Checking the Storm...

Originally posted by Doc



Well first of all Sir, I am not really saying you shouldn't kick the groin directly. Motion-Kenpo survives on these "soft tissue" strikes to the groin, eyes, throat, etc. because it's targeting is always general, and these type of strikes at least issure a level of functional destruction no matter what, even though the reaction may not be "immediate." It is important however we realize this may not work, and there is a more effective method.

But back to the groin. Females first of all require a more specific strike for effectiveness, and it coincides with the same targets for men. But, striking a male in the groin does not guarantee either the reaction or timeliness of a reaction. Under certain circumstances, groin strikes to males can be ignored for a period of time. Emotions, adrenal dump, mental state of mind, personal resolve, and chemical intoxication etc., have and can overcome a strike to the groin. Therefore this strike is not a high percentage sophisticated target. Under unemotional classroom conditions they will always work, but in the dirty world of street self defense, a different philosophy of specificity must prevail.

Additionally, the generally accepted reaction where a person bends forward at the waist and "bows" his head is not the initial reaction if the strike is immediately effective. That is at best a secondary reaction. Persons struck in the groin significantly "Explosively" loose height with the knees buckling and the buttocks dropping, and the chin moving upowards, with the back straight. Bending forward and dropping the chin is a secondary response that may occur much later if at all.

In my earlier response Sir, I may have given you the wrong impression. It's not 3/4 but 3 or four inches to the right of centerline above the groin but below the lower abdomen. In our curriculum we almost never attack the testicles because the other mechanisms work so well and are more specific.

Excellent! I will try it out. Thanks for the insight Mr. Chapel:asian:
 
Doc,
As you have achieved that rank that you hold and are knowledgeable in the advanced concepts of American Kenpo, I will only offer these last opinions and from this point differ to you.
I have witnessed Checking the storm, Evading, and Obstructing performed with the prescribed attack with the defender wearing kendo armor. A club was used, but I guess that it did not have the "ideal" weight and heft. My sticks are only slightly heavier than foam ones and move almost at the same speed, fast. I will have to check the web of knowledge to see how many ounces each stick should "ideally" weigh. Anyway, thank God for the armor because the abuse that the defenders forearms and head took was not pretty. The questions that sprang from this were not "what if", but "how". How do we get out of the line of attack without offering up our arms, head, or body to the stick, primarily on the initial attack but also on a follow up as can be done in Checking. I guess this practical examination of the techs is wrong, but I can live with that. I know that the techs that are taught to yellow belts in my association will save their lives as is. And its not checking the storm but a replacement.
As for focusing on basics and not techs, I'm going to assume that was not directed at me, even though I seem to fall in the "motion Kenpo" category. My classes hammer on the basics. Methods of execution, angles, paths, grafting of execution, dimesional striking, forward projection and on and on are all taught through the color ranks, at a level that is compatible with the student and belt. These are then examined within the the framework of the techs as ideas of motion. This is probably wrong as well, but that's okay with me too.
Anyway, thank you for the insights, I'm bowing out from here. These are just my opinions, and as I've stated, I'm probably wrong.
Mace
 
Originally posted by Mace

Doc,
As you have achieved that rank that you hold and are knowledgeable in the advanced concepts of American Kenpo, I will only offer these last opinions and from this point differ to you.
I have witnessed Checking the storm, Evading, and Obstructing performed with the prescribed attack with the defender wearing kendo armor. A club was used, but I guess that it did not have the "ideal" weight and heft. My sticks are only slightly heavier than foam ones and move almost at the same speed, fast. I will have to check the web of knowledge to see how many ounces each stick should "ideally" weigh. Anyway, thank God for the armor because the abuse that the defenders forearms and head took was not pretty. The questions that sprang from this were not "what if", but "how". How do we get out of the line of attack without offering up our arms, head, or body to the stick, primarily on the initial attack but also on a follow up as can be done in Checking. I guess this practical examination of the techs is wrong, but I can live with that. I know that the techs that are taught to yellow belts in my association will save their lives as is. And its not checking the storm but a replacement.
As for focusing on basics and not techs, I'm going to assume that was not directed at me, even though I seem to fall in the "motion Kenpo" category. My classes hammer on the basics. Methods of execution, angles, paths, grafting of execution, dimesional striking, forward projection and on and on are all taught through the color ranks, at a level that is compatible with the student and belt. These are then examined within the the framework of the techs as ideas of motion. This is probably wrong as well, but that's okay with me too.
Anyway, thank you for the insights, I'm bowing out from here. These are just my opinions, and as I've stated, I'm probably wrong.
Mace

