12 Technique Kenpo

Thesemindz

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More techniques versus less techniques is an argument we've had a thousand times. Some schools like more, some like way more. Some systems have like 700 techniques. The system I was raised in had maybe 300 or so, including extensions, although I never learned them all. Other systems have considerably fewer. Some way fewer. I have been told that Mr. Parker only needed to learn 18 techniques to get his first black belt.

Personally, I don't think it matters. If your system works, good for you. I like having material to explore and play with. Other people want a few basic techniques they can adjust to any situation. I don't think one way is inherently better than the other, they're just different. It depends on what you want, and why you train, and how you train. Western boxing only has a few techniques, but it's a very formidable art. At the same time, I've known guys who had hundreds and hundreds of techniques who were very dangerous fighters. Luckily, there's options to meet every demand.

But in this thread, I wanted to address the simplest possible number of combinations we could collectively design. Can we reduce the number of techniques to fifty? Twenty? Ten? One? How few techniques could we theoretically teach and still consider it a form of kenpo?

This is purely an intellectual exercise. I've decided to use the categories of attack as I understand them as a launching point for this discussion, but feel free to go in any direction you want. In order to limit the number of techniques, I'm going to include a grapple and a strike in each defense. I've also limited this to standing techniques, although we could probably have a lot of fun doing the same thing with ground fighting techniques.

So, first we have grabs.



1. Grab Defense

Key = control the grabbing hand, cancel the offhand, counter

Opponent grabs you from 12. Pin the grab with one hand, step back and to the opponent's closed side into a fighting stance, strike to the body with the off hand, and apply pressure to the opponent's elbow for arm bar control. Finish.

2. Push Defense

Key = establish a base, cover, counter

Opponent pushes from 12. Step back into a fighting stance, bring up your guard, strike low/hi, clinch to control or takedown. Finish.

3. Punch Defense

Key = control space, break opponent's stance, counter

Opponent punches from 12. Step back with blocks. Move off line. Counter with low strikes. Bearhug to control or takedown. Finish.

4. Kick Defense

Key = evade, match strong line to weak line, counter as opponent lands from kick

Opponent kicks from 12. Step off angle with deflecting blocks. Counter with high strikes to opponent's relative centerline. Engage with head control. Finish.

5. Soft Grapple Defense (hugs and holds)

Key = establish a base, control, counter

Opponent bearhug from 12. Step into a fighting stance as you break the opponent's stance by controlling his hips. Counter with knee and head strikes. Escape hold. Finish.

6. Takedown Defense

Key = establish a base, jam, step out of takedown attempt, counter

Opponent double leg takedown from 12. Step back into fighting stance as you apply downward pressure to opponent's head/shoulders/upper back (sprawl). Step off line of attack. Counter with strikes to opponent's upper torso. Takedown. Finish.

7. Hard Grapple Defense (locks)

Key = control with off hand, move ahead of lock, counter

Opponent applies downward wrist lock from 12. Grab opponent's arms with off hand to control. Step into lock. Counter with strikes. Arm hold control. Finish.

8. Choke and Strangulation Defense

Key = keep oxygen flowing to brain, counter, escape seal

Opponent applies guillotine choke from 12. Turn head and grab arm. Counter with off hand strikes to opponent. Reverse guillotine on opponent. Strike with off hand/knee strikes. Finish.

9. Club Defense

Key = avoid traumatic impact, counter, control weapon arm

Opponent attacks with club strike from 12. Evade. Step in on back swing with strikes to the head and body. Isolate the weapon arm, disarm if possible. Finish.

10. Knife Defense

Key = cover vital targets, control weapon arm, counter

Opponent attacks with pummeling stabs from 12. Escape laterally to closed side while covering torso and neck with arms. Wait for opponent to over extend his position. Seize weapon hand and isolate it from the body. Establish control over the weapon. Counter with strikes. Finish.

11. Gun Defense

Key = understand counter range, barrel control, disarm

Opponent points gun from 12. If within one foot range, step off line of barrel. Engage, control the weapon with both hands and disarm. Counter with strikes. Finish. If between one foot and twelve feet, stay calm and wait for range to change. If over twelve feet away, run.

12. Multiple Opponent Defense

Key = stay constantly mobile, line/group/separate, engage individually

Multiple Opponents engage from all directions. Immediately move in any direction with committed strikes to break free from the group. Move laterally to force the opponents to move past each other to engage. Use short, quick combinations of strikes against each opponent as they come within range, never lingering or grappling an opponent and constantly moving off angle to escape the other combatants. Finish each opponent when possible, moving away from fallen opponents to keep from tripping and falling to the ground.



Ok. I know that's super general, but I was just trying to establish a base line for defenses. I'm also sure some of you guys will disagree with some, or all, of what I've written here. Feel free to tell me where I've gone off base.

But do you think a person could use those twelve techniques, or some variation there of, to create a comprehensive kenpo style approach to combat? Each of the attacks comes from 12, but the movements could be applied in any direction. You would have to supplement the basic techniques with a curriculum of grappling and striking basics since they wouldn't necessarily be taught within the techniques themselves, and you would then run each of these scenarios through a variety of "what if" type scenarios. What if it's a hook punch versus a straight punch. What if it's a horizontal club strike versus a vertical club strike. Etc. Etc.

