New Martial Arts Styles

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by thegreyman, Sep 24, 2020.

  1. thegreyman

    thegreyman New Member

    Here are some names:
    Bruce Lee- JKD
    Ed Parker- Ed Parker Kenpo
    Bart Vale- Chinese Kenpo
    Tony Leo- Shuri Shindo Ryu
    Freedie Lee- Freedie's Modern Fu
    Al Tracy - Tracy Kenpo
    Jeff Speakman -Kenpo 5,0
    Helio Gracie- BJJ
    Steve Mohamad- Black Karate Federation
    Gary Dill- Bushido Kempo/SDS
    Chuck Sullivan- Karate Connection-Kenpo
    Sifu Anderson- Anderson Martial Arts
    Hwang Kee- Tang Soo Doo
    Al Moore- Shou Shu Kung Fu

    Do you guys know what all these people have in common? Well, they all took one, two, or three arts, kept what they like and added what they thought it needed.

    They they rebranded it as a new art. In some cases, this was evolutionary, in others revolutionary. Why are some revered, and others not?

    Further, why don't we have more blending and progressing of older arts? How come new martial systems/styles pretty much stopped in the mid 1990s. I would say from 1960s-1990s there was a marital art explosion in the US that led the creation of the aforementioned styles, some trace their lineage to older mixed/blended arts before the 1960s like Tang Soo Doo

    Now we have mma.. pretty much kick boxing with BJJ. The question is their room for regrowth of traditional martial arts? Can these arts continue to expand? Will ever see new arts created? Or we stuck with striking and grappling= MMA

    Ohh and since we are talking about it... can we someone go ahead and create Cobra Kai Karate :) lol

    Let's discuss
  2. Botta Dritta

    Botta Dritta Valued Member

    Two things:

    Internet and UFC (at least as pertaining unarmed combat)

    The internet allows information to travel quicker so that when someone creates something new it can no longer be done in isolation. Prior to the 1990's only medium was TV/Videotape or print. which meant it was limited and even then limited to those that care about martial arts. Now its almost impossible to create anything new without direct and immediate scrutiny. In the past it was possible for something to be created in isolation and developed in its own cocoon. Wait a few years of testing and dedicated students and then voila... new style. Last one I can think of was Keysi which was really of the internet age that propagated its rise and visibility, but also fell foul of its creators splitting up and the criticisms that followed.

    UFC I think was very much an earthquake. Naturally the original was a different beast to the cage sport of today - but the open format and ability to not limit the techniques that you could bring to the fight (and people always limited the techniques prior to then, usually to bolster their own preffered styles) meant that a lot of sacred cows were killed and some of the stuff that fighters knew already were reinforced:

    1) True fighting is at all ranges, not the range which your style favours.
    2) If a fight goes on long enough the percentage of it ending up on the ground increases.
    3) Basics of grappling and striking are more important that Finesse/advanced techniques of any style or system
    4) Basics of styles that are pressure tested on a constant basis over time end up looking like each other to become virtually indistinguishable (so why train in a style or create one?)
    5) Beyond certain basic skills advanced skills and techniques are quirks of individuals and what works for them
    6) Physical capability and Aggression allied to training methods based on sports science and capacity to maintain the initiative are more important than styles once the fundamentals have been mastered.

    New Styles tend to be the product of individuals and circumstances in certain places and certain times. In the realm of combat sports they stay within certain parametres of a closed format and become specialised within that specific ruleset (i.e boxing still has better hands than UFC but rules allows specialisation and finesse) or develop within a more open format (withing safety rules) such as UFC sacrificing depth/quality for versatility (not quite the expression i like but it will do for now)

    I think new styles have more room to develop in regards to self defence....but thats another more complicated issue.
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  3. thegreyman

    thegreyman New Member

    Excellent points! I totally forgot about Keysi, I think they did one of the Batman fight scenes. In any case to this is an interesting topic and I do not MMA is most likely the last of new styles.
  4. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    A lot of those "styles" don't have anything to do with bringing anything new to the table, so to speak, but are more to do with re-branding, marketing and trying to get a piece of the martial arts pie. Especially all the Kenpo/Kempo spin offs. It's about people working up through the grades, it getting a bit congested at the top at the 6th, 7th, 8th dan level and them wanting some recognition. That's also why new associations for existing styles spring up and off-shoot.
  5. Botta Dritta

    Botta Dritta Valued Member

    Meh its a bit complicated.. MMA is a but like laser CD disks, its hit hardware limitations. We can't at the moment transmit information faster than light and humans still only have two legs and two arms. (But people still moved to USB stick and cloud info so...)

    As I see it there are only a couple of ways anything new would make headground:

    1) Safety restrictions: after battling long and hard to get it accepted UFC rules I think are close the maximum openness without risk to life that is for the moment socially acceptable. Doubt these will shift much.

    2) Enviroment: You could change the cage for a warehouse/building/forest/ in the Dark? where fighters have to find each other first...This might change tactics for entry and surprise attacks but I doubt much would change in style when confrontation happens, though perhaps judo throws on tarmac would be greater fight enders. Would you sit down and watch this? An MMA version of the running man? Pass thankyou.

    Note - though I once discussed with a BJJ practitioner that if humanity went to the stars, low-gravity martial arts would probably be a thing - Cue Trump's USA Space Force....

