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Thread: Are there any absurdities within the EPAK system?

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    blfycdq is offline
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    Default Are there any absurdities within the EPAK system?

    Ed ........ had purposefully taught and written absurdities as a test. But none of his new system students had ever questioned him...

    Are there any such absurdities within the current EPAK system? If so, what might be some examples of the above?

    -Carl

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    Default Re: Are there any absurdities within the EPAK system?

    Being that you asked the question, why don't you start us off....
    I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
    (Phillipians 4:13)


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    Default Re: Are there any absurdities within the EPAK system?

    I'm not sure I accept the premise.

    Carl, how do you know that Mr. Parker personally taught absurditities to test his students? And how do you know none of his students ever questioned him?

    Maybe we can get the MythBusters on the case.

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    Default Re: Are there any absurdities within the EPAK system?

    It is widely accepted that SGM Parker had a great sense of humor and I've heard stories that he would come up with the most "absurd" technique he could think of and teach it to his black belts just to see which ones would practice it without question trying to make it work and which ones would call BS on him.

    I don't think that any of his "jokes" remained as part of the system though. LOL
    "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: Are there any absurdities within the EPAK system?

    Make Doc can chime in on this thread
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: Are there any absurdities within the EPAK system?

    I've heard the same thing said by a few folks but yet to hear a concrete example. I suspect that some of the people who had the privilege of calling Mr. Parker "Ed" may know the answer.
    "Fall seven times, stand up eight." Japanese proverb

    "I've seen some cats do some crazy stuff like bending swords with their necks and breaking flaming bricks... thats great and all but can they fight?" *shrugs* Moses Powell

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    Default Re: Are there any absurdities within the EPAK system?

    Quote Originally Posted by blfycdq View Post
    Ed ........ had purposefully taught and written absurdities as a test. But none of his new system students had ever questioned him...

    Are there any such absurdities within the current EPAK system? If so, what might be some examples of the above?

    -Carl
    The first line...
    How do you know he'd created 'absurdities'?
    What is an absurdity? ...as in, what are YOU calling 'absurd'? It may help the discussion to have better defined terms.

    I agree with Mr. Seabrook. If you know of some of these absurdities w/in EPAK (because you sound pretty certain that there are some)...please give us some examples so we can see where you're coming from.

    your Brother
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    Default Re: Are there any absurdities within the EPAK system?

    I sort of suspect there may be absurdities in just about any system. I am defining the term to mean something that is ineffectual in a realistic self defense situation, at least for an art where the primary focus is on self defense. The definition may change for an art for which this is not the primary focus.

    It's entirely possible that an absurdity may not have originally been so. Maybe whoever brought it into the system had a very useful purpose for it. But perhaps in following generations that understanding sort of slipped away, or it became anachronistic so its meaning was lost. If it's still done, it's now done without an understanding of what it meant or how it was intended to be used. That would make it currently an absurdity.

    maybe someone was really really gifted, and he could make things work that just about anybody else could never do, no matter how much they worked at it. For just about anybody else to practice that technique, is absurd.

    Maybe someone was planning for a demonstration, so they worked in some showmanship stuff, and subsequent generations codified that material without realizing what it was originally meant for. It should have been dropped after the demonstration, but maybe some students liked the flash and the bling, so they kept it. A few generations later, people think it's a part of the system, but it would never really work. It's just showboating without any really useful purpose.

    I know that there are certain techs in kenpo that I felt were absurd. I'm retraining now, and I am finding that fewer and fewer techs fit that definition for me, when I see them done by someone who is very competent.

    So in my opinion, there are probably absurdities in just about any system. But what I feel is absurd, by my definition and under my standards, may not be the same for someone else.
    Michael


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    Default Re: Are there any absurdities within the EPAK system?

    Being that you asked the question, why don't you start us off....
    __________________
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    The question came from a website housed by an original Parker Blackbelt. I have no opinion as of now to share. But, it is an interesting question.

    But since you are pressing me, I will say the following is a good example of an absurditiy: How we do strive for category completion within our Katas for the sake of category completion. We see this in Long 6 for example.

