Where Is the "Ohana" In Kenpo?

MJS

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About a week or so ago, I was talking to a friend of mine, who trains in Kaju. (Yes, he's a member of this forum. :)) Anyways, we were talking about various things, and he had mentioned that he was doing some sparring with someone from another Kaju school. I had commented that it was nice that everyone seems to get along well, theres lots of Ohana, everyones a big family, etc, even though people may be from various branches.

I had said to him that it would be nice if that same feeling was also in Kenpo. Seems like its rare to get 2 Kenpo people to agree on much of anything. Proof of this can be found on certain forums. The subject will be on a technique, how its done, etc., and next thing ya know, someone makes the comment that the other person doesnt know what they're talking about, they take shots at their inst., and overall, act like an ***.

Now, maybe the same thing happens in Kaju as well, I dont know, but on the surface, it sure doesnt seem that way.
 

FeralKenpo

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My guess is that it has a lot to do with the east coast(introverted) vs west coast(extroverted) mentality.

Gotta' love stereotypes ;)
 

Zoran

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A little sharing and goodwill can go a long way. We can never learn from each other in the adversarial atmosphere prevalent in Kenpo/Kempo these days. If we had not lost touch as much as we have, maybe practitioners wouldn't have lost touch with the many important aspects of Kenpo/Kempo. It is interesting to note that knowledge has become as fragmented as the various groups are these days. I have also found, especially in American Kenpo, that many instructors pass on their prejudice views on to their students, even if they do not mean to.

I am also training in Kaju. Their attitude is a little more open and accepting. I am given a great deal of respect when ever I walk in the door. Even though I opted to wear a beginners rank when I joined, they still give respect to the rank I have in Kenpo.

Anyways, I guess my point is, more flies with honey.
 
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MJS

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A little sharing and goodwill can go a long way. We can never learn from each other in the adversarial atmosphere prevalent in Kenpo/Kempo these days. If we had not lost touch as much as we have, maybe practitioners wouldn't have lost touch with the many important aspects of Kenpo/Kempo. It is interesting to note that knowledge has become as fragmented as the various groups are these days. I have also found, especially in American Kenpo, that many instructors pass on their prejudice views on to their students, even if they do not mean to.

I am also training in Kaju. Their attitude is a little more open and accepting. I am given a great deal of respect when ever I walk in the door. Even though I opted to wear a beginners rank when I joined, they still give respect to the rank I have in Kenpo.

Anyways, I guess my point is, more flies with honey.

Good points. Like I said, its very possible there's some in-fighting, but again, I dont know, as I'm not part of any Kaju group. Interestingly enough though, every year in Vegas, when they have that big event, you have people from all branches of Kaju, mixing together, and it seems like everyone has a great time. I doubt that if we had a big Ken/mpo gathering, that you'd have the 'family' feel.
 

Milt G.

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A little sharing and goodwill can go a long way. We can never learn from each other in the adversarial atmosphere prevalent in Kenpo/Kempo these days. If we had not lost touch as much as we have, maybe practitioners wouldn't have lost touch with the many important aspects of Kenpo/Kempo. It is interesting to note that knowledge has become as fragmented as the various groups are these days. I have also found, especially in American Kenpo, that many instructors pass on their prejudice views on to their students, even if they do not mean to.

I am also training in Kaju. Their attitude is a little more open and accepting. I am given a great deal of respect when ever I walk in the door. Even though I opted to wear a beginners rank when I joined, they still give respect to the rank I have in Kenpo.

Anyways, I guess my point is, more flies with honey.

Hello, Zoran...!

I agree. Good points.

I think many are out to help themselves and not others. True sharing can only happen when one can put "their selves" aside for the good of the student, group or organization.

Sadly, the martial arts can feed ego in many ways. It is easy to allow that ego to indirectly (or directly) govern what one says, does or teaches. Self importance is a negative trait, in my opinion.

I think humility is the key to "Ohana". Many senior students, and instructors, seem to lack the humility necessary to "gel" with diverse practitioners or groups.

