How does it move...

2000wrx

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I am joining a Tracy's Kenpo school tonight, my first choice is Silat as I like the core of the system and the way it moves. However in my area my choices are limited and I can see a potential in Kenpo.

I love the softness of Silat in its movement, and I have seen a few kenpo videos of people moving, most have been of big fat guys lumbering through the movements with force over fluidity.

I can see that the forms/movements could easily move more silat like, more fluidly. I just wonder what people think of this that are more familiar with the art.

My take as it is with any art is that is becomes your interpretation of that movement or set of movements within the limits of that system or what really works.


Just an FYI I have studied Tang Soo do, Judo, Wing Chun, and Silat at some level. I'd like to think that I know what I want... but then again. :)


Thanks all
 
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2000wrx

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Well I went to the first class which was more conditioning than anything else. Which is fine since I need it. I got home and ran to here and you tube looking for video of kenpo in action.

From what I have founf most of what I am seeing is hard style tea kwon do, karate, looking to me, the same stuff that I ran from in the past.

Once in a while I see a glimps of what I think could be hope if it was done by a human rather than a robot.

All I see so far is a bunch of people spending more energy on the move than is needed.

someone tell me that this is NOT what kenpo is... please don't religate me to home study in my basement of a system that IS what I want... :(
 

Carol

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It totally depends on the instructor.

I trained in Kenpo (EPAK) before switching to the FMA school where I now train(in Kali and Silat). My reasons for switching were largely because my job changed. My old Kenpo school was near my old job. When I got a new job that required off-hours in a different part of New England and started to look at schools near me and found a good one.

My impression is that many Kenpo schools (and Kenpo students) emphasize how hard one hits, as well as basic strikes and footwork. Many In general, Tracy's schools also emphasize the sparring and competition applications of the art.

All useful stuff (IMO) but a very different approach than Silat.

I would not recommend signing a contract with the school until you are absolutely sure you like it.
 
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2000wrx

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Yea I have no contract... Kenpo from what very little I know and have observed seems to be a little bit of Chinese style that has been cluttered with hard and rigid Japanese thinking.

I think that if you could clean out a lot of that Japanese influence and find the Chinese movements you would have a very nice system of movements.

I just don't get the hard styles, unless your 6'4 220 they just make no sense. In a hard Karate style physics wins maybe that why many of the kenpo videos I find are of BigMac friendly man. :D

I have some old Juru, and Lanka videos that I will continue to use to keep my movements fluid and see if I can find the jewel within kenpo. I truly think that Silat like movement can be applied to many arts.


I just wish I had a local Silat school, we have one in my general area, though still an hour away, but they are one of many schools that try to bring black magic, and dark mystic arts into Silat... *shrug* why I have no idea.
 

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Well I went to the first class which was more conditioning than anything else. Which is fine since I need it. I got home and ran to here and you tube looking for video of kenpo in action.

From what I have founf most of what I am seeing is hard style tea kwon do, karate, looking to me, the same stuff that I ran from in the past.

Once in a while I see a glimps of what I think could be hope if it was done by a human rather than a robot.

All I see so far is a bunch of people spending more energy on the move than is needed.

someone tell me that this is NOT what kenpo is... please don't religate me to home study in my basement of a system that IS what I want... :(

Kenpo that looks like TKD?? Unless your instructor is not teaching a pure system, this is the first time I've heard anything like that. Here are a few clips that should give you an idea of what you should be seeing.

Form 6

Another look at Form 6

Larry Tatum Tip of the week


Let me know, after watching these clips, if what you saw looked like this or something different.

Mike
 

Carol

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I just don't get the hard styles, unless your 6'4 220 they just make no sense. In a hard Karate style physics wins maybe that why many of the kenpo videos I find are of BigMac friendly man. :D

:roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao:

I have some old Juru, and Lanka videos that I will continue to use to keep my movements fluid and see if I can find the jewel within kenpo. I truly think that Silat like movement can be applied to many arts.

I agree with you and you may be able to do so. Kenpo has drawn many influences from other arts. Here on MT there are a few Kenpo students that have tried out the FMAs when their Kenpo was at higher belt levels. It will be interesting to see how an instructor works with a new white belt that already has flow of Indonesian and Malaysian arts in his movements.

I just wish I had a local Silat school, we have one in my general area, though still an hour away, but they are one of many schools that try to bring black magic, and dark mystic arts into Silat... *shrug* why I have no idea.

