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Beam

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Hey everyone,

I just discovered and came to this website for the grappling forum (I currently practice BJJ with Kyle Saunders), however I was interested in learning more about American Kenpo. I trained Kenpo off and on over a 4 year period (ending about eight years ago when I was in high school). I achieved a rank of green belt.

I am curious to know how Kenpo has changed over this period of time. Has the art become watered down after the death of Master Parker? Has the art been influenced by the growing popularity of grappling and mixed martial arts?

I was always fascinated by the very analytical and scientific approach taken by Master Parker, although I was always critical of the lack of practical and realistic sparring and drills to allow one to learn how to apply the principals spontaneously against a resisting opponent.

Any information and comments would be appreciated.

Thanks!
 
Glad to have you hear Beam!

Good luck in the study of your new undertaking, there are a lot of good things and experiences you will acquire I'm sure!

Kenpo is alive and well, as to watered down....... well I'm sure some have done that but I can not speak for everyone else. I personally and my organization are practicing the Art as we always have ..... with zeal, enthusiasm, spirit, and fun. Knowledge is high and skill levels are always improving.

What else can I say..... we are doing it.

:asian:
 
I have to agree with GD7. As far as being watered down..... We definately are not. We are strong, growing, and ever adapting the way that SGM Parker would want us to.

On a side note our school as brought in some grappling for our higher ranking students, usually brown and above. So mixed art is a wonderful thing. Its amazing how much Kenpo you can actually use on the ground.

Michael
:asian:
 
We've got a good, growing Kenpo presence with out members here. A while back, Gou and some others were doing an in-depth look at vatious techniques. Theres also been some serious (sometimes heated) discussion of Tracy Kenpo vs Parker Kenpo. Theres more, but I'm having a bad-brain day. :)

Good to see more folks from Rochester on the forum. Welcome! :asian:
 
Originally posted by Beam I was always fascinated by the very analytical and scientific approach taken by Master Parker, although I was always critical of the lack of practical and realistic sparring and drills to allow one to learn how to apply the principals spontaneously against a resisting opponent.

That was always my gripe in class. I used to question our sparring all the time. I would say things like," If I boxed I would get in the ring and spar using boxing, if I did judo or jujutsu I would get on the mats and spar using judo or jujutsu, so how come when I do kenpo, I get to spar doing this tip tap point sparring crap"

Unfortunately for me it was probably the only kenpo question I had that my instructor couldn't answer. I used to get into a lot of trouble for deliberate contact during sparring classes.

--Dave:soapbox:
 
The "Tip Tap" sparring that Dave is talking about is something that really used to bother me too. I like to make some contact when sparring. At some of these tournaments they award points to contestants for touching someone on the top of their head during matches (I would like to add, using very weak technique too).

I have been to numberous Kenpo Schools all over the United States (I have yet to go to Canada), and there are very few schools that use the sparring drills that Mr. Parker incorporated into his system. Does anyone have any idea why this may be?

:boxing:

Bill Lear
 
I never even knew the freestyle techniques existed until I bought the Infinite Insights books. Prehaphs GD7 can shed some light on them.
I like the "tip tap" sparring because it helps with speed and strategy, the goal of not getting hit. I like sparring no matter which kind though.

:boxing:

Chuck
 
I like, I like!!!:D

Yes do start one, this is a part of American Kenpo I know nothing about, just what was written in Mr. Parkers book.

:asian:

Chuck
 
Originally posted by Kaith Rustaz

Theres also been some serious (sometimes heated) discussion of Tracy Kenpo vs Parker Kenpo.

Interesting that you mention this :)

I originally started out in Tracy Kenpo and got my green belt. Then I had the opportunity to start training with a Parker Kenpo instructor and basically had to start out as a white belt and work my way up again.

I don't mean to troll or start any arguements, but I had a very strong preference for the Parker Kenpo. While I admit to some ignorance about the history of the Tracy lineage, I honestly don't understand what the Tracy brothers were trying to add to the art.
I don't see how they had the experience and knowledge (above and beyond Ed Parker) to be able to start their own style.

I felt the Tracy Kenpo missed alot of the details that were in Parker Kenpo. I think think master Parker had a rationale for the structure of how things were taught that got lost in the Tracy Kenpo.

Of course, I also acknowledge the fact that the Parker Kenpo instructor may simply have been a better teacher and that my learning experience isn't simply a result of the style.

I would love to hear any insights into the history of Tracy Kenpo.
 
