Technique Discussion: Lone Kimono & Twin Kimono

Discussion in 'Kenpo / Kempo - Technical Discussion' started by MJS, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. Doc

    Doc Senior Master

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    Real problems aplenty, based on how most are taught without the elements of street realism, and an understanding of bio-mechanical function. Not anybody's fault, but just the way the information has been handed down for decades now.
     
  2. Doc

    Doc Senior Master

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    When you say "Kimono Grab," you're dating yourself. :) This was one of the "original" techniques Mr. Parker brought with him from Hawaii under Sifu Chow. They dropped the back-fist because instructors had trouble with the footwork. This technique, like most is way more complicated than it appears on the surface, when taught properly so it will actually function on the street in the aggressive fashion it implemented. Grabs, hugs, and holds in all forms and interpretations of commercial Kenpo Karate are taught in what I term a "sterile" form, over a functional one because of this complexity that requires knowledge not available to most instructors, because it was never passed down. As always, start with Psychology of Confrontation.
     
  3. Doc

    Doc Senior Master

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    I agree completely. I teach my students that speed and realism are mutually exclusive traits in training lessons, and that realism always trumps speed in the learning stages of the basic mechanics of the applications. I can "choke" you slowly, but I am still going to attack you, place my hands around your neck, and begin to squeeze. In the beginning, "speed" is not the issue, but "realism" will always be king.
     
  4. Doc

    Doc Senior Master

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    While Mr. Parker kept a lot close to the vest as he was growing himself, he also put out there, or at the least "hinted" at some very significant information that, "should" have been picked up on by many and generate questions that Mr. Parker would have been glad to answer. Unfortunately, the system lapsed into a morass of quickly learned techniques primarily for the purpose of adding stripes to your belt, rather than knowledge to your noggin.

    Big Red was not even close to gospel, but instead a framework to begin discussions, and for school heads to build their "ideal" techniques from. Unfortunately "tailoring" became the norm and nobody learned anything the same, even within the same friggin school. So, Ideas became king, instead of a sound mechanical base of each technique to draw from, and to archive significant lessons and information. Thus the information never existed, and the little that did has been lost, for the most part.

    According to Mr. Parker, the "ideal" technique was to be created by the head instructor for his group of students. HE was supposed to do the "tailoring," and create the functional model to work from. Instead, most just read the description and said, "do it like that." No thinking involved, just learn what was in the Big Red Manual so you can move on.
     
  5. Kembudo-Kai Kempoka

    Kembudo-Kai Kempoka Senior Master

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    Just registered this... sorry for not responding earlier. Sitting here, reading it, particularly this part:

    "The IP is inferior to the Functional Method because it isn't trained functionally,against real time resistance energy and motion.Therefore the functional expression of a Kenpo technique almost 100% of the time will look different than the IP variant of that same technique."

    ... my first thought is something like, "Well, duh. It's not meant to be." The Ideal Phase of any technique is just a demonstration starting point, so further discussion can be had about contextual application. Discussion about things like, applying functional training methods to application, and how application can be modified and adapted on the fly when stuff goes differently than planned.

    The Ideal Phase is a necessary part of kenpo, but one must not get stuck there. The starting line is a necessary part of the L.A. marathon, but after the gun goes off, you gotta move on... otherwise, folks just look silly milling around the starting line chatting about what it might be like to run a race, instead of moving their feet and running it.

    I have been skim-reading your posts... I think that has done them a disservice. The quote of your I placed above in bold? Absolutely agree. Another way of saying the same thing is... someone can do 20 years of kenpo, or one year of kenpo, 20 times. If the understanding and application don't grow beyond the starting reference point the IP is meantr to provide, they are doing their kenpo -- and kenpo in general -- a significant disservice.
     
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  6. ATACX GYM

    ATACX GYM 2nd Black Belt

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    Like I said...too many people completely misunderstand the simple fact that the FM/ALIVE method is also a thousand times better in every aspect of teaching.When you're going slow,learning the proper base and movement and breath essentials to execute whatever you're doing? Do it functionally.See,the IP's nonfunctional model teaches you inferior stances blows ignores breath control etc. and therefore even in its best manifestation teaches poor or at least questionable mechanics in every way,while insufficiently addressing all of the primary essentials for real world combat.The FM addresses everything in depth and detail,energetically,realistically,reliably,honestly,it's fun and healthy and a thousand times faster/deeper/more satisfying than the fake stuff.

