The Direction Of Ken(m)po

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MJS

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Uh oh.. is this an indirect comment on one of my posts above? :) I HAD to use lingo in that post....had to!

Nope, not at all. :) I was talking about Kenpospeak in general. I mean, its kinda like the fancy terms that docs use to describe the simplist symptom. LOL. I think the late George Carlin did a skit on that. :D







sure, valid points and he has yet to respond or clarify.

I dunno. I just get a bit tired of people falling back on something else to (what seems to me anyway) "prop up" what they are doing in something else. Really, if you need to do something else to bring what you are already doing up to snuff, it just makes me think maybe for you, it would be better to just go do that other thing.

What I take from the JJ/J/MT/Boxing comment is: Kenpo lacks the ability to grapple, and we gotta have it, and kenpo lacks decent kicks, punches, elbows, and other strikes, and we need to improve those. So JJ/J. MT/ B are the answer to kenpo's problems. Sounds to me like anyone who feels this way ought to just go train in those other things and leave kenpo behind, because for them at least, kenpo doesn't work.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with that decision. I made it myself. But if you practice a method, hopefully you have faith in it. If you don't have faith in it, if you feel something else is needed to fix it, then maybe you ought to re-examine what you are doing and why you are doing it, and just maybe, do something else that works better for you.


That's an interesting way of looking at it, and I agree in some ways. Some thoughts if you don't mind;

1.) Kenpo has great kicks, punches, elbows, knees and joint locks/manipulation. I never felt they needed fixing. MT/Boxing etc are not an answer to any problems kenpo has as a system but rather, a different way of utilizing similar tools - and that is just fun to explore.

2.) Mechanically, technique, structurally, Kenpo does not give anything up to the arts mentioned. In fact, I often find it to be superior. However, I look to these other arts (and FMA and Krav for that matter) not for help in punching, kicking, elbowing or for contact manipulation, but rather, for training methodology in which case I do find they have some superior training methods. At which point, I use them to augment the training in my preferred art, Paul Mills flavor of American Kenpo.

3.) I believe one can simultaneously have faith in their art, but also place it under constant "evaluation" and re-examination. Part of that proccess can be (doesn't have to be) by getting out there and training with other guys and others arts some times. For one, we spar a lot at my kenpo school. That's great, I got really good at sparring kenpo guys.

4.) Training in other arts has certainly caused me to think "this is good, I'm glad I have this perspective now" but it has also in many ways caused me to think "wow, Kenpo is really good, and I'm glad it's my base."

5.) A last note, some of us move or for scheduling reasons can't train our base art as much as we would like. For someone like me, I would rather train in something new, but proven, rather than just take a training hiatus.[/quote]

I lumped both of these together, as you're both making some great points. As I said, until we hear from the other person, its all speculation. But, to offer my .02 on the matter........

I think there are things in Kenpo that're awesome. I think there are things that arent so awesome. I dont think that BJJ is necessarily the answer anymore than I think boxing is. But, as K831 said, its just 1 possible solution. We could easily sub. BJJ for wrestling. We could sub. MT for Kyokushin. Again, as K831 said, for *my* own training/learning purposes, I enjoy looking at how other arts do things. I recall some threads on here, in which Chris Parker, talked about (and I hope I'm recalling this right :)) still keeping the art the same. In other words, if we want to work with a wrestler on takedown defense, testing our stuff against them, fine, but still keep the defense Kenpo, dont turn it into a wrestling defense.

I've gone to some JKD seminars, and I'll admit, it was hard for me to adapt to how they punch and kick, but if I could take something they do, and add it to what I do, to make my stuff better, I'm all for it. :)

Usually, any time I talk about weapon defense, I mention the FMAs, as being the best. Why? Because they're a weapon based art. But that doesnt mean that Silat coudln't offer me or someone else, just as good a defense.