What do you think? Under this kind of dynamic approach would twelve techniques be enough? Do you think you could do it in less?

Like I said, I like having hundreds of techniques. I look at what other styles and arts are doing and try to learn from and add their approaches to what I'm doing. I'm always adding and expanding. But I also understand the importance of simplicity. Jab/cross/hook/uppercut. Superfoot used to fight with only three kicks and he was a champion. A thousand clunky, poorly trained and rarely practiced techniques won't do you as much good as a single cross punch practiced again and again against the heavy bag with intensity and focus. We can expand or contract as we please, as long as we're training. That's what matters.

And for the purpose of this discussion, let's just consider all the "so you think you're smarter than Ed Parker" and the "you're ruining the system" and the "you can't take out techniques and still call it kenpo" and the "you're only trying to destroy what you don't understand" responses already said. We all get it. This is a thread for considering paring down the techniques, not arguing over who's betraying the memory of Ed Parker.


-Rob
 

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But in this thread, I wanted to address the simplest possible number of combinations we could collectively design. Can we reduce the number of techniques to fifty? Twenty? Ten? One? How few techniques could we theoretically teach and still consider it a form of kenpo?

-Rob

quick question: in your opinion, is it the self defense techniques themselves that make it "kenpo", or is it something else?

I'm on the fence about it myself. Kenpo tends to go the "technique" route, that's a common theme in the Parker-derived lineages. That's a vehicle for design of curriculum that seems to be common to kenpo. But is that really what makes it kenpo?
 
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Thesemindz

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quick question: in your opinion, is it the self defense techniques themselves that make it "kenpo", or is it something else?

I'm on the fence about it myself. Kenpo tends to go the "technique" route, that's a common theme in the Parker-derived lineages. That's a vehicle for design of curriculum that seems to be common to kenpo. But is that really what makes it kenpo?

Good question.

For me, kenpo is an inclusive system of striking and grappling techniques that approaches combat in a realistic fashion without artificial boundaries.

That means we don't limit ourselves to specific techniques or targets accept as a training exercise. We don't ignore approaches or tactics because they conflict with our pre-conceived notions. We don't make up excuses for why our techniques don't work or throw out entire ranges of combat by saying "that wouldn't happen to me." We look at all the possible combat scenarios we can, logically, and find the best available answers. Then we keep looking for better answers all the time so that we can continue to improve our method.

That's what makes it kenpo to me. It is a limitless, evolving, "war time" approach to combat. Kicking a guy in the groin? Hitting him with a rock? In the back of the head? While he's on the ground and you're sitting on his back? Sticks, knives, guns? Throws? Punches? It's all kenpo.

At least that's how I see it.

As far as specific stylistic approaches, I guess you would say that any art descended from Chinese fist principles would be kenpo. Isn't that the original meaning of the word?


-Rob
 
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Thesemindz

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I've also taught fighting without teaching any kenpo self defense techniques at all, just basic strikes and grapples in combination with dynamic drills, bag work, and sparring. I considered that kenpo too, because the lessons I was teaching were the lessons I learned from kenpo.


-Rob
 

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As far as specific stylistic approaches, I guess you would say that any art descended from Chinese fist principles would be kenpo. Isn't that the original meaning of the word?


-Rob

interesting comment. In some ways I think it is unfortunate that we use the generic term "kenpo" at all. It really is so generic that all by itself it tells us very little and can hardly be used to name a specific system. It does mean "fist law" and is a translation of a Chinese term.

Taking a broad interpretation of this implies that all Chinese martial systems are in fact Kenpo, and use of that term means that those from a Parker-derived kenpo lineage somehow can make claim to a connection or even ownership of all Chinese martial systems. I completely disagree with this notion as the Chinese systems vary widely and have very specific methodogies that my experience tells me are often NOT similar to what is seen in kenpo. I believe it is not accurate for kenpoists to claim that everything, or everything that is of Chinese origin, or everything that can be useful and effective, by default becomes kenpo. Every legitimate Chinese system can trace a lineage and knows its history and development, even if some aspects of that history have become the stuff of legend and might not be historically documented past a certain point. If kenpo cannot somehow trace a connection to that history of that specific Chinese method, then there can be no claim of ownership or decendency or otherwise connection.

I understand that kenpo traces its history to China via Hawaii and Japan. It is my belief that there is no way to specifically connect kenpo to any specific Chinese method. There may be a Chinese ancestor method in Kenpo's history, but it is far enough back in history that the connection has been lost, and what kenpo has become today is enough different from the Chinese ancestor that it would be impossible to identify it from comparing methodologies or technique or specific approaches to training. So what that ancestor was remains unknown and is likely to remain so.

I also understand that folks claim William Chow studied a Chinese method (possibly Hung Gar) with his father. That may also be true, but "Kenpo" already existed and whatever background Mr. Chow had in Hung Gar or any other Chinese system could only be an influence on Kenpo and not an ancestor of the art.

Mr. Parker studied Chinese martial arts with Ark Wong and others, and likewise these would be influences on the kenpo that subsequently came from Mr. Parker. But again, I think this would be considered influences, and not truly ancestors, and these influences would be specific to what Mr. Parker studied and would not pave the way to claim all Chinese methods as Kenpo.