    I can take a complete n00b and have them doing light sparring with techniques that they'll actually be able to use in a fight within 20 minutes of entering my class.In 60 minutes I can have them striking taking down establishing mount gnp'ing reversing mount and escaping guard in a single flow.(I usually don't teach sub holds on the first day,I put a emphasis on position over submission for the first month unquestionably and for the first 6 months almost certainly.Of course,I start teaching submissions from the 2nd week in,but I still drill position than submission because not enough people appreciate the importance of the nuances and utility of each position on the ground AND each stance while standing).And they do this with confidence (my biggest problem is making sure that Momz doesn't let little Dre or Toya go home and whompalize on their siblings; the adults seem to be able to handle it quite well).All because of the FM.You CANNOT do that with the IP because it's functional teaching methods suck AND it's pedagogy sucks too.
     
  7. ATACX GYM

    ATACX GYM 2nd Black Belt

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    ^^^From the man who spent the most time of anybody here directly with GGMEP.There ya are.Nuff said it's a wrap.
     
  8. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

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    I'm a young'n. I just really enjoy the history of the arts, so I was not there while it was called that (probably wasn't even born yet...LOL).

    In the SL-4 version of this, do you utilize the backfist to the ribs with the appropriate footwork?
     
  9. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm all ears, if you're willing to give a little clue on a) if you do this tech at your school, how you perform it and b) how to make the tech better, to get the most out of it. :)
     
  10. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    Ras,

    I may/may not have asked you this before, but in any case, I'm going to ask again. :) When you teach a technique, do you a) teach the IP and then make it more of a FM or b) do you go right to b?
     
  11. Doc

    Doc Senior Master

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    Hell yeah.
     
  12. ATACX GYM

    ATACX GYM 2nd Black Belt

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    I usedto show the IP a lot more than I do nowadays,but sometimes I still show the IP as a way to teach my students to be alert for the kind of craptasticness that pemeates the arts,and I remind my students when we go to tourneys to scout our opposition.We have a big laugh about it,tbh.Then I go directy to "B". There IS no justification for starting with any form of nonfunctional expression period. In every regard,the FM is superior.In the introductory phase when you're showing perception stances movement? The FM is superior because you have a superior understanding of both the real world attacks,defenses,physical movements,and the kinds of things that need to be perceived AND you KNOW WHY that's the case.You can convey that to your students stat.Lol.If you take a outside block and a reverse punch? You can teach them how to block a wide variety of assualts with the block and crack your attacker with the reverse punch.It gives you a perception,depth,understanding,and versatility that is beyond the grasp of the IP exponents.I swear to God,I had many IP exponents vociferously and rudely tell me that I was doing Attacking Mace wrong because I did it not only from any block or no block at all,I did it not only from the inside,but from any direction,seated,from the clinch,on the ground,with and against any hand held weapon,etc. etc. until all the primary basics in my Gym were addressed.I am NOT kidding.One guy went so far as to put it on video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNeEYgqQb6M&feature=watch_response


    I get this kind of thing all the time.Swear tuh God.

    Here is my response:





    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDxHsdUDLDU&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1kWv5GK8Fs&feature=related
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2014
  13. ATACX GYM

    ATACX GYM 2nd Black Belt

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    Now,what I'm about to say here might sound disrespectful,especially because you're probably my Kenpo senior...but it's not.I respect you,man.I like your posts.You definitely know whereof you speak.

    BUT.

    That was some horse puckey up there man.

    The IDEA behind the IP is not only a TERRIFIC idea,it's COMMON SENSE.Idk of any other art other than capoeira and a few gungfu systems that have said:"Hey! Let's develope sequences that reflect the reality that SD encounters don't reflect the sparring reality that is likely to happen in training,gyms,dojos and stuff." Then we can spar with that stuff and have every bit as much confidence in our say Thundering Hammers Leaping Crance and Falcons of Force as we have in our blocks punches kicks and stuff.The problem is? You're supposed to SPAR with this stuff.We DON'T spar with this stuff by and large.And pow.Zero functional translatability.

