Once a week enough??


Green Belt
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Nov 12, 2001
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Wichita, KS
I have been studying Kenpo for about 1.5 years. I have not been very active with my instructor for the better part of 9 months really. I still practice several times a week, and during times driving or alone for a few minutes I am thinking Kenpo.

Is one time a week enough? When I make it to class, class normally lasts at least 2.5 hrs. I feel I receive good instruction and have good basics. I believe i move well for my level. But what about that depth of understanding. My instructor says I think kenpo well, but thinking and understanding and using the principles are different beasts all together.

I used to use the forums as a resource to compare my Ideas with others, but man GD really made some of my thoughts seem simplistic. He did not make me feel dumb by any means but he showed me to a deeper end of the pool. In a very short and basi topic.

I am not intimidated by it, but discouraged by my own lack of thorough thinking.


p.s. once a week is due to time commitments mostly. to make it to class and back is a 3hr drive.

The best that you can, under the circumstances you mention.

If able to attend more, do so. Don't let guilt prevail over certain things. Just keep working, remember, the attitude counts toward alot.:asian:
I keep telling my wife that once a week is not nearly enough. But for Kenpo do what you can and its still fun and useful.

Good Luck


The keys to muscle memory and operant conditioning are repetition, consistency/regularity, and realism.

No matter if it's an hour every other day, or 15 minutes every day, if you don't keep more consistancy in your practice, you will never begin to reach your fullest potential.

The goal of a martial artist is to be better than the person he/she was the day before.
Originally posted by XtremeJ_AKKI

The keys to muscle memory and operant conditioning are repetition, consistency/regularity, and realism.

No matter if it's an hour every other day, or 15 minutes every day, if you don't keep more consistancy in your practice, you will never begin to reach your fullest potential.

The goal of a martial artist is to be better than the person he/she was the day before.

First off very well put. Personally I try to make everything that I am doing in my daily life some form of training. It's as much mental as it is physical. Train the mind and the body follows. As for how much dojo time, I think as much as your time allows. Just gotta stay focused.

End :soapbox:
... about how often we can work out. Just because my foot will be in a cast does not mean I will not be working on Kenpo. Read, review, analyze, and visualize. Repeat, stir, shake, and pour.

Walk through your material at least once a day if you are at the lower belts. You don't have to set aside and hour or two, although that would be great, just pattern in the movement, check stances, hand positions, posture. Stretch at your desk or get up and walk around and do a couple of toe touches or wrist/shoulder stretches.

This is all a part of Kenpo. It is probably you who is the most frustrated by your slow pace. Go ahead, be slow, but be sure you know. The old Tourtoise and the Hare could happen to you.

Keep the faith, and keep training.

As classes are all differnt lengths.. does anyone have an opinion of have many hours it is neccesary to train a week?
Soon I will be opening up another class, once I go to 1st shift at work. Should be soon.

I agree and disagree with XtremeJ (Jason).
Perhaps he doesn't know that you are talking about only one class per week and not only one hour of working out per week. Ya see Jason, Jeremy drives a very long distance to come to class. Basically if he comes to a 2 1/2 hour class, he's gone from his beautiful wife and two very young/sweet children for 6 hours total. He does the best he can. Working out on his own is where he must do the bulk of his neural ingraining.

JD: Keep going to however many classes you can. As I've always said; it's with me that you learn... it's on your own that you get better. Put thought and discipline into your private practices: That's key. Make it a discipline. Think of your class mate Jason Braithwait. He learns new material... then has to go on TDY (He's in the air-force) for three months.... then when he comes back he's better and sharper at his stuff than when he left. WHY? ...because he has authorization from his superiors to make Kenpo a part of his daily PT. Look at your private practices as a sacred time for you.... keep it as though it were a class.

AS to the "
discouraged by my own lack of thorough thinking.
Would you rather "Think" Kenpo or "Do" Kenpo?
Although there is a way of "Kenpo thinking", it is a tool... not the object. The object of Kenpo is in it's performance, not in it's thinking. And your performance is consistently good and improving.

Food for thought...
Your Brother (and instructor)
Originally posted by Brother John
Would you rather "Think" Kenpo or "Do" Kenpo?
Your Brother (and instructor)John :asian:

Well, the answer to the question is simple. Do Kenpo. However, "thinking Kenpo" "IS" doing Kenpo, in one of the 3 categories (Physical, mental, spiritual).

