Kenpo: A Fluid And Changing Art

Kenpo: A Fluid And Changing Art

Joined: October 22nd, 2011, 10:29 pm

October 22nd, 2011, 10:53 pm #1

This is my first posting on this site, and I am new here. However, I have been practicing Kenpo since I was five. In 1995, I earned my Kenpo Black Belt, though never Certified through any organization. My Instructor was a lady named Tabitha Parker (no relation). I have been studying various Martial Arts since that time, both in the Military and out of it. The only "Certification" that I hold, in fact, is a 1st Dan in TaeKwonDo (Kukkiwon). I figured to study the one art that most Kenpo practitioners despise. What I have noticed throughout my time practicing and learning in the various arts removed from Kenpo, is that a good majority claim to hold ties to some style of Kenpo. I ask myself why? Is it that Kenpo is largely a Hybrid Martial Art and so therefor it has taken pieces from alot of other styles to make up its body, or do we have the reverse? Or do we have a little of both? I tend to believe that latter. Kenpo is an art that has evolved from many styles and an art that has also given to many styles. As many Kenpo practitioners as there are, there are styles of Kenpo. It is encouraged to make Kenpo YOUR Kenpo. Become comfortable in your abilities and individualism. Use that to your advantage in the practice and application of Kenpo. I believe that the reason why I enjoy Kenpo so much is that it is so versatile. It is always changing. It is always comfortable to me. Maybe that is my history in practice, or maybe that is because Kenpo seems to have no real hard and fast environment to which it is confined. The practitioner is able to quickly adapt to a changing situation, and ultimately conquer it. I absolutely love this style. I have always he ability to learn more, and have more study to do regarding this subject, but what do you think of this? What is your opinion? I would love to hear responses. Thank you for your time.

Kind Regards,
Andrew L. Patterson
Godan
Patterson Fighting Arts
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Joined: May 7th, 2009, 2:29 am

October 24th, 2011, 1:24 am #2


We act or react in a fight along the lines of how we train. If we train consistantly in methods that are logical and practical we can expect to avoid fluidly changing into piss poor applications when under pressure. On the other hand if we train to chase limbs and follow long round about ways to end a fight we can expect to be injured or worst under realistic pressure.

Take for example an attacker at kicking range starts to launch a head high roundhouse kick at you. If you train to close with the attacker who is trying to balance on one leg and shut them down right away, either by kicking the knee joint, groin or smashing the kickers face in with some punches, your on the right track if instead your training to first settle into a fighting stance and block the kicking leg before doing some thing else your learning garbage martial arts.

It does not matter if they call it Kenpo or Jujutsu or Tae Kwon Do, those are just names... The reality on the street is fairly constant. People say what works for one person may not work for another. Why is that?

Is it because a strong muscle man weighing 240 pounds can block a kick from attackers that are on avg smaller, so that makes blocking kicks a good technique for him while the 90 pound elderly man cannot block kicks from attackers that are on avg stronger, so blocking kicks is a poor technique for him so he should use deflection. No I disagree blocking kicks may work for the strong man but it is still a piss poor technique while what works for the smaller weaker person will also work for the strong and is by far a better technique.

What I am trying to say is that tailoring things to an individual is not an excuse to use piss poor techniques or violate common sense logic for the sake of comfort during training because that comfort is an illusion that will go away as soon as reality is felt. To often it serves as an excuse in Kenpo.
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Joined: February 4th, 2004, 8:13 pm

October 26th, 2011, 5:44 pm #3

"The reality on the street is fairly constant."

I agree.


"People say what works for one person may not work for another. Why is that?"

I agree with your points. The reason, however, that what works for one person may not for another is due to many environmental factors. The attacker is different for one. One attacker may take something that another attacker couldn't. Secondly, mental state. A dude high on drugs is much different than a punk trying to act tough. A psycho path is much different than your ex brother in law who has been in only two fights in his life.

