Which Kenpo is "Right" for me? By Bob Hubbard This is a common question isn't it? Newbies wonder about a particular school, and sometimes even older players wonder if what they are doing is right. The kenpo family tree isn't so much a single tree, but a small grove that has over time intertwined and crossed branches. Some of these branches are very refined, academic even, others are still simple in lay out and devastating in impact. Each one with it's strengths, nuances, weaknesses, and peculiarities. Sometimes I think though, we as human beings get so hung up on trying to figure out just what the "right" thing is, as if there really was a "one-size-fits-all" art. But we can't see the forest for the trees as we each have our favorites. A forest of nothing but pine trees would be a boring place. So would a single unified kenpo. I think wondering which is right is a good question. Computer hackers have done this for over 50 years, and their arguments make ours look tame. (see mac vs windows, or which linux is right for reference, lol) We all want to believe what we are doing it the "right thing", and when someone else promotes something not our "right thing" we often want to protect ourselves from "being wrong". That is the point where so many of our arguments come from. We need to sit back, and realize that there can in fact be more than one "right thing". I come from a Modern Arnis background, where there is a focus on tailoring the art to yourself and making it your own. I've heard the same thing said about some of the kenpos. Some of our terms, our training methodologies, our techniques look odd to the uninitiated. "You have to feel to believe" we say, so we invite others on the floor so that we may share our knowledge and passion. The whole time trying to share this "right thing" that we have found. When they do not see it, we often get annoyed, sometimes angry, and lash out. I don't believe that this lashing out, this misdirected anger is a sign of high martial arts development. It is a sign of fear. The fear of being wrong. The fear that our "right thing" isn't really "right". We need to stop that fear, and learn to enjoy our differences. As it is said, empty your cup. Realize that there are many "right things" out there, some even contradict each other. The true "Right" is the one that is your own, that fits you and takes you higher. Rejoice in our differences, for they make us stronger, and more interesting. [font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]===[/font] [font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] [/font] [font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Bob Hubbard is an administrator o[/font][font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]f the popular martial arts sites MartialTalk.com and KenpoTalk.com. He is president of SilverStar WebDesigns inc., a web site design and hosting company specializing in affordable solutions for martial artists. A student of all the arts, he is currently studying Modern Arnis. More of Bob's articles can be found at rustaz.net. Please contact Bob if you would like him to review your martial arts product. Copyright [/font]©2007 Bob Hubbard - Copies of this article are free to distribute, provided all text is retained intact.