American Kenpo Senior Corner?

Bob Hubbard

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When we set this section up a few years ago, we had great expectations for it. We envisioned it as a relaxed and respectful place where students could ask questions of those long timers who have put the blood, sweat and tears into training, without the angst, politics and negativity that had happened in the past. We sent out numerous invitations but only a few came. Why there was so little response I can't say. Politics and past problems leave some unwilling to come, some may never have gotten their invitation and avoided feeling slighted. Some promised participation, yet never even said hello. Regardless of the reasons, the section has never really "taken" as we'd hoped.

Since then, we launched KenpoTalk, other sites have come and gone, and times and things change.

We would like to revive this section, and have it fulfill it's mission, but to do that, we need everyone's help.

We need 2 things.

We need to know....What is a "Kenpo Senior"?

Once we know that, we need them to become a member and utilize us and our site to continue spreading their knowledge to the next generations of students. We will need our members help so that every one of the Seniors knows that they are welcome here, and they are needed here.
 

Kembudo-Kai Kempoka

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The definition of a Senior is kind of a relative issue. My definition is inclusive of guys who with Mr. Parker since the 60's and up, or with him for a long time in the early days, but may have broken away for some reason. Long-timers in the art with close roots to it's genesis, or guys who put in enough contribution that Mr. P saw to bump them to 7th.

I also think of there as being a couple classes of "Semi-Seniors"...guys at it for a long time who would likely be the next generation of seniors when the current ones keel over. In my mind, I classify it like different stations of royalty...Princes (the most senior seniors...7ths from the old man), earls/dukes (guys who were 4ths, 5ths, 6ths... in it for more than 30 years, with some contact with Mr. Parker either through lessons, or regular seminar or class contact), counts, knights, serfs, etc.

One of the big problems in kenpo now is that it can't really be rank based. I would send Dennis Conatser and Rich Hale senior invites, being they are one decade short of being dinosaurs with the originals. Some have tried to put me in that group, but I don't belong there ... even though I've been at it for >35 years and have studied under some of the greats, I am in no way near their understanding of kenpo intricacies.

Then we have issues around guys being preened by dinosaurs as apprentices...their understandings would surely offer excellent food for thought to the board.

I would craft a neutral letter to the seniors who HAVE responded, asking them what their criteria would be for the term; inclusively and exclusively, as well as recommendations for whom they would consider appropriate class members. There are certainly elder statesmen in the system who been around a long time, but perhaps shouldn't be considered seniors. "Grand-Minors" was a term I saw once I thought was pretty clever.

Good luck,

Dave
 

Hand Sword

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As for what a senior is, I don't really know. I've seen aged, multiple striped belt individuals who's skills and knowledge were.......lacking. I've also seen some who were great in all areas. So, I will address the "need" issue.

What I type now, is my opinion and feeling on the matter, take it for what it's worth or what value you find.

Through the years the arts have gone through many changes in this country. Politics and god knows what ever else has shattered "families", groups, organizations, etc.... and has produced the feelings that exist now. I will not get into those feelings, but, I will say, for the sake of argument, that they are all real and should be acknowledged, due to their personal nature. That said, I would like to focus on a problem that I feel is more to the point, and sadly, unavoidable. That is the passage of time. We have lost MANY of the most crucial martial artists through the years. Their knowledge, and experiences gone with them, only remaining in those last few who were lucky enough to be exposed to them. As time goes on, they, as will we all, will be lost forever. In that future time, I would like to believe that we would feel like giving anything for a little more time. If so, I would honorably request that we take advantage now of the time we all have left as learners and teachers. The old ways and knowledge are disappearing quickly, and will continue to do so, seemingly at a faster pace, as we all get older. Please, don't let the personal feelings get in the way of what is truly important--that knowledge and those experiences. At one time, for you all, as with us, that is what we cherished and continue to cherish. It can't be allowed to disappear due to politics, etc... It's much too important.

Respectfully,

Hand Sword (Mike Jones) :asian:
 

Doc

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When we set this section up a few years ago, we had great expectations for it. We envisioned it as a relaxed and respectful place where students could ask questions of those long timers who have put the blood, sweat and tears into training, without the angst, politics and negativity that had happened in the past. We sent out numerous invitations but only a few came. Why there was so little response I can't say. Politics and past problems leave some unwilling to come, some may never have gotten their invitation and avoided feeling slighted. Some promised participation, yet never even said hello. Regardless of the reasons, the section has never really "taken" as we'd hoped.

Since then, we launched KenpoTalk, other sites have come and gone, and times and things change.

We would like to revive this section, and have it fulfill it's mission, but to do that, we need everyone's help.

We need 2 things.

We need to know....What is a "Kenpo Senior"?

Once we know that, we need them to become a member and utilize us and our site to continue spreading their knowledge to the next generations of students. We will need our members help so that every one of the Seniors knows that they are welcome here, and they are needed here.

