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Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by abhi, May 11, 2006.
Yes I realized that before I posted but still wanted to answer, is that allowed?
Yeah but what is the point?
When people type Kenpp into the search bar they may come to the past posts just as I did and their they may find some benefit from my answers if not, I enjoyed the process of trying to adequately articulate my answers.
Some people wish they were forum mods.
If you weren't suppose to, they'd lock the thread.
If you made a new thread about it, the same people would be like, "there is already a thread for that. learn to search."
This was a nice trip down memory lane. I have several years of kenpo experience as a kid. My instructors trained with Joe Lewis. He was a big name kick boxer back in the day. I feel that I would still use some of the techniques in a self defense situation.
I just picked up a signed copy of Joe Lewis book. I would say my own personal striking game is 60% influenced by American Kickboxing of that era. Theres a video if Joe where he says wrestlers could beat everyone lol. Looks to be from the 1990 too, prior to first UFC
Speaking of books, i myself recently acquired "How To Be An Ass-Whipping Boxer", by Champ Thomas, and its rapidly ascended to becoming one of my favorite books on boxing ever.
Highly recommended for any student of the fight game.
So ed parkers kenpo joint locks are more "destructive" than other styles grappling styles? Lmfao...
I still practice a TMA on the side as a "hobby" and not so much for fighting. But I run across this thing where TMA guys call everything "locks". Locks this, and locks that. "I put him in this lock" or "I do this and he's locked" etc. And most the time its bad wrist locks but a lot of elbow/arm submissions they just talk about "hit it hard here and it's destroyed. A joint destruction!" But I don't think it works like that IRL.
I've come across a couple of times where with a really perfect trip or throw, holding onto the other guy's arm you are in a good position to just drop body weight on it and really eff it up (think having your knee wrecked in a standing scissor take down or something). But other than that a lot of this TMA "destructive joint locking" is fantasy because they've never A) done it for real or B) sparred to understand position before submission, proper leverage principles etc
When I was 16 I was at a dungeons and dragons store with my friends, playing Magic. A shorter, stocky kid a year younger than me, at least, started wrestling with me and another kid over the last root beer.
I grabbed his hand in a perfect wrist lock from years of practice and started turning. He simply straightened his wrist while fighting for the drink with his other hand. No problem.
That's when I realized wrist locks might not work the way I thought they did.
No, actually less so because of the lack of emphasis on it, as with anything in the martial arts, if you rush through it you end up with slop. What I mean is that they may control or pin the wrist and rotate to extend the elbow joint and then strike with their forearm at the GTO but rather than apply steady pressure and restrain the attacker they would impact the point and aiming their fist at the opponent's head they would extend their arm and punch the attacker in the temple, the hyper-extension may happen if they are lucky from the impact but they are only passing through the attack on the joint. From a BJJ point of view, it would be no different than destroying a joint with a lock and then going into another joint or continuing to beat the crap out of your now crippled opponent.
Perhaps you are used to TMA types who look down on the MMA crowd and people who think what they do is superior to what you do and so on. I don't hold any such illusions. I enjoy what I do and I enjoy sharing insights about it. It is not a threat to you or what you do, it is not a statement of superiority or an insult, I hope that people don't take it that way. I mean really I don't even take myself seriously. Martial Arts that specialize in attacking the joints are to be feared, respected and frankly loved because they are extremely effective. The question on this thread was asking about the grappling in Kenpo Karate, my intent was to explain what grappling is in Kenpo and why too often what you see Kenpo people work on is due to a lack of understanding of even the most basic grappling concepts. For example their is a mistaken belief that when you are grabbed in Kenpo, your going to be able to continue standing their and take your time with your counter, in the system this is referred to as a "dead hand" attack and many think that the timing to handle such attacks is far easier than the timing required to defend a punch or kick but this is a mistake that even a little time grappling would reveal. People don't just grab you, they grab the sh*t out of you and jerk you around to set up their follow up be it a throw, lock, choke, strike, kick etc. so you have to recover your balance and structure immediately and that does require urgency but too often the Kenpoist just thinks the enemy will grab him devoid of aggression. Again my post is explaining how the understanding that was originally a part of Kenpo that came from experience with Judo and Danzan Ryu Jujutsu was lost by many during the commercial era and that is why what your seeing now is Kenpo Instructors who have woken up to the dangers of Jujutsu and gained a new found respect for even something as simple as being grabbed.
first of all, thanks for your time, its refreshing to see someone coming from the TMA world with an open mind and realistic approach to fighting.
as you said, when people grab you, they are hardly going to stay still in a place so you can deploy and arsenal of strikes. The main problem I have with kenpo and such TMA is the so call "techniques", 3002349 chain strikes, that just doesnt really happen in real life, never seen it i real life t least, never been anyone caught on tape either. Anyways, I guess we all have katas, so I would guess is just part of the kenpo culture by now, sort of what the Helio Gracie SD techniques are... Kata...
