Discussion in 'Kenpo' started by BGile, Mar 5, 2007.

  1. John Bishop

    John Bishop Valued Member

    Talent is relavent to it's time. John L. Sullivan was a world champion boxer in his time. Today, he probably wouldn't be a contender.
    James Mitose was the first to introduce his version of kenpo in Hawaii. So who would be there with the experience to say if it was good or bad?
    One way to judge his quality as a instructor would be if others sought him out. Many of his students had no choice, since he and Okazaki were the only instructors on the island who would teach non-Asians.
    But did black belts from other systems quit theirs, and join Mitose? No.
    Did black belts quit Mitose and join others? Yes, just about all of them except Thomas Young. William Chow went his own way concentrating on more kung fu. Bobby Lowe joined Kyokushinkai. Paul Yamaguichi joined Goju Ryu.

    People talk about Ed Parker's first black and brown belts quiting his school to go train with James Wing Woo. Obviously these senior students felt Woo had more knowledge to offer them.
    James Mitose visited Parker's school several times, and even did a few demonstrations. Did anyone ever leave Parker's school to seek instruction from Mitose? No.
  2. KempoFist

    KempoFist Attention Whore

    I think that the proliferation of Ke?po in the US is a terrible terrible thing to attribute to one man. I mean not even Mitose deserves THAT kind of credit. Sheesh, and I thought I was being mean. :rolleyes: ;)
  3. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned

    Adam got the credit when he was the first :D :D Then it went to Noah and his family. Someone always wants to take the credit or give it :D :D

    As Tomas Mitose mentions in several different locations his father was into the spirit side of the arts and apparantly was pretty obsessive regarding that. Some have mentioned he met his father at an age of a child, but in an interview I read recently he only mentions his meeting as an adult.

    I have read that Mitose left the arts, the art did not leave him, he became aware there was more money in other occupations and chose them. He was a spiritual person but like many of them, he was a con-man, big time.

    One of his dislikes was the foul nature of many of the people of the various arts and it has been mentioned numerous (hundreds) times. He ended up in jail and maybe it was fitting, the courts thought so.

    It is a subject that has gotten very tiring and it is something that just keeps on chugging along.

    The people that teach the arts of what Mitose started with, have quite a bit of what they teach that has nothing to do with what Mitose taught. But they accredit the man as the one who started this particular term we continue to use Ken/mpo.

    I personally am more into FMA now and enjoy the JKD drills and FMA drills rather then Kata.

  4. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    No one denies that Mitose knew something. Most of the accounts of what he taught and his ability levels were that of what we would consider basic linear stuff. Chow once called it "Kindergarten stuff" when asked about it years later. Of course, years later, Chow was VERY advanced in his abilities and he could have been reflecting on how basic his early training was. There are those now that say that Mitose was intentionally holding back all of his advanced material because those Hawaiian boys only wanted to use it to fight.

    I tend to discount the latter account as unsubstantiated and believe the accounts of those that trained with him back in the 40's. Like Prof. Bishop said, you have to account for the times. The Model T was a good car but I wouldn't want to rely on it as my main source of transportation. Look at the advacements in the automotive industry in the past 60 years. Same with Kempo/Kenpo. Start with a solid basic concept and see what develops from it.
  5. KempoFist

    KempoFist Attention Whore

    But...but...but, they used it on the str33ts! When was the last time you fought in the str33ts!?
  6. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned

    This is a good question and one that needs some clairification. The type of activity that was going on in Hawaii at the time was very rough and tumble.
    We are experiencing some of the very same things in America only more so if you look at the crime rate and the death that occurs daily in cities all over America, terrible to be exact.

    There are many in our culture that have fights all the time in their neighborhoods and towns. It is a major problem in our cities

    But the type of problem in Hawaii was the same thing, gang activity and servicemen and locals fighting all the time. Was that way when I was in Hawaii in 1960. HASP and SP had their hand full. The HASP were known for dealing out harsh justice on the street. It was a very rough group of men trying to keep the problems on the steet down to a minimum.

    I doubt if it is any worse in Hawaii now compared to the cities on the mainland, but at that date and time just after and before the war it was pretty terrible, I have read.

    I have a book about the turbulence in Hawaii called "The First Strange Place''
    It is a must read for those who have any questions about the turbulent times in Hawaii.

    The basic Shotokan is still taught in many schools, Naihan... is taught. Shorin Ryu is still pretty much the same. The art of FMA is still similar to what was taught hundreds of years ago. Tracy's is very much the same that was taught in the late 50's, same with EP Srs teaching.

    The Boxers of China still teach what they taught over hundreds of years ago.
    Changed some but not much. IMHO... The Okinawa arts that are taught today are about the same. It is called traditional, I believe. Look at Boxing and some of the old clips. Many that were good back then are still styles of boxers of today extra footwork. Look at the Fly Weight division and the fighting of Vic Darchinyan (sp) what a throw back style.

