Friday, April 27, 2018

Mr. Parker with Art Linkletter

(from the Ed Parker Sr. Facebook page)

“Do a little more than you’re paid to. Give a little more than you have to. Try a little harder than you want to. Aim a little higher than you think possible, and give a lot of thanks to God for health, family and friends” - Art Linkletter

(Ed Parker Sr. pictured with Art Linkletter taken in the late 50’s or early 60’s)

Monday, April 23, 2018

Disassociated Anatomical Movement

(by Ron Chapel Ph.D.

In Martial Science, much like other sciences, there is a direct cause and effect to all activity. Martial Science draws on many different scientific disciplines, but all are in some way related to one another through the conduit of human anatomy. There exists a significant cause and effect interaction between all the many parts of human anatomy whether static or in motion. In any examination of the many martial postures and their transitions, the efficacy of its many positions is predicated upon, among many factors, weight distribution and an exacting posture relative to the physical activity at hand, and load.

The relative position of the feet to each other, and their movement, also significantly determines whether structural integrity is created or maintained. Let’s discuss for a moment structural integrity in posture, movement, and weight distribution. Any variations in these categories beyond proper anatomical posture can diminish or enhance effectiveness on multiple levels offensively or defensively.

How you move your body in its entirety, the arms, feet, and even the head in particular, in martial science affects the stability of the complete body for a variety of reasons. For many, this probably is not news. However, what is probably “new” information is some of the basic things taught in most “martial arts” fall quite comfortably into the negative and inefficient category. Surprisingly their effectiveness can be demonstrated to be much less than perceived. That is, when these things are tested in the light of reality, they fall well short of their well-intended goals. Let us define efficiency relative to human physical activity in general, and martial science in particular.

(for the rest of the article follow the link)

Startle Reflex Instinctive Blocking

(by Ron Chapel Ph.D. 3-11-18)

At the level of Martial Science, all movements are governed or affected by the height width or depth of the action, the method, and manner of execution, the desired target, and the weapon of choice along with the available angle of contact. Substantial attention must also be given to strict posture, the relative position of the feet, weight distribution, as well as the mental focus of energy relative to the intended action. All of these things have a profound effect and can dictate the outcome beyond personal resolve.

Taken these things into consideration, one of the unique things in the martial arts is the training associated with “blocking.” Never has the diversity of something so vital been greater than how the many different styles disciplines and teachers, approach this singularly important self-defense function. In many instances, it will be your initial response to any external stimuli. Therefore it is paramount the blocking action is extremely functional and immediately executable for the relative layman.

Unfortunately, many contemporary self-defense based arts in their most common versions have taken on the philosophy of, “If the first move doesn’t work, move on to the next one” to justify its rapid-fire execution. Called over-kill by outsiders and over-skill by the unknowledgeable insiders, this philosophy has some inherent shortcomings when it comes to blocking. Consider the importance of this basic action. If your blocks are not effective, chances are the opportunity to continue to your second move may not present itself. It prompted my teacher to tell beginners, “Distance is your best friend.” It also brings to mind an old yellow belt saying about “horizontal meditation” brought on by hesitation.

Therefore in addition to other flaws, teaching styles dominated by motion concepts has a philosophical flaw of “Assumption of Failure.” This causes some to eschew significant blocks completely in favor of what they perceive to be faster more efficient parries or soft, “liquid” movements. Other combat based martial disciplines use completely dysfunctional “hard” blocks that disappear in sparring along with their accompanying stances. Still, other sport based significant contact activities resort to what is essentially a western boxing philosophy of “take it or, cover up what you don’t want to be hit.”

All except western boxing seem to either block for perceived proficiency or abstract aesthetic cultural requirements. They fail to recognize the blocking process is designed to perform many functions on multiple levels. In American Chúan-Fa Blocking movements are designed to; create as well as move internal energy, create structural integrity and body alignment, provide basics for extrication skills, perform anti and counter grappling functions, and of course block assaults directed at the body's head and torso.

