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Thread: Your opinion, she stinks.

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    The Master is offline
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    Default Your opinion, she stinks.

    Your opinion, she stinks.


    I have traveled on these web boards for over a decade now, and long have the arguments raged over who is doing "it" right, and who is doing "it" wrong. Insults are slung, mud is thrown, and otherwise intelligent individuals behave like grade school kids at a food fight. A pity, for it is said the arts develop ones character. In fact, they simply bring it to the forefront. The honorable man shines more brightly, and the boorish cad, shows his true self. Many have these arguments been, and many have they been fought through the safety of the computer screen. This salvo will be another volley, certain to annoy many, but perhaps enlighten a few.

    Today the subject is kenpo. Another time it might be presidential candidates, but for today’s fire, it shall be the beast known as kenpo.

    First question.
    What is kenpo? This seemingly simple question has a dozen answers. Some will say "Parkers art", others will trace it back to Hawaii, others to Japan or even China. Some will say "Not what X does that is for sure." while others may enter the semantically realm. There is no one answer. There in lies the problem of the following questions.

    Second Question.
    Which kenpo is the right one? Someone who trains with Al Tracy might answer that his is right. A Larry Tatum student will point at his and say "his". Some will mention Ed Parker, often times with a reverence usually reserved for Elvis, the Beatles and occasionally God. Others might point at Cerio, or Mitose, or a hundred others. You are right, you are wrong, and you are both. Because the first question is unanswerable, the second becomes incomprehensible.

    When one cannot find an answer, one is left with the educated guess, which is more often than not, merely an opinion with some facts behind it.

    Take for example here this person known as Ed Parker. Ed Parker had an opinion. He called it kenpo. When he changed his opinion, he released a new version of his kenpo. Some people liked his opinion, to a greater or lesser amount, and added their own opinions to his. Today, you have dozens of important opinions on kenpo, and you call them by names like Planas and Trejo and Tatum and Mills and whomever.

    Reality however, doesn't care about your opinions. It simply is. By simply ising, it forces itself upon you.

    The human body can only move in so many ways. The combinations are finite. No opinion of the fighting arts however, covers them all. They cannot, for some combinations don't work for everyone. Some don't work at all. Some only work under certain circumstances and at rare occasions. Why?

    Because the human body can only move in so many ways. It is limited. It has a finite number of possible movements. Because each of us is different, what our own bodies can do is but a mere subset of what a perfect body could do under optimum conditions. When are conditions ever optimum? So we build our own opinion from the foundations of another’s opinion, grafting in our own limitations and modifying the concepts and theories to perform within our own limitations and limited subset of abilities and capabilities.

    In the end, we express our own opinion of kenpo. And regardless of whom we have based our foundation from, we will always fall short, because our subset is not the entirety. Only in a perfect world, which does not exist, could we not fall short in some way.

    Therefore, our opinion, she stinks.

    It may be a big stink or a small stink. In the end however, stink it still does.

    So, worry less about who is right and how many degrees you point your toes at and who teaches 'true' and who teaches 'not true'. Instead, work at de-stinking your opinion and reaching to expand your subset to be closer to that unreachable perfection.
    Oh my dear Doctor, you have been naive! I am The Master.
    I am The Master, Lord of Time!
    I am The Master, and you, you will obey me.
    Who in the whole galaxy is not my inferior? There is not one creature!

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    Default Re: Your opinion, she stinks.

    Poetry brother!


    Nice job

    James

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    Default Re: Your opinion, she stinks.

    Excellent post.

    While I haven't seen this sort of thing in kenpo (yet!), I know there is a lot of style vs. style and political infighting in some of the other styles, especially ninjutsu. I guess I lucked out, because everyone I've trained with has been pretty open and friendly about other styles.
    Parker Kenpo Karate

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    Latinvipers is offline
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    Default Re: Your opinion, she stinks.

    I understand Master it would be wise that i take your wisdom under advisment, and welcome to Kenpo Talk
    It does not matter where the Martial art comes from. if it can help you defend yourself it is worth learning( Bruce Lee ) May the Force Be With You

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    Default Re: Your opinion, she stinks.

