

    How many of you Kenpo Black Belts have ever seen this before?
    Have you every taken this Pledge?
    Do you fully understand what it means and stands for?
    Do you feel that is important and relevant?

    " I hold that my time and my skill are the assets of my profession, assets which grow in value as I progress in the Art until, as a Third Degree Black Belt, I stand as a fully qualified instructor. It shall also be my responsibility to protect any student from ravenous individuals who would try to take advantage of personal weaknesses to divest the gullible into unprofitable paths, to preserve the sacred things, God, family, country and Association, I pledge my all. "

    I have, I did, I do and absolutely.
    Thank You.

    Your brother on the Journey,
    Greg Hilderbrand
    A.K.K.I.

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    Default Re: A Matter of Curiosity!

    Mr. Hildebrand

    Long time, no see. Hope things are going well for you and yours.

    I was never asked/required to take the belt pledges, but I've known them for years. Many years before I became a Kenpo student in fact, while I was training in a different martial art. My first instructor, Mr. Taylor, felt very strongly about them I believe, and encouraged me to know them.

    I believe in the pledges, as in I take them to heart and think that they can really give us insight into the things that Mr. Parker felt were most important in character and moral conduct... so they are Very valuable for us to review and consider.

    Thanks for posting this. I've not read over it in a while. Used to have it memorized, but you know what age does to memory!!

    ...same thing it did with my hair.....

    Give everyone my best sir.

    Your Brother
    John
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    ~ David Bly

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    Thumbs up Re: A Matter of Curiosity!

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother John View Post
    Mr. Hildebrand

    Long time, no see. Hope things are going well for you and yours.

    I was never asked/required to take the belt pledges, but I've known them for years. Many years before I became a Kenpo student in fact, while I was training in a different martial art. My first instructor, Mr. Taylor, felt very strongly about them I believe, and encouraged me to know them.

    I believe in the pledges, as in I take them to heart and think that they can really give us insight into the things that Mr. Parker felt were most important in character and moral conduct... so they are Very valuable for us to review and consider.

    Thanks for posting this. I've not read over it in a while. Used to have it memorized, but you know what age does to memory!!

    ...same thing it did with my hair.....

    Give everyone my best sir.

    Your Brother
    John

    Hi John,

    It is great to hear from you to. I hope all is well with you and yours also. I am doing fine.

    I felt compelled to post the Black Belt Pledge as I feel that it should be considered more and more these days. And feel that it is important.

    I appreciate the kind words. They reassure me that I have not strayed to far off course ... LOL.

    Yes I am starting to know what you mean about time and age and ... what was that other thing... AH .. I will remember I am sure. And as far as the hair line is concerned it is all a matter of where you feel it should begin ..hahahah.

    Again it was great hearing from you. Shoot me an email and I will forward you my digits we can have a decent conversation...OK?

    Your bro in Kenpo,
    Greg Hilderbrand

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    Default Re: A Matter of Curiosity!

    Quote Originally Posted by G. Hilderbrand View Post
    I am just curious. So please indulge me my whimsy if you would be so kind.

    How many of you Kenpo Black Belts have ever seen this before?
    Have you every taken this Pledge?
    Do you fully understand what it means and stands for?
    Do you feel that is important and relevant?

    " I hold that my time and my skill are the assets of my profession, assets which grow in value as I progress in the Art until, as a Third Degree Black Belt, I stand as a fully qualified instructor. It shall also be my responsibility to protect any student from ravenous individuals who would try to take advantage of personal weaknesses to divest the gullible into unprofitable paths, to preserve the sacred things, God, family, country and Association, I pledge my all. "

    I have, I did, I do and absolutely.
    Thank You.

    Your brother on the Journey,
    Greg Hilderbrand
    A.K.K.I.
    Many of us have forgooten the words we once spoke.
    Thanks for the reminder

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    Default Re: A Matter of Curiosity!