A well-designed self-defense technique is nothing more than the product of the execution of the sum total of its basic components. A movement that is explained, taught, and constantly corrected properly, will breed familiarity of thought and action and vicariously produce a speedy product result. There are no shortcuts to efficient, consistent, and lasting physical movement.

And you will find that expedient necessity coupled with required efficiency equals sameness of action regardless of and in spite of the performer. Expressed another way, all things being equal if you are a weightlifter in addition to other factors, you must use the same technique as those who are the most anatomically and technically efficient. You cannot “do your own thing” and expect to consistently lift as much as those who rely on proper training.

Ed Parker used a written language analogy to explain the conceptual process used in his commercial version of Kenpo- Kenpo. We use a similar but less abstract process in the American Chúan-Fa interpretation of Kenpo. First, you should begin with “phonics” or phonetic movement to begin the training process of the body at the sub-skeletal level. Second, you begin “printing” as we start the process of creating proper and effective muscle memory. Third, as we begin to “write” our actions through fluid scripted movements, we elongate circles and round corners and access the now created synaptic pathways or conduits of the brain that connects to the muscles. Finally after significant training of the mind and body, “shorthand” is employed.

However one must remember shorthand is a skilled option and not always the ideal. In Kenpo-Karate, shorthand is taught without the requisite phonics or basics as a foundation and is often taught as the prevailing response instead of the optional character it should be. Because of this mistaken accelerated approach, internal energy, alignment, etc. relatively speaking is not obtainable.

I was taught by Ark Wong and Ed Parker all blocks are circular, and the proper execution of all the basic blocks can be found in a circle in one direction or the other. In fact, all of the basic blocks are actually the same basic arm configuration. The only thing that actually changes is their relationship to the shoulder and the method and manner of execution geared for its intended use in conjunction with the Anticipated Point of Impact. Over time the circles in some instances become smaller and smaller in execution. At the professorship level this process can be attained subcutaneously and at mastership, becomes outwardly physically imperceptible in many cases.

Most in some versions of Kenpo are obsessed with what they perceive to be necessary expediency in blocking. This mindset causes them to view circular execution as “slower” and therefore inferior. For these practitioners, “point of origin” means only linear actions. They fail to recognize the term applies to both linear, and circular movement. Blocking in a straight line is, of course, direct but is NOT always (contrary to popular belief) anatomically efficient, or relatively effective in comparison, and is at best defensively singular in purpose in many instances.

It must be understood the attached articulated armatures of the human torso are designed like a “ball and socket” and must be rotated to maximize all aspects of its use. This “sets” the ball into the socket, aligns the sub-skeletal structure, allows internal energy to flow through Kinetic Linking, and creates anatomical efficiency necessary to function with maximum effect and integrity of the desired action.

Speed is in no way sacrificed. The body and mind are being trained and in a relatively short period of time, speed is attained in addition to many other vicarious benefits of the process. Anatomical speed is often mistakenly thought of as a “swiftness of mechanical movement.” In reality, speed is a byproduct of mental and physical familiarity.

Like the assembly line worker who does the same movements over and over, not only does his action become more efficient over time, but they also become faster without a conscious effort to facilitate the movement. His mind and body become “conditioned” to function together and significant synaptic pathways are created between the brain and the body.

This mental and physical conditioning is what we call “muscle memory.” We all have experienced this in some way or another. Sometimes your “body” knows what to do even when your conscious mind is distracted. Have you ever had trouble recalling a phone number, but when a phone is in front of you your hand seems to “remember” the number? When we use conventional phone keypads to access a particular number on a consistent basis, we always make the same movements in the same pattern and usually with the same hand digit.

Therefore, Like the assembly line worker who is slow and clumsy in the beginning, when we begin American Chúan-Fa and Tactical Kenpo training at the Martial Science level, all movement should be “phonetic” so we may “learn” the action and create proper muscle memory.