Hold on there Mr? Mace, don't be so quick to assume you're wrong. Everything you said is reasonable and sounds good to me. I was not directing anything toward you personally for obvious reasons. I speak in general terms about the state of different facets of the arts. I addressed your point about the "club" because it is an argument I hear fairly consistently from those who have been indoctrinated to the "what if mindset." Within the context of most Motion-Kenpo teachings, this mindset is fairly engrained but students will always reflect what and how their teachers have taught, and that includes Mr. Parker.

Back to the "club." Mr. Parker and I had a discussion about what constitutes a "club." I think you alluded to the "sticks" I see many use in Kenpo. These are not "clubs" and weapons of this type are used fairly commonly in many of the Filipino Arts and are quite at home and are derived from those arts. That is the "stick" did not find it's way into the art, the art derived a use around the "cultural stick." where this lightweight, flexible, and durable item was geographically plentiful and available. Because of their adopted design into the arts, they are extremely fast and are of a weight that allows them to be "whipped" and in many instances within the execution, can actually exceed the speed of the human hand throught this "whipping motion." these are specifically NOT clubs.

A club is something by it's very nature has a significant weight to it to facilitate its use as a "bludgeon." Something so heavy that it's very weight itself is the weapon when used against another person, which is why it is being used in the first place. Ed Parker described it as "... something so heavy that if you dropped it, you wouldn't want it to land on your foot." (He smiled when he said that) But he went on to say, "Anything that you can manipulate as fast as your hand itself, would not be considered a club." Additionally when your body has to move or manipulate something of substantial weight, it has to make adjustments that slow it down to prevent injuring itself. It also requires a significant "commitment" to move its mass to use it as a weapon. Therefore once you start your action, the weight of the "club" that you accelerated to use as a weapon, now becomes a liability if your opponent moves. You must complete the motion, stop, recover and begin again.

Think of a baseball player attempting to 'check' his swing at the last moment. Because the object (bat) has significant weight (club) and he is making a fully commited attack (swing), it is very difficult for a trained athlete who does this on a regular basis to stop his action. If he were "swinging" toward the ground allowing gravity to be more of a factor, he could not stop, nor change direction. When a person uses a "club" to swing at your head, he's not trying to get your attention. He's fully commited and as Parker says, "He's trying to give you a split personality." All things considered, getting out of the way will be a lot easier because he will lose that speed that is the problem when he wields a true club with a commited action.

So overall Sir? you and I don't seem to have too much of a disagreement. I thank you for pointing out that a more comprehensive definition of a club was definitely needed for these type of conversations. I always say, it is important that we be on the same page with the same understanding before we can really communicate. Keep examining the techniques. that is what you're supposed to do.Thank you for the opportunity and interaction. Your points are all well taken.
 
Your definition is appreciated and points are also well taken. Have you found that you need to alter what you do when dealing with a "stick" as opposed to a "club"? Does your curiculuum address the possibility of both attacks or at least differentiate between the two? Also, do you think that a lighter or heavier weapon will more than likely be encountered on the street? I know I can find examples of both in my truck. :rolleyes:
Respectfully,
Mace
(not sure if you were asking, but yes I'm male)
 
This may be an aside, but if the definition of the club is something "that you wouldn't want to drop on your foot." How do you explain the club form. I've heard that the "kenpo club" is different than an escrima stick because it is tailored to you.... yada yada yada. Dr. Chapel, your definition is significantly different than most, and honestly one that I buy more than most. If so, why did (or did he) Mr. Parker call the sticks used in Form 7 kenpo clubs?

Anyone?

