short comings of Ken/mpo

OP
J

JTKenpo

Purple Belt
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
335
Reaction score
9
Location
Seekonk, MA
yes


now, before anyone thinks i have started drinking early, lemme state this.

I really do think the essentials for self defense are in every system, people just have to learn to apply them outside the box.

I am a TKD bb, and I can do just fine in an elevator, by taking the HANDS of TKD and using them

Kenpo can be used for knife defense easily, just adapt the punch defenses for knives. the same rules apply. With grappling? easy, beat them to death BEFORE they can get thier hands on you, and POOF, kenpo handled the grappler.

BJJ people can break arms pretty well, just learn how to do it standing up

my point is that the CORE of any style can be used in any situation. Just think outsde the box

I absolutely see your point and agree that far too often people switch styles becuase they haven't found what they were looking for yet. My key points of contention would be that although all defenses can be used against a weapon as long as you alter some of the blocks at the beginning, the rules are not the same. Hand a knife to an fma guy and try your punch defenses against him, you may end up looking like a head of lettuce on the food network. As for beating the tar out of someone before they get you to the ground I think is naive. Kind of like saying I don't need to practice take down defense becuase I will knock them out with one punch. Jiu Jitsu started standing up and when it was filtered into BJJ took place more on the ground which is where they want it, their underlying phylosophy. So to say to a BJJ guy don't go down to the ground is a completely foreign concept and against their religion basicly.

So I think that you are right if you take concepts learned in any given art and then think outside the box you will be ok, but the CORE of the system will have different phylosophy's and want you to bring the fight to that arena. Also I believe your idea of thinking outside the box is exactly where everyone should be but a lot of people can't do that, they need a road map. Which is why there are only a handful of Parker's, Emperado's, Chow's, so on and so forth. The better you get at open mindedness about the arts the better you are at thinking outside the box, but I believe it is discussions like this that help people get there.
 

Jdokan

Black Belt
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
550
Reaction score
11
Location
Middleton, MA
I think all styles/systems are perfect...it is the practioners that tend to add the element that impares it....I think I saw this on a cookie one time...(lol):uhyeah:
 

HKphooey

Senior Master
Joined
Mar 6, 2006
Messages
2,613
Reaction score
18
Location
File Cabinet
I assume you mean the arts descended from Chow?

I dont know that the STYLES per se have weakness in them.

weaknesses in styles comes from the people teaching them.

Well said...

And when a student sees the weakness, he will seek the answers. If he cannot find the answers from his teacher he may have to seek them elsewhere.

Hmmmmm..... sound familiar? What is the name of that style, ummmmm ....American Kenpo. :) The student, GM Parker became the teacher.

And now there are some awesome kenpo practioners asking some of the same questions. There was another post that asked who is the future of kenpo? Those people are!
 

marlon

Master Black Belt
Joined
Jun 16, 2005
Messages
1,423
Reaction score
37
Location
montreal,canada
I think the absence of a single leader or administrative top-down style dictator is one of the great strengths of arts such as karate and the CMAs. No one possesses enough wisdom to know in advance what will work and what not. The kind of TKD I study, teach and practice is elevator-effective precisely because it focuses on bread-and-butter CQ combat methods that exploit the resources latent in its formal patterns; to see just how much of that there is in TKD, look no further than the books of two of our members, Stuart Anslow and Simon John O'Neill, who are pioneering this kind of analysis in TKD and showing how much realistic fighting effectiveness there is in the art once you get away from the sport aspect. But as Terry keeps telling us, and truly, that sport aspect has come to monopolize people's view of the art over the past two decades, with the result that outsiders and practitioners alike tend to regard it as simply an arena contest with limited or zero SD potential. If we didn't have people like Stuart, Simon, Terry and others who dissent from that stereotype, TKD would very likely become the combat-ineffective activity that so many people mistakenly think it has to be. To my mind, this is a perfect example of why a dominating leadership imposing a unitary picture of the art and a uniform curriculum leads in the end to a loss, rather than a gain.

For a very refreshing view of why karate does not need centralized authority, check out Rob Redmond's little cameo essay 'The totalitarian politics of karate' here. IMO, what he's saying goes for every MA that doesn't want to wind up as an ineffective martial cult.


Shaolinkempo, because of the secrecy of the parent organization has many many variations on what should be its core. the combinations and the forms. Unlike other styles where eachg form is well established and well known..GM Villari chose to keep only a few in the loop about everything and has ...well...variations on his core material and ends up not teaching everyone the same thing/ variation. The essence of his vision is not clearly elucidated nor are his principles and philosophy of kempo. This is a weakness for skk and the lack of solid leadership i see as a deficiency. So everyone goes off to find his or her way within the system (including myself) Many can with hard work study, humility and seeking out of knowledge fill in the blanks, yet it would be nice to have something like Infinite Insights to refer to as a starting place. then again we do not have the quasi religious fanatcism and loss of growth that often accompanies a Book. So that is a plus. Before i get flamed, i am not attacking religion nor am i attacking the faithful of the AK camp. Obviously stagnation is not a necessary outcome of a detailed written doctrine but it can happen that we forget to think when we have a book to tell us everything...even when the author wants us to grow and says it clearly.

