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What is the "Ultimate goal of kenpo"?

January 19 2011 at 4:00 PM
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The topic was circulating lately so I asked my instructor (Ron "Doc" Chapel) and he responded with what I thought should be shared. What follows is his response to me:

"Elongate circles and round off corners is the ultimate aim of Kenpo, right?

I had a conversation with Mr. Parker about that very thing. He asked me out of the blue one day that question. Turns out it was a "set up," as he was prone to do.

He said one evening while we were having a private dinner alone, "Hey! What's the ultimate aim of Kenpo." Being a student who listened intently to everything Mr. Parker had ever uttered, I said with a know-it-all smirk on my face, "To elongate circles and round off corners." "Really?" He said. "Where in the world did you get such a dumb idea?"

As I stuttered and attempted to regain what little composure I had left, he continued, "You came from Ark Wong, so I know you know just how complex human movement is, right?" I said, "Yes of course." "Than," he said, "why in the world do you think a simple phrase could cover all of the ideas of Kenpo? Do you really think you could boil it down to something that simple?"

He went on to talk about how people love to quote him without understanding the context of what he was saying. That dinner conversation is the source of the quote in my forum signature; "It is always easier to quote, than to know."

Sometimes elongated circles are good, sometimes bad. Sometimes rounded corners work, and sometimes they are a bad idea, and neither teaches you how to do anything. Nothing is that simple.

Ultimately he shared that while the phrase had merit, it was only a simple idea to get beginners moving, and knowledgeable students should know better. I knew better from that moment on, to listen intently but also learned that Mr. Parker would bait you into a position, attack you for it even though the source was himself, make you defend it, than ultimately agree or disagree depending upon how well you defended your position.

I leaned to NEVER, EVER quote Ed Parker to Ed Parker

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