    Quote Originally Posted by MARSHALLS KENPO View Post
    Many of us have forgotten the words we once spoke.
    Thanks for the reminder
    I doubt that you have ever forgotten. You appear to me to be a very good and deticated Kenpoist and Black Belt.

    I know I have not ever forgotten the Pledge I made. But I can say that it is easy at times to fall into habit of single mindedness and relax upon them.

    So I have printed a huge copy of it and placed in the Gojo. I am going to be more diligent it passing on the Creed and Pledges to the students at my little Gojo too.

    Your Brother in the Journey,
    Greg Hilderbrand
    A.K.K.I.

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    Default Re: A Matter of Curiosity!

    Quote Originally Posted by G. Hilderbrand View Post
    I doubt that you have ever forgotten. You appear to me to be a very good and deticated Kenpoist and Black Belt.

    I know I have not ever forgotten the Pledge I made. But I can say that it is easy at times to fall into habit of single mindedness and relax upon them.

    So I have printed a huge copy of it and placed in the Gojo. I am going to be more diligent it passing on the Creed and Pledges to the students at my little Gojo too.

    Your Brother in the Journey,
    Greg Hilderbrand
    A.K.K.I.
    Thank you for the kind words

    No Sir I havent forgotten,
    Nor do I allow my students to do so. The one I hold close has to do with
    I will never allow pride to rule my passion. Over the years I have seen some wonderful examples of this, both good and bad. The Pledges of each rank aid in the development of the younger students. (This has nothing to do with age) However they are often just words by many. There are many questions I have about the art, some are hard to speak of and some are hard to answer. I have been in Mr. Parkers Kenpo for a while now and I try to pass down what I believe to be important lessons. Many of them dont include strikes or kicks.

    I look forward to your post.
    May the journey be filled with learning and sharing.
    Your Brother
    Brad Marshall
    IKKA

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    Default Re: A Matter of Curiosity!

    Quote Originally Posted by G. Hilderbrand View Post

    " I hold that my time and my skill are the assets of my profession, assets which grow in value as I progress in the Art until, as a Third Degree Black Belt, I stand as a fully qualified instructor.


    I am currently a 1st black and I do not consider myself a fully qualified instructor in any sense. I do teach, but I am well aware that I still have much to learn. I fully agree with this section of the pledge.

    Quote Originally Posted by G. Hilderbrand View Post
    It shall also be my responsibility to protect any student from ravenous individuals who would try to take advantage of personal weaknesses to divest the gullible into unprofitable paths, to preserve the sacred things, family, and honour, I pledge my all. "
    Quote Originally Posted by G. Hilderbrand View Post
    I like what the pledge says here about protecting students from those who would take advantage of them. People with little or no experience in the martial arts are more suseptable to dubious claims and outright scams. If I can do my part to bring quality instruction and truth I will.

    You asked if we felt the pledge was still relevent. I believe it is, for the most part. You will notice that I edited the ending. This is more appropriate for me. My kenpo practise is mine and neither one's country or anyone's god belong in my practise. As we have seen since Mr. Parker's passing, associations can very quickly change and politics can really muddle things up. I cannot pledge myself to an association that may make a 180 turn at a moments notice. I'm lucky that my instructor trains under someone of high integrity and this is unlikely to happen.

    I was familiar with the pledge, but have not been asked to take it, nor could I in it's original form.

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    Default Re: A Matter of Curiosity!

    Quote Originally Posted by G. Hilderbrand View Post
    I am just curious. So please indulge me my whimsy if you would be so kind.

    How many of you Kenpo Black Belts have ever seen this before?
    Have you every taken this Pledge?
    Do you fully understand what it means and stands for?
    Do you feel that is important and relevant?