    Last edited: Mar 10, 2007
  7. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    "Streets" (However mockingly you spell it) is merely a short cut way of saying that it is a non-controlled environment without referees or rules.

    "Judo" Gene Lebell once wrote that when Karate etc. first came over to America, it worked great because no one had ever seen it before and therefore didn't know how to defend against it. Once it became well known, it ceased to be as effective as it was at first. The same thing is true for BJJ. Hwne it first came on the scene, it defeated everyone. Now, it's the Chuck Lidells of the MMA world who dominate because they know how to neutralize BJJ pretty effectively (Sprawl, Pass the Guard, Escape). So I have no problem with the notion that the early Mitose stuff was pretty effective at first. Notice however that no one stayed with it very long without innovating. The needs of the "street" demanded more than Mitose was giving them apparently.
  8. KempoFist

    KempoFist Attention Whore

    Gary the crime rate in the US is lower than it's ever been, and as far as street gangs go, it's more of them infighting than them jumping random people off the subway. Where are you getting this stuff? I can't stand how every BS MA school out there tries to market themselves on this notion of the world being such a "dangerous place." Bunch of BS. Unless I go walking through a bad part of Brooklyn shouting ethnic slurs, I don't have much to worry about on the "street."
  9. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    Violent Crime Up in 2006

  10. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned

    Dan, we argree on something :D It has happened before, but this is a biggie.

    The article that confirms the amount of street crime that is way up and it was just recently that the LAPD has mentioned going back to the same tactics that I was familiar with regarding targeting the people who are the problem, the gangs and street people.

    You must live a very sheltered life kempofist for the amount of crime in the cities is growing and is huge regarding the amounts of murder, violent crime and similar problems for LEO now, it has swept the cities in the first few months of this year. It is truly a big problem. :eek:

    Last edited: Mar 10, 2007
  11. KempoFist

    KempoFist Attention Whore

    What's the specific difference between property theft and robbery?

    Sheltered? Perhaps. Or perhaps I'm smart enough to avoid being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Beyond that, a lot of violent crime are domestic cases, which thankfully I don't experience. For those who have no choice but to live in violent areas with high crime rates...well I don't see those folks driving out to suburbia to take Kenpo or TKD so they can defend themselves and their homes :rolleyes:

    Regardless, this image of a world gone wrong, with thugs waiting around every corner like some bad Batman flick is still far overblown. When was the last time you ended up getting into trouble with some random person? (not counting those you challenged on the internet.)
  12. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    If I steal your belongings, it's property theft. If I pull a gun on you and steal your belongings, it's robbery. Robbery increased by nearly 10%.
  13. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    Saturday a woman I work with along with her sisters and nieces were robbed at gunpoint. Since the begining of the school year, we've had two students shot to death. One had his skull fractured by two assailants with clubs in front of the school I work at right in front of one of our female teachers. Another teacher (female) was assaulted in her classroom and there have been numerous fights among the students that the adults have had to quell. Since our school year begins in September, that makes it 6 whole months so far.

    One can't always pick where one lives or works. Even if the neighborhood starts out with a fairly non-violent demographic, things change over time and one can find oneself living and working in a more violent place.

    Better to have the training and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

    On another note: When I worked as a bouncer I noticed that most fights were over within 5 to 15 seconds (in terms of actual fighting) after that, there was only a winner and a loser. About half of the fights I saw ended within three blows. IMO MMA training is no better than any other when it comes to dealing with that scenario. The Kenpo of Mitose, when it was new to the islands, probably worked fine. Then it needed to be improved and it was. Chow improved it; Emperado improved it; Parker;Castro and Kuoha. MMA is the latest fad. I'm glad that you enjoy it more than what you got from your previous group, but you shouldn't write off all Kenpo/Kempo due to your limited exposure to it.
  14. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned

    The Kempo of Mitose is first and foremost avoidance and evading. Self Defense is just that not to be in the wrong place, and if you find yourself in the wrong situation to try and get out of it without fighting. But if you have to fight you are prepared to do so because of your training.

    I am a person who trains and does a lot of physcial activity and by doing that am in pretty good shape. I would say that your statement about challenging is ment for me. :woo: I'll just say this, because of my job vocations and the locations I have been in for those jobs has lead me to the life of being aware and being prepared. Goes back to being a good boy scout.

    I could tell you many occasions especially now as a senior citizen of the out and out hostility out there in the common areas of social life, from parking lots to Emergency rooms.
    I have seen and interceded and stopped problems in the bud by being there and presenting myself into the problem before and after it has started. Reading the local paper is a horror story everyday and this is just local not MSNBC and the violence around the globe of the USofA.