Respectfully,
marlon
 

MarkC

Orange Belt
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
92
Reaction score
2
To me, sloppy basics and lack of set-in-stone answers is a weakness.
I've observed several kempo and kenpo classes and am a member of two separate ones now.
I can't explain sloppy basics, maybe people get bored or feel lazy--and I should probably include myself, because I'm far from perfect.
As to the second point, if I ask 10 different people how to do a form or a technique, I'm very likely to get at least 4 or 5 different answers.
On one one, variety is good, but on the other, there are certain correct ways to do certain things, and it can be frustrating trying to discern what they are.
 

kidswarrior

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 27, 2007
Messages
2,697
Reaction score
152
Location
California
I think the absence of a single leader or administrative top-down style dictator is one of the great strengths of arts such as karate and the CMAs. No one possesses enough wisdom to know in advance what will work and what not.

For a very refreshing view of why karate does not need centralized authority, check out Rob Redmond's little cameo essay 'The totalitarian politics of karate' here. IMO, what he's saying goes for every MA that doesn't want to wind up as an ineffective martial cult.

From that essay:
I believe having one umbrella karate organization would.., in the name of getting along, silence all dissent and discussion....

It gives those who control such membership the ability to silence all ...detractors. The people among us who are creative and eclectic would be eliminated as a competitive force.
Thanks, Bob. Powerful stuff indeed.

(And for the purists: yes, I did lift a little of the essay to paste here, but I think it's too potent for the gist not to be shared. I believe from the above quote and after reading his essay, the author would agree wholeheartedly).
 

KenpoDave

2nd Black Belt
Joined
May 20, 2002
Messages
884
Reaction score
33
Location
Shreveport, LA
To me, sloppy basics and lack of set-in-stone answers is a weakness.
I've observed several kempo and kenpo classes and am a member of two separate ones now.
I can't explain sloppy basics, maybe people get bored or feel lazy--and I should probably include myself, because I'm far from perfect.
As to the second point, if I ask 10 different people how to do a form or a technique, I'm very likely to get at least 4 or 5 different answers.
On one one, variety is good, but on the other, there are certain correct ways to do certain things, and it can be frustrating trying to discern what they are.

Set in stone answers is an interesting one. I think it comes from tailoring too early, so several people get taught a slightly different technique from the same instructor. Then, when they begin to teach, they use the beginning point as the technique that was modified for them.

Unfortunately, this leads rather quickly to a lack of understanding of the underlying principles, which ARE set in stone.
 

Kembudo-Kai Kempoka

Senior Master
Joined
Mar 9, 2004
Messages
2,228
Reaction score
113
Location
Dana Point, CA
A car is only as useful, flexible, etc., as the person driving it. Some cars have more muscle under the hood than others, while some are better designed for cornering. Big diff between an old Mazda Rx7 on a sharp bank, or a 1967 Cougar with a beefy engine under the hood, Ford C6 tranny, and a Holly (sp?) 4-barrel carb. One rocks on mountain curves the other would fly off of, while the other does better on a straightaway...The old cougar I'm thinking of wasn't all that hot off the line, but wasn't meant to be; it was a "freeway flyer", and while only doing zero-to-60 in 7 seconds, would go from 65 to 120 in about 3.

So...what do you want it to do? Then, once you have the vehicle selected and tricked out for a purpose, who's driving it? My good buddy Scott was the Cougar owner. Later swapped it for an old Porsche...bought from a guy who used that specific car and engine to jam through time trial trophies like you read about. Scott had to learn to drive all over again...different handling characteristics, in a car built for a different purpose.

I started kenpo for my 6th b-day in 71. Was an addict almost immediately. By my own surmise, kenpo "lacked" stuff...throws, ground fighting, knife and sword work, etc. So I went out annd got black belts in judo and jujutsu, titles in kendo and kenjutsu, apprenticed to an old FMA icon for knives and sticks, and so on.I was among the first kenpo black belts to join the Gracie Academy well before the UFC, having learned of the Gracie Challenge early and lost some students to them...kenpo guys who went and watched, and decided to join. So I did too.

And every time I've come back to kenpo, going through the system with an eye towards certain classes of skills, I have been forced to yield this: The categorical methodology of the kenpo SYSTEM (not style) is a car factory, and not a car. If you want to build a skill set that corners fast and handles well, it's in there. If you want to build a skill set that's fast off the line, it's in there. If you want a muscle car that blows through the competition like they are standing still, it's in there. About the only thing not in there is a ground game of position/transition/submission, but fighting from the ground? It's in there. Stand up jujutsu? It's in there.