Kenpo needs to have its own system and methodology and be distinct and specific, or it cannot be considered a system. This does not mean that there cannot be room for variation and adaptation. Whatever is adapted or accepted as a variation has to somehow be compatible with that methodology. A system must have a methodology upon which it is built, or it is only a collection of (potentially/possibly good) ideas that may not have any real connection to each other and may not have a common method of execution and functionality.

I apologize for getting off track here, but this is why, when I really think about it, "Kenpo" strikes me as an unfortunate choice of term for the name of the system. It's kind of like calling one's system, "Fist Fighting". It is such a broad term that it doesn't accuarately designate an identity. But even if the term is very broad and generic, the method must be specific or else the system and application becomes somewhat schizophrenic and it's very difficult to maximize the potential.

this is also why I am asking and debating and trying to decided even for myself, what is it that identifies what Kenpo really is? Is it the specific body of techniques, or the concept of the techniques even if the specific body of techniques varies, or is it something else? I'm not sure.

Getting back to your original proposal, I think it can be a very functional approach, depending on how it's trainined. But there ought to be a solid method for how the techniques are executed, and all the techniques ought to be built upon that same method so that it is consistent. If that method is properly understood, that is really what makes it all work, and then (hypothetically at least) you don't need any techniques at all. At the same time, it gives you the know-how to make any technique work, even if there are 10,000 in your list, and assuming they are all well designed and make sense.
 
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Thesemindz

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I agree with most of what you put. Based on what I've seen, I have no problem assuming an ancient chinese ancestor to modern kenpo. But I also assume that for most eastern arts. China was kind of like the rome of the east, and their practices influence the surrounding countries to this day. It's also important to point out that many in the west came up with the same techniques without any eastern influence. Because there are only so many ways to punch someone in the face or kick him in the testicles, and anyone honestly seeking the truth is bound to come up with at least some of the same answers.

You're right though. Kenpo is a generic term. I think of it much the same way I think of the term "karate" and I use them both in a very generic sense. I practice defenses, strikes, and grapples that are common to many arts. I call them kenpo, or karate, but another practitioner could easily call them BJJ or TKD. I don't think it's particularly important. I've had the same discussion/debate with myself that you're having and I ultimately realized I just don't care. Karate is kenpo is TKD is BJJ is capoeira is western boxing is fencing is stick fighting. Sure, there's some stylistic and philosophical differences. But there is only one art of the sword. Fighting is fighting. The systems are just artificial means by which we teach the larger subject.

I'm not overly concerned with what we call it. We could call it underwater basket weaving. I don't care. The sign on the door where I teach just says "martial arts." Good enough for me. I know that I teach the kenpo method handed down by Ed Parker, but my white belt students don't care about Mr. Parker. I didn't, until I learned about him. They care about effective techniques and enjoying their training. And that's my job as an instructor, and the purpose of this thread.

As to the method. You say there ought to be "a solid method for how the techniques are executed." What method are you referring to? A singular concept, like "economy of motion?" A broad set of standards, like "evade and counter?" A training regimen, like "kata, waza, ukemi?"

My method is train hard, pay attention, and learn from your mistakes. Learn from every lesson. Don't throw away what you could use to make yourself better, and don't rely on others to do the hard work for you. Want to be a better grappler? Go grapple. Want to be a better kickboxer? Go kickbox. The answers are always on the training floor, and any time I'm feeling frustrated or I want a shortcut, I know the only solution is more training. That's the "solid method" I apply. But what did you mean?


-Rob
 

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there are people that swear you can learn all there is to learn about kenpo by just studying the master key techniques from EPAK.
 

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As to the method. You say there ought to be "a solid method for how the techniques are executed." What method are you referring to? A singular concept, like "economy of motion?" A broad set of standards, like "evade and counter?" A training regimen, like "kata, waza, ukemi?"

My method is train hard, pay attention, and learn from your mistakes. Learn from every lesson. Don't throw away what you could use to make yourself better, and don't rely on others to do the hard work for you. Want to be a better grappler? Go grapple. Want to be a better kickboxer? Go kickbox. The answers are always on the training floor, and any time I'm feeling frustrated or I want a shortcut, I know the only solution is more training. That's the "solid method" I apply. But what did you mean?


-Rob

A well structured system ought to be based on a very few principles that guide and power everything. One of the most basic ways of looking at it is to ask, "where does the power come from when you throw a basic technique like a punch?" For those who do not understand what the principles of their art are, they typically rely on brute strength to power the punch. If they are physically strong, with a powerful arm and shoulder, they can be effective. But this is limited to that physical strength, and is less functional for those who lack that physical strength and may not be natural athletes.

I don't want to say that the method MUST be THIS or THAT method, but there ought to be something that guides it all as a basic way of doing everything. One of the most effective ones that I've seen is a rotational power that includes rooting in the stance and using the legs to drive rotation thru the torso, which powers all the hand techniques. These techniques are not thrown from the strength of the arm and shoulder. Rather, they are powered by the whole body which is rooted into the ground, and it is very precise and specific in how it is done. This is how one says, "we hit with the whole body, not just the fist". In my own system (just a comparison for discussion purposes) this method is fundamental to everything. The whole system is based on this, and when you develop real skill with it, then every single thing that you do has the potential to be a devastating technique. This is why I say, you theoretically do not need to have any techniques because EVERYTHING can be a technique. Every movement, if done with this principle, has the potential to destroy the enemy.

