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Thread: Western thought and your training

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    Default Western thought and your training

    In another thread here, the topic of Western thought came to the surface.

    Parker Kenpo isn't known for incorporating a lot of Eastern symbolism or concepts...however some of the other lineages of Kenpo/Kempo incorporate more of it.

    So....what does Western thought mean to you, and your training?

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    Default Re: Western thought and your training

    To me the salutation is enough of an acknowlegement to our roots, Students come to me to learn how to defend themselves not to be immersed in a foreign culture. If they are looking for that I help them find a school that will best fill their needs.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: Western thought and your training

    Great question!
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    Michael Huffman
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    Default Re: Western thought and your training

    We recently converted from all eastern signs and now do contemporary western gang signs and symbols...

    I have always felt that when what is said in the east is also said in the west then that is where truth resides. There really is alot in common if only one looks.

    Personally, my students do not bow/salute any foreign flag. Nor do I have an altar.

    The metaphors of the east and west, although different, often transmit the same wisdom. The eastern metaphors are just more difficult for western students to comprehend. We're also completely dependant upon good and accurate translations.

    Jim

    Jim

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    Default Re: Western thought and your training

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Broad View Post
    To me the salutation is enough of an acknowlegement to our roots, Students come to me to learn how to defend themselves not to be immersed in a foreign culture. If they are looking for that I help them find a school that will best fill their needs.
    I've never actually been in a school of any kind that tried to heavily push a foreign culture. Any of the Asian-based arts I have trained have only been focused on training, and nobody was trying to push any kind of eastern culture or agenda. If there are schools out there that do so, I just haven't seen them.

    The one exception that I do see is capoeira, where there is often a heavy influence of Brazilian and Afro-Brazilian culture. I think that's one art that is kind of unique in that it's pretty hard to separate it from those. It's possible to play to the cultural side more or less if a teacher desires, but I think the cultural aspects are more tightly woven in capoeira.
    Michael


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    Default Re: Western thought and your training

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hanna View Post
    We recently converted from all eastern signs and now do contemporary western gang signs and symbols...
    ROFLMAO!
    ROFLMAO!
    ROFLMAO!

    I have always felt that when what is said in the east is also said in the west then that is where truth resides. There really is alot in common if only one looks.

    Personally, my students do not bow/salute any foreign flag. Nor do I have an altar.

    The metaphors of the east and west, although different, often transmit the same wisdom. The eastern metaphors are just more difficult for western students to comprehend. We're also completely dependant upon good and accurate translations.

    Jim

    Jim
    Good point, Mr. Hanna.

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    Default Re: Western thought and your training

    I think that it can be very useful to gain a better understanding of a thing by looking deeper into it's roots and the environment it originated w/in. There ARE plenty of things in American Kenpo that you could draw a direct line back to an Asian way of thinking. Sure: it's not Nearly as replete with them as some of 'traditional' martial arts....but sometimes they can get to be an anachronism.

    I don't generally think in terms of where a paradigm came from so much as what it is and how can I best apply it. That's where I find it's worth. NOT in where it came from, but by how useful I find it in improving my knowledge, understanding or skill in what I want to accomplish.

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    Default Re: Western thought and your training

    it would be as if the Beatles never listened to Chuck Berry, or U2 never listened to the Beatles, or ...

    for every 8 students who come in to learn to defend themselves or get a little exercise, 1 may emerge as a Martial Artist. its good to know there are schools that true students of the art can go to carry it forward.

    funny how you can never tell who that 1 will be... until it happens.

    pete
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    Default Re: Western thought and your training

    Quote Originally Posted by flying crane View Post
    I've never actually been in a school of any kind that tried to heavily push a foreign culture. Any of the Asian-based arts I have trained have only been focused on training, and nobody was trying to push any kind of eastern culture or agenda. If there are schools out there that do so, I just haven't seen them.

    The one exception that I do see is capoeira, where there is often a heavy influence of Brazilian and Afro-Brazilian culture. I think that's one art that is kind of unique in that it's pretty hard to separate it from those. It's possible to play to the cultural side more or less if a teacher desires, but I think the cultural aspects are more tightly woven in capoeira.
    I attended a Shorin Ryu school where english on the floor was begging for push ups, we bowed in in kneeling position to a picture of the head of the association, all counting was done in Okinawan, all basics were called out in Okinawan, everyone's uniform was bundled to go too and from class. On the street if you saw the instructor he expected a bow and to be addressed as Sensei. There was meditation in seiza every night, and so much more. There is also a Tae Kwon Do school near me that they only speak Korean for everything, all counting, terminology, etc... There are a lot of traditional schools out there that demand the student learn the parent language, and adhere to all of their customs.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: Western thought and your training

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Broad View Post
    I attended a Shorin Ryu school where english on the floor was begging for push ups, we bowed in in kneeling position to a picture of the head of the association, all counting was done in Okinawan, all basics were called out in Okinawan, everyone's uniform was bundled to go too and from class. On the street if you saw the instructor he expected a bow and to be addressed as Sensei. There was meditation in seiza every night, and so much more. There is also a Tae Kwon Do school near me that they only speak Korean for everything, all counting, terminology, etc... There are a lot of traditional schools out there that demand the student learn the parent language, and adhere to all of their customs.
    wow, i've heard people talk about these kinds of schools, but I've never actually seen it.
    Michael


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    Default Re: Western thought and your training

    Well Kara-Ho kempo does many of these things:

    You do not wear your belt outside the school, same for a full inform- the thought is that you could get more "flack" from folks if you are all belted up at the grocery store or something. Besides

    We bow in and pay respects to our founder and Grandmaster at every class

    We meditate in seiza to begin every class

    My instructor counts in Japanese but that is not the norm.

    We always address each other as Sensei, Shihan or Grandmaster, no matter where we are and we pay respects to one another upon meeting, also no matter where this happens, also upon departure. (it is typically a hand-shake and a half-hug so it is nothing that looks unusual) We do not turn this all off like a light-switch when class is over.

    My first day in the Police Academy one of our Kara-Ho instructors (former USMC Sgt. Major/ Recon and already a Police Officer) came in to talk to us since he was the #1 graduate at that academy previously, and when I saw who he was- I got up, walked to the front of the class and paid respects to him. Orientation day is stressful and everyone including the tac. officers probably thought I was weird but so what.

    That is how we roll

    Cheers everyone-
    The above is just my opinion.

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    Default Re: Western thought and your training

    I was taught Kenpo without learning to count in another language, or refer to terms in another tongue. Had I wanted to learn a language I would have took language classes. I wanted to learn self defense not oriental culture. The way I was taught allowed me to get to the business at hand as quickly as possible. I still teach my classes using English terms and concepts, it seems to works as well for my students as it did for me. Its kind of like eating Chinese food with fork and spoon rather than chopsticks! You get satisfied much more rapidly.

    Kenpo Gary

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