What is the cash value of "Master Keys"?


Senior Master
May 12, 2002
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Southern California
If I may add a thought or two, I agree to an extent with the GoldenDragon7, JD_Nelson, and Rainman.

I was taught a different perspective however. In motion based interpretations the emphasis is on "master keys" as they relate to applications because of the philosophical mandate of the interpretation.

However, when you remove the application what do you have left? No matter how well it might be done, a "motion" without application is an abstract "useless expression of motion." You might as well be "dancing."

I was taught to examine "human motion," not just "motion." To remove motion from the human anatomy by which it must be propelled is to relegate study to a particular level by which it cannot move beyond.

I was taught by Ed Parker Sr. "motion is infinite, but most effective human motion is not." and was taught to completely examine effective human movement first, and its many applications second. To that end we developed instead of arguably conceptual "master keys," a mapping of the most effective "human movement" through mandated like anatomical expression called "Body Index Movement." In most instances the human body can only perforn physical movement one way for maximum efficiency, particular if counter-resistance or impact is prevelant in the activity.

Of course this is a contridiction to philosophies that promote "master key movement" which unfortunately, I find no value in from the interpretation I was taught. Still, if a motion based concept is the base of the interpretation, "master key" examination is essential to developement and an understanding of how the puzzle fits together at that level, and can serve as an interesting precursor to a greater education and subsequent knowledge.

One of the problems in "motion" is the extremely wide and varied interpretations of "motion" as applied to "basic" applications. This is the reason why "basics" have such a wide and varied interpretation by various teachers and students. The concept accepts and promotes "individuality" as long as it is reasonably effective for the individual. This is its strength and its weakness or limitation.

When the mandate is "structurally the most efficient anatomical movement possible," the interpretation is then restricted to parameters dictated by human anatomy which is immediately physically provable, and is a true science and therefore not conceptual and precludes misunderstandings. The questions are all answered by your body as you learn and progress. This methodology is absolutely necessary to execute the nerve, manipulation, and grappling questions inherent, (like it or not) in American Kenpo, and is the reason for the exodus by some to other arts in search of "answers" they could find at home.

Just a different perspective to consider and not coincidently, the same perspective pro-sports use. Ed Parker was a sportsman, who wrestled, ran track, and played football. He knew about maximum physical performance, but recognized Kenpo could NOT grow within his lifetime without a "motion conceptual" perspective that did not demand his constant precense to be "effective."

Brother John

Senior Master
Jan 13, 2002
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Wichita Kansas, USA
Originally posted by Touch'O'Death
I just can't accept that an inward block is a master key.

Don't know, maybe you have a point.
Because I don't consider the block it's self to be the master key, but the angle and the motion leading up to the angle, as this angle is used in all the blocks....therefore training yourself to assume this block well effects the quality of all your other blocks.
master key.
Just a thought.
HEY, it's a concept...if it doesn't work for you, don't use/pursue it.

Your Brother


Green Belt
Founding Member
Nov 12, 2001
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Wichita, KS

As for the angles, come on that is only one piece of it. If you look at Mr. Ences's description, learned in one situation and can be applied in another. The angle in those blocks is what is important. Where else can that angle be found. What is that angles compliment? If you can finde the compliment, can you see the original angle. Is it only found in the arm blocks?

I tried to make them find it, but I was referring to it Brother John.