Individual instructors learn their professors emphases, focus on remembering and regurgitating the techniques ad nauseum without ever applying the info outside the box, then pass it on in the same mindless way. Mr. Parker was a knife feind, and by applying the language of motion to his knife work, had some freaking deadly patterns of application that even the Phillipino's could benefit learning from (and several have...I know personally of one well-respected FMA knife prof whose whole 1st level instructor certification is based on a combination of the movement patterns from Shield & Hammer and Reversing Mace). The paths of entry and attack; orbits; recoil; rebounding; etc., all lend themselves exceptionally well to a comprehensive approach to knife-fighting. Wanna have some fun? Pick up a practice Bowie, and run through the system from the basics, up. Allow for knife-based adaptations, but be sure to view each move through the eyes of a knife fighter. Fricking deadly stuff, I'm telling you. Start with Delayed Sword, modified against either a stab, or just a guy facing off with you with a knife of his own. It's there.

Then go through the system again with a stick. Then again with a handgun, replacing punches with barrel thrusts that also squeeze off a round; hammerfists with pommel strikes with the handle; handswords with barrel whips, etc.

Then go through it again with an eye towards limb entaglement and destruction. There is so much Chin Na, Danzan Ryu Jujutsu, and Lua embedded in the system, you can't get through a whole tech with extension without tripping over at least 2 breaks per tech. Then do it again looking for throws, take-downs, strike-downs, etc.

Shortcomings in kenpo reflect shortcomings in the understanding of the instructor (can't teach what they don't know), or lack of exploration by the student (if you haven't taken the time to go through the system with an eye towards applying Circling the Horizon with a handgun in CQB scenarios, how are you supposed to know you can? Or Snapping Twig with a knife or against a knife? Or Thundering Hammers with espada y daga?).

Of course it takes work...it was never meant to be a spoonfed instruction in every little thing. It WAS meant, however, to be a comprehensive model of study of the universal mechanisms of martial movement...applying logic and motion models to various questions. You gotta

1. Learn the language of motion so you can have the discussion in it's native tongue (most only learn the material in a "this-for-that" limited manner, where 5 Swords is a defense against a punch attack, and not a study of applying paths and arcs to relative positions, with broad based applications across a multiple of contexts).

2. Understand the model so you can be conversant in dialogue. We don't use language skills in memorized traveller's phrases, only. We become fluent so we can generate sentences to reflect ideas, on the fly in the course of conversation.

3. Have a clear delineation of the construct under investigation. Knives, guns, kicks, takedowns, controls, destructions, etc. Delayed Sword doesn't teach a defense against a push or grab. It teaches you how to move. The attack scenario is an excuse to get you moving and thinking and learning...practicing a contextual phrase until you become a native speaker, at which point you can make up whatever sentences you need to.

As an aside, one of the best spinning back crescent kicks I have ever seen ... and I been in this stuff for nigh on 40 years, at international tournaments and under the tutelage of impressive TKD and HWD masters ... was by Rorion Gracie. Think he prefected it from the mount? One of the fastest and nastiest knife fighters I have ever seen was Mr. Parker. Think he got that way from drilling in the FMA?

Part of overcoming our personal limitations is understanding and owning that the limitations are, in fact, ours. Only then are we empowered to change. In other words, you can't change what you don't own. So rather than blaming the system, look at it again. And if you still don't see it, ask someone who might.

Best Regards,

Dave

PS -- here is a youtube vid of Mr. Parker applying kenpo conccepts and principles to knifework. "Multiplicity" is a guiding theme in kenpo....one movement with multiple applications to it; more things going on than meets the eye. Consider how many times he cuts the other guy in just one thrusting motion (4 that he mentions). Then consider how many motions are in a technique like 5 Swords, and phrases like "There are 30 cuts in 5 Swords, alone" will look less like confabulation, and mebbe cause you to look closer.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

Doc

Senior Master
Joined
May 12, 2002
Messages
4,235
Reaction score
179
Location
Southern California
Shortcomings in kenpo reflect shortcomings in the understanding of the instructor (can't teach what they don't know), ...

Part of overcoming our personal limitations is understanding and owning that the limitations are, in fact, ours. Only then are we empowered to change. In other words, you can't change what you don't own. So rather than blaming the system, look at it again. And if you still don't see it, ask someone who might.
I often chuckle to myself at those who talk about the shortcomings of the "The System." They speak from a position of infinite knowledge of "The System" as if the source by which they arrived at their conclusion is definitively infallible, and that infallibility has somehow been transferred to them to make the suggestion, "something is missing."

Kinda like sitting in first grade learning your ABC's, and telling the teacher while you're learning, "There must be a letter missing." from your limited experience. Even if you were endowed with the sum of the teachers knowledge, their limitations would still be yours.

From where I sit these people need to take "ownership" of their own lack of knowledge and experience, as well as those that have supposedly taught them. Instead of assuming they received "all" the knowledge contained within the system, or even that they have general knowledge of "all" the system, they need to put things in perspective.

