Saturday, September 18, 2021

Mr. Parker in an aikido dojo

 Date and location unknown.

Interesting photo though, Mr. Parker in an aikido dojo. No patches on his gi either. 

So possibly some judo training going on?

Friday, September 17, 2021

Bronze statue of Elvis in Honolulu

On January 14th, 1973, Elvis made history at the Honolulu International Center, now the Neal S. Blaisdell Center, as the first solo entertainer to broadcast live via satellite. More than 1 billion people in 40 countries tuned in to the Aloha from Hawaii concert. Remarkably, audience members paid no set ticket fee. Instead, they donated whatever they could, with proceeds going to a local cancer fund honoring one of Hawaii's own stars, Kui Lee.

Today, near the parking lot of the Blaisdell Center, stands a life-size bronze statue of Presley complete with a studded jumpsuit, a microphone and an acoustic guitar sporting the IKKA patch. 

Visitors usually find the statue draped in a fresh flower lei.  

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Mr. Haumea "Tiny" Lefiti

When thinking about the history and development of Mr. Parker's kenpo one must not leave out the influence of Mr. Haumea "Tiny" Lefiti.

Born in Hawaii, of Samoan lineage, in 1930 Mr. Lefiti was one of the early masters of the Polynesian martial art Limalama. (Mr. Lefiti also studied kung fu from Master Ark Yuey Wong.)  

Mr. Parker practiced with and learned from Mr. Lefiti. 

Dr. Ron Chapel has even said Mr. Lefiti was "The man who inspired Ed Parker Sr. how to move."

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Martial Intellect by Mr. Michael Miller

from Amazon 

Martial Intellect is a collection of martial arts articles written by self-defense and personal protection expert Michael Miller covering a variety of topics including the anatomy of speed, the science of street survival, the realities of gun and knife defense, the ultimate martial arts style, the black belt, the importance of multiple strikes, kung-fu animals vs. Kenpo animals, a solid base vs. constant movement, American Kenpo’s Chinese elements, American Kenpo knife combat revealed, martial arts forms, finger strikes, the circle and the line, the value of private lessons, time – the fourth dimension, and much more. Many of the articles contained within this book were published in Black Belt or Inside Kung-Fu magazines from 2004 – 2008, others were accepted for publication in Inside Kung-Fu but were never published due to the magazine going out of print, and some are brand new articles written specifically for this book including an exclusive interview article with UFC Hall of Famer Dan “The Beast” Severn. Michael Miller holds a 5th degree black belt in Ed Parker’s American Kenpo and is an international instructor having taught seminars throughout the United States and Germany. He runs his full-time studio, Miller’s Kenpo Karate Dojo, in Bradford, PA. He was an undefeated amateur boxer in college, wrestled for eight years (5th grade – 12th), and coached wrestling at the Jr. High level for four years. He has cross-trained in Joe Lewis Fighting Systems (directly under Joe Lewis), Superfoot System (directly under Bill Wallace), Gracie Jiu-Jitsu (under three different lineages), Modern Arnis, Judo, Wing Chun, Krav Maga, and Chin-na. He is the co-founder of Stomp the Bullying, Inc. and his school is the East Coast Headquarters for the program. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh in writing with a minor in sociology and is the author of the Legends of Kenpo biography series.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Learning versus Training

 (from Mr. Rich Hale's Facebook page April 14th, 2021)

In my opinion, many people are overly concerned with learning Kenpo (techniques, sets, and forms, etc.) and under-concerned with physical training. Techniques, sets, and forms are part of the equation, but only part. Equally important is getting in shape and staying in shape.

I often hear some older guys say things like, I may not be in the shape I was once, but all I need is about seven seconds to ruin somebody's day. I know they’re partially joking, because no one over sixty, will ever again be in the shape they were in at twenty. It's also true that some of these old guys can rain havoc down faster than most people can blink. On the other hand, there are a lot more trained fighters roaming the streets today than yesterday. When I first started in Kenpo, if you knew any amount of martial arts, you knew more than just about anyone you were likely to get into a fight with. Back then, a little bit of training went a long way. Today, if you get into a fight, it's far more likely that your opponent will have some training as well. They may not have as much as you, but they're far more likely to have something up their sleeve than not. This is where fitness comes into play.
For self-defense, I don't think people have to be in shape to pound it out for three five-minute rounds, but they may need to go a single three-minute round. I know this sounds easy, but if you haven't done it for a while, start the clock and put everything you have into a heavy bag for three minutes. The average person’s punching power drops significantly after only thirty seconds. Add in some heavy kicks and most people gas out completely in about a minute.
Aside from being in good enough shape to outlast an opponent, whatever happened to the martial arts being a way to get in shape AND TO STAY IN SHAPE. Forty years ago, angry young men, drinking heavily in bars were my opponents. Today, a slower metabolism, longer recuperative periods, and the overall effects of aging are my opponents. Back then I didn't so much need to get in shape, because I was in my twenties and just being in my twenties meant I was in pretty good shape. What I needed then was to learn karate. Today, after studying karate for fifty years, I know so much karate it's coming out my ears. What I need now is to be in good enough shape to perform it.
We can look at learning versus training like a scale we're trying to keep in balance. Too much learning with too little training and the scale drops to one side. Too little learning and too much training and the scale drops to the other side. Now if this was all there was to it, all we would have to do is come up with the proper proportions of learning and training to balance the scale and we'd be set. Only life doesn't work that way. We can't just learn something once and keep it in our memory forever. Neither can we train our bodies to where we want them and stop training. So now let's look at our scales as having varying size holes in the treys, where we're placing our learning and our training. As we learn, the knowledge is continually leaking out the hole in its tray and as we train, the fitness is continually leaking out the hole in its tray. Our job, if we're going to keep things in balance, is to add more learning "when learning is needed" and to add more training "when training is needed". I believe many martial artists, including myself, are out of balance.
There was a time when my image of a high-ranking Kenpoist was that of a strong and powerful person, who had great knowledge, power, precision, and control. Today my image of a high-ranking Kenpoist leans more towards a heavyset guy who can't even see his toes, let alone touch them. In 2014, Master Ken, the ever-popular YouTube martial arts comedian, was the comic-relief entertainment at the Master's Hall of Fame event in Long Beach, CA. His comedic speech focused on various martial arts, teasing them about well know aspects of their art. For example, he said "Muay Thai guys are always kicking banana plants and cracking coconuts. So, what do these guys have against fruits and vegetables anyway?" Okay, it was funnier in person. So he gets to Kenpo and he says, "So what is it with this mandatory weight gain between every rank in American Kenpo?" Well, the room burst into laughter . . . all except for a bunch of overweight Kenpo guys saying stuff like, "Who does this guy think he is!"
Ladies and gentlemen of American Kenpo - this is becoming our reputation. Not that Kenpo is the only art to have overweight and unhealthy practitioners, every art has its share . . . but we must admit, our share is disproportionately large and getting larger.
If you read this far, without hanging up on me, good for you, so now I'll say, of course, there are genetic factors and other reasons people gain weight. That and being large doesn't automatically mean you're not a great martial artist. I know big guys that are faster and more flexible than I am. I don't mean to degrade anyone. But, on the other hand, if you're simply lazy and like eating more than life itself . . .