Kenpo and Boxing

Doc

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I guess I didn't think there were that many kenpo schools where the students didn't learn to box.

I mean, we didn't practice full on boxing matches, or focus on it exclusively, but we spent a fair amount of time doing boxing drills and striking combinations. And boxing style sparring. Just like we spent a fair amount of time practicing kicking drills, and kicking combinations, and sparring only with our legs.

Is it really that unusual for kenpoists to do anything besides techniques?


-Rob

Yep! I taught a camp in Vegas and half the group were without cups, I was informed when we began to work on a drill. When I asked about how they protect themselves in case of contact, I was told they were, "..not allowed to make contact with each other, only on the bag." All I could think of was how small the island was I must have been living on.

Contact will definitely have a limiting effect on your enrollment, and bottom line.
 

Thesemindz

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Right now I teach for free, so I can afford to use as much contact in my classes as I want. But you're right, it has limited my enrollment. I've had several people come once, or a few times, and then quit showing up. We practice control, but it isn't a guitar lesson, you're gonna get hit.
I'm fine if people want to train without contact, certainly that's there right, and I won't even say it won't help them in a self defense situation. I don't think it's ideal, it's not how I train, but if that's what the people want, more power to them.

As for the training itself, I guess it's just the way I was taught. I eventually split with my instructor over some philosophical differences, but when I was with him we trained in any way we could think of. We didn't limit our horizons to what was in the manuals, or what we were told Mr. Parker did. If we saw a good Capoeira drill, we brought it in. A good BJJ drill would find its way into a class. Hell, BJJ itself ended up in the classes.

And western boxing was the same. We looked at what people were doing, brought in boxers, watched videos and read books on the subject, and then we took what we thought fit well with what we were doing and worked it.

Maybe it's that last part that causes the problem. Actually working the material. I don't know. And I know that some people can become real bad dudes with just the techniques and forms, and some people don't introduce foreign material into their kenpo system. That's fine. But in the kind of motion kenpo we did, we were always interested in what worked. Shouldn't that be our goal? If we're teaching self defense, shouldn't effectiveness be our main objective?

Oh well. Maybe the problem with the question is the idea of what you would gain from boxing. I mean, if you just want to get better at just Parker Kenpo, boxing may or may not be useful. If you want to get better at fighting, I think lots of kenpo guys would benefit from learning some boxing. They'd probably benefit from learning some TKD, and some BJJ, and some tackle football and ballroom dancing and jazz tap as well.

But if what a person is doing works for them, they should do it. If they want more, there will always be more. I mean come on, dynamic violence is a fairly expansive topic. Personally, I think some boxing should already be part of the kenpo curriculum, not something we need to add later. But I feel that way about a lot of things that aren't always getting taught in kenpo schools.


-Rob
 

Doc

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Right now I teach for free, so I can afford to use as much contact in my classes as I want. But you're right, it has limited my enrollment. I've had several people come once, or a few times, and then quit showing up. We practice control, but it isn't a guitar lesson, you're gonna get hit.
I'm fine if people want to train without contact, certainly that's there right, and I won't even say it won't help them in a self defense situation. I don't think it's ideal, it's not how I train, but if that's what the people want, more power to them.

As for the training itself, I guess it's just the way I was taught. I eventually split with my instructor over some philosophical differences, but when I was with him we trained in any way we could think of. We didn't limit our horizons to what was in the manuals, or what we were told Mr. Parker did. If we saw a good Capoeira drill, we brought it in. A good BJJ drill would find its way into a class. Hell, BJJ itself ended up in the classes.

And western boxing was the same. We looked at what people were doing, brought in boxers, watched videos and read books on the subject, and then we took what we thought fit well with what we were doing and worked it.

Maybe it's that last part that causes the problem. Actually working the material. I don't know. And I know that some people can become real bad dudes with just the techniques and forms, and some people don't introduce foreign material into their kenpo system. That's fine. But in the kind of motion kenpo we did, we were always interested in what worked. Shouldn't that be our goal? If we're teaching self defense, shouldn't effectiveness be our main objective?