As for having faith....I have faith in alot of the stuff, and theres stuff I dont. So I do what I have to, to try to regain some of that faith. :)
 

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Well I would say the biggest change we have is in the freestyle system.
We have revamped it into a more all encompassing sports fighting system.
We cover the point sparring stuff at yellow, orange and purple belt, with various techniques from the existing freestyle system. To basically get them to understand point sparring, and continuous sparring venues and allow them to work drills and skills.. If they want to pursue point sparring events on a higher level we offer tournament classes for them to get further into it.
Blue belt material is Kick boxing, with a definite slant towards Muay Thai Techniques. This introduces the students to some heavy contact to full contact sparring, we liked putting this after the point sparring curriculum as its an easier transition at this point in my opinion at this point then moving straight to boxing, once again if the students like it and decide to pursue it we offer a variety of Muay Thai classes from conditioning, to full competitive sports fighting muay thai classes taught by a Kru level instructor in the art.
Green belt continues on the Kickboxing curriculum, moving into more footwork, as above there is plenty of opportunities to pursue this further.
Red belt(used to be 2nd Green, but we instead made it a red belt) material moves into Boxing specifically, and once agian if the students want to develop their skills further we have a Regulation Ring, dozens of bags and pads, amateur and pro level trainers and boxers for them to work with.
3rd Brown Belt, we move into Takedowns, we work off of ten basic types, and give students a taste of what is available. If they like it... yep, once again they have options.. they can train with me in Jiu Jitsu where I teach and train at least 1 set up for different throws a day, and often work combos, or scenario set ups, they can also work with our MMA team, and take advantage of out matted room, or our regulation sized Cage.Our MMA coach is a professional fighter as well with alot of takedown experience. I would at some point like to incorporate a well qualified Judoka into our program.
2nd Brown Belt moves the students into the Jiu Jitsu realm, we work strictly positional movements at this level, getting them used to positions, and ways to move in and out of them, like has already been mentioned we offer an extensive program to further pursue Jiu Jitsu, or MMA, I am actually a Certified Gracie Barra Instructor as well.
1st Brown belt moves into submissional training, working chokes, joint locks to the wrist, arm, shoulder, hip, knee, and ankle. We introduce all the basics, and combine the position changes with submission set ups... once again if they like it they have options to further their study.
1st Black moves into MMA style sparring, all ranges, all of the previous sports fighting information combined. The goal is to have a student at this level that understands sports fighting, the different ranges, the components of each range, and to have some ability in each range.

This curriculum is not designed to make professional fighters, its not designed to make amateur competitors in serious sports fighting venues. It is designed to expose our students to all ranges of sports fighting, work on the attacks and the proper way to use them, to give them an idea of what is available and allow them an avenue to further train and compete in those venues if it interests them.

Like everything else results vary. We have a fairly large commercial school. We do not try to be all things to all people, but we do try to offer an avenue for all things that they might want to pursue.

we also have tai chi classes available.
we do not offer any form of Tae Kwon Do, or Kung fu, or any of the reality based programs like Krav Maga, or those types.

This change to the sparring system occured over several years. I am not so sure we would have made these changes without the space or the equipment to train it like we do. I really could not imagine actually doing all this without the space, mats, bags, pads, ring, cage, and professional skilled people in each range, or style of fighting.
Surprisingly, or not, several of our black belts in Kenpo train in my Jiu Jitsu classes, and thats it, most of the other programs do draw kids from our kenpo classes, some have gone on to leave kenpo and focus solely on one style of sports fighting, some of our Boxers started as Kenpo practitioners..
anyways thats the direction of our.... studio... not sure if that is really a difference in Kenpo or not, since our techniques, sets, and forms are for the most part the traditional Ed Parker Kenpo system.
 

LuckyKBoxer

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sure, valid points and he has yet to respond or clarify.

I dunno. I just get a bit tired of people falling back on something else to (what seems to me anyway) "prop up" what they are doing in something else. Really, if you need to do something else to bring what you are already doing up to snuff, it just makes me think maybe for you, it would be better to just go do that other thing.

What I take from the JJ/J/MT/Boxing comment is: Kenpo lacks the ability to grapple, and we gotta have it, and kenpo lacks decent kicks, punches, elbows, and other strikes, and we need to improve those. So JJ/J. MT/ B are the answer to kenpo's problems. Sounds to me like anyone who feels this way ought to just go train in those other things and leave kenpo behind, because for them at least, kenpo doesn't work.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with that decision. I made it myself. But if you practice a method, hopefully you have faith in it. If you don't have faith in it, if you feel something else is needed to fix it, then maybe you ought to re-examine what you are doing and why you are doing it, and just maybe, do something else that works better for you.