    " I hold that my time and my skill are the assets of my profession, assets which grow in value as I progress in the Art until, as a Third Degree Black Belt, I stand as a fully qualified instructor. It shall also be my responsibility to protect any student from ravenous individuals who would try to take advantage of personal weaknesses to divest the gullible into unprofitable paths, to preserve the sacred things, God, family, country and Association, I pledge my all. "
    I have seen this statement but only in the context of AK texts, since I come off a different lineage, I never was asked to swear on this.

    That said, I have no problem with the first half, but I think the second half is far over-reaching.

    I don't believe in god, so asking me to preserve one is a bit stupid, besides, which god are we talking about here?

    An Association is sacred? What Association? A Kenpo association is sacred? Please, it is a bunch of practitioners banded together with the intention of gaining some combination of skill, money, power, or rank, and if you lucky camraderie. Not sacred at all. I don't believe in associations and feel the only relationship that matters in martial arts is between the instructor and student.

    Country? Am I failing to preserve my "sacred country" if I take part of a civil war? What if I am a progressive secular Iranian citizen and I decide to try to overthrow the Mullahs and attempt to install a legitimate democracy? Did I just violate the god and the country tenants of my oath? Do I get brownie points for following my oath, by assisting in a despotic regime, but one that holds the country together?

    I don't have any problem with the "family" portion, but I wouldn't/couldn't take this oath.

    Lamont
    Pekiti Tirsia Kali and Kenpo Karate
    www.blackbirdmartialarts.com

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    Default Re: A Matter of Curiosity!

    Quote Originally Posted by Blindside View Post
    I have seen this statement but only in the context of AK texts, since I come off a different lineage, I never was asked to swear on this.

    That said, I have no problem with the first half, but I think the second half is far over-reaching.

    I don't believe in god, so asking me to preserve one is a bit stupid, besides, which god are we talking about here?

    An Association is sacred? What Association? A Kenpo association is sacred? Please, it is a bunch of practitioners banded together with the intention of gaining some combination of skill, money, power, or rank, and if you lucky camraderie. Not sacred at all. I don't believe in associations and feel the only relationship that matters in martial arts is between the instructor and student.

    Country? Am I failing to preserve my "sacred country" if I take part of a civil war? What if I am a progressive secular Iranian citizen and I decide to try to overthrow the Mullahs and attempt to install a legitimate democracy? Did I just violate the god and the country tenants of my oath? Do I get brownie points for following my oath, by assisting in a despotic regime, but one that holds the country together?

    I don't have any problem with the "family" portion, but I wouldn't/couldn't take this oath.

    Lamont

    It sounds to me like you have a problem, with the last line of the pledge.
    What do you hold sacred? An association is a gathering of like minded people, this I would agree with. Some or focused on the points you made, some or not. We all have our own beliefs. Those of us who took this pledge agreed with it. Those who did not didnt. No one can force their views on another. This is America, we have choices. There are those in other countrys who do not have the right to choose, or voice their opinions as you do.

    Thanks for being open with us.

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    Default Re: A Matter of Curiosity!

    well, i'm not one for pledges, oaths, unprotected kicks to the gut, secret handshakes, drops of blood, white smoke, all for the sake of belonging.

    my relationship with my family, my country and my god is between me and them, not a my karate instructor. further my responsibility to be a honest and upstanding citizen, and to warn, shield, or protect others from harm has nothing to do with a belt, a certificate, or a series of stripes.

    so what now is the definition of this '3rd degree'? i know of some 12 year olds with more red than that. is it based on knowing the full syllabus? well not under the '16-system' it isn't...

    how about we keep it real, keep kenpo about kenpo. teach what you are qualified to teach at the time. continue learning, improving, and understanding so you'll have better kenpo tomorrow.

    pete
    "Rust Never Sleeps" - N.Young.

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    Default Re: A Matter of Curiosity!

    Quote Originally Posted by Blindside View Post
    I have seen this statement but only in the context of AK texts, since I come off a different lineage, I never was asked to swear on this.

    That said, I have no problem with the first half, but I think the second half is far over-reaching.

