new kempo group

Discussion in 'Kenpo' started by kempojosh, Feb 23, 2006.

  1. James Kovacich

    James Kovacich RENEGADE

    You are accepting the American Kenpo / Kempo arts as THE Kempo.

    Kempo is a generic term and most of Americas systems are differant than that of other continents.

    Why try to link the so-called traditional sytems with the "broken link" street effective American systems?
  2. GenghisK

    GenghisK Jiu Jitsu Kempoka

    Absolutely true. Most US-based Kempo styles seem to be Karate based, whilst here in Britain Kempo styles tend to be Jiu Jitsu based. A confusing peculiarity, but I'd venture no more than that.

  3. kempojosh

    kempojosh Valued Member


    if the kempo is "street effective" then what is wrong with having it?
  4. James Kovacich

    James Kovacich RENEGADE

    So the UK's Kempo is broken link too?
  5. stormronin

    stormronin New Member

    Take two instructors. One has a "credable *cough cough* line but is a lousey instructor and has now patiance. The other is a really good instructor their lineage is how would you say "not credable" (so in fact invalid, so by that logic Incredable :) but they knew the techniques as well as the *cough credible one who would you choose to teach you.

    Now onto my point and it is this. Having read the threads on here and on ebudo one thing is clear, Kempokid has got a lot of people who respect him for being him,and respect the grade he has and the ones he has awarded. It is easy to sit a judge a man that you do not know. but the people who have written on this site and ebudo who know him have been shot down with arguements that frankly sit on the verge of insane. I am quite new to MA's but not new to this sort of behaviour. at the end of the day having read these threads I myself am quite interested in training with kempokid and the BKS. There must be something in it to cause people from all over the world to take sides. didn't the same thing happen about 60 years ago?
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2006
  6. James Kovacich

    James Kovacich RENEGADE

    Now for my point. I think E-Budo is a bunch of sissy's that beleive "lineage" supercedes all else. My line from the "20th century" are mostly all fighters and some I do not mention on the net because they don't like the net. Several of my instructors have been discussed at E-Budo by so-called legitimate ranks. But as it would appear that only Kempo traced to Oyata is legit and effective (out of one of the baby wolves mouths).

    Whatever. There are something like 7 billion people on theis planet. What are the chances that lineage = effective? It's more likely that there are better fighters in the "broken links" than not. All martial systems have "dirt" somewhere in the closet.
  7. GenghisK

    GenghisK Jiu Jitsu Kempoka

    In my opinion a very reasonable piece of analysis, but then I'm biased!

    If you're interested in a BKS dojo, at the moment you're looking at...

    - Ben Ledwick's dojo, Bedford
    - Warren Palmer's dojo, Andover
    - Paul King's dojo, Peterborough
    - Guy Gratton's dojo, Marlow

    (There's supposed to be an Edinburgh dojo starting sometime....)

    There's a certain amount of variation in styles, although the core is common; Paul's style is very hard and physical (and tends to be less technical than the others), Warren's is extremely soft and flowy, Ben's is about halfway between Paul and Warren in "hardness" (a measure of style, not difficulty), I broadly teach Warren's syllabus with a bit more traditional Jiu Jitsu content. Needless to say, I've trained at all the clubs and would recommend any of them - equally needless to say, I'm a BKS instructor, and therefore completely biased.

    It must be said however, that none of us are ever going to get awards for our website writing skills, although Paul probably has the edge there !

    Last edited: Mar 17, 2006
  8. fthl


    I promised I’d return…and I have….You may sit.

    Righteo, I’m going to give you my opinion on some of the things said in the last few pages. Apologies if this therefore seems a bit rambling. I’ll do my best.

    “Jigoro Kano invented the Kyu / Dan grade system. Was Kano the first 10th Dan? No, he never advertised himself as having a Dan Grade. Kano did have the old style certificates detailing his JuJutsu proficiency (the previous method of grading). The first ever 10th Dan was Yamashita, Yoshitsugu (Yoshiaki) (b1865-d1935). Yamashita was grade to 10th Dan by Jigoro Kano (himself being highly ranked via scrolls in JuJutsu). So there is your answer.”