Anyways, if you enjoy waht you do, theres hardly anything anyone can say to you about what you do, you enjoy it, period.
Ever though on taking grappling arts?
Your welcome and thank you for the kind words. When the Kenjutsu philosophy merged with the Karate methodology it gave birth to the concept of Ikken Hissatsu, the so called "one hit kill" or "to annihilate in a single blow", the manifestation of this marriage was seen as Japanese Karate spread to the west when practitioners launching a single, all or nothing counter attack. Gichen Funakoshi wrote about this in his book Karate-Do my way of life. (granted their is more to this concept and some would say it is more of a mental outlook but I don't want to get side tracked)
Kenpo Karate in Hawaii at the time was donning the black uniform to differentiate themselves from conventional Karate and wanted to adapt to the method of fighting prevalent in the streets of Hawaii. Boxers throw combinations, they set up their knock out blows with less powerful but faster blows and they bob and weave, duck and roll off punches, the wisdom of launching a single strike against such a quick and dangerous fighter was considered reckless by the Kenpo pioneers at that time so they first emphasized combination techniques to set up the finishing blows and to always have the practitioner ready to follow up when needed. When Ed Parker begin publishing his techniques in magazines and books the Karate community labeled him a rebel for his methods advocated 3 or 4 strikes to vital areas of the body and that was a departure from the Ikken Hissatsu concept. When Karate instructors from various classical Karate systems converted to Ed Parker's Kenpo as he was one of the leading pioneers of Kenpo in the mainland United States, they tried to merge their Ikken Hissatsu upbringing with the Kenpo combinations, giving birth to Kenpo sayings such as "Every move is a major move" even though Ed Parker classified some moves as minor and some as major and emphasized deceptive movements, feints and setting up the opponent before going for the main dish.
At any rate the 3 to 4 hit combinations became more sophisticated when Ed Parker continued to expand his vocabulary of motion to include additional methods from the Chinese Martial Arts community in California. For example, instead of using a hard, Karate-style block with the lead hand and immediate lead-hand chop to the clavicle and a follow-up (rear hand) reverse punch to the solar-plexus and a follow-up rear leg thrusting front kick to the groin in a staccato or robotic fashion, , the Blocking action became a double parry with the hand that made the initial parry first continuing on an orbit back into the floating ribs and striking through them, while the hand that made secondary and harder contact during the double parry, thrusting forward into a spear hand into the eyes, both arms continuing on their respective orbits or lines of attack in a continuous flow, the onslaught would continue with the strike through the floating ribs re-orbiting on a different plane to become a scraping uppercut that drives up the center while the footwork shuffles in and culminates in an elbow to the sternum. During that phase in the development of the techniques or combinations got slightly longer and gained a little more flow and that exotic Chinese Martial Arts flare but for every combination Ed Parker had so many variations depending on the circumstances of the attack and how the opponent responded to a combination.
This changed as Ed Parker streamlined and developed his system to a greater degree, leaving a group of people who had studied "Chinese Kenpo" pist off that he was now moving in a different direction, after years of doing something a certain way they did not want to change, so you can still find them out there, crowing about how Chinese Kenpo was the real deal and the later developments were a watering down of the Chinese Kenpo Ed Parker originally taught.
What Ed Parker did next was he took all these variations, all these different combinations and he extracted from them the concepts and principles that made them effective, he then taught only one of the variations as the IDEAL standard but with an emphasis on the student learning the concepts and principles that gave the movements their effectiveness, then the student would enter a second phase called the WHAT-IF phase where the student explored many likely what if scenarios with regard to the technique, such as what if the environment did not allow you to step in X direction so now you explored how it could still work if you stepped in Y direction or what if your enemy countered with X while your in the middle of doing Y. While some examples of WHAT-IF were given, the real work was in the hands of the individual thinker-practitioner, they would have to explore and experiment, Which lead to the saying that Kenpo was a thinking-mans art.