No absolutely not the right way to look at it, well at least not how we do it.
I look at it like this.
We need to teach our students how to attack, what the different styles are going to do, what is inherent in their basic structure so they can apply that to their kenpo.
I see to many places simple say punch like this, and do the technique... the student never gets a feel for how a boxer might throw a punch... he gets a perfect taste of how an inexperienced puncher does it, look at youtube for proof of that, the majority of strikes are horrible.
So once we teach them to strike, or move in a certain venue we need to allow them time to practice it, so they can understand it better.
I also want to allow students to pursue what makes them happy and what they enjoy.
If a student, like some we have, would enjoy boxing better, then as a coach, an instructor, and a mentor I want to put them where they want to be.
I do not think that JJ, KB, B, J or anything else is the answer to save Kenpo, I simply think that to understand soemthing you need to immerse yourself into it to a certain degree. I have spent a substantial amount of time training in sports fighting ranges, styles, and venues simply to understand them. We make sure we have qualified people to teach these sports fighting ranges as well, so that we provide our students the absolute best instruction available. Your comment about Kenpo not working is crap btw. Its about other things, Kenpo absolutely works, I know it for a fact. Now when you have problems is when you have people who either want something different and either do not have that thing available, so try to substitute something else in its place, or do not understand what they want, and their instructor does not care enough to find out if what they are doing is the best for the student or if something else is. I get pretty damned sick of you bashing Kenpo just because you were either to lazy, to unmotivated, or to into wanting to do something else to make it work. You really need to stop talking about Kenpo like you have any idea what it is, you dont like it, so maybe you need to go elsewhere rather then constantly trying to diminish it. I can look at your kung fu system and blanketly say that nobody on the planet who practices that has any chance what so ever in a fight with me, and unless you want to come test it, or send the best practitioner of your art to come test it well you cant deny it, so it must be right.... the answer is not that its right, but rather your style may have different goals and aspirations then I do.
You also need to realize that you can get froms tart to finish through the kenpo system on average in about 7-10 years. that is with only a small commitment per week as well, so there is plenty of time to pursue other arts or sports fighting venues, not necessarily because you think Kenpo has holes, but rather because you love martial arts in general, and enjoy training in all different styles and systems. Anyways to end this rant, if you dont like kenpo why do you constantly keep coming back to comment on it? I dont get that.
 

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Having once trained in the "sweet science" of boxing, as well as training in Kajukenbo since the 80s (and now teaching), I agree alot with what K831 is saying.

There's probably no better way to comprehend the strengths and weaknesses of an art than by testing the legitimacy of each and every technique. Now ... like many, back in the day you didn't even hint that a technique might not be realistic. You defended against the proverbial straight right hand, and you performed all 8 or 10 steps of that particular punch defense. And that was that.

But the reality was/is that if we ever have to defend ourselves, it won't be against a well-mannered and compliant uke. It'll be some jerk who's 3 beers under, and lookin' to do some damage. Going forward, our Kenpo/Kempo/Kajukenbo teachers should strongly consider doing more with less. A little less formality and mysticism, and a little more boxing and jiu jitsu/judo and Muay Thai.

One major problem is that some of our best teachers--those who have a gift for really imparting knowledge--don't know much about boxing or jiu jitsu or Muay Thai, and they are often too proud to either learn those aspects of the arts as a beginner or go out and find someone who does.

When people have asked me for advice on Kenpo/Kempo/Kajukenbo schools, there's always one thing I include: when you visit any martial arts school, make sure that you see boxing gloves and heavy bags (and make sure they aren't dusty). :)


Gloves and bags are great, but if you only practice boxing punches to the exclusion of "traditonally" focused bareknuckle punches like the good old reverse punch, you're doing yourself a disservice. Knowing how to defend against boxing-style punches(I say "boxing-style" because just because someone thinks they're a boxer doesn't mean they are) is essential, but you don't need to become a boxer to do that. I see a lot of half-assed boxing in martial arts schools these days.
 

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Your comment about Kenpo not working is crap btw. Its about other things, Kenpo absolutely works, I know it for a fact. Now when you have problems is when you have people who either want something different and either do not have that thing available, so try to substitute something else in its place, or do not understand what they want, and their instructor does not care enough to find out if what they are doing is the best for the student or if something else is. I get pretty damned sick of you bashing Kenpo just because you were either to lazy, to unmotivated, or to into wanting to do something else to make it work. You really need to stop talking about Kenpo like you have any idea what it is, you dont like it, so maybe you need to go elsewhere rather then constantly trying to diminish it. I can look at your kung fu system and blanketly say that nobody on the planet who practices that has any chance what so ever in a fight with me, and unless you want to come test it, or send the best practitioner of your art to come test it well you cant deny it, so it must be right.... the answer is not that its right, but rather your style may have different goals and aspirations then I do.


apparently I touched a nerve and you've actually completely failed to grasp what I was saying.

