Changing or Developing your own Art.....

Discussion in 'Kenpo - (EPAK) Ed Parker's American Kenpo Karate S' started by Goldendragon7, Jun 19, 2004.

  1. Goldendragon7

    Goldendragon7 Grandmaster

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    Many discussions have been started regarding those that have started new "systems" and defending their positions with such statements as "[font=Verdana, Times New Roman, Helvetica]Take what works and leave the rest." Some even go as far as stating ... "That's what Chow, Emperado, and Parker did".

    Well, I hate to break it to ya's ...... but that's NOT what these men did (first off it was Bruce Lee that made that statement)!

    K.S. Chow was a well known and documented "fighter" prior and after any possible influence from Mitose. Chow was a hard core physical trainer (that was one of his "secrets"), which in those days was the only way to get tough. He also was extremely fast which meant he was in tune with physical alignments and such.

    A. Emperado was one that survived that training, but also saw the benefits of "blending" or cross training which went on to become the basis for Ka Ju Ken Bo. (Karate Judo, Kenpo Boxing). Utilizing the basic rigorous training of Chows but yet expanding upon other aspects of physical combat.

    Ed Parker came up under the same training as Emperado under Chow, but took a slightly different approach. Rather than blending several different arts, he re-structured/engineered from the basics up...an entire system!

    Sure, I know basics are generically basics but Ed Parker (at the time) re-defined and/or the methods of execution of these basics as well as organizing/creating new material into a logical, pragmatic and systematized curriculum complete with unique self defense techniques, forms, sets, freestyle exercises, and a host of other "drills" to teach, train, and engrain the system so that ultimately we can formulate on the spot or react extemporaneously when necessary.

    I can site many new areas of Kenpo that have come about post 50's!

    Today these so called "New System Developers" are not even coming close to developing a new system, but rather merely changing the names or orders of already established material (much of which they most likely don't understand in depth anyway) and/or deleting critical portions of the Art due to their lack of knowledge and understanding.

    To place themselves on the same level as these proven Individuals is just plain wrong. Give credit where credit is due, at least say that this is your "version" of a system based upon XYZ's work.

    Just my point of view......
    [/font][font=Verdana, Times New Roman, Helvetica]

    :asian:


    [/font]
     
  2. dubljay

    dubljay Master of Arts

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    I agree with you goldendragon7. I believe it was 'Huk' Planas that said there are no "new" moves only different ending variations. Meaning there are only a certain number of ways you can enter into a defense against a kick, punch, grab, or any attack.

    Any cutting of material will most likely violate the rules and principles of AK, i.e. economy of motion or the 180 principle (one hand guarding high/low, left/right, in/out ect.) Through extensive practice you may be able to get it to work efectivally for you, however if you teach it to someone else it may not fit their body mechanics and leave them open to get hurt.

    This is why tayloring is a big part of AK, there is the basic "book" version of a technique, however when it comes time to practice it on a body you may have to adjust weapons and targest to fit your opponent and yourself.

    Thats my opinion and I could be wrong.

    -Josh-
     
  3. pete

    pete Master Black Belt

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    come on, that's the same kind of traditionalist nonsense that keeps artists of a different medium from proper recognition (and standard of living) while they are alive. keep an open mind and be more accepting of change and innovation, even if slight or subtle, you may find something rewarding...

    yep, everybody's got one... :)
     
  4. Goldendragon7

    Goldendragon7 Grandmaster

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    LOL, well if its nonsense to you....... have fun in your trough.

    I beg to differ. Artists and true practitioners can and do receive credit for what they discover or develop but when it comes to cashing in on someone else's prior ideas or work, that's a different matter altogether.

    LOL, well since you probably don't know me........ I do have an open mind, except when it comes to false statements and false promoting of ones self at others expense. Innovation whether slight or subtle is a good thing but remember your roots and where you came from and give credit where credit is due then take off on your pony from there.


    :asian:
     
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  5. Michael Billings

    Michael Billings Senior Master

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    Good point! I went to a seminar and the instructor was teaching "his own" drills, unique to himself ... funny, I have seen them elsewhere, just slightly rearranged.

    Ah well ... to each his own. Is that what makes a system new or unique?

