Help With Rear Chicken Kicks

Discussion in 'Kenpo - (EPAK) Ed Parker's American Kenpo Karate S' started by Jeff Harvey, Dec 2, 2007.

  1. Jeff Harvey

    Jeff Harvey White Belt

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    I'm a purple belt studying for my Blue and I've hit a bit of a snag. When learning Snaking Talon, I had some serious problems with the rear chicken kicks at the end of the technique and was wondering if anyone could suggest drills or had any tips as to how to improve my rear kicks.

    Thanks
     
  2. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    Like anything, getting good at something takes practice, and lots of it. :) As for this particular kick, I suggest breaking it down. Execute a back kick. After the kick, return your leg to a chambered position. Then work on hopping onto that leg, as you bring your other leg into the chamber position. After you've done this for a while, once you do the hop, just throw the kick with the other leg. :)
     
  3. Jeff Harvey

    Jeff Harvey White Belt

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    Thanks, I'll try that.
     
  4. Kenpo17

    Kenpo17 Green Belt

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    Yes, I agree with MJS. You can't possibly learn and be able to perform a rear chicken kick without lots of practice. I have been studying Kenpo for 10 years now and I still don't have a good rear chicken kick. Although, Snaking Talon is one of the only techniques I have learned with that kind of kick. So once you get past Snaking Talon, you should be good for awhile.
     
  5. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    I would suggest losing the idea of hopping. Just kick plant and kick. Be safe. No disrespect to the other suggestion. That is the propper way to do... that, but should a purple belt try that on the street?
    Sean
     
  6. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    Technically then, its no longer a chicken kick, but simply 2 back kicks.


    Personally, I've never understood the purpose of a rear chicken kick. If I'm going to do a rear kick, I'd just do a regular back kick.
     
  7. Kembudo-Kai Kempoka

    Kembudo-Kai Kempoka Senior Master

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    LS2 is one of those cat com pieces, where moevments get catalogued in the name of comprehensiveness. Thos rear chckens fit, IMO, into the category of "just cuz you can, don't mean you should". Truly bad idea.

    Learn the bits, pass the test, then forget about it. Spend your time on better things. My advice, anyways.
     
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  8. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

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    Beat me to it.

    I know Doc has stated before that the rear chicken kick is very bad biomechanically and puts undo stress on the lower back region. Learn it for your testing and then either switch it to 2 back kicks that do allow for good mechanics or just use a single back kick.
     
  9. IWishToLearn

    IWishToLearn 3rd Black Belt

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    I view the Rear Chicken Kicks as a great way to illustrate how you can maximize backup mass with a rear heel kick. Really puts it into perspective how effective that can be with a crossing in rear heel kick. I agree to take it out of the air, however. :)
     
  10. Doc

    Doc Senior Master

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    Save your spine and don't do them.
     
  11. Thesemindz

    Thesemindz Senior Master

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    I think Snaking Talon is an excellent example of a lot that is right about American Kenpo, and also a lot that is wrong.

    The way I was taught this technique differs significantly from the way I believe many other AK schools teach it, but I think both variations have similar weaknesses.

    In the technique as I was taught it, the attack is a right step thru punch left cross punch combo from 12.

    The defense is a figure eight parry with the right hand while checking with the left beneath the parries at solar plexus height while stepping back with the left foot and then drawing the right back into a right cat stance. After the second parry, execute a right counter grab to the opponents right wrist and pull him slightly forward as you execute a right front thrust kick to the opponents bladder. Simultaneously land the right foot back towards 7:30 in a left rear twist stance as you execute a right arm whip to draw your opponent's head down into a left upward foot palm. Execute a right rear chicken kick to the opponents solar plexus at an upward angle to create space and spin out towards 6 oclock.

    I post the technique as I was taught it so that I can address some of the issues I have with both this version, and what I believe to be the more common version as found on the Kenponet written curriculum, which I will refer to as the EPAK version. Simply referring to a technique is insufficient to discuss it when so many of us practice personalized variations of the root.

