What is Kenpo?

What is Kenpo?

Joined: February 1st, 2005, 2:47 pm

April 30th, 2009, 10:20 pm #1

I have been reading some posts below and I felt I had to offer some of my thoughts on the matter.

A while ago now, I submitted my thesis for my 1st Degree Black Belt. In it I posited that Kenpo is not it's techniques or Forms, although these can identify it over other systems, but instead it's principles and concepts of motion.

I further proposed that the techniques and Forms are simply methods of facilitating the learning of these concepts and principles.

I read in a thread below that someone believes that the techniques are what make Kenpo what it is and the concepts and principles are not that important. Let's examine that idea.

Firstly, not all American Kenpo use the same techniques. Paul Mills certainly doesn't use the EPAK techniques and neither do the Tracy system, nor Kenpo Connection. Also there are as many different versions of Thundering Hammers as there are instructors. Mr Speakman's techniques often differ dramatically to those taught by Mr Planas. So how can a system like Kenpo be defined by it's techniques if we can't even agree that the techniques of similar name are identical?

Does that mean that Mr Mills Kenpo isn't really Kenpo just because he doesn't teach Five Swords or Thundering Hammers? It is plain to see whenever you witness an AKKI student move that they are well versed in the concepts and principles of motion, just as a Planas student or a Sepulveda one.

Whatever flavour of Kenpo you practice, the most fundamental lesson is how to move. If you don't use principles such as marriage of gravity, back up mass, directional harmony, etc. in the appropriate places then you aren't moving right.

Other arts have similar concepts and principles but aren't refined to the same degree as they are in Kenpo. The techniques teach the student how and why to move a certain way, they are training drills and studies in biomechanics. They are designed to teach the concepts and principles of motion and to teach you how to move with optimum efficiency and effectiveness. Period.

As I said earlier, even EPAK Seniors can differ in their techniques and all were taught by SGM, some of them even during the same time period.

Kenpo is defined by the way we move.

It is also defined by the people who practice the art, without people, there is no art.
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Joined: February 4th, 2004, 8:13 pm

April 30th, 2009, 10:59 pm #2

"Kenpo is defined by the way we move."

And, by the way we think!

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Joined: June 1st, 2005, 5:34 am

May 1st, 2009, 12:00 am #3

I have been reading some posts below and I felt I had to offer some of my thoughts on the matter.

A while ago now, I submitted my thesis for my 1st Degree Black Belt. In it I posited that Kenpo is not it's techniques or Forms, although these can identify it over other systems, but instead it's principles and concepts of motion.

I further proposed that the techniques and Forms are simply methods of facilitating the learning of these concepts and principles.

I read in a thread below that someone believes that the techniques are what make Kenpo what it is and the concepts and principles are not that important. Let's examine that idea.

Firstly, not all American Kenpo use the same techniques. Paul Mills certainly doesn't use the EPAK techniques and neither do the Tracy system, nor Kenpo Connection. Also there are as many different versions of Thundering Hammers as there are instructors. Mr Speakman's techniques often differ dramatically to those taught by Mr Planas. So how can a system like Kenpo be defined by it's techniques if we can't even agree that the techniques of similar name are identical?

Does that mean that Mr Mills Kenpo isn't really Kenpo just because he doesn't teach Five Swords or Thundering Hammers? It is plain to see whenever you witness an AKKI student move that they are well versed in the concepts and principles of motion, just as a Planas student or a Sepulveda one.

Whatever flavour of Kenpo you practice, the most fundamental lesson is how to move. If you don't use principles such as marriage of gravity, back up mass, directional harmony, etc. in the appropriate places then you aren't moving right.

Other arts have similar concepts and principles but aren't refined to the same degree as they are in Kenpo. The techniques teach the student how and why to move a certain way, they are training drills and studies in biomechanics. They are designed to teach the concepts and principles of motion and to teach you how to move with optimum efficiency and effectiveness. Period.

As I said earlier, even EPAK Seniors can differ in their techniques and all were taught by SGM, some of them even during the same time period.

Kenpo is defined by the way we move.