I've seen people talk about their different kenpo SD techs and try to identify these principles. They say things like, "well in this one we step into the enemy and that momentum is where we get power, but in this technique we have the principle of stepping outside the punch, but in that technique we have the principle of stepping inside the punch, and in this other technique we have the principle or retreating, and over here in this other technique we have the principle of rebounding power..."

There is no unification in this method. Like I said above, it is a collection of ideas that have no real connection. The individual ideas MAY be useful and good in and of themselves, but they are not unified so the person is trying to harness power in a variety of ways and that makes it all sort of fall apart. If there is one common method that drives everything, then that can be the primary focus of training: using that method to make everything work. Then, any SD tech that is intelligently designed can be devastating, because that method is engaged in the execution. Because the method itself is so powerful and so well developed, the technique is unstoppable.

It doesn't matter if one is dealing with a punch attack, or a grab, or a choke, or a push, or whatever. Knowing how to fully engage the body gives the powertrain to defend decisively and quickly against any kind of assault, tho a body of SD techs can be useful in guiding specific ideas. But without that powertrain behind them, all the SD techs in the world just don't offer the same level of devastation.

From what I've seen, this is poorly understood by people from all types of martial arts. People pay a lot of lipservice to it, but in reality they don't really get it. When I see how they move, they lack that full body connection, tho they may insist that they are doing it.

honestly this is difficult to describe without being face-to-face, but hopefully I'm giving you an idea. I don't mean to derail the thread, but these are my thoughts that are coming out of it.
 
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Thesemindz

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Thank TF. Anything else to offer?

Flying Crane. I get what you're saying now. Now, in the kenpo that I teach, we teach 10 basic ways to add power to a strike. There isn't one single unifying method for accomplishing that, because we use different approaches for different contexts. I don't think that makes it fall apart, I think that makes it more adaptable. A strong person may be able to hit hard without a strong base. But even he will benefit from ground leverage and body alignment. But I understand that you're making a general point rather than a specific one.

I think the key is to understand each of the categories of attack individually and then in combination. To understand the similarities in the differences and the differences in the similarities. Beginners just need to learn how to walk and chew bubble gum, but over time they learn more and more sophisticated approaches.

As to a single method that informs the whole approach? I put mine in my sig line.


-Rob
 

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Thank TF. Anything else to offer?


-Rob


plenty

Kajukembo uses a small number of techniques.

21 punch counters

about the same # of grab counters

some club defenses, some knife defenses

and no one will say kajukembo isnt a kenpo art.

you DO NOT NEED 167 techniques to learn an effective fighting system

you might learn all you need in the 10 master key moves, if you practice them well and do so smartly

that wont teach you EPAK

that wont teach you KSDI Kajukenbo

but it might very well be enough.

as long as you are using a smart approach it will work. In my school, every technique i teach i apply a three step rule to it

parry

stun

escape

every technique must have those three elements in it and if those elements are applied in a logical fashion, with realism, its a good technique
 
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Thesemindz

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I like the parry/stun/escape concept. I generally teach the same idea. Don't get hit, hit him back, get away. Of course, sometimes we practice just escaping without counter strikes, and sometimes we practice just counter strikes with no escaping. Different contexts demand different responses. If I'm trapped in a public bathroom when a fight breaks out, I may not be able to escape. I've heard stories of women trapped in rooms for hours with violent attackers while they defended themselves and tried to escape. Sometimes you can stun and run. Sometimes you have to close and finish.

I think a person could probably practice Delayed Sword alone and become a pretty formidable fighter. Sometimes I practice sparring with this technique with my students, using only blocks, handsword strikes, and front kicks. And after training it this way for just a few minutes it can get pretty intense.

You're right, it wouldn't be EPAK or Kaju or Tracy's Kenpo. But it would still be fighting. And some people don't want to learn EPAK. They just want to learn self defense or sports combat. For other people, EPAK isn't enough. They want to learn more and more. And that's cool too.

So if you had to pick just a few techniques you seem to be saying that the "master key moves" are the way to go. Do you feel that those ten moves encompass everything you need to know?


-Rob
 
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Thesemindz

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I would be interested in hearing what these are and under what circumstances they are applied.

From a previous thread here on MT.

http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=72621

Ten Ways to Add Power to a Strike
Strength
Ground Leverage
Torque
Back Up Mass
Opposing Force
Marriage of Gravity
Borrowed Force
Rebound Energy
Bringing the Target to the Weapon, vice versa, or both
Angular Momentum​

These are the ten ways to add power to a strike. Because of Newton's Second Law, we know that there are really only two ways to add power to a strike, increase speed or increase mass. So these are really ten ways to accomplish one or both of those objectives.