    Regards,
    Carl

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    Default Re: Are there any absurdities within the EPAK system?

    Quote Originally Posted by blfycdq View Post
    The question came from a website housed by an original Parker Blackbelt. I have no opinion as of now to share. But, it is an interesting question.
    I agree Carl, it is an interesting question.
    Could you share what website this came from?? I'd really like to read it for myself. Maybe I can get a better understanding of what they're getting at.
    Thanks

    Also: Why is it that you consider 'category completion' an absurd thing??
    Just wondering

    thanks

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    Default Re: Are there any absurdities within the EPAK system?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother John View Post
    I agree Carl, it is an interesting question.
    Could you share what website this came from?? I'd really like to read it for myself. Maybe I can get a better understanding of what they're getting at.
    Thanks

    Also: Why is it that you consider 'category completion' an absurd thing??
    Just wondering

    thanks

    Your Brother
    John

    This is from Americankenpo.com.....

    In death Ed Parker has become a legend, bigger than life. His black belts first scrambled to fill the void in the system he created for them, by making themselves his successor. But American Kenpo is not just a system. It is the visible expression of Ed Parker’s philosophy, a philosophy that holds that correct principles replace style; a philosophy that allows the same move to be taught a myriad of ways with each way being the right way. Ed lamented, some three months before his death that he had awarded black belts, but none had earned his philosopher’s cloak. None had learned to think for himself. Few were innovative. When asked about some of his ideas which seemed absurd, Ed laughed and said he had purposefully taught and written absurdities as a test. But none of his new system students had ever questioned him. He wanted each student to prove or disprove every concept. He wanted them to think for themselves. And he most certainly did not want them to become the puppets they had become. Had his students understood Ed's principles, they would have discovered that the absurd concepts were little more than stumbling blocks put in the way to prove them, and catapults to launch them into thinking for themselves. Ed Often lamented that his students knew what to think, but they didn't know how to think, and only a rare few would ever fully understand the completeness of Ed Parker Kenpo. For this reason, Ed Parker did not create American Kenpo as a system, but as an idea, an idea that encompassed all of his teachings and styles, from his first students to his last. Some were a part and some were the whole of what he taught, but only those who continued to teach what he taught, the way he taught it either in the beginning or the end are american kenpo.

    I am not sure if there really were absurdities in the American Kenpo system but I am damn sure there have been plenty of absurdities by many Kenpo people after the passing of Mr. Parker.
    "Fall seven times, stand up eight." Japanese proverb

    "I've seen some cats do some crazy stuff like bending swords with their necks and breaking flaming bricks... thats great and all but can they fight?" *shrugs* Moses Powell

    -Hank Colado

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    Default Re: Are there any absurdities within the EPAK system?

    Also: Why is it that you consider 'category completion' an absurd thing??
    Just wondering

    thanks

    Your Brother
    John


    Hey John,

    I love category completion and think it is a wonderful idea. However, do we blindly do it within our katas even when some techniques get modified and thus begin to break concepts and principles of EPAK for the sake of category completion? This may be an absurdity? Maybe? Let me study the system for another 300 years and I will get back to you...

    -Carl

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    Default Re: Are there any absurdities within the EPAK system?

    Quote Originally Posted by KenpoHank View Post
    This is from Americankenpo.com.....

    I am not sure if there really were absurdities in the American Kenpo system but I am damn sure there have been plenty of absurdities by many Kenpo people after the passing of Mr. Parker.
    AmericanKenpo.com is owned by Tracy's Kenpo.

    I suppose it would be beneficial to have an actual author associated with that quote. And, one can not help but wonder if there is any non-kenpo-history motivation behind the Tracy people putting forth this idea.

    I mean beyond what they write in their last sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy's Kenpo
    but only those who continued to teach what he taught, the way he taught it either in the beginning or the end are american kenpo

    http://www.whois.net/whois_new.cgi?d...nkenpo&tld=com

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    Default Re: Are there any absurdities within the EPAK system?

    Quote Originally Posted by michaeledward View Post
    AmericanKenpo.com is owned by Tracy's Kenpo.