It is also defined by the people who practice the art, without people, there is no art.
Where I stand on this LOL
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Joined: February 1st, 2005, 2:47 pm

May 1st, 2009, 12:08 am #4

"Kenpo is defined by the way we move."

And, by the way we think!
Thanks
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Joined: February 1st, 2005, 2:47 pm

May 1st, 2009, 12:09 am #5

Where I stand on this LOL
just kidding
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Joined: April 29th, 2009, 8:46 am

May 1st, 2009, 8:16 am #6

I have been reading some posts below and I felt I had to offer some of my thoughts on the matter.

A while ago now, I submitted my thesis for my 1st Degree Black Belt. In it I posited that Kenpo is not it's techniques or Forms, although these can identify it over other systems, but instead it's principles and concepts of motion.

I further proposed that the techniques and Forms are simply methods of facilitating the learning of these concepts and principles.

I read in a thread below that someone believes that the techniques are what make Kenpo what it is and the concepts and principles are not that important. Let's examine that idea.

Firstly, not all American Kenpo use the same techniques. Paul Mills certainly doesn't use the EPAK techniques and neither do the Tracy system, nor Kenpo Connection. Also there are as many different versions of Thundering Hammers as there are instructors. Mr Speakman's techniques often differ dramatically to those taught by Mr Planas. So how can a system like Kenpo be defined by it's techniques if we can't even agree that the techniques of similar name are identical?

Does that mean that Mr Mills Kenpo isn't really Kenpo just because he doesn't teach Five Swords or Thundering Hammers? It is plain to see whenever you witness an AKKI student move that they are well versed in the concepts and principles of motion, just as a Planas student or a Sepulveda one.

Whatever flavour of Kenpo you practice, the most fundamental lesson is how to move. If you don't use principles such as marriage of gravity, back up mass, directional harmony, etc. in the appropriate places then you aren't moving right.

Other arts have similar concepts and principles but aren't refined to the same degree as they are in Kenpo. The techniques teach the student how and why to move a certain way, they are training drills and studies in biomechanics. They are designed to teach the concepts and principles of motion and to teach you how to move with optimum efficiency and effectiveness. Period.

As I said earlier, even EPAK Seniors can differ in their techniques and all were taught by SGM, some of them even during the same time period.

Kenpo is defined by the way we move.

It is also defined by the people who practice the art, without people, there is no art.
Martial arts exist out there that are older then our Kenpo that when done by the "masters" of those arts are using the same correct principles with different names.

To try and figure out just what is unique about American Kenpo I look at the whole of American Kenpo, our training methods, forms, techniques etc. It is only when looking at every thing we do that I see the difference between us and other arts

Not to be arrogant but its our systems "way" of bridging the gap between "form & application" that sets us apart.

I have never found (I have looked) a system that has as good a bridge between the form of martial art we are working on the mat and the application we need on the "street" without being dumbed down to much.

I can take some basics and teach people to aggressively pound on bodies (like Krav Maga)and if that's our focus then we will be very application focused but we wont address 2% of what our Kenpo covers further more we will lack the surgical level that can be reached within the higher levels of our art.

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Joined: February 25th, 2009, 8:54 am

May 1st, 2009, 1:06 pm #7

I have been reading some posts below and I felt I had to offer some of my thoughts on the matter.

A while ago now, I submitted my thesis for my 1st Degree Black Belt. In it I posited that Kenpo is not it's techniques or Forms, although these can identify it over other systems, but instead it's principles and concepts of motion.

I further proposed that the techniques and Forms are simply methods of facilitating the learning of these concepts and principles.

I read in a thread below that someone believes that the techniques are what make Kenpo what it is and the concepts and principles are not that important. Let's examine that idea.

Firstly, not all American Kenpo use the same techniques. Paul Mills certainly doesn't use the EPAK techniques and neither do the Tracy system, nor Kenpo Connection. Also there are as many different versions of Thundering Hammers as there are instructors. Mr Speakman's techniques often differ dramatically to those taught by Mr Planas. So how can a system like Kenpo be defined by it's techniques if we can't even agree that the techniques of similar name are identical?