    3) Multiple Individuals.
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  6. thegreyman

    thegreyman New Member

    You got some solid ideas. UFC has been exciting to me in a while. Watching two men hug for 30 min gets tedious. I prefer shoot fighting.
  7. thegreyman

    thegreyman New Member

    Kenpo is weird like. But I do like the art behind, purely from a historical perspective.
  8. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Kempo is only from the 1950's, it's not really historical?
  9. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Kempo seems to have been entirely made up to even has its own terminology, strange drills (smashing hammers, intercepting lighting and that type of thing) that weird grippy hand shape they like to make, etc.
    I mean..all arts are made up of course but Kempo seems to have sprung up from almost nothing.
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  10. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Secrets of Chinese 51SPbkdQssL._AC_UL600_SR399,600_.jpg karate was the book that first got me interested in training, it's also full of insane made up stories about warrior monks.

    10/10 for entertainment

    1/10 for real content.
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  11. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    You have me very curious about this! What is the weird grippy hand shape they like to make?
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  12. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Active Member

    Take a look at the picture.
    Kenpo by Larry Tatum 23 DVD Set
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  13. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Active Member

    As an ex-Kenpo guy myself, I can say with confidence that Kenpo wasn't invented out of thin air. In my opinion, it did go down some interesting rabbit holes, the results of which I feel are mixed. In the end, I am an ex-Kenpo guy.
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  14. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Flying crane got it. It's like a knifehand at the index finger but a loose fist by the time you get to the pinky. Pretty sure Ed Parker started it and, much like the "little finger and thumb out fist" JKD affectation you see coming from Bruce, it spread from there.
  15. thegreyman

    thegreyman New Member

    I was about to say, all parts are made up. I've only recently began studying Kempo, for my lens, I can see shaolin and Karate influences in the art, my background is in Chinese arts. So yea, from this lens you can call it one of the first MMAs. That said, even karate came from Kungfu, so even Karate was mixed :)

    I think Kempo/Kenpo is great art for someone that wants to learn a traditional martial arts, it gives good fundamentals. Of course if you want to learn how to fight, go to a boxing gym or MMA gym. But those places lack the "art" in martial arts for my taste.
  16. thegreyman

    thegreyman New Member

    Anything before the internet is historical ;)

    BTW any former Tony Leo students here? I trained at this Yorba Linda DOJO when I was a little kid in the 1990s.
  17. Rand86

    Rand86 likes to butt heads

    At what point does stuff become "historical" though? 100 years? Going on 70 years is a heckuva long time, I'd say.
  18. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    There's made up as in someone spends years learning arts and once being a master puts their own stamp on them by making his own art from his vaste experience

    And then there's made up as in completely made up from no or very little experience to make some money out of people

    I think the poster was putting kempo in the second class
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  19. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    The internet dates pretty close to kempo actually,

    Birth of the internet, October 29, 1969

    Birth of ed Parker Kempo 1953.

    If your arguing for historical value, it pretty far down on the list.

    Well this is very kempo'y

  20. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Active Member

    Ken(m)po can mean many things. While there is Okinawan kempo, in the US when the term is used it usually is in reference to a family of methods that came to the mainland via Hawaii, downstream from William Chow and/or James Mitose. Those fellows, especially Mitose, can be controversial and I’m not gonna go down those rabbit holes. I have my own opinions.

    Ed Parker was a student of Chow, and brought the method to the Mainland. There are lineages in the US that did not come through Parker, and trace directly to Chow or Mitose. Parker had many students who eventually splintered off and established their own brand of Kenpo. Parker was constantly adjusting his Kenpo, so when these people splintered away had an impact on what their particular Kenpo now looks like. Many of these people incorporated things from other sources, further impacting what their Kenpo is. Many of them rewrote their Kenpo and created their own way, based on their experience.

    Further, I have seen it said that in the early days Parker recruited people with prior experience, and let them keep their basics and fundamentals from their prior training, without establishing a baseline expectation of how these issues ought to be done within Kenpo. So even basics and fundamentals can vary tremendously from one lineage to another.

    So Kenpo is not all the same thing, not by a long shot.

    I’ve not systematically studied Shaolin arts, but I’ve been around them and have a sense of their flavor. I say that in the spirit of full disclosure, that I am not an expert on Shaolin. In my experience with Kenpo, I do not see Shaolin in Kenpo.

    One of the biggest problems I saw in the particular Kenpo that I trained in, was that it tried to be everything, instead of just being good at what it was. It was an Americanized method, but wanted to hold on to its Japanese and Chinese roots in ways that just didn’t make sense. There was material adopted from Japanese and Chinese sources that had no historical relationship to the actual Japanese and Chinese roots, but felt to me like they were thrown in just to have some Japanese and Chinese material in there as kind of a “see, we are all that too!” kind of thing. To me, it felt disjointed, that material lacked the proper foundation unique and specific to what it should have been, and made it just an add-on that was out of place and inappropriate. I will further state that it is my opinion that nobody knows what the actual Chinese and Japanese roots of Americanized Kenpo is. I believe that has been lost to history, and nobody can point to a particular Chinese or Japanese system and state with certainty, that that system was an ancestor system to today’s Americanized Kenpo. I believe that some people learned some things in the melting pot of Hawaii, and perhaps those people didn’t see importance in documenting the sources. Maybe they learned a bit of this and a bit of that and stirred it all together, but none of it was extensive material from any single system. This is my opinion and my speculation.

    Some lineages of Kenpo may be better at what they do than others. Ive certainly not experienced nor witnessed them all. But my experience left me feeling like it was missing some very important cohesion and focus, spent too much time focused on the wrong things, that made it something with which I never felt confident of my ability to use it. Ultimately I felt it was the wrong method for me. There are those who feel the opposite of me, so I just see it as a personal choice. No system is equally good (or bad) for every person. A system can be a good match for some people, and a poor match for others.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2020
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