After enough experience was gained exploring the WHAT-IF students would develop the ability to create an answer spontaneously to an unknown attack because the movements are ingrained and position recognition second nature, this became known as the FORMULATION stage and this THREE step process to the study of combinations is where Ed Parker took his system.
In addition he gave each technique a name, a theme and set an IDEAL attack scenario as the starting point for experimentation. That is what you most often see on YouTube, the IDEAL attack where the attacker launches an attack and than is totally compliant as the practitioner works through the movements in the sequence, that phase is actually for teaching the student what basic movements comprise the sequence and give their bodies a chance to move through the sequence without having to rely on their imagination as to where the targets are. It was never designed to be the stopping point for training but only the very start of the learning process. It was a compliment to the additional training of learning the basic movements in other ways.
Because students like to have their hand held by the teacher and shown exactly what to mimic, i.e. don't like to be mentally challenged to think outside the box. Ed Parker wanted to make sure that these IDEAL sequences would not be mistaken for use as actual fighting combinations he went back and added a second half to every technique, so now it was like a script from a movie fight scene, it dictated what strike the Kenpo practitioner did, how the opponent would react in an ideal or perfect world and it kept going to the point of being an impossibly long combination. For example, Opponent steps in with X attack and the Kenpo practitioner defends then hits them with not 3 or 4 moves but with 13 different moves it was very much a mini-kata.
The method had a draw-back of course some students really thought they were supposed to pull off the entire technique because they lacked real-world fighting experience and they obsessively tried to rip through the sequence at the speed of light they obsessed over wanting to look flashy and impressive while doing the move in the IDEAL state against zero resistance. They paid all their training time to that instead of spending any time exploring WHAT IF or working FORMULATION on a moving resisting opponent. They even went so far as to generate a thousand excuses as to why they could not pull any of this stuff off during sparring such as it is too deadly to be used in sparring but they were confident they could pull it off in the street, though it was painfully obvious they would get themselves killed.
Ed Parker died December of 1990 while still having not completed his System, he was working on expanding the system to incorporate the knife having created a knife set but then deleting it for lack of practical applications, some of the work was done such as what principles the knife techniques would teach but the techniques themselves were not finished. This information was arrived at by his daughters and their husbands who went through their fathers notes on the computer and consulted with all of his black belts at the time of his passing. He also left no successor but instead wanted each of his students to carry on his teachings as best they could. So Ed Parker's Kenpo was intended to be an all-inclusive system of Kenpo designed to cope with the mode of fighting prevalent on our streets today but it was not finished, as fate would have it, it is an open-ended system now. Students who go through the journey of learning it will reach a point where they can add to the art, they can grow it, explore those areas that had not yet been completed by the founder. Of course most don't, they just cling to the choreography and blindly stick to what is in the box.
As far as if I have ever thought of taking grappling arts, I have thought about it, I have trained in the Army Combatives Program which emphasized grappling and to better augment that information, I took some lessons from a Machado Ju Jitsu Instructor when I was stationed in GA, I also learned some things from one of my best friends who among other things is proficient in Sambo. In the past I have also dabbled in Judo and some other arts though I don't like to go on a martial arts naming spree, I really mean dabble as in hardly scratched the surface, I think it would be very wrong to claim any real understanding of any of those other arts. The information I gained does help me a little bit, like I feel comfortable if I go to the ground but I have experienced people out there who can effortlessly turn me into a pretzel at will.
thats a long post to read lol... bottom line, my problem with kenpo is this.
I dont see the point of memorizing a trillon techinques when in reality that will never really happen in life, I mean its ok some kata and stuff, but there are like a millon kenpo techniques. there is no way the human brain can memorize all the moves from every techinque, let alone do it in real life.
Thats just my problem with most striking arts which re basically not boxing kick boxing MT type of arts, the reality shows tht oce shit hits the fan, its all about boxing kick boxing.
As far as the number of techniques go:
For Yellow Belt 10 Techniques
For Orange Belt 24 Techniques
For Purple Belt 24 Techniques
For Blue Belt 24 Techniques
For Green Belt 24 Techniques
For 3rd Degree Brown Belt 24 Techniques
For 2nd Degree Brown Belt 24 Techniques
Grand Total of 154 Techniques not trillions.