The reality is, not only is it true that what works for one may not work for another, but also what works for me in one instance may not work for me in another. (I could punch one dude in the solar plexus and drop him. Then I could punch another dude the same way with same power and not drop him due to his size, his state of mind, etc). The good news is Kenpo adapts to the situation and we know how to "keep going."

No single technique will work for everybody, and no single technique will work for you in all situations. Not even a bullet.

If you haven't read it yet get the book "Meditations on Violence" by Rory Miller (no relation). Great book.
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Joined: May 7th, 2009, 2:29 am

October 27th, 2011, 12:53 pm #4

I dont disagree that environmental factors effect the situation. You cannot deny however that stepping in with a punch to the solar plexus on any opponent without having both a follow-up and a safe entry is simply poor self-defense. That is basically my point, far to often the commerical martial arts are watered down to the point that common sense flys out the window and is replaced with wishful thinking.

Just because a poor technique worked on a light weight, unskilled opponent does not make it any better of a technique. I am of the opinion that if its only good in Hollywood, it should only be taught to actors on the set of a movie and not at a martial arts school that professed to teach any kind of practical self-defense method.

If your attacked on the street and your reflex is to do a reverse punch to the solar plexus with a chambered fist and deep back stance, guess what... you are dreaming if you think your attacker is going to let you realize you failed and then give you time to flow and change and keep going etc... they are going to nail you with a cross or hook that will put your lights out. The idea that a person can get away with a few failed techniques and keep going without paying for those sins is a myth. You may never get the chance to change and flow if you use a piss poor method to start with.

Self Defense is not an in and out dance for points, its not a boxing match and its not a Jet Li movie either. Its over before people realize it started, you either train yourself to act in the split second it takes you to sense your under attack with a practical method or you end up in the fetal position wishing you could get a refund from that joker with the red and black belt who taught you years worth of garbage.
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Joined: February 4th, 2004, 8:13 pm

October 27th, 2011, 3:53 pm #5

"You cannot deny however that stepping in with a punch to the solar plexus on any opponent without having both a follow-up and a safe entry is simply poor self-defense."

That is correct. I was just using that as my example. I could have said front kick to the balls, elbow to the mandible, back knuckle to the nose, etc. I was just using it to make a point. I totally agree that you don't want to bet your life on one move, and although it's possible to drop people with one move we don't want to assume that we will.
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Joined: September 23rd, 2007, 2:37 am

October 28th, 2011, 1:54 am #6

I dont disagree that environmental factors effect the situation. You cannot deny however that stepping in with a punch to the solar plexus on any opponent without having both a follow-up and a safe entry is simply poor self-defense. That is basically my point, far to often the commerical martial arts are watered down to the point that common sense flys out the window and is replaced with wishful thinking.

Just because a poor technique worked on a light weight, unskilled opponent does not make it any better of a technique. I am of the opinion that if its only good in Hollywood, it should only be taught to actors on the set of a movie and not at a martial arts school that professed to teach any kind of practical self-defense method.

If your attacked on the street and your reflex is to do a reverse punch to the solar plexus with a chambered fist and deep back stance, guess what... you are dreaming if you think your attacker is going to let you realize you failed and then give you time to flow and change and keep going etc... they are going to nail you with a cross or hook that will put your lights out. The idea that a person can get away with a few failed techniques and keep going without paying for those sins is a myth. You may never get the chance to change and flow if you use a piss poor method to start with.

Self Defense is not an in and out dance for points, its not a boxing match and its not a Jet Li movie either. Its over before people realize it started, you either train yourself to act in the split second it takes you to sense your under attack with a practical method or you end up in the fetal position wishing you could get a refund from that joker with the red and black belt who taught you years worth of garbage.
"you are dreaming if you think your attacker is going to let you realize you failed and then give you time to flow and change and keep going etc.."