    I don't believe in god, so asking me to preserve one is a bit stupid, besides, which god are we talking about here?

    An Association is sacred? What Association? A Kenpo association is sacred? Please, it is a bunch of practitioners banded together with the intention of gaining some combination of skill, money, power, or rank, and if you lucky camraderie. Not sacred at all. I don't believe in associations and feel the only relationship that matters in martial arts is between the instructor and student.

    Country? Am I failing to preserve my "sacred country" if I take part of a civil war? What if I am a progressive secular Iranian citizen and I decide to try to overthrow the Mullahs and attempt to install a legitimate democracy? Did I just violate the god and the country tenants of my oath? Do I get brownie points for following my oath, by assisting in a despotic regime, but one that holds the country together?

    I don't have any problem with the "family" portion, but I wouldn't/couldn't take this oath.

    Lamont
    First of all, the oath is being taken here and now. Look at it from that point of view. You live in the U.S.-the U.S. has enemies. Are your skills as a Black Belt helpful to the U.S. or to the enemy. Now as far as God, we all call him something different. How can one say which is right? If you feel we're here by accident, or by Darwinism-remember Darwin's theory is still just that.
    As for associations, there was one at that time, the IKKA. Depending on the associations now-well, that's where you'll the best info.
    Hope it doesn't sound like I'm buggin' ya. I don't mean to bug ya.
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    Default Re: A Matter of Curiosity!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikael151 View Post
    First of all, the oath is being taken here and now. Look at it from that point of view. You live in the U.S.-the U.S. has enemies. Are your skills as a Black Belt helpful to the U.S. or to the enemy.
    This kind of sounds like "either you're with us or you're against us". How does one's training fit into this question? Now I'm not American, so it's of no consequence to me in any case.

    I really do believe that god (whether you are a believer or not) and country have no place in my kenpo. If you wish to include those in yours, it's your choice. I really don't think it should be part of the oath in our more modern society. We have to remember that Mr. Parker was a religous man and this would have been important to him at that time. I don't know about the US, but we no longer recite the lord's prayer in school, again there is a place and time for those things. I would never ask my students to adopt my belief system just because I'm teaching them kenpo.

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    Default Re: A Matter of Curiosity!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikael151 View Post
    First of all, the oath is being taken here and now. Look at it from that point of view. You live in the U.S.-the U.S. has enemies. Are your skills as a Black Belt helpful to the U.S. or to the enemy. Now as far as God, we all call him something different. How can one say which is right? If you feel we're here by accident, or by Darwinism-remember Darwin's theory is still just that.
    As for associations, there was one at that time, the IKKA. Depending on the associations now-well, that's where you'll the best info.
    Hope it doesn't sound like I'm buggin' ya. I don't mean to bug ya.
    Quite frankly, I'm betting that there are very very few people whose "skills as a blackbelt" are terribly valuable to the preservation of their country. I see this oath as going far beyond martial skills. Certainly "skills as a blackbelt" won't do diddly for the preservation of a belief in a greater being. Frankly, I see placing "Association" on the same level as "God, Family, Country" as being a bit odd, martial arts really aren't that big a deal.

    Lamont
    Pekiti Tirsia Kali and Kenpo Karate
    www.blackbirdmartialarts.com

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    Default Re: A Matter of Curiosity!

    Quote Originally Posted by Blindside View Post
    Quite frankly, I'm betting that there are very very few people whose "skills as a blackbelt" are terribly valuable to the preservation of their country. I see this oath as going far beyond martial skills. Certainly "skills as a blackbelt" won't do diddly for the preservation of a belief in a greater being. Frankly, I see placing "Association" on the same level as "God, Family, Country" as being a bit odd, martial arts really aren't that big a deal.

    Lamont
    Thats a great statement you made.
    You stand by your belief, and your view. One can respect that, they may not agree, and we have to respect that as well.

    Thanks for sharring.

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    Default Re: A Matter of Curiosity!

