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Thread: Has anyone here adapted their kenpo for attack?

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    Default Has anyone here adapted their kenpo for attack?

    One of the things I noticed about Kenpo way back in 1970 was that is was mostly defensive in nature.

    And then I read Dr. Yang and noticed he said the same thing about the Chinese arts, mostly defensive, and he gave his reasons why that was so.

    So, being defensive is NOT productive for winning.

    Attacking in productive for winning.

    So what I did 37 years ago was to add an attack variation to every self-defense waza.

    I'm wondering if anyone else has done that...

    ... and if they have done that, what specifically have they done.

    For example, "Mace of Fury" is orginally a defense against a straight right punch to the head...

    So the variation is...

    ...you are at distance 4...

    ...you push-step in and do a right verticle punch to the nose...

    ...a right reverse punch to the solar-plexus

    ...a left single point, and then a right step-through front kick to his belly...

    ...then a step forward and a left 1/2 punch to his floating ribs (if available), or another target like the solar plexus.

    Since this is a very low rank waza we kept it very simple, but still massively effective.

    What are your attack variations?
    DOC

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    Default Re: Has anyone here adapted their kenpo for attack?

    of course.
    It's a common practice once a student is advanced.
    It's not something for the lower belts, I believe.

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    Default Re: Has anyone here adapted their kenpo for attack?

    Good thread, Doc!
    I was wondering if anyone had addressed this...
    I look forward to reading other peoples posts on this subject...

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    Default Re: Has anyone here adapted their kenpo for attack?

    Not totally off topic here but, at a Mike Pick seminar I notice that they "Cover" into the "Enemy" rather than away. Its good to know both methods I suppose. As for the topic, I think the Offensive Techs and the foot maneuvers taught help us attack reluctant opponents that try to avoid the defensive gestures of our defensive techniques. LOL
    Sean

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    Default Re: Has anyone here adapted their kenpo for attack?

    Good thread.

    I completely agree with teaching students to take the offense when needed. And adapting your known techniques or preferred methods for the attack are a good thing.

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    Default Re: Has anyone here adapted their kenpo for attack?

    Put simply, techniques are tools for learning. "Self defense" is a way of life, not a tactic necessarily. If your situation demands that you attack, then attack. I consider my kenpo to be a sequence of basics, not a sequence of "self defense techniques". Kenpo responds by attacking. Techniques are initially defensive as part of the framework for learning and applying basics against a variety of situations.

    From this perspective, kenpo is not "defensive" at all, its the resulting action from a lifestyle of wanting to protect one's own peace (a defensive way of living). There's no such thing as a defensive gun, a defensive US Marine, a defensive knife, or a defensive Tomahawk missle. They're aggressive, dominating, and violent responses deemed appropriate for whatever circumstance. Kenpo is no different in my mind.

    This should make a good subject, glad you posted it. Look forward to more.

    Steven Brown
    UKF

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    Default Re: Has anyone here adapted their kenpo for attack?

    Some of the Hawaiian Kempo/Kenpo schools took an idea from the pages of Kajukenbo, and include what are called "Street Sets", or "Attack Sets". These are offensive combinations that are drilled and tested just as often and dilligently as Self-Defense techs.

    The old Kembudo-Kai syllabus I helped write has 10 to 15 Attack Sets for each belt, starting at white. We also pieced together "technique forms" incorporating the best of them, akin to the tech forms in kenpo.

    I think we should have some good combos and supportive footwork waiting at the ready, in the wings. You never know when you'll need to initiate action, instead of respond to it. It's often argued that the self-defense part of a technique ends at the block, and while this is true, how many ever practice lunging in with the remainder of any techniques as an attack technique? A boxer can use the Jab-Cross-Hook-Uppercut combo as defense or offense. Defensively, if he covers up or checks off the opponents move, then fires his combo. Offensively if he slides in with the jab, then unleashes the rest once in range.

    When's the last time anyone here practiced charging an uke who has his hands up with the stirke series from Five Swords or Hooking Wings, instead of waiting for someone to come and get you?

    Sun Tzu wrote in the Wu Ching (Art of War), "Invincibility lies in defense, but SUCCESS lies in ATTACK."

