Ed Parker and Kicking

Danjo

Master Black Belt
Joined
Mar 31, 2004
Messages
1,378
Reaction score
60
Location
Fullerton, CA
Well, I just watched and old episode of the Lucy Show with Ed Parker as a "Judo Karate" student demonstrating kenpo for Lucy and Viv, Well, he looked pretty good until it came time for him to demonstrate various kicks. MAN his kicks looked bad! I mean, I've seen Ed Parker do some awesome things, but kicking certainly was not forte`. Anyone know why this is? Was it an anatomical thing, or did he just not like kicking?
 

bujuts

Green Belt
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Messages
140
Reaction score
1
Location
Phoenix, AZ.
I haven't seen the videos myself, and I don't have the privilage of ever having met Ed Parker, let alone train under him. However, I'm a student of a long time student of his, and everything I understand about Ed Parker's kicking was that it was no more than an extension of a natural step.

If looking from the paradigm of the classic four point kicking sequence: lift and aim, extend, retract, set back down (i.e. the classic snap kick), then it looks very odd, and would seem to be ineffective for not emloying the full articulation of the knee. However, I suspect Ed Parker kicked the same that I learned from his student, with proper alignment and the entire mass moving into it - hitting with the truck, and not just a snapping bumper.

Again, it should be taken into consideration that his age did in fact begin to impact his movements. I don't know the year of the video to which you refer, and again I am only conjecturing based on what I've heard about Ed Parker, not from personal experience.

One last note, though, I've NEVER heard anyone say he wasn't effective with his kicks, LOL.

I'm curious to hear more on this subject myself.

Thanks,

Steven Brown
UKF
 

stickarts

Senior Master
MT Mentor
MTS Alumni
Joined
Jul 6, 2003
Messages
3,902
Reaction score
58
Location
middletown, CT USA
I don't have any first hand knowledge of his kicking ability but I do know its tough to judge how effective a kick is until you see it in action on someone! A good kicker is he or she that can land the kick when it counts!
 

Kenpodoc

2nd Black Belt
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
734
Reaction score
19
Location
Ohio
I've never seen that show. In some of the old film available from the early '60's he kicks very well in a Japanese karate manner. I've not seen him kick in later films. The Lucy show was a comedy so it's certainly is possible he was acting for comedic effect. By the time that show was filmed his study of the CMA had dramatically changed his art. Others might be able to shed light on how this changed his kicking.

Jeff
 

jazkiljok

Brown Belt
Joined
Jun 30, 2002
Messages
450
Reaction score
5
Kenpodoc said:
I've never seen that show. In some of the old film available from the early '60's he kicks very well in a Japanese karate manner. I've not seen him kick in later films. The Lucy show was a comedy so it's certainly is possible he was acting for comedic effect. By the time that show was filmed his study of the CMA had dramatically changed his art. Others might be able to shed light on how this changed his kicking.

Jeff

yes, looks very much like the mitose/chow kicking from the book-- which wasn't that developed back then. parker like chow, got much better as they progressed in their understanding of the arts. Ed Parker had a video tape at the internationals in the mid 80s, going over the rules and such- he demonstrated a blistering front kick that snapped a few two by fours as a way of emphasing the importance of control when aiming at some one's ribcage.

kenpo in general has always been a low kicking system-- it didn't stop ed parker from having his more limber and agile students demonstrate flying high kicks and such. he himself was never shown in pix doing that sort of thing.

so i'd just assume that his kicking became more efficient and effective as his knowledge grew and that he staid within his own abilities (waist high kicks) which complimented his art anyway.

just my observations.

trivia question-- what was the odd thing about the lucy's shows episode title that featured Ed Parker?
 

MattJ

Brown Belt
Joined
May 6, 2006
Messages
429
Reaction score
11
Location
Pennsylvania
I had a copy of a video that showed Mr. Parker doing some demos from (I assume) the 50's or so. Surprisingly, his kicks were quite good. Fast and head high, even some jumping kicks if I remember correctly.

The video quality was not good, but good enough to see what he was doing. I have not seen the "Lucy" episode referred to here, but I can assure you that Mr. Parker was a pretty good kicker back in the day.
 

Doc

Senior Master
Joined
May 12, 2002
Messages
4,234
Reaction score
176
Location
Southern California
Mr. Parker was an excellent and effective kicker. His personal philosophy did not allow for impractical, and turns out, anatomically incorrect kicks. He used to say, "It makes as much sense to kick to the head of a guy standing up, as it does to drop down to a standing man and punch him in the foot. (This was an inside joke as Mitose had done just that in an improptu demo with some of the Parker's black belts in a visit to Pasadena) Moreover, this was the same philosophy of Ark Wong who also didn't believe in stretching after the age of 10 years old.
 

