Thoughts On: Kenpo Technique SequenceApril 16 2012 at 1:54 AM
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First, let us examine a problem so that we can be aware of the problems existence and the value of the solution.
A big problem within American Kenpo is the lack of understanding the reasoning behind the design of the system.
For example, the actual reason why a particular move is followed by another particular move in a technique sequence
is only superficially understood as students go through the motions day in and day out. When the sequence is taught
the reason for the design of that particular technique is incorrectly explained as being designed in that particular manner
to complete a category of motion, to serve as a vehicle to help you define the basics being utilized, to develop position
recognition or other half-hearted answers. Many Kenpo students look no further then the initial attack assuming that the
long string of follow-up moves are all in brutal response to that first attack. If you do not suffer from a shallow understanding
of the many layered reasons for technique sequences you can probably stop reading now.
It is rare to hear a coherent and logical explanation for the design of a particular sequence. The manipulation of the
dimensional zones is a key to understanding the options that remain for the unfortunate body being manipulated. The
remaining course of reaction for the threat is often the reason for the next move in the sequence. The sequence is
designed to remove the dialogue and begin the monologue, each move in a technique sequence is in context with the
possible reactions of the threat. Look at the Kenpo technique Sword and Hammer, does the hammer serve no further
purpose then to complete a category, does it not hold the potential to stop a likely course of action from the threat?
Sword and Hammer is one of the shortest techniques taught but how many revisit the techniques learned in the previous
belt levels yet alone examine each action in a particular sequence searching for the possible reasons when such a follow up
action will make sense. What zone cancelation really means to that particular technique, what options are being taken away
and why take it away at that particular point in the sequence?
It is not just the sequential motion in the Kenpo techniques that have a logical reason but the stance changes, positions and particular angle
relationships occurring and not occurring. For example tremendously painful mistakes can occur if you do what should not be done at a particular
point in a sequence. For example if your doing a simultaneous block and punch and end up using to much force in the block pushing and turning
your target away from the force of your punch, your punch is now less effective and you have set the threat into an unhealthy orbit. At that point
all is not lost because the next move in the sequence often addresses the possibility of that mistake, even if it would have been much better had
you not made the mistake to start with. Often times after doing something for a long time the human mind gets very comfortable with it and goes
on auto-pilot, at this point Kenpoist are just going through the motions of the technique, maybe trying to go faster or harder but not really paying
attention to the relationships occurring during the sequence interactions or the when and why of it.
Thousands of martial arts exist in a skeletal state devoid of all but the most simplistic interpretations behind the moves because the following generations
were content to go through the motions without really questioning, analyzing the possibilities their arts addressed. Thousands of martial arts exist as only
faint shadows of what they contained during the time of the founders because after losing sight of the importance of being able to manifest the original purpose,
followed by conveniently forgetting what that purpose was in the first place, they then picked a new purpose to continue their mindless zombie ritual of moving
around giving it shallow purposes like scoring points in a point tournament... Food for thought