New From the WKKA...Kenpo Self Protection

hongkongfooey

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Hi,

I came across this at the WKKA site. Apparently it is a course that allows schools that don't teach Kenpo, to learn principles and self defense techniques of AK, and incorporate this information into their respective styles. What does everyone think of this? Good idea or potential for disaster?

http://www.wkka.org/index.asp?content_id=855
 

Flying Crane

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Personally, I can't see how it would be very successful. On the surface, it is sort of implying that all other arts are deficient in self defense, and I doubt too many people from other arts are going to see it that way. It almost seems arrogant and I doubt it will be well received.

They claim the entire program is "scientifically tested". I am sceptical about that claim. Maybe I'm wrong, but I just can't imagine how you can scientifically test this kind of thing. It assumes double-blind experiments with control and test groups and the such, and I just doubt this happened.

Sounds like a lot of home DVD training. Another mail order blackbelt program?
 

Blindside

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Honestly, it doesn't sound a whole lot different than when kenpo was expanding across the US. You could answer an ad to be a "kenpo instructor" get some lessons and go teach what you know, if you had prior experience all the better. It has been used in the past by Parker, Tracy, Villari, and Kara-Ho ken(m)pos when they were expanding their organizations. I don't like it, but lets recognize that it certainly isn't a new trick.

Lamont
 

Seabrook

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From a business standpoint, the idea of adding new techniques to ones existing curriculum (assuming a non-Kenpo school) can be exciting for many schools, so it may work. Many traditional styles of martial arts lack an effective street self-defense program, so something like this could be just what some studio owners are looking for.

From a Kenpo perspective, 1 day certification seems....ah...ah.....FAST.


Jamie Seabrook
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arnisador

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Seabrook said:
Many traditional styles of martial arts lack an effective street self-defense program, so something like this could be just what some studio owners are looking for.

I doubt many such people would feel that their own system was ineffective...and fewer yet would feel that adding Kenpo is the answer, In today's climate, they'd want to add Krav Maga or grappling or some such--that's what's hot now.
 

Seabrook

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arnisador said:
I doubt many such people would feel that their own system was ineffective...and fewer yet would feel that adding Kenpo is the answer, In today's climate, they'd want to add Krav Maga or grappling or some such--that's what's hot now.

Three different schools in my area (all non-Kenpo) have approached me about setting up a regular American Kenpo program for their schools. I taught at two Shorin-Ryu schools in my hometown in the past, and both of them now offer some of the EPAK techniques in their curriculum.

Of course, I wasn't offering any type of certification, however.


Jamie Seabrook
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Flying Crane

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Seabrook said:
Many traditional styles of martial arts lack an effective street self-defense program, so something like this could be just what some studio owners are looking for.

You know this first hand? about which traditional styles?
 

Seabrook

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Flying Crane said:
You know this first hand? about which traditional styles?

There are way too many examples to list. I have taught many traditional stylists who believed that:

(1) In Pinan Sandan, both hands should actually be on your hips as the attacker comes with a right step-through punch to the ribs. Problem: (a) why in the world would you put both hands on your hips if someone was trying to take your head off? (b) I said "head" on purpose. If your hands are on your hips, wouldn't one think that the attacker just might try to punch you to the head area?

(2) Another similar example is when in traditional kata you execute a side kick with both hands at one hip. You couldn't imagine how many traditional style black belts have no clue why their hands do that. I have taught EPAK to many black belts from traditional schools (Shorin Ryu, Shorinji Ryu, Shotokan, Gojo Ryu, Wado Kai, ect.) and humbly asked them the application of these movements.

(3) Depending on the style, some call it Wansu, others Empi. In any case, the very first move starts with a right "downward block" as you drop all the way down to your right knee. The common application I see at MANY SCHOOLS: this move is to block a kick. My question: why drop down to your knee to block?

(4) In Sanchin, you tense, cross your arms in front of you, and bring your arms apart. I have seen at many seminars traditional style high-ranking black belts teach this for a two-handed lapel grab, in which you clear the opponent's arms off without any notion of a pin

I am just being honest, and I could list DOZENS of more examples.


Jamie Seabrook
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clfsean

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Seabrook said:
There are way too many examples to list. I have taught many traditional stylists who believed that:

(1) In Pinan Sandan, both hands should actually be on your hips as the attacker comes with a right step-through punch to the ribs. Problem: (a) why in the world would you put both hands on your hips if someone was trying to take your head off? (b) I said "head" on purpose. If your hands are on your hips, wouldn't one think that the attacker just might try to punch you to the head area?

