What is Kenpo Good For?

Discussion in 'Kenpo / Kempo - General' started by Danjo, Jun 17, 2006.

  1. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Not just UFC. Take a look at any of the old school super fighters and compare them with the fighters today.
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qrur7U3T8IQ

    They are harder faster stronger.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UnkZ9r6xqoM

    Mass oyama was one guy and is competing with the collective efforts of a hundred thousand guys.

    Just training tools. Does anybody remember these. They were the answer to grappling and striking. And were expensive clumsy and delicate.
    [​IMG]

    While I am on a rant. Before the ufc was the leg kick. It revolutionised striking. You had to fundamentally change your system to deal with it.
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Lpl_7w8-jTE
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2014
  2. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    i still own my JKD gloves. one of my student's wife retro-fitted mine with elastics instead of the shoe laces. made it easier to put on and off. me and my students used them all the time.
    i was often looked at as a heretic for chaining the heavy bad against the wall to a 4" pipe and using it for practicing leg kicks. this was in 1986.
    i dont want to hijack this thread but many people claim the UFC was the birth of MMA. not so. there was a movement of us all over doing MMA before the term was coined. the UFC was born from that movement of thought. vale tudo being just one outlet.
    but there is an evolution to martial arts,, i guess Darwin was right about something.
     
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  3. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    Notice in this clip the grabbing aspects and leg kicks. WhileI am not impressed with the guard position they are holding their hands at, Ithink this is a good sport sparring match. this is a representation of atraditional style from Okinawa, (I know,,,the clip is from Japan) and for thosenot familiar the rules in uechi sparring is full contact to the body, light orno contact to the face., the rules are gentleman rules, you should be able tobeat your opponent without drawing blood... so expect to be hit in the face butnot full force. and you can take your opponent down the ground but you have 3to 5 seconds to score points before the judge stands you up.
    Kumité compétition de Tokyo 2013 - Uechi Ryu - YouTube

    this clip has better hand position.
    premier combat en championnat international de Uechi-ryu à Tokyo le 28 août 2011 - YouTube


    now look at these kenpo guys
    Lost Coast Kenpo Karate Test Sparring(6-15-10) - YouTube
    if i bash kenpo its because this is not kempo as i learned it 30 years ago... this is MMA.

    this is the kenpo sparring i know. i dont like it. clip has stupid sound effects sorry.
    Black Belt Sparring - YouTube


     
  4. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yeah it is basically rule sets. If you have continuous sparring with throws. It is going to look like mma. Because that is the dominant style under those conditions. And it is only the dominant style because a lot of people have fought those rule sets and have come to this consensus that there is a certain look that will get you further along.

    As to which rule sets you should spar under that becomes the debate.
     
  5. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    the original thread post was asking what the value of kenpo is. part of my point in the sparing links is that until recent kenpo sparing did not use these MMA rules. in fact almost no one did. it was the UFC that made them popular. what makes an art effective is more about THE WAY you train rather than WHAT you train in. we all punch, we all kick. i think it is safe to say a linear punch does not differ much from style to style. the goal is to punch hard. but its how you practice that makes all the difference. if you get lost in the menusha of details in punching you have lost my point. its all about mind set and attitudes. the intensity of your training. often if you have only been in one dojo for years you have no idea about the intensity of other schools.
    a dojo is only as good as its top student. without fail there is another dojo out there that their top student is way better than yours. i say this because it is often the case that the top student sets the standard and the pace for all other students to live up to. you would think its the sensei but its not, its the sempai.
    through out the 80"s and 90"s kenpo has given itself a very bad reputation. one poster here called it a "slap and tickle" style. kenpo is known as the MCdojo of schools. i think this is a worthy thread to start all by itself, on how this came to be and how to correct it. now this may be the systems true "value" or its percieved value but regardless if ,,like the sparing rule example your sparing rules involve slap and tickle fighting is there any real value in that? you may say yes there is value in anything if you look for it, well... you can find a bite to eat from a trash bin but i wouldnt want that reputation.
    one problem i see in this thread and debate is that we really have to be talking apples to apples. we need to separate the difference between the system,the organisation, the school, the teacher and the practitioner. all add their own part to the mix making up the whole. one poster here may be talking about the system and the other is debating him thinking in terms of a specific organization.
    peoples point of view on kenpo often depends on whether your an "insider" or an "outsider" i happen to be both. i am a 3rd degree black belt in the system and taught for many years and gave it up to study things that met my needs better. i also used to make it a habit to visit many schools and many styles in many states.
    i can honestly say this with no malice intended and no typical attitude about how my style is better than yours...but i will say, in my experience kenpo deserves the reputation it has. like i said how this came to be, is subject for another thread but you have made your bed now lie in it. you may argue against me but i have been there done that got the t-shirt and the belt ranking and from the outsiders perspective i look at a kenpo school and what goes on there and i just shake my head and think to myself "boy am i gald i am not there anymore".
    at this point i am pretty much done with this thread because i feel to keep going is just whinning and going round in circles. like it or not the reputation is yours not mine and so now the issue is what are you going to do moving forward. what are you going to do about it? because arguing here is not going to change anything.
    Frank Sinatra said ; the best revenge is massive success.. so go be the best you can be and make the best students, prove the world wrong rather than trying to prove me wrong here on a web sight.
     
