Let me ask this

Discussion in 'Kenpo / Kempo - General' started by JasonASmith, Oct 3, 2006.

  1. JasonASmith

    JasonASmith Black Belt

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    Hello all,
    I have a question for all of the Kenpo folks...
    Why are there so MANY strikes in Kenpo?
    What I mean is this: I have seen numerous videos and been to numerous Kenpo classes in the past, and, to me, the responses to some of the attacks are overkill...I mean, after you've broken the assailants arm, dislocated his shoulder, and shattered his jaw, why do you keep going? Or can all of these moves be seperated and used individually, so you have a repertoire of responses?
    Please keep in mind if you answer this post that I am not attempting to provoke anyone, I am merely curious as to the amount of maiming that is included in some of the Kenpo curriculum...
    I have a soft spot in my heart for Kenpo, and I have always been curious about this subject...All replies(except derogatory ones) are welcome...
     
  2. Shodan

    Shodan Master Black Belt

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    The way I view it is as though the attacker is drug crazed and not reacting like a "normal" person to pain. This way you have follow up moves to continue with. We were working on some knife drills recently that, to me, seemed very excessive-- you stab them here, then cut them here, then there, etc, etc, etc!! We talked about it and this very topic came up. Someone gave, what I thought, was a good response......and that's, if the person is wearing leather, maybe you aren't getting a lot of those cuts in. Always good to have a follow-up in mind for when things don't go as planned......

    It does seem like overkill a lot of times though-- I know!!
     
  3. Warrior-Scholar

    Warrior-Scholar Yellow Belt

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    I guess the simple response would be this:
    What would you do if your first punch and kick combination missed or failed? Follow up with another one? Well, Kenpo is providing the practitioner with options. It also builds rapid fire response into your neuromuscular system. That said, we sometimes practice techniques with more gusto than usual to discern various responses. Often times we only get about 1/3 of the way through the actual tech as taught before some one is out of the picture so to speak. I think this is a good thing!
     
  4. Inverse Falcon

    Inverse Falcon White Belt

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    Two more things to add: any of these strikes can become blocks when necessary, so in reality you may only get in a few strikes between multiple interspersed blocks.

    Secondly, not all of these strikes have to be on the same opponent. One of our normal Kenpo drills was to perform forms in a freestyle sparring situation, allowing you to defend against and retaliate against multiple circling opponents. Depending on proximity and footwork, you could easily split some of those "overkill" combinations between several people.
     
  5. MA-Caver

    MA-Caver Sr. Grandmaster

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    An aspiring BB Kenpoist (who was also a BB Shotokan Karate) told me that he saw the "...genius of Ed Parker's methods... that he (Parker) saw the human body of the attacker/opponent as a paper-clip, that if you kept bending the clip (back and forth) that eventually it'll break..." It made sense because that's the ultimate goal in any (real) fight to incapacitate your opponent/attacker so that you can get away... basically repeatedly striking them until you break them.

    I dunno if that helps with the question.
     
  6. KenpoDave

    KenpoDave 2nd Black Belt

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    Often, the technique continues to allow you to practice what movements are available from that position. Often, a technique that teaches a break can be applied as a lock, which may necessitate a continuation of movment.

    The techniques are teaching tools, not written in stone.
     
  7. Shotochem

    Shotochem Purple Belt

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    Hi Jason,

    In a selfdefense situation there is no such thing as overkill. If the attacker is much larger and stronger than you he may require more of a beating for you to take him out and get away. If he goes down in 2 shots instead of 6 or 7 all the better I'm outta there.

    I'm finding Kempo to be beautifully brutal. My first reaction after switching to Kempo from Shotokan was ooooooh!!!! that's gonna hurt!!!!!

    It really is the same with most MA. The longer you train in Shotokan the more nasty and brutal you techniques will be and as you advance so will your applications and the use of them.

    A well trained advanced student in any MA IMO, is pure poetry in motion.
     
  8. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm in agreement with everything that was said. We can't forget about that "What if" phase. There must be some use to those extensions as well. :)

    Exactly!

    Mike
     
  9. Kenpojujitsu3

    Kenpojujitsu3 Master Black Belt

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    Simply put, you answered your own question here
     
  10. evenflow1121

    evenflow1121 2nd Black Belt

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    A lot of those long techniques in kenpo are incorporations or extensions to basic techniques you learn in earlier belts. My take on it, is, the techniques form a highway to teach you what you can do in a fight, and to give you an idea of how strikes should be executed, you probably will never complete a long kenpo technique in a fight, probably is the key anything is possible.
     
  11. Ping898

    Ping898 Senior Master

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    I was always taught that the techniques at times had so many moves for all the reasons stated above, but that also cause in real life you may do 10 strikes, but only 3 of them will land with any impact because of the opponent's motion and blocks. So in the end, it isn't overkill cause only a few had any effect, and that if the one's that have effect are the first couple and your opponent is out and no longer a threat, then you stop, else you keep going until he/she is no longer a threat.
     
  12. Monadnock

    Monadnock 2nd Black Belt

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    A friend of mine used to say... "Hey, he started it." :)
     
  13. phoenix

    phoenix Yellow Belt

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    My response to this is that there are many reasons, a primary one in my mind is multiple attackers. Say there are 3 attackers, rather than one, if you can expand the circle/range of your single technique, you now have multiple strikes directed towards multiple attackers, so all the damage you are doing may not be directed at one person.

