One interesting aspect of the martial arts is the more esoteric concepts of health and increasing ability from their practice. American kenpo karate for the most part is completely devoid of them. This is simply fact. This is not to say that within the art there are not excellent people. Simply that there is virtually no training in areas that are considered critical in other arts. There are a variety of reasons for this and I think possible the main one is that this is America. Energy work and manipulation of energy is simply not part of our culture, spirituality or health care. We are also a very fast moving culture that wants everything in very tangible form. Little value is put on things you cannot see or purchase at the mall. I also think that Ed Parker, who obviously knew about the other side of the arts was jaded by his religious doctrine. He certainly did not want concepts that appeared to conflict with his ideas in the art.
Mostly Americans and I include American Kenpo people in this consider the physical world to be exactly that-Physical. So everything deals with the material. Also spirituality of Americans is reflective of a view that is very material even though for example Christians may believe in a spirit world. But as far as understanding the concepts of energy, karma and other realities, they simply dont. Everyone is entitled to their view.
So moving to the martial arts and the more esoteric healthful aspects. American kenpo while possibly being a wonderful art from a physics standpoint does nothing to improve the health and energetic resonance of our world. It includes no concept of diet as related to energy conservation, transfer and manipulation. Diet is fundamental in these areas. It is critical. Not necessarily to be fanatical but to understand how it effects the balance of the body and the practice of the art. You are an energy body that functions at certain dimensional resonance and so is food. So food is energy and so are you. Its resonance will effect yours.
There are different dietary approaches that can keep the body in more optimum states of resonance. Macrobiotics is one. There are others.
Another area that American kenpo people simply do not understand is sexual energy. All of the power that you want in your kenpo comes ultimately from your sexual energy. You can have great understanding of kenpo and good technique but if you are draining your energy to achieve goals it is counterproductive. I know of a number of masters of the martial arts who are excellent in execution but they are burning the candle at both ends to achieve the material product. Managing energy in the body involves conservation and energy is rooted in the lower chakras and is sex energy. If you think diet can effect your energy body sexual energy mismanagement can effect it much more. It does not mean you can never lose semen or ejaculate. It does not mean that the man or women cannot orgasm genitally. But it should not be as often as you think and every time you do it with few exceptions you tear down the energy body.
Not only do people think they can eat whatever they want but they think sex as practiced traditionally is good for you. This is very far from the truth. Most people think that they can just have as much sex as they want and orgasm genitally as mush as they want and it is a good thing. Guys think there is no impact in losing semen and ejaculating and women think female genital orgasm is psychologically and physically productive because it is a release. All of this is nonsense because if you do these things it may feel good for the moment but it will mentally imbalance you and physically destroy you. This is not to say that individuals in higher planes of conscious awareness do not have great sex lives. They do but energy is manipulated through practice of control. Ultimately this results in energy reserves far in excess of those who just ant like animals. Our society is filled with sexual dysfunction, perversions, rape and all kinds of stuff. Mainly because of the fact that we have disconnected sexual drive with other energetic functions. It in reality is all one thing. In our society because of the disconnection children are taught no diversion of their sexual energy other than sex or lack of it. This understanding carries over into adulthood.
You are an energy body and that impacts everything. All energetic inputs will alter that body. In physical form your deepest drive is sex because it is tied to procreation. It is the energy that drives you to survive, to eat, to do all things. So sex is a major energetic input. Other inputs are diet, environment, what you expose yourself to and who you associate with. The energy body must be conserved and must resonate correctly. Emotions are also a key factor in tearing down the energy body. Self importance is a main culprit in its lack of correct resonance relative to emotions.
You are an energetic hologram that needs to maintain cohesion and resonance. Stability of the energy body is key. As stated different things will effect that stability. Sex is very high up on the scale. So is diet, emotional interaction and exposure to fields of aberrant resonance. This is the other side of the martial arts that kenpo has remained pretty much out of touch with.
During the daily practice of American Kenpo, you burn calories and improve your health by developing your endurance and power, you increase blood circulation which enhances your mantabolism and enhance your flexibility and so much more.
What I think Ed Parker was trying to avoid was putting a mystical spin on the art that serves no true purpose. Martial Arts has been full of charlatans claiming
secret, mystical knowledge in order to sucker the gullible.
In Chinese culture the Taoist ideas are used to explain a lot of martial arts, that is part of the culture but it is not a superior way to look at Martial Concepts for students who are not raised in that culture.
When a Tai Chi expert uses the technique Brush Knee Twist Step on an opponent, no magical energy, comes spiraling from the Dan Tian, passing through gates in the spine and shoots out of the palm that knocks an attacker down. Rather the physical energy of the attacker misses the target, the attackers balance is compromised and the Tai Chi expert applies the push or palm strike as the attacker is trying to recover, no magic is involved, no mystic power needed, just good common sense. If the Tai Chi expert has really good timing and skill, the attacker may look like he was dropped with hardly any effort or knocked back a great distance but again its no different then any other martial arts technique done with skill and timing.
I for one am glad that American Kenpo is not bogged down in so much mystical insanity, like some other martial arts these days, look at Ninjutsu or Tai Chi Chuan, how many Charlatans are our claiming to have secret powers and other BS, sad that they cant just buy a big vehicle to compensate for personal problems, no they want to claim mystical powers, oh well.