I like the idea although for me describing a senior is difficult. There are many who have been around for a long time who are senior in age, but not knowledge. That includes some of Mr. Parker's own well known black belts. It is the reason Parker had the saying, "Just because the red show, it don't mean that you know." I also think that the term "American Kenpo" has become so broad, it makes it difficult as well, and a "senior" has become a relative term. Rank alone can't be used because Parker gave rank for reasons other than competency and knowledge. Simply "living" and wearing the belt doesn't bestow competent knowledge either.

So if we can't use rank, lineage, or longevity as a criterion we are only left with, at least for an internet forum, obvious literate martial arts knowledge and at some point, observed public competence. Not that rank, lineage, or even longevity should be excluded, but that they alone does not a "senior" make. Unfortunately even "observed competence" is subjective.

Truthfully though, I think the biggest impediment has already presented itself. The willingness to answer questions and put your knowledge on the line, is no easy task. Obviously you leave yourself open to harsh scrutiny, criticism, and public examination of those that may not agree with you.

The legitimate possession of an Ed Parker Diploma doesn't make you immune, nor competent. It just means you should be. The willingness to back it up in public from all comers on a regular basis, is nether easy, or for the most part it would appear, desirable for many. For most I would think it would need to be a personal issue, otherwise why bother with the time consuming and sometimes aggravating aspect of it.

personally though, I at least appreciate the effort, and will continue to participate and contribute to the best of my ability. But how you solve the Senior issue, will be interesting indeed, and has the potential to become a model for all forums. I would be happy to nominate people exclusive of rank or longevity that I think could contribute. Getting them to do so may be another task in itself however.

With respect,

Dr. Ron "Doc" Chapél

PS: If you let Dennis Conatser in the club, I'll quit.
(until he restores my BBQ rights)
 

Tames D

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Just out of curiosity, has Bob White been approached to participate? I think it's safe to say he can be defined as a Kenpo Senior and I personally would be very interested in anything he would contribute to the forum.
 

Doc

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Just out of curiosity, has Bob White been approached to participate? I think it's safe to say he can be defined as a Kenpo Senior and I personally would be very interested in anything he would contribute to the forum.

His name is listed at the top of the forum. I don't pretend to speak for Bob White, but I know he is very busy and active in his community with his school, and charity fundraising. If he had the time, I'd sure like to see him posting regularly.
 

Carol

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There are a number of senior Kenpoists on the masthead of this subforum; the question that comes to my mind is...what will it take to get them to contribute more?

There are two other respected Kenpoists that have an account with MartialTalk and IMO deserve some recognition here.

One is Sigung Labounty.

The other is our Ambassador to Kenpo, Mr. Ed Parker, Jr.
 

Tames D

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His name is listed at the top of the forum. I don't pretend to speak for Bob White, but I know he is very busy and active in his community with his school, and charity fundraising. If he had the time, I'd sure like to see him posting regularly.
Thanks Doc. I must be getting old and blind because I totally missed his name up there.
 
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Bob Hubbard

Bob Hubbard

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I'll be honest and hopefully clear.
I don't know who is who outside of a short list of names, so we've got some longtimers here who I don't know belong on the list. There's never been any disrespect or slight intended. Sometimes, ya have to hit us clueless types and say something. ;)

I'm hoping that we can make this a place where the experience and memories and passion can flow and be archived for the future. :)
 

Michael Billings

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I'll be honest and hopefully clear.
I don't know who is who outside of a short list of names, so we've got some longtimers here who I don't know belong on the list. There's never been any disrespect or slight intended. Sometimes, ya have to hit us clueless types and say something. ;)

I'm hoping that we can make this a place where the experience and memories and passion can flow and be archived for the future. :)

I think lots just do not spend their time on the internet Bob. I know that is hard to believe ... but true. When time is a resource and must be budgeted, then BB's are hard to fit in for some. I think also some of the Seniors by definition, may not have the affinity for technology as do most of posters on a forum. Obviously there are many exceptions and I am painting with a very broad brush. A poll as to the average age of contributers with over a 100 posts should give you a quick idea, or visiting the other boards.

As far as a senior by definition? I have to go with Dave here, although I call them "new" seniors, just semantics. as I hit my 29th year in Kenpo and 39th in the arts.

Re: American Kenpo Senior Corner?
The definition of a Senior is kind of a relative issue. My definition is inclusive of guys who with Mr. Parker since the 60's and up, or with him for a long time in the early days, but may have broken away for some reason. Long-timers in the art with close roots to it's genesis, or guys who put in enough contribution that Mr. P saw to bump them to 7th.

I also think of there as being a couple classes of "Semi-Seniors"...guys at it for a long time who would likely be the next generation of seniors when the current ones keel over. In my mind, I classify it like different stations of royalty...Princes (the most senior seniors...7ths from the old man), earls/dukes (guys who were 4ths, 5ths, 6ths... in it for more than 30 years, with some contact with Mr. Parker either through lessons, or regular seminar or class contact), counts, knights, serfs, etc.
 

