How many Kenpo 10th degrees?

Discussion in 'Kenpo / Kempo - General' started by M F, Mar 19, 2003.

  1. Kenpodoc

    Kenpodoc 2nd Black Belt

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    Thanks Doc.

    I 'll never understand why people spend so much time fretting about who is wearing Red and how much. All the Parker Black Belts I've met are good, but I'm sure there were some crappy ones. I have noticed that the volume of red on the belt has nothing to do with whom I would choose to study.

    Mr. Parker was a dynamic charismatic man who made everyone of his students feel important. I'd rather that they shared what they learned, quit fighting about who was most important and let me decide what I want to learn. Mr. Parker's greatest contribution to American Kenpo was to not leave a single successor. In doing so he has allowed the art to flower in his absence.

    Jeff
     
  2. Doc

    Doc Senior Master

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    You're right of course. There are a lot of really bad black belts in American kenpo, (more bad then good) and unfortunately many of them were sanctioned or even directly promoted by Ed Parker. Some of them pretty high ranks. Everyone treats American kenpo as some sacred religion.

    As much as we would like to think it's "pure," there were many aspects to his different versions, and one of those many components was quite simply a business. Ed Parker made a living and took care of his rather large family and bought everyone of his children a house, and took care of them in the family business.

    For anyone to claim to be his successor is just wrong. Those that seem to do the most squaking about "who has what" are those who come from the business side of the art because all they have is their ranks, and they defend it vehemently and their "business lineage" relationship to Ed Parker.

    The truth is, he was good man, a good father, and a great martial artist. But just like any other business that deals with and depends on the public to survive, huge compromises are made for the sake of keeping the business viable.

    The mentally sound "real old timers" before the seventies, never ***** about rank or care who got what or when and don't impose double standards in some "keeper of the truth" religious zealot fanaticism. They know the chef's proof is in his cooking.

    Ed Parker in reference to his own students said it best. "Just because the red shows, doesn't mean that you know."

    That says it all for me. So study with whom you wish, learn what you like, enjoy what you're doing, and recognize there is more than one church in town and maybe yours really isn't the shiznit. You can't mold kenpo in your own warped image, so just do your thing and stop worrying about others. If you spend at much energy on your own kenpo as you do what somebody else is doing, maybe you wouldn't have time for such sniping.

    Lastly a word about Dennis Conatser. Clearly one of the most intelligent guys around who understands the motion interpretation of kenpo as well as or better than anybody. I saw Ed Parker as much or more than just about anybody.

    I remember and saw Dennis Conatser when he first began coming to the house. From then on he was either there or talking with Parker on the phone more than anybody else I know. So say what you will, but Dennis won't open his mouth unless he knows what he's talking about.

    And when somebody drags a name into a discussion Dennis will call and talk to the person personally before responding. In many cases he does have first hand knowledge of what went on, and has no agenda or "image" to protect. If I had to choose who to believe in a discussion, I'd go with Dennis without hesitation.

    For the record: Everyone wasn't necessarily on good terms with Parker when he died, and in fact many were pushed out because of their own selfess actions. You'd be surprised how he really felt about a lot of people.

    KenpoDoc, obviously that last rant is not directed at you, I just needed to get it out.
     
  3. Iron Dog

    Iron Dog Guest

    Doc, Mr. Chapel, Well said! I for one am weary of all the turmoil of who is and who isn't. People will follow those who they are most comfortable with for their own reasons. If there are phoney high ranking "Grand Masters" history will expose them. Invoking the name of Mr. Parker, or anyone, will not do any good. If they are legitimate, their art will prevail throughout the ages and they too will have their following and destiny.
    I met Mr. Conaster in Seattle, actually listened in on some conversation, and I was very impressed with his knowledge of the system, it was sensory overload for me, but I'm new to AK also.
    My take as a non-master of anything, is I see, feel and believe what is put in front of me, not what is told to me. I was very happy in Seattle when Mr. Labounty said that he was a "mechanical learner" to that I can relate. Some day I'll have the opportunity to train with one or more of the persons in the posts. Then I'll make MY own decisions. Until then, lets just let the 20 or so 10th's discuss this amongst themselves. I'm sure if we put them in a room for a discussion civility, compromise and brotherhood would prevail?
    Thanks again to the many who exercise reason...
    Patrick
     
  4. Doc

    Doc Senior Master

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    Yeah, you can't go wrong listening to Dennis. He's a man who extremely detail oriented and has the intellect to back it up. He and I go at it all the time discussing various aspects of kenpo from our very different perspectives. Sometimes we agree, and sometime we don't. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him and I presume vice versa.

    One thing for sure we laugh a lot more than we fight. No matter what position I take, it doesn't affect him or what he teaches one bit. It never diminishes his Kenpo knowledge or skill and somehow we manage to stay friends. Neither one of us cares about each others rank. It never has been or will ever be an issue. That seems to be the case for all of the secure, mature, and rational students of anything. And from an "old man's" perspective the rest are just whiners holding onto the very little Kenpo prestige they think they have.
     