For 1 degree Brown Belt the student starts back at the Orange Belt Techniques and learns the complete technique or as some call it the extensions. As I described in my longer post Ed Parker made the sequences even longer to include what additional information he wanted taught in his system but in so doing he eliminated the many, many variations on each technique, so when Ed Parker first started teaching what he learned from Professor Chow the techniques to 5th Degree Black Belt were around 700 but their was no emphasis on forms or standardized free style combinations and many of the 700 were just slight variations of each other. As he (Ed Parker) developed his own system, he condensed what he wished to include in his system into 154 Techniques taught in three phases but he also added Forms, Sets and Free Style Combinations as well as various weapons and a unique vocabulary, I jokingly call Kenponics also concepts and principles and an entirely different philosophy the favored individual results and preference, logic and practicality over the traditional, classical approach to develop a progressive system that was intended to be all-inclusive, He died before he completed this system but left it open ended after 3rd Degree Black Belt, So basically to be promoted to a rank higher than 3rd Degree Black Belt was about what the student has contributed back to the system.
1st Degree Brown Belt - Orange Belt Technique Extensions
1st Degree Black Belt - Purple Belt Technique Extensions
2nd Degree Black Belt - Blue Belt Technique Extensions
3rd Degree Black Belt - Green Belt Technique Extensions (The End of the Formal System)
This is not all you learn, their are respective Forms and Sets at each level. Their are even Sparring combinations that are separate from the Techniques that can be taught at each of the early belt levels if the students are very poor at Sparring but most Kenpo Schools these days don't teach them for various reasons.
So while the system had the potential to be phenomenal, many instructors gave in to Greed and the Commercialism of the Martial Arts, Ed Parker the founder was gone and the highest ranking instructors that were in his association (the IKKA) the 7th degree black belts had drifted apart and started their own respective associations, many of them even promoting themselves to 10th degree black belt through the Governing bodies of the associations they themselves created and so mediocrity and McDojo-ism spread like a vile cancer. Those who were phenomenal instructors still had a difficult time getting their students to be equally good, with the vast majority of people treating the practice of martial arts like a fun hobby but no more important than bowling or soccer. With a culture interested in instant gratification and pats on the back it becomes difficult to correct students mistakes and keep them from advancing until they actually attain ability. So it became a business that sells false confidence, well the confidence was real but the ability and knowledge needed to back it up was never earned.
Case in point the first video you show is a guy from Charm City Karate who claims to have studied under Joe Palanzo, Joe Palanzo was a student of Ed Parker and at one point he reached the high rank of 7th degree black belt, before Ed Parker passed away. However, Joe Palanzo suffered some severe injuries and after surgery he could not move in the same way that he could back in the day, he still had his own association after Ed Parker passed away and promoted himself to 10th degree. So here you have a student of Ed Parker's who was a high rank and who really does know the art of Kenpo well, producing an instructor like the Charm City Karate guy in your video who well frankly is an embarrassment to Kenpo with his cheesy Kenpo videos all over YouTube but in the world of Commercial Martial Arts what he is selling is the same quality as many other McDojos so his business is probably booming.
The other video is from an Instructor who is actually very good but presenting a technique in its IDEAL phase against no resistance and without really breaking down what the value of each move in the sequence is, so for a Yellow Belt Student who trying to remember how the sequence of Dance of Death goes in its IDEAL phase, that video could be a reminder but to any outsider who sees that video, they can't help but think "WTF that Kenpo stuff is garbage"
bro what I mean is that anyone can come up with different strikes to diffeernt parts of the body when the other guy is just plyaing along, I have not ever seen im ny entire life, not a single video on someone applying anything close to any set of technique kenpo or any other TMA shows, choreagraphic moves are very very usual in TMA, yet, again, when shit hits the fan, well all know that everything goes back to boxing kickboxing.... a trillon techinques was just an exageration of course but you get my point.
you may pick the best kenpo instructor showing dance of death, people with actually skills at kicking and moving smoothly, with all the respect, is like... come oooon...
Some of those 12 second victories Rhonda had were basically Kenpo sparring sets.
To be honest BJJ and Judo curriculum also tend to be bloated with unnecessary and complicated techniques, low percentage moves etc I guess because most new students would prefer to sample a few dozen techniques than drill 2 or three consistently and because instructors get tired of showing the a limited move set.
Its kind of frustrating because my time to train is limited and it feels like a good chunk of it is wasted
However, being able to put moves into a sequence and chain them together is really useful and is what will win matches. However such sequences have to be drilled repeatedly and practiced agianst resisting people to be any good.