This is why Ed Parker always said, “Practice does not make perfect, only perfect practice makes perfect.” When this is done consistently, then “Perfect practice will make permanent.” Only through consistently performing your basics correctly will this occur. Being exposed to basic movements without significant and diligent corrections of their execution is not enough to produce efficient synaptic pathways for self-defense technique applications.

The human body has a built-in mechanism designed to help protect itself from injury or discomfort. The “blink of Startle Reflex” as an example is a part of that mechanism. A piece of paper suddenly thrust into the face, or even a loud noise can activate your blink and autonomic reflex.

In sudden anticipation of contact, the body reflexively adjusts to absorb and protect itself from the anticipated intrusion. Depending upon the level of perceived threat, the body may blink the eyes, tense and position the torso, or raise the arms or duck. Although some speak of training to respond instantly to external stimuli, the autonomic nervous system and its “startle reflex” will always prevail prior to any other movement, regardless of training.

Simply put, the body instinctively moves to protect itself with this reflex when surprised or startled. It is only prudent in any training designed to be used to defend ourselves from known as well as unknown surprise encounters, that this “startle reflex” be examined and incorporated so reflex actions may be incorporated into any physical response. In American Chúan-Fa, this is known as “Startle Reflex or Instinctive Blocking.” In this way, all blocking essentially conforms to anatomically correct movements initiated by the startle reflex instinct, and therefore the body utilizes synaptic pathways already in existence.

This not only makes the initial movement of blocks anatomically correct with proper alignment of the skeletal sub-structure but under stress the body will initiate a natural reaction and flow to the block more readily through “muscle memory” already established.

Human anatomy Startle Reflex is not unique in nature. The body knows what to do. It is only prudent to take advantage of pre-existing bodily instincts whenever possible, whether teaching or training.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Gil Hibben, Lee Wedlake, and Frank Trejo

(from Lee Wedlake's Facebook page)

Ed Parker said when he saw this "These are my black belts..."

Mr. Parker looking sporty

(photo from Rich Boyce's Facebook page)

What is most interesting about this photo is Mr. Parker in the "track suit"?

You don't see too many photos of Mr. Parker in casual wear, and if you do it is almost always a Hawaiian shirt.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Need more budo

So everyday I monitor the situation of the kenpo world through Facebook.

(Even though none of us really like Facebook, it still is the best place, or maybe even the only place, to connect with others in the vast world of kenpo.)

And little by little, since the recent unpleasantness began, it seems like the true colors of some are starting to show.

Sadly, I have been quite shocked by some of the higher belts of the kenpo world.

Some of the language they use, a lot of it quite foul, and some of their attitudes are astonishing. I'm sure Mr. Parker would not be happy with many of these people he trained in the past.

I guess you could say bushido isn't very present in their thoughts or actions.

I don't throw the word "bushido" around much. I sometimes chuckle when I hear martial artists go on and on about "bushido" and the "samurai code" because I know we are living in modern times and not that of ancient Japan.

But it does have at least a certain place in our training and the way we live our lives, especially after we start down that kenpo path we are all on.

Here is a quick explanation of what bushido is.

The Bushido Code: An Overview

Bushido, which means "way of the warrior," refers to a complex set of Japanese values stressing honor and loyalty to country and family above all else. These values began to develop very informally as early as the ninth century among the samurai warrior class, as various ideas circulated about the characteristics of an ideal warrior.

Having evolved over many centuries, these warrior values began to become more standardized as a code during the Tokugawa Shogunate, an era of samurai rule in Japan that began at the turn of the 17th century. In the late 1860s, civil war ended the nearly 300-year shogunate, bringing about the Meiji imperial restoration and a new era of modernization. Yet the deep-rooted influence of Bushido on Japanese culture persisted.

A principal value running Bushido was a strict hierarchy that emphasized obedience to authority. It called for warriors to fight to the death in battle to preserve the honor of their family or overlord, and in the face of imminent failure or disgrace, ritualistic suicide (seppuku) was required.

