Putting On Your Personal Touch

Discussion in 'Kenpo / Kempo - General' started by MJS, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    Do you ever put your own personal touch, flavor, etc. on your material, or do you maintain things the same as you're teacher does them? This I'm sure, has been brought up in the past, but recently on another forum, I came across the same question. The person on the other thread made the comment that he did not want to come up with his teachers conclusion of a technique, but instead, come up with his own, and also do the same for his students.

    Personally, I agree with this. Anyways, I'll await the opinions of others. :)
     
  2. K831

    K831 Black Belt

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    Both.

    Some things are simple truths, and messing with them too much would lead to a poor result, bad mechanics etc.

    However, there are several reasons not to hold too strongly to "the way your teacher does it." For one, I'm not built like my teacher. He is shorter and much more solid build. I am tall and lean. This alone requires me to put my own "personal touch" on things, and sometimes consider a different approach to certain attacks and circumstances.

    I like to kick, have long legs and am fast off the lead leg. My teacher kicks well, but prefers to close the gap and use his hands whenever possible. Neither is better all the time, but when sparring, you can see the difference.

    Anatomically, I can hit harder by changing my palm position (up or down) in some hand sword strikes... its a minor difference from how my teacher does it, but for the my structure (shoulder - elbow - wrist, how my muscles and tendons attach and where) I move faster and hit harder with that adjustment. Those kinds of nuances take time to realize about ones self in a given system, but I think they count as "personal touch" unless I miss understand what you mean.
     
  3. Hand Sword

    Hand Sword Grandmaster

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    I would do a little of both. I would like to learn the material as is and once I got it down, put my own spin to it. At least in SKK, we always had that freedom with our "kempos." Luckily I had instructors that were cool with adding personal twists (if it fit ok with the theme of what was being done).
     
  4. MattJ

    MattJ Brown Belt

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    I always taught the material as it was written in Mr Parker's manuals. But I would modify techniques at will if I needed to, to make them work. Not only is my build and abilities different from my teachers, but so are my opponent's.

    Adaptation is key, but so is consistent teaching.
     
  5. Thesemindz

    Thesemindz Senior Master

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    I went through a phase of training and teaching everything perfectly, and I came to the conclusion that perfect is not best.

    Please don't misunderstand, perfect execution, perfect technique, yes. Always. But not perfect duplication.

    Even when I was trying to teach the technique "exactly" as my instructor, myself and other black belt students and instructors would have to constantly adjust for height, mass, energy level, angle, stumbling, clothing, and strength. Even when trying to transcribe the material in perfect form, there was the near impossibility of coming to consensus on perfect angle and leverage.

    Perfect is not best. It is as much a training tool as hitting the bag. Perfect is something to understand and share and know, but effective execution is best.

    And that varies in small inumerable ways for each of us. Accounting for age and injury and size is not a part of perfect, much less setting and lighting and circumstances.

    So I think that by necessity, in execution, we must each put on our "personal touches." Because though we may commonly agree that we are doing the same technique, no two repetitions are alike.


    -Rob
     
  6. Yondanchris

    Yondanchris Master Black Belt

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    Ditto, in the SKK family a lot of leverage is given to create/re-create "kenpos" to fit the morphing of time/training/knowledge. At the instructor level you are asked to come up with your own "kenpo" maneuvers to in turn teach your students. Most instructors don't stray too much from their instructors Kenpo sets....123
     

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