Have you used Kenpo?

Have you used Kenpo?

Joined: October 15th, 2008, 4:41 pm

October 15th, 2008, 4:55 pm #1

I was wondering if anyone has used Kenpo to defend themselves or another in a street altercation. If so, what happened and were you able to use a complete technique, parts of one, or a combination? I've never used Kenpo since starting in the Art 10 years ago-I work in law enforcement and the laws of use of force are restrictive as to what techs and tactics are used. Basically, its the amount of force used to subdue an attacker, overcome resistance, effect arrest, or gain compliance with a lawful order.
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Joined: February 4th, 2004, 8:13 pm

October 15th, 2008, 5:29 pm #2

Sir,

This subject has come up quite a bit on this forum since I have been viewing it over for the past seven years. Although we ultimately want to avoid trouble and be aware of potentially dangerous situations to help prevent them from occuring, Kenpo teaches us to deal with the worst case scenario.

I have had to protect myself several times, mostly related to jobs. As a normal civilian I have only had to protect myself maybe three times, but as a bouncer for five years I put lots of things to use--primarily in the contact/control manipulation realm. I also worked for Child Protective Services for three years which put me in hairy situations of using mostly the mental aspects of our art--especially the de-escalating of situations when people threatened me for taking their children away.

With all that being said, we train to have good form and to look "pretty" so to speak. Especially throughout the forms. I love it when people say, "Your forward bow didn't look great." Anyway, the news flash is that on the streets it isn't pretty. In fact, it is quite ugly. If you think you will as great as you do in the studio you are nuts. It's not about how you look. It's about getting away alive.

On the streets you will use your conscious mind in the realm of awareness and assessment, but in the heat of a physical self-defense situation you will use your subconscious mind--all of that which is engrained in you through hard core practice and reality based mind set. I believe mindset, attitude and intent are three major indicators of your success or lack thereof on the street.

On the street you probably will not use an ideal phase technique as written. You will use bits and pieces of all techniques. When we look at the ideal phase that doesn't mean that many of the techniques wouldn't work. We just need to realize that the odds of us pulling one off are slim. We will, however, through position recognition be able to continue our action with bits and pieces of other techniques. Let's keep in mind that our goal is to stop the attack and get out of there. If it takes you seven strikes to stop the attack your Kenpo needs work.

In all the physical sitations I was in I used bits and pieces of techniques. I never recall using an actual ideal phase technique in its entirety. Keep in mind our techniques are reaction based. We respond to a certain stimulus: a grab, punch, push, pull, on rushing attack, kick, etc. What do you do when you "have" to strike first? I feel that is where the sparring helps you. I am a believer that sparring is sport and although may assist you for the street in some ways, there are more important methods of training to get you ready for a street encounter.

I have had several instances where I have had to make the first move--mostly in my bouncing days. If I have to break up a fight or throw someone out the door I can't wait for them to swing. I have one self-defense situation where I was in the bar that I worked at, but wasn't working at the time and this big guy with several self-made tatoos walked in and said, "Where is Mike Miller? I am going to kick his ass." One of the bouncers told me about this so I walked up to the guy to calm him down.

When I walked up to him I said, "Hey, buddy may I help you with something?" He said, "Who are you?" I said, "I'm Mike Miller, what can I do for you?" He immediately got right in my face, puffed his huge chest out bringing his arms behind him and said, "You want a piece of the undertaker?" Honestly, I tried not to laugh. Because he was in my comfort zone I though I would leg sweep him taking him down real fast and he probably wouldn't want to fight me after that. So I swept his right leg with my right leg while using a palm strike motion to his chin to put his weight behind him (I did not strike him--just just the palm as a push). He fell back into a table. I stepped back into a left neutral bow at a good distance away from him. He then started yelling some choice words and I shook my finger at him and said, "No more. We are done."

