Kenpo 5.0

MJS

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While surfing the web, I've come across some discussion on Jeff Speakmans 5.0 Kenpo. I have not seen the material, aside from clips floating around Youtube, so I can't really give feedback either way. A while back, there was an article in Black Belt that talked a bit about it.

Has anyone seen the material? If so, what are your thoughts?

I realize that opinions will vary, depending on the Kenpoist in question, but lets try to keep the thread civil. :)

Mike
 

Kenpojujitsu3

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Kenpo 5.0. Is it worth it? Or is it just a gimmick? I was asked by a few people a couple months back to give my thoughts on it and I said Id wait until I viewed the set as a whole. Well I haveseveral times. Here are my thoughts and analyses.

EPAK system (as I learned it) = 157 techs through 1st Black (154 Infinite Insights plus Aggressive Twins, Spreading Branch and Intellectual Departure)

5.0 System = 146 techs to 1st Black.

Removed Techniques (removed in the sense that they dont show up on the belt charts but many are contained in the new or revised techniques)

Removed Techniques = 42 of 157. 27% removed

1) Grasp of Death
2) Intellectual Departure
3) Spreading Branch
4) Repeating Mace
5) Twisted Twig
6) Crushing Hammer
7) Captured Leaves
8) Charging Ram
9) Shield and Sword
10) Gift in Return
11) Bow of Compulsion
12) Twin Kimono
13) Sleeper
14) Cross of Destruction
15) Begging Hands
16) Hugging Pendulum
17) Repeated Devastation
18) Entangled Wing
19) Defying the Storm
20) Raking Mace
21) Returning Storm
22) Twist of Fate
23) Broken Ram
24) Squatting Sacrifice
25) Menacing Twirl
26) Circle of Doom
27) Broken Gift
28) Twirling Sacrifice
29) Cross of Death
30) Securing the Storm
31) Intercepting the Ram
32) Rotating Destruction
33) The Bear and The Ram
34) Courting the Tiger
35) Parting of the Snakes
36) Snakes of Wisdom
37) Marriage of The Rams
38) Circling Windmills
39) Reversing Circles
40) Unfolding the Dark
41) Piercing Lance
42) Escape from Darkness

Revised Techniques (Some techniques had minor differences from what I learned so I didnt list them as they just seemed to be lineage differences.)

24 of 157. 15% revised.

1) Shielding Hammer sequence change, infused Twisted Twig
2) Five Swords attack change, added extension
3) Raining Claw attack change, added extension
4) Glancing Wing attack change and sequence change
5) Reversing Mace sequence change, infused Repeated Mace
6) Sleeper attack change, added groundfighting component
7) Thundering Hammers attack change
8) Dance of Death attack change
9) Locking Horns sequence change, added groundfighting component
10) Scraping Hook sequence change, infused Repeated Devastation
11) Flashing Wing changed attack and angles
12) Flashing Mace - changed attack and angles, added part of extension
13) Destructive Fans changed attack and angles
14) Circling the Horizon changed attack and angles, different takedown, groundfighting
15) Thrusting Lance changed sequence, introduces several knife methods of execution
18) Entwined Lance changed sequence, takedown and groundfighting
19) Circles of Protection changed attack
20) Circling fans changed sequence, initial entry
21) Shield and Mace changed attack and angles
22) Bowing to Buddha changed sequence, new takedown, groundfighting
23) Falling Falcon changed sequence, groundfighting
24) Circling Destruction - sequence change, infused Shield and Sword

New techniques = 31 of 146. 21% new

1) Charging Maces offensive technique
2) Hammering Mace offensive technique
3) Returning Mace offensive technique
4) Thrusting Knee tackle counter
5) Opposing Circles tackle counter
6) Collapsing Wedge tackle counter
7) Gripping Leaves groundfighting from guard, tackle counter failed
8) Destructive Leaves groundfighting from guard, tackle counter failed
9) Snapping Branch groundfighting from guard, opponent tries to stand
10) Disappearing Mace angle off switch versus punch, small circle to groundfighting
11) Twisted Wing angle off switch versus punch, groundfighting
12) Collapsing Serpents Head angle off switch versus punch, groundfighting
13) Tripping Branch angle off switch versus punch, groundfighting
14) Broken Wing angle off switch versus punch, groundfighting
15) Destructive Knee takedown, groundfighting
16) Destructive Claws takedown, groundfighting
17) Destructive Cross takedown, groundfighting
18) Piercing Wing Closed Guard counter
19) Circling Branch Half Guard counter
20) Collapsing Branches Butterfly Guard counter
21) Slashing Lance roundhouse knife slash counter
22) Returning Lance roundhouse/backhand knife slash counter
23) Gathering Branches takedown from kneeling
24) Trapping Branch Punch defense from kneeling, low single leg
25) Hacking Lance Knife versus Knife
26) Scraping Lance Knife versus knife
27) Trapping Lance Knife versus Knife
28) Destructive Lance Knife versus Knife
29) Crossing Lance Knife versus Knife
30) Scissoring Lance Knife versus Knife
31) Thrusting Leaves counter versus double punch