Off the battlefield, Bushido required warriors to exhibit a strict sense of honor and self-control at all times. They were to maintain a benevolent yet detached attitude toward life; caring for the earth and other people without developing passions that could cloud their judgment. This ethos bears deep traces of dominant religious ideas of the time, including Confucian ideals of proper social relations and Zen-Buddhist teachings about meditation and reincarnation.
Over time, the basic tenets of Bushido have been variously altered, transposed, and recycled within Japanese society, but a general emphasis on loyalty to country and family, and a downplaying of individualism have remained characteristic.

In the 20th century, Bushido concepts were expressed both through the educational system and by propagandists to fuel Japanese nationalism, as the country pursued its international ambitions and also grappled with the powerful forces of Western individualism. With its endorsement of sacrificial death, Bushido also worked as a motivation for Japanese pilots to take on kamikaze missions during World War II.

I will say I have been impressed with some of the kenpo legends. Some have shown their maturity and their true colors, they seem like stand-up men.

I won't name names but others have really shown a dark side I didn't expect to be there.

Maybe I could say it best this way, may we always keep in mind who we are and how we need to conduct ourselves. Apply the "bushido code" to your lives as much as you can. We could all stand to be a little more humble, a little more understanding, a little less combative.

I think I am safe in saying Mr. Parker would surely appreciate it.

Black Belt Magazine Yearbook Fall 1979

Classic photo, on the beach

Sunday, April 15, 2018

The Future of Tracys

(From the Tracy's International Kenpo Karate Facebook page 4-14-18)

Here is an excerpt from a NewsFlash Newsletter from 2003, wherein Al stated his goals for the future of Tracy's. He planned ahead!

Thank you Rick

Watch some of Larry Tatum's training videos and you'll understand what this is referring to.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

“Original, Extra Crispy, Roasted ???, or YOUR Kenpo?

(from Mr. Ron Chapel's Facebook page 4-9-18)

The answer to such a question is very complicated from one perspective and somewhat less complicated from another, yet still quite intricate.

There are many people seeking to define their place in Kenpo and as such, either embrace or reject many descriptors of the various interpretations that have evolved from the original mainland progenitor. To emphasize their positions, many have created various associations supported by their interpretations to validate their point of view.

I have personally clouded the issue by publicly making distinctions between what some see as the ‘mainstream’ versions of Ed Parker’s work versus others. I have further muddied the waters by being public enough in discussions to attract the ire of those born into a system that didn’t exist when I began. Clearly, everyone from their own perspective may choose to see the universe in their own terms, but Ed Parker taught me sound logic should be the deciding factor.

Ed Parker himself made many distinctions in all of his teachings and created in his own evolution, various incantations, philosophies, and directions within the students exposed and or instructed during different periods in his life. Add to that an instructors willingness, or lack thereof, to share specific information with some and not others, creating additional downstream variances.

In other words, the ‘so-called evolution’ of ‘Kenpo’ in the Ed Parker Lineage is as convoluted as a conundrum wrapped in a riddle and punctuated by an enigma of inconsistent tolerances, at best.

The question itself implies the existence of a singular evolving Kenpo philosophy from Ed Parker’s beginnings to the present day. This is obviously and completely incorrect.

The art that is the most visible and the most codified at his death was his commercial art, known by some, and described by Ed Parker himself as “the study of motion” or Motion-Kenpo formally known as Ed Parker’s Kenpo Karate. Perhaps a better defining descriptor would be “Motion-based Kenpo.” Nevertheless, this philosophy spawned by the desire to create commercial success necessitated a less restrictive and conceptual driven vehicle that would be open to everyone, of all ages and circumstances.

I wrote an article years ago for Combat Sports Magazine about the evolution of the arts and Ed Parker’s Commercial Kenpo, making a case for its existence much as other arts had ‘evolved.’ The problem is not one of evolution, but a diversion for the sake of mass-market appeal. Once accomplished, the vehicle becomes an independent entity unto itself with practitioners declaring their version to be ‘the art’ instead of simple ‘a version of the art.’