    So Kano used what he knew of other arts, and created his own system and then awarded someone a grade in his new art. By implication he must have felt that he was a superior grade in his art to be able to bestow this grade on his student. He self graded. Why is this not a problem? Because he was a man of utmost ability, his ability justified his action, both to take centuries worth of traditional martial art and adapt it, change it, and then deem himself good enough at his new creation to grade others up.

    It was suggested earlier in the ebudo thread, (I think, I kind have lost track a bit) that instructors in other arts could not judge a martial artist in another art and grade him. Is this not what Kano did? Save for the fact that he created his own art in the first place? I can only guess at the sort of treatment that someone would get on ebudo if they turned up saying that they had no dan grades, but had created their own art and graded a student to 10th dan. Blimey. They’d be apoplectic…

    “Kempo is not a new style and the the students within the BKS are not masters/sufficiently experienced to hold a dan rank.”

    My argument is that a grade is based on ability and I do not accept that the above statement can be made without meeting and judging the actual practitioners. Lineage does not equal experience.

    Further the style at the route of this debate is a modern combined art. Kempo is not new, but the art in question here is self-admitted to be an art that has taken the building blocks of x etc to combine – or words to that effect.

    “How can they then give Dan grades out in this martial art? As kyu grades they have not yet fully grasped the basic techniques. For this reason they cannot accurately assess the skill level required of Dan grades? If you believe that the grades are not important and that persons should only be judged on skill alone, then why do the BKS give out Dan grades. I'm sorry if you disagree with me but I just can't see how a Dan grade given out by a Kyu grade can have any value.”

    So in essence this comes back to the argument that that it is impossible for someone of a certain standard in an art to judge someone to be of a higher level.

    I don’t think that this argument tracks, as I’ve stated before. I cannot paint or draw for toffee – but I can judge someone that is a better artist than I. I’ve only been doing judo for just over a year, but I can see and judge that certain chaps in the club are of certain standards. Are the people that award Oscars better actors than those they award the Oscars to? What about the nobel prizes? Can you only award a nobel prize to someone if you are better than them at the subject matter? If a prize, award, grade is awarded by a panel of peers, or those that don’t hold the level that they are awarding are illegitimate?

    The shorinji kempo chap put it perfectly – different arts have different standards. It is up to an art to judge the level of skill required for a grade. There is huge variety in the UK in similar styles of jitsu, mainly because different arts focus on different elements and specialise. If you have an art that focuses on striking, and an art that focuses on throwing, and one on locking, could they not look at someone and award them a higher grade than they profess to have in their specialism in a generalist art?

    You need to judge the ability of the instructor to judge whether the grade they profess to have is valid. That is the only way these days.

    “As for the rule thing over there, well it's a rule and I haven't seen them ever make an exception

    They deleted it as you were trolling. You dared them and called their bluff. You lost. So your post was deleted so not to invite others to make that may say X was banned for saying that.”.

    I have. Just trawl the threads and you’ll find them. Particularly the breach of the terms of service that states that “treat other posters with respect” (or words to that effect). Breach of the terms of service is being blatantly being used as an excuse.

    For example – the only reason to delete my whole post was to hide the content. If there had been a genuine reason then a simple post stating that the above poster has been banned for not adhering to the TOS would have been adequate. Unless this painted those doing the banning in an unfavourable way.

    As for the allegation of trolling – I dispute that entirely. Turning to our friend wikipedia – ‘n Internet terminology, a troll is a person who posts rude or offensive messages on the Internet, such as in online discussion forums, to disrupt discussion or to upset its participants (see Anonymous Internet posting). "Troll" can also mean the message itself or be a verb meaning to post such messages. "Trolling" is also commonly used to describe the activity’

    I would argue strongly that the only way in which my posts were rude or offensive was that the budoites did not agree with my arguments, and had no logical response to them.