Ray

Master Black Belt
Joined
Dec 8, 2004
Messages
1,391
Reaction score
53
Location
Creston, IA
Doc said:
He used to say, "It makes as much sense to kick to the head of a guy standing up, as it does to drop down to a standing man and punch him in the foot. (This was an inside joke as Mitose had done just that in an improptu demo with some of the Parker's black belts in a visit to Pasadena)
Well, now that you mention it; and I know it's stupid of me to ask; I've seen somewhere, from some group that claims the Mitose lineage, that this was a nerve strike (supposedly to some nerve in the foot). Now, I'm certain that that's a goofy explanation...can you clear that up for me (I'm assuming that you were one of the observers)? Thanks in advance.
 

Doc

Senior Master
Joined
May 12, 2002
Messages
4,234
Reaction score
176
Location
Southern California
Ray said:
Well, now that you mention it; and I know it's stupid of me to ask; I've seen somewhere, from some group that claims the Mitose lineage, that this was a nerve strike (supposedly to some nerve in the foot). Now, I'm certain that that's a goofy explanation...can you clear that up for me (I'm assuming that you were one of the observers)? Thanks in advance.
Not stupid at all, and a fair question. I've heard the same explanation but that's a suspect answer. The scenario was set up by Mitose when he suggested he was going to show a 'secret' technique, and asked a black belt to throw a punch at him. When the guy did, Motose igored the knee that was right in his face and fropped to one knee and punched toward the foot with a loud kiai. It was so stupid everyone just looked at each other in silence, while Parker schrugged his shoulders and just went back into the office.

Are there nerves in the foot? Absolutely, but there are better ways and circumstances to strike them much better than putting your head at knee height of a committed and punching attacker.

"What a maroon." - Bugs Bunny
 
OP
Danjo

Danjo

Master Black Belt
Joined
Mar 31, 2004
Messages
1,378
Reaction score
60
Location
Fullerton, CA
Doc said:
Mr. Parker was an excellent and effective kicker. His personal philosophy did not allow for impractical, and turns out, anatomically incorrect kicks. He used to say, "It makes as much sense to kick to the head of a guy standing up, as it does to drop down to a standing man and punch him in the foot. (This was an inside joke as Mitose had done just that in an improptu demo with some of the Parker's black belts in a visit to Pasadena) Moreover, this was the same philosophy of Ark Wong who also didn't believe in stretching after the age of 10 years old.

Doc,

I had a video tape of Mr. Parker teaching a seminar in Hawaii where he told the students, "I may not be able to kick very well, but I can teach YOU how to kick very well." Maybe he was exaggerating his lack of kicking ability. The Lucy Show that I am refering to was perhaps not his best example of kicking ability, but when I watched it, I thought I finally saw what he'd been talking about when he said that to those students. Especially when he demonstrated his spinning back kick. Clearly you've seen much more of Mr. Parker's abilities than I have so I'm in no way trying to dispute what you are saying about what you've seen. My comments were based soley on what I had seen in the tape and put together with what I had heard him say himself on another tape. I am not trying to bash on Mr. Parker's abilities in general (which would make me look rather foolish) and mean no disrespect. I was merely curious about what I had seen.
 

Seig

Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Apr 18, 2002
Messages
8,069
Reaction score
25
Location
Mountaineer Martial Arts - Shepherdstown,WV
Danjo said:
I had a video tape of Mr. Parker teaching a seminar in Hawaii where he told the students, "I may not be able to kick very well, but I can teach YOU how to kick very well."
If you examine this statement, it may not mean that Mr. Parker did not kick very well at all. It seems to me that this is more of a statement on being able to teach. Regardless of your own personal strengths or weaknesses, an instructor should be able to teach their students to do things well, even if they don't do them that well themselves.
 

Brian Jones

Blue Belt
Joined
Aug 22, 2003
Messages
263
Reaction score
8
Location
Columbus, Oh
I don't know. If you ask teh senoirs who practiced with Mr. Parker and were kicked into rank by him, I think they would say Mr. Parker knew how to kick. At least I never heard any of them say they "enjoyed" the experience. He may not be doing hapkido kicks to the head, but I have seen plenty of photos of guys being launched by one of his kicks.