He did not agree so he rushed at me with his right hand cocked high. This was the only self-defense scenario I was in where I struck first. I through a step through right thrusting side kick (using my heel) and hit him square in the chest, which stopped his momentum. On my way down beyond the angle of no return I used marriage of gravity as I landed and gave him a lead right outward diagonal whipping back knuckle to his nose while continuing a figure eight orbit I finished with a right inward handsword to his temple and he went right down. I pinned him down with a close kneel, checked his arm with my left hand and chambered my right hand high, just in case. He was covering his face up and saying, "Okay, okay, I'm done."

I helped the guy up and he had blood all over. I did not realize it but my strike to the nose splattered blood all over me and him. When I helped him up I cleaned him off with some towels. I also cleaned myself up. I asked him why he attacked me and he said, "I just want respect." I told him that he had just gotten his butt kicked by a pip squeak in front of about 50 people. I don't think his approach worked. Keep in mind at the time I was 5'9" 170 pounds and this guy was probably 5'10" 270. He was a big boy.

The next day he called my studio and wanted me to teach him. I told him I would have a meeting with him. He came in and he said, "I have fought a lot of Karate guys and none of them were able to kick me like you did. How did you do it?"

I replied with, "Easy. I lifted my right leg, extended it out and hit you."

To make a long story short I never accepted him as a student for obvious reasons and then after my investigations of him I found out that he was a serious trouble maker in many areas.

I have many other stories I could tell you, some where I was faced with weapons, but I have typed enough. The key is try to avoid situations. I hate fighting and I don't want to use my skill, but it is nice to know that this stuff works.

Take Care,

Michael Miller, CKF
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Joined: February 1st, 2005, 10:53 pm

October 15th, 2008, 5:49 pm #3

what Mr Miller is saying is that technique practice in the ideal phase engrains proper use of all basics. so when break down occurs, you don't make stupid mistakes in motion that hinder power, speed, accuracy, balance, directional harmony etc.

in my opinion kenpo SD techniques teach you how to react, use directional harmony, and be able to see/notice/create/take advantage of, your opponents reaction and target openings. That and the ability to stay in motion. I think it puts us at an advantage against boxer and street fighter types as they only see and train the "one-two". we on the other hand train to stay in motion and keep the situation rolling in our favor till it ends. As well, the more I kickbox, the more I see the simplification and these ideas give me more of an advantage over the guy who just trains to kickbox or street fight.

A good question to ask would be, where does the SD tech end, and follow up begin. which begs the question, what are these things really teaching and how many ways are there really to defend ones self.

techniques in whole, well some believe they are there to use in whole. some believe in "even-if' or "formulation" which would be another way of sayin, adapt to the situation as it develops, slipping from one ideal to the next, only using techs in part, which would then again define what I wrote above. but if your jumpin from ideal to ideal in parts, then you are just utilizing basics in combination where they fit, not necessarily techniques in part or whole.

what is a SD technique anyway? A rapid combination of preset motion, basics strung together? a basic in it's own application explored to reveal many applications?

I detect a debate coming.
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Joined: August 5th, 2004, 4:22 pm

October 15th, 2008, 9:51 pm #4

I was wondering if anyone has used Kenpo to defend themselves or another in a street altercation. If so, what happened and were you able to use a complete technique, parts of one, or a combination? I've never used Kenpo since starting in the Art 10 years ago-I work in law enforcement and the laws of use of force are restrictive as to what techs and tactics are used. Basically, its the amount of force used to subdue an attacker, overcome resistance, effect arrest, or gain compliance with a lawful order.
I use kenpo everyday. Every night when I shut my car door, I use a hook kick...lol
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Joined: October 16th, 2008, 3:03 am

