I spent this Veterans Day weekend Friday afternoon until Monday morning as a guest at Clydes home. Within the first hours of my arrival my understanding of Kenpo was changed and my faith in the art restored.
My physical Kenpo had run into some roadblocks that started to create doubts in my mind about the entire system and in fact the last few months I started giving very serious consideration to leaving the art for good and going into either Taijiquan or Wing Tsun. I highly encourage those of you who have doubts about the ideal phase techniques to seek out Clyde, he can and he did prove that the techniques do work when they are executed correctly. In fact if you have any desire to improve your Kenpo in any particular faucet of the system Clyde can do more than expound verbally he can manifest the proof so you can experience it directly.
I can write a few dictionary sized books in answer to the question what did I learn in only a few days with Clyde. I cannot do justice to it in a brief summary. That being said, I will still outline some of the epiphanies and share some of the experience that I was lucky enough to have the last four days. Before I get into that however it is important that I clarify a few key points.
1. If youre a seasoned reader of the various martial arts boards you have probably herd Clyde mention Catalysts, ARMM, Even-if and other keys to the house of Kenpo understanding numerous times but if you did what I did, you simply searched your own frame of reference for things you thought were similar and said oh I get it that X is nothing more than Y. If that is what you did you probably missed the boat.
2. If you want to get better at Kenpo with Clyde you have to set aside your ego and really make sure the path between your ears and your brain is not clogged with BS. I really feel sorry for those that have worked with him in the past but could not get past the embarrassment of being a fallible Kenpoist. Why bother putting on the charade of wanting to learn if you feel you know everything already. (they know who they are lol)
3. The forms, the techniques, the extensions, the sets, the vocabulary, the principles nothing is busy work, nothing is there for arbitrary reasons. I have a very important tip for you, if you think something in the system has been arbitrarily put there by Mr. Parker you DO NOT understand it and or you are doing it poorly. Tip number two: It all comes together to make the functional masterpiece, when it does not come together, when some element seems unusable to you, you are doing it poorly and/or you simply do not understand it.
4. If you spar Clyde do not dare forget your cup. Let us take a moment to thank the maker of the cup, for without this mercy the extinction of our species would be closer at hand lol!
5. No matter how good you got at Kenpo at some point in the past, your physical skill with the basics will decay if you do not challenge yourself to go beyond wherever your skill level is. My personal analogy I have for you is as follows: Sparring your students, sparring opponents of lesser skill, fighting unskilled riff raff and working out with kind hearted folk who will not challenge you, is like eating sweet candies, your kenpo teeth will decay. Most of the time you do not notice anything wrong with your teeth until pain sets in.
In summary: What did I learn? (Notice I have to swallow some pride to even admit some of this lol)
1. My neutral bow has bad habits that were detracting from all faucets of my Kenpo
2. My instinctive startle reflex and very jumpy reactions to the initial catalyst in the ideal phase techniques where catalyzing my opponent into positions and orbits detrimental to keeping them in the pattern.
3. I was violating economy of motion and telegraphing many of the ideal phase techniques by moving along tedious orbits which also translated to telegraphing those same basics in sparring.
4. I failed to understand the catalysts for many of the self-defense techniques causing me to act too soon or too late to make the rest of the pattern work.
5. The catalyst must be allowed to trigger the procedural memory and that has to override the PTSD like, tense, single focus responses that my personal Kenpo (to my surprise) was suffering from.
6. If you engage the blade you pay the penalty!
7. When they say frictional pull what they really mean is car accident like disorienting whip lash!
8. Take the dialogue and turn it to a monologue, stay within the pattern and eureka.
9. Do not let your body betray your intentions it sounds so simple but when sparring under pressure from a more experienced opponent the perceptual speed of your opponent will be vastly different from the inexperienced opponents you may be used to.
10. One aspect of why the ideal techniques work on fully resisting attackers is that the initial cancelation of HWD grants you time to ARMM, so the other side of that coin is that if your Ideal phase technique is not working, how much time are you creating for yourself to ARMM are you in fact cancelling HWD from the start or did you dismiss that as just theory.
11. Experiencing the 2nd person perspective is so important to understanding Kenpo and being able to manifest it physically, it is like dropping the attacker into a blender that goes faster and faster whiles the attacker is just ripped apart, the solidity of their structure is destroyed and they are trapped in the shape of the container like an attacker is trapped in our pattern.
12. So much more to follow but I have to hit the rack, good night.
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Yes my shins were tenderized lol and yes my forearms too lol Thank God for Ice and Pain Meds lol
Yes on the cup checks lol and yes on his ability to time his attacks when your mind is in the planning tent of your brain. So many times I get hit with the very thing I was trying to do to him... Even in close where he had almost no time to react he was able to shut down, elbows, knees and the like, Nothing like closing the gap and whiffing your entire in-fighting vocab, talk about being rendered speechless. All that said,
I got to say that we think alike on a great deal of topics lol!
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