    Point blank? The whole arument about starting with IP and then putting it into context is bull crap.I mean...genuine unadulterated male cow feces from an over active male cow anus. If we're gonna have a discussion about something,let's talk about the something in question.You don't need to start with the intricacies of quantum singularity formulation when the conversation is focused on...tomato gardening.START WITH TOMATO GARDENING FOR CHRISSAKES.I mean...it's too simple.
    If the subject is tomato gardening and your talking about space/time/gravitational continuums formulations and fluctuations? Wth.And if I say..."Uhhh,this conversation doesn't have jack to do with tomato gardening" and your response is:"Well duh it's not meant to be." Frankly? YOU SUCK AT TOMATO GARDENING.Save all that other stuff for my manz Stephen Hawking and the Trekkers...and since I love Hawking and Trek? We'll be talking again in the future.But you need to get out mah damn garden rightboutnow and let in ole boi over here who's going innnn on the tomato gardening with hella potent right now methods and shows me why that's so and how to perpetually improve these methods.

    The IP in its current form is NOT essential to Kenpo.The analogy of the starting line for the L.A. Marathon is incorrect.Know why? ALL THE MARATHONERS HAVE TRAINED TO RUN MARATHONS.They've run marathon distances.They've gotten their diet right,their training routines and partners right,their equipment,their study of the Marathon course,they've researched the experiences of other runners.In a word? THEY'RE FUNCTIONAL.

    The IP IS NOT FUNCTIONAL.If it were,we wouldn't be having this conversation.A more apt analogy would be having a guy train for and line up at the starting line for the L.A. MARATHON here in L.A....when he's supposed to be competing in THE DECATHLON.IN EUROPE.It's that laughable of an assertion.It becomes even MORE laughable when you realize that all you have to do is take the FM to the IP SD sequences and POW!! No more disagreement.Maximum functionality.Radical redesigning of the SD because...IT WORKS NOW.Everything WORKS now.The teaching is infinitely better and infinitely more realistic in EVERY regard,and every single facet of EVERYTHING is better.And has SAME DAY APPLICABILITY.Can't beat it.The Ideal and the Functional have merged.We now have...THE FUNCTIONAL IDEAL.

    Again,sorry if I come off disrespectful because I'm anything but that...just...that post was significantly off point imho.
     
  14. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

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    ATACX:

    Your stuff works for you, great.

    I think the problem lies in the fact that you are trying to compare apples and oranges and missing the point. The Ideal Phase, for one is being misdefined by your usage as it relates to the kenpo S-D techniques. If you think of the IP's as a scientific lab experiment, you isolate one thing to experiment and study and all the variables are known. You are throwing in multiple variables and then saying the experiment doesn't work. The IP wasn't meant to deal with those variables one at a time. Those come later and are addressed as other S-D techniques, that is why the techniques start "simpler" and then progress to the more complex.

    The IP is meant to show you how to stop a right hand punch with significant momentum. The attacker is throwing his body forward as he throws the punch. This attack isn't a well balanced attack wherein the attacker throws it right out and then right back. You keep on applying sparring/sports attacks and missing the idea that the beginning ranks are showing you to deal with an untrained street thug throwing everything he has into that one punch. He has 100% commitment and is relying on your face to stop his momentum. I have yet to see you address this type of attack in your Attacking Mace video or in other criticisms of the IP's.

    Back to the lab experiment, if I am running an experiment to test for the production of hydrogen gas and then test for nitrogen I don't say the experiment was flawed or wrong, I realize I was using the wrong analysis to look at the problem.
     
  15. Inkspill

    Inkspill Orange Belt

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    what I like about the ideal phase is the isolation, of my movements, the opponent, etc, along with practice visualizing the opponent, and the interaction between my movements and all the various angles and patterns and paths of motion.


    it's nice to practice all these principles and concepts in this way as well as on the body. it's also good to get all my basics correct in this isolated ideal phase, I can go slow and train on my own and sharpen my movements. in the IP we get to practice the movements without adjustment.

    we learn the template and make everything perfect, we're hitting the correct target, stepping to the correct direction on the clock, weapons formed correctly, stance correct,

    basically, we make sure all master key movements/BASICS are correct in the IP before moving into the realm of 'what if'.

    when the physical opponent is there, it's a very familiar place to be with all the practicing on my own with visualization, I also have been training to create certain reactions in the opponent, so it's a template for when I'm working on the body. I know that I need to drop low to hit X target with Y weapon because when I kicked his knee out he drops lower. so on the body I make sure that I hit the leg correctly to make the guy drop for the next strike.

    I see the ideal phase is a study of chords and notes on your guitar at home, practice practice practice, melodies, tunes, songs, the 'street situation' is like going out and jamming with somebody playing an instrument on the street corner. they've got their tamborine and drum, and you play with them, just like we fit the situation in the gaseous state.

    it's all about the 3 stages, states, and phases. you're not going to do very well if you skip IP and jump into trying to jam the first time you pick up a guitar.