I read constantly of those making judgement about a product they have, at best, a limited perspective of. "How arrogant." I say to myself, that anyone would presume they have the collective knowledge of Ed Parker Sr. at their disposal, and his understanding to make such comments. I've never seen anyone who spoke of what Kenpo is missing put it in context, or even have the ability to properly physically express what they themselves profess to know of it. It is sadly humorous at the best, to see someone with no stances talk about "missing" material.

Not withstanding Mr. Parker was a man who constantly studied and grew in multiple directions himself, (sometimes simultaneously), and the very nature of what he did and how he did it precludes anyone from such brash judgments about the entirety of his life's work.

While it is clear some may have more, or a better understanding than others, it will always be from their perspective and of that, the depth that Mr. Parker was willing to share with them personally. Anything else is assigning to much credit to yourself, or even your teacher. A more productive pursuit might be figuring out what is wrong with yourself, and where the shortcomings of your teacher might be with regard to functional productivity within the framework of your own personal desires for the art.

"Keep in mind, before people cast judgments on the art itself, they begin to formulate their opinions with the one demonstrating and explaining it." - Ron Chap矇l

Or put another way by Mr. Parker, "Get your own sht together before you try to smear it on some one else."
 

kidswarrior

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 27, 2007
Messages
2,697
Reaction score
152
Location
California
I often chuckle to myself at those who talk about the shortcomings of the "The System." They speak from a position of infinite knowledge of "The System" as if the source by which they arrived at their conclusion is definitively infallible, and that infallibility has somehow been transferred to them to make the suggestion, "something is missing."

Kinda like sitting in first grade learning your ABC's, and telling the teacher while you're learning, "There must be a letter missing." from your limited experience. Even if you were endowed with the sum of the teachers knowledge, their limitations would still be yours.

From where I sit these people need to take "ownership" of their own lack of knowledge and experience, as well as those that have supposedly taught them. Instead of assuming they received "all" the knowledge contained within the system, or even that they have general knowledge of "all" the system, they need to put things in perspective.

I read constantly of those making judgement about a product they have, at best, a limited perspective of. "How arrogant." I say to myself, that anyone would presume they have the collective knowledge of Ed Parker Sr. at their disposal, and his understanding to make such comments. I've never seen anyone who spoke of what Kenpo is missing put it in context, or even have the ability to properly physically express what they themselves profess to know of it. It is sadly humorous at the best, to see someone with no stances talk about "missing" material.

Not withstanding Mr. Parker was a man who constantly studied and grew in multiple directions himself, (sometimes simultaneously), and the very nature of what he did and how he did it precludes anyone from such brash judgments about the entirety of his life's work.

While it is clear some may have more, or a better understanding than others, it will always be from their perspective and of that, the depth that Mr. Parker was willing to share with them personally. Anything else is assigning to much credit to yourself, or even your teacher. A more productive pursuit might be figuring out what is wrong with yourself, and where the shortcomings of your teacher might be with regard to functional productivity within the framework of your own personal desires for the art.

"Keep in mind, before people cast judgments on the art itself, they begin to formulate their opinions with the one demonstrating and explaining it." - Ron Chap矇l

Or put another way by Mr. Parker, "Get your own sh•t together before you try to smear it on some one else."
Damn it, Doc, it takes me a good 24 hours to digest one of your posts. Could you please slow down so my tired, aging brain doesn't short circuit? :xtrmshock

Even though I agree with everything you've said (insofar as I understand it) your last two posts *of weight* have left me feeling at once dazzled and ***** slapped (and I mean this with no disrespect to women, living pretty much surrounded by 'em :uhyeah:). May I ask, have you written a book about SGM Parker's thinking, innovative ways, transmutation through phases of his art/business, etc.? And if not, can we expect it soon? :asian:
 

Doc

Senior Master
Joined
May 12, 2002
Messages
4,235
Reaction score
179
Location
Southern California
Damn it, Doc, it takes me a good 24 hours to digest one of your posts. Could you please slow down so my tired, aging brain doesn't short circuit? :xtrmshock

Even though I agree with everything you've said (insofar as I understand it) your last two posts *of weight* have left me feeling at once dazzled and ***** slapped (and I mean this with no disrespect to women, living pretty much surrounded by 'em :uhyeah:). May I ask, have you written a book about SGM Parker's thinking, innovative ways, transmutation through phases of his art/business, etc.? And if not, can we expect it soon? :asian:

I too live surrounded by the estrogen mafia. A great deal of my thoughts and experiences are on the internet sir, in my postings. As much as I like the idea, I feel most are just looking for another way to make Kenpo look like MMA, and get their next belt. The lack of commercial appeal is deafening sir. As a genuine, card carrying, "old fat," I can attest to the accuracy of the statement.

My Name is Dr. Chap矇l, and I approved this message.
 

MJS

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Messages
30,187
Reaction score
430
Location
Cromwell,CT
Well, I pretty much agree with alot of whats been said. Fortunately, between some great people that I train with live and in person, and some great people on this forum, they've managed to change my views on many of the things in Kenpo. Many times, we're forced to deal with the cards that are dealt to us, and if that means not being able to train with a Kenpo instructor who is more knowledgeable is certain areas, thats the way it has to be, and we're forced to seek out other things to fill that 'void' in 'our own' training.