Note the bolded sections below:

sure, valid points and he has yet to respond or clarify.

I dunno. I just get a bit tired of people falling back on something else to (what seems to me anyway) "prop up" what they are doing in something else. Really, if you need to do something else to bring what you are already doing up to snuff, it just makes me think maybe for you, it would be better to just go do that other thing.

What I take from the JJ/J/MT/Boxing comment is: Kenpo lacks the ability to grapple, and we gotta have it, and kenpo lacks decent kicks, punches, elbows, and other strikes, and we need to improve those. So JJ/J. MT/ B are the answer to kenpo's problems. Sounds to me like anyone who feels this way ought to just go train in those other things and leave kenpo behind, because for them at least, kenpo doesn't work.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with that decision. I made it myself. But if you practice a method, hopefully you have faith in it. If you don't have faith in it, if you feel something else is needed to fix it, then maybe you ought to re-examine what you are doing and why you are doing it, and just maybe, do something else that works better for you.

I in no way made a blanket statement about kenpo not working. I said that someone who feels they need something else to make it work, apparently can't use it and might do better to do something else. That's a specific comment to be applied on an individual level.

The point of my message was actually that if kenpo is one's method, then the answers probably lie within kenpo and not elsewhere. So look for the answers there, and figure out how to train it better. I understand there are a plethora of reasons for training in multiple systems. But if one feels they need one art to prop up another then they need to re-examine how they are training the first art and figure out what they are doing wrong. The comments by WO FAT gave me that impression, so I was making my own comment based on what he said, not as a blanket slam to kenpo. Wo Fat has still not come back to clarify his meaning, and I'd welcome him to do so.

No method works equally well for everyone. Kenpo doesn't work for me, so I don't do it. But I've not said it doesn't work for everyone else. I've made a personal decision as you have and everyone else has.
 

Wo Fat

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I gotta ask the obvious: if you feel more answers lie in JJ/J and MT, they why do kenpo at all?

Respectfully, sir, I believe the answer lies in the question: yes, IMO more lies with jits and boxing, but definitely not all. Kenpo/Kempo is still vital. I would probably offer the same opinion with regard to only-Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or only-Judo. Now, maybe I'm biased toward combined arts. I mean no offense toward those who practice a singular art.

That said, there were several Kenpo Jiu Jitsu schools in Hawaii (before the art came to the mainland). So one could infer that Kenpo, as many know it, wasn't a singular art when it arrived here(?)
 
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Flying Crane

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The answer lies in your question: yes, I believe that more lies with jits and boxing, but not all. Kenpo/Kempo is still vital.

to continue this line of thought, what do you feel one would lack by training kenpo and not jj or boxing?

I think there is no single answer to this as different kenpo lineages may focus more or less heavily on different aspects, some schools may train with better quality than others, etc. It's not something that would apply in every case.

With that in mind, in a general sense, how do you see it all fitting together?
 

marlon

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Respectfully, sir, I believe the answer lies in the question: yes, IMO more lies with jits and boxing, but definitely not all. Kenpo/Kempo is still vital. I would probably offer the same opinion with regard to only-Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or only-Judo. Now, maybe I'm biased toward combined arts. I mean no offense toward those who practice a singular art.

That said, there were several Kenpo Jiu Jitsu schools in Hawaii (before the art came to the mainland). So one could infer that Kenpo, as many know it, wasn't a singular art when it arrived here(?)

I believe the kempo jitsu schools of Hawaii used the term to mean kempo techniques and not jj
 

Wo Fat

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to continue this line of thought, what do you feel one would lack by training kenpo and not jj or boxing?

I think there is no single answer to this as different kenpo lineages may focus more or less heavily on different aspects, some schools may train with better quality than others, etc. It's not something that would apply in every case.

With that in mind, in a general sense, how do you see it all fitting together?

Good question. As you say, there's no "single" answer. But in many instances, there is synergy when Kenpo makes use of boxing, JJJ and/or BJJ. The latter is made much stronger and more balanced by the addition of strikes to vital areas (Kenpo). The former teaches a student a lightning fast reverse punch, while not always teaching the mechanics and destructive power of a right cross or a left hook -- delivered with the proper stance and power source. And should the Kenpo practitioner find him or herself on the ground, his or her JJJ/BJJ offers a much more realistic opportunity for defense.