    I know these things from my own learning and when I've taught others various things. this is one of the best ways for people to learn anything, and having an IP doesn't mean you don't practice the other phases.
     
  16. ATACX GYM

    ATACX GYM 2nd Black Belt

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    ^^^ANOTHER GOOD RESPONSE.I don't want people who are reading this or any of you guys I'm responding to with some vigor to mistake the vigor of my response for any personal disrespect or anything else like that.I'm enjoying this discussion and it gives me stuff to think about (as perhaps the length of my posts tend to attest).

    However,there is a consistent and recurrent miscomprehension of my posts that keeps showing up in the responses of the IP defenders and exponents that I am going to have to address yet again.And this time I'm going to use your example,lab and all.I will also directly apply it to a beginner and here's where the differences really become a literal matter of empirical proof that torpedoes IP contentions.Btw

    See,it's ironic that you use the lab example because the FM is very very akin to the Scientific Method applied to teaching and combat.Observation,Hypothesis,Experimentation,Conclusion.That's the Scientific Method in a nutshell.I very often (just yesterday in fact) draw upon science and laboratory experiments as analogies.If you recall on KENPOTALK,I frequently referred to the "Kenpo Lab" when discussing DROPPING THE STORM.I and I alone repeatedly used that phrase so it's kinda ironic and cool that you're using it now...in DEFENSE of the IP which lab and scientific methodical application disqualifies from the realm of functionality and the superior model for teaching PERIOD much less teaching beginners.

    Before I go in on the IP? Lemme say it yet again: If you love the IP? Yay and goodie goodie graham crackers for all of you who do.I mean that without an ounce of derision.Sallgood..No prob with me at all.However,when you make an assertion like "The IP is functional" or "The IP is essential because it teaches beginners basics",or even worse "You don't understand what the IP is" and that's parto or or THEE main reasons for your championing of the IP? See,2 of the 3--the functionality of the IP and whether or not I understand it--can be empirically upheld or disproven.The 3rd--the IP's utility in teaching the beginner basics--is extremely questionable,or at least objective reality can will and does prove that the FM is far better suited for that task too.

    So here we go.

    This is correct in only one way: I AM comparing apples and oranges because I'm comparing the FM--which works regularly and reliably--to the IP which DOESN'T.That's the point.See,the FM starts with exactly the scenario you described,but the maaaajor difference is that each component that comprises the experiment is far more accurately analyzed and grasped.Therefore WHATEVER the goal will be? The RESULTS AND APPROACH WILL BE SUPERIOR TO THE IP.Every single aspect and nuance is faaaar more realistically weighed and accounted for than anything that the IP does.It's the FACT that the IP will advocate a defense against the omg whomptastic roundhouse right of doom but only if said omg whomptastic roundhouse right of doom is thrown in the perfect way to allow the defender to counter with horrific combinations of slaughterhouse kenpo that will only work if your opponent is kind enough to turn into the fighting flesh and blood statuesque rendition of August Rodin's THE THINKER and pose for you...that is the problem.See,the IDEAL scenario is not to be in combat in the first place,but if ya GOTTA be there? Train against the NON-IDEAL REALITY.This way you'll face far more common real world attacks and you'll be able to develope real world counters.

    See,if a guy comes in with a fully committed omg whomptastic right roundhouse punch of doom and you recommend the IP block? That's great.Hope it works.Problem? No energy timing or motion.So what you're doing is...YOU'RE PRACTICING AGAINST AN ATTACK THAT WON'T BE DELIVERED LIKE THAT IN EVEN THE BEST CASE SCENARIOS.This is something that the FM covers right off top.Even more important? The FM realistically covers the ideal attack too AT THE SAME TIME that it covers the "ideal" attack.The IP has NO answer to this,and thus SIGNIFICANTLY UNDERPREPARES its adherents,if not totally compromises them from out the gate by teachingfirst TERRIBLE teaching methods, horrible habits,incorrect body mechanics,self-destructive mindsets by getting the student to adhere to illusions instead of reality,etc.