Goldendragon7

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I would send Dennis Conatser a senior invites.Dave

Look at the heading...... I'm already there..... hmmmm eyesight must be going.... hee hee''


American Kenpo Senior Corner
premium.jpg
A serious forum for asking questions of the American Kenpo Seniors.
Kenpo Seniors currently on MartialTalk include Tom Bleecker, Ron Chapél, Dennis Conatser, Dave Hebler, Sean Kelly, Frank Trejo & Bob White (listing by last name)
 

HKphooey

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I think lots just do not spend their time on the internet Bob. I know that is hard to believe ... but true. When time is a resource and must be budgeted, then BB's are hard to fit in for some. I think also some of the Seniors by definition, may not have the affinity for technology as do most of posters on a forum. Obviously there are many exceptions and I am painting with a very broad brush. A poll as to the average age of contributers with over a 100 posts should give you a quick idea, or visiting the other boards.

As far as a senior by definition? I have to go with Dave here, although I call them "new" seniors, just semantics. as I hit my 29th year in Kenpo and 39th in the arts.

I would put you up there Sir. I have always enjoyed your posts and your website. Keep up the great work!
 

Michael Billings

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Nah, I am just old, not a senior in the Art ... by my own definition or anyone else's lol. And guess what? I am OK with that. My respects to those who do make the contributions to the art I wish I had time for.

Thanks for the thought however <<bubble-head rapidly deflating>>
 

Doc

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Nah, I am just old, not a senior in the Art ... by my own definition or anyone else's lol. And guess what? I am OK with that. My respects to those who do make the contributions to the art I wish I had time for.

Thanks for the thought however <<bubble-head rapidly deflating>>

That would fit a lot of us sir. The difference, at least for me, is a job where we go through long periods of boredom, for a few moments of over-the-top excitement. Stake-outs, surveillance, etc for the old guys gives us time to get on the net at odd hours of the day and night, as you can tell from my posts.
 

Goldendragon7

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That would fit a lot of us sir. The difference, at least for me, is a job where we go through long periods of boredom, for a few moments of over-the-top excitement. Stake-outs, surveillance, etc for the old guys gives us time to get on the net at odd hours of the day and night, as you can tell from my posts.

Hmmmm I thought it was because you were just An ODD BALL! Geeze..... there I go with those negative waves........

:EG:
 
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When we set this section up a few years ago, we had great expectations for it. We envisioned it as a relaxed and respectful place where students could ask questions of those long timers who have put the blood, sweat and tears into training, without the angst, politics and negativity that had happened in the past. We sent out numerous invitations but only a few came. Why there was so little response I can't say. Politics and past problems leave some unwilling to come, some may never have gotten their invitation and avoided feeling slighted. Some promised participation, yet never even said hello. Regardless of the reasons, the section has never really "taken" as we'd hoped.

Since then, we launched KenpoTalk, other sites have come and gone, and times and things change.

We would like to revive this section, and have it fulfill it's mission, but to do that, we need everyone's help.

We need 2 things.

We need to know....What is a "Kenpo Senior"?

Once we know that, we need them to become a member and utilize us and our site to continue spreading their knowledge to the next generations of students. We will need our members help so that every one of the Seniors knows that they are welcome here, and they are needed here.


Back around 1980 anyone that was a 5th degree black belt under Ed Parker was considered that.

Dr. John M. La Tourrette
 

Goldendragon7

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Back around 1980 anyone that was a 5th degree black belt under Ed Parker was considered that.
Dr. John M. La Tourrette

That was/is true, however, the next pertinent question is... was that 5th Degree or higher actually under Ed Parker or a transplant from another system that seemingly had aspirations of learning Ed Parker's Kenpo. That IS a point of contention. There were many ranking "individuals" that spent a "little" time with Ed Parker but few who spent years studying his system as loyal students and assistants to him. Thus, rank alone to me is insufficient as a criteria for "Senior".

One who WAS there.......
GD7:yoda:
 

Kembudo-Kai Kempoka

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That was/is true, however, the next pertinent question is... was that 5th Degree or higher actually under Ed Parker or a transplant from another system that seemingly had aspirations of learning Ed Parker's Kenpo. That IS a point of contention. There were many ranking "individuals" that spent a "little" time with Ed Parker but few who spent years studying his system as loyal students and assistants to him. Thus, rank alone to me is insufficient as a criteria for "Senior".

One who WAS there.......
GD7:yoda:
Considering I sorta fit this description as a crossover from other lineages, I'm apt to agree, even though it doesn't paint me in the best possible light. Of course, there are guys who DID put in the bulk of their journey under his supervision/blessing/auspices, and still blow. I.e., Palanzo. So...do we treat all "seniors" the same?

With irreverence towards stupid seniors and those who just plain suck,

Dave
 
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