(2) Another similar example is when in traditional kata you execute a side kick with both hands at one hip. You couldn't imagine how many traditional style black belts have no clue why their hands do that. I have taught EPAK to many black belts from traditional schools (Shorin Ryu, Shorinji Ryu, Shotokan, Gojo Ryu, Wado Kai, ect.) and humbly asked them the application of these movements.

(3) Depending on the style, some call it Wansu, others Empi. In any case, the very first move starts with a right "downward block" as you drop all the way down to your right knee. The common application I see at MANY SCHOOLS: this move is to block a kick. My question: why drop down to your knee to block?

(4) In Sanchin, you tense, cross your arms in front of you, and bring your arms apart. I have seen at many seminars traditional style high-ranking black belts teach this for a two-handed lapel grab, in which you clear the opponent's arms off without any notion of a pin

I am just being honest, and I could list DOZENS of more examples.


Jamie Seabrook
www.seabrook.gotkenpo.com

So it's your assertion that because certain techniques are practiced in a certain manner in a certain kata, that's the way they would interpret & use it in a situation where they had to defend themselves?
 

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clfsean said:
So it's your assertion that because certain techniques are practiced in a certain manner in a certain kata, that's the way they would interpret & use it in a situation where they had to defend themselves?

Yeah, I think CLFSEAN is right. Every system has movements, often in Kata, that wouldn't be practical unless altered for application. Also, some people interpret a movement in kata in a way that might not be very practical, but that movement could be interpreted in dozens of useful ways. In this case, they just need to reexamine their material and dig a little deeper.

I don't think this means that all these traditional arts don't have good self defense capabilities, and I doubt that they will be flocking to this program to learn kenpo. Maybe some people will because they might find themselves interested in kenpo anyway, but I doubt all these teachers of traditional arts are just looking around for a way to fill the "holes" in their system, and see Kenpo as the savior.

I am a kenpo guy myself, and I think it has a lot of great stuff, but it's not the only system that has a lot of great stuff. When I was in college and had already earned my blackbelt, I met a student who was an exchange student from Mexico. His goal was to be on the Mexican Tae Kwon Do olympic team. We got together to work out a couple of times, and he kicked my *** up and down. And I am talking about sophisticated stuff, not just point sparring game of tag stuff. He was setting me up, taking me down, hitting hard and fast with sophisticated and intelligent combinations, and all kinds of stuff.

Now up until this time, we (my kenpo instructors and those in my class) used Tae Kwon Do as our whipping boy. We felt it was useless (my instructors also had backgrounds in Tae Kwon Do, one of them a blackbelt, so I trusted what they said) and thought kenpo would beat it every time. We never missed an opportunity to badmouth it. But that experience in college sure opened my eyes wide. I still don't have an interest in learning tae kwon do myself, but I have a much greater respect for the fact that there are people out there who are very very good at it.

Of course someone could argue that Tae Kwon Do really is useless, and I am even worse then that, but I'm not going to have that discussion here. :)

Different systems have different strengths and weaknesses. They also have a different kind of appeal, so people are attracted to them for different reasons. But if one really learns the system well, they all have good stuff to offer.

Many people nowadays cross train in several systems, so the thought of people from other systems learning kenpo certainly is not unusual. But the way this program is marketed, and comments that imply other arts are useless are, in my opinion, reckless and myopic, and can come across as arrogant. I think people need to be a little careful about making that kind of implication. It may come back to haunt them some time.
 

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clfsean said:
So it's your assertion that because certain techniques are practiced in a certain manner in a certain kata, that's the way they would interpret & use it in a situation where they had to defend themselves?

The way you train is a key predictor of outcome if attacked on the street. If you are constantly practising unrealistic techniques that could get you in a lot of trouble, yes, I think you will have much more difficulty defending yourself than those who adhere to the concepts and principles of American Kenpo and that practice realistic techniques with a resistant partner.


Jamie Seabrook
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Seabrook

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Flying Crane said:
I don't think this means that all these traditional arts don't have good self defense capabilities, and I doubt that they will be flocking to this program to learn kenpo.

I never said that. George Dillman, as well as many others who have researched the true meanings of the applications contained in kata, are excellent at breaking down the movements contained in traditional kata and making them devasting, practical, and VERY realistic.


Jamie Seabrook
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clfsean

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Seabrook said:
The way you train is a key predictor of outcome if attacked on the street. If you are constantly practising unrealistic techniques that could get you in a lot of trouble, yes, I think you will have much more difficulty defending yourself than those who adhere to the concepts and principles of American Kenpo and that practice realistic techniques with a resistant partner.


Jamie Seabrook
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Oh ok.

So again... just making sure I understand... American Kenpo principles & concepts will be the only viable way of self defense based on the training methods used of "realistic techniques with a resistant partner"? That any & all other techniques are possibly unrealistic & practiced as such will get me in trouble?