At our school, our Kaju self defense techniques require a takedown and control of the downed attacker. We also have the downed attacker do their best to get the defender on the ground in a mounted position. From there, we use jiu jitsu escapes WITH strikes to vital targets when the opportunity is there (we also alternate with "Sport" finishes).

Personally, I have no problem with Kenpo practitioners incorporating other arts' techniques and still calling it Kenpo.
 

Flying Crane

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Good question. As you say, there's no "single" answer. But in many instances, there is synergy when Kenpo makes use of boxing, JJJ and/or BJJ. The latter is made much stronger and more balanced by the addition of strikes to vital areas (Kenpo). The former teaches a student a lightning fast reverse punch, while not always teaching the mechanics and destructive power of a right cross or a left hook -- delivered with the proper stance and power source. And should the Kenpo practitioner find him or herself on the ground, his or her JJJ/BJJ offers a much more realistic opportunity for defense.

At our school, our Kaju self defense techniques require a takedown and control of the downed attacker. We also have the downed attacker do their best to get the defender on the ground in a mounted position. From there, we use jiu jitsu escapes WITH strikes to vital targets when the opportunity is there (we also alternate with "Sport" finishes).

Personally, I have no problem with Kenpo practitioners incorporating other arts' techniques and still calling it Kenpo.


Do you see the give-and-take between these particular systems as more or less equal, as far as what they contribute in how you combine them and train?
 
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I believe the kempo jitsu schools of Hawaii used the term to mean kempo techniques and not jj

Heres a question...when the term "kenpo jitsu" is used, how much "jitsu" was in Kenpo, back in the day, vs. today? Obviously something like Kaju, IMO, probably has a bit more than what we see with the average Kenpo school.
 

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Do you see the give-and-take between these particular systems as more or less equal, as far as what they contribute in how you combine them and train?

I *think* I understand what you're asking. And I'm gonna say no, I don't necessarily see them as equal parts. Sometimes the perfect recipe calls for a lot of this and only a little bit of that.

Not that anybody has the perfect recipe.
 

MarkC

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Heres a question...when the term "kenpo jitsu" is used, how much "jitsu" was in Kenpo, back in the day, vs. today? Obviously something like Kaju, IMO, probably has a bit more than what we see with the average Kenpo school.

"Jitsu" or "Jutsu" doesn't necessarily refer to grappling, locking, throwing, etc. It can be compared to "do". Jutsu systems (Karate Jutsu, Jujutsu, etc.) usually focus on "real-life" hand to hand combat, while "do" or "way" systems are more focused on a way to develop strenght of character, or a way to do things.
I'm not articulating this very well, sorry.
 

Wo Fat

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"Jitsu" or "Jutsu" doesn't necessarily refer to grappling, locking, throwing, etc. It can be compared to "do". Jutsu systems (Karate Jutsu, Jujutsu, etc.) usually focus on "real-life" hand to hand combat, while "do" or "way" systems are more focused on a way to develop strenght of character, or a way to do things.
I'm not articulating this very well, sorry.
Good point. Personally, I subscribe to the theory that many of Hawaii's early Kenpo Jitsu schools actually employed jits in one way or another because there were so many Kenpo practitioners who also had a judo/jitsu background (John Bishop is a pretty reliable historian and can probably address that better than I could).
 

LuckyKBoxer

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apparently I touched a nerve and you've actually completely failed to grasp what I was saying.

Note the bolded sections below:



I in no way made a blanket statement about kenpo not working. I said that someone who feels they need something else to make it work, apparently can't use it and might do better to do something else. That's a specific comment to be applied on an individual level.

The point of my message was actually that if kenpo is one's method, then the answers probably lie within kenpo and not elsewhere. So look for the answers there, and figure out how to train it better. I understand there are a plethora of reasons for training in multiple systems. But if one feels they need one art to prop up another then they need to re-examine how they are training the first art and figure out what they are doing wrong. The comments by WO FAT gave me that impression, so I was making my own comment based on what he said, not as a blanket slam to kenpo. Wo Fat has still not come back to clarify his meaning, and I'd welcome him to do so.

No method works equally well for everyone. Kenpo doesn't work for me, so I don't do it. But I've not said it doesn't work for everyone else. I've made a personal decision as you have and everyone else has.