    [quote=The Master;59692]

    Reality however, doesn't care about your opinions. It simply is. By simply ising, it forces itself upon you.


    This may turn out to be my favorite quote! It certainly leads to many interesting conmversations - not all of them martial.
    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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    Default Re: Your opinion, she stinks.

    Good post...

    I try to follow a couple of simple teaching philosophies that was brought to my attention awhile back:

    1. If you can't point out/see the good, don't point out the bad.

    2. Instead of trying to fix 1 problem with 6 suggestions, fix 6 problems with one suggestion.
    Humility is not thinking less of yourself. It's thinking of yourself, less.

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    Default Re: Your opinion, she stinks.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Master View Post
    It simply is. By simply ising, it forces itself upon you.
    But then to quote a recent White House occupant... "It depends on what 'is' is."

    For all of the high-brow talk it comes down to a re-phrasing of the question:

    "Is what I'm seeing effective Kenpo?"

    Positing the question in this manner allows for the different flavors of Kenpo while at the same time holding forth for some sort of accountablility to an individuals's claims.

    Respects,
    Bill Parsons
    Triangle Kenpo Institute
    www.trianglekenpo.com

    "I know Kenpo!" "Cool... do you know how to use it?"

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    Default Re: Your opinion, she stinks.

    Quote Originally Posted by FGarza View Post
    2. Instead of trying to fix 1 problem with 6 suggestions, fix 6 problems with one suggestion.
    I like that........

    Our motions may be limited,
    but the applications are not.
    What have I learned from this???

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    Default Re: Your opinion, she stinks.

    Quote Originally Posted by bdparsons View Post
    But then to quote a recent White House occupant... "It depends on what 'is' is."

    For all of the high-brow talk it comes down to a re-phrasing of the question:

    "Is what I'm seeing effective Kenpo?"

    Positing the question in this manner allows for the different flavors of Kenpo while at the same time holding forth for some sort of accountablility to an individuals's claims.

    Respects,
    Bill Parsons
    Triangle Kenpo Institute
    Now that's what I'm talking about. Well said.

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    Default Re: Your opinion, she stinks.

    Quote Originally Posted by FGarza View Post
    Good post...

    I try to follow a couple of simple teaching philosophies that was brought to my attention awhile back:

    1. If you can't point out/see the good, don't point out the bad.

    2. Instead of trying to fix 1 problem with 6 suggestions, fix 6 problems with one suggestion.
    Very good advice sir.

    Quote Originally Posted by bdparsons View Post
    But then to quote a recent White House occupant... "It depends on what 'is' is."

    For all of the high-brow talk it comes down to a re-phrasing of the question:

    "Is what I'm seeing effective Kenpo?"

    Positing the question in this manner allows for the different flavors of Kenpo while at the same time holding forth for some sort of accountablility to an individuals's claims.
    And a most excellent question from you sir.
    Oh my dear Doctor, you have been naive! I am The Master.
    I am The Master, Lord of Time!
    I am The Master, and you, you will obey me.
    Who in the whole galaxy is not my inferior? There is not one creature!

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    Default Re: Your opinion, she stinks.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Master View Post
    Today the subject is kenpo. Another time it might be presidential candidates, but for today’s fire, it shall be the beast known as kenpo.

    First question.
    What is kenpo? This seemingly simple question has a dozen answers. Some will say "Parkers art", others will trace it back to Hawaii, others to Japan or even China. Some will say "Not what X does that is for sure." while others may enter the semantically realm. There is no one answer. There in lies the problem of the following questions.