A car is only as useful, flexible, etc., as the person driving it. Some cars have more muscle under the hood than others, while some are better designed for cornering. Big diff between an old Mazda Rx7 on a sharp bank, or a 1967 Cougar with a beefy engine under the hood, Ford C6 tranny, and a Holly (sp?) 4-barrel carb. One rocks on mountain curves the other would fly off of, while the other does better on a straightaway...The old cougar I'm thinking of wasn't all that hot off the line, but wasn't meant to be; it was a "freeway flyer", and while only doing zero-to-60 in 7 seconds, would go from 65 to 120 in about 3.

So...what do you want it to do? Then, once you have the vehicle selected and tricked out for a purpose, who's driving it? My good buddy Scott was the Cougar owner. Later swapped it for an old Porsche...bought from a guy who used that specific car and engine to jam through time trial trophies like you read about. Scott had to learn to drive all over again...different handling characteristics, in a car built for a different purpose.

I started kenpo for my 6th b-day in 71. Was an addict almost immediately. By my own surmise, kenpo "lacked" stuff...throws, ground fighting, knife and sword work, etc. So I went out annd got black belts in judo and jujutsu, titles in kendo and kenjutsu, apprenticed to an old FMA icon for knives and sticks, and so on.I was among the first kenpo black belts to join the Gracie Academy well before the UFC, having learned of the Gracie Challenge early and lost some students to them...kenpo guys who went and watched, and decided to join. So I did too.

And every time I've come back to kenpo, going through the system with an eye towards certain classes of skills, I have been forced to yield this: The categorical methodology of the kenpo SYSTEM (not style) is a car factory, and not a car. If you want to build a skill set that corners fast and handles well, it's in there. If you want to build a skill set that's fast off the line, it's in there. If you want a muscle car that blows through the competition like they are standing still, it's in there. About the only thing not in there is a ground game of position/transition/submission, but fighting from the ground? It's in there. Stand up jujutsu? It's in there.

Individual instructors learn their professors emphases, focus on remembering and regurgitating the techniques ad nauseum without ever applying the info outside the box, then pass it on in the same mindless way. Mr. Parker was a knife feind, and by applying the language of motion to his knife work, had some freaking deadly patterns of application that even the Phillipino's could benefit learning from (and several have...I know personally of one well-respected FMA knife prof whose whole 1st level instructor certification is based on a combination of the movement patterns from Shield & Hammer and Reversing Mace). The paths of entry and attack; orbits; recoil; rebounding; etc., all lend themselves exceptionally well to a comprehensive approach to knife-fighting. Wanna have some fun? Pick up a practice Bowie, and run through the system from the basics, up. Allow for knife-based adaptations, but be sure to view each move through the eyes of a knife fighter. Fricking deadly stuff, I'm telling you. Start with Delayed Sword, modified against either a stab, or just a guy facing off with you with a knife of his own. It's there.

Then go through the system again with a stick. Then again with a handgun, replacing punches with barrel thrusts that also squeeze off a round; hammerfists with pommel strikes with the handle; handswords with barrel whips, etc.

Then go through it again with an eye towards limb entaglement and destruction. There is so much Chin Na, Danzan Ryu Jujutsu, and Lua embedded in the system, you can't get through a whole tech with extension without tripping over at least 2 breaks per tech. Then do it again looking for throws, take-downs, strike-downs, etc.

Shortcomings in kenpo reflect shortcomings in the understanding of the instructor (can't teach what they don't know), or lack of exploration by the student (if you haven't taken the time to go through the system with an eye towards applying Circling the Horizon with a handgun in CQB scenarios, how are you supposed to know you can? Or Snapping Twig with a knife or against a knife? Or Thundering Hammers with espada y daga?).

Of course it takes work...it was never meant to be a spoonfed instruction in every little thing. It WAS meant, however, to be a comprehensive model of study of the universal mechanisms of martial movement...applying logic and motion models to various questions. You gotta

1. Learn the language of motion so you can have the discussion in it's native tongue (most only learn the material in a "this-for-that" limited manner, where 5 Swords is a defense against a punch attack, and not a study of applying paths and arcs to relative positions, with broad based applications across a multiple of contexts).

2. Understand the model so you can be conversant in dialogue. We don't use language skills in memorized traveller's phrases, only. We become fluent so we can generate sentences to reflect ideas, on the fly in the course of conversation.

3. Have a clear delineation of the construct under investigation. Knives, guns, kicks, takedowns, controls, destructions, etc. Delayed Sword doesn't teach a defense against a push or grab. It teaches you how to move. The attack scenario is an excuse to get you moving and thinking and learning...practicing a contextual phrase until you become a native speaker, at which point you can make up whatever sentences you need to.