No I did not fail to grasp anything. The fact of the matter is that Kenpo does work, it will work for anyone. What you fail to grasp is that it is in fact an art that works period.
What you are mistaking for not working, is that its goals and your goals are different. That's all. You are using an extremely negative attitude towards Kenpo that it doesn't deserve. You have a different desire for training, and hence went to a different style that matches your goals. Thats it plain and simple. If someone wants to be a professional Boxer, they wont go train in Kenpo, and the reason is not because Kenpo does not work, but Kenpo is designed for something different. So in the scenario where some idiot trains in traditional Kenpo and then wants to be a professional boxer it was not the art that failed him, but his inability to understand what he wanted, and how best to approach it.
What you should be saying is not that Kenpo didn't work for you, but rather you had different goals for you personal training that did not match with the goals of Kenpo, or at least your instructor in Kenpo.
 

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What you should be saying is not that Kenpo didn't work for you, but rather you had different goals for you personal training that did not match with the goals of Kenpo, or at least your instructor in Kenpo.

While there may be some truth in that there bolded portion, I stand by my assessment that FOR ME, kenpo does not work. While I do see some small portions of it that could be useful FOR ME, as an overall system, no it does not work FOR ME.

Likewise, I would not expect the system that I do train to work well FOR YOU, regardless of how well I find it works FOR ME. Some things just don't match well with some people, and that's all there is to it.

I find it odd that you are singling me out in this, as I was actually defending kenpo in taking the position that, if it's a good match for the individual, he shouldn't need to go looking elsewhere for things to prop it up. To me, WO FAT's comments suggested that in his opinion, kenpo is defenseless against grappling, so grappling must be studied elsewhere, and in his opinion, kenpo lacks solid punching and kicking skills, so these skills must be acquired thru training in boxing and Muay Thai. That is the message that his post conveyed to me, and I felt that IF kenpo is a good match for him and IF he has had quality training, then he should not need to look elsewhere for these skills or answers to these problems.

Hey, WO FAT is the one saying he is finding some better answers outside kenpo. Why am I the target of your wrath?

Now he's come back and elaborated on his position and I'm not going to try and speak for him. I'm only stating why I said what I said, in response to his intial post.

I would have said the same thing if the topic had been Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Savate, Kung Fu, Silat, or anything else. If one feels they need to study something else to PROP UP their main system, then either they didn't get the proper training, or else IT'S SIMPLY NOT A GOOD MATCH FOR THAT PERSON. That's not an endictment of the system as a whole.

Neither is that an indictment of a desire to train in more than one system. I understand that there are plenty of good reasons to do so, including simple interest and desire.
 

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While there may be some truth in that there bolded portion, I stand by my assessment that FOR ME, kenpo does not work. While I do see some small portions of it that could be useful FOR ME, as an overall system, no it does not work FOR ME.

Likewise, I would not expect the system that I do train to work well FOR YOU, regardless of how well I find it works FOR ME. Some things just don't match well with some people, and that's all there is to it.

I find it odd that you are singling me out in this, as I was actually defending kenpo in taking the position that, if it's a good match for the individual, he shouldn't need to go looking elsewhere for things to prop it up. To me, WO FAT's comments suggested that in his opinion, kenpo is defenseless against grappling, so grappling must be studied elsewhere, and in his opinion, kenpo lacks solid punching and kicking skills, so these skills must be acquired thru training in boxing and Muay Thai. That is the message that his post conveyed to me, and I felt that IF kenpo is a good match for him and IF he has had quality training, then he should not need to look elsewhere for these skills or answers to these problems.

Hey, WO FAT is the one saying he is finding some better answers outside kenpo. Why am I the target of your wrath?

Now he's come back and elaborated on his position and I'm not going to try and speak for him. I'm only stating why I said what I said, in response to his intial post.

I would have said the same thing if the topic had been Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Savate, Kung Fu, Silat, or anything else. If one feels they need to study something else to PROP UP their main system, then either they didn't get the proper training, or else IT'S SIMPLY NOT A GOOD MATCH FOR THAT PERSON. That's not an endictment of the system as a whole.

Neither is that an indictment of a desire to train in more than one system. I understand that there are plenty of good reasons to do so, including simple interest and desire.