Brian Jones
 
OP
Danjo

Danjo

Master Black Belt
Joined
Mar 31, 2004
Messages
1,378
Reaction score
60
Location
Fullerton, CA
Brian Jones said:
I don't know. If you ask teh senoirs who practiced with Mr. Parker and were kicked into rank by him, I think they would say Mr. Parker knew how to kick. At least I never heard any of them say they "enjoyed" the experience. He may not be doing hapkido kicks to the head, but I have seen plenty of photos of guys being launched by one of his kicks.

Brian Jones

Look, it was my impression that in the early days martial artists would agree to guest star on tv shows using their own names in order to both provide the shows with martial artists that could show the art, and also to get a wider audience and advertisement for their art. As such, whether it was Bruce Tegner, Bruce Lee, or Ed Parker, it was my impression that they would be trying to show off in a way that would attract students. It didn't look like Mr. Parker was clowning around except for his trying to dazzle Lucy with the techniques and have her react with crosseyed bewilderment.

Perhaps someone here could direct me to a clip that shows Mr. Parker's kicking ability in a better light than that Lucy episode did.
 

Doc

Senior Master
Joined
May 12, 2002
Messages
4,234
Reaction score
176
Location
Southern California
Danjo said:
Look, it was my impression that in the early days martial artists would agree to guest star on tv shows using their own names in order to both provide the shows with martial artists that could show the art, and also to get a wider audience and advertisement for their art. As such, whether it was Bruce Tegner, Bruce Lee, or Ed Parker, it was my impression that they would be trying to show off in a way that would attract students. It didn't look like Mr. Parker was clowning around except for his trying to dazzle Lucy with the techniques and have her react with crosseyed bewilderment.

Perhaps someone here could direct me to a clip that shows Mr. Parker's kicking ability in a better light than that Lucy episode did.
Mr. Parker was equally adept and protraying himself as an "ordinary guy" in film and TV, who happened to study the martial arts. He was a genius at making fun of himself and down playing his abilities. As recently as his stint in the Pink Panther movies, he depicted himself as a mean tough guy with bad luck that lost every confrontation with Inspector Clouseau- badly. Even in his major fight scene in "Revenge of the Pink Panther," even though he kicked the crap out of everyone, he still was hit over the head from behind with a bottle. Parker insisted on the human element of the martial artist who was good at what he did, but not infallible. In answer to the question about the kicks in the "Lucy" episodes as well as others like "I Spy," "Matt Helm," and others. In "The Courtship of Eddies Father" he was taken down by the white belt child actor taking "karate" lessons, even though he was the teacher. He always said, "If you look too good, people will admire you but won't consier they could do the same thing. We want them to feel they could participate." Those who knew him well knows he was a clown, a cut up, and a constant jokester. He often put himself down in seminars and laughed at himself to make participants feel good about what they were doing.
 

Wild Bill

Green Belt
Joined
Oct 17, 2004
Messages
160
Reaction score
6
Location
Washington
Doc said:
Those who knew him well knows he was a clown, a cut up, and a constant jokester. He often put himself down in seminars and laughed at himself to make participants feel good about what they were doing.

You don't often here about the personal side of Mr. Parker. I would love to read more about the man not just the martial artist. I wish someone would write a good biography.
 
OP
Danjo

Danjo

Master Black Belt
Joined
Mar 31, 2004
Messages
1,378
Reaction score
60
Location
Fullerton, CA
Doc said:
Mr. Parker was equally adept and protraying himself as an "ordinary guy" in film and TV, who happened to study the martial arts. He was a genius at making fun of himself and down playing his abilities. As recently as his stint in the Pink Panther movies, he depicted himself as a mean tough guy with bad luck that lost every confrontation with Inspector Clouseau- badly. Even in his major fight scene in "Revenge of the Pink Panther," even though he kicked the crap out of everyone, he still was hit over the head from behind with a bottle. Parker insisted on the human element of the martial artist who was good at what he did, but not infallible. In answer to the question about the kicks in the "Lucy" episodes as well as others like "I Spy," "Matt Helm," and others. In "The Courtship of Eddies Father" he was taken down by the white belt child actor taking "karate" lessons, even though he was the teacher. He always said, "If you look too good, people will admire you but won't consier they could do the same thing. We want them to feel they could participate." Those who knew him well knows he was a clown, a cut up, and a constant jokester. He often put himself down in seminars and laughed at himself to make participants feel good about what they were doing.