    -Michael
     
  6. RCastillo

    RCastillo Guest

    I hate to agree with the "High Kenpo Icon of The Desert" but what else can someone do? The wheel cannot be reinvented, just improved. But even then some think the wheel is outdated, and it aint. :idunno:
     
  7. Goldendragon7

    Goldendragon7 Grandmaster

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    Why is that such a bad thing..........LOL {who loves ya baby}:)

    Actually, quite a lot. Learn the base system, basics, forms, sets, concepts principles, (all the Kenpo Tools) and then expand upon the ideal with the what if, ....... pass on this treasure to the next generation minus all the political nonsense (historically explain truthfully how and why things happened however) and you have done a great service to Kenpo.

    Zackly!!!!!!!! There is no need to re-invent anything that is well done. To learn American Kenpo correctly to a high degree of understanding and skill are just Polish to the already well engineered wheel.

    Well, that would depend on exactly what version of the "Wheel" you are talking about. :)

    Some are wagon wheels, yet others are steel rims, depends on what era of wheel you are discussing. Keeping in mind however, both are useful and have a purpose.

    :asian:
     
  8. Seig

    Seig Grandmaster

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    Mr C et al.,

    I think the problem goes even deeper than that. In the past 10 years or so, the internet has become more prolific than ever. Just 10 years ago, someone could claim to create something that they did not, or to have trained with someone they did not, and it was difficult to prove or disprove their claims.
    Many of the people doing these things have either delusions of grandeur, or believe the public to be stupid. On the latter, I tend to agree with them. However, stupidity is often confused with ignorance.
    As we all know, motion is supposed to be fluid and dynamic, and there are a finite number of ways a human being can move. There is not a finite number of ways a human can think or train. As I have been told many times, regardless of what you train in, that's what you are doing, training. Hopefully you are being trained to move and think correctly.
    In our curriculum there is most usually a spot in a drill sequence that says, "innovate". That is training to think, and conceivably come up with a new drill or idea. Being able to come up with new ideas or drills based solely on someone else's work is not innovating a new art.
     
  9. Michael Billings

    Michael Billings Senior Master

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    Even when I think I have found something "new", or fit and teach it in a paradigm that is a bit different from anything I have heard before, I cannot imagine that the material itself is new, not with thousands of years of martial arts in the world. Maybe some things are "rediscovered", but I doubt that even. Probably somewhere in the world, someone is practicing or teaching what you are, maybe with a twist, maybe not. That is one of the many tragic problems since Mr. Parker's death ... we have lost the C & C (Command and Control) for Kenpo. Even if Mr. Parker was no longer teaching something, he was probably aware of what was being taught, where, and by whom ... even if he had moved on.

    It's all a conundrum to me. Just keep on practicing and challenging yourself to continue the intellectual side with the physical, not that you have to, but that is a part of Mr. Parker's art.

    -Michael
     
  10. Brother John

    Brother John Senior Master

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    Who do you think these "New System Developers" that don't give credit where credit is due are?
    Just curious as to what touched off this opinion thread again. Seems to be a topic you feel strongly about.

    Your Brother
    John
     
  11. Goldendragon7

    Goldendragon7 Grandmaster

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    Go back and read the very first post to the thread.

    :)
     
  12. pete

    pete Master Black Belt

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    LOL! i know not of these troughs of which you speak, perhaps you can elaborate from your experience...

    nor you, i! (LOL again, man are we having some fun!)

    Well, then you'd probably notice some good people doing some good things today, just as parker, chow, lee did 30-40 years ago. these gentlemen you mentioned, as great and well respected as they may have been, are but points on a continuum which started long before their existence and goes on after their time on this earth is through.

    i must say that i wholeheartedly agree with your point about remembering your roots and giving credit where due. without that, there is a lack of integrity, humility, and credibility.

    i continue to train in american kenpo, and respect the life's work of ed parker, who interestingly enough published infinite insights series without a bibliography or cited works, and short on references to his sources of information. but, i trust mr parker's integrity, humility and credibility and contend that his flame will burn even brighter as new masters further develop the art of kenpo... and the continuum continues...

    pete.
     
