Are You Supposed To Finish Techniques?

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Doc

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Training to 'finish the technique' relies on repetitive practice of the extended sequences, so that it becomes burned-in to neuro-muscular memory. The idea behind this method is that once the initial stimulus is recognized, the 'technique' can be performed quickly and powerfully without conscious thought. In Chinese Martial Arts terms, this is characteristic of the 'External' method, where pure athletic conditioning, and speed through repitition and 'no mind' is desired.

Doc brings up the forms practice of taiji, where a whole system is codified within a single form. There are no 'techniques' per se, but martial applications of the movements and postures can be extracted, and are often, if not always, applicable to several types of attack or stimulus.

Tai Chi, Bagua, Xingyi are considered in Chinese Martial Arts to use 'Internal' methods of training. Here the principles and characteristics of the art are practiced with uninterupted conscious thought. The term 'mind intent' is often used, where there is 'intention' but not 'will.' Therefore, internal methods have neither assumption of success nor failure... just what is. My intention may be one thing, but whether i succeed or fail, I now find myself in a new moment with new set of parameters and through my consciousness, or awareness, another intention.

Will, such as will-power, leaves one with either success or failure. Failure is sometimes hard to move on from, and those few micro-seconds, or gaps in consciousness, may be the difference in life and death.

When I train, it is those gaps in consciousness that I intend to avoid, while looking to take advantage of them should they occur in my opponent.

My interpretation of Doc's article is how Kenpo may have been 'Externalized' for ease of distribution. My question is whether Kenpo ever really subscribed to Internal priciples...and if so, what training methods did it use to develop the mind to be responsive to change...

Pete.

VERY well said sir, and you point out what I thought was obvious, but in hindsight apparently is not. Thank you for making such a valuable point, and reminding me of that fact. The commercial product based on motion is wholly external. I've seen people becomes so married to "Assumption of Failure" mindset and sequences that they, to their own detriment, were attempting to do things required by the ingrained sequence that were wholly detached from what is happening in front of them.
 

punisher73

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It's funny how things change over the years sir. Back in the day, "good technique" meant good basics. Every physical move was considered a technique unto itself. If you threw a good front kick, that was considered a "good technique."

Now most consider a series of moves a "technique." I still have the old school mentality, and everything else is just a series of good technique applications. If a singular move is effective and executed properly, it still is a "technique."

Because of this philosophical approach, I do not subscribe to the "overkill" concept. It would seem to be out of place in a self-defense based art. It is also the root philosophy of "Assumption of success, over Assumption of Failure." In the latter, it would be appropriately called "overkill." However, because of the philosophical methodology of our root training, we do not anticipate needing the entire "Encyclopedia" to answer a simple assault question, therefore it would indeed be overkill.

Anticipating the failure of your actions, to the extent that you've already thought about the rest of the technique is a self-fulfilling mindset. Especially if you consider that if your actions have failed, there is no guarantee the attacker is going to be where you might want him to be, doing what you've already anticipated to continue the "overkill" sequence. Better to learn what you need well enough so that you don't need it, and allow additional needed "technique" sequences to come to you, and utilize the rest of the Encyclopedia Scenario as self contained lessons of offense, defense, timing, posture, muscle re-assignment, etc. teaching an "overkill" mindset to me is like admitting what you do doesn't really work that well. Its not the way Mr. Parker looked at it in my development. That is why "Surviving the Initial Assault" portion of the Encyclopedia is so important, along with Dictionary responses. I'll have to read Ted Sumner's article when I get a chance. Good man. Thank you sir.


Here is the link to the mentioned article

http://www.sanjosekenpo.com/technique.htm
 

JTKenpo

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Well that's because you are right sir. It utilizes a completely unique and different skill-set than the Encyclopedia of Self-Defense scenario sequences. One being essentially designed for surreptitious assaults, and the other for anticipated encounters. Thus one being more "Dictionary-like" in answering the question, and the other more "Encyclopedia-like." Doesn't that make sense?


To quote one of your responses "yep"


:)
 

KenpoDave

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It's funny how things change over the years sir. Back in the day, "good technique" meant good basics. Every physical move was considered a technique unto itself. If you threw a good front kick, that was considered a "good technique."

That was one of the things that gave me trouble when I switched to kenpo.

Now most consider a series of moves a "technique." I still have the old school mentality, and everything else is just a series of good technique applications. If a singular move is effective and executed properly, it still is a "technique."