Lamont
 
Originally posted by Blindside

This may be an aside, but if the definition of the club is something "that you wouldn't want to drop on your foot." How do you explain the club form. I've heard that the "kenpo club" is different than an escrima stick because it is tailored to you.... yada yada yada. Dr. Chapel, your definition is significantly different than most, and honestly one that I buy more than most. If so, why did (or did he) Mr. Parker call the sticks used in Form 7 kenpo clubs?

Anyone?

Lamont

Sir, well actually he didn't. It was a term that was carried over from his original work in progress.

The origin of the "Club" Forms/Sets is an interesting one. Originally the Club Set was a single weapon utilized with the long portion of the club extending down from the baby finger side of the hand when held naturally. This is what Parker called the "closed position."

This was in a effort to address methods not found in other arts. He had a very unique method for using a club this way that helped to manage its weight, and gave it flexibility and effectiveness. This method Parker orginally began sharing with his friends in law enforcement. He was absolutely fascinated by law enforcement weapons and procedures as well as empty handed strategy. It was never supposed to be a "double weapon." He began working later on formulating a single handed weapon with the position reversed with the long extended portion on the thumb side like holding a conventional club.

But understand the weapon had "club weight" so the weak hand assisted in its uses and implimentation creating a single weapon manipulated by two hands, much like what he knew of the the Chinese broadsword. Taking these methods and converting them to American Kenpo with a club was the goal. During this process the pressure for more weapons and their forms was strong from the commercial schools for competition. Considering he had the largest tournament in the world, he couldn't ignor this and added "Weapons Forms" to the IKC.

Weapons were beginning to be a big part of competition in tournaments and the only other weapon previously addressed suitable for competition from American Kenpo was from the "Staff Set." The "Knife Set," was not generally known. Parker began changing what he was working on to accomodate the demand. At first he was going to modify the form so it was two weapons. A club held as previously mentioned (closed) and a stick held in the conventional (open) way. The club was used in many ways like a heavy shield defensively, but could also strike underhanded with considerable weight, while the stick was like a "foil" or rapier that could be moved and whipped. This created and offense and a defense with two weapons that disorientated your opponent because they both traveled at different speeds. This was straight out of Chinese Weapons.

Parker himself only believed in "practical" modern weapons and saw no usefulness (in general) in traditional weapons. After all, his is a self defense based art which meant any weapon must be something readily available. A broom handle staff, yes. Two sticks of the same size and weight, cut to fit your arm length? No, (unless they are in your pocket when you're attacked.) But the commercial schools demanded "competition forms" which also for a brief period had Parker scrambling to add a Nunchauku Form/Set as well. These weapons were never a part of Ed Parker's self defense philosophy, but demand forced him to spend time on that very popular segment of Motion-Kenpo, and its commercial viability could not be ignored.

Ultimately the pressure caused Parker to just abandon his club plans because his plate was so full. So what did he do to satisfy the masses? He took techniques that were already in existence, strung them together, and then he added "clubs" (sticks) to the hands. What could be more simple? It was easy for him and it satisfied everyone and served a purpose for him in his endeavor to create Ten American Forms. "Knife Set" was moved to and re-named Form 8 and the "Club Set" was dropped, re-created, re-named and surfaced as Form 7, not "club form." So you see Form 7 is not "Club anything" anymore. By changing "philosophy" to a more "Kenpo Kali," it made everyone happy, but moved him away from the self-defense philosophy (club) to a more competition vehicle with limited self defense application.

Additionally there is no such thing as "Kenpo Sticks," and he hated that term. He would say, "There is only Kenpo with sticks in your hands."

As it should be. Great question Sir.
 
Originally posted by Mace

Your definition is appreciated and points are also well taken. Have you found that you need to alter what you do when dealing with a "stick" as opposed to a "club"? Does your curiculuum address the possibility of both attacks or at least differentiate between the two? Also, do you think that a lighter or heavier weapon will more than likely be encountered on the street? I know I can find examples of both in my truck. :rolleyes:
Respectfully,
Mace
(not sure if you were asking, but yes I'm male)

The gender issue was only because a female with a male sounding name was on another forum and I called her "sir." Then a "***** stirer came in to a 2 party issue and suggested I should apologize for not recognizing she was female. Duh! to assume most here are male (unless their name is Shiela) is normal. If you're not, say so.

