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As it relates to the world of Kenpo, there is again change on the horizon. It can’t be denied that time is passing by and the older we get especially those in their last 50s and early 60s come to realize that eventually another generation of Kenpo Masters will again take over. The first generation of Kenpo Masters have worked so hard for so long to preserve and pass on to their students that knowledge that was passed to them ( Pure Kenpo Knowledge )And most students will never know where it all started unless they are told, and they will never make the commitment to preserve that knowledge unless they are taught to. I’m not talking about how to do a specific Form or Technique, but the Principles and Concepts that were used to formulate that motion.We must give credit where credit is due, the first generation of Parkers students won’t be around forever and if you happen to be a student under their instruction, show respect to them and learn all you can from them with the obligation that you will preserve that knowledge and then pass it on to the next generation under you.There are first generation Masters that may not have ever met each other in person, but I promise they know who each other are and if they ever met in person, it would be like two old friends meeting each other because we all have a very strong common bond. I have owned four commercial schools in my time, but found that my best efforts were spent only teaching a few dedicated students at a time. That way I can give greater attention to those who are really committed to learning the system and history, the biggest massage here is don’t let the symbolic torch be passed in vain.
SM Paul Britton CEO February 6th, 2022
Change Is On The Horizon
It is well known that the world of Kenpo has been and is changing at a rapid pace, as is seen all over the streaming world of video. It wasn’t that many years ago that you could open up a martial arts magazine and see advertisements for instructional videos by some of the worlds tops Masters within their particular discipline.And at one time it became a very touchy subject because the mind set was that if your going to learn the Martial Arts, you must to attend a Martial Arts school and learn from an Instructor in person. And during that timed mindset, if you were not endorsed by a credible ( Teacher/Association ) of that discipline, you were not going to open a school regardless, and if you did you were shut down just as fast.However times have certainly changed, it’s no longer a matter of being endorsed it’s just a matter of having enough money and proper training to open one up. And as unfortunate as it is to say, a percentage of those opening up schools are not really qualified to do so ( Stream the internet and see ) Now with that being said the problem lies with the next generation of students that comes after the instructor.If the instructors training was of low standard then the students following are going to reflect that at an even lower standard. And to be honest it’s really not the students fault, if the students was not given the standard required and an example to follow, then there is no higher standard to reach.With all that being said, with the rise of the Pandemic there are many schools that are either struggling or they are or have been forced to close because the public does not want to take the chance of being exposed to the virus. Anyone can turn on their television day or night and watch back to back commercials features people training right in their own homes while following an instructor on whatever device they use to watch it on. The subjects could be weight lifting-Yoga-Cardio and now in some cases the Martial Arts.Despite what we may want, this is what we are facing as the future of learning just about anything, and the most popular thing is when you can pay for sessions that are from a live feed that is being viewed by hundreds at a time without ever leaving the privacy of their own home.What’s has been taking place is not something that we all asked for, but regardless it’s here ( More to Come )
CEO Paul Britton 10th Degree IKKA
Methods Of Self Defense Against Firearms
In this article I wont be going over any individual method and or technique developed against Firearms from the Kenpo System. Rather some of the problems that you may run into while executing any particular method that you may have learned. When I first started learning the techniques against firearms, the one point I remember very well was when my instructor taught me how to place my hand over the cylinder of a revolver with about 3 to 5 pound of pressure squeeze. This was said to stop the revolver from firing, which in some cases was found to be true and at other times it was found to be false. If the hammer had not been pulled back already then you had half a chance of being successful depending on the hand strength of your attacker. But if the hammer was already pulled back ( Your in for a bright burning surprise ) Because if the hammer is already pulled back then the trigger is to, which means very little effort to fire the weapon. As much as I hate to say this, its so easy to get in a studio setting and make the techniques seem for effortless to apply. And when it comes to a semi auto such as a Glock the hammer in internal. We were still taught to place our hand over the slide to maybe keep it from firing ( Try Again ) Your going to get bright, burned and hurt. In this day and age I no longer try and stop the weapon from firing and I dont make the attempt to take it away from the attacker. However your attacker is less likely to try and fire the weapon if the weapon is pointing at himself. If we as Kenpoist can redirect a punch or a kick then why cant we redirect where the weapon points ( And this is only if we are close enough to our attacker ) I can’t redirect something that I cant reach or put my hands on. But this is also where not just training comes in ( But Excellent Training ) and yes there is a big difference and it takes time and repetition and the correct ways of doing it.
