Some things I've learned

K

Kirk

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Oh, I know I'm gonna catch hell for this one, but I'd really like to
see the replies, given they're not just attacks of me.

I've learned a lot during my year and a half of kenpo training, and
on the negative side of things, I've learned that a LOT of seniors
don't agree with each other on various things .. off the top of my
head, here's a short list of things they don't all agree on, across
the board:

1. What mirror imaging is.
2. The number of techs required for earning a black belt.
3. The number of sets required for earining a black belt.
4. The number of techniques required per belt.
5. HOW to do the techs required.
6. What order techs should be taught.
7. HOW to do the forms.
8. How many forms Ed Parker created himself.
9. What marriage of gravity is called when going up, instead of down.
10. An infinite number of "facts" in kenpo history.
11. Who was taught what, by Mr Parker.
12. What rank promotion starts receiving a ceremonial kick.

And that's just thinking about it quickly. Now the problem is in
how important are these things? With my limited knowledge, and
experience, my first reaction is that it's all semantics, and
unimportant, and therefore shouldn't really be considered. I think
the next time someone asks ME about whether or not this school
is good, or this instructor is good, my advice will be ... look at that
instructor's black belts. If you like how they move, and feel that
what they do can be effective self defense, then you're probably
in the right school. Ask one of those black belts how long it took
them to earn their black belts. If it's more than 6 years, and they
tell you they've had pretty good attendance .. then ya might want
to skip it .. but all in all if you're happy with what you see, then
go with what you feel.
 

Nightingale

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OMG... Kirk, I agree with almost everything you said...

except for the six year black belt thing...
a black belt shouldn't be the goal of training. Knowledge should be. I heard someone say that your belt only covers two inches of your ****, the rest you have to cover for yourself. If you're getting good quality instruction at a reasonable price, you should be fine. The instructor may just have higher standards, or the black belt you questioned may just be a slow learner. How long it took someone else to earn their rank may or may not reflect the speed in which you earn yours. I'd ask the instructor "with regular attendance and no breaks, what is the average amount of time that your black belts took to earn their first degree rank?" If rank is important to you. If its not, than don't worry.
 

D.Cobb

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Originally posted by Kirk
:eek: Don't worry .. I won't let it go to my head ;)

In Australia, to be considered good at EPAK, you need to be really arrogant!
Bet you hadn't learnt that one...:D
 
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K

Kirk

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Originally posted by nightingale8472
except for the six year black belt thing...
a black belt shouldn't be the goal of training. Knowledge should be. I heard someone say that your belt only covers two inches of your ****, the rest you have to cover for yourself. If you're getting good quality instruction at a reasonable price, you should be fine. The instructor may just have higher standards, or the black belt you questioned may just be a slow learner. How long it took someone else to earn their rank may or may not reflect the speed in which you earn yours. I'd ask the instructor "with regular attendance and no breaks, what is the average amount of time that your black belts took to earn their first degree rank?" If rank is important to you. If its not, than don't worry.

hehehe .. I already got a lecture on that LOL ... and I agree with
you ... I just don't feel that an earnest, hard working student
should take a decade to earn a b.b. Before they had 2nd's, and
3rd's, and so on ... it still didn't take most that long to earn thiers.

I've been told that after learning the 154(5) base techs, that
some time should be spent in reflection and preponderance of
those, before moving on, and that a b.b. would improve greatly
by doing this. At some point ya gotta kick them outta the nest
(figuratively speaking) to send them on that journey.

But again, let me qualify, I'm just a purple belt (testing for blue
at the end of the month *fingers crossed*). I reserve the right
to change my views on this matter, when I actually know
something.
:p
 
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K

Kirk

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Originally posted by D.Cobb
In Australia, to be considered good at EPAK, you need to be really arrogant!
Bet you hadn't learnt that one...:D

LOL!!! Since I'd like to continue my kenpo training, I won't
comment. :D
 
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R

Rob_Broad

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Originally posted by D.Cobb
In Australia, to be considered good at EPAK, you need to be really arrogant!
Bet you hadn't learnt that one...:D

I'd be a freakin' Gawd there.
 

