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Thread: Where's the footwork?!?

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    Default Where's the footwork?!?

    I've been looking through a lot of clips lately and I've noticed a common theme in many of them....

    Where's the footwork!?!

    Where's the transitions? Aren't transitions necessary to get the most out of a maneuver? Without going from a neutral to a forward bow or lunge stance do you really get all you can out of a reverse punch?

    Aren't the knees supposed to be bent? Doesn't this go along with the idea of "point of origin?" If you have to "dip" before you move can your opponent not telegraph your movement? Aren't bent knees in a proper bow necessry for true explosiveness?

    My Black Belt Thesis was on this very topic. I notice it in my beginner students. They can't seem to get the bottom half of their body working in tandem with the top half. But after a while they do, and become more proficient.

    Is the problem that Kenpo mostly focuses on the hands? And because of that some neglect thier footwork and that of their students?

    Thoughts? Comments? Methods of training to correct? Ect, ect, ect...
    "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: Where's the footwork?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler View Post
    I've been looking through a lot of clips lately and I've noticed a common theme in many of them....

    Where's the footwork!?!

    Where's the transitions? Aren't transitions necessary to get the most out of a maneuver? Without going from a neutral to a forward bow or lunge stance do you really get all you can out of a reverse punch?
    Hear hear! I too have seen vast amounts of "showy" kenpo that's focused on how fast people can move their hands without regard to whether they can deliver power. Stances and footwork are being sacrificed for hand speed, so that the hands don't have to synchronize with the slower movements of the legs and feet. If you asked these people "Are you using your whole body as a weapon when you strike?", I have a feeling you would get a lot of "yes" answers, simply because they don't fully understand what they're doing. It's sad that belt ranking seems to have no bearing on this problem, as I'd expect more of the black belts in these videos to understand the issue. If I were to judge the state of kenpo from what I've watched on youtube, I'd say that footwork seems to be a "lost art".

    To fix the problem, hit solid objects. Hit a heavy bag with each of the basics in your techniques, with the goal of generating maximum power. Break boards. Find out how much power your strikes (don't) have.

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    Default Re: Where's the footwork?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler View Post
    I've been looking through a lot of clips lately and I've noticed a common theme in many of them....

    Where's the footwork!?!

    Where's the transitions? Aren't transitions necessary to get the most out of a maneuver? Without going from a neutral to a forward bow or lunge stance do you really get all you can out of a reverse punch?

    Aren't the knees supposed to be bent? Doesn't this go along with the idea of "point of origin?" If you have to "dip" before you move can your opponent not telegraph your movement? Aren't bent knees in a proper bow necessry for true explosiveness?

    My Black Belt Thesis was on this very topic. I notice it in my beginner students. They can't seem to get the bottom half of their body working in tandem with the top half. But after a while they do, and become more proficient.

    Is the problem that Kenpo mostly focuses on the hands? And because of that some neglect thier footwork and that of their students?

    Thoughts? Comments? Methods of training to correct? Ect, ect, ect...
    I don't blame the students, but I do blame the teachers (to an extent). Stances and footwork are not taught properly in cojunction with applications. One of the sayings I teach my students and teachers is .... "Teach from the waist down, observe from the waist down, before moving above the waist."

    Go to the videos, and take a sheet of paper. Place the sheet on the screen to obscure what the upper body is doing, AND turn down the sound. What you'll see is inarticulate stumbling movement reminiscent of a bumbling drunk totally disconnected from the upper body. So much for all those "basics" that everyone agrees are so important.

    Good observation sir.
    "Nothing is more dangerous than the conscientiously ignorant, or the sincerely stupid." - Martin Luther King Jr.

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    Default Re: Where's the footwork?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler View Post
    I've been looking through a lot of clips lately and I've noticed a common theme in many of them....

    Where's the footwork!?!

    Where's the transitions? Aren't transitions necessary to get the most out of a maneuver? Without going from a neutral to a forward bow or lunge stance do you really get all you can out of a reverse punch?

    Aren't the knees supposed to be bent? Doesn't this go along with the idea of "point of origin?" If you have to "dip" before you move can your opponent not telegraph your movement? Aren't bent knees in a proper bow necessry for true explosiveness?

    My Black Belt Thesis was on this very topic. I notice it in my beginner students. They can't seem to get the bottom half of their body working in tandem with the top half. But after a while they do, and become more proficient.

    Is the problem that Kenpo mostly focuses on the hands? And because of that some neglect thier footwork and that of their students?

    Thoughts? Comments? Methods of training to correct? Ect, ect, ect...
    Footwork and stances are key to so many things. My instructor is a stickler for that stuff and is always making sure that I'm doing it right. Its all part of the basics. I get the impression that some, once they begin to advance, don't think that those things are important, but as I said, they're the keys to making everything else work. How would one expect to understand the more technical things without the basic foundation?

