Something KenpoJoe wrote below sparked some brain cells that were trying desperately to nod off. In it, he mentions the Freestyle Techs as offensive kenpo. To me, the only truly offensive kenpo is the garbage found on YouTube.
OK. Just kidding. Butt seriously, isn't all kenpo offensive? I mean, if distance is the first defense, then self-defense training should consist of evasive foot maneuvers, slipping/bobbing/weaving, and wind sprints. Maybe some Parkour free-running to help you get away once you ducked out...that would make it Parkour Kenpo. (sorry...been a crappy weekend).
Kenpo, from the opening move, is counter-offensive art. Take the oh-so-beaten-to-death example of 5 Swords. The block can be converted from something merely to prevent you from getting hit, to someting that breaks the other guys arm...or with opening up elipses, breaks his nose and rakes the cornea off the eyes on the way to breaking the arm. Not defensive at all: It's "conflict domination through superior firepower". Need an offensive technique because the guy won't move forward and take a poke at you? Convert the inward block in 5-S to an inward raking hammerfist across the mug, and just continue beating on him with the rest of the tech. Life depends on the outcome? Don't stop repeating the technique pattern until you see gray matter dripping out of his ears.
Do we really need stepping foward into an exchange to be spelled out for us in algebrese, or can we just launch forward with our lead hands whipping out the hammer-backnuckle-upward elbow-palm-heel rake from Hooking Wings?
I guess I always think of kenpo as "thinking mans pugilism". And hope most practitioners could think enough to see their way clear to bum rushing someone with the lawn mower blades facing the opponent, instead of the ground, if it came to that. Some bad guy is molesting your sacred Swiss Cheese stash...do you just run up to him, holler, and wait for him to swing on you, or can you apply enough creativity to the vocabulary of motion to make something useful up on the spot?
Obviously, legal issues are always a factor. But, to me, leaping balls first into the fray with a mmind set only on intent, not specifics, is the best way to enter personal combat. In a matter of heartbeats, the lay of the land can change so much as to be unrecognizable from the beginning. Only by developing the ability to adapt on the fly will we be able to dominate throguh superiority.
"The best Defense is a good Offense" can sometimes be reinterpreted "The best defense is a homocidal offense", at which point much off the stuff we do in the system cann start making applicable sense. Or does training by the book necessitate waiting for the guy to launch a specific attack?
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