Nightingale

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Originally posted by Kirk
hehehe .. I already got a lecture on that LOL ... and I agree with
you ... :p

OMG... is anyone else feeling like hell just froze over? I think I see a pig flying... Kirk and I just agreed on something in the same thread! Twice!

lol. that was a good thread you started.
 

cdhall

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Mr. C. might fly into Austin and grill me for this (maybe even this month...) but here is my take on some of this since I think it is part of my duty as a "mirror" to spread the "truth" particularly in the spirit of "Some things I've learned."


2. The number of techs required for earning a black belt.
3. The number of sets required for earining a black belt.
4. The number of techniques required per belt..

Mr. Parker clearly deliniates this in Book 5. That is the about all we have to go on. Not everyone followed that path of course. Mr. Sulivan says something in his "Vintage Kenpo" tape. I think he says that he had 32 techniques for Black and Long 3 was the highest form.


5. HOW to do the techs required.
Mr. Parker generally seemed to show a given person how a technique worked best for them. I have seen general underlying agreement on this after analyzing what answers I have received on this topic. The problem is that some people don't seem to understand this and they claim that their way is "it." Mr. Parker himself apparently never said there was an "it" (except for how "it" works for you) so how could anyone else make such a claim? I've heard this from more than one First Generation Black Belt, and Mr. Hawkins says something along this same line in the Homecoming Video which I was proud to co-produce.

6. What order techs should be taught.

This is also clearly deliniated in Book 5 and is the primary reason for the use of the Web of Knowledge. I can see no way to reasonably disagree on this. Like 2-4 above.

7. HOW to do the forms..

As per 5 above.

9. What marriage of gravity is called when going up, instead of down.

I was taught that this would be Reverse Marriage of Gravity. This seems consistent with the Concepts of "Opposite" and "Reverse" I would have to therefore add that I guess Opposite Marriage of Gravity would be lifting (helping) someone or something up (as opposed to striking (forcing) something down).


11. Who was taught what, by Mr Parker.

Everyone knows (I think) that Mr. Parker taught Private lessons around the world. I don't think he made any attempt to record these. Therefore I think this is like asking which breeze started started blowing first on Earth. It makes no difference and it can not be determined. And some fed each other and some are stronger than others. And, more importantly, you can Measure them and Tell which breeze is stronger and it works just like that on the mat. You can see which one is stronger. Especially relative to each other.

12. What rank promotion starts receiving a ceremonial kick.

I was always taught/shown that the ceremonial kick is part of the belt promotion so therefore it starts with the first one.

...If it's more than 6 years...

I've addressed this sort of before. Mr. Parker outlines the merits of the Belt Ranking System in Book 1 of Infinite Insights I think. A key reason for the belt ranking system is "motivation and reward" I think. Goal setting. I don't have the book in front of me. But 154 techniques at one technique per week is 2.9years.

I know there is more to learn than one technique but now that I see the math here, I think that is a good number. 3 years to get through 154 techniques. If I had open a school I will use this as a guide. It might require class attendance 3 times per week to get 1 technique worked out and get the corresponding forms and sets and whatnot, but it looks good on paper. Or in HTML as it were.

Overall, I think much of this stuff is either clearly deliniated or meaningless as you say. In my attempt to be a "mirror" I have pointed out where I believe this information was given to us by Mr. Parker or where I have heard credible sources speak on the topic.

The one thing that all the observations seem to reinforce is that Mr. Parker was more concerned with training an individual than he was concerned with cloning a Kenpo army. And this "tailoring" of the system to fit the individual is also something he tells us he set out to do, so the evidence again seems to support this observation as well.

I'm not trying to sound like the Wise Man on the Mountain, but some of this stuff was spoken about by Mr. Parker and is publically available. I for one was amazed when I saw Chuck Sullivan ask Mr. Parker Jr in the "Vintage Kenpo" Tape why Mr. Parker called his places "studios" when again this was clearly addressed by Mr. Parker himself in Infinite Insights.

OK. Surely I'm in enough trouble. Either for trying to preach at Kirk (which I'm not) or trying to impose my thoughts or spread rumors (which I'm not because I think I've documented a source for everything I've said, a publically available, historic source that has been in print or whatever for more than a day or two...).

My intention here is to say that much of this stuff should not even be debateable because it is clearly set forth. Now, if you want to discuss whether the material has merit is a whole other issue, but much of this info was covered by Mr. Parker himself and I would hope that every student of Ed Parker's Kenpo would know this.