    “As I said on e-budo, promotion from people not learned in the art of MA is not a 100% guarentee that you are a black belt. People place the ideal of black belt to that of instructor. If you are teaching using your black belt, then you are basically conning people out of pure teachings. Do all your students know this? Do the ones who tell you to take in problem children that you are someone who was promoted in such a way that is not considered correct as to being a instructor.”

    This again is a difference in approach. The dan grade is not something that bestows ability, it is a way of recognising ability. If you can do what you profess to be able to do, then there is no con.

    A black belt is measured on the person, not the history. Indeed I think that the argument that those with only a valid historical or pure lineage are the ones that are illegitimate. If you are a training in a ryu that predates kano, why have dan grades at all, if not to buy into the public perception?
  9. 2E0WHN

    2E0WHN Homebrew for idiots

    So by your own definition, you were banned by disruption of discussion and blatently attacking the moderators and admin with you trying to flex your muscles and be the hard man by asking them to ban you. They did and now your sat like a 5 year old in the corner sulking. Please watch me while I cry for you.

    Boo hoo.

    Now get over it. You got banned and deleted for being a numpty on e-budo. You called out the admin to delete you for not putting your name in the user CP. It is your own fault so get over it.
  10. Colin Linz

    Colin Linz Valued Member

    This is one of the concerns. Who judges the instructors abilities, in many Japanese styles accreditation to instruct is by application and grade. For example in Shorinji Kempo you will have needed to have done a branch masters course within the last two years prior to your application, have a branch masters interview where a senior member of WSKO will interview you one on one and you will in general need to be sandan or more (this can be relaxed in special circumstances). If all this goes well then you may apply to be a Branch Master. This process is a form of insurance that instructors will have a minimum understanding of how to instruct Shorinji Kempo.

    In Australia we have a government accredited industry body, the MAIA. To gain accreditation by them to teach a martial art you will need to have done their coaching course, have insurance for your students, have a first aid certificate, sign an ethics agreement and have implemented a risk management procedure. This also guarantees a minimum level of instructional ability.

    These systems of eduction and accreditation ensure new students that they can be confident in their chosen instructors ability to teach what he has advertised. Does this mean that someone outside these systems of accreditation is a bad teacher? Absolutely not; however if they have bypassed these normal systems of assurance then they will need to rely on reputation. KK may have a good reputation within his student body and his organisation, but until he has wider exposure within the general martial arts community people will be sceptical. I mentioned before that I had been ripped off by a dodgy martial art in the past. It was a form of kempo taught by someone claiming to be godan in Shorinji Kempo who had started his own system. I spent three years with this guy and thought it was great; however he started taking more and more money from the club. Some of us thought this was unacceptable (including his highest graded instructor, a yondan) and left to find a Shorinji Kempo club. We all went back to white belt and started again. The first thing I noticed was how much more effective the new instructors techniques were. I was to later find out that the old instructor was only ever graded to ikkyu or nikyu, no wonder his techniques were not as good. The point behind this is that we as students felt he was very good and that his techniques were very effective; however once we had a qualified yondan to compare them against we found that he lacked any real understanding of the techniques and that they could be much more effective.

    KK may well be a great instructor, and I hope he is, but until a body that is well recognised within the industry accredits his instructional ability people will be sceptical. This may change over time if he has exposure to other well-accepted martial arts and artists other than his students or organisation members, and they in turn recommend him.

    Just to clear up something. This has nothing to do with linage of an art, but everything to with qualifications to teach an art and how he markets his style and how this effects other arts (I recognise he has removed the reference to Aikido from his web site, it was one of the things that had made many people question him).
  11. 2E0WHN

    2E0WHN Homebrew for idiots

    And with tht removal Mr. Linz it seems he is trying to do some damage control to his own credability. But the matter is known and some people will remember him as the one with the dubious past.
  12. GenghisK

    GenghisK Jiu Jitsu Kempoka

    The problem is Colin Linz that what you say is based upon false premise.