    Mike

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    Default Re: Where's the footwork?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by MJS View Post
    Footwork and stances are key to so many things. My instructor is a stickler for that stuff and is always making sure that I'm doing it right. Its all part of the basics. I get the impression that some, once they begin to advance, don't think that those things are important, but as I said, they're the keys to making everything else work. How would one expect to understand the more technical things without the basic foundation?

    Mike
    Duh! Ya Think? But, they do it everyday, don't they?
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    Default Re: Where's the footwork?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc View Post
    Duh! Ya Think? But, they do it everyday, don't they?
    Yes sir they do. Of course, one would think that the instructor would make the necessary corrections. I guess some are more interested in running a belt mill than putting out quality students.

    Mike

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    Default Re: Where's the footwork?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by MJS View Post
    Yes sir they do. Of course, one would think that the instructor would make the necessary corrections. I guess some are more interested in running a belt mill than putting out quality students.

    Mike
    While I think your persective is as true as any other, I think just as significant is these so-called teachers just don't have the knowledge they're supposed to. If they did, some of the information would get to the students even if only by observing the teaching and mimicking. Unfortunately they are mimicking the instructors lack of understanding of basics, in addition to the erroneous information.
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    Default Re: Where's the footwork?!?

    And then there are the students who say "Yeah, yeah, I know" and never do anything to correct themselves.
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    Default Re: Where's the footwork?!?

    I agree that footwork is very lacking in most. I would say its probably everyone's weak point. Not enough focus is on it.

    However I would also like to point out that depending on the strike, footwork may not be needed. Just a subtle shift in weight or the hips can be more than enough.

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    Default Re: Where's the footwork?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by MysticJedi View Post
    I agree that footwork is very lacking in most. I would say its probably everyone's weak point. Not enough focus is on it.

    However I would also like to point out that depending on the strike, footwork may not be needed. Just a subtle shift in weight or the hips can be more than enough.
    If you are standing in a bad stance, it will not matter. But then I don't need a stance to strike soft tissue with effectiveness do I? That's the base of the commercial system. keep in mind the weight of your limbs alone are significant to 'hurt' but not injure unless it's soft tissue.
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    Default Re: Where's the footwork?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc View Post
    If you are standing in a bad stance, it will not matter. But then I don't need a stance to strike soft tissue with effectiveness do I? That's the base of the commercial system. keep in mind the weight of your limbs alone are significant to 'hurt' but not injure unless it's soft tissue.
    Don't mind em one little bit Good Doc... Just thought to sneak in here and support your view. I, basically, have quit watching the videos on youtube, etc. Lot's of lightning fast fluff with little to no useful content.
    i'm just waitin' for someone to drop the "old guy" tag now.
    Rant off.

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    Default Re: Where's the footwork?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikael151 View Post
    And then there are the students who say "Yeah, yeah, I know" and never do anything to correct themselves.

    Oh, man how I hate that. I usually only teach the kids' class, none of them would dare be that disrespectful!

    An adult student tells me that, my reply is along the lines of "No you don't. If you knew it I wouldn't be wasting my time telling you to fix it. So why don't you go over there (pointing to the other side of the floor) and practice it until it's fixed". And then they get to punch in for everything the rest of the night.
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    Default Re: Where's the footwork?!?

    I'd like to get an idea of "good" footwork vs. "bad" footwork. I'm sure there are different levels (beginner/intermediate/advanced), but I don't want to assume that just because I'm doing footwork in techniques as instructed that I have perfect footwork. Anybody got examples? Wish we had a "video library" or a "video requests" forum...that would really help me, I think.

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    Default Re: Where's the footwork?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by maruchan View Post
    I'd like to get an idea of "good" footwork vs. "bad" footwork. I'm sure there are different levels (beginner/intermediate/advanced), but I don't want to assume that just because I'm doing footwork in techniques as instructed that I have perfect footwork. Anybody got examples? Wish we had a "video library" or a "video requests" forum...that would really help me, I think.
    Perhaps, but I doubt it. Your point is very well taken sir. Just because someone showed it to you, doesn't make it good. Like I said, so-called teachers seem to know less and less these days. The more I travel, the more it is painfully obvious no one teaches proper basic anymore.
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    Default Re: Where's the footwork?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sentinel View Post
    kenpo that's focused on how fast people can move their hands without regard to whether they can deliver power.
    Well, I and my students do focus on speed, and we also hit maki wara and concrete slabs.

    And Mr. Parker did happen to mention that targeting is really important...

    ...and if you kill a man with a 2 inch knife, he's just as dead as he would be if you killed him with a 12 foot spear.

    Many very soft targets on the human body.

    Another Parker phrase, "You do NOT need a cannon to kill a Sparrow".

    You do NOT need a body shift for a solid organ shot to the eye ball, a simple two-headed serpent searching for the pearls does suffice.

    Of course when I was breaking bricks for rank promotion back in Korea...