Unfortunately there are more of those type of schools out there than I'd like to see. The only reason why that I can see is the influence of Islamic culture. Watch certain international satellite TV channels (such as TV from India) and one can find all kinds of black magic references in Islamic culture...many complete with their country's equivalent of a 900 number. :rolleyes:

Silat was a fighting system in Indonesia long before it became a Muslim state, from what I can tell the black magic stuff just got rolled in as yet another cultural influence. It's a shame the closest school to you is wrapped up in that stuff.

The grandmaster of one of my systems warned me about that. There is a thread in our Indochinese Martial Arts section that I started entitled "Two Days with GM Edward Lebe" if you are interested.

Hang in there, and keep posting! Its very interesting to hear our input.
 
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2000wrx

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This is an example of a very traditional set of movements, at a very slow speed.





http://www.combat-silat.net/default2.asp?menu=media

This is a school in FL that I may try working with, I have talked with him and he has made great efforts to support a distance learning system. A good friend of mine also trained under William Sanders who despite being spiritually "off" is very skilled in Silat.


I plan to train this month at the Kenpo school while studying my Jurus and Lankas to help support my movements. My hope is that they Kenpo can be adapted to a Silat fluidity. We will see.



PS: The first Kenpo videos are closer to the kind of movement I like, but still a little linear.

The Larry Tatum guy is the part of martial arts that I find sad…. could he love himself any more?
 
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Carol

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This is an example of a very traditional set of movements, at a very slow speed.

Slow and painful :D I particularly liked the Tjimande clip.

I plan to train this month at the Kenpo school while studying my Jurus and Lankas to help support my movements. My hope is that they Kenpo can be adapted to a Silat fluidity. We will see.

It's certainly possible. The question may be more a matter of how will your instructors correct your movement? Will they let you flow the way you are used to or will they insist that you move more like they do?

PS: The first Kenpo videos are closer to the kind of movement I like, but still a little linear.

Just to keep your expectations in line - Long Form 6 is an advanced form that typically is not done until somewhere around 3rd Degree black. It is not something that you will see much of in your school unless you have a lot of ranking BBs.
 
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2000wrx

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Yea that is another point I take issue with in many school. They will teach a rigid, hash style to students until a higher level then suddenly expect this person to move more fluidly...

uuum hello, you just spend the last several years training them to move like a robot... makes me laugh.



If they try to remove any fluidity that I have worked to develop I will simply try to explain to them that this is my interpretation of Kenpo.
 
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2000wrx

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It is frustrating once you have practiced Silat and have an undertanding of it's Pro's it's hard to move to other systems, or at least it has been for me.
 

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The Tracy system starts out in a harder style because it's typically easier to learn for a new student. It should soften and become more circular in style as you progress.
 

Kembudo-Kai Kempoka

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It is frustrating once you have practiced Silat and have an undertanding of it's Pro's it's hard to move to other systems, or at least it has been for me.

Kenpo techniques lend themselves well to re-interpretation via Indonesian and Phillipino arts. I would be willing to bet there are guys in the kenpo school who would be willing to work with you to midify their techs to reflect the fluidity of silat; it could open new doors of perception for both parties, and expand your toolbox.

I think you nailed the description of kenpo at the top...Chinese, made rougher around the edges by Japanese influence. Or vice-versa; Japanese, made a bit smoother by CHinese. It comes from the ghetto's of Hawaii, where these influences couldn't help but blend. They were also more concerned about surviving a gang fight, then looking good. So I think some of your observations are spot on.

But as Carol mentioned, it will depend a lot on your instructor; many kenpoists came to the system from other backgrounds, and those backgrounds continue to color their interpretation of the art. Kenpo is just a body of moves, with explanatory mechanisms around their execution. The "flares" depend on you. If you inject your kenpo with the Indonesian influence, you may find yourself discovering some neat new paths, lines and arcs in the system...left vague for your investigation.

Good luck,

Dave
 

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Yea that is another point I take issue with in many school. They will teach a rigid, hash style to students until a higher level then suddenly expect this person to move more fluidly...

uuum hello, you just spend the last several years training them to move like a robot... makes me laugh.



If they try to remove any fluidity that I have worked to develop I will simply try to explain to them that this is my interpretation of Kenpo.