    D.
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    Default Re: Has anyone here adapted their kenpo for attack?

    Something I like toying with is doing "Mace of Aggression" as an attack:
    when you step forward your left hand doesn't "pin" anything but is a checking hand at the sternum level. The first thing I do is prefix a low front ball kick as I'm stepping in, as any kick is merely an exaggerated step anyway. This helps to direct their attention down and to the front. The inward raking back knuckle strike then becomes more of an elongated circle, hammer-fist to their temple or jaw. That shot is easily blocked IF their hands are up, but when they do so the inward elbow the follows soon after can either clear their arms out of the way (painfully) or the left hand that's been checking can grab/pull them into the two elbow shots.

    It's nothing 'perfected', but it's an idea of mine.

    Attacking Mace is another that I LOVE to convert in this way!! Works pretty darn well too.

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    Default Re: Has anyone here adapted their kenpo for attack?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dave in da house View Post

    When's the last time anyone here practiced charging an uke who has his hands up with the stirke series from Five Swords or Hooking Wings, instead of waiting for someone to come and get you?
    Good question. We work with Sticky Hands (initially learned as Sets) that serves to tie up, control, and dominate the arms and torso as we move in for spinal control. It operates from a common platform we use for all of our upper body motions, and provides a very functional basis for sponteneity through the stages of contact penetration, impact manipulation, contact manipulation, and maintenace. There's just way too much variability to attempt to pin a technique to attacking someone with their defenses up and really ready to take you on, no use in trying. Additionally, attempting sponteneity under conditions of stressful chaos while operating from a highly variable platform (e.g. having little to no engrained commonality between techniques) can set the stage for disaster. So, our response is to operate from this simple platform which is much more conducive to innovation under stress.

    For me, its really the foot work that defines the nature of the engagement. Ultimately, we must be proactive and attacking, and this is particularly true in multiple assailant situations. The legs form are the propulsion system, steering mechanisms, and basis for stability all at the same time. The lessons learned from Sticky Hands will allow one to attack all the way to the spinal ring, cancel dimensions, and execute the fundamental motions from the rest of the Sets (which, for us anyway, are the basis for the rest of the system. upper body anyway) as needed.

    As to your example, how might one then actually get Delayed Sword off with a boxer?. First off, you just plain won't, not as written. But rather than thinking "Five Swords" as a tactic, one might think / act "remove the weapons", "disrupt the base", and "get to the inside", and not necessarily in that order. From one perspective, Five Swords is nothing more than particular sequence of strikes, checks, and power sources done in the inside of the body.

    Great topic. Look forward to more.

    Steven Brown
    UKF

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    Default Re: Has anyone here adapted their kenpo for attack?

    I've said it before on numerous occasions...if you are being threatened and you not only allow the threat to get to close but wait for an attack...you deserve what you get.

    Action is faster than reaction. There are things you can do to try to level the playing field once action starts, but it's always better to strike first IMHO. That is, when it would appear an attack is evident.

    I would be extremely interested in seeing a technical breakdown of some of these Attack Sets mentioned by Dr. Dave in da House.
    "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: Has anyone here adapted their kenpo for attack?

    Quote Originally Posted by bujuts View Post
    Good question. We work with Sticky Hands (initially learned as Sets) that serves to tie up, control, and dominate the arms and torso as we move in for spinal control. It operates from a common platform we use for all of our upper body motions, and provides a very functional basis for sponteneity through the stages of contact penetration, impact manipulation, contact manipulation, and maintenace. There's just way too much variability to attempt to pin a technique to attacking someone with their defenses up and really ready to take you on, no use in trying. Additionally, attempting sponteneity under conditions of stressful chaos while operating from a highly variable platform (e.g. having little to no engrained commonality between techniques) can set the stage for disaster. So, our response is to operate from this simple platform which is much more conducive to innovation under stress.

    For me, its really the foot work that defines the nature of the engagement. Ultimately, we must be proactive and attacking, and this is particularly true in multiple assailant situations. The legs form are the propulsion system, steering mechanisms, and basis for stability all at the same time. The lessons learned from Sticky Hands will allow one to attack all the way to the spinal ring, cancel dimensions, and execute the fundamental motions from the rest of the Sets (which, for us anyway, are the basis for the rest of the system. upper body anyway) as needed.

    As to your example, how might one then actually get Delayed Sword off with a boxer?. First off, you just plain won't, not as written. But rather than thinking "Five Swords" as a tactic, one might think / act "remove the weapons", "disrupt the base", and "get to the inside", and not necessarily in that order. From one perspective, Five Swords is nothing more than particular sequence of strikes, checks, and power sources done in the inside of the body.