Thanks Doc,

AS always, I appreciate your insight and perspective. I remember the Pink Panther Movies and the fight scene you're talking about. Funny stuff.
 

monkey

Brown Belt
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
468
Reaction score
23
Location
chico ca
From what I remeber & have the training films from the early days -not much devoted to kicks.He did have hard low kicks but,there are others who came in from other arts & devloped that aspect with there students.Yes he had kick but kempo was an empty hand mostly not the lower exstematies.I have the Lucy ep you talk of & I know Bruce Lee did the corigraph for mat helm-as Coburn was his student.Also he did the Wrecking crew for Sharon Tate befor Manson got to her & family.Sharon was a bigining student of Bruce as well.I know there was supose to be another movie with Parker.Didnt see it so cant tell if he kicks oin it or not.
 

Doc

Senior Master
Joined
May 12, 2002
Messages
4,234
Reaction score
176
Location
Southern California
monkey said:
From what I remeber & have the training films from the early days -not much devoted to kicks.He did have hard low kicks but,there are others who came in from other arts & devloped that aspect with there students.Yes he had kick but kempo was an empty hand mostly not the lower exstematies.I have the Lucy ep you talk of & I know Bruce Lee did the corigraph for mat helm-as Coburn was his student.Also he did the Wrecking crew for Sharon Tate befor Manson got to her & family.Sharon was a bigining student of Bruce as well.I know there was supose to be another movie with Parker.Didnt see it so cant tell if he kicks oin it or not.
Matt Helm was protrayed by Dean Martin not James Coburn, and was doubled by Mike Stone. Bruce Lee did the fight coreography only for "The Wrecking Crew," not others in the series. The Wrecking Crew contained noted martial artists including Chuck Norris's film debut. Also Bill Ryuzaki, Jow Lewis, Ed Parker, and as previously stated as a stunt double, Mike Stone.

Ed Parker's kicking mirrored that of his teachers who didn't believe in TKD kicks for self defense. No one else 'developed' those type kicks for 'his students.' A brief check of even the commercial material reveals no instructions, forms, or sets, that promote, teach, or suggest such kicks. Students coming from other arts and those who competed picked them up on their own.
 
OP
Danjo

Danjo

Master Black Belt
Joined
Mar 31, 2004
Messages
1,378
Reaction score
60
Location
Fullerton, CA
Doc said:
Matt Helm was protrayed by Dean Martin not James Coburn, and was doubled by Mike Stone. Bruce Lee did the fight coreography only for "The Wrecking Crew," not others in the series. The Wrecking Crew contained noted martial artists including Chuck Norris's film debut. Also Bill Ryuzaki, Jow Lewis, Ed Parker, and as previously stated as a stunt double, Mike Stone.

Ed Parker's kicking mirrored that of his teachers who didn't believe in TKD kicks for self defense. No one else 'developed' those type kicks for 'his students.' A brief check of even the commercial material reveals no instructions, forms, or sets, that promote, teach, or suggest such kicks. Students coming from other arts and those who competed picked them up on their own.

You mentioned that Ark Wong didn't believe in stretching. It seems that I have heard that before. Was this because he thought that it would unduly stretch out the ligaments and tendons and thus reduce strength? I have read where some of the older Chinese Masters taught this. Ark Wong also said (if I remember correctly) that Tai Chi wasn't for young men, but should be started about the age of 40. Any idea why he would have said this?
 

Doc

Senior Master
Joined
May 12, 2002
Messages
4,234
Reaction score
176
Location
Southern California
Danjo said:
You mentioned that Ark Wong didn't believe in stretching. It seems that I have heard that before. Was this because he thought that it would unduly stretch out the ligaments and tendons and thus reduce strength? I have read where some of the older Chinese Masters taught this. Ark Wong also said (if I remember correctly) that Tai Chi wasn't for young men, but should be started about the age of 40. Any idea why he would have said this?
Man you're good. :)

Ark Wong believed the damage to the body caused by excessive stretching after the age of 10 years old, outweighed any benefit that might be obtained from a martial arts self defense perspective, balanced against longevity and efficiency.

Ark Wong didn't mean that Taiji was only for those over forty. What he said was he felt that to begin teaching the true science required significant mental and physical energy, and that after forty, the greater benfit to the individual would be through Taiji. Or to quote him from memory, "After 40, too hard to learn."

Ark Wong also didn't believe in TYKD style kicks that Bruce Lee popularized but don't really exist in the Chinese Arts. His perspective, Like Chow's was self defense first, and neither believed in tornamnets. As a side note, Bruce Lee learned his movie kicks from Hapkido GM Sea Oh Choi. I mention this because the old Chinese had similar philosophies and primarily differend in areas of focus and methods of training. James (Jimmy) Wing Woo had a similar perspective and always said, all Chinese Arts are the same. Only the focus is different.

You're good man. :)
 
Top