Are those points what I'm to understand?
 

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Flying Crane said:
Different systems have different strengths and weaknesses. They also have a different kind of appeal, so people are attracted to them for different reasons. But if one really learns the system well, they all have good stuff to offer.

I agree 100%, as I have also studied, and hold black belts in Modern Arnis, Black Dragon Kung Fu, and Shorinji-Ryu Karate. All I was saying is that there is a lot being taught today at MANY martial arts schools that is unrealistic in terms of practical self-defense.


Jamie Seabrook
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Seabrook

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clfsean said:
Oh ok.

So again... just making sure I understand... American Kenpo principles & concepts will be the only viable way of self defense based on the training methods used of "realistic techniques with a resistant partner"? That any & all other techniques are possibly unrealistic & practiced as such will get me in trouble?

Are those points what I'm to understand?

Where did you get that information from? I gave SPECIFIC examples that I constantly see in many "traditional" katas that I said were unrealistic.


Jamie Seabrook
 

Flying Crane

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Seabrook said:
I agree 100%, as I have also studied, and hold black belts in Modern Arnis, Black Dragon Kung Fu, and Shorinji-Ryu Karate. All I was saying is that there is a lot being taught today at MANY martial arts schools that is unrealistic in terms of practical self-defense.


Jamie Seabrook
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Kenpo has an approach to the curriculum that gives a practitioner a very practical view on what works and what doesn't work, and on being able to interpret movement into useful technique. My Wing Chun instructor once admitted that he did not know how to interpret a movement from the Bil Gee set. I immediately pointed out a couple of possibilities. I believe it was my kenpo training that allowed me to see meaning in the movement.

I think the fallacy in this particular program, however, is in thinking that those who practice these other arts themselves believe their arts have deficiencies. Maybe kenpo gives certain advantages, but other systems also probably have advantages that kenpo doesn't have. I think that marketing this program to instructors of other systems will get a poor reception because these people probably don't believe their arts are deficient. It is only in the opinion of the kenpo people that it does have deficiencies, but just because the kenpo people might have that opinion does not make it true.

Let's turn this situation around. What if a Gracie Jujutsu organization marketed their program to supplement other martial arts, and specifically kenpo. You as an individual might decide that you want to crosstrain in GJJ because perhaps you personally have an interest in it. However, if they tried to throw in your face that kenpo as a system is inherently flawed and is therefor inferior, and only GJJ can fix kenpos problems, you would not accept that approach. While it may not explicitly state this, it does suggest that really, you should stop doing kenpo and only do GJJ.

This is why I don't think this particular program will be well received, and I think people who take this kind of approach to other systems need to be careful about how they hustle their material.
 

clfsean

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Seabrook said:
Where did you get that information from? I gave SPECIFIC examples that I constantly see in many "traditional" katas that I said were unrealistic.


Jamie Seabrook

Well I got that from your post here... http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/showpost.php?p=485115&postcount=13

which says exactly...
Seabrook said:
The way you train is a key predictor of outcome if attacked on the street. If you are constantly practising unrealistic techniques that could get you in a lot of trouble, yes, I think you will have much more difficulty defending yourself than those who adhere to the concepts and principles of American Kenpo and that practice realistic techniques with a resistant partner.

which is coming from my original question to you of...

clfsean said:
So it's your assertion that because certain techniques are practiced in a certain manner in a certain kata, that's the way they would interpret & use it in a situation where they had to defend themselves?

Which is based off a larger post above listing some Japanese & Okinawan kata that for brevity sake I'm not posting here.

I asked you, maybe unclearly, if you thought just because a motion was contained & practiced in a kata as "A" if you believed it had to be applied as "A". This is not withstanding any traditional bunkai of the technique or henka applied by the player.

You answered by saying the techniques were unrealistic & could get a person in a lot of trouble. You went on to say that those who practice American Kenpo will not have as much difficulty in dealing with said attacker.

I simply asked if ...
clfsean said:
<snipped> .... American Kenpo principles & concepts will be the only viable way of self defense based on the training methods used of "realistic techniques with a resistant partner"? That any & all other techniques are possibly unrealistic & practiced as such will get me in trouble?

And you replied above. I'm still awaiting an answer please.
 

Seabrook

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clfsean said:
I asked you, maybe unclearly, if you thought just because a motion was contained & practiced in a kata as "A" if you believed it had to be applied as "A". This is not withstanding any traditional bunkai of the technique or henka applied by the player.
.

Of course not. There a plenty of applications contained in forms based on the interpretation of the same movements.

Again, for at least the third time, I said that many traditional schools are teaching UNREALISTIC APPLICATIONS of the techniques contained within their katas.


Jamie Seabrook
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