Firearms and Knives are nothing to play with in this day and age, even in the area of learning self defense techniques. The level of accuracy has to be spot on if at all possible. Firearms shoot bullets and Knives and stab as well as can be thrown, with that being said if your put in a situation that involves and gun or a knife ( If you can, just get out of there ) If you cant and your forced to deal with it then I hope that whatever training you have gets you through it.
CEO Paul Britton 10th Degree
Modification or Reconstruction and the Limiting Factor
It was known early on that no one individual could have taken the place of The Late SGM Parker. He left us with incredible ideas that he knew would eventually have to change, I use the word idea’s because thats what all the techniques and freestyle combinations are ( They are ideas ) But the fact is that what idea or theory worked forty years ago or even ten years ago in many cases may no longer apply or can be applied to real life empty hand combat altercations.
Any seasoned Kenpoist can easily identify this fact, even if the individual artist is not a kenpoist and is seasoned in another style of organized fighting what works and doesnt work can be easily spotted. With this being said we find so many different versions of the original techniques that one can’t keep up with it, there are many new versions that work great but have nothing to do with the original principles and concepts that were used in creating the original system.
Which leads to a branch off or a new system and still called Kenpo, many are well qualified to do this and many are not but that is well known also. However that is really not the point of this article. Modification or Reconstruction has become an absolute necessity regardless of it being the techniques or the empty hand forms, but one of the great limiting factors in doing so is when we try to do so within the original names that were given to the techniques.
Lets take Delayed Sword as an example, the technique stems around the fact that the action of the sword is delayed and rightly so. In the case with the original version it comes after the kick, now for those who are very seasoned in Kenpo we also are aware of a few things that can happen when the original version is attempted but that’s still getting off track. Many seasoned artist regardless of what system they have committed themselves to understand this very well and have taken opportunity to put together brand new techniques and give them brand new names.
Now for those who have just read those words and are now breathing fire of anger, think about it for a minute. Even the Late SGM Parker said that Modification must take place otherwise the art will become obsolete, and he was absolutely right. There are many Kenpoist who have already done so and no one ever even questioned them, however I will not name any of them and some of which I know personally. One in particular even said during an interview and very respectfully when asked what he thought about what some others were doing he said with no hesitation ( I never really cared about what everyone else was doing, because I was busy with what I was doing ) We must understand that over time things must change because that is exactly what progress is ( Change ) but it must be change that makes whatever we are doing better and more excellent.
We will at some point pass on what we develop to other students who will then in time have to modify it again to meet the demands of change. With now over forty years in the art of Kenpo I am very confident with the modification process and if a name must be changed to fit the scenario then it should and as one well known Kenpoist put it ( As long as the principles and concepts are there, then the technique is correct ) Regardless of its name.
Now if within the modification process, the motion still reflects the techniques original name then so be it. In no matter what field of endeavor. Modification goes through three stages, first it is criticized, then severely tested and the final is excepted as truth. Now how one reacts to each stage is also important, one can either just give up on or push through regardless of the opposition.
One other very important factor to remember, what may work for you may not work for someone else and that’s why having a good number of techniques or ideas is crucial. Not so many however that you never have time to master any of it. Another part of the process, when you teach the original or a modified version of a technique. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that it cant be further tailored to that individual person, as long as the student is aware of the original technique then you still have success.
In conclusion, many will read this and not agree with any of it and many will agree completely but the final choice is yours.
CEO BrittonIf Self Defense Techniques Are Constantly Being Modified, Should Our Empty Hand Form's Follow Suite As Well?
Over the last ten years or so I have seen great changes take place in the area of Kenpo self-defense techniques. Many of these changes have brought incredible brilliance to the mat so to speak. So as with the title, should our empty hand forms follow along to reflect the changes.
Now if course if the answer is yes, this could be a double edge sword. With the grand number of high ranking Kenpoists around the world today. And with most creating improvement, no two schools would be teaching the same exact forms, or for that matter the same techniques.
