Disadvantages of Kenpo?

Discussion in 'Kenpo - (EPAK) Ed Parker's American Kenpo Karate S' started by Touch Of Death, Nov 3, 2003.

  1. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    I agree with both people here. I see where Robert is coming from. Yes, it is important to learn the proper form, but I also agree with JD Nelson; you should not have to wait 5 yrs before you learn how to do something effectively. In other words, take the straight punch. While it appears to be very simple, if not applied correctly, the puncher will most likely hurt themselves. However, it is not a punch that is gonna take, like I said, 5 yrs, for the student to learn how to do it effectively.

    I started the arts to learn SD. PERIOD. Sure you get the cardio, weight loss, confidence, etc. from it, but the primary reason was SD. Sure, the more time you put into something, the better you'll be, but within 3 months time, with good instruction, the student should be pretty capable of defending themselves. Call it as Rob said, shake n' bake, but at least I'll know that I can defend myself if needed.

    Mike
     
  2. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    Good point! Maybe thats why I always talk about crosstraining.

    Mike
     
  3. rmcrobertson

    rmcrobertson Guest

    OK, sure. But it isn't simply a question of learning technical skills that takes time. In many ways, the technical skills--as I assume we all know--are simply a means to another end. That takes time.

    And while I appreciate that it isn't just impatience--it's practicality--at play here, I still think that it is the essence of unrealism for nearly everybody in the martial arts to think that after 3 months of average training you should be all good to go....not simply in terms of being able to defend youself against a basic attack or three, but in terms of understanding everything important about the art you're "studying."

    I'd be a lot happier to see people looking for a happy medium than issuing blanket statements about throwing this out or that out--sorry, but it reminds me of Daffy Duck fixing a car engine....

    I still maintain that such claims have a lot more to do with our shake-n'-bake culture than it has to do with improvements in the martial arts.
     
  4. JD_Nelson

    JD_Nelson Green Belt

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    I am in agreement here with you Mr. Robertson. Daffy Duck?!?!?!?! very funny.


    Salute,

    JD
     
  5. Michael Billings

    Michael Billings Senior Master

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    You "quack" me up!!!

    -Michael
     
  6. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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  7. Michael Billings

    Michael Billings Senior Master

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    I think you are just coming from different perspectives with differnt goals. Maybe the goals are even similar, but the timeframes, and expectations or definition of what mastery is, are where you disagree.

    You want quick Self-Defense, get licensed and get a handgun. Krav Maga, OK, if that is what you want. But don't talk to a Kenpo Guy about that being sufficient to defend yourself. After 3 months of anything you may or may not be able to defend yourself (in my opinion, probably NOT), but, and this is a big but, you certainly don't have the seasoning or maturity in the Art to control the level of violence done. You may be able to kill someone (or not), but it would be a huge challenge to modify techniques and graft into a control or contact manipulation.

    Heck, just carry a baseball bat if you want JUST to defend yourself ... but the study of Kenpo is much more involved and informative that mere Self-Defense.

    I know how this post sounds, and I am not trying to sound like Kenpo is the be all or end all. Rather I am saying it is what it is and not for everyone, as is Krav Maga, Hisdiruit, Shotokan, or TKD. Don't make it more or less than it is.

    Doesn't this argument get old guys?

    -Michael
     
  8. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    I understand Roberts argument but I just feel its more faith based than real. Yes I have a different understanding of what a martial artist should know; however, there are certain attacks that may or may not occur on the street, or in the school he teaches for that matter, that he chooses not to verse himself in. And yes I've heard it before, he doesn't ever plan to meet these people, but lets just say he gave the wrong no neck wrestler a D instead of the expected C. You either A. Know the counters and can exploit the gaps. B. Modify Kenpo and manage an eye poke(which won't be there) and work some neat contact manipulation. Or C. Drop the guy like a sack of potatoes before he knows what hit him. C. is the spirit of any missle attack art and would be the best way provided you were ready. B. may or may not happen depending on the skill and tenacity of your opponent, and A. well unfortunantly for some there is no A. :eek:
    Sean
     
  9. Michael Billings

    Michael Billings Senior Master

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    Believe me, I understand. That is my problem with a lot of "other" styles or systems of Martial Arts, especially the closed ones (where you never go to a tournament outside your own schools.)

    It is also applicable to some Kenpo instructors who do not have the grounding in correct applications, or are not flexible enough to work through scenarios like you propose.

    I do not think Larry Tatum falls within this classification. He can "Walk the walk", kenpo-wise. I don't really know Robert, except for on-line. But I know his teacher's skill level. Bring on the grappler and I bet dollars to donuts that Mr. Tatum has a "solution" for the fighting situation. In the meantime, when you are around an instructor as well rounded as Robert's is, you see where you will be, and this inspires confidence in your Art and your teacher.

    He MAY not be able to do it all, which I have seen him admit in his posts, but he knows kenpo guys who are well rounded and can do it. Hence the disagreement, as this may not be your experience.

    Oss,
    -Michael
     
  10. Goldendragon7

    Goldendragon7 Grandmaster

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    This is a Kenpo problem, but also a Martial Arts Problem as well.

    When studying a particular instructor.... are they really what you would call an instructor or just a transmitter of material, the same "material" or curriculum as they were shown?