  5. Rob_Broad

    Rob_Broad Guest

    This thread has gone on for quite a while now and every time it pops up I just can't help but having a joke pop into head.

    How many Kenpo 10th degrees does it take to change a light bulb?

    My answer is none. Because the would all be arguing about which way SGM Parker taught them how to do it, so it would be changed by the first white belt to show any initiative.
     
  6. i didn't know that ed parker has a big family. When i think of ed parker, i only think of american kenpo. You help me understand ANOTHER SIZE of Ed parker as well so that we can have a complete picture of who he really was.

    i'm pretty sure that there are many TRUE american kenpo masters out there. My question is why don't you all stand up and condem such FAKE grandmaster and BOGUS claims like U.S , U.K, and other countries stood up and attack Iraq?

    perhaps, it is too much to do and obviously involves POLITIC???????
     
  7. Doc

    Doc Senior Master

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    The real ones don't care, and all the noise comes from those who weren't there who pass along rumors from people who have their own agenda. When you start fighting over a lie someone told you twice removed, you're really deep into the "telephone game." I worked cases where someone died because someone told somebody something about someone else who "dissed me," and it was all bogus from start to finish. That's middle school mentality.
     
  8. Sigung86

    Sigung86 2nd Black Belt

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    Webpage, my fine friend... I bet you didn't know that SGM Parker was a master of the ukelele as well! I have a video around here somewhere of him playing the dang thing... Funny to see such light masterful playing by such a large guy on such a little, teeny instrument.

    There are many, many sides to the man, the myth, and the legend. People often forget he didn't walk on water, at least not all the time. I'm not EPAK, so I am not as close as many would be to the subject, but I have some very highly placed friends who have regaled me with stories of him... Some of them place him in a very human light.

    Take care,

    Dan
     
  9. all i can say is......it's a freaking chaos in Kenpo system. May i say. ? Peace be with someone. :asian:

    have another personal question for you , Doc. Hope you don't mind to answer it.

    If Ed Parker Sr is alive today, do you think the chaos in American Kenpo will be this BIG?

    and will American kenpo system be DIFFERENT in the future with or without Ed Parker Sr?

    i know that I only ask you to answer 1 question but i guess i'm so greedy to ask you 2 questions. Hopefully, you will give your insight

    thank you
     
  10. Doc

    Doc Senior Master

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    Yep! It's always been this way. Look at all the people that broke away and promoted themselves while Parker was alive. It's a very long list. Many came back AFTER he died because they couldn't while he was alive. Most claimed to be went him for years, but all that meant is they knew him for years. Some went on to other things and disapeared only to show up after his death to claim their Kenpo heritage, and make a quick buck on a project.

    Every 8 to 10 years he lost lots of people, and many went into business for themselves using Parker's business model and actually competed with him. All they cared about was rank and status and didn't want to really learn anything. It hasn't changed. Some of those names people know really well. Many were just in the "business" for the "business."
    Huh? I'll let someone else answer that one.
     
  11. Billy Lear

    Billy Lear Guest

    :rolleyes: Unfortunately... It smells like the truth. :shrug:
     
  12. roryneil

    roryneil Guest

    It's all very facinating to read all this and try to figure it out, but it really doesn't mean anything to the "new" generation of kenpo students. I study an art I enjoy, I know my teacher is a good one. I don't really know anything about Mr. Parker other than what I read and from pictures. I wish people didn't keep their videos locked in a sacred vault because I would like to see kenpo in motion performed by the founder of the art.
    Other than that, I think an intelligent student, although not expert in the art him/herself, can tell a good instructor from a bad one. And both will get my SHOWN respect, no matter how I feel about them in my mind.
    At camp, I certainly treat all the Black Belts who come and instruct with the same respect I show my instructor. In fact, that IS showing respect to my instructor, right?
     
  13. Doc,

    have 1 last question for you.

    Are you thinking about writing a book about American Kenpo or Ed Parker in the future so that students and OTHER can have a complete picture about the ARt, Founder, and organization ?

    Perhaps, you already did write the book ????????

    i didn't know anything about american kenpo before reading your posts. YOu completely change my views. I don't want to say that i know BLOODY much now.

    It's really interesting to hear your point of view. It seems to be right on the points and certainly POWERFUL. You seem to know a lot too.

    if you think about writing a book in the future, please make sure you have 1 acedemic version so that the student can have...let say....student discount when they buy your book. :D :D :D :D

    i never see you in seminar but i will come to your seminar if you have one in the future. I really want to see your sub level 4. Hearing and reading are not enough. I MUST SEE it

    Keep up the good work !
     