    In the EPAK version, the attack is a high two handed push. While I like the dimensional checking of the handsword strikes to the opponent's arms, in combat a high two handed push is executed in one of two ways, neither of which lends itself to this defense.

    If the push occurs during the "escalation phase," it will be with the opponent's arms mostly extended towards you and the push will be with the hands, intending, at least subconsciously, to gauge your commitment to battle and physical preparedness. If it is during the combat phase, you will face the loaded high two handed push where the opponent cocks his arms towards his body, and steps towards you with a committed push meant to create space or push you down.

    If it's the first, the handsword strikes will be far too slow to do more than wave away his arms after he has already pushed you, making you seem reactionary and slow, encouraging your opponent. If it's the second, the handsword will strike the left arm, creating the dimensional check you are looking for, but also diverting the second push in such a manner as too make the second handsword strike improbable at best.

    Consider the technique Triggered Salute. When your opponent pushes your body with one arm, you swing towards him by pivoting over your center to add force to your strike. When you strike the outside of his left arm, you will cause his body to pivot around that center in the same way. This happens because in order to effectively execute the committed two hand step thru push, the opponent engages the muscles in the entire arm, creating a solid structure between his arms, shoulders, and chest. To some degree, this dimensional checking is the point, but it negates the effectiveness of the second strike.

    Think about Aggressive Twins. You block one arm and your opponents body is turned at an angle. It is the dimensional check which defends against the second arm. You can't reach it, you can't attack it, but it can't attack you either. That's the point.

    In the variation that I was taught, the attack is, I believe, more appropriate to the defense. Usually we think of techniques in the opposite sense, is the defense appropriate to the attack, but here I think this is an important point.

    Both types of attack are common, realistic, combat scenarios. Pushes are extremely common intentionally and otherwise, and the kind of right left punch combination is as well. In fact, I prefer to think of the attack as a right left stalking combination, where I am retreating from my attacker as he pursues me with repeated punches. If you doubt the effectiveness of such an attack, youtube some of Tank Abbot's early fights.

    However, this defense, in either variation, the parries or the handswords, requires that you react to your attacker and pursue strikes he's already thrown crossing your center line twice from the outside of the body in an elongated circular motion. This is unlikely bordering on impossible with an extended arm push and difficult even with a loaded two arm push. You are not going to catch up to two straight strikes thrown simultaneously with a circular motion that begins from the opposite side of your body.

    On the other hand, with a two punch combination you have a built in delay between the two strikes, and following your defense of the first, you are in position to defend against the second. The reason your opponent's second attack isn't disrupted like it is with the push scenario is because your using parries instead of strikes, which create less angular disruption, and your opponent is striking successively, not simultaneously.

    The follow up front kick is pretty standard. As always, I emphasize striking the bladder instead of the groin because I find it to be a sharper pain, and a more effective target for body manipulation. Of course getting struck in the testicles hurts, but it is a dull emanating pain, while I find bladder strikes to be sharp and intense. More important than the pain however, which I find to be unreliable at best, is the body manipulation that bladder strikes afford you which groin strikes do not. By striking the bladder, especially with a thrusting strike, I am able to pivot my opponent over the hip girdle. Doing this with groin strikes is difficult and often more a result of your opponent hunching over in an instinctual defense of the reproductive organs, or in response to the pain.

    The remainder of the technique is, at best, inefficient. Using either variation of this technique, why, when your opponent is checked, grabbed, and doubled over, following a kick to his midsection, would you choose to land in a twist stance and turn your back on him? Why would you choose to use a less mobile, less stable stance while connected to an opponent, especially one who has possible internal injuries following the kick? Certainly you kicked him with the intention to cause some injury, yes? Why would you choose to cross your own center line, again, in the direction of the arm you have turned away from your body? Why wouldn't you move towards your opponents back instead? Why would you choose to execute a dangerous combination of kicks, while still holding your opponent by the arm? I was taught that there are two ways to get hurt by an opponent, intentionally and unintentionally. Even assuming my opponent has no intention to fight back, what if he falls down from my strikes while I'm on one foot in a twist stance and holding his arm?