    Every shopping mall has security all the the larger locations where you go to shop have security every bank, and lots of restaurants do. Nightclubs and theaters have security. Why? Because people are being violated every minute of the day in the USofA, mostly in the cities, you are correct about that, but if that is where you live you need to be aware and able to defend one's self.

    It has been away of life for me for so long I will not stop now just because I am older, that is when you need to continue so you can enjoy life with some sort of strength and mobility. That entails working out, going for walks and exposing yourself to some sort of violence that happens on the streets of suburbia daily. So I carry a cane and that is a weapon of choice now, I practice with it 3 days a week while training.

    As I have stated many times I am not into the hard core training of yesteryear but I still train.

    Hope that helps or :confused: .

  15. KempoFist

    KempoFist Attention Whore

    Thanks for your responses. I stand very well corrected.
  16. KempoFist

    KempoFist Attention Whore

    This has nothing to do with my opinions on Kenpo or any other specific style, but rather any martial arts school that markets itself on the self defense line in tangent with this idea that you're going to be killed at any moment without their training.

    As you said, first of all if someone really wants to kill you, they are going to kill you. No training is going to stop a knife to the ribs from someone brushing passed you, and no training is going to stop a bullet at 20 feet from someone you got into an accident with. That's simply going to take a combination of awareness, situational avoidance, a good head on your shoulders, and some good old fashioned common sense. Learning crappy wristlock gun counters, and knife parrying techniques with a bunch of groin stomping and throat punching at the end isn't going to do anyone good, and at best will just get them hospitalized when they try to use it.

    For the record I don't do MMA, but I do appreciate the format of MMA sparring as it is the most realistic IMO. And yes I also do appreciate how MMA and BJJ schools don't market themselves in the manner stated above; not that there aren't idiot BJJ or MMA people out there, cause god knows there's a lot of them. Only for different reasons. But as a whole, they are upfront about the practicality of what they teach in self defense situations.
  17. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    I agree. Situational awareness is the most important thing by far. Being able to see something coming before it gets there is what veryone should try to constantly develop.

    The techniques for disarming should be pressure tested in order to see what works for you and what doesn't. It's better to have a few default responses to a knife attack then it is to just stand there and cringe. Even if you do get stabbed or sliced, it might not be as bad if you can stop it early on in the attack. Like the Dog Brothers say, "Die less often". There are no guarantees, but you should have something in your skill-set. Plus, If I do get the weapon away, I think I would like to stomp on their groin for a while.

    Okay. I thought you had said you trained in MMA after you left your Kempo group. Sorry for the mistake. Where do you train now?
  18. KempoFist

    KempoFist Attention Whore

    All I can say is the only people who I've ever seen that have anything remotely practical for knife defense is the SBG S.T.A.B program and the Dog Brothers. But both of them, even admit the futility of trying to fight off an armed attacker who knows what they are doing. I have yet to see any Kaju weapon defense stuff, so I can't comment.

    Unfortunately for a lot of people, they train at schools who repeat the same line (which is good) but then never as you said, pressure test those moves at full speed. Would you care to take a stab in the dark as to what percentage you feel Ken/mpo schools actually train practical techniques, live full speed with marking weapons?

    I train BJJ at Matt Serra's school.
  19. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned

    Kempofist mentions;
    I train BJJ at Matt Serra's school.

    I'll ask:

    Regarding your training, how much time do you spend on the ground and start there, in comparision to practicing not going there, or trying to go there (take downs).

    Also, on your ability to parry or redirect a strike or a kick and just stay up and fight with strikes or blocks? I am curious, what you spend time on???

    The submission's are important I know, do you work out on bags?

    Last edited: Mar 11, 2007
  20. KempoFist

    KempoFist Attention Whore

    I have a takedown class once a week which I have yet to go to that just started back up again this month after a hiatus, which focuses on proper posture in the clinch, and switching between different types of takedowns, as well as closing the distance and going from there.

    Formally in BJJ classes, 0% is spent "live" as part of regular beginner classes. The topic is brought up, discussed and perhaps even drilled, but we never get to the point of throwing on 9oz gloves, head gear and defend GnP. If you implied standup training, then the most I can say is learning how to cover and shoot or go for a low body clinch.

    The classes I train at are primarily sport grappling focused, rather than appealing with the "self defense" schtick. Once students get above white belt, and have a solid grasp on control on the ground and have a basic skillset of submissions from all the primary positions, then if one wanted to, they could cross-train at our mixed kickboxing sister school (Longos) and work full range MMA stuff there. Actually, I don't think you even need to be a blue belt to train there, but it's not recommended to just jump right into that before gaining a solid foundation in pure grappling BJJ.

    I work out on bags and pads only in my outside training. That is not part of the Jiu-Jitsu curriculum or training regimen. Striking has no place in general.

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