Kenpo's effectiveness

Discussion in 'Kenpo' started by Tigersan, Aug 9, 2007.

  1. fire cobra

    fire cobra Valued Member

    All interesting stuff guys,remember though if you fall and there are more than 1 opponent around you may not be concious enough to get up!,you may well get your head kicked in when your down!.
    However i do i agree with Koyos paragraph below,

    "From experience it is the guy with the strongest fighting spirit and who can go from zero to 100% attack in an instant who should win. Techniques must be multiple and pragmatic."

    And he is from Glasgow so must know something about fighting! :)
  2. Jack_Brando

    Jack_Brando New Member

    I know what you mean, its based on rapid strikes which alot of time in sparring they dont let you do, i use my other stances from other martial arts in sparring, but i usually get a talking to lol
  3. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    Any really cool New York guy's sparring footage we can learn from?
  4. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    Overall fighting ability has to come from live training (or getting in a lot of fights). However, many of the standard MA "tricks" were designed to be used on people that had no idea that you had any skill (something you won't find in your MA school) and largely relied on deception to work. Look at some of the old Bruce Tegner books etc. and you'll see that he often advocated being SNEAKY. He told you to act casual or even afraid and then jab the dude in the eyes and kick him in the shin then chop him in the throat etc. etc. before he could even throw a punch. I guess it could be considered pre-emptive self defense. Of course this only works when the "Bully" announces his intentions before hand.
  5. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    No offense DAnjo, but I actually don't believe the statement you made above is actually true, IMHO. I think the whole thing has been taken out of context.

    Basically when you start learning something it is in a more controlled environment, some call it a scripted or static type of training. Then when put to the test, someone along the way said, "the technique you were learning was designed to be used against an unskilled or unprepared opponent" knowing that against a skilled and prepared opponent the technique would fail.

    I don't believe it was ever designed to be used against an unskilled or unprepared opponent. I believe all technique is supposed to work against a skilled or prepared opponent. What I believe the context for this was someone said, "your technique is not good enough to be used against a skilled or prepared opponent, BUT it still might be good enough to be used against an unskilled and unprepared opponent."

    Thus the technique was designed to be used against a skilled person, it is just that your skill and experience with it is only good enough to use it against an unskilled opponent. A completely different context than claiming the technique was never intended to be used against a skilled opponent.

    Now taking a look at Hawaii sixty years ago, it was a great mixing pot. You had many cultures and people knew boxing, wrestling, kung fu, Judo, karate, etc. They might not have been many of black belt caliber, but they still were skilled and somewhat experienced fighters. Kenpo, Kajukenbo, etc. developed in Hawaii, during that time period. There was no "unskilled" fighter about it... it was designed to defeat skilled fighters, so must the techniques be practical to that regard.

    Another point brought up was that of deception. Deception can be trickery, such as what shinobi employed... but there is another part of martial arts regarding this... deception means not to telegraph your true intentions or your attacks, or to project false intentions. This is considered good technique!!!

    When a boxer does not telegraph his punches... that is part of good technique, for example. So this deception is not something you just do, it is something that comes from experience and skill... it is part of good technique... all technique.

    Well that's what I have to say about this.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2007
  6. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    Hmmm... perhaps you misread my post. The Kajukenbo Punch Counters, Grab Arts etc. were designed to deal with initial attack scenarios that were common to what the founders had seen used in bar rooms, alleys or what have you. They are not intended to be responses to a skilled fighter that is squaring off against you who knows of your prowess and is taking you seriously. Take grab art 11, for instance where the attack is against someone standing with their back to the attacker (or sitting on a bar stool with his back to the attacker) who grabs the right shoulder and tries to spin the defender around to punch him in the face. This is hardly the attack of someone that possesses great skill and is expecting his victim to be skilled also. Is it a fairly realistic scenario? Sure. Is it a "Fight" in the same sense that two opponents are squaring off against each other? No. This is some drunk trying to cold-**** another guy at a bar. Same thing with the other grab arts or punch counters etc.

    The idea that two skilled fighters squaring off against each other will be able to pull off the punch or grab counters is a bit far fetched IMHO and not what they were intended for. They were intended to save your ass when some guy throws a right cross at you taking you for an easy mark.