    Most importantly, why didn't I simply follow my front kick with strikes to my opponents head, neck, and back, followed by a a two handed grab to the back of my opponent's shoulders and a dragdown of my opponent towards 8 oclock? Why dance? I understand that circumstances may force me to land awkwardly, or back, even in a twist, but why in the ideal phase of this technique do I choose that option? It seems it is simply to justify the chicken rear kick, which is not a good enough reason for me. I believe in chicken kicks, although not rear ones. The point of a rear kick is that you are engaging some of the largest muscle groups in the entire body in the lower back, buttocks, and legs. Why surrender this advantage by kicking in the air instead of leveraging against the ground? I've used front chicken kicks in pursuit of a retreating enemy. Used properly, they are a viable weapon, but this is not the time or the place.

    There is good and bad in this technique. The defensive maneuver here, in either variation, is an effective technique. I've used the parries in combat. I've used the handsword blocks, although not successively against a simultaneous attack as proscribed. Both are effective defensive maneuvers. But like too many of our techniques, a solid defensive maneuver is followed by an unnecessary counter striking combination. It isn't that front kicks, and rear kicks, and even twist stances, aren't useful and effective. It's that this sequence of them doesn't best address the problem at hand.


    -Rob
     
  12. Thesemindz

    Thesemindz Senior Master

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    I don't mean any of this as a personal attack on you or your position. I don't ascribe any more meaning to your post than that which is obvious, learn the bits, pass the test.

    Yet while I understand this philosophy from the point of view of the student, why, as instructors, would we teach information we would privately encourage our students to forget? If we truly believe this technique is ineffective as taught, if not outright dangerous, and I at least do, then why teach it at all? I understand the necessity of teaching our students what to do if they land poorly from a kick, anyone who has done any serious study of combat has probably landed poorly from their kicks more often than not, but why teach someone to land poorly from a kick? By which I mean, teach them what to do if they make a mistake, don't teach them to make mistakes. If we believe that practice makes permanent, and perfect practice makes perfect, why not teach more perfect techniques?

    I'm not claiming to know better than Mr. Parker, or any other kenpo instructor, but while I've taught the technique with twist stances and chicken kicks in the past, I wouldn't now. I want my students to have an expanding knowledge base of effective combat techniques. I do not want them to learn the bits and pass the test.


    -Rob
     
  13. Kembudo-Kai Kempoka

    Kembudo-Kai Kempoka Senior Master

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    I do not teach the set. In my own model of training, the time spent on it would be better spent working more practical things on heavy bags or in progressive resistance partner drills. If an upcoming student has to invest, say, 20 hours on the set to develop it, I would strike a bargain with my students as an alternative: Scrap the set...I will leave it off the exam, eject it from the required coursework, BUT!!!....you spend those 20 hours working on your jab, both in isolation and in combination, on the heavy bag and focus mitts. I would prefer the noticeable improvements in a quick-deploy weapon that would come from this 20 hour investment, then one more cat-com collection of choreographed moves done poorly.

    My take on the original post is that many instructors will require it, even though it's a bad idea and a waste of time. If the student desires to promote in their school, they will need to learn the requirements set forth by the proprietor. So my advice to them would be to significantly minimize the work time spent on the set.
     
  14. Thesemindz

    Thesemindz Senior Master

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    I understand, and I hope you weren't offended by my previous post. I didn't mean it to be offensive. I see that kind of attitude alot and it concerns me.

    If a student is learning MA because of their interest in culture and tradition, then I understand their desire to learn esoteric material. If they are going to a self defense school to learn real self defense, then I feel that some of the material taught at Kenpo schools is inappropriate.

    I don't even have an objection to category completion, but when it is disguised as self defense, I find it sometimes disturbing. Not always, but sometimes.

    I think Falling Falcon is a good example of a technique that I would consider a catalogue technique, but appropriate. Another example would be Hooking Wings. These techniques demonstrate a variety of methods for accomplishing a single goal, destroying a prone opponent's arm with upper and lower body weapons or striking the head from different angles with different weapons at different ranges. But in both of these techniques the individual material demonstrated is contextually appropriate, effective, and safe to execute. In Snaking Talon some of the individual material seems unsafe and contraindicated by the context, at least to me.

