Comparison of two styles of self defense

BBat50

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I am a newbie on this site (and MA in general) and I hope I'm not breaking rules with this post.

I'm in a school which has a kenpo base but a blended curriculum which includes elements for many arts.

When I first joined, about four years ago, our self defense moves were kenpo based. Last year, the curriculum was updated and now we learn "reference-point" based self defense.

I'm curious about how you would compare the two types of self defense in terms of effectiveness in different situations (beginners, experienced) and also the heritage.

(Here's where I worry that I might be breaking rules). I've detailed my question and included videos on my blog. Any thoughts?

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Rich Parsons

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I am a newbie on this site (and MA in general) and I hope I'm not breaking rules with this post.

You are not breaking any rules I know by asking a question here. :)

I'm in a school which has a kenpo base but a blended curriculum which includes elements for many arts.

I have some friends who train and teach Parker Kenpo, and I know that there are others, so understand my limited exposure for my comments.

When I first joined, about four years ago, our self defense moves were kenpo based. Last year, the curriculum was updated and now we learn "reference-point" based self defense.

By Reference point do you mean numbers on body parts? Or is it angles of attacks? Or something else?



I'm curious about how you would compare the two types of self defense in terms of effectiveness in different situations (beginners, experienced) and also the heritage.

Heritage is not an issue for self defense form a pure self defense point of view. If it is from an art specific point of view then heritage could be an issue.

As to what is best for learning that is specific to the student.

Some students can learn by watching in mirror fashion some by watching in same point of reference. Some learn better from hearing it explained to them then by Vision. Some learn better by having the technique done on them. Others cannot learn unless someone is guiding them through it as they apply it to others.

A good instructor will do more than one method to try to reach as many students as possible while they are instructing.


As to Beginner versus Experienced, the experienced can pick up more subtle techniques and their "basics" are at a higher level. The beginner needs points of reference and frames to work from. But if it is art specific and they are teaching a specific technique to a beginner then this is how that art teaches.

(Here's where I worry that I might be breaking rules). I've detailed my question and included videos on my blog. Any thoughts?

I have not looked at the video yet. I will try to take a look sometime this week and reply again.
 

Rich Parsons

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First I am not sure I can give what you want from the data provided.


Kenpo-Based Rear Neck Grip
This is a that is basic in motions. The person comes around on their strong side clearing the opponents hand and then bringing the elbow back to chamber to hammer strike.

Quick and basic. Not bad of a sequence form my opinion. But I do not know what was being covered or what was said before or after on tape.


Kenpo-Based Rear Neck Grip Again
This is basically the same technique but a variation on the entry. The guy locks his hands together to create a frame as he turns. This helps the person to get their hips into it by turn the shoulders and hips into the opponent by "framing up".


Reference Point - Rear Neck Grip
Here is the hard part. This reference point goes into a different sequence. By going down a different path then the teaching method is very difficult to discuss. So what makes this a reference point? This one seems less defensive and a little more offensive.

Rear Choke - Kenpo
This one attempts to break the hold with strikes and then to release and counter.

Rear Choke Reference Point
This one is a different sequence as well so once again to compare teaching methods is difficult without being there. This one the defender turns into the hold and puts their hips into the opponent breaking their center. Then grabbing their arm to throw them to the ground. I think this one would be more complex or require a better set of basics to execute.

Rear Choke Cradle Release
This one is yet a different technique sequence so comparison of teaching methods is not apples to apples. The technique is also requires a person to understand more body mechanics to place themselves into the proper position and then to counter the opponent. The issue is lifting them up could be an issue with a smaller person to a larger person. I prefer attacking the opponents head to break their center more and bring them off balance to make it easier and less strength to accomplish.
 
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BBat50

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Thanks. It was just explained to me that while both defense systems can be effective, the "reference point" system is a little easier to learn. It seems that this system, derived from the Israeli Hagannah, tries to respond to each attack aggressively and funneling the movement into one of only a few responses. From there, there are a standard set of moves and finishes. The kenpo system has a more customized set of responses to different attacks so it requires mastery (and recall) of a greater variety of responses.

Does this make sense to you?
 

Rich Parsons

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Thanks. It was just explained to me that while both defense systems can be effective, the "reference point" system is a little easier to learn. It seems that this system, derived from the Israeli Hagannah, tries to respond to each attack aggressively and funneling the movement into one of only a few responses. From there, there are a standard set of moves and finishes. The kenpo system has a more customized set of responses to different attacks so it requires mastery (and recall) of a greater variety of responses.

Does this make sense to you?

Reference point - Reuse similar or exact techniques over and over again for different situations. This works as it keeps it simple for students to remember. But the techniques need to be simple and easy to execute as well, in my opinion.

The Kenpo demonstrated - has many variations as do most arts.

I understand - but still could not make an objective decision on which is "best" until I see them both taught to the same person and see how that person reacts. And even then it would be limited to the sample size of observation.

The question one should ask, is one better for you? And if it is then should you be asking more questions of your instructor down that path of learning?
 
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