Again, I also say this because for a long time I was taking Kenpo from people who trained under Ed Parker or one of his students but who variously said things like "Mr. Parker only teaches private lessons" and also never mentioned that he was here (within driving distance) giving seminars twice a year and this disinformation is not something I appreciate. So if you don't know that most all of this stuff is in Infinite Insights which were written by Mr. Parker, then you should get a copy and look it up.

Man. I've got Kenpo on the brain. I have to go see Mr. Planas tomorrow so I've been racking my brain for stuff in case he asks "what do you all want to go over."

I mean no offense by this post. I'm not the Shell Answer Man, but The Man did answer some of this and I hope everyone knows where it is all written down.

Thanks in advance for not flaming me. See you all Monday or so when I get back. maybe I can post a review of Mr. Planas' seminar.
:asian:
 

kenpo3631

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Originally posted by Kirk
Oh, I know I'm gonna catch hell for this one, but I'd really like to
see the replies, given they're not just attacks of me.

I've learned a lot during my year and a half of kenpo training, and
on the negative side of things, I've learned that a LOT of seniors
don't agree with each other on various things .. off the top of my
head, here's a short list of things they don't all agree on, across
the board:

1. What mirror imaging is.
2. The number of techs required for earning a black belt.
3. The number of sets required for earining a black belt.
4. The number of techniques required per belt.
5. HOW to do the techs required.
6. What order techs should be taught.
7. HOW to do the forms.
8. How many forms Ed Parker created himself.
9. What marriage of gravity is called when going up, instead of down.
10. An infinite number of "facts" in kenpo history.
11. Who was taught what, by Mr Parker.
12. What rank promotion starts receiving a ceremonial kick.

And that's just thinking about it quickly. Now the problem is in
how important are these things? With my limited knowledge, and
experience, my first reaction is that it's all semantics, and
unimportant, and therefore shouldn't really be considered. I think
the next time someone asks ME about whether or not this school
is good, or this instructor is good, my advice will be ... look at that
instructor's black belts. If you like how they move, and feel that
what they do can be effective self defense, then you're probably
in the right school. Ask one of those black belts how long it took
them to earn their black belts. If it's more than 6 years, and they
tell you they've had pretty good attendance .. then ya might want
to skip it .. but all in all if you're happy with what you see, then
go with what you feel.

After reading many posts on this forum I have to agree that I've seen the same things you have. I feel although many of these disagreements have arisen, it makes you realize that Kenpoist are human too. The squabbles, although some may be miniscule to many, are to others of major concern. It is like that when you get any group of persons together. Each has their own opinion of what works and what doesn't, what it "should" or "shouldn't" be. When it comes down to it, it is ALL opinion. It is what you think that matters, because only YOU can guide yourself (with the help of a good instructor for the physical teachings) through this great journey we call Kenpo. :asian:
 
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K

Kirk

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Doug,

I've seen the Infinite Insights debate used plenty before. I've
heard 3 seniors with my own ears negate that. They'll say things
like, "Mr Parker put that there to see if you'd catch the error", or
"Mr Parker put that there to make ya think", or "that was a typo,
and Mr Parker spent a lot of time trying to let people know that
this wasn't the case".
 

Nightingale

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Doug,

I don't think that what Mr. Parker said was really the topic. Its that now that Mr. Parker isn't here (which therefore left anything he wrote open to interpretation, because he isn't around to set people straight) his black belts have gone different ways and altered the system, and now, what you have to know to earn a black belt under Bob White (134 techs, I think, plus extensions, forms short and long 1-3, and form 4) and Larry Tatum (156 techniques, plus extensions, forms short and long 1-3 and form 4) and Dave Hebler (156 techniques, plus extensions, short and long forms 1, 2, short 3, and form 4, long 3 not required) vary drastically.

I think Kirk was trying to point out (at least, this is how I interpreted it) that different black belts do things different ways and have different opinions, and, irregardless of what Mr. Parker said, they're going to keep doing what they're doing.

respectfully,

-N-
 
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Kirk

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Originally posted by nightingale8472
I think Kirk was trying to point out (at least, this is how I interpreted it) that different black belts do things different ways and have different opinions, and, irregardless of what Mr. Parker said, they're going to keep doing what they're doing.