    I feel that there is a place for twist stances in Kenpo, but attached to injured opponents while my back is turned is not that place.

    As for the usefulness of solo patterns versus bag and partner work, well, I don't think we're going to resolve that issue today. I've gone both ways on that one, but I recently realized that when I'm alone in the back office at work the only kenpo I practice is solo patterns. No bag or partner there, but I can still practice my Kenpo. So I feel there's a place for everything in my training regimine.

    One guys opinion.


    -Rob
     
  15. Kembudo-Kai Kempoka

    Kembudo-Kai Kempoka Senior Master

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    I don't offend that easily, but thank you for the reply. I first learned cat com in a way that may not even be accurate: That each technique represented categories of movement, rather than attacks. Universal Pattern possibilities, expressed in motion...Hooking Wings demonstrating how to intermingle various hand weapons on a vertically oriented Figure 8 on a frontal plane, and a plus sign.

    Cat Com, how I grew up with it, would have been Figure 8 on other planes, other orientations. Took me a spell to learn that what I was calling Cat Com and what THEY were calling cat com were not the sam ting. Honestly, I still don't see the point to THEIRS, particularly since it's far from complete.

    Movements should have combat applications, or be tossed. Even now, I struggle with the decision to trim what I see as fat off the cirriculum, and teach a strictly battle-worthy version of kenpo, versus offering and requiring a whole system for future generations. The company I keep doesn't help: Some guys I chat with are pro trimming for combat apps, others stress passing it on as a whole for legacies sake. I guess time will tell.

    D.
     
  16. Thesemindz

    Thesemindz Senior Master

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    I'm glad you weren't offended. Sometimes this medium lends itself to misinterpretation.

    I understand your dillema with regards to "trimming the fat." I've often struggled with the same issue. I want students to learn combat ready kenpo, but at the same time, I feel that sets and forms are an important part of that. After all, I learned lots of so called "dead patterns," and I feel confident and pleased with the skill I developed.

    It's a sticky wicket, some things are pure combat, others seem completely esoteric, and most somewhere between the two. How does one decide what to keep and what to discard?

    Many people feel that even approaching this subject is pure hubris. Perhaps they are right, but if we care about our students, shouldn't we ask these questions.


    -Rob
     
  17. Doc

    Doc Senior Master

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    Interesting discussion with regard to "trimming the fat," versus "combat ready." While in a true codified system these issues would already be addressed, they are virtually irrelevant in the motion based version of Ed Parker's commercial product.

    In a true system, the distinction between the components of the art are fairly distinct, and are separated only by the level of knowledge of those teaching. Under these circumstances, you teach everything, whether you understand it or not, with the idea the usefulness of information tends to reveal itself overtime.

    The motion system is not a true codified system beyond what the individual instructor has chosen to consider "canon," and in its entirety is completely interpretive. It is based on an outline, and depending upon the teacher, may or may not be comprehensive, and even then only within the knowledge level and experiences of the teacher.

    The "system" is the "shell" or outline, designed to be filled in by the individual, and by design, that includes the students own input. Its only mandate is effectiveness at the time of needed execution.

    Such is the dichotomy of direction of the "newbies." They want to have a "hard codified" system with strict execution guidelines of material like traditional arts, but they want the flexibility to alter, delete, tailor, prefix, suffix, and adjust material as they see fit in a flexible commercial product.

    You can't have it both ways. Mr. Parker himself said that as long as it works for you when you need it, than it was acceptable. That was the ultimate goal of the commercial product. We cannot pretend that it is or was ever anything else.

    Thus the "system's" interpretation changes with every generation and every individual student and its many teachers. And, unfortunately, there never has existed a codified version to make canon for future generations of students or teachers - ever. Therefor, the argument is moot. The "system" never existed, and what of it that did, consumed itself decades ago.

    "It is an entity feeding upon itself. " - Ed Parker Sr.
     