  6. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    There's some really good comments there. There's also a lot I disagree with. Like with any style you can find great dojos, good dojos, weak dojos and really bad dojos. The first Kenpo dojo I ever walked into was George Pesares in Rhode Island. It was forty years ago but to this day it's the nastiest blood and guts gym I've been in, and I've been in a lot of them.

    Me thinks you paint with too broad a brush. Kind of pisses me off.
     
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  7. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    Buka, if my comments piss you off, thats fine as long as it pisses enough people off to say to themselves that they are not going to stand for sub par dojo and organizations anymore that pull them down and represent the style poorly. like i said we have to compare apples to apples. and i have been to lots of sucky dojo that were suposed to be traditional styles. and you are right many of the traditional karate seniors i know knew George and speek well of him. (in one instance, it was a group dinner out and Joe Lewis was was there and if i remember correctly he spoke well of George as well) but if was very good (which i am sure he was) he is an exception to what came to be known as kenpo/kempo in general. one bad apple ruins the batch,, ONE ON EVERY CORNER MAKES IT WORSE. also like i said its not really my problem anymore i am just stating what is the generaly accepted view of outsiders, so get pissed off, the more the better and get everyone you know pissed off and aim your anger at the ones who are hurting the systems reputation . . denounce them tell the world that what they do iS not true kenpo. stop making up titles like 12 degree black belts, professors, super duper grand pubar master. stop lieing about the sytems or the organizations history. shut them down pull their franchises whatever. be on a board of directors that set the standards. BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE AND MAKE THE BEST STUDENTS YOU CAN.
     
  8. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    :) It's all good, brother, I love and appreciate your passion. I put that smiley face there because I was smiling when I read your reply. (Thanks for replying, BTW)

    The Kenpo guys I know are the same Kenpo guys I've known forever. They still train and teach the same way. Which I know is a small sample size. So....what's going on in the Kenpo world that you speak off? Is it young instructors opening dojos? Is it lack of passion? (no passion in a dojo, to me, is a waste of a dojo) Is it because of business? Watered down? I'm really curious about all of this.

    I know who you are referring to with the "12th degree" term. To me, he's the worst scourge to hit Martial Arts in my lifetime. His old "World Headquarters" is a couple miles from where I'm sitting right now. We never actually considered him or his organization real Martial Arts, but I still have a palatable hate for all things Fred.

    BTW, I fist met and started training with Joe at George's back in 72. George was not a warm, fuzzy guy, but he sure could teach fighting. Twenty years later Joe would stay at my house when he was in town for seminars and such. (I'm the luckiest guy I know.)

    So.....what's up with the Kenpo world? Is all you said pretty much accepted? Is it a regional thing? Everywhere? Other countries? And when did all this start happening? I don't mean to be a pain in the *** with all these questions, but I'm interested. Kenpo guys and Kenpo schools always helped me.
     