It becomes difficult to differentiate between "good technique" and "a good technique" when reading posts. We could end up with "a good technique executed with good technique."

Because of this philosophical approach, I do not subscribe to the "overkill" concept. It would seem to be out of place in a self-defense based art. It is also the root philosophy of "Assumption of success, over Assumption of Failure." In the latter, it would be appropriately called "overkill."

It would seem that most kenpo techniques (across the board and across the styles) are predicated on the assumption of failure. They appear to be at least designed with that possibility in mind.

However, because of the philosophical methodology of our root training, we do not anticipate needing the entire "Encyclopedia" to answer a simple assault question, therefore it would indeed be overkill.

Exactly as I was taught. Concern yourself with finishing the opponent, not the technique.

Anticipating the failure of your actions, to the extent that you've already thought about the rest of the technique is a self-fulfilling mindset. Especially if you consider that if your actions have failed, there is no guarantee the attacker is going to be where you might want him to be, doing what you've already anticipated to continue the "overkill" sequence. Better to learn what you need well enough so that you don't need it, and allow additional needed "technique" sequences to come to you, and utilize the rest of the Encyclopedia Scenario as self contained lessons of offense, defense, timing, posture, muscle re-assignment, etc. teaching an "overkill" mindset to me is like admitting what you do doesn't really work that well.

Sounds like you are on the same page with my instructor and the other mentors I have had along the way. More simplified explanations, but the same concept.

Its not the way Mr. Parker looked at it in my development. That is why "Surviving the Initial Assault" portion of the Encyclopedia is so important, along with Dictionary responses. I'll have to read Ted Sumner's article when I get a chance. Good man. Thank you sir.

Mr. Sumner's got some good stuff on that, too.
 

Flying Crane

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It becomes difficult to differentiate between "good technique" and "a good technique" when reading posts. We could end up with "a good technique executed with good technique."

I tend to think of "technique" as your basics, i.e. sidekick, stance, punch, block. Each of the building blocks that can be used effectively together.

To differentiate, I prefer the term "Self Defense Technique" in reference to the extensive curriculum of named scenario combinations. In my mind it just makes the distinction clear.
 

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Hi Doc, long time no see . . . too long.

I dont know if the duel statements confused anyone, but at one point you stated:

The system is cast in stone and must remain so to allow all students the exposure and access to information that might otherwise elude them, and keeps the knowledge components of the Dictionary, Encyclopedia, and constituent aspects intact for all future generations of students and instructors alike as reference tools.

Then in a later post you stated:

Some techniques dropped, some re-worked, and new ones created to address the untouched material sir.

This must mean the first statement, the system being cast in stone, refers to your system of Kenpo and not Mr. Parkers, correct?

On a slightly different subject you often refer to the 154 technique system as a commercial model put in place to make money . . . but just about every commercially successful Kenpo school I see has greatly reduced technique requirement. Having taught commercially myself, I found the number of techniques to be the single biggest detriment to the commercial success of my schools.

On the other hand, there are several very successful schools in my area. And at one of them the requirement for yellow belt is one self defense technique which consists of a single front snap kick (no forms are required). They charge several hundred dollars a month and have little black belts running around like locusts. Now that is a commercially successful school.

I honestly cant help but think Mr. Parker knew that if he simplified, or eliminated most of our techniques and forms then did away with our freestyle techniques and sets altogether we would all become more successful on a commercial basis.

I just cant believe that a man of his genus didnt know and struggle with that himself. So my question is, why do you think Mr. Parker kept adding to such a material laden system (if it were for commercial success) when the real commercial success was going to schools that taught simple forms and a hand full of one-step sparing techniques?

With the utmost respect sir, I just cant figure that one out.
 
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Hi Doc, long time no see . . . too long.

I dont know if the duel statements confused anyone, but at one point you stated:

The system is cast in stone and must remain so to allow all students the exposure and access to information that might otherwise elude them, and keeps the knowledge components of the Dictionary, Encyclopedia, and constituent aspects intact for all future generations of students and instructors alike as reference tools.

Then in a later post you stated:

Some techniques dropped, some re-worked, and new ones created to address the untouched material sir.

This must mean the first statement, the system being cast in stone, refers to your system of Kenpo and not Mr. Parkers, correct?

On a slightly different subject you often refer to the 154 technique system as a commercial model put in place to make money . . . but just about every commercially successful Kenpo school I see has greatly reduced technique requirement. Having taught commercially myself, I found the number of techniques to be the single biggest detriment to the commercial success of my schools.

