During the daily practice of American Kenpo, you burn calories and improve your health by developing your endurance and power, you increase blood circulation which enhances your mantabolism and enhance your flexibility and so much more.
What I think Ed Parker was trying to avoid was putting a mystical spin on the art that serves no true purpose. Martial Arts has been full of charlatans claiming
secret, mystical knowledge in order to sucker the gullible.
In Chinese culture the Taoist ideas are used to explain a lot of martial arts, that is part of the culture but it is not a superior way to look at Martial Concepts for students who are not raised in that culture.
When a Tai Chi expert uses the technique Brush Knee Twist Step on an opponent, no magical energy, comes spiraling from the Dan Tian, passing through gates in the spine and shoots out of the palm that knocks an attacker down. Rather the physical energy of the attacker misses the target, the attackers balance is compromised and the Tai Chi expert applies the push or palm strike as the attacker is trying to recover, no magic is involved, no mystic power needed, just good common sense. If the Tai Chi expert has really good timing and skill, the attacker may look like he was dropped with hardly any effort or knocked back a great distance but again its no different then any other martial arts technique done with skill and timing.
I for one am glad that American Kenpo is not bogged down in so much mystical insanity, like some other martial arts these days, look at Ninjutsu or Tai Chi Chuan, how many Charlatans are our claiming to have secret powers and other BS, sad that they cant just buy a big vehicle to compensate for personal problems, no they want to claim mystical powers, oh well.