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Thoughts On: Kenpo Technique Sequence

April 16 2012 at 1:54 AM
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Sami Ibrahim  (Login kenposoldier01)
from IP address

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

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Sean Kelley
(Login 6410382)

'Thoughts On'

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April 16 2012, 9:32 AM actually sounds like a need for a more qualified instructor in your Martial Path or whom ever you are speaking for. Techniques like 'Sword & Hammer' aren't that hard to fiqure as to how it found itself into the Kenpo System but research who really might of put it there and for what reason during that era.
Next in all due respect to your long read over this over reading the art as a Fix All system or a Magic Wand waved to solve your need for either Street surival or some other purpose, please re-visit the concept of being a new 'Black Belt' student under a qualified or more
respectfully 'Experienced' carrier of the Kenpo Flame who can better explain what your in search of or in question.
There are decades of Seniors out there who are still around and capable of telling you how this was a formula of 'Drills',and a tool box of choices against fixed attacks or threats to teach as well as demonstrate methods to escape, or in some cases conquer a bad situation.
My question to you or anyone willing is take for example the first strike in 'Sword and Hammer'..where is the strike to go? and then what is the effect? Now say to yourself the second strike to the groin...,will that even be needed even by a new white belt trying to earn his/her Yellow Belt? re-visit 'Falcons of Force' or 'Obscured Sword' as related moves and then you come up with a intelligent answer. We are very target specific and we choose a method of delivery with Weapons meeting their targets even with Margin for error.
In reading Clyde's post about Firearms, I have to say he is correct in the mind set we must explore, train and understand the use of and it's function. We do have Gun techniques don't we? with that study the use of Knives, Clubs and other weapons as well if your going to defend against them. Learn how to add it to your own arsenal.
In our organization we remind students and instructors that Kenpo is this huge puzzle for you to find 'Self Discovery' and free thinking. Also like a mechanic who has a Tool box with many drawers with different layers of needed tools. Now, how often does the bottom drawer with tools get used in comparison to the top drawer? Just a thought....then you would say, it is used well enough to have available just in case you need it even if it is only once in awhile....enjoy the Journey in Kenpo and all styles/systems as a place to discover, test, and self evaluate!

TCB....Sean Kelley

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Clyde T. O'Briant
(Login ClydeT)

I think

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April 16 2012, 6:48 PM 

You have no idea what he said. I understood it perfectly, and I know why he thinks this way.

Pray tell, who would the person be who is the more "experienced" kenpo flame carrier?

And you didn't address the issue I brought up about firearms and Kenpo, you simply stated that we should know them if we train for them. That isn't what I asked.

Have a great gun carryin' Kenpo day


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Sami Ibrahim
(Login kenposoldier01)

Thank You for proving my point Sean lol

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April 16 2012, 10:00 PM 

Sean, thank you for proving my point, Now try to open your mind to the following idea!
Your arm fires your deadly chop to the attacker but he ducks his head down and as crazy as it sounds the mighty Sean Kelley fails to get an instant kill on the first move (shocking I know)

As the threat swings the other arm to your head... the other arm acts as a defense able to intercept that likely follow-up... Even if this use of Sword and Hammer is fairly common in the Kenpo world you some how failed to realize it. Which also proves another point, that it does not matter how deep you shove your nose in the butts of Kenpo Seniors it does not mean you have even a novice understanding of the art. It would help to pull your entire head away from the butts of Seniors and move far enough back that you can see what they are teaching, dont forget to wipe the pink eye crust from your face.

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Sean Kelley
(Login 6410382)


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April 17 2012, 12:37 AM 

...I will wear my protective Butt Goggles next time!!!!

TCB....Sean Kelley

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(Login Inkspill)

? Am I reading this correctly?

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April 20 2012, 8:17 AM 

It appears the point went by you.. Unless I totally am missing something..

Sword and Hammer

what's the first move again? why do we do that?

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(Login CFAK)

Hey Sami.

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April 16 2012, 10:42 AM 

Arguing for the intellectual aspects of what is and is not an ideal phase defense is not a common factor here on KN. Funny thing is, some posters here on KN seem to want to gloss over that whole Infinite Insights series (2 through 5 that is) as some kind of mental speed bump. For some to say that Kenpo is a target fixed system, well, I must have been wasting my time (and students time) on zones and
other things beside comparing techniques.

Chop to the throat, OR, hammer to the nads... hmmm, let me think... CHOICES! Wait, Finger whip to the eyes, look at that!, he raised both of his hands and guess what, I used the same hand to finger whipp his groin. Now HE has to make a CHOICE, which place to cover. Ah but wait, an outward back fist to his ribs, returning motion with an inverted vertical punch to his hip.


The left hand pin trickles up throughout the system. It's how you pin that makes the rest of the ideal functional.

Let's add a little umpf to the attack and see how well the ideal functions. WHat is a dead hand attack? Is that an Oxymoron?

On to the attack Sami! The final frontier.
I sure hope I didn't waste anyone's time!

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Sami Ibrahim
(Login kenposoldier01)

Right on Clark

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April 16 2012, 10:05 PM 

Yes KenpoNet has become just a place to post ads and funny clips but now that I am on VACATION I got some time to post assuming that I keep finding free internet as I travel lol

Yes that pin can be so freakishly painful when certain people apply it but my soft girly hands are just not breaking those little bones in the hand of the attacker... I shall work on this.

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Brye Cooper
(Login BC07)

Good post

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April 17 2012, 9:27 AM 

Nice post, I like it when anyone "Dares" to question lol. Had the same note on Sunday in regards to books 3 through five (especially 4), IN 1985 I asked Mr. Parker a particular question about a particular situation (can't remember what) his answer was "Read the books" so I did. When I moved State side in 1988 I walked into his office and said it was the best advice I had had so far in my Kenpo journey, he said "Thats why I wrote them", and signed all of them one through five. I still have them and they are treasured to me not just because of the signatures but because that is where and when I started to explore and study the system. You have no idea how man Black belts have not even purchased them never mind read them. They are and where for me keys that opened the door and allowed me to become not only creative and inventive but certain in my Kenpo through the discovery of life's facets.

In regards to Sword and Hammer look at the natural reaction of the right hand from point of origin when grab at the shoulder and pulled backwards into the punch, the attack has a slight rotational effect on the body, the hands come up instantly in a protecting fashion this dictates a chop to the side of the neck, notice also that the arm is not extended it is positioned naturally into an open ended triangle (strong natural bracing angle). The tech is applied at very close range and not in the 'I know it's coming Dojo ballet mode', You will notice the right elbow sits naturally into the pocket of the sternum as you are pulled backward (It becomes a sequential activated height and depth check and strike )bringing the head forward. It is the folding (contouring) of your attacker around you right arm that dictates the hinging action of the arm at the elbow to strike at the groin whilst 'STILL" supporting your bracing angle, do not let this arm collapse or he will be all over you as he spontaneously reacts to the sensory perception and stimulation.

There is physycal, geometrical and inherent mental constituents to the ideas of motion "analyze don't memorize".

Best in Kenpo
Brye Cooper.

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(Login CFAK)

Okay Brye,

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April 17 2012, 4:40 PM 

make that grab a downward vertical palm heel that pushes the right shoulder down and the left shoulder up. Looks like Obscure Wing to me.

I like to what if the intent and the power of the attack.


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Brye Cooper
(Login BC07)

Definitely Clarke.

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April 18 2012, 11:53 AM 

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