From what Ive seen having viewed the set from start to finish Mr. Speakmans 5.0 is definitely worth a serious look. There are those that will say that a lot of the Techniques are missing by looking at the list but they would have to actually see the material to notice that many of the missing techniques show up elsewhere (I listed a few above).

Ive voiced previously my misgivings about some of the ground material and that fact remains true. Some of what I would view as important details on the ground material are missing.many of them fundamental details. Howeverconsidering that many EPAK schools dont even address the ground the 5.0 is a step in the right direction. It wont beat an expert on the ground (in many cases) but it will at least get people familiar with itand its decent enough material to counter the semi knowledgeable in that realm. All of the major ground positions are addressed as well as many of the simpler, common sweeps and several of the most common joint manipulations and chokes. If the purpose of these techniques is to introduce students to positions and concepts on the ground, then job well done. A healthy dose of various takedowns, leg locks, armlocks, transitions, reversals, and chokes are presented. BUT...the devil is in the details and some fundamental details are missing. What pleased me most was that it was addressed how to CONTINUE after a submission hold was used to break something or put someone unconscious. This material of how to extract oneself after the hold was used is missing even in many Ju Jitsu schools. Submission is not a destination is what Mr. Speakman repeatedly says in this set. Many people miss the boat on this point.even at grappling schools.

Mr. Speakman has also incorporated Knife techniques into the material. I got some mixed feelings about this. If Kenpo has a reputation of overkill then these knife techniques are the next step up. There was one technique where I was left scratching my head as it was just implausible. Short version: The opponent is stabbed and gouged in the throat, THEN disarmed, THEN has his throat cut from ear to ear MULTIPLE timeswhile remaining standing. Not exactly a logical sequence if damage is assumed. But I noted that all the cuts and stabs were different methods of execution. The techniques seem to be more of an introduction to the various ways to use and disarm a knife rather than actual workable sequences. Some of his new knife defenses have the same issues. How many times and ways are you going to cut and stab this guy while he remains in the same position? As an intro to knife disarms and uses? Great. Logical sequence that take into account the bodys reaction? Not seeing it. Its like the body reactions to strikes are accounted for but introduce a knife and the opponent becomes stone statue.

Final say. Ill give it my endorsement for what my endorsement is worth. IF this stuff is trained right then the students are going to have a working base on fighting from various ranges, what to do on the ground, what to do versus a knife and with a knife. Etc. The forms remained unchanged for those that are in the change the techniques if you want but leave the forms alone camp. So if youre in the camp that the forms contain all of the motion and concepts then 5.0 isnt missing anything. Kicking Set II is different and Mr. Speakman has included 2 stick sets and 2 knife sets. No explanations were given, just demos. What I saw was simplified versions of material extracted from Forms 7 and 8.with some FMA influences. Last point. There looks to be more to come. Stick sets included but no stick techniques? Not all of the methods of execution shown in the knife sets were used in the knife techniques? Was that a hint Mr. Speakman?

Pick up a set and see for yourself. FAR more good than bad and, contrary to popular belief, material that isnt addressed in many (not all) EPAK schools.
 

donald

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Mr.Hawkins et al,

Thank you for your synopsis of the 5.0 material. In addressing one of your statements about alot of the 5.0 material being useful as an introduction to various defensive situations. Is'nt that what EPAK is supposed to be doing through the plethora of techniques, etc.? Is'nt that what the different stages are all about, ie;primitive,mechanical,spontaneous? Once again thank you for your input. I look forward to your continued postings.

1stJohn1:9
 

Kenpojujitsu3

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Mr.Hawkins et al,

Thank you for your synopsis of the 5.0 material. In addressing one of your statements about alot of the 5.0 material being useful as an introduction to various defensive situations. Is'nt that what EPAK is supposed to be doing through the plethora of techniques, etc.? Is'nt that what the different stages are all about, ie;primitive,mechanical,spontaneous? Once again thank you for your input. I look forward to your continued postings.