    I've been to numerous seminars where KK, or occasionally his students, have been teaching: in various places around the UK. The last one (which happened to be at his own dojo) there were roughly 40 people there, half of whom were dan grades, only 2 or 3 of whom were BKS members themselves.

    So we had senior grades from TJF Jujitsu, Aiuchi Jujitsu, a national TKD organisation, Spirit Combat, Kibondo.... This seems to be typical of such occasions. There have been other seminars with more people come along, I've read comments on the net about what they thought of him when he was invited to go and teach in Canada a couple of years ago which seemed pretty complementary.

    Just how much recognition do you need?

    The world is full of capable people in small organisations (of all sorts, not just martial arts) punching above their weight. The real indicator of quality is whether good people from elsewhere want to learn from them, and particularly if they continue to.

    Last edited: Mar 18, 2006
  13. Colin Linz

    Colin Linz Valued Member

    None of us can change the past, we have to live with our decisions and actions; but we can change the future. I hope that KK has the ability to change his future into one that is respected by us all, it would be good to have a few more respected martial arts teachers in the world, there are already too many dodgy ones
  14. Colin Linz

    Colin Linz Valued Member

    No not really. Until there is something to give me confidence in his ability I will naturally have questions. I don’t live in the UK and don’t have a clue who any of the people you mention or organisations are. If however he was endorsed by a respected governing body, through either government accreditation (for teaching ability only) or a globally well respected and known organisation I would have more confidence.

    The problem is that there have been so many people start new systems, and that they very rarely have anything different or better to add, in fact most of them are a degradation or just incoherent jumble of other arts. This phenomenon has made any long term martial artist wary of anyone that claims to have reinvented the wheel. The reality is that there are very few Kano’s, Ueshiba’s or So’s (or any other great founder) in any life time, and that the odds are more in favour of them not being so great. Now KK maybe that one in a million exception and if he is good luck to him, but he will need to prove his worth just as great founders have needed to do in the past. Time will provide the answer I guess. In time his students may just provide the answers to peoples concerns, but not yet.
  15. GenghisK

    GenghisK Jiu Jitsu Kempoka

    Sorry, run that past me again? In what way has KK got a problem with his future, or a lack of respect from anybody who knows him? Are you suggesting that you have evidence that he is not a respected or competent martial arts teacher? If so, what - since it appears to me that you've done nothing to gain real evidence as to whether he's good bad or indifferent; in my opinion the only way to do that is either to train with him, or to train with his students (or, in extremis, to talk to people you trust, who have).

    Playing devil's advocate here, you suggest that he probably isn't a Kano? No, I don't think he is either - Kano took a rich and ancient martial art, removed much of it's richness and complexity, and turned it into a sport. I can't see KK doing that somehow, nor any of the other BKS instructors who are more interested in the utility of their art than in the palatability. That fact will probably keep us small, and also ensure that BKS instructors keep being invited to teach elsewhere.

    Incidentally, we have no formal government recognition of martial arts organisations in the UK, save for those doing "sporting styles" who may qualify through the English, Welsh and Scottish sports councils for the occasional support grant.

    Last edited: Mar 18, 2006
  16. Colin Linz

    Colin Linz Valued Member

    There are any number of people that start their own styles. Anyone that has been involved with martial arts for some time will have seen it happen time and again. Conversely there have been very few people to start a style that adds to or enriches martial arts in general; in fact they usually do the opposite. What I’m saying is that because of this people are going to question him and his qualifications. It would help his case if he had support from an organisation that every one else respected, i.e. rank recognition from a credible international organisation.

    At the moment it stands as some people question the worth of his rank and others that say he is a great teacher. The rank question is a difficult one to overcome, his promotions have been outside the formats normally practiced, this is not necessarily bad, but it will raise questions. His ability to teach can be easier to demonstrate though through some sort of tertiary coaching or teaching qualification.
  17. GenghisK

    GenghisK Jiu Jitsu Kempoka

    This actually raises an intesting question. What does it mean to be starting your own style?