On the other hand, there are several very successful schools in my area. And at one of them the requirement for yellow belt is one self defense technique which consists of a single front snap kick (no forms are required). They charge several hundred dollars a month and have little black belts running around like locusts. Now that is a commercially successful school.

I honestly cant help but think Mr. Parker knew that if he simplified, or eliminated most of our techniques and forms then did away with our freestyle techniques and sets altogether we would all become more successful on a commercial basis.

I just cant believe that a man of his genus didnt know and struggle with that himself. So my question is, why do you think Mr. Parker kept adding to such a material laden system (if it were for commercial success) when the real commercial success was going to schools that taught simple forms and a hand full of one-step sparing techniques?

With the utmost respect sir, I just cant figure that one out.
Well of course you're right Rich I should have said "the way I teach." I don't really consider it "my" system, but the way I was taught "the" system if you will. But then I wasn't really taught "that" system either, and tend to struggle reconciling "that" system, while teaching "his" system the way "I" learned it. Dammit Rich now I'm more confused than ever. You do that to me every time. :)

But yes you are right. When you look at the plethora of truly commercial schools, the benchmark is "simplicity." Many of the Kenpo schools in the Parker lineage have evolved, (or degenerated) to that perspective as well. But I think the real difference is those schools have no other true purpose other than the commercial appeal they sell. Although I have to believe some actually believe it is a better way to teach commercially.

In fact, if all you want is quick self defense, it is better. But therein lies the problem. Today people want to belong to a system and receive rank recognition for their "workouts." It feeds the American Cultural need for an external sense of accomplishment that they can display for others to see, so unlike the Asian Culture from which it all springs.

Mr. Parker struggled with the multiple identities, and dichotomy of purposes of what he was selling. But nevertheless, in comparison to where he began, the Big Red System was created to sell commercially to proliferate, and jump start the American appetite for future levels of information for those who wanted it.

On one hand he wanted to sell quick self-defense skills for profit. But then on the other he was laying groundwork for a true martial arts system, and struggled with trying to keep the two perspectives viable at the same time while making money. No easy task, that ultimately failed and forced him to acquiesce to the pressures of the monster he created himself.

Sometimes they are mutually exclusive, and at others, not. But recognize his hopes in doing so was in the hands of teachers like yourself. It was people like you that he envisioned could make it work, even as at cross-purposes at it may seem. In fact the rare teachers do make it work still, as he himself could have had he settled into a school. But his problem was also his strength, in that he relied on his teachers to create that balance.

Most did not, and we both know that some guy with no experience, cannot be made into a teacher in that commercial environment just because he learned all the techniques and forms. It takes much, much more than that. Unfortunately, these later generations of students borne and bred in the commercial studio have become its primary instructors.

While there are a few like yourself and Dennis Conatser, who strive to help others make sense of the genius of what Mr. Parker had to offer, we both know the bulk of them are just empire building to make a buck and feed their egos with inflated rank.

Mr. Parker had a tiger by the tail, and couldn't let go. The good news is there are a few of us left who still know the genius of the man, and what he truly had to offer, and strive to educate those who are actually interested. If he were alive, he would be on this forum right now, blogging his butt off.

Thanks Rich for helping to keep the Eternal Flame burning. Funny, it just struck me most won't even grasp the significance of what I just said. Anyway one day Rich we have to break some bread so I can tell you all the things the Old Man used to say about you when you weren't around. Some of it is even complimentary. :)

For those that don't know, Rich Hale is the only person Ed Parker wanted me to train with, and was excited by the prospect, and told me so. he felt we would make, in his words, "Quite a team." To which I replied, "But he's too tall to be Robin." To which Mr. Parker replied with a big grin, "I didn't know Batman was a brudda."
 