    So going back to the lab experiment and your question about stopping the right roundhouse? You guys would only look at the right roundhouse...when it's delivered PERFECTLY DESIGNED FOR YOU TO STOP IT.That is NOT how an attacker will throw that blow.That blow comes WHEN THE ATTACKER HAS REASON TO BELIEVE IT WILL SUCCEED.This means it WON'T EVER come in a way that's perfectly situated for you to block and run off DTS on it as it's written.However...in addressing this reality? YOU HAVE AUTOMATICALLY addressed the perfect ideal scenario too.Because the non-ideal is harder to do.If Floyd Mayweather can block Sugar Shane's right hook? He'll block mine and yours too...cuz our hooks aren't as good as Sugar Shane's.And if we were ever stupid enough to throw the untrained omg whomptastic right roundhouse of doom at Floyd? He'd have enough time to laugh,set up a video camera,come back to us,roll the hook and our knock our damn head clean off for doing something as stupid as that.

    The IP completely ignores that reality and developes asinine defenses against fantasy attacks.Don't believe me? Observe:


    This is how IP exponents teach and apply the IP defense against the step through roundhouse omg whomptastic right hook of doom, applying the famous signature FIVE SWORDS (one of my favorite techniques) technique:



    Here's some more if you think..."ahhhh...that's just a fluke!"



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mimfERzviP8&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeBlWiSXdp0&feature=related


    Now sit back and marinate on the anusness we just observed.Absorb the wakkness.Meditate on the booboo.THIS IS WHAT YOU ADVOCATE IN THE IP.

    Now...check the FM out:

    THIS IS HOW YOU TEACH FUNCTIONAL DEFENSE



    My manz Floyd Mayweather Jr. showing you how it's done.



    Ohhhh but you're prolly thinking that just because it's boxing this somehow invalidates the exact same defense from a skilled right hooker because the blow is the omg whomptastic roundhouse right of doom.WRONG.If you trained functionally,you'd know that the LESS skilled punch is EVEN EASIER to evade.Matta fact? The MT block against a high kick works scrumptiously against this punch too.But you might say..."ahhh it's Muay Thai." I'm sure we'd agree that where the technique originates from is IRRELEVANT,the only relevancy here is:"Did I stop a real world punch trying to knock my head off?" But just in case people screech about the attack not being maximally anus,I said okay.I'll indulge you there too.




    But nnnnoooooo what if I didn't do the DTS exactly RIGHT and guys beef because of that...completely missing the fact that I utterly HALT the attack and counter devastatingly.Well,howzabout TONY BLAUER showing us:



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeJQDlzC1Wg&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guMBml28pDs&feature=related

    Which looks remarkably like ya boi ATACX doing:






    And there ya are.See,the flowery words and pretty phrases of those people championing the IP nonfunctional ineffective or less effective methods sounds GREAT...all the way up until you start applying it and comparing and contrasting with the FM/ALIVE method.There is simply absolutely NO PLACE that the IP is even remotely as good in any area as the FM/ALIVE method is.The overwhelming,devastating truth of the FM's superiority over the IP and the glaringly ludicrous nonfunctionality of the IP becomes instantly apparent the moment you show a real time,real world video featuring the defenses and attacks championed by the IP exponents and contrast them with the actually effective,actually functional FM/ALIVE method.That simple.

    In every single regard,from technical instruction to addressing the actual attack being mounted against us to the counters,the FM unquestionably TOWERS over the IP in EVERY MEASURABLE WAY.Teach n00bs real defenses against real attacks and watch them blossom,don't waste time with the fantasy goofy fake stuff...cuz that's covered too in the real world defenses anyway but the converse is NEVER the case.

    Again I mean this with respect,but ya boi ATACX is bluntly honest with his responses.
     
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  17. ATACX GYM

    ATACX GYM 2nd Black Belt

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    Every phase of what you mentioned...the envisioning,the stance,the option of moving at your own pace,the BASICS,I mean EVERYTHING...is done in an infinitely superior way by the FM.It's not about jumping phases.What happens is that the FM is SOOO SUPERIOR to the nonfunctional IP that the LEARNING CURVE IS GREATLY SHORTENED.So what would take an IP guy 20 years to learn would be equalled or surpassed by a FM guy IN ONE YEAR.This is NOT an exaggeration.