    :confused:
     
  11. Kenpomachine

    Kenpomachine Guest


    I can't remember the exact quote or the author, but it goes something like you'll need 40% of time to learn 90% of the material, and 60 % of time to learn the resting 10% of material.

    IT means that you learn faster at the beginning, the raw skills/knowledge, but you need a lot more time to learn/polish the material.

    It refered originally to languages, but I feel it applies to the other fields of knowledge.
     
  12. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    Sure, I suppose it all comes down to your teacher. Unfortunately, we all can't live in California and have the privilage of training with Larry Tatum or any of the other top guys for that matter. So, you have to take what hand is dealt to you. If your Inst. only went so far, of course, you will only go as far. If its finding a different Kenpo Inst. or doing another art all together, at least you're doing something. At least you're continuing your knowledge, and that IMO, is what really matters.

    Mike
     
  13. rmcrobertson

    rmcrobertson Guest

    In the first place, I don't expect to EVER, "master the art."

    As for choosing not to verse myself (paraphrase} in this or that, well, I suppose if I get attacked by Dan Severin I'll get both legs handed to me. Oh dear. Good thing that guys like that aren't remotely the problem.

    One of the disadvantages of kenpo--and of contemporary martial arts--is indeed unrealism. But it's unrealism about what we're prepared for....that, "on the street," cliche is killing us, if anything is.

    Some years back, I saw Chuck Norris on--I think it was early Jay Leno. Leno asked him, "So,whaddya think of movie martial artists today? if you fought Jean-Claude Van Damme or Seagal, those guys, what would happen? Could you beat them?"

    Norris said, "Well, I was a professional fighter for years and years."

    Leno said, "Well, yeah, but what's your answer?"

    Norris said, "That WAS my answer."

    There's a moral there for all of us, I think.
     
  14. howardr

    howardr Green Belt

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    I think you are exactly right. I just don't get why people can't see this. Is it the Superman syndrome?

    A decent analogy to your point would be if someone (an average, normal person) expected because they play in a local football club (even assuming some decent contact) a few times a week with their buddies, that they would be capable of taking on even the worst professional football team. They couldn't, and moreoever they shouldn't assume that they need to. The only thing they need to realistically worry about is can they handle a local pickup game with some other non-professionals? The chances that a professional football team will show up at the park and challenge them are about the same chance as winning Powerball - someone's gonna win it somewhere but it ain't gonna be me!
     
  15. JDenz

    JDenz Guest

    biggest disadvantage is listening to you guys argue about it is probley it's biggest disadvantage.
     
  16. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    No one forced you to click on this topic.:shrug:
    Sean:)
     
  17. howardr

    howardr Green Belt

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    I just thought of a related followup to my post.

    If someone is interested solely in self-defense then they should probably get a gun or some pepper spray. Maybe they should take a few months of intensive lessons somewhere. Perhaps, Krav Maga or the like.

    The fact remains that to get very good at an art like Kenpo, it takes practicing multiple hours a week, week after week, month after month for years. Now, when you weigh the actual likely risk that you will be attacked (the sort of attack that would require hundreds or thousands of hours to defend against), which is typically very slight, versus the amount of time most people spend training in arts like Kenpo, that is not a very rational procedure if your goal is merely strict self-defense. In sum: huge investment of time (thousands of hours of your life) for a scenario that will likely never occur. In almost any other endeavour that would be labeled "insanity."

    For instance, say I wanted to learn how to sail a boat for the solitary goal of escaping out of Los Angeles in case of a catastrophic emergency. Yes, I'd spend some weekends, maybe 50 hours learning how to sail. But, would it make sense to go sailing 3 times a week, week after week, for years for the remote chance that I may have to use this skill? Not at all. But, if I love to sail and I get enjoyment out of taming the wind and gliding across the water, etc., then going a few times a week, week after week, completely makes sense.

    Therefore, I don't maintain that it is irrational to spend a good portion of your life learning a martial art, IF there are other goals to this lengthy and time laden pursuit other then mere self-defense. If one wishes to learn an ART, and the various benefits that such a goal fosters, then years of devotion may well make sense. It just depends on the goal. And, frankly, I can't see how for strict self-defense such a time investment is rational.
     
  18. JDenz

    JDenz Guest

    What I mean is almost every thread comes down to a fight over diffrent aspects of the same art. I think that if there is this much disagreement in the whole Kempo community, the share of information must not be that good.
     
  19. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    It isn't, but we all have our reasons. When Huk Planas went and said in Black belt Magazine that Mr. Parker gave most of his black belts "the runaround" and only taught a few the "real" art, camps start to form. What's there to talk about?
    Sean
     
  20. Goldendragon7

    Goldendragon7 Grandmaster

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    Nor should anyone else.

    I don't think that unrealism is really a good term to use.

    I think of the age of Sparta.... where there were many a soldier that could wield a sword, yet some didn't make it past the first few seconds of battle where as, others went on to become true warriors.

    I think the problem today is..... there is NO REAL BATTLEFIELD to TEST what we learn!!

    We are warriors that have no battle to go to. So, many become "legends in their own minds". :)

    Tournaments do help a bit but yet not the end all by any means. Besides, the reasons for taking any of the martial arts are quite varied by the individual. Many do make great accomplishments within themselves regardless of their fighting abilities.

    All in what the individual is after. The problem I have is when, all these paper tigers (which usually have big mouths) want to be recognized equally with those that HAVE been to the mountain.

    :asian:123
     

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