As an aside, one of the best spinning back crescent kicks I have ever seen ... and I been in this stuff for nigh on 40 years, at international tournaments and under the tutelage of impressive TKD and HWD masters ... was by Rorion Gracie. Think he prefected it from the mount? One of the fastest and nastiest knife fighters I have ever seen was Mr. Parker. Think he got that way from drilling in the FMA?

Part of overcoming our personal limitations is understanding and owning that the limitations are, in fact, ours. Only then are we empowered to change. In other words, you can't change what you don't own. So rather than blaming the system, look at it again. And if you still don't see it, ask someone who might.

Best Regards,

Dave

PS -- here is a youtube vid of Mr. Parker applying kenpo conccepts and principles to knifework. "Multiplicity" is a guiding theme in kenpo....one movement with multiple applications to it; more things going on than meets the eye. Consider how many times he cuts the other guy in just one thrusting motion (4 that he mentions). Then consider how many motions are in a technique like 5 Swords, and phrases like "There are 30 cuts in 5 Swords, alone" will look less like confabulation, and mebbe cause you to look closer.


Great post Dave! I boled/underlined a part of your post. This is one of the things that was a concern to me. I was looking for the things that you mentioned, vs. what is already in the system. In an effort to clarify things for not only me, but for others who may have the same concern, could you elaborate as to what the ground fighting was like? Ex: you get knocked to the ground and someone gets the mounted position. What would the typical ground fighting thats already in the art, consist of, vs. what your typical BJJ mount escape is?

Mike
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Kembudo-Kai Kempoka

Senior Master
Joined
Mar 9, 2004
Messages
2,228
Reaction score
113
Location
Dana Point, CA
Well, I pretty much agree with alot of whats been said. Fortunately, between some great people that I train with live and in person, and some great people on this forum, they've managed to change my views on many of the things in Kenpo. Many times, we're forced to deal with the cards that are dealt to us, and if that means not being able to train with a Kenpo instructor who is more knowledgeable is certain areas, thats the way it has to be, and we're forced to seek out other things to fill that 'void' in 'our own' training.





Great post Dave! I boled/underlined a part of your post. This is one of the things that was a concern to me. I was looking for the things that you mentioned, vs. what is already in the system. In an effort to clarify things for not only me, but for others who may have the same concern, could you elaborate as to what the ground fighting was like? Ex: you get knocked to the ground and someone gets the mounted position. What would the typical ground fighting thats already in the art, consist of, vs. what your typical BJJ mount escape is?

Mike

Ground fighting and grappling are not the same thing. Grappling uses strategy of obtaining position, then from these positions, transitioning to finishes. These finishes may be just a beating, or chokes, holds, etc.

Ground fighting is...dirtier? Kenpo class used to open with 30-45 minutes of drilling basics. Throwing punches, kicks, etc, from any number of positions. Sparring was often done like sinawali drills, where you might intentionally be exchanging away, working with one guy on the ground, other upright, then continuing throwing down while places changed.

I have a couple buddies.... one an old kenpo hat, the other new to kenpo, but with a strong wrestling and MMA background. They go at it, and the old kenpo fart says at the outset, "I don't do that macho wrestling crap. You climb on me, I'm going to assume you're trying to have your way with me, and respond accordingly". I recall cracking up the first time they sparred. Dan shot on Corey, pulled him to the floor quite expertly, and started fishing for a sub. Corey starts doing all the dirty pool stuff...bending Dans fingers as to break them, while biting, while grabbing him by the dork and twisting, while head-butting straight into his teeth...and he's doing it all with kenpo speed, intensity, multiplicity. Once facing Dan, he's off and running with fragmented bits of SD techs, applied to position. In a couple seconds, Dans eyes are literally crossing and defocusing as he's getting shocky from having the snot beat out of him.

They revisited that scenario multiple times with the same outcome. Wisely, Corey doesn't hold that he's invincible against wrasslers (after all, I've submitted him often). He does hold that he is better at his game (35 years in kenpo) than Dan is at his (less than 10 years in MMA, plus wrestling in high school and at the junior college level). Fair matchup? Of course not. But illustrates some worthy points.

The knee-up position is a close-kneel, and from it there are all sorts of stomps, kicks, strikes, arm-bars and wrist/elbow subs that are taught in kenpo. Spar from your back, learing to use your tools from the guard, rather than defaulting to attempts at omaplata. Mount a guy, and as he starts placing his hands on you to push, use these as catalysts for kenpo techniques.

I've been in BJJ too long myself to buy for a minute that Mr. Tatum or Mr. Mills can get out from under my mount via some cute twicksie kenpo combo...or perhaps I should say it this way: I don't think their students can. Old kenpoists can blind a guy in a flash. And any finger IN the eye can also be pushed BEHIND the eye, latch onto some bone, then extracted with great exuberance, causing some serious fubar. Oldsters will have the timing, strength, and coordination to pull it off; microwave black belts from strip mall schools who study under thier lineage, twice removed, will not.

Hope that answered your question. If not, let me know; I'll try again. Or make a cheesy youtube vid in answer.