    You CANNOT train yourself REALISTICALLY to cause certain reactions in your opponent if you haven't trained realistically functionally and have had experience with causing your opponent to react in a specific way.That's like trying to swim on dry land and NEVER getting in the water yet claiming that you can swim.In the Pacific Ocean.During a storm.While in the grip of a rip tide.It's just...asinine and empirically refutable.See...take a guy whose ONLY done the IP goofy stuff for 6 months and he will still suck.Period.I can take that SAME GUY and make a him a FIGHTER in ONE MONTH.Hell he'd learn more in 6 LESSONS with me and the FM than he would with anybody else sticking only to the IP...in 6 months with the IP.And any other FM instructor could sensibly and truthfully make the same claim.That's the difference.The IP has cute flowery pretty words and stuff but zero relatability translateability and real world functionality.The FM is superior EVERYWHERE.You like playing the guitar? Imagine somebody telling you to IDEALLY play the guitar...on the freakin oboe.Imagine somebody telling you that if you practice with the xylophone,you will be able to put in context when it comes time to play the guitar.Imagine telling AXE from what was it...Guns n Roses?...that he could IDEALLY play his axe better if he got practiced with the HARMONICA.That's the sillyness of your argument championing and defending the IP.

    How about we ideally play the guitar if we're trying to...play the guitar.Howzabout everything we do be focused on playing the guitar well.From concept to application.You know what? We'll be able to play da hell out that guitar.It's a miracle.But if we start with the damn oboe or harmonica and ideall try to contextualize that into the guitar when we're supposed to play in the band that night? Yeah...sucktasticness will ensue.And there ya are.
     
  18. ATACX GYM

    ATACX GYM 2nd Black Belt

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    ^^^^^Did yall read that? The Kenpo Doc of Gitdown said..."Real problems aplenty,based on how most are taught without the elements of street realism, and an understanding of bio-mechanical function." If you add these elements,what have you got? FUNCTIONALITY.Omg plus ohmystarsngarters.It's a wrap.If you add that to your IP? YOU.ARE.FUNCTIONAL.Game over it's a wrap.Will you look like me or will I look like you? Nope.We're expressing similar core concepts not becoming carbon copies of each other.But will we all be functional? YES.

    Alrighty then.Next.
     
  19. Kembudo-Kai Kempoka

    Kembudo-Kai Kempoka Senior Master

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    Sorry, but you are clearly incorrect, and it's OK, as long as you can justify it in your own mind. The Ideal Phase serves a purpose within the system, as per Mr. Parker himself. It is to encapsulate the application of basics as expressions of the concepts and principles of motion. They are designed to be mini laboratories, in which discussions take place around how natural weapons are deployed for a specific efffect, within a given context. That is the FUNCTIONAL definition of the ideal phase of any self-defense technique within the Parker system. His words -- not mine -- are that, if you ever try to use 5 Swords against a punch, then you have missed the point of the system entirely. The techniques are not meant to teach this-for-that solutions to attacks, making the whole "applying the ideal, functionally" position a moot one. They are meant to teach you how to move. And, specifically, how to move in relationship to an ever-changing attackers actions and reactions to the flow of impact and energy in an altercation.

    Ya know something marathon runners do? Study technique. The technique of breathing; technique of gait, and modifying gait to levels of fatigue. etc. They study how to best utilize arms during swing phases of running, how to best land their heel, how high to raise their feet for ground clearance before kicking it forward, all of it. In running, they do this in clinics, or seminars, or with lotsa reading and experimentation. In fact, if you ever get really bored and have too much time on your hands, apply for a years subscription to the NSCA's or ASCM's research publication journals... hours of boring reading about one manner of movement versus another. They (runners) are functional AFTER they address the technical details... otherwise, they hurt themselves. Foot slap versus heel-toe? Have to learn it some time before they start putting dozens of miles on their sneakers. Otherwise, they jack their bodies up, and never become runners worth a piss.

    In kenpo, these "how to clinics" are the instructional sessions where the ideal is used to demonstrate a principle theme, then successive coursework looks at either adapting the Ideal to a number of contingencies (what ifs), or at adjusting operational biomechanics to move the application of the basics within the technique to "even if" levels of performance.

    The piece I think you're missing is the in-between. Yes, you can teach kenpo basics to someone, and start them off immediately in fighting to apply them... best way to teach someone to learn how to swim is to throw them in the water. BUT!!! that will NOT develop an Olympic-level expertise. Breaking it down to having them work on kicking in the pool, stroke past their body, lifting their arm out of the water just so, placing it back in the water just so, how the hand MUST be formed to move the body optimally accross the surface of the water while minimizing drag by swimming too deeply under the surface... these are all technical aspects that are addressed in training, that must be attended to slowly, and engrained properly, in order for a swimmer to go from a weekend water-hole puddle-jumper, to a high school competitor, to a competitive level college swimmer, to an Olympic hopeful. Coaches break down the minutae, because both God and the Devil are in the details. That breakdown takes place, in kenpo, in the Ideal Phase discussions.