Another of my 1.5 cent offerings.
Happy Thanksgiving...!
Thank you,
Milt G.
 

Danjo

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About a week or so ago, I was talking to a friend of mine, who trains in Kaju. (Yes, he's a member of this forum. :)) Anyways, we were talking about various things, and he had mentioned that he was doing some sparring with someone from another Kaju school. I had commented that it was nice that everyone seems to get along well, theres lots of Ohana, everyones a big family, etc, even though people may be from various branches.

I had said to him that it would be nice if that same feeling was also in Kenpo. Seems like its rare to get 2 Kenpo people to agree on much of anything. Proof of this can be found on certain forums. The subject will be on a technique, how its done, etc., and next thing ya know, someone makes the comment that the other person doesnt know what they're talking about, they take shots at their inst., and overall, act like an ***.

Now, maybe the same thing happens in Kaju as well, I dont know, but on the surface, it sure doesnt seem that way.

All families fight at times. The important thing with Kajukenbo is that we START from the family perspective. We see ourselves as family first and foremost. The differences in organizations and branches and methods are seen as personal choices rather than as things that divide us. Like I said, there are always going to be family fights here and there, but that's what they are FAMILY fights over personal issues, not over which method or branch is superior to the other or which version of which technique is better etc.
 

Danjo

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Good points. Like I said, its very possible there's some in-fighting, but again, I dont know, as I'm not part of any Kaju group. Interestingly enough though, every year in Vegas, when they have that big event, you have people from all branches of Kaju, mixing together, and it seems like everyone has a great time. I doubt that if we had a big Ken/mpo gathering, that you'd have the 'family' feel.

Well, when I was at Bob White's tournement this year, there was a great deal of that Ohana spirit amongst the Kenpo and Kajukenbo crowd. I saw many from various schools mixing and talking and laughing with each other and it reminded me very much of a Kaju gathering.
 

Thesemindz

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I've seen a lot of bad in kenpo. Masters with hate in their hearts. Lies, denials, and denigration about and for the contributions of other arts and artists to the kenpo style. Instructors publically belittling other instructors in front of their students when no one was there to challenge their statements. Bullies and ignorant self annointed "experts" who viciously attack others to hide their lack of skill or knowledge. Professors of kenpo more interested in proving why someone else's method is wrong then improving upon their own. All of that is unfortunately common, and all of it brings shame on our art.

But there is good too. I've seen it on the forums, and at seminars. I've talked to several people I met on the forums, both on the phone and in person. I see several people here who are willing to suffer being belittled and insulted in order to share what they have learned with anyone willing to listen. I know instructors with over thirty years in the art who still happily teach white belt class and take pride in yellow belt tests. I know many men who think that "I don't know" is an acceptable answer, and then seek to educate themselves going forward. That brings great honor to what we do.

Ultimately, it's up to each of us, individually, to be the best influence we can be on those who follow. Once you become an instructor it's not about you anymore. It's about the next generation. We set the standard for the future of kenpo every time we show up at the school.

In the end, kenpo will become what the majority of its practitioners want it to be. Each of us acting alone will collectively determine the direction of our art. That's why I try to be the best kenpoka, instructor, and person I can be. Every day. Every class. And always seek to expand my knowledge and skill through study and practice.

Hagakure reads, "Lord Yagyu said he did not know the way to defeat others, but he knew the way to gain victory over himself-it was to become better today than yesterday, and better tomorrow than today-working in this manner, day by day, all one's life."

That is how we make kenpo what we want it to be. That is our responsibility. To be worthy of our inheritance.

Or not. That is the choice before us.


-Rob
 

KempoShaun

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I couldn't agree more Thesemindz. In the end, it's up to us to teach the next batch of Masters to be open to all. :)
 
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MJS

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All families fight at times. The important thing with Kajukenbo is that we START from the family perspective. We see ourselves as family first and foremost. The differences in organizations and branches and methods are seen as personal choices rather than as things that divide us. Like I said, there are always going to be family fights here and there, but that's what they are FAMILY fights over personal issues, not over which method or branch is superior to the other or which version of which technique is better etc.