HKphooey

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In teaching I have learned using analogies help get a point across
Kenpo can be compared to a public speaker. Some people have great speaking skills because they practice a speech over and over again, but sometimes they lose the essence of what they are trying to communicate or can get caught of guard with a simple question. Others are great off the cuff speakers and can change direction on a dime, without too much thought. It is very difficult to stumble them, no matter what you ask.
I have seen the same in kenpo. Some can regurgitate all the Parker Books and techniques, but they do not know why they do what they do. Others may not seem to be polished to perfection in the eyes of their kenpo peers, but they are the ones that are still standing at the end of a fight.
I personally feel the difference is in the person, not the art.
Individuals like Doc and Mr. Hale are examples of great minds perpetuating their own interpretations of kenpo.
I think GM Parker is looking down on all of us and smiling. Good, bad or indifferent we are all trying to kenpo to the next level.
If you start the technique and the attacker is still advancing, then finish the technique. Simple as that. J
Doc, Mr. Hale and others. I hope to one day meet all the greats.
 

marlon

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you know it is really good to shut up[ and learn sometimes...thanks everyone...time for me to shut up again

respectfully,
Marlon
 

marlon

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Are You Supposed To Finish Self-Defense Techniques?​
Ron Chap矇l​




There are many misconceptions that permeate modern self-defense martial arts "systems." Most of them have their origins somewhere in the Ed Parker influence or lineage, based on his successful implementation of business concepts to insure fiscal success, with what is essentially a non-profitable entity by nature. Creating an amalgam of profitability, and reasonable successful applications brought with it many diverse concepts that often contradict each other, or at a minimum, serve to add fuel to the fire of a confusing hybrid activity, at best. The strict dichotomy between an art, and its self-defense potential are often loss on many.

One of these is the understanding surrounding elongated self-defense technique sequences. While many of the uniformed see them as real world applicable, others recognize the folly of such notions. Depending upon perspective and philosophy, this is either completely unreasonable, or impractical, and sometimes both. But all the perspectives are borne of a misunderstanding philosophically where Mr. Parker intended to ultimately take his many art(s) and his singular ultimate interpretation.

To clear the picture we must look back first to the traditional teaching of the arts from the cultural progenitors perspective of the Old Chinese. Traditionally the art was taught through many complex forms and sets, for dual purposes. First and foremost was for the preservation of significant accumulated information that defied codification in any other form.

Second were addendum sets that served to highlight specific applications, and promote attendant skills. Lastly were accelerated strictly functional applications that didnt contain the information of the forms, but put skills set into applications.

Historically, many arts, and their proponents influenced the interpretation(s) of Ed Parker. While Splashing Hands spawned the creation or interpretation(s) of Limalama under Sifu Haumea Lefiti, Parkers motion-based product as well has its roots in the Mok Gar strict applications of Splashing Hands. This is significant because Splashing Hands/Limalama is to Mok Gar, what Splashing Hands/Motion-Kenpo is to Ed Parkers yet undeveloped American Kenpo vehicle.

To my knowledge Mok Gar was one of the first to take this streamlined approach to applications. Not that the other information was not available in the art, but the Splashing Hands perspective was created to serve a specific purpose for those tasked to protection of cultural assets.

So it is with Limalama and its Motion-Kenpo brother. While the progenitor influence was designed to be wholly offensive in nature and philosophy, Sifu Lefiti and subsequently his junior Ed Parker, saw the defensive potential in the vehicle. Although Limalama is more closely aligned with the source material in philosophy and teaching, Parker chose to take a more conceptual approach. Parkers method relying on a motion-based approach, allowed heavy interpretation by those with previous martial backgrounds to assimilate into motion-kenpo relatively easily, with limited input from Ed Parker personally. Thus, the much more successful Motion-Kenpo, reigns business-like over the more deliberately taught Limalama.

This same breakdown of components can be seen in all of the Parker interpretations, with various focus shifts predicated on era, purpose, and philosophical changes as knowledge evolved. Initially Parker came to the mainland with no codified bank of knowledge or information other than his personal experiences, and a set of personal three by five cards inscribed with technique ideas gleaned from his relationship with Professor Chow. Parkers only Kenpo teacher, William Kwai Sun Chow, had no real system at the time choosing to freelance classes with real world street experiments, and testing the efficacy of his own innovative ideas. It was really left to senior students under Chow like Sijo Emperado, and his junior Ed Parker, to eventually begin the codification process of creating systems.

But Sijo Emperado (and friends), and the resultant Kajukenbo System(s) were in many ways like Sifu Lefiti and Limalama. Enjoying a significantly tremendous success as a martial art, but choosing a different philosophical approach to teaching than the wholly business-driven motion-Kenpo.

So the methods were set long ago in the roots of the art. Forms contain all of the complexities of the art, including answers to obscure questions of timing, angles, and postures, along with biomechanical codifications of information. This is why the old school methods of learning Forms is so painstakingly precise, and specific. These methods are still quite observable in the proper teaching of vehicles like Taiji, which only contains this singular component, sans Sets, and applications. This method is noticeably absent in modern interpretations because of its requirement of, at minimum, a master level teacher to transfer the information. This was great for an art, but bad for proliferating a business.