October 16th, 2008, 3:20 am #5

I was wondering if anyone has used Kenpo to defend themselves or another in a street altercation. If so, what happened and were you able to use a complete technique, parts of one, or a combination? I've never used Kenpo since starting in the Art 10 years ago-I work in law enforcement and the laws of use of force are restrictive as to what techs and tactics are used. Basically, its the amount of force used to subdue an attacker, overcome resistance, effect arrest, or gain compliance with a lawful order.
I've been a police officer in the streets of miami, florida for a little over three years now and over 20 years in Kenpo. Yes, we do have as Law Enforcement professionals a use of force matrix, but it is only a guide line for us to use. I can state with honor and pride that KENPO has an essential tool for survival out on the street. Now, that I work in an undercover capacity its become even more essential, because there are times when your undercover that you do not have a firearm available to you. As for completing Techs when performed in a SD capacity depending on the situation you improvise, and continue to follow the principles and concepts we've learned for years and modify your techs on an as needed basis.
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Joined: December 5th, 2006, 3:38 pm

October 16th, 2008, 4:34 pm #6

If you don't mind me asking, where do you train?
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Joined: October 16th, 2008, 3:03 am

October 16th, 2008, 4:56 pm #7

I started with Manny Reyes when as child and upon achieving my Black Belt I moved on and continued my trainig with Eduardo Godoy one of Reyes Black Belts who also departed from Reyes. I also train on and off with Ray Irrizary (Karate Ray).
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Joined: October 14th, 2005, 5:16 am

October 16th, 2008, 5:41 pm #8

I've been a police officer in the streets of miami, florida for a little over three years now and over 20 years in Kenpo. Yes, we do have as Law Enforcement professionals a use of force matrix, but it is only a guide line for us to use. I can state with honor and pride that KENPO has an essential tool for survival out on the street. Now, that I work in an undercover capacity its become even more essential, because there are times when your undercover that you do not have a firearm available to you. As for completing Techs when performed in a SD capacity depending on the situation you improvise, and continue to follow the principles and concepts we've learned for years and modify your techs on an as needed basis.
Hi,

I was a LEO, retired 30 years ago from LAPD. Yea I am old, but my career was cut short, do to injuries and back surgeries, from IOD stuff.

What I would like to say is this, I found that somethings could be used and some just was not acceptable because of the Policy of the Dept.

They put a lot of studies out and came up what they thought was best and if you did not use their guideline even if you won and was right, you could and would get disciplined for being out of policy...

Happened all the time...Kenpo is not a good form of self defense (or restraining) in the minds of most "Law Makers"... True, like it or not. They tell you what gun you can carry, what type of baton that can and can not be used. Why would they allow you to strike, kick, and beat like Kenpo shows all the time...They don't..

Kenpo is not a real good example of the proper restraining tool for LEO. Not because it does not work, because, it is not acceptible in their minds.

You should think of this when you use it and not Dept Policy approved.

PS we were using much more violent action back then and one of the reasons Policy has changed and Kenpo is even further away from proper use now. I was trained in Kajukenbo and Marine Corps tactics... I am well qualified, believe me.

Gary
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Joined: October 16th, 2008, 3:03 am

October 16th, 2008, 6:14 pm #9

I COMMEND YOU FOR YOUR 30 PLUS YEARS OF SERVING THE COMMUNITY, AND OBVIOUSLY YOU A SOLID BACKGROUND WHEN IT COMES TO SD. I CAN ONLY ATTEST TO MY EXPRIENCE AS LEO AND HOW KENPO HAS WORKED FOR ME. YES MY DEPARTMENT HAS USE OF FORCE GUIDELINES, BUT I ALSO CAN SAY I HAVE BEEN ABLE ADD, MODIFY AND MAKE THE NECESARY CHANGES LIKE ADDING TAKE DOWNS, RETRAINT TACTICS, AND OTHERS TOOLS TO TAILOR KENPO TO MY NEEDS AS A LEO.
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Joined: October 14th, 2005, 5:16 am

October 16th, 2008, 8:14 pm #10

Ok, fine, are you yelling at me, and if so why? The situation you are mentioning works for you...That is good.

Gary
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