Oh well. Maybe the problem with the question is the idea of what you would gain from boxing. I mean, if you just want to get better at just Parker Kenpo, boxing may or may not be useful. If you want to get better at fighting, I think lots of kenpo guys would benefit from learning some boxing. They'd probably benefit from learning some TKD, and some BJJ, and some tackle football and ballroom dancing and jazz tap as well.

But if what a person is doing works for them, they should do it. If they want more, there will always be more. I mean come on, dynamic violence is a fairly expansive topic. Personally, I think some boxing should already be part of the kenpo curriculum, not something we need to add later. But I feel that way about a lot of things that aren't always getting taught in kenpo schools.


-Rob
I knew I liked you for a reason. :)
 
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Right now I teach for free, so I can afford to use as much contact in my classes as I want. But you're right, it has limited my enrollment. I've had several people come once, or a few times, and then quit showing up. We practice control, but it isn't a guitar lesson, you're gonna get hit.
I'm fine if people want to train without contact, certainly that's there right, and I won't even say it won't help them in a self defense situation. I don't think it's ideal, it's not how I train, but if that's what the people want, more power to them.

As for the training itself, I guess it's just the way I was taught. I eventually split with my instructor over some philosophical differences, but when I was with him we trained in any way we could think of. We didn't limit our horizons to what was in the manuals, or what we were told Mr. Parker did. If we saw a good Capoeira drill, we brought it in. A good BJJ drill would find its way into a class. Hell, BJJ itself ended up in the classes.

And western boxing was the same. We looked at what people were doing, brought in boxers, watched videos and read books on the subject, and then we took what we thought fit well with what we were doing and worked it.

Maybe it's that last part that causes the problem. Actually working the material. I don't know. And I know that some people can become real bad dudes with just the techniques and forms, and some people don't introduce foreign material into their kenpo system. That's fine. But in the kind of motion kenpo we did, we were always interested in what worked. Shouldn't that be our goal? If we're teaching self defense, shouldn't effectiveness be our main objective?

Oh well. Maybe the problem with the question is the idea of what you would gain from boxing. I mean, if you just want to get better at just Parker Kenpo, boxing may or may not be useful. If you want to get better at fighting, I think lots of kenpo guys would benefit from learning some boxing. They'd probably benefit from learning some TKD, and some BJJ, and some tackle football and ballroom dancing and jazz tap as well.

But if what a person is doing works for them, they should do it. If they want more, there will always be more. I mean come on, dynamic violence is a fairly expansive topic. Personally, I think some boxing should already be part of the kenpo curriculum, not something we need to add later. But I feel that way about a lot of things that aren't always getting taught in kenpo schools.


-Rob

Any time I mention doing something other than Kenpo, I get the impression that people, not necessarily you, feel that I'm talking about stopping Kenpo and taking up (insert other art). No, thats not the case at all. I mean, it is possible to train in more than one thing and pick up ideas. :)

Many times, we see the phrase, "Its already in there." and yeah, there is alot 'already in there', things such as weapons defense, takedown defense, etc., so on face value, its easy to say that. However, as I always say, if someone wants to expand on those areas, it may be necessary to look outside of the art.

If we look at a thread on KT, on gun defense, I believe, we see quite a few people, myself included, talk about how we'd never do those gun techs., instead, opting for something else, either a non Kenpo related tech or coming up with something on our own, using Kenpo principles. So if thats the case, then people readily admit those defenses are poor. There is certainly punching defenses in Kenpo, however, the comment that was made, that sparked me to start this thread was:

"2. Train with realistic combinations of the strikes like boxers do. (especially if being given a multitude of strikes) Make it all functional."

Hey, maybe I misunderstood the intent behind that, but I took it as making the attacks more alive, rather than the step thru punch, and standing there, while the defender blasts away with 10+ counter shots.
 

Doc

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Any time I mention doing something other than Kenpo, I get the impression that people, not necessarily you, feel that I'm talking about stopping Kenpo and taking up (insert other art). No, thats not the case at all. I mean, it is possible to train in more than one thing and pick up ideas. :)

Many times, we see the phrase, "Its already in there." and yeah, there is alot 'already in there', things such as weapons defense, takedown defense, etc., so on face value, its easy to say that. However, as I always say, if someone wants to expand on those areas, it may be necessary to look outside of the art.