Does that mean that Mr Mills Kenpo isn't really Kenpo just because he doesn't teach Five Swords or Thundering Hammers? It is plain to see whenever you witness an AKKI student move that they are well versed in the concepts and principles of motion, just as a Planas student or a Sepulveda one.

Whatever flavour of Kenpo you practice, the most fundamental lesson is how to move. If you don't use principles such as marriage of gravity, back up mass, directional harmony, etc. in the appropriate places then you aren't moving right.

Other arts have similar concepts and principles but aren't refined to the same degree as they are in Kenpo. The techniques teach the student how and why to move a certain way, they are training drills and studies in biomechanics. They are designed to teach the concepts and principles of motion and to teach you how to move with optimum efficiency and effectiveness. Period.

As I said earlier, even EPAK Seniors can differ in their techniques and all were taught by SGM, some of them even during the same time period.

Kenpo is defined by the way we move.

It is also defined by the people who practice the art, without people, there is no art.
"Other arts have similar concepts and principles but aren't refined to the same degree as they are in Kenpo."




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Joined: August 9th, 2003, 1:19 pm

May 1st, 2009, 9:53 pm #8

I have been reading some posts below and I felt I had to offer some of my thoughts on the matter.

A while ago now, I submitted my thesis for my 1st Degree Black Belt. In it I posited that Kenpo is not it's techniques or Forms, although these can identify it over other systems, but instead it's principles and concepts of motion.

I further proposed that the techniques and Forms are simply methods of facilitating the learning of these concepts and principles.

I read in a thread below that someone believes that the techniques are what make Kenpo what it is and the concepts and principles are not that important. Let's examine that idea.

Firstly, not all American Kenpo use the same techniques. Paul Mills certainly doesn't use the EPAK techniques and neither do the Tracy system, nor Kenpo Connection. Also there are as many different versions of Thundering Hammers as there are instructors. Mr Speakman's techniques often differ dramatically to those taught by Mr Planas. So how can a system like Kenpo be defined by it's techniques if we can't even agree that the techniques of similar name are identical?

Does that mean that Mr Mills Kenpo isn't really Kenpo just because he doesn't teach Five Swords or Thundering Hammers? It is plain to see whenever you witness an AKKI student move that they are well versed in the concepts and principles of motion, just as a Planas student or a Sepulveda one.

Whatever flavour of Kenpo you practice, the most fundamental lesson is how to move. If you don't use principles such as marriage of gravity, back up mass, directional harmony, etc. in the appropriate places then you aren't moving right.

Other arts have similar concepts and principles but aren't refined to the same degree as they are in Kenpo. The techniques teach the student how and why to move a certain way, they are training drills and studies in biomechanics. They are designed to teach the concepts and principles of motion and to teach you how to move with optimum efficiency and effectiveness. Period.

As I said earlier, even EPAK Seniors can differ in their techniques and all were taught by SGM, some of them even during the same time period.

Kenpo is defined by the way we move.

It is also defined by the people who practice the art, without people, there is no art.
Though you miss qouted me and misunderstood me i will try to stay on your point. You say the principles & concepts are the essence of Kenpo. That they should come first when defining the Art. The problem is P & C are not tangible. You can not see, hear,taste, or touch a principle or idea until it is translated into something the senses can respond to. Would you board a plane if u were told the pilot has never flown, but he's got an idea? No my friend, P&C only the air. But It is the floote that makes the music you enjoy. Secondly, its the technique that defines the P & C. Not the other way around. We call Kenpo a science. Does not science work by trial & error? Do you SGM just woke up and did some moves one time and Thundering Hammer was born? He had to express himself many times before he named it. That was and still is called technique. Techniques is the full Story, while P&C is only the table of context.

www.geocities.com/kkfkenpo
www.geocities.com/africansportkarate
kkfkenpo@yahoo.com
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Joined: June 15th, 2005, 3:34 am

May 1st, 2009, 10:29 pm #9

I would agree with you, if you used the phrase, "refined technique", instead of just "technique".