    You are only half right. If I just want to develop a guy who can defend himself against a broad range of attacks, I'm not even going to teach him kenpo. I'm going to show him some kickboxing, a couple wrestling maneuvers and finishing holds, then put gloves on him and start kicking his ***! Then for the next level of training, I'm going to bring in a couple buddies, and we're just gonna jump him a couple times a week, with a little time between beatings to heal. When all is said and done, he will be able to apply a small range of options against a lot of different possibilities. But he still won't be a kenpoist.

    Mr. Parker called kenpo, "The thinking mans martial art". And the lessons contained in the starting point of the IP, then later in the extrapolations that explore application of the core concepts and principles accross contexts and scenarios, is where the thinking takes place. Think back to the stages of learning... the first being "Embryonic." Adult learning theory applied to complex coordinative maneuvers with a multiplicity of variations possible from any starting point requires a... ummm... what's the things I'm looking for... oh yeah STARTING POINT!!!

    If I put gloves, a mouthpiece and cup on a guy, and start knocking the bejeezus out of him, he will innately start trying to keep his hands between my fists and his head. But that doesn't make it kenpo. At some point, I have to stop whupping on him and say, "Here... when I do this to you, try this in response to protect yourself". That the Ideal... a discussion about "How to". During that same chat, I might introduce him to the idea of "angle of incidence", getting his blocks to stop my punches at perpendicular angles of contact; or I might introduce him to the differences between a parry and a block; or to counter-attacking me by throwing things at diffferent height zones, instead of always trying to punch down the pipe (all concepts and principles of motion). When I next resume throwing bombs at his head to make sure he uses the tools I just gave him, that's functional.

    Sparring with a technique? Nah. Technique application is meant to be injurious. FMA has interweaving hand patterns that fit that rapid-fire repeated attack sequencing function just fine, without compromising the intensity of ownership and injury-reliance built into the Parker system. I would offer that, having watched your videos of applying SD techs to sparring, you have already sacrificed the learning field for C&P like "strike manipulation", "contact manipulation", and "control manipulation" that are core essential aspects to understanding the application of kenpo in personal combat. Yet, while sparring, you could ostensibly use them all. Conundrum, eh?

    I don't mind redesigning self-defense techniques -- hell, that's what they are for. You are supposed to reach a point in your studies where you stop waiting for the answer to be handed to you, and set out to seek better quality answers on your own... both within the system, and without -- Mr. Parker was an avid student of the arts, always exploring and absorbing, right up to his last days. My objection is modification before understanding. My big chubby for self-defense techniques has always been Purpose -- what is the Purpose of this technique? Everytime I asked Mr. Parker to walk me through a technique, he opened the discussion with the phrase, "This technique is meant to teach you how to... [insert some specific skill about here]". The things were, "generate power from your legs, and transfer it to a whipping action with your arms", or, "start your attacker backpeddling, and not let the pressure up until you're ready to release him", or "introduce you to ways for getting past a guy who is trying to block you from getting through a doorway (the techniques from that conversation were Unfurling Crane and Flashing Wings, btw)". Not once... NOT ONE TIME!!! did he ever say or imply that the technique, as designed, was meant to be a self-contained self-defense scenario, as in "this is a defense against a choke". The purpose of Crashing Wings was to teach the student that it is easier to mess with a guys balance if you marry it to your own, first... NOT as a defense against a bearhug from behind. The Purpose of Lone Kimono was to teach the beginner "the lesson of Bridges -- anything extending between Point A and Point B is a bridge, and bridges are meant to be broken." Twin Kimono? To power figure-8 upper carriage momentum from action generated in the lower carriage. NOT a defense against a push or grab. The moves as reactions are finite. The concepts and principles, once internalized, are globally applicable, accross contexts. A Boxer with his back to the ropes can throw a flurry using Mr. Parkers "purpose" from Twin Kimono, and use the footwork to make his hooks land like thunder as he chisels his way out of the corner. A grappler can apply this to how he shrimps, creating momentum through his whole body, and not just wiggling one part. The techniques are limited -- the C&P are universally applicable, limited only by the understanding of the practitioner, first off, and their ingenuity, second.

    Rather than being a solution that's ever supposed to be taken so seriously as an end-all, they a starting places for conversation about how to use your body, skillfully and intelligently, in a given context, in relationship to circumstances dictated either by the attacker, or by us from how we hit or moved the attacker... or ourselves, or a change in the environment.