    Kenpo is an effective means of self-defense and is flexible enough in nature to adapt to the form of fighting prevalent on the streets of today. That's not verbatim from the "Encyclopedia of Kenpo", but it's close. It does not credit any one individual or location for its creation. Having trained in other martial arts, I see similarities all the time. It's simply about "what works" and it doesn't really matter "where" that comes from. "What works" however, is subject to individual interpretation and I think that's where a lot of the arguments come from because what works for me might not necessarily work for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Master
    Second Question.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Master
    Which kenpo is the right one? Someone who trains with Al Tracy might answer that his is right. A Larry Tatum student will point at his and say "his". Some will mention Ed Parker, often times with a reverence usually reserved for Elvis, the Beatles and occasionally God. Others might point at Cerio, or Mitose, or a hundred others. You are right, you are wrong, and you are both. Because the first question is unanswerable, the second becomes incomprehensible.


    The right one is the one that's right for you. One positive thing about the diversity of kenpo is the fact that most people can find a method of learning it that's right for them.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Master
    When one cannot find an answer, one is left with the educated guess, which is more often than not, merely an opinion with some facts behind it.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Master

    Take for example here this person known as Ed Parker. Ed Parker had an opinion. He called it kenpo. When he changed his opinion, he released a new version of his kenpo. Some people liked his opinion, to a greater or lesser amount, and added their own opinions to his. Today, you have dozens of important opinions on kenpo, and you call them by names like Planas and Trejo and Tatum and Mills and whomever.


    ..and if you open yourself up to all those wonderfully unique and educated perspectives and opinions on the art, you just might learn something useful and new!

    Quote Originally Posted by The Master
    Reality however, doesn't care about your opinions. It simply is. By simply ising, it forces itself upon you.


    Only if you allow it. Granted, my opinions are indeed my own and I most likely think them more important than others would. LOL. But then, it goes back to my phiolosophy of using whatever "kenpo" works best for you and your needs and desires. Where that is concerned, the individual opinion plays an important role.

    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]
    Quote Originally Posted by The Master} The human body can only move in so many ways. The combinations are finite. No opinion of the fighting arts however, covers them all. They cannot, for some combinations don't work for everyone. Some don't work at all. Some only work under certain circumstances and at rare occasions. Why?[/FONT

    Because the human body can only move in so many ways. It is limited. It has a finite number of possible movements. Because each of us is different, what our own bodies can do is but a mere subset of what a perfect body could do under optimum conditions. When are conditions ever optimum? So we build our own opinion from the foundations of another’s opinion, grafting in our own limitations and modifying the concepts and theories to perform within our own limitations and limited subset of abilities and capabilities.


    Indeed. Just as there is a finite number of ways one can be attacked. However, the applications of basic kenpo principles is infinite. My opinion on whether a right inward block would be better suited for a defense instead of an inward parry is irrelevent, as long as the pinciples being applied to the defense are sound and in line with the science behind them. A parry may work better for student A while a block would work better for student B depening on such considerations as anatomical and physiological differences.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Master
    In the end, we express our own opinion of kenpo. And regardless of whom we have based our foundation from, we will always fall short, because our subset is not the entirety. Only in a perfect world, which does not exist, could we not fall short in some way.


    That's a matter of opinion. LOL Kenpo, as technical as it is, is still an art and personal expression does play a part. I do agree that regardless of whom we get our basic foundations from, the art will eventually become unique to the individual. But, I've always thought and was taught to "make the kenpo my own."

    Quote Originally Posted by The Master
    Therefore, our opinion, she stinks.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Master

    It may be a big stink or a small stink. In the end however, stink it still does.

    So, worry less about who is right and how many degrees you point your toes at and who teaches 'true' and who teaches 'not true'. Instead, work at de-stinking your opinion and reaching to expand your subset to be closer to that unreachable perfection.
    I may not understand that last part as you meant it. I value all kenpoist opinions as they are opportunities for me to learn something new. We are all victims of paradigm and one way to overcome that is to remain open to others perspectives.

    I also feel that regardless of background, all kenpo shares the same basic principles and they should have our immediate focus at all times.

    I also feel that to strive for perfection only results in disappointment and failure as it is an impossible goal. Instead, I prefer to constantly strive for improvement. To be better than you are tomorrow is an attainable goal and can be verified every day! If I can see improvement in what I do day after day, even to a small degree, then I know my journey is being a productive one.

    My 0.02
    "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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