1. Strength.
Strength is a matter of increasing both the amount of and the effectiveness of the muscle mass contained within the body. It is not merely a matter of improving the muscle mass in the weapon iteslf, because many physical factors contribute to the delivery of an effective strike, including stance and position, which include muscle groups outside of those contained solely within the weapon. In fact, as muscles chains work in sequential order throughout the body the effectiveness of any strike can be affected by the strength of a variety of individual muscles. Adding Strength can aid in increasing both speed and mass.

2. Ground Leverage.
Ground Leverage involves pushing against the ground with the legs to generate additional force for the strike. Think of pushing a car. In order to generate the amount of force necessary to move the heavy vehicle, you brace yourself against a solid object, the ground, and press against it. Because of Newton's Third Law of Motion, the ground pushes against you with equal force, which overcomes the force of the car pushing against you as you push against it. The end result is that the greater force generated by your legs overcomes the lesser force generated by your arms, allowing for the greater to be dispersed into the target. Ground leverage is a way to increase the mass value in the force equation.

3. Torque.
Torque is the tendency of a force to rotate an object about an axis. Just as a force is a push or a pull, a torque can be thought of as a twist. The power generated by that movement is equal to the amount of torque mutiplied by the angular speed of the movement, or to put it another way, the force which causes the rotation multiplied by the time required for the weapon to move through its completed arc. By twisting around the axis of the body, we are able to generate a greater degree of force than we would otherwise utilizing purely linear strikes alone. The rotation of the body as the force which creates the torque, multiplied by the weapon's time of travel from point of origin to point of execution equals the amount of power generated by the strike. Torque aids the student in increasing the speed of the weapon.

4. Back Up Mass.
Back up mass refers to aligning the structure of the body behind the weapon. By doing so, the student adds mass to the strike, increasing its value in the force equation. Rear kicks, horizontal punches, and straight tackles are examples of techniques which take advantage of back up mass. Backnuckle strikes and finger flicks on the other hand have very little back up mass, relying instead on methods of execution and increased speed to deliver energy into the target.

5. Opposing Force.
Opposing force is created when two energized objects come into direct confrontation. Because of Newton's Third Law of Motion, the total force of both objects is delivered equally into each, resulting in a greater amount of total force than if a dynamic object struck a static object. Stop punching and stop kicking techniques take advantage of this force, as do techniques which rely on anatomical repositioning to bring the target towards the weapon.

6. Marriage of Gravity.
Marriage of Gravity describes a method of striking that involves dropping from a higher position to a lower position with the entire body while striking. Gravitation is a natural phenomenon by which objects with mass attract one another. At the Earth's surface, ignoring air resistance, the effect of gravitation causes objects to fall towards the ground at an acceleration of 9.8 meters per second per second. This means that, taking into account the average arm or leg length of roughly one meter, and an approximate time of delivery of .4 seconds, a descending strike will fall with an approximate natural velocity of roughly 4 meters per second at the point of impact, depending on time and distance of travel. All descending strikes naturally have this additional force acting upon them, just as all ascending strikes have this natural force acting against them, which must be overcome and decreases the overall potential force of ascending strikes. While it is generally thought that increasing the mass of the weapon will assist in increasing the affect of gravitation upon it, and thereby the amount of force transferrence, in practice the difference is so negligable as to approach true zero. Mass only affects the rate of descent by overcoming the air pressure pushing the object away from the earth, and would have no effect on velocity or acceleration at all in an airless environment. Even at the Earth's surface, the affect of mass against air pressure over a total path of travel of less than one meter on an object falling at 9.8 meters per second per second over the course of less than one half of one second is not appreciable. While gravity does add speed to descending strikes, its effects are roughly equal for all strikes regardless of their overall mass. Sometimes instructors teach that adding mass to the weapon, such as falling with the weight of the body as opposed to the weapon alone is marriage of gravity. This is more closely related to Back Up Mass, and will add power to a strike by increasing the mass value in the force equation, but has little or nothing to do with gravitation. True Marriage of Gravity then has more to do with body alignment and synchronized movement then gravitational force.

7. Borrowed Force.
Borrowed Force is generated when force acts upon an object, causing it to change its uniform state of motion. When this occurs, the object may be caused to acclerate or decelerate. If the object accelerates as a response to the force acted upon it, then the speed value in the force equation is increased, resulting in greater overall force output. This can be accomplished by a force generating torque, such as in techniques where the student is pushed on one shoulder causing him to rotate around his core and adding force to strikes executed with the other shoulder, or by the student being pushed from behind and into an opponent.

8. Rebound Energy.
Rebound Energy takes advantage of Newton's Third Law of Motion. Because of the reciprocal action of opposing forces, when a strike makes contact with a target, an amount of force is transferred from the target to the weapon itself. Each time the weapon makes contact with a target, it is simultaneously delivering and receiving force. If that force is resisted, it is wasted. However, if the energy of that force is used immediately to launch the weapon along a new path, it can add to the power of the next successive strike. If that weapon is then delivered in line with the direction of the force applied, it can increase its speed and therefore its overall force output.

9. Bringing the Target to the Weapon, vice versa, or both.
By bringing the target and weapon together, the student generates speed in the initial action. While this may seem overly simplistic, it is the basis of the speed value in the force equation. If the weapon and target do not come into contact, then no force is transferred. By bringing the target and weapon together simultaneously, the speed of both moving objects is combined to generate even greater force. The target can be brought to the weapon by taking advantage of anatomical responses in the opponent to previous strikes executed by the student.