  9. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    like you said " i was painting with a very broad brush" but that was on purpose. forum rules state you cant bash people and organizations. so i was trying to be general to keep my post from being deleted or myself from being banned. with that in mind it is very difficult to talk about this subject. ill think about what i want to say publicly and maybe send you a PM later.
     
  10. tshadowchaser

    tshadowchaser Sr. Grandmaster

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    I know this thread has gone on for 5 pages now and I admit to not reading every post but may I ask which Kenpo we are discussing as there are many organizations with Kenpo in the name:
     
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  11. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    I will post some of my thoughts and observations on thekenpo/kempo I have seen and experienced.
    I want to start with the system itself. Kenpo has what I would call a segmented architecture. Ed Parker said take what is useful and discard the rest. So the kenpo system is made up of pieces that chow and Parker thought were useful.
    If you took a house and made an addition then built on a garage then bumped out the back for extra space in the kitchen then added on an extra dormer upstairs ect . The house is an example of segmented architecture. It will work but it would have been better to design it with all those amenities from the start. Any good cook will tell you the design of the kitchen makes all the difference. It makes it easier to do the job. Pots and pans, utensils and a water source all have to be in a proper relationship to the stove. You can cook without a good design but it works against you.
    The same holds true for the kenpo system. This segmentation has its positive and negative effects. On the positive side it allows pieces and ideas to be pulled into the system and other parts to be deleted in order to better fit the individual. On the negative side it does make it more difficult to make an effective art and it takes longer to learn. It’s a trade off. The problem arises when there is a lack of a strong organization or leader to control and advice on changes. Kenpo has so many branches that there is no one single governing body. As these branches get farther from the roots the body of knowledge gets thinner and thinner. Many individuals take it upon themselves to pull in ideas and martial technique and this creates even more segmentation. Most often the parts do not fit together o rwork together very well. A good example of a style with segmented architecture is JKD. the difference here is that they are a small group of seniors that worked with Bruce and they are able to define what is and what is not JKD, who is and who is not representing the style accurately. There maybe a loose interpretation of what JKD is. Like Jazz music you know it when you hear it but you know its not punk rock or rap.
    At this point the next generation has more to learn, more, more,and more. The body of knowledge is so large that it is impossible to really get a handle on it. Newer students spend more time and energy learning the “next kata” and the “next technique” and never really learn and understand any of it. There is no mastery of anything..Just the “next “thing on the list. Proficiency has come to be defined by how much you know rather than how well you can apply it.
    Too much choice is not better. There have been studies done on this subject,they found that at the grocery store if there are 4 choices of salad dressing people pick the one they want and move on. But are more choice really better? They then put in a selection of over 50 types of salad dressing and what happed is that people got overwhelmed. After standing there not knowing what to do they would end up not buying anything.
    In a self defense situation the LEO knows exactly what to do. Draw his firearm. This is his “go to” defense. If he was overwhelmed by choices of things to pick from he would end up dead very quickly. In martial arts every practitioner has a tool box to pick from. In moments of stress you need to be able to fall back on the tool that will and can pull you out of a bind, you know it well and can trust it because experience tells you it has worked many times before. This “go to” tool does not have the time to develop for the kenpo student who is always focused on what the next thing is.

    This leads me to the “overkill” . Combinations of strikes and kicks that go on and on and on. The reality is that 3 actions are probably the most you will ever get off in a combat situation. There is a tendency to string together actions with little to no regard to the fact that you’re dealing with a living and breathing and fighting person.
    The technique of palm block, elbow, hammer fist, back fist,uppercut, tiger claws up, tiger claws down, groin strike, grab, knee kick for a takedown, arm brake, heel kick, eye pokes, front kick, heel kick to the groin….just aint gonna happen.
    The tendency is for unknowledgeable instructor to string together actions based on how they work together mechanically for the striker not how they fit together in the context of the interaction between attacker and defender. The bad guy is all but forgotten. In combat you are not dealing with two objects (person 1 and person 2) rather you are dealing with one action..A fight. The entire art of fighting is based on the interplay between the two objects that create one action.
     