    As to me taking what I wrote out of context, I'm simply going by what is in those books. There is no mention of the idea that once a certain level of skill is reached, that these combinations will work as is in a live fight situation. They are always talking about keeping your skill concealed and surprising your attacker.

    I mean, I'd LOVE to see footage of someone pulling these pre-set counters off against a live opponent in a match.
  7. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    It is my understanding that kajukempo was developed from arts that were ment to save you when your life was in danger. Not something you may need to worry about from an unskilled attacker.I do not think that any skilled martial artist shall "expect" any predetermined attack or have in mind any predetermined defence.

    From experience I have never seen fighters square up against each other in a real confrontation. One always attempts to "sucker punch" the other or mount a surprise attack.Or outnumber him.

    Techniques should be used to master the more important PRINCIPLES such as awareness body alignment fighting spirit decisive attack etc. These are what shall prevail rather than specific techniques.

    My thoughts are ..if you have been toughened up through hard sincere training being thumped thrown and pinned , you tend to think"well what can this guy bring to me" Plus if you have mastered certain principles you can go from zero to 100% attack in an instant and continue that attack with little thought of "defence" until the conflict is over.

    Clearly understand the difference between dojos, competitions, books , videos etc and the street.Bottom line should be Surprise him attack aggresively and sustain that attack with whatever "technique" may apply in the circumstance.The three principles of surprise aggresion and sustain are more important than whatever technique or martial art is applied.

    regards koyo
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2007
  8. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    Kajukenbo DOES teach you to fight skilled fighters. It also does what I mentioned above.
  9. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    I really don't know if I mis-read what you wrote. I never said anything about skilled fighters squaring off, nor do I recall you saying that before. To me a skilled fighter is an experienced fighter with skill. This could be a war veteran that has had a few scraps and learned some boxing on the base, or it could be police officer that gets in a fight once a week in the line of duty and has taken some hand to hand training. I have no idea where the idea that skilled = squaring off???????

    Kajukenbo, for instance, was designed to take on boxers and wrestlers, not in the ring, and defeat them in the streets. I say these were skilled people, even if called brawlers by others, they had some experience and skill, they did not just fall off the turnip truck...

    Take grab art #1, the way I was taught was cup the elbows and kick to the groin verse an incoming two hand lapel grab. This was done statically against a pre-scripted attack, shoulders squared. Now this is NOT GOOD ENOUGH against an opponent that is trying to hurt you, especially if they are a lot bigger and stronger. This is where some instructors will say that the technique was not intended to be used against a skilled fighter. Fine to say that to someone that you only have a few minutes with, but if they come to train regularly, it is not good enough to say that, IMHO. In fact, when someone comes at me, I have used grab art #1 many times, sparring, goofing around, whatever, but I get off the line of attack, I turn slightly and then control the elbows so that one of their arms is reaching and the other is jammed. I slam their elbows together and throw them to the ground or I might kick them... there is no preset script, but it is all the same grab art #1 to me because the principles are the same.

    Let's give an example from Tracy's Kenpo. The technique Chinese Sword A. Attacker throws a right punch, defender inward block and with the same hand, forearm strike or hammer fist to the jawline. Now white belts learn this technique and go through the simple motions with a partner. First question, is this technique designed to be used only against unskilled opponents? Try this against a fully resisting opponent and the opponent gets out of the way or blocks the hammerfist strike.

    Well my story is that I was teaching this technique to someone that was very athletic and would always block everything that came at him. He had only fast and faster speed for techniques, it was very hard to get him to slow down for training. So I partnered with him. He punched at me and I blocked and hammerfisted back at him many times, every time he would block my strike too. He did not see the value in the technique and asked about it. I said, I would show him why it CAN work, the principles behind it. I had him punch at me once more, instead of an inward block, I inward struck his arm, bringing my knuckles right through his bicep, his arm went dead, his hands dropped and I forearm struck right through his jawline, knocking him back several feet. I only hit his arm half as hard as I could have and pretty much I took it very easy on him.

    When he regained his balance, I asked him why he did not block my forearm strike this time... he looked at me and his eyes lit up like a light bulb went off in his head. He understood... I said let's train more, but he said he had enough of that while nursing his arm and we went on to something else to train on.