I still disagree with you. Kenpo would work for you absolutely. You have a different goal though and your goal for training is incompatible, not the art. I have seen videos of your art, I could do it, but I dont have the desire to do it. I wouldn't mind comparing notes on things with a practitioner that has a firm understanding of the art, but I have no desire to train in that type of art because my goals are different.
My impression of Wo Fats posts was not that Kenpo was bad or did not work, but rather that he wanted to pursue grappling arts, and sports fighting arts more. There is a huge difference. I do the same. I have trained and fought in Muay Thai, I love it. I also consider everything in Muay thai to be in Kenpo already. I train, and compete, and teach Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, I love it. I feel that all the movements and work in it is readily explained by the concepts and principles in Kenpo. The movements and drills are not in Kenpo, because the work in Kenpo was not designed to be a grappling art, but rather in my opinion anyways, an antigrappling art. No confusion, no contradiction in what Wo Fat is doing. So i see no problem in his comments. What I see in your comments is someone who never gave Kenpo a chance, because after you trained for a period you decided that you wanted something else. I can not tell you if it was a problem with your instructor and you were taught bad kenpo, or if you just had different goals then Kenpo was putting you on a path to achieve. either way Kenpo works, for everyone and anyone. If you have goals for a specific path there may be better things for you to study. But there is nothing wrong with the art.
 

Flying Crane

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I still disagree with you. Kenpo would work for you absolutely. You have a different goal though and your goal for training is incompatible, not the art. I have seen videos of your art, I could do it, but I dont have the desire to do it. I wouldn't mind comparing notes on things with a practitioner that has a firm understanding of the art, but I have no desire to train in that type of art because my goals are different.
My impression of Wo Fats posts was not that Kenpo was bad or did not work, but rather that he wanted to pursue grappling arts, and sports fighting arts more. There is a huge difference. I do the same. I have trained and fought in Muay Thai, I love it. I also consider everything in Muay thai to be in Kenpo already. I train, and compete, and teach Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, I love it. I feel that all the movements and work in it is readily explained by the concepts and principles in Kenpo. The movements and drills are not in Kenpo, because the work in Kenpo was not designed to be a grappling art, but rather in my opinion anyways, an antigrappling art. No confusion, no contradiction in what Wo Fat is doing. So i see no problem in his comments. What I see in your comments is someone who never gave Kenpo a chance, because after you trained for a period you decided that you wanted something else. I can not tell you if it was a problem with your instructor and you were taught bad kenpo, or if you just had different goals then Kenpo was putting you on a path to achieve. either way Kenpo works, for everyone and anyone. If you have goals for a specific path there may be better things for you to study. But there is nothing wrong with the art.

I hesitate to continue this discussion here because we are getting far afield of the topic. Maybe this should be continued in its own thread, but for the moment I'll give it another go here.

I went thru a period where I was noticing what I perceived as problems with kenpo and I was working out for myself how I felt about those problems and what it might mean with regard to whether or not I continue to train in it. During that phase I hashed some of those issues out here in the forums, proclaimed my doubts, the things that I felt were problematic, etc., looking for some discussion and other perspectives on it. That apparently got under your skin because I suppose you perceived it as an attack on kenpo and a disrespect to kenpo and you disagree with me regarding those problems. OK, I understand that. Really, I do, I get it. But that was my issue and I worked thru it and came out the other side with some clarity on it.

Now, you read WO FAT's comments one way, I read them another. I commented based on how I read them, and I've gone to lengths to explain why I said what I said. If you feel I mis-understood his comments, that's OK, but that doesn't change the fact that I said what I said based on how I read him. Nothing's going to change that.

You keep telling me that I have a different goal than kenpo. I'd be interested in hearing what you feel my goal is. I've not stated a goal so I'm not sure how you can know that my goal is different from kenpo, or from that of my kenpo teacher. As far as kenpo goes, I actually found his approach to be very much in line with my own feelings on how to train, during the time when I was doing so.

I had other experiences in the mean time that ultimately told me there was another way to do things that made more sense to me. That lead to my conflicted phase when I was trying to find a way to reconcile the different methods. Ultimately I realized that I could not reconcile them. To do one would damage the other, they were simply incompatible and I needed to choose. My experience told me that the other way was better for me, and that's the choice I made.

these other experiences were not quick flavor of the month things. These were things that I'd been pursuing for more than a dozen years, and I was making some serious breakthroughs that were opening my eyes to some things that I hadn't understood yet. A big part of that process was being accepted by a new teacher in the other method (my first teacher's teacher) who was able to very quickly bring my understanding to a higher level. That process began about two years ago, and that's what threw me into the conflicted phase. He never told me I could not practice another method. He always said, that's my choice and my business. But as my understanding suddenly improved dramatically, it became clear to me that the two methods were not compatible overall, and I needed to make a choice. And for me, the choice was clear and obvious because FOR ME, the other method was dramatically superior.

