My favorite Ed Parker comment

TaiChiTJ

Brown Belt
Joined
Feb 18, 2005
Messages
490
Reaction score
47
I don't practice Kenpo but I keep going back to this statement of Parker's and mull it over.

Ed Parker on Techniques:
I teach Kenpo, not for the sake of teaching the techniques, but for the principles involved in them. And even then, these principles must be altered to fit the individual.

The reason I give my techniques names is because there are certain sequences associated with these terms. If I told a student tomorrow that I was going to teach him a counter version to a double hand grab, it’s not as meaningful as when I say I’m going to teach him ‘Parting Wings.’

You’ve got to know how to vary things. A lot of the techniques I’ve worked with, they’re ideas, they’re not rules. At any given time, any of my moves can change from defense to offense, of-fense to defense.

Martial artists, and Kenpo people especially, become so involved in doing the techniques exactly right in such and such amount of time, that they get caught in a pattern that they can’t break. That’s not what they’re for. Specific moves, specific techniques are based, like the ABC’s in the English language or standard football plays.

You have to have a point of reference and from there the combinations are endless and limited only by universal laws, laws that you can’t change.
 

gpseymour

MT Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
25,978
Reaction score
7,653
Location
Hendersonville, NC
I think this is true of a lot of traditional Japanese training, too. And like Parker says, a lot of folks get lost in trying to replicate movements, rather than learning from the techniques. I've known instructors who actually made students repeat something because they used a movement that wasn't a "technique" in their art, even though the response they used was made up of the principles in those techniques. In my mind, they were giving the opposite of good advice. The highest level of an art is where you're not constrained by the techniques, but have internalized the principles.
 

dvcochran

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
6,216
Reaction score
1,852
Location
Southeast U.S.
I don't practice Kenpo but I keep going back to this statement of Parker's and mull it over.

Ed Parker on Techniques:
I teach Kenpo, not for the sake of teaching the techniques, but for the principles involved in them. And even then, these principles must be altered to fit the individual.

The reason I give my techniques names is because there are certain sequences associated with these terms. If I told a student tomorrow that I was going to teach him a counter version to a double hand grab, it’s not as meaningful as when I say I’m going to teach him ‘Parting Wings.’

You’ve got to know how to vary things. A lot of the techniques I’ve worked with, they’re ideas, they’re not rules. At any given time, any of my moves can change from defense to offense, of-fense to defense.

Martial artists, and Kenpo people especially, become so involved in doing the techniques exactly right in such and such amount of time, that they get caught in a pattern that they can’t break. That’s not what they’re for. Specific moves, specific techniques are based, like the ABC’s in the English language or standard football plays.

You have to have a point of reference and from there the combinations are endless and limited only by universal laws, laws that you can’t change.

My MA's journey has been pretty far away from Kenpo and/or Ed Parker but I always like hearing about the similarities in almost every style. And the good and the bad that should be mentioned and brought to the surface for all to hear and learn from.

You said: "You have to have a point of reference and from there the combinations are endless and limited only by universal laws, laws that you can’t change."
I think it is worth mentioning this is a very valid statement for a person with experience. Say this same statement to a beginner and you will likely blow their mind.
Great post.
 

isshinryuronin

2nd Black Belt
Joined
Feb 28, 2019
Messages
791
Reaction score
608
Location
Las Vegas
I don't practice Kenpo but I keep going back to this statement of Parker's and mull it over.

Ed Parker on Techniques:
I teach Kenpo, not for the sake of teaching the techniques, but for the principles involved in them. And even then, these principles must be altered to fit the individual.

The reason I give my techniques names is because there are certain sequences associated with these terms. If I told a student tomorrow that I was going to teach him a counter version to a double hand grab, it’s not as meaningful as when I say I’m going to teach him ‘Parting Wings.’

You’ve got to know how to vary things. A lot of the techniques I’ve worked with, they’re ideas, they’re not rules. At any given time, any of my moves can change from defense to offense, offense to defense.

Martial artists, and Kenpo people especially, become so involved in doing the techniques exactly right in such and such amount of time, that they get caught in a pattern that they can’t break. That’s not what they’re for. Specific moves, specific techniques are based, like the ABC’s in the English language or standard football plays.

You have to have a point of reference and from there the combinations are endless and limited only by universal laws, laws that you can’t change.

This seems like a random compilation of various thoughts. There are actually several comments in here, touching on numerous ideas. Which concept in particular are you mulling over, or find most interesting?
 
OP
T

TaiChiTJ

Brown Belt
Joined
Feb 18, 2005
Messages
490
Reaction score
47
This seems like a random compilation of various thoughts. There are actually several comments in here, touching on numerous ideas. Which concept in particular are you mulling over, or find most interesting?

The 1st and 3rd paragraph.

Parkers techniques are collections of physical movement patterns. But "underneath" them are concepts and principles
Parker wants us to "get" those principles.rather than forcefully
Memorize the sequence in a rote manner without any further thought

And when it comes application time, he wants us to respond with something from a "database" of those principles.
 

Buka

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Jun 27, 2011
Messages
11,242
Reaction score
7,560
Location
Maui
My favorite Ed Parker comment is "To hear is to doubt, to see is to be deceived, but to feel is to believe."

That and "pass me that pasta."
 
OP
T

TaiChiTJ

Brown Belt
Joined
Feb 18, 2005
Messages
490
Reaction score
47
My favorite Ed Parker comment is "To hear is to doubt, to see is to be deceived, but to feel is to believe."

That and "pass me that pasta."

Ha yes I remember those
 
Top