    This technique done was the same technique as Chinese Sword A... the way I see it, this was not designed to be used only against unskilled people, unless you limit yourself to that way to thinking.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2007
  10. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    I guess if you do something different and call it the same thing, it can work. Also, what I originally said about being sneaky and keeping the element of surprise is still true. If you notice, I limited what I said to the "Tricks" or Combinations, not to the art in general. Also, if you broaden the term "Skilled" to include anyone that's ever been in a fight, then I would agree with you that many of the techniques will work as is on them. However, if you are talking about someone with real fight training or experience, and they know that you are trained also and are therefore on their guard, I don't think you're in for the same results. Like I said, I'd love to see footage of that.
  11. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    I get the feeling we are talking "around" each other rather than to each other.

    I'm not just doing something different and calling it the same thing, I stating that techniques are learned through a progression. The first is what is taught and the last is what it ends up as hopefully in practical application. You start with one thing, use it to learn the basic body movements, concepts and principles... through experience, knowledge, and sincere training it progresses into something else that is used in application.

    For whatever the reason... lack of experience, lack of motivation, lack of alive training, lack of knowledge, Lack of cross training... There are many that seem to have no reason to move beyond just "going through the motions" and they never make the progression to more practical application.

    And I stated basically that this "element of surprise" is a key factor in ALL technique. The difference is that in order to surprise someone that is prepared, you have to be even more skilled and experienced.

    I don't see the difference between combinations that only work when you use deception and techniques that work when you don't. All techniques depend on deception to work. If you don't have the element of surprise then you do something different that does have the element of surprise.

    I already mentioned that time is spent in karate and boxing in learning how not to telegraph your attacks, in Aikido time was spent in learning not to telegraph your intentions, etc. This also includes not showing your true weaknesses or giving away your strengths until it is too late for them to do anything about it.

    There is no "as is" because the techniques are based on principles. If the principles aren't followed then the technique is generally considered not as good. For many of kajukenbo techniques, they follow the principles abbreviated with B.L.T. w/G. Described to me as bacon, lettuce, and tomato and sometimes with garnish.

    But the meaning is:

    B = Block/Stun = do not get hit and stun the opponent
    L = Unbalance/Lock = Unbalance them and apply a Lock or Choke
    T = Unbalance/Takedown = Unbalance or knock them out, apply takedown

    w/g = sometimes apply ground attack

    To be able to evade being hit and stun the opponent requires some element of surprise and good technique to work. It is not "as is" learned in a static environment but what that original technique progresses to towards practical application. Does this make sense?

    All that matter is the results. It does not matter what it looks like but how practical it is for that time and place.

    It is perhaps the reverse way of thinking as you described... rather than trying to make the technique look the same as it does in class... the thinking should be, how do I get the same results that I get in training to happen in the real world?

    The techniques do not look the same as basics in class, but instead they become what you have to do to get that element of surprise that is fundamental to the principles in application. Once someone is stunned or unbalanced you will have a short time when they literally have no defense against you. All techniques then start to look the same to the educated eye, what is done in class will look the same as what is done on the streets... even if on video they appear completely different to the uneducated eye.


    P.S. thanks for the posts
  12. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    Well, I see what you mean and think you were right about us talking around the same subject.
  13. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    That tends to happen when people actually read each others posts and as you guys do ..know what they are talking about. :)

    cheers koyo
  14. KMA

    KMA Valued Member

    Why we use techniques

    I don't think it's a style problem. 8 years of training should have taught you something, but if you train incorrectly with any art it will not be very effective. The techniques are there to train your muscle memory, power, and stability. If you think you will do the technique exactly as demonstrated you’re incorrect. You will combine techniques and they will not be perfect.

    When I trained for sparring we were taught think of a technique and try to make it work with whatever is thrown. This is a beginning step to sparring. Then when you spar take every safety precaution and use the proper full contact equipment. Then you and your opponent should fight full contact. Try to concentrate on which motions combine well together. Techniques are guidelines to motion nothing is truly a set move in combat.

    P.S. I have used Kenpo in a fight and it was effective for me. (Then again I believe any martial art can be used effectively.)
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2007

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