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  12. Hand Sword

    Hand Sword Grandmaster

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    Whoa. Sounds like you need to take up MMA :D
     
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  13. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    MMA is another good example of a segemented achitecture. MMA works because it really has only 2 segments stand up usually in the form of Thai boxing and ground work usually in the form if BJJ. you can pull in other pieces like the dynamics of western boxing punching but it is very limited. but to go back to my kitchen anology this is like adding a microwave. you can do that without disrupting the overall system to much. its more of a assimilation then an add on. also in MMA there is a focus on one objective, beating your opponent. so you dont get the mental masturbation falacy stuff because at some point you have to prove it out. proving stuff and working out the wrinkles is not an option in other non-contact non-sport systems.
     
  14. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    What if there was no overkill in kenpo, and they were just doing a 1,2,3 technique, over and over, because that is how they trained? If the practitioner is making moves that aren't going to help him, over all, he is just some guy with bad timing. :)
     
  15. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    touch of death, i want to respond to your post but i am not sure i am understanding your point clearly. from my reading it seems like you are touching on a few different things. can you explain a little more for me?
    doing the same action over and over is the best training for combat. in the military you train to reload your weapon under the stress of combat. you should be able to do this without looking and without having to think about it so the action gets ingrained or "hard wired" into your brain. actions need to become a reflex and the only way to achive this result is thru repitition. boxers must do thousands of reps of lead jab, right cross, left hook.
    this gets into something i didnt bring up yet about assumptions. in combat poor assumptions will get you killed and most assumptions are poor.
    timing is a vital component in fighting. it is a complex issue. the three basic components of an action are speed, power and timing. there are multiple facets of timing, im not sure what your trying to say here.
     
  16. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    I mean either he doesn't understand the objective, or he has a poor objective. :)
     
  17. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    No MMA suffers exactly from that. The strategies that work for striking do not work for grappling. Mechanically.

    The capacity to switch from one style to another is greater than people think.

    So you could combine Thai and wrestling to do MMA you are doing three styles.
     
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  18. tshadowchaser

    tshadowchaser Sr. Grandmaster

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    Some people are forgetting that traditional martial arts where used in war and in personal combat where NO rules applied. Just because some of the eye gouging and testicle removal has been eliminated from tournaments and some "family" training dose not mean it is not in the art.
    Remember students of those traditional arts many times used to prove there study every night as they walked home from class or in the local bar at night, and I'll tell you from experience they did not go tot he ground and grapple and look for submissions.
     
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  19. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    I don't mean to take any comments out of context, but I think this is brilliant. I had never thought of it before.
     
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  20. Ironbear24

    Ironbear24 Senior Master

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    Kenpo is good for Street fighting. I have done it a few times. Of course it was against my will.

    Kenpo is good for sport. In my opinion heavy contact sparring is the best kenpo as you fight actually talented martial artists rather than dumb *** thugs.

    Kenpo is great for weight loss. I weighed 230 at 16 years old and dropped to 150 with kenpo. Later I started bulking with weight lifting and eating well and am now 207.

    Kenpo is great for social skills. Nothing says new friendship like hitting eachother in the head over and over again. Or taking eachother to the floor and getting into akward *** to face positions.

    Kenpo teaches humility as there will come those times where you think you are all that, only to be beaten up by somebody twice your age and is much smaller than you.

    Kenpo teaches gender equality, woman are just as likely to beat you up than a guy is. Plus women fight evil and stomp your feet and hit your groin while the guys seem to not do that so much. Kenpo has taught me that women are very hard core.

    Kenpo teaches diligence and discipline, you get nothing out of it unless you are willing to sweat and bleed and ache for it. It teaches patience, you will only become better if you practice a lot.

    Kenpo teaches that to improve as a fighter you must not only practice what you already know, but expand your knowledge by learning from other martial arts as well. This is so you can learn how to defeat it and learn how to use it yourself if necessary.
     

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