If we look at a thread on KT, on gun defense, I believe, we see quite a few people, myself included, talk about how we'd never do those gun techs., instead, opting for something else, either a non Kenpo related tech or coming up with something on our own, using Kenpo principles. So if thats the case, then people readily admit those defenses are poor. There is certainly punching defenses in Kenpo, however, the comment that was made, that sparked me to start this thread was:

"2. Train with realistic combinations of the strikes like boxers do. (especially if being given a multitude of strikes) Make it all functional."

Hey, maybe I misunderstood the intent behind that, but I took it as making the attacks more alive, rather than the step thru punch, and standing there, while the defender blasts away with 10+ counter shots.
I stopped allowing my students to do step through punches thirty years ago. Never seen one on the street. :)
 

K831

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I stopped allowing my students to do step through punches thirty years ago. Never seen one on the street. :)

Me neither. I'm waiting though, and when I finally see one, I'll probably be so excited and distracted that I'll get hit in the face!

As to the question of Kenpoists benefiting from training in western boxing;

Kenpo vs Boxing = Superior system, inferior training methodology.

Kenpo doesn't need anything "added" from boxing by way of technique or skill set. However, many Kenpo schools could benefit from "boxing like training" added to their practice sessions.
 

Thesemindz

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I stopped allowing my students to do step through punches thirty years ago. Never seen one on the street. :)

I've never seen one on the street, but I've seen them in plenty of street fights videos I've seen on the internet, and I've seen them in fights during training, even by new and relatively untrained students, and I've seen them thrown in professional sports combat matches including UFC and professional boxing.

That aside, I don't think they have a lot of value in the training arena, but I don't train much static technique anymore anyway. I teach motion, but most of it is done in as dynamic a setting as possible. We do some position and basic work which is a little more static, like strikes on the pads or from a fighting stance, and if we're working a specific standing or ground grappling technique we'll spend a little time working it from a static position to get the nuance of it, but most defensive drills are done in a dynamic setting almost immediately. Even if it's just as dynamic as stalking while working the drill, I want my students moving and fighting, not standing and trading.

Step through punch? Maybe, might happen, but not necessarily by design. So you are learning that punch defense against a step through, maybe a cross or a jab, maybe a palm strike or a club thrust, left handed, right handed, and from the ground. And you're moving the whole time.

I'm not saying a step through is likely, but I don't teach that it never happens either. Instead I'm trying to teach that fights are dangerous and dynamic and you better learn to move.


-Rob
 

Thesemindz

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Any time I mention doing something other than Kenpo, I get the impression that people, not necessarily you, feel that I'm talking about stopping Kenpo and taking up (insert other art). No, thats not the case at all. I mean, it is possible to train in more than one thing and pick up ideas. :)

Many times, we see the phrase, "Its already in there." and yeah, there is alot 'already in there', things such as weapons defense, takedown defense, etc., so on face value, its easy to say that. However, as I always say, if someone wants to expand on those areas, it may be necessary to look outside of the art.

If we look at a thread on KT, on gun defense, I believe, we see quite a few people, myself included, talk about how we'd never do those gun techs., instead, opting for something else, either a non Kenpo related tech or coming up with something on our own, using Kenpo principles. So if thats the case, then people readily admit those defenses are poor. There is certainly punching defenses in Kenpo, however, the comment that was made, that sparked me to start this thread was:

"2. Train with realistic combinations of the strikes like boxers do. (especially if being given a multitude of strikes) Make it all functional."

Hey, maybe I misunderstood the intent behind that, but I took it as making the attacks more alive, rather than the step thru punch, and standing there, while the defender blasts away with 10+ counter shots.

As for what people think of how you train, I guess I just can't care about what others think of my training anymore. I lost my school. I lost my instructor. Now, I'm trying to train the way I can to fit my life, and trying to be ok with the fact that I can't train as much as I used to. I've got my own problems with how I train, what other people think about it is just blue on black.

To your next point, about it all 'being in there," I've heard that crap a lot. It may be in there, somewhere, if you take a technique and turn it upside down and do it backwards while lying on your back. In fact, a lot of times it is.