D.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MJS
OP
J

JTKenpo

Purple Belt
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
335
Reaction score
9
Location
Seekonk, MA
****big sigh*****

I don't mind taking the heat, in fact I guess to make people happy I should have named the thread "short comings of MY Ken/mpo".

It is not arrogance or a perspective of thinking I have seen it all or done it all that I ask these questions. I ask these questions so that I may learn from others experience and thought patterns becuase what may not be obvious is that I do not believe I have all the answers or see all that everything has to offer and no I haven't taken the time to go through an entire system looking at all the different angles. So again that is why I post questions like this. I don't want only one teacher, I want to learn from everyone I can (and yes my current teacher not only approves this but encourages it).

As an after thought a lot of good info has been shared by some good people because of this thread so it must be positive somewhere.

So please don't read into this thread that I have found all the weakness of the systems I have studied. I am simply looking for answers to questions which I may not have even stumbled upon asking yet.
 

MJS

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Messages
30,187
Reaction score
430
Location
Cromwell,CT
Ground fighting and grappling are not the same thing. Grappling uses strategy of obtaining position, then from these positions, transitioning to finishes. These finishes may be just a beating, or chokes, holds, etc.

Ground fighting is...dirtier? Kenpo class used to open with 30-45 minutes of drilling basics. Throwing punches, kicks, etc, from any number of positions. Sparring was often done like sinawali drills, where you might intentionally be exchanging away, working with one guy on the ground, other upright, then continuing throwing down while places changed.

I have a couple buddies.... one an old kenpo hat, the other new to kenpo, but with a strong wrestling and MMA background. They go at it, and the old kenpo fart says at the outset, "I don't do that macho wrestling crap. You climb on me, I'm going to assume you're trying to have your way with me, and respond accordingly". I recall cracking up the first time they sparred. Dan shot on Corey, pulled him to the floor quite expertly, and started fishing for a sub. Corey starts doing all the dirty pool stuff...bending Dans fingers as to break them, while biting, while grabbing him by the dork and twisting, while head-butting straight into his teeth...and he's doing it all with kenpo speed, intensity, multiplicity. Once facing Dan, he's off and running with fragmented bits of SD techs, applied to position. In a couple seconds, Dans eyes are literally crossing and defocusing as he's getting shocky from having the snot beat out of him.

They revisited that scenario multiple times with the same outcome. Wisely, Corey doesn't hold that he's invincible against wrasslers (after all, I've submitted him often). He does hold that he is better at his game (35 years in kenpo) than Dan is at his (less than 10 years in MMA, plus wrestling in high school and at the junior college level). Fair matchup? Of course not. But illustrates some worthy points.

The knee-up position is a close-kneel, and from it there are all sorts of stomps, kicks, strikes, arm-bars and wrist/elbow subs that are taught in kenpo. Spar from your back, learing to use your tools from the guard, rather than defaulting to attempts at omaplata. Mount a guy, and as he starts placing his hands on you to push, use these as catalysts for kenpo techniques.

I've been in BJJ too long myself to buy for a minute that Mr. Tatum or Mr. Mills can get out from under my mount via some cute twicksie kenpo combo...or perhaps I should say it this way: I don't think their students can. Old kenpoists can blind a guy in a flash. And any finger IN the eye can also be pushed BEHIND the eye, latch onto some bone, then extracted with great exuberance, causing some serious fubar. Oldsters will have the timing, strength, and coordination to pull it off; microwave black belts from strip mall schools who study under thier lineage, twice removed, will not.

Hope that answered your question. If not, let me know; I'll try again. Or make a cheesy youtube vid in answer.

D.

Dave,

As always, like Doc, I enjoy reading your replies! As I said, when I first came here, I was preaching that the ground stuff just wasn't there. I remember Doc in one of those threads coming back with the reply, something to the effect of, "Maybe not in YOUR Kenpo." :) This is one of the reasons why I enjoy forums and the people we're fortunate to have on them....while at times, we all may not agree with one another, there is always some great advice to ponder. :)

I enjoy BJJ. What I don't enjoy is spending X number of minutes, rolling around, trying to look for a sub. especially if my life was on the line. I guess this is where the 'dirty fighting' as you said comes in. :ultracool

BTW, if you're up to it, I for one, and I'm sure others would too, enjoy seeing some effective Kenpo ground work on a clip.
 

kidswarrior

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 27, 2007
Messages
2,697
Reaction score
152
Location
California
****big sigh*****

I don't mind taking the heat, in fact I guess to make people happy I should have named the thread "short comings of MY Ken/mpo".

It is not arrogance or a perspective of thinking I have seen it all or done it all that I ask these questions. I ask these questions so that I may learn from others experience and thought patterns becuase what may not be obvious is that I do not believe I have all the answers or see all that everything has to offer and no I haven't taken the time to go through an entire system looking at all the different angles. So again that is why I post questions like this. I don't want only one teacher, I want to learn from everyone I can (and yes my current teacher not only approves this but encourages it).