What I get from Mike's reference to Kenpo's ability to adapt and keep going is more along the lines of the "running the table" analogy. Certainly, you want to train to reflexively cut to the kill shot, but - without anticipating failure - shouldn't you also give consideration to a nice leave, to stick with billiards thing? I don't want to put all my eggs in one basket, but rather train to chew up my opponent such that, if one move "fails" I won't have compromised my position and, ideally, I can continue without pause until I drop the guy.

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Joined: May 7th, 2009, 2:29 am

October 28th, 2011, 5:00 pm #7

I like the: I wont have compromised my position...

I agree that when its time to leave a nice leave is ideal.

WHEN is it time to leave?



The great thing about Kenpo in my opinion is not that we can change when things go bad but that we pick the right tools for any job the first time around. Now I am strictly speaking about self-defense.

The moment you connect you dominate or you get dominated and frankly if your getting dominated your not going to have a good leave. Now if you dont lose your position, you really dont have a pressing need to leave do you?

In truth if you lose your advantage or position you can get it back and that is one of the more enjoyable things to learn.

Just thoughts...
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Joined: September 23rd, 2007, 2:37 am

October 29th, 2011, 3:51 am #8

Thanks. Always respect your insights and generally find myself in agreement with them.

To clarify: I didn't mean "leave" as in "exit" but rather as it applies to pool strategy.
In other words, If I don't sink this shot, I'm at least going to leave you behind the 8 ball. Say my attacker throws a right cross and I answer by advancing to the outside of his punch as I parry with my left and drill him in the solar plexus with a short right punch. IF he doesn't crumple into a heap like I intended, I have at least moved out of reach of his back-up weapon, I'm in position to check his right hand and leg, and I'm still target rich and now at a range that gives me even greater options while it still sucks to be him. So, while it could be said that my initial technique "failed," it is really of no consequence - I just keep on chewing.

















Last edited by DanPuleo on October 29th, 2011, 9:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: May 7th, 2009, 2:29 am

October 29th, 2011, 6:10 pm #9

Thanks for the clarification. Makes sense.
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Joined: January 19th, 2004, 2:11 am

October 30th, 2011, 3:44 pm #10

This is my first posting on this site, and I am new here. However, I have been practicing Kenpo since I was five. In 1995, I earned my Kenpo Black Belt, though never Certified through any organization. My Instructor was a lady named Tabitha Parker (no relation). I have been studying various Martial Arts since that time, both in the Military and out of it. The only "Certification" that I hold, in fact, is a 1st Dan in TaeKwonDo (Kukkiwon). I figured to study the one art that most Kenpo practitioners despise. What I have noticed throughout my time practicing and learning in the various arts removed from Kenpo, is that a good majority claim to hold ties to some style of Kenpo. I ask myself why? Is it that Kenpo is largely a Hybrid Martial Art and so therefor it has taken pieces from alot of other styles to make up its body, or do we have the reverse? Or do we have a little of both? I tend to believe that latter. Kenpo is an art that has evolved from many styles and an art that has also given to many styles. As many Kenpo practitioners as there are, there are styles of Kenpo. It is encouraged to make Kenpo YOUR Kenpo. Become comfortable in your abilities and individualism. Use that to your advantage in the practice and application of Kenpo. I believe that the reason why I enjoy Kenpo so much is that it is so versatile. It is always changing. It is always comfortable to me. Maybe that is my history in practice, or maybe that is because Kenpo seems to have no real hard and fast environment to which it is confined. The practitioner is able to quickly adapt to a changing situation, and ultimately conquer it. I absolutely love this style. I have always he ability to learn more, and have more study to do regarding this subject, but what do you think of this? What is your opinion? I would love to hear responses. Thank you for your time.

Kind Regards,
Andrew L. Patterson
Godan
Patterson Fighting Arts
Adjust, Regulate, Monitor, or Modify. Nothing fancy or complex about it, but easy to remember and apply in the heat of combat, armed or unarmed. Cancel HWD to give TIME, TIME to ARMM, after that, Environment, Target Availability, and Preference come into play to use whatever technique you like.

Have a great gun carryin' Kenpo day

Clyde

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