I've seen it when I was teaching my students. Sometimes I'd be teaching a new technique and suddenly realize that it was exactly like that other one, only the circles are flipped horizontally and I'm doing them with my arms instead of my legs and the attacker's at six instead of 9. It's like seeing the matrix.

But just because it's in there doesn't mean it's being taught, and even when it's taught it's not always being emphasized. Kenpo may have grappling, but there's a reason it's not the world's most popular grappling art. The sooner people accept that the better off they'll be. Sure, there's knife work, but it's not a knife art either. More than anything else, at least the way I was taught, it was a way to think about fighting, more than a way to fight. It was supposed to open your eyes, not blind them with gospels and gods.

As to the last bit, I think the comment is actually saying two things.

1. Train realistic combinations.

2. Make it all functional.

How can anyone disagree with either of those statements?


-Rob
 

Doc

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I've never seen one on the street, but I've seen them in plenty of street fights videos I've seen on the internet, and I've seen them in fights during training, even by new and relatively untrained students, and I've seen them thrown in professional sports combat matches including UFC and professional boxing.

That aside, I don't think they have a lot of value in the training arena, but I don't train much static technique anymore anyway. I teach motion, but most of it is done in as dynamic a setting as possible. We do some position and basic work which is a little more static, like strikes on the pads or from a fighting stance, and if we're working a specific standing or ground grappling technique we'll spend a little time working it from a static position to get the nuance of it, but most defensive drills are done in a dynamic setting almost immediately. Even if it's just as dynamic as stalking while working the drill, I want my students moving and fighting, not standing and trading.

Step through punch? Maybe, might happen, but not necessarily by design. So you are learning that punch defense against a step through, maybe a cross or a jab, maybe a palm strike or a club thrust, left handed, right handed, and from the ground. And you're moving the whole time.

I'm not saying a step through is likely, but I don't teach that it never happens either. Instead I'm trying to teach that fights are dangerous and dynamic and you better learn to move.


-Rob
Step throughs happen all the time but not as a fight initiator. Takes too long and comes from too far away. They happen as the second etc punch to keep from falling down after the punch is thrown. We train them as follow ups, not initiators.
 

Flying Crane

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But just because it's in there doesn't mean it's being taught, and even when it's taught it's not always being emphasized.

As to the last bit, I think the comment is actually saying two things.

1. Train realistic combinations.

2. Make it all functional.

How can anyone disagree with either of those statements?


-Rob

These are nuggets of gold, Rob. Whether considering boxing or something else with regards to kenpo, I think these comments speaks volumes.
 

LawDog

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I removed the "step through" punches back during the late 70's as well. All of the attacks, like in boxing / kickboxing, are realistic attacks.
 
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Me neither. I'm waiting though, and when I finally see one, I'll probably be so excited and distracted that I'll get hit in the face!

As to the question of Kenpoists benefiting from training in western boxing;

Kenpo vs Boxing = Superior system, inferior training methodology.

Kenpo doesn't need anything "added" from boxing by way of technique or skill set. However, many Kenpo schools could benefit from "boxing like training" added to their practice sessions.

Yes, this is what I'm talking about. Of course, the same may be different for something like grappling. For me, I'd rather fall back on a BJJ tech. for a mount escape, rather than trying to sort thru a huge list of Kenpo techs. Again, I'm not saying that we need to devote another 20yrs learning BJJ, but simply learning the basics.

I've taken some Kenpo takedown defenses and worked the attack from a BJJ perspective. If I can have someone who really knows how to take me down, attempt to do that, and use the Kenpo tech., modified if necessary, then so be it. If that fails, and I start to go down, at least I know I have another card up my sleeve. :)
 
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As for what people think of how you train, I guess I just can't care about what others think of my training anymore. I lost my school. I lost my instructor. Now, I'm trying to train the way I can to fit my life, and trying to be ok with the fact that I can't train as much as I used to. I've got my own problems with how I train, what other people think about it is just blue on black.