    Great topic. Look forward to more.

    Steven Brown
    UKF
    Nice discussion, Mr. Brown. Thanks for the prompt.

    Turning DS into an attack tech...procedurally, the inward block engages the lead hand of da udder guy. Depending on who does it how, either as a block below the elbow, or as a hammerfist to the shoulder. One of the main ideas of the block is that it cancels out their right lead weapon.

    If that's the function of the opening of DS, that same function can be achieved against a static or bouncing opponent in a stance in front of you by reaching out with your left hand, and applying a downward-forward slapping pinning check thingy....pin his right lead against his own body, as in the freestyle combinations in AK. Time that as simultaneous with a pull-drag lead roundhouse to the inside of their lead thigh or to their groin or pelvis, and land forward with the handsword (MOG, & all that). Or, if you wish to maintain using the lead hand as an initial action, slap his right with yours to check it, replace your right with your left, and continue with the advancing kick and subsequent chop.

    Five swords has buried in it a karate version of the body sequencing used by a boxer in a "Lead Jab-Rear Cross-Lead Uppercut" combo...we just use a chop, palm heel, and uppercut instead (depending on lineage). The hammering inward block can just as easily become a raking hammerfist to a bowed-up opponent. Hammerfist does a figure-8 return trip to a chop or backnuckle, followed by palm-heel, etc. Stepping up the circle constitutes an offensive angle change that changes initial target location on him as he preps an answer to the first half of our 5S-esque volley...he starts to launch blows at where we were, but stepping up the circle places us somewhere else...make him work at tracking us...akin to a boxer slipping in or out of tie-up range on a lateral line.

    Better still, I like the idea of grafting boxing combinations to snippets of Master Key combo's and foot-maneuvers, plus some kicks. As a hint of what we did with KBK. Add

    D.
    Last edited by Dr. Dave in da house; 08-16-2007 at 08:31 PM.
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    Default Re: Has anyone here adapted their kenpo for attack?

    The equation formula plays nicely into this. Further to the discussion of Delayed Sword, we were playing with this just last night in class. As was mentioned by Dr. Dave, the block could be used as an attack to neutralize the lead arm (altering the weapon and regulating the intent)... or perhaps we could start the technique with the front kick instead (deleting the block).

    We also tried suffixing by throwing an right upper elbow to the chin after the chop, then bringing that same arm over the opponent's elbow to lock it in for an arm break. Fun stuff.
    "Your kung fu's no good..."
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    Default Re: Has anyone here adapted their kenpo for attack?

    Quote Originally Posted by John M. La Tourrette View Post
    One of the things I noticed about Kenpo way back in 1970 was that is was mostly defensive in nature.

    And then I read Dr. Yang and noticed he said the same thing about the Chinese arts, mostly defensive, and he gave his reasons why that was so.

    So, being defensive is NOT productive for winning.

    Attacking in productive for winning.

    So what I did 37 years ago was to add an attack variation to every self-defense waza.

    I'm wondering if anyone else has done that...

    ... and if they have done that, what specifically have they done.

    For example, "Mace of Fury" is orginally a defense against a straight right punch to the head...

    So the variation is...

    ...you are at distance 4...

    ...you push-step in and do a right verticle punch to the nose...

    ...a right reverse punch to the solar-plexus

    ...a left single point, and then a right step-through front kick to his belly...

    ...then a step forward and a left 1/2 punch to his floating ribs (if available), or another target like the solar plexus.

    Since this is a very low rank waza we kept it very simple, but still massively effective.

    What are your attack variations?
    DOC
    Then the second thing I did was add in 4 attack sequences for sparring that were also effective for street fighting.

    That used Path of Aggression.

    That used the FASTEST hand combinations.

    That used the FASTEST closing gaps.

    That initially shot from distances 4 and 5, depending on how you set them up.

    That used hand movements with foot movements in that order.

    I called them.

    1. Leopard Movement.

    2. Dragon Movement.

    4. Snake Movement.

    5. The Crane.

    We still use them today, 37 years later, and they still work real well.

    DOC JOHN

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    Default Re: Has anyone here adapted their kenpo for attack?

    Quote Originally Posted by nelson View Post
    Dear Dr. John:

    I've always favored a left jab straight right hand combination from a left lead 3/4 fighting stance. A good followup with a left leading roundhouse kick to the midsection or a scoop kick works nice depending on your opponents body position after you land the combination punches.