  14. Doc

    Doc Senior Master

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    Honestly I would not be the one to write a book on overall Ed Parker American Kenpo. The broad business took him to a lot of people and places and situations I was not involved in. Ed Parker Jr. said it best. he said I ws on "an island with his Father." I was a working uniformed police officer for much of the time. Mostly I just made my self available to him, worked on the IKC, and various projects. Couldn't travel with him a lot but we made some trips. I was purposely separated frfom a lot. I'm sure there are others that could give a much broader picture of the art as well as on Parker. My relationship was beyond Kenpo and very personal first, Kenpo second. But that also gave me access to extraordinary non-mainstream information.

    I am only a guy who can tell you what he personally knows, and my personal experiences, as well as my knowledge acquired in my interaction with him. At best I might write a chapter. My chapter, that's all.

    But I do write and say things that others won't or don't know about, but there is a reason I can do that. Nothing I say or do affects my students, teaching, or goals in Kenpo. I'm not in the business of kenpo so I have no fear of losing or not acquiring students because of it. I'm not recruiting, so I have no business to protect, and I'm not suggesting my way is the only way. Those who have seen me in seminars, or met me in person seem to feel I know what I'm doing. That's good enough for me and fulfills my promise to my friend Ed Parker. He said, "Spread the gospel brudda." That's what I do, and will continue to give people an honest perspective. No more or less. You come, you ask, I'll tell. Ummm, maybe that is one of the reason I don't get invited to do many seminars anymore. The attendees always seemed to give me high marks, but thats not my call.
     
  15. jfarnsworth

    jfarnsworth Grandmaster

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    You know I was thinking about asking this very question during one of my posts in the tech. threads. I didn't know if it would be too personal or not. If you wish not to answer then that is fine with me.

    Do you personally get invited to do seminars with others? During any of the big group seminars that last 2 or 3 days or camps etc.? You were obviously there as kenpo evolved. Even though you took your own path to teach the SL-4 and refine your branch of the art do find it somewhat upsetting that most don't invite you? :asian: As I've said before if you get back into Columbus with Mr. King post it up here on MT 'cause I'll be there regardless!:D
     
  16. tarabos

    tarabos 2nd Black Belt

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    i very much agree with you on that. i will never understand why it is not shared more often.
     
  17. Doc

    Doc Senior Master

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    Well thank you, I appreciate that and will certainly do that. Andrew King is a good guy and a strong supporter. Even though he cannot get out to see me like he would like to, (he’s in law school and a new baby) he’s a strong supporter, and refuses to study with anyone else after our lessons.

    To be honest about the camps, sometimes it bothers me and then at others it doesn’t. I have mixed emotions because at heart I feel I am an excellent teacher and have taught in academia. I have put in more years and was a black belt when some now 10 ths were white belts.

    I truly enjoy the sharing process and seeing people becoming aware of different perspectives that they can physically prove to themselves. Every camp I ever did, I was deemed the most popular and inundated with requests for more information. Unfortunately you can’t learn true skills by video, no matter what anyone says. But then that brings us back to the “business” of Kenpo that drives everything.

    The other thing is few from the commercial interpretation can make a transition without literally scrapping what they thought they knew because the contridictions are just too great. They have to "unlearn" the motion bad habits and inefficient (from our curriculum perspective and goals) methodology.

    But the truth is I’m not “main-stream” and raise a lot of questions. My students and I display skills and knowledge that many with significant rank who control camps, cannot duplicate or answer.

    I have knocked out and dropped people in camps with 2 simple taps from a yellow belt technique, and astounded participants. I have with one move, tapped a guy and drop him to the floor and have him stare up at me dazed. I have shown and corrected poor body mechanics that dismayed people and gave them strength and power they didn’t know was possible all on video. I gave people knowledge their teachers didn’t have. And I also have had people prefer to stay in my seminars instead of going to see the other instructors, and that too was a big problem.

    Admittedly, the dessemination of significant information has to be disconcerting for those in the “business” where numbers in associations, schools, and camps is important, and their status (read ego) as a “knowledgeable” master in the arts can’t be challenged. That I understand so, “whatever.” But in fairness, there are some significant ranks that feel I do have some valuable information to offer, but unfortunately, they don’t control the few camps.

    Many Ranks are very insecure about their knowledge and should be. Then there are guys like Dennis Conatser who is so smart and knows his stuff so well, it doesn't bother him at all.

    So I stay in Los Angeles, continue to be “politically incorrect,” and my students just seem to stay.
     
  18. Sigung86

    Sigung86 2nd Black Belt

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    Go figure!!! :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
     
  19. jeffkyle

    jeffkyle Guest

    Cool Avitar(s)! I loved that game! I used to play it all the time!
     
  20. kenpo3631

    kenpo3631 Black Belt

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    Mr. Chapel' you previously stated...

    Mr. Conatser is mentioned quite a bit in this thread in the context above. What do you think about some of the other Kenpo "Seniors" like Mr. Planas, Trejo, LaBounty, Sullivan and the "Not So Seniors" besides Conatser, like Wedlake, Hancock, Palanzo and others?:asian:
     

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