  18. Thesemindz

    Thesemindz Senior Master

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    I have to admit, I feel silly even having this conversation with someone who has your depth of knowledge. For someone with my limited perspective and experience in martial arts, it truly does feel hubris to be on one end of this discussion. I have no wish to sound sycophantic either. I merely recognize that you are beyond me in years and training, and have a different perspective than I. That aside, I do have a position.

    I know that I was taught, continued to teach, and practice a motion based version of American Kenpo. Ahead of us in our lineage was an instructor who was very close, at least for a time, to Mr. Parker. I do not necessarily mean intimately so much as professionally. He seems to have picked up, at least peripherally, on some of what you teach, because occasionally I read something you've written and think, "hey, that seems like a far more complex and in depth study of something that was briefly mentioned in class one time and never covered again."

    But generally, I know that what I practice is motion based. I know that it is exactly as you describe it. It is tailored, practiced, and performed by the student ultimately as he see's fit, not necessarily with any direction from the material or his instructor. I also know that, to the degree that it can, it works for me. I'd like to train with you personally some day, but I'm not going to LA any time soon unfortunately. Maybe you'd think about moving to Missouri? We're having a wonderful little ice storm right now...

    Anyway, within the motion kenpo framework which I currently practice, there does seem to be some material which does not seem to meet what I consider to be the overarching principle of my style, which is combat efficiency. I know from your point of view most if not all of what I do probably fails that standard, but even from my limited point of view some of it does. I discussed in another thread my issues with Snaking Talon. Locking Horns, at least to me, seems a defense based on hurting the other guy enough that he lets go. I don't like to rely on pain. Circling Windmills has always seemed ridiculous to me. The knife and gun techniques are overly complicated and unnecessarily dangerous to the defender, while failing in many ways to address the weapon as a unique factor in the equation. I could go on, but I think you get my point.

    It isn't that I feel this material is worthless, in fact, I learned much from it. I simply feel that the way it is presented is inappropriate to my goal. I don't expect everyone to agree, I'm sure some of those techniques are someone's favorite and I've deeply offended them. If so, I'm sorry. But it's how I feel.

    So, from my perspective, understanding the limitations of my system, and with my goal in mind, there seems to be some trimming of fat necessary. Yet, where and how is still a problem. I'm no longer with my old school and instructor, so I can teach anything I damn well please. None the less, I still have my honor, and that drives me to teach the best material I can.

    It is a difficult question, and one with which I believe many struggle. Without a master to show me the way, how am I to discern a proper path? How am I to seperate wheat from chaff? Many simply say, "it's all there for a reason, eliminating anything is folly," but to me that seems too close to saying, "I do it because someone told me too. I don't have a better reason." Others say just that, and at least I can appreciate their honesty.

    For now, I try to make decisions based on my knowledge and my goals. I think everything after the front kick in Snaking Talon is wrong, so I don't teach it like that. I think Locking Horns is a good example of striking the legs with the hands, but a lousy front choke defense, so I don't teach it like that. What more can I do?


    -Rob
     
  19. Doc

    Doc Senior Master

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    Don't. A healthy discussion provides insight for all concerned, whether respondent or reader. We all learn something.
    That doesn't surprise me. The motion based outline hints at a great deal of material, but only the instructor, (as designed), can bring the information forward from their own knowledge base. The "system" has no real information, but reminds you what you need to know.
    That is the genius of the Mr. Parker's commercial system. It is embodied in the knowledge, skill, and teaching ability of the instructor, not on anything written in a "manual." It is the strength and weakness of the "system."
    Thanks for the warning sir. :)
    The mere fact you recognize it, is a part of the "system." Then you seek to improve your knowledge and skill. It works the way it's supposed to.
    Once again, just the recognition proves you have learned lessons that serve you well. Knowing and recognizing what doesn't work, is equally as important as knowing what does, and points the way for your more directed study.
    Your observations are all valid sir, and I concur.
    I submit sir, that you are doing exactly what Ed Parker intended.
    Good call, and I agree.
    Keep doing what Ed Parker intended with the material. Keep doing what you're doing, the best you can and feel free to email me.
     
  20. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    If memory serves the very next thing you do after the kick is to put downward pressure on the shoulder. What is wrong with that?
    Sean123
     

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