1stJohn1:9

Which segment are you specifically asking about. I mentioned that the ground and knife serve as a decent introduction to various concepts. Is that what you're inquiring about? Sorry, but I'm a bit unclear on exactly what you are asking.
 

Carol

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Very comprehensive review, James :asian:

Interesting that Mr. Speakman brought in some knife vs. knife work.
 

donald

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Which segment are you specifically asking about. I mentioned that the ground and knife serve as a decent introduction to various concepts. Is that what you're inquiring about? Sorry, but I'm a bit unclear on exactly what you are asking.


My apologies Sir. I was pretty much addressing your entire post. I took you to say that the 5.0 material overall was a good introduction to various areas of self defense,ie;ground work etc.. My question/statement was is'nt that what EPAK is supposed to be doing through the techniques etc.? I hope this is clearer to you? I don't intend to cause any confusion. Thank you for your consideration.

1stJohn1:9
 

Kenpojujitsu3

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My apologies Sir. I was pretty much addressing your entire post. I took you to say that the 5.0 material overall was a good introduction to various areas of self defense,ie;ground work etc.. My question/statement was is'nt that what EPAK is supposed to be doing through the techniques etc.? I hope this is clearer to you? I don't intend to cause any confusion. Thank you for your consideration.

1stJohn1:9

As much as people try to say it.....EPAK really does not address the ground in anyway. Every instructor I have ever personally seen that addresses "how Kenpo works on the ground" (myself included) also has a background in some grappling and/or ground oriented art. I've yet to see someone who does EPAK with no other influences (Judo, Ju Jitsu, etc.) be able pull of anything even remotely worable on the ground.

As far as the other stuff like self-defense, knife work, offensive Kenpo etc. Yes "traditional" EPAK does address this. However, it varies from instructor to instructor and even then some of it has to be extrapolated through experimentation. 5.0 removes some of the experimentation necessary in some areas (and makes for more experimentation needed in others). It's a mixed bag so to speak.

Did I see ANYTHING new (to me) in 5.0? NO, not a blessed thing. However, I've got a broad spectrum of exposure in the martial arts...I've seen and trained alot of stuff at this point and have a TON of videos and books on several styles (EPAK, Muay Thai, BJJ, Ju Jitsu, Judo, Vee Arnis Jitsu, Jeet Kune Do, Dumog, Hapkido, Tae Kwon Do, Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Wrestling, MMA, Catch-Wrestling, Kali, Aikido, Boxing, etc.). But I've shown the 5.0 stuff to several people I know in EPAK. There has been alot of "Whoa, I never saw that before" and "I would have never thought of that". If they are saying that, there is some merit to it. Sure, they could find the info elsewhere. But if it's info they didn't have does it matter if it came from an "established" system or a newer one?
 

bgore1966

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Very comprehensive review, James :asian:

Interesting that Mr. Speakman brought in some knife vs. knife work.

Yes Jeff has introduced some knife on knife stuff but he definately not the first to intro it to the Kenpo Community ... many others have done that and at the risk of being forward I must say intorduced in a better way.
 

bgore1966

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As much as people try to say it.....EPAK really does not address the ground in anyway. Every instructor I have ever personally seen that addresses "how Kenpo works on the ground" (myself included) also has a background in some grappling and/or ground oriented art. I've yet to see someone who does EPAK with no other influences (Judo, Ju Jitsu, etc.) be able pull of anything even remotely worable on the ground.

As far as the other stuff like self-defense, knife work, offensive Kenpo etc. Yes "traditional" EPAK does address this. However, it varies from instructor to instructor and even then some of it has to be extrapolated through experimentation. 5.0 removes some of the experimentation necessary in some areas (and makes for more experimentation needed in others). It's a mixed bag so to speak.

Did I see ANYTHING new (to me) in 5.0? NO, not a blessed thing. However, I've got a broad spectrum of exposure in the martial arts...I've seen and trained alot of stuff at this point and have a TON of videos and books on several styles (EPAK, Muay Thai, BJJ, Ju Jitsu, Judo, Vee Arnis Jitsu, Jeet Kune Do, Dumog, Hapkido, Tae Kwon Do, Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Wrestling, MMA, Catch-Wrestling, Kali, Aikido, Boxing, etc.). But I've shown the 5.0 stuff to several people I know in EPAK. There has been alot of "Whoa, I never saw that before" and "I would have never thought of that". If they are saying that, there is some merit to it. Sure, they could find the info elsewhere. But if it's info they didn't have does it matter if it came from an "established" system or a newer one?