Anyway, we make a difference between the club and stick, and in fact so should you if you use Parker's Web of Knowledge. All of the "overhead" strikes are "clubs." All the lateral strikes are lighter stick like weapons (except one) and must be delt with differently. The overheads you attempt to avoid and get out of the way. The lateral swinging attacks we block by getting inside. (with one exception which we do the same after avoiding the first swing).

The reasons are simple. Anatomically when you use a weapon with weight with one hand, it is easier and more likely that you will use it in an overhead fashion. You'll get it up in the air and use gravity to help you in striking. If you use two hands on an active target you will swing laterally like a baseball bat swing. "Returning Storm" is that exception and it is really a two handed heavy club attack which is why you avoid it first.

My experience in the street is pretty extensive, but it really depends on the circumsatnces. If a guy is near his home or gets out of his car, he's going to bring something fairly substantial (wouldn't you?) Baseball bats, and tire irons are pretty common when the encounter starts with one in a vehicle. Walking down the street or otherwise usually will find lighter weapons, but interestingly, most in these situations if they cannot find something with heft will use empty hands or revert to something large like a trashcan or flee. "Kali like" weapons used offesively or defensively on the street are non existent. Most under immediate circumstances given the option of picking up a bat or a stick, will op for the bat, (and that includes most kenpoist).

The "Kenpo fanatsy" of 2 guys squaring off with sticks and blades is non existent on the street. Even the Uniform Crime Statistics of the Federal Bureau of Investigation which keeps stats on attacks for the country, say that the statiscal data for "skilled" knife assaults other than forward thrusting or overhead are insignifcant.

Skilled knife fighters sneak up behind you and kill you. 2 guys with knives and skills will not fight each other unless it is a life and death situation. Otherwise, whatever the disagreement is, it isn't worth it.
 
Originally posted by eternalwhitebelt

Wow Doc, excellent post. You and I finally agree on something. What next?

Well sir, I suspect we agree on more than we disagree. I encounter people all the time across the country who have been "told" things about me and what I do that are not true. This tends to shape things in their minds. Once I get a chance to interact, most people at least understand my point of view even if they don't agree, and see I really don't have any extra motives. I'm not empire building, and I have all the rank I can use. Some of the stories are pretty wild. As an example a very prominent Kenpoist was told recently I learned "nerve strikes from George Dillman." I never met the man.

Let's just keep working on it sir. I just love Kenpo, and promised my best friend I would always be open and honest and share my expereinces. :asian:
 
Originally posted by Doc


As an example a very prominent Kenpoist was told recently I learned "nerve strikes from George Dillman." I never met the man.

Very interesting, that you've never met him. If I had to wager a
guess, I would've guess that you two have talked for hours over
a couple of adult beverages. Have you done any comparative
studying of his techniques?
 
Originally posted by Kirk



Very interesting, that you've never met him. If I had to wager a
guess, I would've guess that you two have talked for hours over
a couple of adult beverages. Have you done any comparative
studying of his techniques?

Yes I have. You see Ed Parker knew him well and always said nice things about him, but we never met. But that wasn't unusual. There were people in kenpo I had little or no contact with as well.

Anyway, there is no comparison in the techniques. Mr. Dillman uses essentially the same principles from TCM but in a completely different way. His applications are based on his knowledge of point locations (for which he is awesome) and Okinawan Kata Bunkai because that is his primary source from Ota, Sensei.

Ed Parker dictated very modern and specific "American Kenpo perameters" of application that are from a more "modern" Chinese perspective and much different from the Okinawa Form Indexed method. Ed Parker believed (as I do) that Okinawa Kata hold some of the information regarding sequence etc,, but do not show or teach actual application as He (we) would use it in American Kenpo. That does not affect its effectiveness for those who apply it well. It's just not the "American Kenpo Way" as I use and teach it.
 
Thanks for all the info.
Respectfully,
Mace :asian:
 
excellent series of posts Doc. great insights--

Originally posted by Doc




Ed Parker dictated very modern and specific "American Kenpo perameters" of application that are from a more "modern" Chinese perspective and much different from the Okinawa Form Indexed method. Ed Parker believed (as I do) that Okinawa Kata hold some of the information regarding sequence etc,, but do not show or teach actual application as He (we) would use it in American Kenpo. That does not affect its effectiveness for those who apply it well. It's just not the "American Kenpo Way" as I use and teach it.