    I have been chuckling about all the discourse on Captured Twigs, recalling a time I asked him -- notebook in hand and ready to write -- what the purpose of the technique was. His response was, "to teach beginners to do SOMETHING, not just stand there and freeze like a deer in the headlights." Have heard that echoed since then by a couple of his seniors, who were all way closer to him than I ever was. Considering how expansive some of his answers could be, I haven't tried to be good at CT since. Just do SOMETHING.

    I certainly don't see any point in turning my back on someone in sparring and trying to apply it there. I would rather spend the time drilling on turning to face my work, then getting really good at leaving my back to an attacker.

    But hey... it's a starting point. Just like it was meant to be. A starting point in the Embryonic stage of learning. You know... embryo... not even a baby yet... the START of an organisms journey into a given field of experience.

    Oh. One more thing. The Embryonic learning stage isn't a static stage; it changes with introduction to new material, and new applications of old material. You could take an expert-level practitioner -- say, a black belt -- and demonstrate a new manner of applying an old movement, that reflects a new way of doing it based on a principle or concept they may not have been exposed to before, and that expert-level practitioner could be said to be embryonic in their understanding and application of that new-to-them C&P.

    In short, you're horribly incorrect in shooting down the "IP as a starting point" thing. It was Mr. Parkers contention that learning had to start somewhere, and the starting point function of the IP is internally consistent with Mr. Parkers descriptions of his own art. But it's your opinion, and you're entitled to it. In kenpo, we just call it "tailoring", and it often gets done early on by folks who never got the whole picture, and so have to tweak it to make it work or to be at peace with the material in their model of the world.

    Cute story (for me)... most of the guys prolly already heard it on here. I have never liked the extensions for my own reasons, so made up my own.... take a dozen or so judo throws and train the hell out of them, take the best "mexican hat dances" that are in the extensions, a couple finishing holds, and some power-breaking blows, and re-write them: Base tech + throw+ tap-dance to finishing hold or "Hulk Smash" shot, then screw covering out... draw your sidearm, and use the unconscious or deceased body for cover as you scan the environment for the next target. Worked great for the contexts I was training in and for. Mr. Parker called me on it, and made me demo my take on his system. At the end, he complimented me on it. Also added a caveat, "Just don't call it Ed Parker's Kenpo... I got a lotta guys paying me a lot of money for that name".

    Take home lesson? If you change it, it's yours. Some would say, if you HAVE TO change it, you probably never "got it" in the first place... that things not broken don't need fixing. Mr. Parker didn't say that, though he DID say, on multiple occasions, that everybody has different understandings, and everybody can only do the best they can, with what they have to work with. Some approaches fit different contexts better than others. But if you make such substantial modifications to a body of work, such that it no longer reflects the originators intent around his own creation, at least have the decency to drop his moniker from the end product.

    "I can tell you what to think, or teach you HOW to think. I can teach you a move, or teach you HOW to move." -- SGM Ed Parker, Sr.

    Kenpo is NOT the sequence of moves... never has been; the sequences were just there so we would have a common media of discussion within which to explore HOW one ought to move, in order to best utilize the bodys best potential. Kenpo is about HOW to move. I see people all the time doing the sequences, but failing at moving the way Mr. Parker tried ad nauseum to coach people to move.

    I wonder how many swim coaches are banging their heads against the wall in frustration, because no matter how many times they tell the immensely talented mook in the pool how to twist his wrist while hiking his opposite hip to gain more skate across the surface in order to improve his time, the guy just doesn't get it. The athlete is still convinced the path to becoming a better technician is just a matter of ten more laps, with more intensity.
     
  20. Kembudo-Kai Kempoka

    Kembudo-Kai Kempoka Senior Master

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    Ya know... I met Doc on this very forum, about ten years ago. He is the only kenpoist I know if who gets more geeky about correct biomechanics than I do. I ain't nearly on his mat enough, first cuzza being too far away, now cuzza trying to feed my family before the savings runs out.

    But, in short, I will offer this: While he agrees with you in principle, you have no idea what his words translate to in hands-on. He will be the first to argue there are correct and incorrect ways of moving and training. And sparring with the techniques, as you describe, ain't the solution he has in mind while agreeing with you that the mainstream way of handling it is inherently broken. You got brains and you got talent. If you're up for having your mind altered in a good way, contact the man and go see him for a chat. You will have a new appreciation for just how much bad kenpo is really out there, and how involved the process of relearning and retraining to get good at it really is. And how much of the 'kenpo' we learned along the way needed more work to begin with.

    Gotta go make some money. Be well.
     

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