History lays witness to the creation of Judo to mass market the more destructive combative Japanese Jiu-Jitsu. The many houses of Qung-fu ultimately evolved into mass-market appeal Wu Shu as is quite popular today, while the original variations of the fluid Chinese Martial Sciences evolving to other nationalities somehow begat the rigidly limited information Okinawan and Japanese empty hand arts.

Then, and finally, modern sport based models came into being virtually created by the Japanese, especially after World War 2 once again for mass-market acceptance and appeal. Take note of “ken-do” from the samurai sword arts, or “Aiki-do” as well from jiu-jitsu as other examples of this historical process. Koreans nationalized their arts much like everyone else, spawning the sport “Tae Kwon Do” in the fifties over the lesser known and more intricate fighting “Hapkido” or even “Tang Soo Do.”

It should come as no surprise to anyone in the ultimate self-gratification, quick, fast food, commercial market of America that an abridged version of any art would appear and achieve mass-market appeal and success.

Ed Parker was a genius that loved the many different arts he studied and dissected, but he also was an entrepreneur and astute businessman. This clash between successful business mandates, and the deeper meaning and teaching of any art/science will never be resolved because the mass market devotees will, in general, not admit their place in histories evolution. No one who purchased VHS wanted to admit that BETA was better.

For most, it is counterproductive to business and necessitates the admission that their accomplishments, although perfectly valid, may not be the highest standard available or possible. This is especially true when one's credibility and identity are predicated upon the efficacy of their own product for sale.

In any other business, this would be obvious. Few suggest that McDonald’s is a bad place to have an occasional meal. Their restaurants are plentiful and located almost everywhere in the world, consistent in presentation, quality, price, and will keep you from starving.

No one describes them in the business world as ‘fine dining.’ But we must also recognize there are other less plentiful chain family restaurants as well, whose offerings are of higher quality than McDonald’s but with the accompanying prices to match, yet still not yet meet that ‘fine dining’ description.

However, for upscale gourmet quality, there is always a special restaurant where chefs have honed their craft for many years, and dining is exquisite. Consumers will always gravitate to what they want and are willing to pay and commit to. Sometimes they partake of all three at different times of their own choosing and convenience.

People choose the level they want. Many would rather just go to McDonald’s (especially the kids) because it’s reasonably priced, you know what you’re getting, and they’re local, close, and convenient. Does this sound familiar? Most who attend any martial arts studio do so at a convenient location. I’ve often entertained questions from those who ask me, “There’s no Kenpo near me what am I going to do?” I thought the answer was a simple one, do what you must to get to a Kenpo School, or “eat” somewhere else to satiate your “hunger.”

Mass-market martial arts are no different. From Kempo to Kenpo, to Krav Maga, to Tae Kwon Do, to judo, etc. They are all ‘easier’ and more convenient than other more intense, and more demanding precursor arts. That is not to say an individual instructor cannot excel beyond the vehicle he makes a living with, but that is much less likely for a couple of reasons.

Most of these instructors are those born in the ‘systems’ they teach, and therefore inherited all of its built-in limitations. In addition, someone who has worked long, and hard to achieve a level of mastery would be unlikely to teach other than what he was taught. Much like a gourmet chef graduating from a prestigious culinary school would not be eager to open up a fast-food burger joint, and flip patties all day on a grill.

So historically speaking, the existence and success of ‘Commercial-Kenpo’ should not be a surprise to anyone. But, like the restaurant analogy, there are cars that come off an assembly line that is ‘adequate’ on one end of the scale. Then there are cars singularly built by hand by skilled craftsmen at the other. Somewhere in between the adequate and best are ‘upscale’ versions of common brands where more attention to detail and a commitment to quality also provide a better quality vehicle, for more than the mass brand, but for less than the handmade. ‘Free market’ concepts make room for all.