Dillman was a great revolutionary thinker and reintroduced a very effective aspect of the arts back into the mainstream MA.

but his recent forays into gender mystics, no touch k.o's and other far flung theory are so removed from practical self defense that his seminars have begun to resemble "self improvement" group sessions-- i'm sure he's just one step away from bringing in the hot coals...:D

question-- do you employ any special hand configurations (the pecking crane hand, spear hand/finger, single knuckle, double knuckle, etc.) that we see more commonly in the chinese arts to attack the points?
 
Originally posted by jazkiljok

excellent series of posts Doc. great insights--




Dillman was a great revolutionary thinker and reintroduced a very effective aspect of the arts back into the mainstream MA.

but his recent forays into gender mystics, no touch k.o's and other far flung theory are so removed from practical self defense that his seminars have begun to resemble "self improvement" group sessions-- i'm sure he's just one step away from bringing in the hot coals...:D

question-- do you employ any special hand configurations (the pecking crane hand, spear hand/finger, single knuckle, double knuckle, etc.) that we see more commonly in the chinese arts to attack the points?

Well, that's an interesting observation. One I might add I've heard from several prominent people I trust. I had a conversation with my friend Richard Norton who spoke with him most recently at a gathering about the "five elemental sounds" and their "no touch" applications. From the conversation, his perspectives seemed to be a bit "off base" as I understand it. It does sound like you been following pretty close. "Gendar Mystics." I wish I had thought of that one. It is a very accurate description. May I use it? Nevertheless, he is very knowledgeable about point locations and Okinawa Kata Bukai.

As far as hand configurations, yes we do depending on the application. Additionally, as you know each point/cavity it accessed in different ways depending on the desired effect as well the application. Striking methods usually use different hand configurations than manipulation positions. Some points can only be reached by a "rubbing" action that also requires specific hand positions. Sometimes the single hand position may also be used in mutiple ways.

Thanks for the kind words, good questions and some interesting observations in general.
 
Originally posted by kenpo3631



The "X" block is a thread all in its own...

However, if used it is a great transitional way of rerouting the overhead club.

I don't really care for the Technique just b/c both my hands are up in the air (violates the high/low theory) and leaves my body wide open for a possible strike with one of my opponents back up weapons.:asian:

In my personal unerstanding of AK, there is no such thing as an "X block."
 
Originally posted by Doc



In my personal unerstanding of AK, there is no such thing as an "X block."

Strike that, redirect...ummm, the upward cross block...:D
 
Originally posted by kenpo3631



Strike that, redirect...ummm, the upward cross block...:D

Well sir, I knew I would get a bite but, I didn't think it would be you.

As I was taught, there is no "X cross etc. block" in American Kenpo. In actuality, the block is a singular "upward block" (or downward) defense with an "off hand catcher."

The same applies for the lateral "universal block and vise" It is and inward block or a downward block with the off hand acting as a control medium "catcher" for Control Manipulations.

Both hands are NOT deployed simultaneous but can give the impression it is similar to the traditional "X" block because at one point the forearms do cross. The American kenpo methodology I use is similar to Chin na, but as usual Parker modified and updated it for modern self defense use. A clue to it's proper use is in Long 1.
 
Originally posted by Doc



Well sir, I knew I would get a bite but, I didn't think it would be you.

As I was taught, there is no "X cross etc. block" in American Kenpo. In actuality, the block is a singular "upward block" (or downward) defense with an "off hand catcher."

The same applies for the lateral "universal block and vise" It is and inward block or a downward block with the off hand acting as a control medium "catcher" for Control Manipulations.

Both hands are NOT deployed simultaneous but can give the impression it is similar to the traditional "X" block because at one point the forearms do cross. The American kenpo methodology I use is similar to Chin na, but as usual Parker modified and updated it for modern self defense use. A clue to it's proper use is in Long 1.