10. Angular Momentum.
Angular Momentum is the process by which an object rotating around an axis will continue to rotate around that object unless acted upon by an external torque. Theoretically, any object existing in a vacuum attached to a fulcrum by a lever would continue to rotate around that fulcrum unendingly in the absence of the application of an external force. What is important about angular momentum is that it is a conserved quantity, meaning that it doesn't decrease absent that force being applied. Once the object is in motion, except for losses attributable to air resistance and muscle tension, the energy level of the rotation is constant. If the length of the lever is reduced, the speed of the object must increase to compensate for the reduction in that lever's contribution to the overall angular momentum. This is akin to a ice skater pulling her arms in towards her body and spinning faster. Because the contribution of her arms towards her angular momentum is reduced, while no other factors contributing to her angular momentum are increased, her speed must increase as a result in order for her angular momentum to remain constant. The student can achieve the same result by drastically altering the length or angle of a weapon along a circular path. Punches that become elbow strikes, or backnuckle strikes that become outward hooking crane traps, are examples of ways in which the student can take advantage of angular momentum to increase the speed, and by extension the overall force output, of a strike.

The Ten Ways to Add Power to a Strike is not an all encompassing list of methods. It is intended as a primer to aid the student in developing an understanding of ways in which his actions can increase elements of the force equation to make his striking more effective. Many of the Ways overlap in practice, and many striking methods will encorporate several of the Ways at any time.


-Rob
 

Twin Fist

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Here are the 10 "Master Key Moves"


THUNDERING HAMMERS- vitally important

FIVE SWORDS-The "textbook" kenpo technique

LONE KIMONO-gotta have this

SHIELDING HAMMER
REPEATING MACE
LOCKED WING
INTELLECTUAL DEPARTURE-iffy on this one

THRUSTING SALUTE
PARTING WINGS
HOOKING WINGS-this with five swords to me, in my opinion ARE epak.


you could, i think, learn everything you need to know about Kenpo in these techniques.

it wouldnt be a style, but you would know a way of moving just from these.
 

MJS

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quick question: in your opinion, is it the self defense techniques themselves that make it "kenpo", or is it something else?

I'm on the fence about it myself. Kenpo tends to go the "technique" route, that's a common theme in the Parker-derived lineages. That's a vehicle for design of curriculum that seems to be common to kenpo. But is that really what makes it kenpo?

I"d say its a bit of the techs, and a bit of the way they're applied. I say techs, because of things like the checks, and the things that Rob mentioned in his post, where he listed those 10 things.

I'd say the way they're applied is also unique, also because of those 10 things. But, IMO, I should, as well as any other Kenpo person, be able to use those principles, concepts, etc, and formulate your own response, on the fly. Ex: If my tech is nothing more than stepping off on a 45, doing a left parry to the punch, and a slap to the groin, no, I'm not doing a Kenpo tech per se, but who cares....I defended myself using all things that're found in the art.
 

MJS

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plenty

Kajukembo uses a small number of techniques.

21 punch counters

about the same # of grab counters

some club defenses, some knife defenses

and no one will say kajukembo isnt a kenpo art.

you DO NOT NEED 167 techniques to learn an effective fighting system

you might learn all you need in the 10 master key moves, if you practice them well and do so smartly

that wont teach you EPAK

that wont teach you KSDI Kajukenbo

but it might very well be enough.

as long as you are using a smart approach it will work. In my school, every technique i teach i apply a three step rule to it

parry

stun

escape

every technique must have those three elements in it and if those elements are applied in a logical fashion, with realism, its a good technique

I agree with this 100%. Regarding the underlined part....I've said the same damn thing, and have had numerous people disagree. Why? Because somehow, there are 167 seperate lessons in those 167 techs. To that, I call BS. Why? Because I can't believe for the life of me, that those lessons dont or havent repeated themselves, numerous times, in other techs.
 

yorkshirelad

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I believe that EPAK is the use of Mr. Parker's terminology to explain bio-mechanics. Footwork is also a common denominator. If you use EPAK footwork, concepts, principles and the terminology that explains them, you should be able to incorporate most techniques from other arts.
Because of my Aiki-Jujutsu background I use Aiki as a componant of my Kenpo and I believe that the footwork of EPAK not only compliments Aiki, but add both power and stability to each Aiki technique.
Now, if anyone here knows anything about Aiki, they will have knowledge of Shiho-nage (four direction throw). This technique, like all Aiki-techniques can be used against all attacks, the only difference in technique being the initial block, parry or angle of attack.
The reason I use shiho-nage as an example is that I remember hearing about one of the Shihan in the Yoshinkan Hombu, who was highly regarded, who was only ever seen working on one technique, Shiho-Nage. The entirety of his training was one technique which encompassed all attacks.
I love teaching clases where just one technique of Aiki is taught for two hours, using kenpo footwork, but the students maintain interest because the attacks vary immensely.
My Muay Thai coach sometimes has difficulty explaining how footwork is used to generate power in his techniques. After a brief conversation with him, he can now explain the use of rotational torque, backup mass, gravitational marriage and borrowed force. He now uses the terms forward bow and neutral bow for stances and even a transitional cat for the set up for checking a kick. In essence, he now teaches Kenpo as far as I'm concerned, but I wouldn't dare tell him that.
I believe the techniques that Mr. Parker and his students devised was a means of taking the creative work out of Kenpo and standardizing the art. There are a limited set of Master Key techniques however that can be studied with and the henka can produce an almost infinite number of variations.
To conclude, EPAK is not defined by techniques, so as long as a perimeter is defined using concepts, principles and footwork, it's pretty much open season.
 