Sets were designed to hone specific skills, and usually concentrated on specific aspects of training whether it was stances, kicks, punches, or footwork. Forms and Sets co-existed well with general knowledge of the former focused in the latter.

Only a master level teacher than was able to decode the Forms, and thus teach the applications derived from them, utilizing the skills learned in sets to make them functional. This was how the applications were originally taught. Learn the Forms slow and painstakingly correct. Practice your Sets to develop your skills, and the teacher would extrapolate the applications from the Forms and share them with you. But the applications were more freeform based on Forms Information, and no real codified techniques.

As usually Parker took a creative an innovative approach, that unfortunately was derailed as he moved into the commercial era, but nevertheless, continued to prevail in some form in his motion idea.

Taking from Professor Chow the idea of focusing on applications over codification fit perfectly with the business of Kenpo, and created a hybrid of methods. Originally the forms didnt exist, so the concentration on codified self-defense techniques was the order of the day. But when Parker began studying with Chinese Masters he began to understand the importance of forms, and began the codification process of basic forms of various influences. These forms ended with what most know as Short Form Three as the business took flight.

With the diversion to the business, additional Forms were ultimately created but without the depth of knowledge, or biomechanical cohesion of previous work. These Forms and Sets as well were derived from and/or created for different purposes other than archiving information.

Ed Parker made a conscious decision to divert from the Chinese Method of concentrating on Forms, to Self-defense techniques as the repository of information, but that aspect never made it into the business. Instead he incorporated the Splashing Hands Application Concept to Self-Defense techniques. Utilizing instead, minimal skill with maximum applications to vulnerable body parts. It was a perfect match of function over form, and is the singular entity that made the business with limited instruction possible.

But of course it created a contradiction. Elongated technique sequences executed with any degree of skill would preclude its need in the initial stages. But, the business demanded more and more superficial information and rank promotions, over a small amount of in-dept knowledge to keep unmotivated students from being bored. But, anyone who thinks realistically that in a 5 Swords scenario, after a hand-sword to the neck and fingers to the eyes, the sequence ether requires or needs additional strikes to the stomach, and neck of what should be a helpless individual is disingenuous in their thought process, intellectually deficient, and in some instances boarder-line criminal.

Ultimately Mr. Parker intent was to divide the art into specific entities to preserve the information. While he spoke to me in generalities, much of the specific language is mine. Sets would remain unchanged but expanded to include specific realistic drills to enhance the learning process. In my teaching, this is where the A.O.D. (Anticipated Offensive Drills) reside. All of these drill sets require defensive footwork and blocking under the adrenal stress of possible injury.

When an offensive component is added to the A.O.D.s, they become Dictionary Self-Defense Techniques. These are self-defense techniques executed under the specific assumption of anticipating the assault, and ending the confrontation quickly and decisively. The Dictionary self-defense techniques are a bridge between the Forms, and Sets to the Self-Defense Techniques.

This component most closely resembles the stand-up confrontations often seen in sparring, but more like JKD Training. The motion-business version was called, Freestyle Formulas. Taken from its street focus and adapted to tournament use, they were overly complex, formulized, and never caught on with the business of teaching. Only a few ever fully utilized or even understood them.

Forms are categorized by Course Level and have specific purposes of focus in training. Containing once again, very precise information of execution, they buttress the skill producing Sets and form a bridge to the A.O.D. Drills.

Because he started with, and found them more practical for modern applications, Mr. Parker shifted the archiving properties, to Self-Defense Techniques. Known now as Encyclopedia Self-Defense Techniques, they contain all of the in-depth information that previously could only be found in the old Forms.

Executed properly, they insure function while providing essential information that cannot be presented in the other components. They also allow, once again executed properly, that only the first part of the sequence should be needed to be successful in application.

The rest of the technique serves as information for independent extrapolation of information, independent applications, or as a bridge of the preceding material should it become rarely necessary, all while serving its archive function. This is also why techniques may not be altered. To do so would be like slowly pulling pages out of your encyclopedia, and wondering where all the information went after most of the pages are removed.

Advanced students may make knowledgeable changes in sequences for their personal use, but the Encyclopedia version, or Default Techniques are taught and remain unchanged. The system is cast in stone and must remain so to allow all students the exposure and access to information that might otherwise elude them, and keeps the knowledge components of the Dictionary, Encyclopedia, and constituent aspects intact for all future generations of students and instructors alike as reference tools.

