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The Motion Kenpo (Red Book) curriculum was setup by Mr. Parker a long time ago. I think that if he were still alive he would have drastically simplified the earlier curriculum to deal with basics more AND keep the students engaged.BODE: >>I believe that the structure of the Motion Kenpo curriculum is not ideal given what we know about science today. That may be a controversial statement, but simply put, the techniques are too complex at the early stages. They don't allow for repetition of the simplistic basics and students tend to get lost in this see of motion. Too many options. Too much to know. And if you don't start teaching the "fun stuff" quickly, then you lose the students. It's a double edged sword.
Can you please elaborate further on what you mean by the above statement? In particular I would like to know more about the too many options part
I do feel like taking a small movement in isolation from a technique and developing it further can lead to some interesting advancements but I have always found it so difficult to explain both the process and the results without direct transmission.
Take for example the strike to the neck in the technique Delayed Sword. From POO to POC I feel like the body can learn to transfer more energy into the target if the body is moved in a particular sequence, it gets to the point that the strike is very powerful but also effortlessly so
It gets to the point that you can tap the target and due to the preceding sequential set-up combined with your hyper-efficient body mechanics your generating enough energy to do the job because your energy is more focused and thus able to penetrate deeper into the target.
This is versus a person who has not isolated the movement and refined it, who ends up expending tremendous energy to CHOP the target but ends up absorbing or in other ways preventing a full depth penetration of the force through the target. The unrefined movement often has the muscles of the upper body (in the case of this strike) working while the center and lower parts of the body play catch up.
The pressure of contact is often maintained to long on the target which has the effect of turning a strike into more of a push and really dulling the amount of internal damage. However, it does have the effect of moving the opponent and so may appear to have a greater effect. Effect yes but damage not so much.
Anyway I bet this will be another failed attempt at explaining this process and the results that can come from it.
It is so much easier to say OK how does this feel? OK now how does this feel? Big difference right?
Looking back all I can find is some rare footage, pictures and some stories hard to say if they were really good or just thought they were.Just look at a black belt trained in a Tracy School or an American Karate School in the 70's or by Parker in the early days and look at what you have today and that is where your answer lies....
And obviously my analysis should be prefaced by "For the most part"
Your post shows dept, but ends with a lack of insight. Why must you explain BASICS on a physical level??? Could it be BASICS are used and are necessary for mental conditioning as well. Our ancestors used Basics as an initiation process. A Zulu warrior was put through many tests, few had to do with weather one could punch or Kick, as they had been doing that since childhood. Basics were used to measure ones heart, desire & humbleness. That way the Teacher could test the Initiate without giving away the secrets of the Mystery System. It is not always about the physical.Often I hear it said that having correct basics is the key to a thousand martial arts related buzzwords and I do agree that having the ability to execute basics correctly is very important. The stories passed down over the years about great martial artists training in the glorious past are filled with tales of students who had to endure the drilling of this or that basic stance, punch, kick or whatever for countless months until at last that single basic was polished to the instructors standard of perfection. With so many old masters shaking their heads in disgust at the half-baked applications of various martial arts I thought I would go ahead and start a thread about the various approaches to BASICS.
It seems to me that many martial arts that are famous for having students that have highly polished basics tend to emphasize the learning of only a handful of basics to begin with. For example western boxing teaches a handful of basics compared to some other arts; the result is that they can use those basics very well. In Wing Chun again we see the focus on only a handful of basics and many creative means to ingrain them. Those martial arts are very popular even though they are basics focused, proving that you dont necessarily lose students or popularity just because you drill basics as long as you have a variety of ways in which to train them, speed bag, heavy bag, shadow boxing, focus mitts, with resistance, without resistance, partner drills, light contact, full contact, blindfolded etc It only gets boring if you run the exact same move over and over without variation. It gets more than boring; it becomes a hindrance to adaptability.
One approach of an Instructor I visited somewhere in Western Asia was to have his students stand in the Horse Stance in front of the wooden post and execute alternating corkscrew punches for the entire length of his class, just shy of an hour and always to the same spot roughly equivalent to their solar plexus level. Each class he picked a different basic and they repeated the same process. Frankly, I was surprised he managed to keep any students at all but he was one of only 3 instructors in that area and his students felt that this type of training would be sufficient to protect them in an actual self-defense situation. Who was I to judge?
Another instructor I visited used to have his students train basics in a method similar to Yoga, where they placed pressure on a part of the basic and maintained it for as long as they could, he had many students and all of them seemed very strong even the little kids. His school was full of all kinds of contraptions that his students used to train the handful of basics he instructed them in.
Over the years I have witnessed some cool approaches to basics but so few approaches produced students that had both good basics and also a vast versatility. In other words I would spar with the practitioners and often felt like I was sparring with robots. They did not have much continuity between one basic and the next. It was like whoever programmed this robot only gave him a handful of functions and while those functions would have been devastating had they landed the robot could not improvise well.
The complexity of basics is a fascinating subject of study. I feel like a popular misconception exists with regards to what a good basic IS A good basic is not an IS but rather it DOES, by that I mean that it is not about looking good with a particular movement but in understanding all the ways that move can influence your target and yourself. The training of a single basic should not be about doing a side kick with perfect form over and over (while good form is a part of basic training) rather it should be about how many ways you can use it, how many ways you can set it up, how many ways you can counter it, what can follow it, what can follow if its countered, how it feels internally, what speeds and angles of travel, how many targets, how can it be faked, feinted and so on.
It is OK if you disagree with me. I could be wrong but in terms of practicality what good is the perfect answer if I have to wait for the perfect question?
What are the most common attacks? Punches - left and right straights, left and right elliptical/round. Possibly starting with a push. Most often very committed. Possibly followed by a grab/bear hug.And so what are the most common attacks? I call bull on that line of thinking as being very one sided to promote anothers line of thinking. I have had white belts after one month of training effectively use a technique from there material to defend themselves. So to say that is ludicrous IMHO. Now if you want to exploit and promote the basics as being the most important thing a person will learn, hey I am all for it and couldn't agree more. But there can and have been so many "drills" developed from beginner level techniques that is crazy. Look at the bigger picture and realize that techniques themselves are really just drills to hone and practice basics in different scenarios. Not any different than what Doc has you guys doing in your videos.... with the exception of the use of "pams" and "bams" and so on. But I digress... It's all good, you just have to pick the parts that work best for you and exploit them to your own limit of understanding or ability. we should never go through life thinking that we are the only ones that know or do...