A Question Of Superiority
For those of us who have been training in the Kenpo system for the majority of our lives, at one time or another we were trained to be believe that The Art Of Kenpo Holds Superiority over all other forms of unarmed combat or organized methods of fighting.
Even in the book ( The Journey ) William K.S. Chow was to have been quoted as saying ( Out of all the arts of self defense, none other can surpass the art of Kenpo in its lethality )
Now by that statement. It means that Kenpo has already been compared next to ( ALL ) other arts relating to methods of organized fighting and or empty hand methods of self defense. The real question to be answered ( IS IT )
We would all ( All Stylist of Any Art ) love to hold the belief that the art that we have spent a lifetime devoting ourselves to is the most effective and therefore the most lethal. But to answer this question we have to remember one vital thing. The arts mean nothing unless someone is using them, practicing them and applying them.
I have seen a Tae Kwon Do stylist defeat Kenpo. I have seen a Kenpo stylist Defeat Shotokon. I have seen a Isshin Ryu stylist defeat Tae Kwon Do. Now to get a much better understanding of this. I have never seen an art defeat an art. Only opponents defeating opponents.
The art of Kenpo is very lethal in its application, but only if its executed by an individual who has made it that way. Kenpo is only as good as the person applying it. The same goes with any other Martial Art. The Late SGM Parker did an interview during the 70s where he said the very same thing. Now some have said that Parker made that statement strictly on the grounds of martial Politics, so that he wouldn’t step on any toes.
But the fact is, the statement is 100 percent true. Now of course, all this is based on the comparison of legitimate forms of martial arts. Not Johnny’s Kwon Do , or Bobs back yard form of Ching Ching Pow.
Throughout my years of training in the Arts, I have witnessed some of the most talented and skilled martial artist speak, teach and perform their art with great passion. I have watched them capture the attention of those looking on as though the students were hypnotized by what they observed, with the hope that one day they would have the talent to perform what they had witnessed.
Many of the living legends, regardless of the style or system can still hold us in awe as to their knowledge and skill. Even into their 60s and 80s. Now what do they all have in common, they all held themselves to a higher standard from the very beginning. They chose to nurture their art and do their very best to go above and beyond to maintain mental sharpness as well as physical fitness.
Being Elite is not about how many stripes or degree’s you display on your belt. It is not about how many Organizations we belong to, or how many certificates you have framed on your wall. Because all of it is temporary, in time it will become a memory. What will be remembered is the person who captured the groups attention for hours on end. It will be the person who left a precious gift with a curious student who may have almost given up.
It will be the person who took time out of his day or seminar to pay special attention to someone who was very hungry for what was being taught. Being Elite is a decision for each individual person to make. And no one can make that decision for you. It is totally up to you. From how you live your life, to how you nurture your art, and how you communicate with other people.