As an after thought a lot of good info has been shared by some good people because of this thread so it must be positive somewhere.

So please don't read into this thread that I have found all the weakness of the systems I have studied. I am simply looking for answers to questions which I may not have even stumbled upon asking yet.
JT, imho it takes courage to put yourself out there by asking open ended questions. Way too many questions that are posted beg for agreement, and it's usually obvious in the OP. I think you're to be commended for taking the risk and starting the thread. :asian:
 
Last edited:

Kembudo-Kai Kempoka

Senior Master
Joined
Mar 9, 2004
Messages
2,228
Reaction score
113
Location
Dana Point, CA
****big sigh*****

I don't mind taking the heat, in fact I guess to make people happy I should have named the thread "short comings of MY Ken/mpo".

It is not arrogance or a perspective of thinking I have seen it all or done it all that I ask these questions. I ask these questions so that I may learn from others experience and thought patterns becuase what may not be obvious is that I do not believe I have all the answers or see all that everything has to offer and no I haven't taken the time to go through an entire system looking at all the different angles. So again that is why I post questions like this. I don't want only one teacher, I want to learn from everyone I can (and yes my current teacher not only approves this but encourages it).

As an after thought a lot of good info has been shared by some good people because of this thread so it must be positive somewhere.

So please don't read into this thread that I have found all the weakness of the systems I have studied. I am simply looking for answers to questions which I may not have even stumbled upon asking yet.

Back in the kenpo days of yore, there was a fascination with causing massive amounts of tissue injury in very brief moments of time. Some of the techniques (heck, most of them) were not very tame. Versions that now end with a vertical thrust punch to the chestplate used to end with a vertical 2-finger thrust to the eyes or windpipe. (a guy on one site called it "cuisinart kenpo"...I thought it was both clever, and descriptive.).

Anyways, if you want to make money teaching the martial arts, you have to have a content that reflects family consumer values. So it got toned down. Now there are groups who pride themselves on having access to the old cuisinart kenpo, while other groups are leaving the cuisinart stuff behind completely because of the very real legal climate of today's society. I refer to the toned down family-kenpo stuff as "strip mall kenpo". Not as an insult, but to differentiate it from the old cuisinart stuff, or the progressive precision stuff. So what I'm getting at is that there are many faces to kenpo out there, just as a dice has multiple sides. Not all instructors wanted the same things from Mr. P., so not everyone did the same kenpo even while he was alive. Moreso now that he's been gone for a couple decades, with each new generation assuming there's is the same version that everybody else learned (not saying you did, but it's a common assumption, since we all use the same name, same patch themes, etc.).

Me? I teach an amalgamation of cuisinart, progressive/precision, and family/sport. Just spent 6 months dragging my brown belts through yellow belt over, and over, and over, with emphases on mechanics, timing, coordination, rhythm, and precision targeting to non-lethal points, with the intent of dropping the bad guy, knocking him out in at least a TKO, but not leaving him so jacked up that we do time in the brig for it. Then this thread got me thinking about one of my old cuisinart profs and his knife apps, so we went through yellow last night yet again, but focused on knife applications...Delayed Sword, done with a handhsake grip and/or an ice-pick grip (changes in angle to accomodate weapon presentation and optimum joint function); how does the hammering inward block in Alternating Maces change if we have a knife in reverse grip versus forehand grip, etc.

Then, once they "got" that orbits can be opened and paths changed to accomodate changes in focus, we went back over it again with an eye on empty-handed inserts. Not a lot of perspiration, but a lot of good mind opening. Foundation laid properly first allows room for expansion and exploration.

So, nobody's mad atcha, and I certainly didn't think you were detailing a critique of the systems machinery. And I'm glad for the discussion.

Be well,

Dave
 

Doc

Senior Master
Joined
May 12, 2002
Messages
4,235
Reaction score
179
Location
Southern California
****big sigh*****

I don't mind taking the heat, in fact I guess to make people happy I should have named the thread "short comings of MY Ken/mpo".

It is not arrogance or a perspective of thinking I have seen it all or done it all that I ask these questions. I ask these questions so that I may learn from others experience and thought patterns becuase what may not be obvious is that I do not believe I have all the answers or see all that everything has to offer and no I haven't taken the time to go through an entire system looking at all the different angles. So again that is why I post questions like this. I don't want only one teacher, I want to learn from everyone I can (and yes my current teacher not only approves this but encourages it).

As an after thought a lot of good info has been shared by some good people because of this thread so it must be positive somewhere.

So please don't read into this thread that I have found all the weakness of the systems I have studied. I am simply looking for answers to questions which I may not have even stumbled upon asking yet.
My statements were not directed at you personally sir, but at the general atmosphere that prevails after many generations of strip mall black belt instructors from many styles. Trust me, you were not the first to ask the question(s), and even broaching the subject is indeed a positive, in its recognition. Once again, I've seen it from all styles. It is truly a sign of the times, and it is world-wide. You are correct about the framing of the question, and it is always important to keep things in context with the proper perspective sir.
 
Top