I certainly understand where you are coming from. And I think if you study kepo you will find it to be very fluid (when it needs to be) and very logical. However, and it may just be my misinterpretation, but don't you think you should study somethign for a while before you come up with your "interpretation?" You are there to learn. There might be a reason why an instructor is having you do something a certain way. There might be a concept or a priniple that they don't want you to miss. Personally , if I had a beginning student that I tried to help and they told me this was "theuir interpretation" it would send up some red flags. They haven't studied the art long enough to make their interpretation.
Kenpo is big on tailoring and you do put your own spin on the art. But you have to be rpetty grounded in it before you do this.
It's analogous to someone who speaks fluid French taking Spanish. When their Spanish teacher attempts to correct their grammer they are told, well this is just my interpretation of how one speaks Spanish.

Brian Jones
 
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2000wrx

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^^^ Yea, I can inderstand that, and I tend to ask a lot of questions when learning, (maybe to many) so that I feel I have a deeper understanding of the motions.

I am not one to walk into a class and tell them how I think the system should move. Nore am I out to reinvent Kenpo, I just want to see if Kenpo will allow me to move the way I am used to.
 

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In general, Tracy's schools also emphasize the sparring and competition applications of the art.

My experience with Tracys is limited to two different schools, and my second school is very recent and new to me, but I never felt there was an emphasis on competition. Tracy's focus is really on practical and useful self defense. I think competition tends to be given little emphasis.

Of course this probably is different from school to school, depending on the interests of the instructors and other individuals. But as a system, I would not personally describe it as "competition focused".

Just my observations.
 

Flying Crane

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I just want to see if Kenpo will allow me to move the way I am used to.

I have studied a few different arts (as many others here have as well), and my arts all move very differently from each other. My arts are Tracy Kenpo, Capoeira, Tibetan White Crane kung fu, Wing Chun kung fu, and Chen Tai Chi Chuan. The way these arts move, especially when comparing arts like Capoeira and Wing Chun (or just about anything else), is really very very very different.

Personally, I think you should not worry about being able to move "like you are used to", and instead focus on learning each art that you study, in its own right. Each art will move differently. Just do your best to learn that, and don't worry about how it compares to others. Learn what it has to offer. Later, if you reach a high level of skill in your arts, you might make some changes.

Of course any art you study will influence how you see other arts; that cannot be avoided. But don't try to force one art into the mold of another. Just accept them as different, and see what you can learn from them. You may decide that you like one method better than another. So you will focus on that one method and not the other. But when you are learning different arts, just take them as they come.
 

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My experience with Tracys is limited to two different schools, and my second school is very recent and new to me, but I never felt there was an emphasis on competition. Tracy's focus is really on practical and useful self defense. I think competition tends to be given little emphasis.

Of course this probably is different from school to school, depending on the interests of the instructors and other individuals. But as a system, I would not personally describe it as "competition focused".

Just my observations.

Thanks for the clarification! :asian:
 

Carol

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Personally , if I had a beginning student that I tried to help and they told me this was "theuir interpretation" it would send up some red flags.

It would also provide a clue as to how a student understands something, especially when a student hasn't been in a system long enough to be fluent in the jargon.

My former Kenpo instructor once told me that he learns the most from white belts. But...every teacher is different, so is every student :)
 

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Tracys kenpo is a very different animal than most arts. First of all, it's more a science than an art. It's an examination of human mechanics designed specifically to accomplish 3 things in each technique: 1) to recognize an attack 2) to neutralize the attack 3) to neutralize the attacker. Even though there are kata (22 of them) the focus is on the individual defense techniques and how they work. As a beginning student you will learn the rudimentary technique, which will be somewhat rigid. When you progress to a more advanced level, in some cases black belt and green in my case, you will learn the nuances provided your instructor has learned them himself. It's the diffence between what Mr. Tracy calls regular kenpo (book) and "little man's kenpo" (revised). Secondly, it is a Chinese system that migrated to Japan and picked up a huge Japanese influence over several hundred years. It is both wushu and jiu-jitsu. Yellow and orange belt have the most Japanese linear type movements, at purple belt you start to see a lot more Chinese circular movements.
Don't get so caught up in how it moves, it moves the way it does for specific reasons. Your challenge is to understand those reasons.
As for competition, if you don't see a black and white checkered gi there is no competition. Tracy fighters only compete in the checkered gi.
 

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