You interpret correctly! Did someone open the first seal? :rofl:
 

cdhall

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Originally posted by nightingale8472
Doug,
...
I think Kirk was trying to point out (at least, this is how I interpreted it) that different black belts do things different ways and have different opinions, and, irregardless of what Mr. Parker said, they're going to keep doing what they're doing.

respectfully,

-N-

Thank you nightingale8472,

I just wrote a reply but my "cookie" expired or something and I had to log back in and I lost it, so my short comment is that this is a tangled knot and it is not worth trying to undo.
:asian:
 
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J

Jill666

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Originally posted by cdhall
my short comment is that this is a tangled knot and it is not worth trying to undo.
:asian:

Quick! Who's got a katana? :rofl:

In the 4 years since Nick Cerio died, there has already been a split in his schools. Arguing over how he wanted things done, who he wanted in charge, etc. It makes me nuts to even think about it. Sometimes I feel like I am not a member of any family tree, and the piece of paper I got isn't worth crap. Then I realise it isn't, anyway, and the art I practice is only as good as I make it.

Which is nice & all, but it still makes me nuts- politics and power ruin so many good schools, disrupt good lineages, and it is the students, NOT the instructors who lose out.

So stick that in your pipe & smoke it :angry:
 

Rich Parsons

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Originally posted by Jill666
Quick! Who's got a katana? :rofl:

In the 4 years since Nick Cerio died, there has already been a split in his schools. Arguing over how he wanted things done, who he wanted in charge, etc. It makes me nuts to even think about it. Sometimes I feel like I am not a member of any family tree, and the piece of paper I got isn't worth crap. Then I realise it isn't, anyway, and the art I practice is only as good as I make it.

Which is nice & all, but it still makes me nuts- politics and power ruin so many good schools, disrupt good lineages, and it is the students, NOT the instructors who lose out.

So stick that in your pipe & smoke it :angry:


Jill,

I hear you. I have even song a few choruses of those blue's with you. :(

:asian:
 
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K

Kenpo Yahoo

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This is also clearly deliniated in Book 5

Mr. Parker "clearly deliniated" many things in writing that the didn't necessarily follow all the time. Especially the way he did and/or taught techniques. It's my opinion that Mr. Parker wrote INFINITE Insights as a stepping stone. In other words this was to be a single Insight into something which had INFINITE possibilities.

What marriage of gravity is called when going up, instead of down.

this is tantamount to asking what a waterfall is called that "falls" up the side of a mountain and into a stream that flows uphill.
The answer is simple: This does not exist.

Any motion upward would be considered a lifting strike. Marriage of gravity implies that your movements work in conjunction with gravity to amplify your strike. Since any lifting or rising motion actually requires more energy to overcome the effects of gravity this CAN NOT actually be considered a reverse MOG. The field of thermodynamics refers to this as an irreversible process. However, it could be likened to reverse paths or lines of motion, but not reverse gravity.

Who was taught what, by Mr Parker.

I used to think this was important, but now I know that it doesn't matter one bit. If your instructor or association is providing you with great training, you are continually learning more and more about a system that is street effective from the day you start, then nothing else matters. Mr. Parker is gone, he was the only one who could give you any sort of definitive answer to the questions that you ask and this is why. I submit to you the Heisenberg uncertainty principle of psychology- Anytime you try to put yourself in someone else's place, to see things the way they saw them, you change the view completely because of your own experiences, beliefs and thought processes.

Therefore what you think is the truth might very well be, for you. But to someone else, what they were shown by an individual becomes their gospel. Mr. Parker was a conduit of knowledge, but he was/is by no means the only individual able to think and organize the martial arts into an effective thing. We are simply more concerned with him and his thoughts as a teacher because of we are influenced by his students. What will students 50 years from now think about Mr. Parker? And how much will his writings mean to them? (just a question to prompt some thinking)

As an art, Kenpo is very subjective. What you like, or what you do, doesn't mean that something else is incorrect or ineffective. Likewise, just because you are in a martial art doesn't mean that what you are learning is conceptually sound or combat effective.

Anyway, Sorry for the endless rambling. If you don't agree I'm sure I'll hear from you, but to each their own. Peace and congratulations to the families of the rescued POW's my prayers go out to you and all our service men and women
 
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