Consider the evolution of kenpo's most common fighting stance, the Neutral Bow. Mr. Parker can be seen in some of the old pics in a common front stance. Fencers lunge. Zenkutsu-dachi. Whatever you wanna call it.

Now, consider issues of weight distribution as it relates to responsiveness. Nuts; prolly gotta take a tighter stance, so there's greater mobility, and spread it out 50-50 so we can travel our area a little easier. So we hit a side-fighting horse.

Then we add the consideration of centerline control. Well, that means we have to make different choices about where we place our hands. Next, weapons availability. If I want to avoid having to go around my own body with my rear weapons, I need to bring my rear foot into an alignment that's not hidden behind my lead foot. Back to mobility again, if I keep both feet internally rotated as in a horse, I create a need for extra motions to get the body out of this rock-of-gibralter position, and moving forward or rearward naturally. So I place the middle rays of my feet at 45-degree angles. Defensive considerations reqire that I get my knee over my foot, and slightly internally rotate the hip, to close off the groin as a target. All of these considerations are changes in technique, driven by ever-evolving concepts and principles.

The physical movement is refined in light of the C&P that inform it. Anything with your feet under you is a stance, which is a physical technique. But is it a good stance? Is it a refined technique?

I know you don't use or teach neutral bows, Andre, but the rest of the EPAK world tries to. Mostly. Anyways, it's just an example. The same can be said about why kenpo peoples blocks look different than other karate systems (if they actually bother to learn them according to the guiding concepts and principles outlined in II). Technique represents a physical expression of the C&P that inform it.
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Joined: September 24th, 2007, 2:09 pm

May 1st, 2009, 11:07 pm #10

I have been reading some posts below and I felt I had to offer some of my thoughts on the matter.

A while ago now, I submitted my thesis for my 1st Degree Black Belt. In it I posited that Kenpo is not it's techniques or Forms, although these can identify it over other systems, but instead it's principles and concepts of motion.

I further proposed that the techniques and Forms are simply methods of facilitating the learning of these concepts and principles.

I read in a thread below that someone believes that the techniques are what make Kenpo what it is and the concepts and principles are not that important. Let's examine that idea.

Firstly, not all American Kenpo use the same techniques. Paul Mills certainly doesn't use the EPAK techniques and neither do the Tracy system, nor Kenpo Connection. Also there are as many different versions of Thundering Hammers as there are instructors. Mr Speakman's techniques often differ dramatically to those taught by Mr Planas. So how can a system like Kenpo be defined by it's techniques if we can't even agree that the techniques of similar name are identical?

Does that mean that Mr Mills Kenpo isn't really Kenpo just because he doesn't teach Five Swords or Thundering Hammers? It is plain to see whenever you witness an AKKI student move that they are well versed in the concepts and principles of motion, just as a Planas student or a Sepulveda one.

Whatever flavour of Kenpo you practice, the most fundamental lesson is how to move. If you don't use principles such as marriage of gravity, back up mass, directional harmony, etc. in the appropriate places then you aren't moving right.

Other arts have similar concepts and principles but aren't refined to the same degree as they are in Kenpo. The techniques teach the student how and why to move a certain way, they are training drills and studies in biomechanics. They are designed to teach the concepts and principles of motion and to teach you how to move with optimum efficiency and effectiveness. Period.

As I said earlier, even EPAK Seniors can differ in their techniques and all were taught by SGM, some of them even during the same time period.

Kenpo is defined by the way we move.

It is also defined by the people who practice the art, without people, there is no art.
To me, the techniques that we train with are like bible stories that teach us a lesson. The techniques teach us the principles of motion so that we can move with optimal efficiency spontaneously adapting to the situation. They give us a means to express the concepts and principles of Kenpo and fine tune our motion. In actual combat, no two situations are ever alike and you will adjust accordingly. Thundering Hammers in its ideal phase will likely never come out verbatim as practiced, however the principles of motion it and other techniques teach will. Ultimately it is the concepts and principles expressed through spontaneous interaction and motion that define Kenpo and not the techniques.

Ron Giarnella
Last edited by rpg723 on May 1st, 2009, 11:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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