So to answer the question, Should you finish a technique sequence? It depends upon the technique, circumstances, and interpretation. My goal is No. But then, who says we have to start at the beginning? All of the information we archive is valid, and has multiple applications and levels. On defense, the attacker may initiate a response of our choosing, but so may we initiate an offensive or defensive application from anywhere in the sequence of information. Thats the value of having reference material. You can always look up, examine, and use proper information in many ways, but it must always stem from a solid, unshakeable source of material, and not a bunch of conceptual ideas open to interpretations.



"my goal is , no" says so much and teaches so well... once again i respectfully recognize your mastery, sir. Thank you

marlon
 

Rich_Hale

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Doc,

I'm going up north to work out with Dave, on Monday in Santa Rosa, and when I get back I'll be headed over to Arizona and hope to hook up with Dennis.

So . . . if your ears start burning all next week, you will know it's me, Dave and Dennis talking smak about you.

Your little brother,
 
OP
Doc

Doc

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Doc,

I'm going up north to work out with Dave, on Monday in Santa Rosa, and when I get back I'll be headed over to Arizona and hope to hook up with Dennis.

So . . . if your ears start burning all next week, you will know it's me, Dave and Dennis talking smak about you.

Your little brother,

They're already burning. :)
 

Kembudo-Kai Kempoka

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Doc,

I'm going up north to work out with Dave, on Monday in Santa Rosa, and when I get back I'll be headed over to Arizona and hope to hook up with Dennis.

So . . . if your ears start burning all next week, you will know it's me, Dave and Dennis talking smak about you.

Your little brother,

Now, whatdaheck you trying to get me in trouble for? I do enough of that on my own, thank you.

You and Dennis under the same roof...oh boy; no two stronger kenpo fundamentalists do I know of, and y'all are gonna be breaking bread together? Anybody smell a fundamentalist kenpo cult a-brewing? (gotta get my progressive kenpo hide outta town before it gets lit up at the stake) :)

Looking forward to seeing you here, Rich. Advil covered; beer questionable.

D
 
OP
Doc

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Are You Supposed To Finish Self-Defense Techniques?​

Ron Chap矇l​




There are many misconceptions that permeate modern self-defense martial arts "systems." Most of them have their origins somewhere in the Ed Parker influence or lineage, based on his successful implementation of business concepts to insure fiscal success, with what is essentially a non-profitable entity by nature. Creating an amalgam of profitability, and reasonable successful applications brought with it many diverse concepts that often contradict each other, or at a minimum, serve to add fuel to the fire of a confusing hybrid activity, at best. The strict dichotomy between an art, and its self-defense potential are often loss on many.

One of these is the understanding surrounding elongated self-defense technique sequences. While many of the uniformed see them as real world applicable, others recognize the folly of such notions. Depending upon perspective and philosophy, this is either completely unreasonable, or impractical, and sometimes both. But all the perspectives are borne of a misunderstanding philosophically where Mr. Parker intended to ultimately take his many art(s) and his singular ultimate interpretation.

To clear the picture we must look back first to the traditional teaching of the arts from the cultural progenitors perspective of the Old Chinese. Traditionally the art was taught through many complex forms and sets, for dual purposes. First and foremost was for the preservation of significant accumulated information that defied codification in any other form.

Second were addendum sets that served to highlight specific applications, and promote attendant skills. Lastly were accelerated strictly functional applications that didnt contain the information of the forms, but put skills set into applications.

Historically, many arts, and their proponents influenced the interpretation(s) of Ed Parker. While Splashing Hands spawned the creation or interpretation(s) of Limalama under Sifu Haumea Lefiti, Parkers motion-based product as well has its roots in the Mok Gar strict applications of Splashing Hands. This is significant because Splashing Hands/Limalama is to Mok Gar, what Splashing Hands/Motion-Kenpo is to Ed Parkers yet undeveloped American Kenpo vehicle.

To my knowledge Mok Gar was one of the first to take this streamlined approach to applications. Not that the other information was not available in the art, but the Splashing Hands perspective was created to serve a specific purpose for those tasked to protection of cultural assets.