Coupled with this was the realization that over the years I never felt confident with the kenpo material. I originally trained in the mid 1980s and earned shodan. I drifted from it for a number of years while training other things, and came back to it to give it another go. I completely re-trained from zero to Shodan again, under a new teacher in the same lineage. I found the training good, I felt it was quality, yet I never felt that I had confidence in it. That was something that i was not comfortable admitting even to myself for a long time, but it's the truth: I never felt like I could use the kenpo material in a meaningful manner.

This is my basis for saying that, no matter how much you may wish to champion kenpo (hey, you feel it works FOR YOU, ok I won't argue with that), it just does not work for me.

Once again, that is not an indictment of the system as a whole. It is just a realization that it is a poor fit FOR ME, and I cannot make use of it.

This very same issue came to the surface in the ridiculous and infamous "Capoeira Works" thread. Some posters were stating very vehemently (with no actual experience in the art in most cases) that capoeira is not a viable fighting system. As someone with a fair bit of experience with capoeira, I argued against that position. I am perfectly willing to accept that capoeira is not a good fit for some people. It just isn't a match and they will never be able to use it. Nothing wrong with that reality. But to say that the art itself simply cannot be used as a viable fighting method, well that's silly and ignorant to claim such.

I'm not claiming that kenpo is no good. I'm not claiming that nobody in kenpo can use it. That would also be silly and ignorant.

I am stating that kenpo (like any system) is not a good fit for everyone, and does not work for everyone. To deny that truth is refusing to accept reality.

If it works great for you, then great for you. But not everyone will feel that way for themselves.

As far as your ability to do white crane... I dunno. Personally I think most people cannot do it. A big part of the issue is that it simply does not look like what most people believe a fighting art should look like, and they write it off quickly without dilligently exploring it to see the potential that it offers. It takes a lot of time and effort and study to really understand what is really being accomplished, what is even the true goal of the practice. It ain't just the movements that you've seen on the videos (which I've not yet seen one that I'd say is a high quality representation of the system). There's a lot going on underneath the movements and it takes a lot of time and effort to understand that. For most people, these are reason enough to say that it's not a good match. And most people don't realize how much work it is to really understand it, and for them it really does not work. But for the people who stick with it and work thru it and dedicate their energy to it, it opens up some really interesting possibilities.

I do not doubt that you could learn the shell of the movements. But that does not mean you understand it, nor that it works for you.

I do not find that objectionable. I have no wish to see a White Crane studio in every small town and big city. I understand that no system is equally good for all people. If that were true, there would only be one system and all others would go extinct. So people make their choices based on their experiences. They choose to do THIS and they reject THAT.
 

LuckyKBoxer

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I am stating that kenpo (like any system) is not a good fit for everyone, and does not work for everyone. To deny that truth is refusing to accept reality.

This is all I need from that post to make my point.
I agree that Kenpo is not a good fit for everyone.
I do not, however, agree that it does not work for everyone. This comment comes from someone who obviously has no idea what Kenpo is. So until you decide to learn what Kenpo is you will never be able to understand what is wrong with this comment.
and to deny what I just said is refusing to accept reality.

I recommend if you are going to continue to comment on Kenpo that you learn what Kenpo is, and not what you want it to be.
 

Xue Sheng

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This is all I need from that post to make my point.
I agree that Kenpo is not a good fit for everyone.
I do not, however, agree that it does not work for everyone. This comment comes from someone who obviously has no idea what Kenpo is. So until you decide to learn what Kenpo is you will never be able to understand what is wrong with this comment.
and to deny what I just said is refusing to accept reality.

I recommend if you are going to continue to comment on Kenpo that you learn what Kenpo is, and not what you want it to be.

OK, take this for what it is worth since I am not nor have I ever been a Kenpo person but from what I am reading here it appears to me that he knows what Kenpo is and if nothing else he knows it is not for him. And that you are hell bent on makeing us all say it is the perfect MA for all.

I watched a Kenpo class a little while back and I also know It is not for me and after over 30 years in MA I think I know that it would not work for me and why. Does that mean it is bad? No it doesnt it means it is not for me much like a pair of size 12 shoes is not for me because they do not fit.
 
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