    Quote Originally Posted by execkenpo View Post
    This kind of sounds like "either you're with us or you're against us". How does one's training fit into this question? Now I'm not American, so it's of no consequence to me in any case.

    I really do believe that god (whether you are a believer or not) and country have no place in my kenpo. If you wish to include those in yours, it's your choice. I really don't think it should be part of the oath in our more modern society. We have to remember that Mr. Parker was a religous man and this would have been important to him at that time. I don't know about the US, but we no longer recite the lord's prayer in school, again there is a place and time for those things. I would never ask my students to adopt my belief system just because I'm teaching them kenpo.
    Thats true we took God out of school,out of oaths, and we will prob. take it off our money. So look at our schools you can find one in the news all the time now.

    A persons belief is just that. I for one am a beliver. However I keep it seperate and personal. I dont mediatate in class, I dont get into the whole Zen thing. The martial arts are a physical application to motion. One beliefs make up who they are. their veiws are just that.

    On a side note: This is a very delicate issue, please treat everyone with respect.
    Thanks for sharring

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    Default Re: A Matter of Curiosity!

    Quote Originally Posted by MARSHALLS KENPO View Post
    Thats true we took God out of school,out of oaths, and we will prob. take it off our money. So look at our schools you can find one in the news all the time now.
    I don't believe that the problem in our schools has much to do with the fact that the prayer is no longer said there. I would suggest that poverty, broken families, violence in the media and whole a slew of other problems are the cause there.

    Quote Originally Posted by MARSHALLS KENPO View Post
    A persons belief is just that. I for one am a beliver. However I keep it seperate and personal.
    That's my point. You believe what you want, I will believe what I wish. Like you, I keep them separate and personal from kenpo practise.

    Quote Originally Posted by MARSHALLS KENPO View Post
    I dont mediatate in class, I dont get into the whole Zen thing.
    LOL, you make Zen sound like the newest fad, like the big silly sunglasses the kids are wearing again. I know what you are saying though. A lot of people associate zen meditative practice with martial arts.

    Quote Originally Posted by MARSHALLS KENPO View Post
    On a side note: This is a very delicate issue, please treat everyone with respect.
    Thanks for sharring
    I'm not sure which issue you are referring to, the pledge or religion, though I suspect it is religion. I hope that my comments were not construed as disrespectful as none was intended.

    Thanks for your comments.
    Last edited by execkenpo; 06-20-2007 at 02:51 PM.

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    Default Re: A Matter of Curiosity!

    Quote Originally Posted by execkenpo View Post
    I don't believe that the problem in our schools has much to do with the fact that the prayer is no longer said there. I would suggest that poverty, broken families, violence in the media and whole a slew of other problems are the cause there.


    That's my point. You believe what you want, I will believe what I wish. Like you, I keep them separate and personal from kenpo practise.


    LOL, you make Zen sound like the newest fad, like the big silly sunglasses the kids are wearing again. I know what you are saying though. A lot of people associate zen meditative practice with martial arts.


    I'm not sure which issue you are referring to, the pledge or religion, though I suspect it is religion. I hope that my comments were not construed as disrespectful as none was intended.

    Thanks for your comments.
    No Sir they were not disrespectful, and I for one did not take them that way. You may be right about the poverty and broken society issues. Who knows. If we did it wouldnt be an issue at all. My final notes were directed to all, myself included.

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    Default Re: A Matter of Curiosity!

    Quote Originally Posted by MARSHALLS KENPO View Post
    I dont mediatate in class, I dont get into the whole Zen thing. The martial arts are a physical application to motion.
    well, meditation does not have anything to do with one's beliefs, spirituality, or lack thereof. Zen is but one of many methods, and form my experiences, not the one most conducive to a martial arts practice.

    physical application to motion is what is seen on the outside, while the most complex and interesting aspects of the arts is the 'invisible', or what is happening on the inside.

    the outside protects the inside, the inside supports the outside.

    traditional martial arts consisted of meditation, qigong (or energy work), much of which has been stripped aside in modern arts as cultural accoutrements... to my mind, as a disservice to that art.

    these are all pieces to the puzzle that can, with proper guidance and diligent dedication to practice (kung fu), integrate within your physical practice to enhance your overall performance and appreciation of the art.

    pete.
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    Default Re: A Matter of Curiosity!