Not even remotely the same, if you mean serials of tenchiquws which lead to let's say a flashy back take, yeah there are some, still people pull it on people resisting opponents... If you mean you have to memorize many steps to perform a technique, such as grab here here there and here put your foot here and your head here, then yeah somwhow, many instructors lack the hability to teach the concept and reason behind the txhbique, once you understand the concepts, its quite easier to remember the techniques... The thing is, you can test them live and see why the heck isn't working, you'll figure it out why is it and why isn't it with time.
In Dance of Death, the introductory idea is that the opponent throws a committed punch to the practitioner's head. The punch is slipped with footwork taking the practitioner in closer to the puncher but along the outside of the punch, a 45 degree step found in many martial arts that use triangle footwork, additionally a parry/block at the elbow is used to keep from being tracked and disturb the puncher's balance at the same time a strike with the ridge of the hand is executed to the groin. Now if we just stop their and play with that idea in sparring, slip to the outside of a punch and strike the opponent in the groin, their is no reason why that is not something a decent fighter could repeatedly pull off. The requirement is the perceptual speed to detect a committed punch, good footwork and head/body movement to slip the punch while closing the gap and the strike to the groin comes easy as it is the natural motion of swinging our arms when we walk.
What else is in Dance of Death, catching a leg near the knee, that can happen, happens all the time during MT matches, so you have this leg captured and your throw an elbow strike with the intention of knocking the opponent down. What does that really require, your on your two legs your opponent is on one leg, if you have drilled your elbows and can get some power out of them, knocking someone on their arse with you elbow strike when you have captured a leg near the knee and are thus close enough to do it, not much of a big deal really. I'm sure someone can play around with that and get good at pulling it off consistently.
So what else is in Dance of Death, OK you have the opponent on their back and you have control of one leg, yes you could do many different options from there but instead you attack the groin and sharply twist the opponents ankle, if they don't roll with it, their goes an ankle but if they roll over with it as intended you have them on their stomach and the idea of the technique and where it gets its name Dance of Death comes in, your going to stomp all over him, aiming for his spine especially the back of his neck and maybe kick his teeth in. Is impractical or illogical to force an enemy from his back to his stomach using his ankle joint for motivation? No, its a fairly straight forward movement, Do you run the risk of being swept or having your leg locked when your holding the opponent by their ankle and standing between their legs? Yes, and someone who has a good understanding of those dangers can show you how to minimize the chances of that happening by controlling the hips and free leg for that instant that your twisting the ankle opponent. So again nothing within that portion of the technique is impossible to do.
Stomping an opponent who is on their stomach or kicking a fallen opponent, these things happen all the time in fights and are certainly not impossible to do.
So the only problem with the entire technique Dance of Death is that Kenpo guys are demonstrating it in a continuous flow against a compliant partner which is giving people the impression that in a fight the Kenpo guy is going to try and work that same sequence in its totality, exactly as shown but only a brain-washed, commercial Kenpoist who learned Kenpo in a McDojo by a teacher who sold him fake confidence as a result of only memorizing choreography without any additional practice to develop application would think that.
Time would have to be spent slipping punches, Time would have to be spent developing footwork, Time would have to be spent catching or capturing the leg, time would have to be spent developing the power in elbow strikes, time would have to be spent developing the perceptual speed to read a hard fast punch. Time would have to be spent working to avoid the counter actions that will occur when your holding a guy by the ankle who is on his back, sweeps, the up-kick, leg locks and some time will have to be spent on the accuracy and power of your stomps so you can better target the fallen opponent's spine and neck, the technique as developed and explained by the founder was nothing more than an introduction to these aspects, the starting point in the ideal phase with the training partner allowing you to get the feel of each part so that you could eventually reach the level where you can pull off these various parts on a resisting opponent and that is going to go hand and hand with so many other techniques, for example their are two other techniques that go along with this one that allow you to change the entry depending on how the opponent guards themselves, if they guard low you end up going high with a choke or to the middle with a hammering combination each of which is never designed to be used from a thinking standpoint but rather ingrained to the degree that while your engaged with an aggressive enemy it spontaneously triggers from being in the right position in an appropriate environment. Your not searching your Rolodex of memory for which of the 154 techniques to use, your just keeping your awareness on the environment including your opponent and the training and hard work you put in does the rest, your basically on auto-pilot even if you are moving in with intent to knock the opponent out.