Ed Parker was no different, and in fact, provided various versions of his arts at every step of his personal evolution. The dominant versions were always dictated by external sources and his personal preferences. Once the decision was made to create Ed Parker’s Kenpo Karate, Mr. Parker was quite proud of the process, and what he envisioned his creation could do for the martial arts.

He was right, It allowed him to proliferate his ideas while providing those with significate commitment an “adequate” vehicle to learn self-defense. It had the ability to appeal to the lowest common denominator customer, (children), as well as those adults who wanted to truly engage intellectually and physically. But, business always gravitates towards the numbers that represent the greatest profit.

It is not generally known, but to a significant degree, Ed Parker’s creation of mass-market Kenpo was instigated by a personal tragedy. Approached by eventual business partners to create “Action Karate Magazine,” Parker became the victim of others questionable business practices that ultimately forced him into bankruptcy to protect his family and property.

Although this was not the only reason he created Commercial Kenpo, clearly it had a significant impact, especially when you have a wife and five children, and you make your living ‘selling’ the martial arts. The degree of impact may be debatable, but his own admission of “Urgent necessity” to protect his assets leaves no doubt of the connection. This is not to negate Parker’s ultimate goals of proliferation, which existed long before the bankruptcy was necessary.

However, to assume that the creation of a diversion art to sell, changed Ed Parker’s personal evolution and his personal art would also be a huge mistake. He always separated what he did from what he promoted and sold. Witness some of the many mechanisms not present or articulated in the commercial art that was clearly visible in Parker’s own execution being only recently discovered by some today in perusing old film and videos. Mr. Parker’s Personal Art was head and shoulders above the Kenpo he had to sell. This is also why those born into Ed Parker’s Kenpo Karate could never duplicate his physical success. They never had the tools to do so. This is significantly “old” information to people like his only son Edmund who studied science principles of the body with his father, not ‘motion’ Kenpo Karate Principles. One is only the beginning, while the other is significantly advanced.

Some who thought they had reached the pinnacle of Mr. Parker’s teaching in his motion vehicle ridiculed Edmund Jr. for his approach and lack of knowledge of the Kenpo Karate System, not understanding he was following the path his father had laid out for him, much as I did as well. So, Edmund’s and my own “Kenpo” was always “different.”

It is also why the best practitioners of the works of Mr. Parker are either “old school,’ or seasoned veterans of other older and more traditional arts first before finding Kenpo's innovative approach. But Mr. Parker knew this, and recruited those veterans to initially teach his new innovative approach, but business mandates created a second generation that was married to a system that pushed quantity over quality and didn’t have the time or inclination to teach the true intricacies of the arts, and whose base concepts contradicted ‘old school” methods for the sake of proliferation and profitability.

So adopting the single time/evolution line from the beginning to what an individual may have been exposed to is a dubious perspective at best. There is no one Kenpo, nor is there a single timeline. Every time Parker taught someone and changed something from what he had taught another, he fractured his own timeline by creating a divergent lineage, all valid from within and from its own perspective.

Even so, unfortunately, all interpretations are not created equal. As Mr. Parker’s knowledge grew, it caused a shift in the sophistication hierarchy of every version or lineage. What was state of the art in the fifties was old Kenpo in the sixties, and ancient in the seventies as Ed Parker’s Kenpo Karate began to take hold. When he taught someone something, and found a better way to do it and taught it to someone else, he pushed himself forward and older material further into history, and made it by comparison less effective material.

My own personal timeline was always in a state of flux to the same extent as Mr. Parker. Coming from one of his many influences, (Xifu Ark Wong) as he did, as my current teacher when he changed, so did I as he dictated. But because we had common influences and he was aware of my previous training, it dictated a much different path for me than others, much like Guru Dan Inosanto, who also came from Xifu Ark Wong.