yorkshirelad

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INTELLECTUAL DEPARTURE-iffy on this one
.
I always thought this as iffy also, but considering that it is just a kind of upside down Delayed Sword, you could classify delayed Sword as the Master key. Then again, I beleieve Intellectual Departure pre dated delayed Sword, so it could be one or the other.
 

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More techniques versus less techniques is an argument we've had a thousand times. Some schools like more, some like way more. Some systems have like 700 techniques. The system I was raised in had maybe 300 or so, including extensions, although I never learned them all. Other systems have considerably fewer. Some way fewer. I have been told that Mr. Parker only needed to learn 18 techniques to get his first black belt.

Personally, I don't think it matters. If your system works, good for you. I like having material to explore and play with. Other people want a few basic techniques they can adjust to any situation. I don't think one way is inherently better than the other, they're just different. It depends on what you want, and why you train, and how you train. Western boxing only has a few techniques, but it's a very formidable art. At the same time, I've known guys who had hundreds and hundreds of techniques who were very dangerous fighters. Luckily, there's options to meet every demand.

But in this thread, I wanted to address the simplest possible number of combinations we could collectively design. Can we reduce the number of techniques to fifty? Twenty? Ten? One? How few techniques could we theoretically teach and still consider it a form of kenpo?

This is purely an intellectual exercise. I've decided to use the categories of attack as I understand them as a launching point for this discussion, but feel free to go in any direction you want. In order to limit the number of techniques, I'm going to include a grapple and a strike in each defense. I've also limited this to standing techniques, although we could probably have a lot of fun doing the same thing with ground fighting techniques.

So, first we have grabs.



1. Grab Defense

Key = control the grabbing hand, cancel the offhand, counter

Opponent grabs you from 12. Pin the grab with one hand, step back and to the opponent's closed side into a fighting stance, strike to the body with the off hand, and apply pressure to the opponent's elbow for arm bar control. Finish.

2. Push Defense

Key = establish a base, cover, counter

Opponent pushes from 12. Step back into a fighting stance, bring up your guard, strike low/hi, clinch to control or takedown. Finish.

3. Punch Defense

Key = control space, break opponent's stance, counter

Opponent punches from 12. Step back with blocks. Move off line. Counter with low strikes. Bearhug to control or takedown. Finish.

4. Kick Defense

Key = evade, match strong line to weak line, counter as opponent lands from kick

Opponent kicks from 12. Step off angle with deflecting blocks. Counter with high strikes to opponent's relative centerline. Engage with head control. Finish.

5. Soft Grapple Defense (hugs and holds)

Key = establish a base, control, counter

Opponent bearhug from 12. Step into a fighting stance as you break the opponent's stance by controlling his hips. Counter with knee and head strikes. Escape hold. Finish.

6. Takedown Defense

Key = establish a base, jam, step out of takedown attempt, counter

Opponent double leg takedown from 12. Step back into fighting stance as you apply downward pressure to opponent's head/shoulders/upper back (sprawl). Step off line of attack. Counter with strikes to opponent's upper torso. Takedown. Finish.

7. Hard Grapple Defense (locks)

Key = control with off hand, move ahead of lock, counter

Opponent applies downward wrist lock from 12. Grab opponent's arms with off hand to control. Step into lock. Counter with strikes. Arm hold control. Finish.

8. Choke and Strangulation Defense

Key = keep oxygen flowing to brain, counter, escape seal

Opponent applies guillotine choke from 12. Turn head and grab arm. Counter with off hand strikes to opponent. Reverse guillotine on opponent. Strike with off hand/knee strikes. Finish.

9. Club Defense

Key = avoid traumatic impact, counter, control weapon arm

Opponent attacks with club strike from 12. Evade. Step in on back swing with strikes to the head and body. Isolate the weapon arm, disarm if possible. Finish.

10. Knife Defense

Key = cover vital targets, control weapon arm, counter

Opponent attacks with pummeling stabs from 12. Escape laterally to closed side while covering torso and neck with arms. Wait for opponent to over extend his position. Seize weapon hand and isolate it from the body. Establish control over the weapon. Counter with strikes. Finish.

11. Gun Defense

Key = understand counter range, barrel control, disarm

Opponent points gun from 12. If within one foot range, step off line of barrel. Engage, control the weapon with both hands and disarm. Counter with strikes. Finish. If between one foot and twelve feet, stay calm and wait for range to change. If over twelve feet away, run.