    From a right 3/4 fighting stance I like grabbing the left leading hand of my opponent with my right and following up with a side thrust kick to the ribs.
    If done properly your next moves will be done to an opponent who is lying on the ground. For an effective ground strike I like well focused straight stomp kicks to the groin. A downward punch block works well to neutralize any defensive blocking kicks thrown up by your opponent.

    A back hand grab to your opponents lead hand followed by a front hand backnuckle combination also works well. A low side snap kick to the knee is also a favorite of mine.

    Nelson
    I love your 3 different set-ups.
    Thank you for sharing.

    DOC JOHN

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    Default Re: Has anyone here adapted their kenpo for attack?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother John View Post
    of course.
    It's a common practice once a student is advanced.
    It's not something for the lower belts, I believe.
    Hunnn?

    Common?

    Not in any of the hundreds of schools I've been to.

    Since it's common, what are 3 of the best ones that you've intuitively done?

    DOC JOHN

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    Default Re: Has anyone here adapted their kenpo for attack?

    Quote Originally Posted by Black St1300 View Post
    Good thread, Doc!
    I was wondering if anyone had addressed this...
    I look forward to reading other peoples posts on this subject...
    So am I.
    Sincerely,
    DOC JOHN

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    Default Re: Has anyone here adapted their kenpo for attack?

    Quote Originally Posted by KenpoChanger View Post
    Not totally off topic here but, at a Mike Pick seminar I notice that they "Cover" into the "Enemy" rather than away. Its good to know both methods I suppose. As for the topic, I think the Offensive Techs and the foot maneuvers taught help us attack reluctant opponents that try to avoid the defensive gestures of our defensive techniques. LOLSean
    I love covert attacks from non-assuming positions.

    I also love FAST direct attacks (combinations) to those that cannot move because they were incorrectly taught to fight flat footed.

    Thank you Sean.

    DOC JOHN

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    Default Re: Has anyone here adapted their kenpo for attack?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenpo-Owl View Post
    Good thread.

    I completely agree with teaching students to take the offense when needed. And adapting your known techniques or preferred methods for the attack are a good thing.
    Cool.

    How specifically do you do that?

    For example, right now some of my clients want the mat stuff, so I'm integrating that type of take down and mat work into the regular attack sequences.

    So after doing the first 4 hits of a 5 Swords (no blocks), then do a kubi Nage and throw them to the ground. As they hit get them into a right arm lock until they tap out.

    NOT something that interests me, but is FUN for my students and black belts.

    DOC JOHN

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    Default Re: Has anyone here adapted their kenpo for attack?

    Quote Originally Posted by bujuts View Post
    Put simply, techniques are tools for learning. "Self defense" is a way of life, not a tactic necessarily. If your situation demands that you attack, then attack. I consider my kenpo to be a sequence of basics, not a sequence of "self defense techniques". Kenpo responds by attacking. Techniques are initially defensive as part of the framework for learning and applying basics against a variety of situations.

    From this perspective, kenpo is not "defensive" at all, its the resulting action from a lifestyle of wanting to protect one's own peace (a defensive way of living). There's no such thing as a defensive gun, a defensive US Marine, a defensive knife, or a defensive Tomahawk missle. They're aggressive, dominating, and violent responses deemed appropriate for whatever circumstance. Kenpo is no different in my mind.
    I liked your post even though my definition is more a Webster's definition instead of a private definition.

    It keeps my students out of jail when they know the difference.

    As far as basics go, I agree...

    ...and I still adhere to the fact that AFTER learning basics, tactics must be learned with those basics.

    Those tactics with a waza are called techniques.

    Those Waza's need to be developed to 4th level competency, which does presuppose that the basics of those Waza's are also developed to 4th level competency.

    I talked earlier about the 4 Attack Waza that I developed.

    Well, in those 4 Attack Waza are literally 50 techniques that can be done that are triggered by conscious choice, by unconscious reactions to targets, distancing, and the opponent's attitude.

    Fun stuff.

    Thank you.

    DOC JOHN

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    Default Re: Has anyone here adapted their kenpo for attack?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dave in da house View Post
    Sun Tzu wrote in the Wu Ching (Art of War), "Invincibility lies in defense, but SUCCESS lies in ATTACK."
    I loved your post.

    And I'd love to have that manual.

    I do have a question about Sun Tzu. I thought his book was called The Ping Fa?

    DOC JOHN

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