Thank you Dr. Chapel for many insight on this thread. I've enjoyed reading this more than one time over. My question is this. In Obstructing the Storm, doesn't this technique use the cross block up position? I realize it won't stay there for more than a second. You redirect and step up with the foot immediately but the cross block up position is on my kenpo curriculum basics list. I'm just curious about your thought on this.
Thank you
Jason Farnsworth
 
Originally posted by jfarnsworth



Thank you Dr. Chapel for many insight on this thread. I've enjoyed reading this more than one time over. My question is this. In Obstructing the Storm, doesn't this technique use the cross block up position? I realize it won't stay there for more than a second. You redirect and step up with the foot immediately but the cross block up position is on my kenpo curriculum basics list. I'm just curious about your thought on this.
Thank you
Jason Farnsworth

Well Sir, I've seen it in various interpretations of the lesson plan, but actually the answer
is still "no" for me as I was taught. Technically if it is done correctly, you should actually
be capable of defending your self with only one hand. In "Obstructing the Storm," You're
not supposed to block the club (as I understand it) so why would you need two hands to
commit to a/the block? Look at the title of the technique. "Obstructing," not "blocking" the Storm.

I know why it's presented this way in the Technique Manuals. It's a simplistic "idea" that
almost anyone can pick up on quickly, but a more sophisticated instructor would give you
more information. Remember the information contained in the Motion-Kenpo Lesson Plan by
design, had to be very simplistic to be workable for the vehicles lowest common
denominators, and is written that way. Everything is conceptual and/or simplistic ideas to
be expanded upon by the teacher.

The true knowledge repository is in the Head Instructor of a group. The sophistication of
the art is not within the writing, it is in the teachers knowledge to interpret the lesson
plan at different levels according to the student's abilities and understandings.

Unfortunately, most teachers now are products of the lesson plan itself, which was not
designed to make teachers, but reasonably competent (read lowest common denominator)
practitioners. It's a self-defense lesson plan administered by a "teacher," not an
"Instructors Course." In education they always separate courses to give you some
understanding of a subject from those that are supposed to give you information to "teach"
the subject. Everyone has taken Kenpo 101 , now they think they can "teach" Kenpo.

Oops! No rant intended. There are just so many great students out there that deserve more
and better information.

Anyway the attack comes from 12 and you step toward the attacker into a left neutral bow
so the attack is shaded to your right. The defensive hand is the right hand executing an
upward block from the rear. Executed correctly your hand should be angling toward 10:30
and upward at a 45 degree angle. With proper timing this will deflect the "committed
attack" off to your right causing your attacker to fall forward from his own weight and
momentum. That is the block that defends. students should practice this at first to become
competent in the defense first. when you can defend your self this way without using your
left at all, then you are ready for part two. This is important because this defense,
presented here for the first time, repeats itself in many ways over again in the hard
curriculum. Besides, in my opinion, you should be capable of deflecting the attack alone and
moving away with no further response.

It takes timing, however once you feel you have been successful in the block "deflecting" his
attack, you now execute a left (forward hand) upward block. This block angles upward at 45
degrees and outward toward 1:30.

Important: the second upward block doesn't block, it only slows the hand down for a split
second to allow the first blocking hand the opportunity to "seize" the wrist. That is why the
second hand doesn't block but actually "catches" or momentarily controls the descent of the
weapon.

From here the description becomes more difficult in this medium but I'll try. So now we
have "seized" his right wrist, and our left controlling block is in contact with his forearm.
His own downward pressure and momentum will allow you to "roll" your arm
"counterclockwise" (back toward you) while still maintaining contact with the forearm, as
you "roll" over the top of his arm to apply pressure to his arm and to keep him accelerating
to downward.

I have my students practice this from that point singularly after learning the one hand
deflection.

Both students get in position.

Defender: Left neutral bow, right upward block in place, and left upward in place.
Attacker: right foot forward, place his arm as if he had just been "blocked." Then the
attacker pushes down against the defenders arms with as much weight as he can.
Defender: Now you can practice the "seize" of the wrist and the rolling of the forearm into
an arm bar to a takedown alone. Then you just put the two together.

There are some other things we do as well but this is the beginning. Let me know if this helps, and describe your experiences, good or bad and we'll see what we can do.
 

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