I remember him teaching inward blocks by cocking the blocking hand to the ear and launching linearly from there. “Phonetic Blocking” he called it then. However, when he began studying with Xifu Ark Wong and others, the blocking action changed to a more circular movement, as he began to understand “indexing” (my term) or “phrasing” of the movements. Both methods worked, but the latter was and is infinitely superior evolving from the former.

Therefore, for me, there is no ‘original’ Kenpo, only an on-going process of understanding what he wanted and how he wanted it, as I was forced to evolve with him. Few did. Most of the fifties still do some version of fifties Kenpo, and those splinters from the sixties are the same way.

Then, in the seventies interject his free-form motion based commercial product into the timeline and you began to see the same phenomenon that beset other arts in history. A clear alteration and mass market adjustment that removed (or never placed) significant information in its structure, to ensure a less demanding and complex abstract vehicle that allowed all students and teachers to seek their own level of competency within the limitations of the chosen vehicle. When you consider this commercial vehicle, unlike traditional arts, allowed and promoted students and teachers ‘tailoring’ for their own personal preferences, you began to see why the wide existence of disparity is so ever-present today.

In Ed Parker’s Kenpo Karate, no one has a definitive way to do anything from a basic stance to an inward block. In spite of what some may think, you cannot ‘freeform’ your way to mastery of a physical science. You may, however, achieve a level of competency that is acceptable to you, the customer-client, and be awarded rank for that achievement. So long as you’re content, then the vehicle has done its job, and you are forced to take responsibility for its effectiveness, (or lack thereof), because you tailored it.

That is all that Mr. Parker wanted. It was “McKenpo.” It was decent, filling, and satisfied your hunger, and Mr. Parker was proud of the accomplishment. But he also knew the quality of the meal was up to the student and the teacher, and some would excel and most would not. But he never promised anyone the “secrets” of Ancient Chinese Masters in a strip mall. Only, that you would leave with more than you came in with.

To that end, soft tissue strikes, rakes, claws, and eye pokes are dominant themes in the commercial vehicle. This is because they insure at the base level, there will be some measure of success should the student ever have to attempt to use it. Few seem to recognize, they knew how to poke someone in the eyes the day they enrolled in classes.

The problem has always been in the separation of the arts when the mass-market version reaches significant proportions. Then it takes on a life of its own, and its practitioners declare it to be the ultimate, despite its roots.

None of Mr. Parker’s Black Belts students who studied previous to Ed Parker’s Kenpo Karate Creation, to my knowledge, were interested in the ‘new’ motion diversion, and none to my knowledge teach it. Most avoid criticism from the ‘motion born’ by simply not pointing these things out. Ancients like Chuck Sullivan, Dave Hebler, the late Steve Herring, or Stephen LaBounty, etc. have quietly extended their own interpretations from their eras of teachings, and lineage. Some have given it a new name; others simply still call it “Kenpo.”

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Words from Mr. Sean Kelley

(from Mr. Sean Kelley's Facebook page)

I always paid my dues...for things that I support & believe in. When I received my 4th degree from SGM Ed Parker I was honored then & I am honored today. In my archives I have taken both my last belt & his patch (1990) and respectfully put them into my safe keeping place where I could reflect back on the moment. I wonder if those who chose to strip, cut or shred their patches from their life are also going to burn, rip or throw away their certificates along with it as it also came with the art? If you must walk away do it in silence or like a few of us retire it as an honor of your past but please remember there are many globally very much alive and well far more senior than many in the land of 'Kenpo Oz' who are considered 'Our Ed Parker's' of today that walked with him, cried with him, worked with him, fought with him, and above all 'Loved' him without a condition but would like to carry him within their memories as a special human being that if you got the true 'Lesson' you would know why I posted this. I respect many, I'm not liked by all but for those who know me know I am reasonably fair minded but above all believe in Loyalty & Integrity as a character of a 'Code of Conduct' follow the motto 'Respect All, but Feared by None' we are all equal at the of the day!!!

 Sean Kelley