Originally posted by D.Cobb



That was always my gripe in class. I used to question our sparring all the time. I would say things like," If I boxed I would get in the ring and spar using boxing, if I did judo or jujutsu I would get on the mats and spar using judo or jujutsu, so how come when I do kenpo, I get to spar doing this tip tap point sparring crap"


Exactly. I could see the benefits of point sparring if you were simply using controlled versions of techniques that were used in real fights. However, I felt point sparring develops very bad habits. You see alot of people scoring with a snappy backfist or some crap that has no leverage and bodyweight behind it. It also screws up your sense of distance. Just because I can touch someone, does not mean that the strike has enough penetration to add power to the blow.

I didn't even realize that I had these bad habits until I tried sparring in a kickboxing class. I also think it is bad to stop the action after one blow has landed. Once I stepped in the boxing ring, it was very disconcerting to have someone land three or four hard blows in a row and have no intentions of stopping :) Conversely, my combinations were terrible because I was not used to following up after landing a solid shot.
 
Come on. Kenpo IS getting watered down. It's fast becoming the new TKD. As any moron can open a school, claim it's Kenpo with no standard curriculum and charge whatever and ruin the art. The worst thing is that these guys get people in their schools who think they CAN do something when it's worse than actually learning any martial art.
 
Dragon Combat Kenpo is the ultimate Kenpo. Even greater than Kanzen Kenpo.

It's just too bad you turned down my offer to give you a 6th and took it from LaBounty instead. If you're looking for a 7th let me know. I'll want a testing fee though.
 
That'll be the day! What did you promote Joe and Al to..... higher than 7th I'll bet!!!!!!!!!!

:boxing: :jediduel:

You'll die on the dark side!
 
Someone needs to take this dutch dude out back and shoot him
 
Originally posted by D.Cobb



That was always my gripe in class. I used to question our sparring all the time. I would say things like," If I boxed I would get in the ring and spar using boxing, if I did judo or jujutsu I would get on the mats and spar using judo or jujutsu, so how come when I do kenpo, I get to spar doing this tip tap point sparring crap"

--Dave:soapbox:

In our class we do both. It depends on the individuals preference. We spar every Tuesday and Thursday, so when you show up you can pick a partner based on how hard you would like to spar. Some guys leave blood on the floor and some guys like the tip tap crap. My instructor also has a separate kick boxing class he teaches and those guys show up on sparring nights too. I like sparing with the kick boxers, they don't hold much back. :D
 
Originally posted by Beam
Interesting that you mention this :)
I don't see how they (Tracy's) had the experience and knowledge (above and beyond Ed Parker) to be able to start their own style.
I felt the Tracy Kenpo missed alot of the details that were in Parker Kenpo. I think think master Parker had a rationale for the structure of how things were taught that got lost in the Tracy Kenpo.

Well, this subject has been kicked around for several decades. To answer your questions in brief..........

The Tracy's did not have the experience and knowledge (above and beyond Ed Parker) to be able to start their own style if they were to be continually loyal to Ed Parker and share in his wisdom and guidance with what he was skilled in.

Since they decided to "cut ties" they started out on their own as any business does, and they did have or developed the skills to expand the art of Kenpo throughout the U.S..

You stated that you "felt that the Tracy Kenpo missed a lot of the details that were in Parker Kenpo and think master Parker had a rationale for the structure of how things were taught that got lost in the Tracy Kenpo".

Well, keep in mind that when the Tracy's broke away (60's) they had what they had, which was a very strong idea to certain basics and sparring, they were knowledgeable in how to expand techniques and did so to some 600 plus techniques that were installed into their curriculum! They developed their own certificate and teaching guidelines and off they went, the rest is history. Ed Parker had up until his death... another 3 decades of expansions, improvements and explanations for what he originally designed and put together. This is all part of the "Parker evolution" that you will often hear referred to. Yes, he was constantly trying to improve his art and refine it as time went on. This is one of the many reasons for the different "versions" of the techniques and forms today.

Today, many of the Tracy people are well aware of the new "Kenpo Tools" that were not given to them when they came up thru the ranks and are eagerly looking, testing and examining these new facets and many are understanding where and why they never had these "pieces of the puzzle" available to them until recently, thru the media of computers, net, videos, and Parker individuals sharing and explaining these different
"updates" to our Art.

That's the short version anyways! lol
 
Did Mr. Parker ever talk very much about the Tracy's and what they were doing, wheather it was bad for kenpo, etc...?


:asian:
 

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