    I've started my own club, I have a new name for it: "Aiki Kempo Jiu Jitsu", because I think that most accurately describes what I believe I do. What I teach is primarily the teachings of my own sensei, but I openly admit to also including material learned in other places, and that what I teach is a mix that I happen to believe works well.

    But I certainly don't consider myself a "head of style" or to have "created my own style"; I'm simply somebody running a local martial arts club as well as I can. I've never heard any of the other (more experienced than me) instructors elsewhere in BKS suggest that they were doing anything else either. BKS itself is only a grouping of people doing the same sort of thing.

    Isn't that what, up until the rise of MA "styles" and "organisations" any martial arts teacher was doing anyhow?

    I know that Ben's website refers to him as "head of style", but I've never actually seen him act or be treated as anything other than a good club Sensei.

    I believe that anybody questioning his style gets the same response anyway. "Come and train"; I'd recommend doing so, and surely that's a better way of establishing credibility than membership of an international organisation whose main claim to fame is usually that it was founded by a dead Jap.

    Last edited: Mar 18, 2006
  18. Colin Linz

    Colin Linz Valued Member

    When it is not practical to do so then we have no choice than to look for other methods to help answer questions. Qualifications and recognition of rank are a couple of other ways of doing this.
  19. GenghisK

    GenghisK Jiu Jitsu Kempoka

    Agreed, but probably amongst the least reliable given the incredibly wide range of organisations, styles and standards out there.

  20. Tripitaka of AA

    Tripitaka of AA Valued Member

    Colin, you hit the nail on the head with your first contribution to this thread. In oh so many ways :)
    It is amazing to me how people have found it so difficult to see the difference between the questions - paraphrased for brevity (what is your experience in the "core" arts that make up the new system? How did you come to be called "Renshi"? What rank did you achieve in any recognised art before forming your own?), and the answers (Come and train with me, I'm a great bloke, I teach all sorts of people... yeah, he's a great bloke, in my opinion a fine martial artist, he's got some good moves).

    The nice gentlemen of the British Kempo Society are probably jolly good and thoroughly committed to teaching their classes in the best way that they can. The formation of the society itself seems to be in order to have a kind of self-support group as a loose way to provide some variety to their training and maybe some way to forge a future. As I see it, from what they've said, they don't have access to any tuition from higher grades (other than occasional seminars). This must be very frustrating, and probably not all that uncommon in the crazy mixed-up world of martial arts classes caught in the crossfire of splits and separations of organisation and federation, etc. They formed the Society as one might lash together bits of driftwood to form a self-support life-raft. I don't envy them.

    Colin later on expressed the concerns of those who see things from a different perspective. The people who train exclusively in the pure and deep waters of "legitimate" arts, are naturally perturbed when they see things described as "made from the building blocks of XXX-ryu" when there is little or no connection to such a thing. It doesn't matter to them if Fred Bloggs is any good at his sparring, it matters if he says he's using XXX-ryu when he isn't. It matters if he uses Renshi Fred as his title. It matters if he suggests links to arts to which there is no significnt connection. I liked the earlier reference to an Electrician offering his services as a Plumber, Decorator, Architect and Surveyor, just because he'd seen them do their stuff a few times. From a person deeply involved with a traditional style, the new Mixed Martial Arts can often seem like a world apart in terms of their aims and methods. The concern is that through their appearance and behaviour, the MMA groups will be giving out an erroneous message to the uninitiated. The general public, the newcomers and even those who are students in the classes would be quite wrong to think they were were learning XXX-ryu, now wouldn't they. So it is important for everyone that claims are questioned and publicity is authenticated.

    Remember, if Fred says "I'm a fighter, I'll teach you how to fight" then there is no problem. If he says "I put Aikido, Karate, Wing Chun and Morris Dancing together and have produced the greatest formation fighting art on the planet" then he'll have to be ready to get questioned on who taught him his handkerchief grips and how does he tie those bells to his socks.

    Me? I'm just a sad and lonely Ex-Kenshi, and I'd much rather be training too :)

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