    DOC

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    Default Re: Where's the footwork?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by maruchan View Post
    I'd like to get an idea of "good" footwork vs. "bad" footwork. I'm sure there are different levels (beginner/intermediate/advanced), but I don't want to assume that just because I'm doing footwork in techniques as instructed that I have perfect footwork. Anybody got examples? Wish we had a "video library" or a "video requests" forum...that would really help me, I think.
    I'll say this:

    When you're off balance, when you're not moving your feet where they need to be (causing you to overextend your strikes/locks/throws), when your legs are locked out, when you have no stance shifts... you don't have good footwork.

    Some people who would appear to the untrained eye to be very skilled would actually not be able to effectively use their kenpo techniques against a real opponent because of what the lower half of their body is or isn't doing. I've found that many people, INCLUDING ones with fairly high rank, tend to focus on where the "action" is in their techniques, which is in the upper body movements. It's a natural phenomenon. Footwork is boring if you don't know what it's about and how important it is. If you have to actually make your movements work for real, however, you'll know the difference. Not every move is going to be a power move, but the stances taught in the techniques are there for very good reasons.

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    Default Re: Where's the footwork?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sentinel View Post
    I'll say this:

    When you're off balance, when you're not moving your feet where they need to be (causing you to overextend your strikes/locks/throws), when your legs are locked out, when you have no stance shifts... you don't have good footwork.

    Some people who would appear to the untrained eye to be very skilled would actually not be able to effectively use their kenpo techniques against a real opponent because of what the lower half of their body is or isn't doing. I've found that many people, INCLUDING ones with fairly high rank, tend to focus on where the "action" is in their techniques, which is in the upper body movements. It's a natural phenomenon. Footwork is boring if you don't know what it's about and how important it is. If you have to actually make your movements work for real, however, you'll know the difference. Not every move is going to be a power move, but the stances taught in the techniques are there for very good reasons.
    I am confused to the point of your post?

    Is it that you don't know when someone is centered, balanced and coordinated?

    Or is it that you are upset because some people have different rules for moving than you do?

    Help me out.

    Which of the 5 Elements of Balance are they missing?

    Which of the Kenpo Z stance are they not doing?

    Which of the 9 different ways of moving with Kenpo (NOT counting the many variations due to combining the 9 patterns) are they leaving out?

    Again, help me out.

    DOC

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    Default Re: Where's the footwork?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler View Post
    I've been looking through a lot of clips lately and I've noticed a common theme in many of them....

    Where's the footwork!?!

    Where's the transitions? Aren't transitions necessary to get the most out of a maneuver? Without going from a neutral to a forward bow or lunge stance do you really get all you can out of a reverse punch?

    Aren't the knees supposed to be bent? Doesn't this go along with the idea of "point of origin?" If you have to "dip" before you move can your opponent not telegraph your movement? Aren't bent knees in a proper bow necessry for true explosiveness?

    My Black Belt Thesis was on this very topic. I notice it in my beginner students. They can't seem to get the bottom half of their body working in tandem with the top half. But after a while they do, and become more proficient.

    Is the problem that Kenpo mostly focuses on the hands? And because of that some neglect thier footwork and that of their students?

    Thoughts? Comments? Methods of training to correct? Ect, ect, ect...

    True Dat!!

    I have my students do forms/techniques without the use of the upper body so that they concentrate on the lower body. Every great instructor (martial arts or any other sports) teaches that. My instructors, my baseball coach, my golf instructor all have tols me to concentrate a portion of my training to my legs/lower body. And since I have 37 inch legs, I would be even more of an idiot not to use them.

    I have mentioned before on the forum, but I wear the kenpo crest on my pant leg cuff as a reminder that stances are the base uppon which we build our tenchiques.

    You can build a beautiful, monster house, but if you build it on a balsa wood foundation it ain't worth *****.
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    Default Re: Where's the footwork?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by HKphooey View Post
    True Dat!!

    I have my students do forms/techniques without the use of the upper body so that they concentrate on the lower body. Every great instructor (martial arts or any other sports) teaches that. My instructors, my baseball coach, my golf instructor all have tols me to concentrate a portion of my training to my legs/lower body. And since I have 37 inch legs, I would be even more of an idiot not to use them.

    I have mentioned before on the forum, but I wear the kenpo crest on my pant leg cuff as a reminder that stances are the base uppon which we build our tenchiques.

    You can build a beautiful, monster house, but if you build it on a balsa wood foundation it ain't worth *****.
    I've done that too; had students practice only the footwork of a form or tech. The problem is putting it back together with the upper body. The "upper" and "lower" work in tandem to produce the best effect. The difficultly seems to lie in getting them to use the "entire" body.
    "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: Where's the footwork?!?

    Hey, Old Guy, I agree 100%



    Quote Originally Posted by sigung86 View Post
    Don't mind em one little bit Good Doc... Just thought to sneak in here and support your view. I, basically, have quit watching the videos on youtube, etc. Lot's of lightning fast fluff with little to no useful content.
    i'm just waitin' for someone to drop the "old guy" tag now.
    Rant off.

    See ya around the campus.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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