Given the circumstances and logistics of the problem attending regular classes.... one must "use" to devise a solution. If all you can do is read the manuals, watch any videos, talk on the phone to your instructor, research any of Mr. Parkers books, or practice what you already know on your own, possibly video yourself and study the pros and cons of your movement, you can still make progress
{sure maybe not as fast as you'd like but still progress none the less, besides this could work to your advantage by really becoming extra familiar with your basics and material}. You may end up becoming a great Kenpoist inspire of yourself or perceived problem.

Sure, it is not as convenient as having a studio next door to your house, but it is better than nothing. This is an age old problem, but with all the technology that we have at our fingertips, with a little resourcefulness, it can be conquered.

Desire, perspire, acquire.
I think that two and a half hours of class time a week is more than adequate. If the classes are focused on a) reviewing what you know b) refining where required and c) introducing a little new material, I think this is ample time for the classroom.

Where it will break down, is if you don't practice this stuff when you are away from the class. If you only spend two and a half hours a week, I think you will find that you will not progress.

You have to spend a few minutes each day doing.
It doesn't need to be much, perhaps 10 or 15 minutes running through belt's level of techniques .. or a couple of forms. You got to do this stuff to put it into the memory.

I imagine I look pretty silly at those 'slow times' during the day ... currently, I'm working on 'Block Set 2' ... or as my wife calls it the 'Flower Form' - - think about those parries. You see .. I know the sequence of moves in my brain, but I can not yet move through them with out thinking very carefully. The repetition will allow me to think less and do more.

One last thought ... if the 2.5 hours is a mixed class, where you are realizing only a few minutes of personal training, it does not work as well as if your 2.5 hours are for students at a similar level .. I know .. this is obvious, I probably didn't need to say it ...

Good day
At our school we require a minimum of 2 one hour classes per week. So in my opinion 2.5 hours, even if it is in one class is alright, as long as you always remember one thing. Even 1 hour (or 2.5) of intense, focused, realistic practice, is hundreds of times more rewarding and effective than 8 hours of so-so practice. You will get out of it what you put in, so make that 2.5 hours well worth the drive and you will continue to make pretty good progress.

My total time spent practicinge per week is probably close to 6 hours outside of class. It has been less recently, but growing more every day. Not sure if i made that clear originally.

Mr. Castillo.........

I love it when I am in class I love learning in class I probably am a distraction to a point because I can get pretty excited about working the techs on a body again. (my 4 yr old son just cant hang with me yet :D) I am so bad i work on cancelling or checking his attacks no matter where they come from!!! But, I try to make the most out of it every time I am there. Probably to the point that Mr. Haag has almost had to throw me out. One evening several months ago. I got to class late by about an hour. Once class got started with me it lasted about 5 hours. I made it home about 4:00 am that evening. TJ (my wife) was not too happy with me. I finished that night on the couch!!!

Mr. Billings......

I too am recovering from injury at the moment and have been working through many of the techs from lying on my back whole different perspective. I have worked the basic star block pattern many many times lying on the floor. Although the back elbow is off, it gives a completely different perspective for the upward block. I am not sure what it is but was a very different feeling.

Brother John......

I dont even know what the class time is at the moment!!! :D My own fault really. I am aware of our relationship and still plan on making it to class very soon.

Thank you all for the comments I have a pretty good appetite for Kenpo. Heck I do smile when I fight, it seems to make the attacker pretty nervous!


If you can only go once a week, it's better than 0 times a week. You practice your basics, forms and techs on your own. But you do need to attend class, as part of the whole "to feel is to believe" aspect. You have to have a body there to get the correct feel.
I've been training for 6 years, in a class that offers two sessions a week. For about the first 3 years I went once a week, and then for the last 3 twice a week. I think going twice a week not only let you improve faster, but, you also feel like more of a member of the club, since you know everyone, rather than just the 'monday night crowd' or the 'wednesday night crowd'.

What I would say is, go twice a week if you enjoy it and you can afford it, but don't force yourself to go just because you feel you should.

Ive been training for 3 years now.
Mainly twice a week but they has been times when through no choice of my own i was forced to go only once.
It is really important to me to try and train every single day , but that at times is easier said than done.
We can only try to do our best. ;)

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