12. Multiple Opponent Defense

Key = stay constantly mobile, line/group/separate, engage individually

Multiple Opponents engage from all directions. Immediately move in any direction with committed strikes to break free from the group. Move laterally to force the opponents to move past each other to engage. Use short, quick combinations of strikes against each opponent as they come within range, never lingering or grappling an opponent and constantly moving off angle to escape the other combatants. Finish each opponent when possible, moving away from fallen opponents to keep from tripping and falling to the ground.



Ok. I know that's super general, but I was just trying to establish a base line for defenses. I'm also sure some of you guys will disagree with some, or all, of what I've written here. Feel free to tell me where I've gone off base.

But do you think a person could use those twelve techniques, or some variation there of, to create a comprehensive kenpo style approach to combat? Each of the attacks comes from 12, but the movements could be applied in any direction. You would have to supplement the basic techniques with a curriculum of grappling and striking basics since they wouldn't necessarily be taught within the techniques themselves, and you would then run each of these scenarios through a variety of "what if" type scenarios. What if it's a hook punch versus a straight punch. What if it's a horizontal club strike versus a vertical club strike. Etc. Etc.

What do you think? Under this kind of dynamic approach would twelve techniques be enough? Do you think you could do it in less?

Like I said, I like having hundreds of techniques. I look at what other styles and arts are doing and try to learn from and add their approaches to what I'm doing. I'm always adding and expanding. But I also understand the importance of simplicity. Jab/cross/hook/uppercut. Superfoot used to fight with only three kicks and he was a champion. A thousand clunky, poorly trained and rarely practiced techniques won't do you as much good as a single cross punch practiced again and again against the heavy bag with intensity and focus. We can expand or contract as we please, as long as we're training. That's what matters.

And for the purpose of this discussion, let's just consider all the "so you think you're smarter than Ed Parker" and the "you're ruining the system" and the "you can't take out techniques and still call it kenpo" and the "you're only trying to destroy what you don't understand" responses already said. We all get it. This is a thread for considering paring down the techniques, not arguing over who's betraying the memory of Ed Parker.


-Rob

I had a similar discussion over at KT with Zoran. He posted how they do things at their school. I'll try to dig up the post and copy it here. But, to answer your question: Obviously you should, IMO anyways, start people off with the basics, so by the time you get to the more advanced stuff, they'll know what they're doing. LOL. So, I wouldn't include knife defense at white belt level. So, using your breakdown, and still trying to keep it somewhat Kenpo, I'd say 5 or 6 techs per belt. We could pick specific Kenpo techs and use those as a base. Of course, using what I and FC said earlier, build from there. So, over the course of the particular belt level, in the end, the students are still going to end up with more than 5 or 6 techs, but instead of it being a preset tech, it's 'their' technique. In other words, we're getting them to think outside of the box. :)

Of course, as you advance in belt levels, the mulit man, gun, stick, knife techs come into play.

So, you have 8 belt levels, with 5-6 techs/belt, you end up with 40-48 techs. This of course, isn't including their own ad-libs, that they came up with.
 

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Thank TF. Anything else to offer?

Flying Crane. I get what you're saying now. Now, in the kenpo that I teach, we teach 10 basic ways to add power to a strike. There isn't one single unifying method for accomplishing that, because we use different approaches for different contexts. I don't think that makes it fall apart, I think that makes it more adaptable. A strong person may be able to hit hard without a strong base. But even he will benefit from ground leverage and body alignment. But I understand that you're making a general point rather than a specific one.

I think the key is to understand each of the categories of attack individually and then in combination. To understand the similarities in the differences and the differences in the similarities. Beginners just need to learn how to walk and chew bubble gum, but over time they learn more and more sophisticated approaches.

As to a single method that informs the whole approach? I put mine in my sig line.


-Rob


All of our kinetic power movements require the breath,relaxed body whip and kinetic chain movement of the body.This is of supreme importance.Breath,relaxed body whip AND kinetic chain movement.Supreme importance.The goal is to use THE ENTIRE BODY IN EVERY MOVE as efficiently and effectively as possible.We draw from kinesiology and other sciences for the movement power principles and then find ways to apply them with strikes,during grappling,jumping,rolling,and running.Our thrown weapon techs are pretty similar to our kinesiology based striking techs.Imo most if not all brands of kenpo that don't include active grappling and ground grappling lack the practical and effective power techs,flow and real world translateability that speedily derives from its use and application in SD situations.The converse is also true.Triple that for weapons.Multiply that to the nth power when combined with the concerns that we in THE ATACX GYM work with daily.

The twelve techs that you mentioned are essentially guidelines for us which become amazingly similar as we apply our variants of the 72 SD techs to every range of combat rescue and escape that are the primary concerns of THE ATACX GYM. You ever try Falcons of Force while ground grappling,from any position? Loootsaaa fun.You adapt and adjust and alter the kicks usually to knees and grappling appropriate movements,but the steps quickly become sweeps,elevators,literally step overs,and the strikes if anything COME LOTS FASTER.But no matter what? You'll coordinate your breath,relaxed body whip,and kinetic chain movements.I mean,try Falcons of Force vs ONE guy on the ground.Try it when TWO of you are rolling around on the ground.Try it while ONE GUY IS STANDING AND THE OTHER GRAPPLING.I mean,go through the whole gamut.
 

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