    I suppose it would be beneficial to have an actual author associated with that quote. And, one can not help but wonder if there is any non-kenpo-history motivation behind the Tracy people putting forth this idea.

    I mean beyond what they write in their last sentence




    http://www.whois.net/whois_new.cgi?d...nkenpo&tld=com

    Yes, it clearly states that the material is from Mr. Will Tracy.

    l material contained on AMERICANKENPO.COM are copyright 1996, 1998. 2007 by W. Tracy. All rights reserved. No portion may be reproduced without written permission: Law offices of Michael Tracy.
    "Fall seven times, stand up eight." Japanese proverb

    "I've seen some cats do some crazy stuff like bending swords with their necks and breaking flaming bricks... thats great and all but can they fight?" *shrugs* Moses Powell

    -Hank Colado

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    Default Re: Are there any absurdities within the EPAK system?

    I'm usually sceptical of people from outside of system "A" commenting on the validity or worth of elements within system "A".......when they teach and promote a different system (system B ?) themselves.

    This is one of those times.

    There are LOTS of people in American Kenpo who do not trust the version of history that Mr. Tracy has put out after Mr. Parker's passing. Some have called it "Revisionist". I DO NOT KNOW. Please let me make that clear. I don't have all the facts on that whole issue.
    But when presented with something like this, if there's no "For instance" or examples of what he's saying about absurdities w/in the system.....then I'd have to say that I doubt it.

    I personally don't see any 'absurdities' in it. I'm not giving a knee jerk reaction in defense of the art I love.....if there were things 'absurd' w/in it, I'd say so. But after a long time of giving the system honest consideration, I just don't see it.

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    Default Re: Are there any absurdities within the EPAK system?

    Quote Originally Posted by michaeledward View Post
    AmericanKenpo.com is owned by Tracy's Kenpo.

    I suppose it would be beneficial to have an actual author associated with that quote. And, one can not help but wonder if there is any non-kenpo-history motivation behind the Tracy people putting forth this idea.
    Please understand that Tracy Kenpo is under the leadership and direction of Al Tracy, not Will Tracy. They are brothers, so of course there is a connection between them, but Will Tracy is NOT a spokesperson for Tracy Kenpo.

    That being said, Will Tracy was a student of Mr. Parker in the early days, starting in about 1957. He saw things in the beginning, and he saw things as they changed, and he and his brothers did make a deliberate decision to break away from Mr. Parker because, to make a long story short, they simply disagreed with the direction in which Mr. Parker was taking things.

    Mr. Tracy has his perception and opinion on what happened. Maybe he is right, maybe he is wrong, I suspect he is somewhere in the middle, as would be true of anybody. Everyone has their own recollections, and these are tempered by their interpretations of events.

    Will Tracy's writings about Mr. Parker often rub people the wrong way. It's his version of the story. Take it or leave it, and season to taste. If it really bothers you, don't read it. If you want to dispute anything he says, I suggest you try and contact him directly, because arguing about it here in the forums won't make it go away.

    Interestingly enough, it seems to me that there are parellels between what Mr. Tracy writes, and things that Mr. Chapel has written here in the forums, regarding what he refers to as "motion kenpo". Maybe there is more truth there than you think. I also do not know. I wasn't there, and it doesn't affect me at all. Tracy kenpo is a great system. It works well for me, I enjoy it, I like my instructor and I like my classmates. I am sure other lineages of kenpo also have a lot of good to offer, and I'm not going to argue one over the other. If you have confidence in what you are doing, then don't let the writings of an old -timer get under your skin.

    So please keep the discussion focused on perceived absurdities in EPAK, and let's not turn it into yet another debate about the writings of Will Tracy. It's been done before.
    Michael


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    Default Re: Are there any absurdities within the EPAK system?

    Michael ... I don't know anything about the Tracys, at all. I am not trying to make any statements about anything.

    I will point out that the web site is registered to 'Tracys Kenpo', not to Will Tracy. So, whether he is a spokesman for, or not, he is using the credibility of the organization with his comments.