Sorry to hear that. Hopefully things'll work out with another school. :)

To your next point, about it all 'being in there," I've heard that crap a lot. It may be in there, somewhere, if you take a technique and turn it upside down and do it backwards while lying on your back. In fact, a lot of times it is.

I've seen it when I was teaching my students. Sometimes I'd be teaching a new technique and suddenly realize that it was exactly like that other one, only the circles are flipped horizontally and I'm doing them with my arms instead of my legs and the attacker's at six instead of 9. It's like seeing the matrix.

I suppose I could play around with things a bit more. It is interesting what you said though. The other day, during an Arnis lesson, my teacher and I were going over a blocking drill. The sticks were moving in pretty much the same figure 8 pattern, as a striking drill that we have. To picture this better, the 8 will be on its side. :)

But just because it's in there doesn't mean it's being taught, and even when it's taught it's not always being emphasized. Kenpo may have grappling, but there's a reason it's not the world's most popular grappling art. The sooner people accept that the better off they'll be. Sure, there's knife work, but it's not a knife art either. More than anything else, at least the way I was taught, it was a way to think about fighting, more than a way to fight. It was supposed to open your eyes, not blind them with gospels and gods.

As to the last bit, I think the comment is actually saying two things.

1. Train realistic combinations.

2. Make it all functional.

How can anyone disagree with either of those statements?


-Rob

Well, this is something that I've been saying since I joined this forum, and every time I say it, the Kenpo Gods rain down bolts of lightening on me. LOL. "Its there, you're just not seeing it. Just because you dont see it, doesnt mean that its not there and that others are seeing it." is usually what I get. :) I hate to use this example, but I will anyways. I had requested from a high ranking Kenpoist (nobody on here) to see some Kenpo on the ground. A clip was put up, on their site, of an example on a stand-up Kenpo tech. utilized on the ground. Needless to say, I wasn't that impressed. Now, I know, I know, someone could come back and say, "Well, if you think the clip sucked, why dont you put something better up?" I suppose I could, and if I did, it would most likely be something from BJJ, not Kenpo. :) Anyways, what didn't I like about the clip? The fact that the 'attacker' was, IMHO, making it very easy for the other person to escape. His mount was hardly a mount, given the fact that he wasn't even in what I'd consider a proper mount. But thats another thread. LOL.

Sorry for the rant. :)
 

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Sorry to hear that. Hopefully things'll work out with another school. :)



I suppose I could play around with things a bit more. It is interesting what you said though. The other day, during an Arnis lesson, my teacher and I were going over a blocking drill. The sticks were moving in pretty much the same figure 8 pattern, as a striking drill that we have. To picture this better, the 8 will be on its side. :)



Well, this is something that I've been saying since I joined this forum, and every time I say it, the Kenpo Gods rain down bolts of lightening on me. LOL. "Its there, you're just not seeing it. Just because you dont see it, doesnt mean that its not there and that others are seeing it." is usually what I get. :) I hate to use this example, but I will anyways. I had requested from a high ranking Kenpoist (nobody on here) to see some Kenpo on the ground. A clip was put up, on their site, of an example on a stand-up Kenpo tech. utilized on the ground. Needless to say, I wasn't that impressed. Now, I know, I know, someone could come back and say, "Well, if you think the clip sucked, why dont you put something better up?" I suppose I could, and if I did, it would most likely be something from BJJ, not Kenpo. :) Anyways, what didn't I like about the clip? The fact that the 'attacker' was, IMHO, making it very easy for the other person to escape. His mount was hardly a mount, given the fact that he wasn't even in what I'd consider a proper mount. But thats another thread. LOL.

Sorry for the rant. :)

You know that cracks me up. I've heard guys say that so many times. "It's there, you just don't see it." But no one ever volunteers to show you "where" it is. I do it all the time and then they say "You're not doing Kenpo." You can't win.

"Yeah it is in there, but if a teacher can't or doesn't teach it, then It ain't really there is it?" - Doc
 

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Sorry to hear that. Hopefully things'll work out with another school. :)

I'll live.

But thanks.


I suppose I could play around with things a bit more. It is interesting what you said though. The other day, during an Arnis lesson, my teacher and I were going over a blocking drill. The sticks were moving in pretty much the same figure 8 pattern, as a striking drill that we have. To picture this better, the 8 will be on its side. :)

I think it's a combination of things.