So it is with Limalama and its Motion-Kenpo brother. While the progenitor influence was designed to be wholly offensive in nature and philosophy, Sifu Lefiti and subsequently his junior Ed Parker, saw the defensive potential in the vehicle. Although Limalama is more closely aligned with the source material in philosophy and teaching, Parker chose to take a more conceptual approach. Parkers method relying on a motion-based approach, allowed heavy interpretation by those with previous martial backgrounds to assimilate into motion-kenpo relatively easily, with limited input from Ed Parker personally. Thus, the much more successful Motion-Kenpo, reigns business-like over the more deliberately taught Limalama.

This same breakdown of components can be seen in all of the Parker interpretations, with various focus shifts predicated on era, purpose, and philosophical changes as knowledge evolved. Initially Parker came to the mainland with no codified bank of knowledge or information other than his personal experiences, and a set of personal three by five cards inscribed with technique ideas gleaned from his relationship with Professor Chow. Parkers only Kenpo teacher, William Kwai Sun Chow, had no real system at the time choosing to freelance classes with real world street experiments, and testing the efficacy of his own innovative ideas. It was really left to senior students under Chow like Sijo Emperado, and his junior Ed Parker, to eventually begin the codification process of creating systems.

But Sijo Emperado (and friends), and the resultant Kajukenbo System(s) were in many ways like Sifu Lefiti and Limalama. Enjoying a significantly tremendous success as a martial art, but choosing a different philosophical approach to teaching than the wholly business-driven motion-Kenpo.

So the methods were set long ago in the roots of the art. Forms contain all of the complexities of the art, including answers to obscure questions of timing, angles, and postures, along with biomechanical codifications of information. This is why the old school methods of learning Forms is so painstakingly precise, and specific. These methods are still quite observable in the proper teaching of vehicles like Taiji, which only contains this singular component, sans Sets, and applications. This method is noticeably absent in modern interpretations because of its requirement of, at minimum, a master level teacher to transfer the information. This was great for an art, but bad for proliferating a business.

Sets were designed to hone specific skills, and usually concentrated on specific aspects of training whether it was stances, kicks, punches, or footwork. Forms and Sets co-existed well with general knowledge of the former focused in the latter.

Only a master level teacher than was able to decode the Forms, and thus teach the applications derived from them, utilizing the skills learned in sets to make them functional. This was how the applications were originally taught. Learn the Forms slow and painstakingly correct. Practice your Sets to develop your skills, and the teacher would extrapolate the applications from the Forms and share them with you. But the applications were more freeform based on Forms Information, and no real codified techniques.

As usually Parker took a creative an innovative approach, that unfortunately was derailed as he moved into the commercial era, but nevertheless, continued to prevail in some form in his motion idea.

Taking from Professor Chow the idea of focusing on applications over codification fit perfectly with the business of Kenpo, and created a hybrid of methods. Originally the forms didnt exist, so the concentration on codified self-defense techniques was the order of the day. But when Parker began studying with Chinese Masters he began to understand the importance of forms, and began the codification process of basic forms of various influences. These forms ended with what most know as Short Form Three as the business took flight.

With the diversion to the business, additional Forms were ultimately created but without the depth of knowledge, or biomechanical cohesion of previous work. These Forms and Sets as well were derived from and/or created for different purposes other than archiving information.

Ed Parker made a conscious decision to divert from the Chinese Method of concentrating on Forms, to Self-defense techniques as the repository of information, but that aspect never made it into the business. Instead he incorporated the Splashing Hands Application Concept to Self-Defense techniques. Utilizing instead, minimal skill with maximum applications to vulnerable body parts. It was a perfect match of function over form, and is the singular entity that made the business with limited instruction possible.

But of course it created a contradiction. Elongated technique sequences executed with any degree of skill would preclude its need in the initial stages. But, the business demanded more and more superficial information and rank promotions, over a small amount of in-dept knowledge to keep unmotivated students from being bored. But, anyone who thinks realistically that in a 5 Swords scenario, after a hand-sword to the neck and fingers to the eyes, the sequence ether requires or needs additional strikes to the stomach, and neck of what should be a helpless individual is disingenuous in their thought process, intellectually deficient, and in some instances boarder-line criminal.

Ultimately Mr. Parker intent was to divide the art into specific entities to preserve the information. While he spoke to me in generalities, much of the specific language is mine. Sets would remain unchanged but expanded to include specific realistic drills to enhance the learning process. In my teaching, this is where the A.O.D. (Anticipated Offensive Drills) reside. All of these drill sets require defensive footwork and blocking under the adrenal stress of possible injury.