    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    well, meditation does not have anything to do with one's beliefs, spirituality, or lack thereof. Zen is but one of many methods, and form my experiences, not the one most conducive to a martial arts practice.

    physical application to motion is what is seen on the outside, while the most complex and interesting aspects of the arts is the 'invisible', or what is happening on the inside.

    the outside protects the inside, the inside supports the outside.

    traditional martial arts consisted of meditation, qigong (or energy work), much of which has been stripped aside in modern arts as cultural accoutrements... to my mind, as a disservice to that art.

    these are all pieces to the puzzle that can, with proper guidance and diligent dedication to practice (kung fu), integrate within your physical practice to enhance your overall performance and appreciation of the art.

    pete.
    Ok,

    I dont agree with you. But thats why we are here isnt it.
    I think meditation has everything to do with ones beliefs.

    In your own words you stated:

    physical application to motion is what is seen on the outside, while the most complex and interesting aspects of the arts is the 'invisible', or what is happening on the inside.

    I dont put my faith or spritual development in the hands of martial art systems, motion, or Chi.

    Thanks for your perspective.

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    Default Re: A Matter of Curiosity!

    This is exactly why I posted the thread. And everyone of you have a legitimate point and position. You see the Pledge was written in a simpler time I would say. I look at it as a promise to do what is best for the students, the art and the association of black belt instructors of Kenpo around the world. I see it like this:

    1.) I hold that my time and my skill are the assets of my profession, assets which grow in value as I progress in the Art until, as a Third Degree Black Belt , I stand as a fully qualified instructor.
    I am a trained professional with years of time, experience and knowledge. By continuing to train and work at gaining new knowledge an skill I increase the value of the Art and the value of my ability to share it with others. And by value I am not saying strictly or only in a monetary sense. As Kenpoist in the American Kenpo line we generally agree that 3rd Black Belt is the rank that designates a fully qualified instructor as it is the rank required to actually be able to promote 1st Black Belts thus now taking on the responsibility of creating a new generation of Black Belts with your seal of approval. That is a very big deal.

    2.) It shall also be my responsibility to protect any student from ravenous individuals who would try to take advantage of personal weaknesses to divest the gullible into unprofitable paths
    This is pretty obvious. I have a responsibility, a duty and an obligation to protect students who seek the art and the benefits of it. To be a responsible and dutiful instructor. We have seen an know of the fakes and the frauds out it the world of Kenpo who are just using students as steps to feed their own pockets and self serving agendas. The goal is to train students to grow and in such we as instructors grow, No free rides to the top.

    3.) to preserve the sacred things, God, family, country and Association, I pledge my all. "
    OK, here is the part of the Pledge if any that may need some updating to fit the times we live in. Such is the nature of this thing of ours we call Kenpo. I say that you should at least instill a values and ethics system within the system you share with your students. Maybe not take the words God, Family, Country and Association so literal. They to must be tailored to the individual/s as does the material we teach.

    Simply put I say that as long as we see some value in what we do as professionals, so will others. That we not allow ravenous individuals to abuse the students if the system we share. And we keep ourselves in check via the use of a good set of values and ethics. Then we are doing the very best we can. I feel that in a nutshell that is the message behind the Pledge.

    Greg Hilderbrand
    A.K.K.I.

  32. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to G. Hilderbrand For This Useful Post:

    Brother John (06-20-2007),execkenpo (06-20-2007),MARSHALLS KENPO (06-20-2007),Roadrunner (06-20-2007)

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