  13. Rainman

    Rainman Guest

    Well, that is a tough call... I see these things happening (just picked up a new mag) and I don't know what to think. I like what the guys do with the sport aspect of the full contact realm. I would like to say that self defence has room for growth but I believe it is individual growth and that the systems of Kaju, AK, and that of Chow are really pretty damn good arts. The thing is is finding the talented teachers. Mr. Rainey and my teacher Sumdumguy really enlightened me this weekend. I also saw clips of
    Tommy Chavies, Doc Chapel and Steve Mohamed... These guys are sooooo good. I mean jesus- visit them and get better. They all teach AK, none of them renamed their perspectives, it is Kenpo to them as far as I know. Concepts, theories and principles allow an idividual to do some amazing things as far as AK goes.

    I dunno, I also met Mr. Dave Thompson... I was really impressed at what a smooth teacher he is. These people are so different but still share the common bonds of AK. A real eye opener for me. If these gentlemen don't need to rename what they do why does anyone else?

    I would also like to say congratulations to my little brother Mr. Hagler who was tested and promoted to 1st degree black belt on June 19th in Boney Lake WA. :partyon:
     
  14. alphamartial

    alphamartial Guest

    Hi,

    Do you have any contact info for the school in Bonney Lake, WA? I'm in Seattle and am always interested in finding good Kenpo people nearby.

    Thanks in advance,
    Chris H.

    PS: Congrats to your little brother!
     
  15. Brother John

    Brother John Senior Master

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    I did and it didn't say who you feel these people are. That's why I was asking.
    What did I overlook in that first post?
    Thanks

    Your Brother
    John
     
  16. sumdumguy

    sumdumguy Green Belt

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    There are some very good points on this post.
    Mr. C I have to agree with you first off, but you didn't mention anyone? Not that it matters to me... I can probably guess a couple of people and will do good to keep that to myself...

    Just because someone is doing great things in the "Kenpo" system, doesn't mean that they are creating anything new. I believe Mr. Billing and Mr. C. already stated that though.

    In addition to Congratulating Mr. Hagler on his promotion to Black Belt, I would also like to say Congratulations to "Rainman" on his belt level promotion.

    There are many people doing many great things in the arts, not just kenpo, we can call them innovative or creative or what ever we like. The reality is, until they design and create a system from the ground up minus the familiar sequences, katas, and drills of the "original" system they study, there is no "new" system. Just innovations and re-discoveries of things forgotten, or overlooked previousley.
    just my humble opinion. :asian:

    p.s. pm me for BonneyLake location.
     
  17. Goldendragon7

    Goldendragon7 Grandmaster

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    No I didn't and won't. That is not the point. They know who they are. It's just the fact that those that herald themselves as founders, act as if they created their material... when in fact if you look a little closer, you will find that not to be the case. That's all.

    Yes, I agree. Expansion of base material {and yes I realize that there are quite a few, doing many good things} is always welcomed and applauded but that's not what I'm referring to. :)


    And ..... Yes, Congratulations to Mr. Hagler and to "Rainman" on their promotions. :asian:
     
  18. sumdumguy

    sumdumguy Green Belt

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    Didn't you read the part were I said " I agree with you"? The rest of it was just babbling on my part and not really meant to be for you....
    HMMM?
     
  19. Goldendragon7

    Goldendragon7 Grandmaster

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    LOL, yes I saw that, not contesting any of what you said just expanding on it a bit more...... I didn't take it as a slight from you in any way:)

    :asian:
     
  20. Kembudo-Kai Kempoka

    Kembudo-Kai Kempoka Senior Master

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    GD7...

    When I do teach, I teach an amalgamation of Kenpo (& a couple offshoots), Japanese Judo & Jujutsu, BJJ, JKD modified kick-boxing, and Thai. I don't claim it as my invention, or as anythig new. In fact, I'll make it a point to say, "this is from AK"...or..."this is from Judo", etc.

    I haven't magically conferred a new rank on myself (although Dr. Dave, Super-Master does have a unique ring to it), nor do I claim to be the fountainhead of all knowledge from which this information sprung. Just the source for this class, citing references as I go (old habit from too many research papers).

    Am I, by not being a purist, one of the reprehensible founders, or merely someone sharing what he's learned along the way, to the best of his limited ability to recall it? (a diminished capacity to which I also frequently admit to students).

    I'm not saying this to be antagonistic, btw. Just wondering if I managed to become one of "them" when I wasn't looking.

    Regards,

    Dave
     

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