Tailoring the art to the individual is something I find myself thinking exceedingly about at the moment. Unfortunately I find myself coming up short in terms of answering the how of this topic.
Therefore, I would appreciate any theoretical and practical insight that any of you can offer, especially in relation to kenpo techniques. How do you see this being done in the system and what have you done specifically to tailor the art both to yourself or to students.
Thanks in advance.
Tailoring can be looked at in a couple ways: 1) adjusting yourself to fit any given situation--which includes the physical as well as mental and emotional areas, and 2)fitting movements to our body type, which would include size, strength, speed, injuries, health issues, etc.
We are all to have our own signature of movement, and we should constantly be tailoring the suit to ourselves. Instructors should be able to tailor on the fly to student's needs.
You asked about some specific examples as related to techniques. If somebody has a bad knee (I have an adult student who was in a car accident and she can't bend one of her knees much at all--she has a limp because of this). I will use delayed sword as an example of how to tailor this technique to her. Since she can't bend her knee she obviously can't perform a snapping ball kick to the groin; but, she can do more of a field goal type kick from the ground up to kick someone in the pills with either her foot, or her shin. The line of force would then be on the vertical, rather than the horizontal plane, but the technique will still work for her that way.
Several examples of tailoring could be elaborated on. In fact, Tailoring in Kenpo could be a good book project for somebody. Not me, because I have too many things in the works--I'm backed up for a while.
I hope this helped a little.
Michael Miller, CKF