"He's saying not to get wrapped up in traditional stuff, much like Bruce used to say, figure Bruce got it from Mr. Parker."
Yes, which means - don't be traditional. I totally agree that tradition has value and merit, but the main reason I have studied Kenpo so long is because it's more realistic in thought and action, due to not being bound by tradition. Mr. Parker broke away from tradition when it came to the self-protection strategies of the art. I agree that we do have some tradition, as you mentioned with the whole uniform, bowing, belts, and so on, but the way we approach things in American Kenpo is with a modern and practical mindset, rather than an ancient and classical method.
"Everything that we do in the art is traditional somewhere..."
I don't agree with that. First off, there are several variables involved with our art. One variable is our approach. Our approach is not traditional. Another variable is our mindset. Our mindset is not traditional. We are taught to question everything and to interpret, analyze, research, and dissect everything we are taught in Kenpo and explore new things by creating our own style of Kenpo based off the blueprint that is laid out for us by our teachers. In traditional styles if you question, you get hit with big sticks. It's disrespectful to question your instructor in traditional styles. In traditional styles nothing can be changed. You do the art the same way it was done hundreds of years ago. In Kenpo, we are taught to change with the environment. Traditionalists don't look at "what if's" or as you have in your teachings
"even ifs." They believe that the step through reverse punch to the solar plexus will work in all situations. They look at everythhing one dimensionally. In Kenpo, we look at everything multi-dimensionally because Kenpo is a multi-dimensional and a multi-directional art. Also, traditoinal styles don't look at the other side of the coin. They don't think about the attacker's mindset. For instance in Kenpo, we evaluate both sides by working from the attacker's point of view as well and working the attacks. For instance, we learn the wrist lock in twisted twig, and we work that lock perfectly over and over. We then learn that if we did that lock correctly there wouldn't be "time" for the defender to pull off twisted twig - and that person wouldn't have the ability.
I do understand that the physical movements, in general, are traditional, however. Look at our concepts and principles. How is point of origin traditional? The traditional styles I've been exposed to always chambered before they punched.
"The techniques are nothing new, they're just better thought out, logically, and with solid prinicples to back the action."
I agree, which means they aren't traditional anymore if they have been looked at differently.
"Rich Hale, along with his wife, were both Tatum black belts."
I am well aware of that. I know Rich well and he's always spoken highly of Mr. Tatum. I really like Rich, and although I have trained with him only on one occasion, I have learned a lot from him. Also, keep in mind that he was one of Mr. Parker's private students.
"Does his book expound on what Larry taught him? Is there something new that Larry doesn't teach?"
It's not a book, it's a disk that you upload on your computer. It has a lot of info. To answer your question, I don't know. You would have to ask Rich. I believe it was due to all his research and all his training with all the Kenpoists he has trained with. I know it has more than what Mr. Tatum taught him because there are so many aspects to the journal - like all the Mr. Parker interviews.
"Evolved is a pretty expansive word, more like refined."
I agree. If it's refined, it's not traditional.