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Thread: Concepts, Ideas & Principles

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    vatki001 is offline
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    Question Concepts, Ideas & Principles

    Good Day to all:

    I have recently started studying EPAK. My teacher is a first degree black belt in EPAK and Tracy systems. Last night, I tested for my yellow belt and was OK in presenting my Techniques, Kata, Kicks, Stances and Foot Moves. Nevertheless, in the last three months I have come to wonder what is more important: the rote knowledge of our techniques or the principles, ideas and concepts that Mr. Parker wanted us to fathom.
    Dept, Width, Height, Checking, Torque, Backup Mass, Mar Grav. Etc.

    And even if they are equally important, why do we spend more time on the physical side of Kenpo verses the mental side? It seems to me if we wanted to inculcate or master the techniques then we would need to understand they are more then just weapons. They are concepts, ideas & principles used to protect our love ones and ourselves from violence by utilizing the techniques and those concepts, ideas and principles to instinctively remove ourselves or protect ourselves with force if necessary.

    I know some of you might say, well perhaps his teacher is not teaching him those things. Not so, its just when he ask those questions so many of us fell to remember the points. But, we will regurgitate(to give back or repeat, esp. something not fully understood or assimilated) Lone Kimono or Grip of Death. Why?
    V. Atkins

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    thedan (07-28-2007)

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    Richard Finn's Avatar
    Richard Finn is offline
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    Default Re: Concepts, Ideas & Principles

    I think you are going to find that both are important. We all fall short (okay, maybe it's just me) when the pressure is on. I know everything well and perfect until the question is asked. I think Ed Parker called it a compat multiplier. I see people who can do everything just fine until a test and then mess it up. The good news is that when you just have to do it you probably will! There won't be a lot of time for thought and you will do what you have been training for. And the rote and principles will just work.
    Hands on Healer

    "If you can not be King be a healer."

    "The hands of the King are the hands of a healer"

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    Sentinel is offline
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    Default Re: Concepts, Ideas & Principles

    Firstly, welcome to kenpotalk. Secondly, I applaud your depth of thinking and questioning at such an early level in kenpo. Just out of curiosity, what other styles, if any, have you studied?

    I would say that at the beginner's level, "rote knowledge" is more important because you need to learn the moves and what they feel like before you can really understand why you would perform them a certain way. You don't want to overload your brain with information since it can get in the way of performance early on. Just learning by wrote, you're going to be applying theory anyway, but with later understanding you can greatly improve its effects.

    Your practice of kenpo theory should be in the way you *analyze* the techniques in practice so that when you *respond* to random attacks, the effects of the theory are actually at work without any thought of it being there. As you learn new theory, you can revisit older techniques and add it anywhere it applies.

    That's my two cents.

    Here's Bruce Lee's two cents:

    "Before I learned the art, a punch was just a punch, and a kick, just a kick.
    After I learned the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick, no longer a kick.
    Now that I understand the art, a punch is just a punch and a kick is just a kick."

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    thedan (07-28-2007)

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    Default Re: Concepts, Ideas & Principles

    Quote Originally Posted by vatki001 View Post
    ... in the last three months I have come to wonder what is more important: the rote knowledge of our techniques or the principles, ideas and concepts that Mr. Parker wanted us to fathom.
    Excellant question. As I read your post, I was thinking along the same lines as Sentinel, so I hope this isn't redundant.

    The techniques teach us a lot of things. Proper movment, body mechanics, and principles and concepts. As a begginer you are learning a new way to move. This will require most of your attention, and too much intellectual emphasis would detract from getting your basics/movment down pat. Without basics, knowlege is worthless. As you progress and dig more of the concepts out of your techniques you'll learn to apply those basics much more effectively. They are mutually supportive.

    So, my opinion, one without the other is not much good, and both are equally important in the context of working techniques. However, if you had to choose to only do one, I'd say basics. Forget the techniques and just do basics. Fortunately we don't have to make that choice, and the techniques are what takes our application to higher and higher levels as our basics improve and our understanding grows.

    Don't get in a hurry to get it all. Get it right first, and keep digging for understanding as you go. It'll come.

    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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    Default Re: Concepts, Ideas & Principles

    Give Dan a hand here, great points. We will spend a life time of study in the art, but (1) you have to have something to base your study from. (2) You dont want to wait a life time to be able to use it.
    Brad Marshall SP

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