When an offensive component is added to the A.O.D.s, they become Dictionary Self-Defense Techniques. These are self-defense techniques executed under the specific assumption of anticipating the assault, and ending the confrontation quickly and decisively. The Dictionary self-defense techniques are a bridge between the Forms, and Sets to the Self-Defense Techniques.

This component most closely resembles the stand-up confrontations often seen in sparring, but more like JKD Training. The motion-business version was called, Freestyle Formulas. Taken from its street focus and adapted to tournament use, they were overly complex, formulized, and never caught on with the business of teaching. Only a few ever fully utilized or even understood them.

Forms are categorized by Course Level and have specific purposes of focus in training. Containing once again, very precise information of execution, they buttress the skill producing Sets and form a bridge to the A.O.D. Drills.

Because he started with, and found them more practical for modern applications, Mr. Parker shifted the archiving properties, to Self-Defense Techniques. Known now as Encyclopedia Self-Defense Techniques, they contain all of the in-depth information that previously could only be found in the old Forms.

Executed properly, they insure function while providing essential information that cannot be presented in the other components. They also allow, once again executed properly, that only the first part of the sequence should be needed to be successful in application.

The rest of the technique serves as information for independent extrapolation of information, independent applications, or as a bridge of the preceding material should it become rarely necessary, all while serving its archive function. This is also why techniques may not be altered. To do so would be like slowly pulling pages out of your encyclopedia, and wondering where all the information went after most of the pages are removed.

Advanced students may make knowledgeable changes in sequences for their personal use, but the Encyclopedia version, or Default Techniques are taught and remain unchanged. The system is cast in stone and must remain so to allow all students the exposure and access to information that might otherwise elude them, and keeps the knowledge components of the Dictionary, Encyclopedia, and constituent aspects intact for all future generations of students and instructors alike as reference tools.

So to answer the question, Should you finish a technique sequence? It depends upon the technique, circumstances, and interpretation. My goal is No. But then, who says we have to start at the beginning? All of the information we archive is valid, and has multiple applications and levels. On defense, the attacker may initiate a response of our choosing, but so may we initiate an offensive or defensive application from anywhere in the sequence of information. Thats the value of having reference material. You can always look up, examine, and use proper information in many ways, but it must always stem from a solid, unshakeable source of material, and not a bunch of conceptual ideas open to interpretations.
Would you believe I got a negative rep for just posting this article?
 

punisher73

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Would you believe I got a negative rep for just posting this article?

Unfortunately yes. I got negged one time because I had asked a question if anyone had heard of a specific knifefighting style.
 

jks9199

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People are free to give rep, positively or negatively, as they see fit. Bob's also set it up so that you can completely opt out of the rep game, if you'd like. And, and sometimes, it makes no sense what people rep for -- or against.

If you have concerns about rep that you've received, please use the RTM button or PM a senior moderator or other staff member.
 
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Doc

Doc

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People are free to give rep, positively or negatively, as they see fit. Bob's also set it up so that you can completely opt out of the rep game, if you'd like. And, and sometimes, it makes no sense what people rep for -- or against.

If you have concerns about rep that you've received, please use the RTM button or PM a senior moderator or other staff member.
Uh, what's a "RTM" I'm afraid I'm fairly ignorant of the workings of anything other than just posting. I read I post. I only discovered this rep thing recently when I got a similar negative over on KT. Can you help an Old non-computer savvy Man out please?
 

punisher73

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Uh, what's a "RTM" I'm afraid I'm fairly ignorant of the workings of anything other than just posting. I read I post. I only discovered this rep thing recently when I got a similar negative over on KT. Can you help an Old non-computer savvy Man out please?


If you look up at the upper right corner of a post, you will see a little red/white triangle. It is to report the post, usually due to offensive content. I think that is what he is referring to.
 

jks9199

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Uh, what's a "RTM" I'm afraid I'm fairly ignorant of the workings of anything other than just posting. I read I post. I only discovered this rep thing recently when I got a similar negative over on KT. Can you help an Old non-computer savvy Man out please?
Absolutely! "RTM" is Report To Moderator. Think of it like calling the dispatcher to send a cop. Click on the red & white triangle with the exclamation mark at the top right of a post. (It'll say "Report Post" if you hover over it.) You'll get an opportunity to explain why you have a problem with the post, and the staff will review it. One catch... don't "return fire" at someone who's post you're reporting. Dispute the facts, but don't get personal! Or you might get caught up in the crossfire...
 

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