Well, when I was at Bob White's tournement this year, there was a great deal of that Ohana spirit amongst the Kenpo and Kajukenbo crowd. I saw many from various schools mixing and talking and laughing with each other and it reminded me very much of a Kaju gathering.

I've seen a lot of bad in kenpo. Masters with hate in their hearts. Lies, denials, and denigration about and for the contributions of other arts and artists to the kenpo style. Instructors publically belittling other instructors in front of their students when no one was there to challenge their statements. Bullies and ignorant self annointed "experts" who viciously attack others to hide their lack of skill or knowledge. Professors of kenpo more interested in proving why someone else's method is wrong then improving upon their own. All of that is unfortunately common, and all of it brings shame on our art.

But there is good too. I've seen it on the forums, and at seminars. I've talked to several people I met on the forums, both on the phone and in person. I see several people here who are willing to suffer being belittled and insulted in order to share what they have learned with anyone willing to listen. I know instructors with over thirty years in the art who still happily teach white belt class and take pride in yellow belt tests. I know many men who think that "I don't know" is an acceptable answer, and then seek to educate themselves going forward. That brings great honor to what we do.

Ultimately, it's up to each of us, individually, to be the best influence we can be on those who follow. Once you become an instructor it's not about you anymore. It's about the next generation. We set the standard for the future of kenpo every time we show up at the school.

In the end, kenpo will become what the majority of its practitioners want it to be. Each of us acting alone will collectively determine the direction of our art. That's why I try to be the best kenpoka, instructor, and person I can be. Every day. Every class. And always seek to expand my knowledge and skill through study and practice.

Hagakure reads, "Lord Yagyu said he did not know the way to defeat others, but he knew the way to gain victory over himself-it was to become better today than yesterday, and better tomorrow than today-working in this manner, day by day, all one's life."

That is how we make kenpo what we want it to be. That is our responsibility. To be worthy of our inheritance.

Or not. That is the choice before us.


-Rob

Good posts guys! :) I dont doubt that all 'families' fight, but like I said, it seems like theres more fighting in Kenpo. And yes, I'm sure there're many in Kenpo that are not like what I describe, but IMO, it seems like those are the minority, with the majority doing the fighting.
 

KenpoDave

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Growing up, the person I fought with most often was my brother, for whom I would have laid down my life in a heartbeat.

I don't think that bickering always reflects a lack of familial tendencies. I have also found that people who tend to bicker on the forums are much more humble and generous in person.
 

Yondanchris

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About a week or so ago, I was talking to a friend of mine, who trains in Kaju. (Yes, he's a member of this forum. :)) Anyways, we were talking about various things, and he had mentioned that he was doing some sparring with someone from another Kaju school. I had commented that it was nice that everyone seems to get along well, theres lots of Ohana, everyones a big family, etc, even though people may be from various branches.

I had said to him that it would be nice if that same feeling was also in Kenpo. Seems like its rare to get 2 Kenpo people to agree on much of anything. Proof of this can be found on certain forums. The subject will be on a technique, how its done, etc., and next thing ya know, someone makes the comment that the other person doesnt know what they're talking about, they take shots at their inst., and overall, act like an ***.

Now, maybe the same thing happens in Kaju as well, I dont know, but on the surface, it sure doesnt seem that way.

Wow your right,

I have some friends who do Kaju and they seem more connected more family or "ohana" like than the Ken(m)po population in general. It somewhat reminds me of what has also happened in the evangelical Christian world...but I digress...I would love to see Ken(m)po become more united, but its the attitude and nature of humanity to divide and dispute over anything and everything...Perhaps we could petition the kenpo world for a peace pact or some sort of bi-lateral peace organization for the preservation of Ken(m)po. We see this type of solidarity in the Kwons in Korea and abroad, why not with Ken(m)po?

Musings of a hack,

Chris
 

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