One, Parker was a genius. I don't say that out of hero worship, I say it because I've seen what he left behind, and it's amazing. But he didn't do it alone, it was the product of a lot of really smart people, some still around and some not, some still friends and some not, who were all working together on this thing that they each had a passion for in their own way. That's what's been left behind, and the result is pretty amazing, even with all it's faults.

Two, there are geniuses in other arts as well. If they've left anything behind worth teaching, all their collected talent and creativity has contributed to it becoming something which to its own practitioners is equally incredible.

Three, as martial artists, too many of us have kept secrets for too long, and so we haven't realized how much we have in common. A lot of those very amazing things are incredibly similar from art to art. When I train with guys who do capoeira, or BJJ, or western boxing, they may each have their own concepts and terms and philosophies, but at the root of each are a core of basic principles and fighting concepts which are universal so long as humans are fighting on earth.

We have the same general shape, and we're subject to the same natural forces, and so fighting will always have a certain consistent foundation to it regardless of what we call it.

Which is why we have the same figure eight striking patterns, and the same angle stepping, and the same natural weapons.

Well, this is something that I've been saying since I joined this forum, and every time I say it, the Kenpo Gods rain down bolts of lightening on me. LOL. "Its there, you're just not seeing it. Just because you dont see it, doesnt mean that its not there and that others are seeing it." is usually what I get. :) I hate to use this example, but I will anyways. I had requested from a high ranking Kenpoist (nobody on here) to see some Kenpo on the ground. A clip was put up, on their site, of an example on a stand-up Kenpo tech. utilized on the ground. Needless to say, I wasn't that impressed. Now, I know, I know, someone could come back and say, "Well, if you think the clip sucked, why dont you put something better up?" I suppose I could, and if I did, it would most likely be something from BJJ, not Kenpo. :) Anyways, what didn't I like about the clip? The fact that the 'attacker' was, IMHO, making it very easy for the other person to escape. His mount was hardly a mount, given the fact that he wasn't even in what I'd consider a proper mount. But thats another thread. LOL.

Sorry for the rant. :)

I remember that video.

Personally, I defended that video then, and still would now, because I see a lot of value in the lesson being taught. I don't think that particular instructor was at his best, I've seen him do some other things that I liked far more, and quite frankly, I don't think he had a very good answer for your question.

It may upset some people that I say that, and that's a shame.

But I looked at the video as an extremely simple starting point to try to get some kenpoists to lay down on the ground for a second. The climate at the time amongst the kenpo community was very hostile towards BJJ and grappling in general. Not universally, but at least palpably. I think it's because many people were scared. I was at first.

After all, I thought I was a pretty bad dude, at least compared to TKD guys, but these BJJ guys were doing something I'd never even really thought about before. And that's intimidating.

I knew a lot of kenpo guys that quit training, or flat out refused to do grappling drills, or flat out refused to accept that grappling had any value at all. Not just in my school, but all over the place. In large part, the very idea of a kenpo guy lying on the ground to fight was derided and laughed at.

I don't think that attitude is dominant any more, but clearly there are still some holdouts. I think that kenpo has largely embraced at least some limited approach to grappling and that most objective martial artists see value in it now.

But when that video came out, in a way, I think it was revolutionary. And the fact that it was so derided by so many, who quite possible did have a better answer, also helped to get kenpo guys on the ground. To give it a try, and to defend their heritage, and to see whether or not it was worth doing.

Maybe it wasn't the best grappling display ever. But when a widely recognized and respected kenpo senior student is willing to lay down on the ground, on the filthy dirty ground, to practice kenpo, then maybe its not so scary after all, and maybe it got some people thinking.

So I still defend that video. It was part of a process.

And I kinda doubt the same product would come from the same school if they had to make one with what they know today, as a result of that video being released.

But maybe I'm being too kind.