But as we all know, changes have been constant since 1990 during which time the Huge Dispersion took place. With that said, the only two schools of Kenpo that would be teaching the same material are those of which would belong to the same Organization.
I personally believe and welcome the creation of improvements and change if those changes bring about a better way of getting the desired result. I also believe in preserving what brought us here in the first place because without that knowledge, we wouldn't be where we are with Kenpo now.
Embrace the changes in both areas, embrace the new creations of better ways to get the desired results, while at the same time preserving the methods that brought us where we are. As one present day Grand Master said (As Long As The Principles and Concepts Are There, The Material Is Correct)
SM Paul Britton
Over the past year, our State (Louisiana ) has gone through a very Political year (With Elections) Both State wide and now starting in December with local elections, has been to say the least time consuming among other things.
For those members who are unaware, I live in Greensburg La, which is located right in the middle of St Helena Parish. For any members who are in the Field of Law Enforcement, I'm sure you are well aware of what the end result of some elections can bring.
I won't go into the details of what is actually going on here, but I will say that the process has consumed much of my time and energy. So now it's time to get back on track.
My congratulations to the students promoted by Master Tim Bulot at Mark Reddings School in Denton Texas on August 22nd, 2015. No question the Promotions were well deserved. And because Kenpo is constantly changing, and new ideas are being presented. It's very energizing to see what new methods will arise in the years to come.
And when you have such skillful and knowledgeable Masters such as Mr. Bulot and Mr Whelan, it's no surprise as to what their students will develop over time.
SM Paul Britton CEO
Making The Same Circle Around The Same Mountain
The title of this is very important when you think about how it relates to everything we do, no matter the endeavor. To many individuals make the attempt to make things or something better without ever changing the combination or the order in which something is done.
Everything improves, everything becomes updated, everything changes for the better only if we have the courage to step out of the Boat and make it that way. Kenpo is no different, there are changes being made to the art by people all over the world. Some changes have been done without thought and others have been done with incredible results. In these cases, we can look at these results and become awestruck with the response of (Wow, why didn't I think of that?) I will tell you from personal experience, that we never stop being students regardless of what Rank we hold.
If we take a close look at History, we end up discovering those individuals who made the decision not to just settle and say the words (This is as good as it gets) Another very important point is understanding that whatever modifications are made, they need to end the confrontation within the first three or four strikes if possible.
I know from personal experience from being a Police Officer for the last 20 years that on the street, you will never have the chance to ever complete any technique that you have learned in the studio setting, much less even graduate to the extension of one.
One of the best ways to bridge the gap between a self defense technique that cannot be completed are the freestyle fighting combinations. These combinations can easily eliminate the thoughts of (What do I do now?) And the best signal that your attacker can give you for this is (The hands usually go where the pain is)
SM Paul Britton CEO
Back Knuckle Verses The Hammerfist
Within the last couple of years, I began to experiment with the use of a hammerfist in replacement of the back knuckle in self defense techniques. And for the following reason's.
When we were taught our four basic blocks. We were taught to block with the forearm facing outward regardless of the direction along with the forearm being at a 45 degree angle, creating a strong angle of deflection.
Had we been taught to block as the art of Issin Ryu does, we would have the top of our forearm facing out which would be complimentary with the back knuckle. Take Reversing Mace as an example, we create the motion of the circling fans or double parry to the outside of the arm, then continue the flow of motion with a right back knuckle.
Now execute the same motion, but replace the back knuckle with a hammerfist. Now before you shake your head and say so, let me tell you what changed my mind. We all use different types of training equipment for conditioning, but for me it wasn't about conditioning.
It was about creating more damage to my attacker while at the same time delivering twice the power in the strike. One of the test that I conducted was hitting a telephone pole and one of the four by fours on my porch using both. As you can imagine, the knuckles on the hard wood surface caused me to not be able to hit hard. But the hammerfist was quite the opposite. Now I'm not suggesting that you try it, but I did it for my own experiment.
Try doing a spinning hammerfist instead of a spinning back knuckle.
Food For Thought.
SM Paul Britton, CEO
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