    Additionally, to reinforce (in my opinion) one of the other primary reasons is that as has been stated, in ANY altercation, it will not go as planned, and you will not hit every strike and every target. Kenpo provides us with continual follow-up attacks so that we don't do 2 or 3 strikes and then say "uhm, what do I do now?".

    My favorite analogy (don't remember where I heard it) was that if your opponent pulls a six-shooter, and takes a shot at you, and you pull your automatic M-16 and start gunning at him, he's no longer thinking of shooting back at you with his six-shooter. He's more worried about dodging YOUR bullets.

    Hope that helps, that's at least some of my perspective on it.

    Sean
     
  14. JasonASmith

    JasonASmith Black Belt

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    Thanks for all of the replies...
     
  15. Danjo

    Danjo Master Black Belt

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    Also, the "One Punch Kill" stuff might work for someone like me (5'10" 220 lbs and can bench press 300 lbs), it won't work for everyone. A .44 Magnum will probably not require more than one shot to completely deal with an enemy. A .25 caliber may well take more than one shot. If all Kenpoists were .44 magnums, it probably wouldn't have evolved the way it did.
     
  16. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

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    A few reasons that I can see...

    "To feel is to believe," said Mr. Parker. I don't know many guys that really know what it feels like for a female to go up against a male that is significantly larger than she is. In addition to the disadvantages of physics, there is also a noticeable differentiation in strength and musculature. We gals just aren't built like you guys are.

    Also in a real-life situation, chances are one will not be attacked on a flat floor or mat, in a gi, with a closely matched training partner. One may have street cracks, curbs, pot holes, gravel, steps that interfer with execution. One may be in a mental state (tired, stressed, had a cold one with friends) that interferes with execution.

    The skill of the student may vary. Perhaps if I get to 3rd black I'll be one helluva good Kenpoist. That's all good, but I may need my Kenpo before I'm 3rd black. If I do, I will fight like someone that isn't that good at Kenpo. Because.....I'm not that good at Kenpo.

    Knife fights have real-life variables to them. The statutory blade limit in the city of Boston, for example, is 2.5 inches. My every day carry (unless I'm going in to Boston) is a 3" folder that I can conceal easily in my jeans pocket and move around without it poking me in the thigh. I swap this out with a 2.5" folder if I have to go in to the city. Neither of these look like the 7" fixed aluminum trainer that I used to practice techs. I live in New England. It gets cold in New England. People wear heavy coats when it gets cold. A 2.5" folder vs. heavy coat...judge for yourself how effective that is.

    We're all human, and there are a lot of variables to being human. A human may be attacked in circumstances that are not ideal for self-defense. Kenpo acounts for that.
     
  17. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Here is a thought: People often like to say that kenpo techniques have a lot of followup strikes because it plans for variables that affect the effectiveness of the strikes, and it plans for things going wrong. By automatically following up with all these strikes, one trains to just keep going until you know the other guy is down.

    This is faulty logic.

    Say a tech has a whole bunch of followups, and the tech could be mapped at each move, starting with the evasion step, the block, and the dozen or so followup strikes. Let's label each of these as points A thru L, A being the evasion step, B being the block, and C thru L being the followups.

    If all these followups plan for things going wrong, then you would have to stop where things went wrong and replan your counters. If you go wrong at point B, but try to continue with points C thru L, you lose. You didn't even get the block to work, and you got hit. Point C needs to be something completely different, to fix this fact. The rest of the original technique is thrown out the window.

    So to see this preplanned sequence as planning for things going wrong, I think is not accurate. If you go all the way thru point L, you are planning on everything going right. Because each point launches from the prior point, and you can't effectively launch the next point unless the prior point was successful. Strike E won't work if Strike D didn't work. And if everything goes right, you don't need all the extra strikes. It's an error in the logic behind planning these techniques.

    Personally, I think the techs are a good method to teach ideas on how to deal with an attack. But I think it is unrealistic to plan further than 2-3 counterstrikes out. Beyond that, you just cannot predict how things will work or the effect it will have on the attacker, and you need to learn to be spontaneously creative once you reach this stage. An attack does not work based on a formula, and I think a lot of the longer kenpo techs are very formulaic.
     
  18. kosho

    kosho 3rd Black Belt

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    Hi,
    The highest level of Kempo is no body contact. when you can not keep to this than you respond with what the attackers is doing. When the area is open fire away and hit. the body will respond to the hits causeing more openings to come into play. until the person is down and really hurt. at that point and only when the seen is SAFE should you stop the follow up. with kempo the folding arts and controlling arts blend in to war arts (HITTING.) At any time you can stop one thing with kempo you truly learn to controll your self and others.. this goes for all kempo people.. all styles and systems of kempo...
    also when hitting with center line striking in kempo the power and pain delivered to the attacker is inteance.
    steve
     
  19. exile

    exile To him unconquered.

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    FC---this is very interesting and reminds me of what a guy I knew at university who was a ranked International Master in chess once told me, in a conversation which turned to people's conception of grandmasters being able to see 10 moves ahead or more. What he said was, no one does that unless there's a mating situation set up where every single response to an attack is forced. Otherwise, he said, the average `great' chess player doesn't try to see more than a few moves ahead; but what differentiates the great player from the ordinary woodpusher is a deep intuition about how any given move sends ripples through the alignment of forces currently on the board. It sounds very similar to your point here...
     
  20. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Good analogy. Very interesting. I often wished I had a deep understanding of chess, but alas, I am an ordinary woodpusher...
     

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