Hello James,Let me begin by saying that I admire your guts. At least you are able to make a statement that may not be popular. But now I must disagree with you. I know many EPAK system folks that have addressed the ground and have done so very well. And are you not the one that has stated that everything is within the Kenpo System it is just a matter of rearranging the moves.Like I said I admire your guts but you are very wrong on this one. Unless you have trained with every EPAK pratitioner in the world that is.
 

Seabrook

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Yes Jeff has introduced some knife on knife stuff but he definately not the first to intro it to the Kenpo Community ... many others have done that and at the risk of being forward I must say intorduced in a better way.

You write like you have been around for a while.

If you don't mind me asking, who are you?
 

Kenpojujitsu3

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Hello James,Let me begin by saying that I admire your guts. At least you are able to make a statement that may not be popular. But now I must disagree with you. I know many EPAK system folks that have addressed the ground and have done so very well. And are you not the one that has stated that everything is within the Kenpo System it is just a matter of rearranging the moves.Like I said I admire your guts but you are very wrong on this one. Unless you have trained with every EPAK pratitioner in the world that is.

Well......a couple of things.

1) find me an Ideal Phase ground fighting technique in the techniques or forms...having failed that you'll understand why I stated that EPAK does not address the ground....which brings me to number 2

2) I explicitly stated "every instructor that I have ever PERSONALLY SEEN." I then reitterated that very point but stating "I have yet to see...."If you know someone that has effective EPAK on the ground with no other ground experience point the way...and please read before responding and not twist what is stated. At no point did I say no one, but I have yet to find the man/woman or have anyone show them to me.
 

Kenpojujitsu3

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Yes Jeff has introduced some knife on knife stuff but he definately not the first to intro it to the Kenpo Community ... many others have done that and at the risk of being forward I must say intorduced in a better way.

Who said anything about FIRST? No one....except you. Stop twisting things.
 

kenpostudent

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My only concern with Kenpo 5.0...and I only seen videos, so, I don't know how it is taught in actual classroom instruction...is that positions are not thoroughly taught before moving into submissions. You can teach the submissions, but without a fundamental knowledge of the details of how to gain position to set up the submission, even an unskilled opponent could find a way to escape.

I believe Mr. Hawkins covered the lack of grappling fundamentals, but it's also worth stating that they don't cover a variety of escapes and transitions. I don't know if the kenpo "technique-based" method of instruction is the best way to teach grappling. It's very dynamic. You can memorize and work a few techniques...but what happens when those fail? I have my reservations. From what I can you, someone would be FAR better off to study bjj for a year than to waste their time with Kenpo 5.0. You would have better grappling skills.

As for the rest of the material, it's a coin-toss. Less the groundfighting component, I'm not sure if the new Kenpo 5.0 material is any better than the base system. I suppose that its six one way half a dozen another.
 

thetruth

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About a year and a half ago I went back to Kenpo with my old instructor for a few months(no longer there as I have moved too far away).We did some 5.0 while I was there and basically it is Kenpo on the ground. Same principles and techniques flowing from one to the other. I'm not convinced it should be relied on solely on the ground as a small change by an attacker would make it more difficult to alter the technique than it is to alter standing. Good stuff but a heavy guy who just leant on you would negate all of the strikes which form a large portion of the techniques and if no other ground technique was known it would put you in a precarious situation.

Cheers
Sam:asian:
 

kenpostudent

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Excellent point...I totally agree. You can't teach groundfighting piecemeal like kenpo is taught. Groundfighting takes a comprehensive approach to learn a variety of positions, then escapes, then submissions. It's a progression that cannot be circumvented by teaching one or two or a dozen techniques here and there over the course of two or three years.

I don't know where Kenpo 5.0 first introduces groundwork, but in the 24 system, think of how many different types of techniques are taught at various belt levels per the web of knowledge. You might get one weapon or takedown technique at one belt level and learn a what-if or sister technique one or two belt levels later. Even if a couple ground techniques are taught at each belt level, that is simply not enough groundwork to learn any kind of flow. If a technique went south, a student would more than likely find themselves in a bad position that they are unable to get out of.

This is precisely why I recommend simply studying bjj one or two nights a week at a good jiu-jitsu school. Then a student will learn each position and potential escapes, counters, and setups before submissions. More importantly, the student will find themselves in bad positions time and again in sparring and learn to defend and escape such positions. Some of my best learning experiences were attacks gone bad that I had to learn how to recover from. You can't learn that by sparring groundwork once every couple of weeks. You have to roll at least on a weekly basis, if not more and focus solely on groundwork.
 
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