-Rob
 

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"So, here is my question: Do you feel that Kenpoists would benefit from boxing training? This could range from actually crosstraining with a boxer, and considering that MMA is very popular, training to deal with the types of punches, combos, etc., that are typical of a boxer."
Kempo training is all about combination punching, as well as take downs and joint locks. If your not already training like a boxer / wrestler, you need to be.
Kempo teaches set combinations and rank Kempo techniques; these are just a learning tool. I equate learning martial arts to learning a new language. The Kempo sets and combinations are much like basic sentences in any language. Learn them all and you still only have a very basic vocabulary, and limited arsenal of ability. It’s not until you can tear apart those prearranged techniques, learn the dynamics and understand the mechanics of them, understand how to close the gaps and adjust for critical distance then you can scatter every part of every technique to the winds and forget them, because they only work in a perfect world. They are designed to teach you a broader aspect of martial arts, the technique is nothing, the ability to deliver a mechanically sound counter attack are what we as kempoist need to extract from our techniques. This requires a “more than basic” understanding of boxing, kicking and Jiu Jitsu theories and practical application. If you think or were told that your Kempo techniques will work against a fighter, next time you’re in class abandon your horse stance, it’s a training tool, not a fighting stance. Put your hands up and let your training partner lead with a jab…… see if you can trap it, if you don’t train for speed, against a fighter, you bought magic beans. (Your Kempo won’t work) I’ve spent the better part of my adult life learning to understand Kempo, it’s no better than any other martial art, it is the same as every other martial art in one respect. In order for it to be effective, you have to get past the colored belts and the ego that comes with rank progression, and stay the course as a humble student, learn to see things for what they are and strive to understand all there is. Fight science is Physics, plain and simple. Kempo, where the straight line ends the circle begins and vice versa. Train like your life depends on it, because it just might. If not, you’re just wasting your time.
 

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"So, here is my question: Do you feel that Kenpoists would benefit from boxing training? This could range from actually crosstraining with a boxer, and considering that MMA is very popular, training to deal with the types of punches, combos, etc., that are typical of a boxer."
Kempo training is all about combination punching, as well as take downs and joint locks. If your not already training like a boxer / wrestler, you need to be.
Kempo teaches set combinations and rank Kempo techniques; these are just a learning tool. I equate learning martial arts to learning a new language. The Kempo sets and combinations are much like basic sentences in any language. Learn them all and you still only have a very basic vocabulary, and limited arsenal of ability. It’s not until you can tear apart those prearranged techniques, learn the dynamics and understand the mechanics of them, understand how to close the gaps and adjust for critical distance then you can scatter every part of every technique to the winds and forget them, because they only work in a perfect world. They are designed to teach you a broader aspect of martial arts, the technique is nothing, the ability to deliver a mechanically sound counter attack are what we as kempoist need to extract from our techniques. This requires a “more than basic” understanding of boxing, kicking and Jiu Jitsu theories and practical application. If you think or were told that your Kempo techniques will work against a fighter, next time you’re in class abandon your horse stance, it’s a training tool, not a fighting stance. Put your hands up and let your training partner lead with a jab…… see if you can trap it, if you don’t train for speed, against a fighter, you bought magic beans. (Your Kempo won’t work) I’ve spent the better part of my adult life learning to understand Kempo, it’s no better than any other martial art, it is the same as every other martial art in one respect. In order for it to be effective, you have to get past the colored belts and the ego that comes with rank progression, and stay the course as a humble student, learn to see things for what they are and strive to understand all there is. Fight science is Physics, plain and simple. Kempo, where the straight line ends the circle begins and vice versa. Train like your life depends on it, because it just might. If not, you’re just wasting your time.

Thank you sir for what you have done for our country.
 
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I'll live.

But thanks.

You're welcome. :)




I think it's a combination of things.

One, Parker was a genius. I don't say that out of hero worship, I say it because I've seen what he left behind, and it's amazing. But he didn't do it alone, it was the product of a lot of really smart people, some still around and some not, some still friends and some not, who were all working together on this thing that they each had a passion for in their own way. That's what's been left behind, and the result is pretty amazing, even with all it's faults.

Two, there are geniuses in other arts as well. If they've left anything behind worth teaching, all their collected talent and creativity has contributed to it becoming something which to its own practitioners is equally incredible.