    And, the web site claims copyright ... and then cuts and pastes significant portions of Infinite Insights .... which would be a copyright violation, if I am not mistaken.


    As to the claims in the paragraph, it begs the question, how does Mr. Tracy know that which he claims knowledge. He specifically references information from three months prior to Mr. Parker's passing. But those who were in the IKKA community in the months, and years before Mr. Parker's death don't make these claims.

    There may be some truth to the idea. But, I'm not sure that one man's writing ... a man that your post seems to indicate suffers in the credibility department ... is sufficient evidence to accept the premise.

    As I said in my first post ... I'm not certain that I accept the premise. Two paragraphs from a rival system is hardly sufficient for me to alter my opinion.

    I, and others, have asked for more evidence of the claim.

    Carl, do you have a more tanglible explanation and example than just "Form 6" .... where in Form 6 ... And if your example is 'category completion' ... why would you call this an absurdity?

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    Default Re: Are there any absurdities within the EPAK system?

    Wow, is there really going to be another Tracy vs. EPAK (which is better, who is telling the truth) debate? I'll just pull up my lawn chair, grab a cold beer and watch in mild (but diminishing) amusement.

    Peace...no, really....peace!
    Last edited by toejoe2k; 11-14-2007 at 04:21 PM.
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    Forgive everyone everything

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    Default Re: Are there any absurdities within the EPAK system?

    Quote Originally Posted by michaeledward View Post
    Michael ... I don't know anything about the Tracys, at all. I am not trying to make any statements about anything.
    I didn't believe you were, I just wanted to head it off before it gets too far down that road.

    I will point out that the web site is registered to 'Tracys Kenpo', not to Will Tracy. So, whether he is a spokesman for, or not, he is using the credibility of the organization with his comments.
    well, he was one of the original three Tracy Brothers who established Tracy Kenpo. However, he is not a formal leader of the system any longer. Al is the leader. I don't know how much Will teaches or even practices anymore. maybe he does, maybe he doesnt. He certainly knows the system very well.

    As to the claims in the paragraph, it begs the question, how does Mr. Tracy know that which he claims knowledge. He specifically references information from three months prior to Mr. Parker's passing. But those who were in the IKKA community in the months, and years before Mr. Parker's death don't make these claims.
    I think later on, Mr. Parker and the Tracy Brothers were probably on better terms than many would like to believe. I think there were some pretty hostile times for a while, but I also believe things cooled off and the rift wasn't so bad as many think. I think there was probably more communication than many people realize. My instructor indicated that Al Tracy had a telephone conversation with Mr. Parker just a couple weeks before Mr. Parker died, for example.

    There may be some truth to the idea. But, I'm not sure that one man's writing ... a man that your post seems to indicate suffers in the credibility department ... is sufficient evidence to accept the premise.
    I don't know if he lacks credibility or not. I only say it is his side of the story, and anyone reading can take it or leave it. I suspect there is more truth in there than a lot of people want there to be, but I'm not the judge of that. I have no first hand experience in this department, and I really don't care. I see it as the memory of an old timer. It's interesting to read his point of view, at the least, even if you don't believe him. Make your own decision about it.

    Two paragraphs from a rival system is hardly sufficient for me to alter my opinion.
    it's not a rival system. It's an early lineage that broke off from Mr. Parker. Nothing more, nothing less.

    I personally don't believe that there even is an EPAK community, certainly not anything unified. There are simply different lineages established by different people who studied under Mr. Parker at different times. If you compare what everyone is doing, you will definitely find a lot of similarity, but certainly no complete uniformity, and the seniors certainly seem to disagree about things. So I see the notion of the "EPAK community" as a myth.

    I, and others, have asked for more evidence of the claim.
    go ask him directly. That's the thing, he doesn't post here, probably doesn't even read the threads here. So if you want to dispute his points, it's a dead-end. If you want real answers, get in touch with him and see what you uncover. Otherwise, we end up with yet another pointless debate over whether or not Will Tracy is crazy, and it becomes a really stupid argument. I just don't want to rehash all this again, because it's been done over and over and it doesn't go anywhere.
    Michael


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