Three, as martial artists, too many of us have kept secrets for too long, and so we haven't realized how much we have in common. A lot of those very amazing things are incredibly similar from art to art. When I train with guys who do capoeira, or BJJ, or western boxing, they may each have their own concepts and terms and philosophies, but at the root of each are a core of basic principles and fighting concepts which are universal so long as humans are fighting on earth.

We have the same general shape, and we're subject to the same natural forces, and so fighting will always have a certain consistent foundation to it regardless of what we call it.

Which is why we have the same figure eight striking patterns, and the same angle stepping, and the same natural weapons.

I think alot may be similar from art to art. To affress each of your above:

1) Agreed. Mr. Parker was amazing, from what I've heard. Sadly I never had the chance to meet him. He, like so many others, have given alot. I think alot of the time, its up to each person to take what was given, taught, etc., and figure things out.

2) And this is why I love to cross train. Seems to me that some people tend to frown on that. Why? Personally, if I can find something from another art, and put it into my Kenpo, that works for me. :) I dont care if its not Kenpo.

3) :) I'll agree with that to a point. Maybe I'm missing it, but if we used Kenpo and BJJ as an example, I dont see any similarities.



I remember that video.

Personally, I defended that video then, and still would now, because I see a lot of value in the lesson being taught. I don't think that particular instructor was at his best, I've seen him do some other things that I liked far more, and quite frankly, I don't think he had a very good answer for your question.

It may upset some people that I say that, and that's a shame.

But I looked at the video as an extremely simple starting point to try to get some kenpoists to lay down on the ground for a second. The climate at the time amongst the kenpo community was very hostile towards BJJ and grappling in general. Not universally, but at least palpably. I think it's because many people were scared. I was at first.

After all, I thought I was a pretty bad dude, at least compared to TKD guys, but these BJJ guys were doing something I'd never even really thought about before. And that's intimidating.

I knew a lot of kenpo guys that quit training, or flat out refused to do grappling drills, or flat out refused to accept that grappling had any value at all. Not just in my school, but all over the place. In large part, the very idea of a kenpo guy lying on the ground to fight was derided and laughed at.

I don't think that attitude is dominant any more, but clearly there are still some holdouts. I think that kenpo has largely embraced at least some limited approach to grappling and that most objective martial artists see value in it now.

But when that video came out, in a way, I think it was revolutionary. And the fact that it was so derided by so many, who quite possible did have a better answer, also helped to get kenpo guys on the ground. To give it a try, and to defend their heritage, and to see whether or not it was worth doing.

Maybe it wasn't the best grappling display ever. But when a widely recognized and respected kenpo senior student is willing to lay down on the ground, on the filthy dirty ground, to practice kenpo, then maybe its not so scary after all, and maybe it got some people thinking.

So I still defend that video. It was part of a process.

And I kinda doubt the same product would come from the same school if they had to make one with what they know today, as a result of that video being released.

But maybe I'm being too kind.


-Rob

I too, have seen this Kenpo Sr., both on video and in person, and yes, he has impressed me. I agree that that wasn't the best example. But this is why, for me, I'd rather train something that is more likely to succeed, rather than play around with something, and try to figure something out with one of the standing techs.

What did I not like about it? Well, #1, the person doing the mount, well, he wasn't doing a mount. He was kneeling. Do a proper mount, and punch like you're really trying to hit the guy, and then do that tech, showing how it would work. Then I might buy it.

But as you said, it was a start. I believe the AKKI and Speakman groups have done quite a bit of ground stuff. Hopefully someone from those groups will chime in here. :)
 
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You know that cracks me up. I've heard guys say that so many times. "It's there, you just don't see it." But no one ever volunteers to show you "where" it is. I do it all the time and then they say "You're not doing Kenpo." You can't win.

"Yeah it is in there, but if a teacher can't or doesn't teach it, then It ain't really there is it?" - Doc

Imagine how many headaches would be solved if those people who said its there, but didn't teach it, actually taught it, instead of just talking about it?
 

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Imagine how many headaches would be solved if those people who said its there, but didn't teach it, actually taught it, instead of just talking about it?

"It's easier to quote than to know, and even harder to teach."
 
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