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Forum Home > General Discussion > A Purpose..................

Donald K. Carr
Member
Posts: 4

Although I am probably one of the newer senior black belt members of the IKKA, I would like to take a moment and start a open discussion on purpose. Especially as it related to us as members of the EKC. Call me a sap, but I am very loyal to the concepts and ideologies of the IKKA and very excited at the prospect of the potential impact that the EKC has to the community of American Kenpo in general. Here, the IKKA has developed a forum in wich senior practitioners of the art can collaborate as to our current enviornment as will as future direction of Kenpo. The frame work has been established through the enception of the EKC for the colaboration of an exstensive resource of experience and knowledge to come together and discuss the issues that exsist in our Art without political or agenda oriented influence allowing us to develop a resource for the future of Kenpo.

 

The question is how? Where do we start? At what point are we going to establish "A Purpose" for the potential? I have been avidly reading and contributing to the posts and discussions on the IKKA forum and waiting to hear the wisdom of the membership of the EKC and now stand here amazed at how quite it has been on the forum board.

 

So I have decided to take apon my self and challenge everyone. Let's take a few moments and decide amoungst ourselves what is our "Purpose" and how can we best collectively utilize these resources that we have been blessed with the ability to contribute to? What is our direction and how can we establish ourselves as a truely "Elite" council? The leadership that had the courage and dedecation to establish this council can only do so much, they can only provide the forum and base for us to organize under. It is our own individual responsibility to develope the actual enviornment in which we can truely formulate the "Elite" status of this council.

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Donald K. Carr

Associate Master of the Art, (Hachidan), 8th Dan Balck Belt

July 28, 2011 at 12:04 AM Flag Quote & Reply

John Annunziata
Member
Posts: 5

Hi Donald,

 

Unfortunately, you pose some difficult questions in your post, especially when it comes to the future directions of the art. My opinion is not widely viewed as popular when it comes to the direction of the art because I believe that the first generation students of Mr. Parker splintered and damaged the legacy of American Kenpo, all in the name of rank and title might I add, that it's hard to say which direction the art is going. I blame them for the lack of unity and the complete chaos, confusion, and state of disaray that the art is in. Just about every other art has a clear hierarchy and pyramid that you can trace. Not so with American Kenpo and you can find proof of that in the number of organizations that are out there.

 

I will go so far as to say that it may even be Mr. Parker's fault himself for not thinking any of his students was good enough to lead the system. Look at how organized the Tracy's are. Look at how organized the IKCA is. Look at how organized Ninjitsu and the Gracies are. I can go on and on here but the point is, it has been done and can be done, and yet the senior students, the first generation students were so greedy that they put themselves over the well being of the art, to me, is completely mind blowing.

 

Your intentions are good. The discussion needs to be had. But as long as the first generation students are on this planet, and refuse to come together and take responsibility for the art and mess that it has become, then nothing will change.

 

With all that being said I do propose one thing and I know it won't be easy, if at all possible. I say, get all of the first generation students in one room, tell them to vote on a new leader for the system that EVERYONE  has to follow and that's it. Once that new leader reaches a certain age, he needs to come up with one younger person to lead the system incase he passes away suddenly. Have only one organization with the new leader at the top and have one of the board of directors hold on to the name of the "new" leader incase said leader passes away suddenly. Without any type of structure or guidance from a leader, you will have what American Kenpo is today. A complete and udder mess. Just my opinion though.

 

What does everyone think?? Post a reply please.

August 17, 2011 at 11:26 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Donald K. Carr
Member
Posts: 4

I do agree with you. However, the IKKA mission statements states that it is non-political. Who has the industry clout or an appropriate forum for this?

 

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Donald K. Carr

Associate Master of the Art, (Hachidan), 8th Dan Balck Belt

September 8, 2011 at 4:55 PM Flag Quote & Reply

John Annunziata
Member
Posts: 5

Hi Don,

Unfortunately, it's not going to happen at all. No one is going to be willing to risk their credentials to speak up on behalf of the system and risk being an outcast that no one will back. The "senior" students have all staked their names and their ranks through out their own organizations. People who can't stand the political drama associated with the senior students, like the members of the IKKA and the EKC and hundreds of other organizations, formed their own organizations to band together to cover each other, teach each other, and accept others that may have been casualties of the drama that exists within the Kenpo community. So I really can't see it happening anytime soon.

The only thing that I can suggest is to build up the IKKA and the EKC with a lot more people, possibly some people with clout, then start making some noise about the state of our art. Strength in numbers seems to be the best way to go because as long as we're small, people will not listen to us.

The other problem is, people feel differently about the way in which American Kenpo should move forward. Some people feel that the art should remain true to the Infinite Insights books, which is fine if you want to keep tradition alive, but it won't "progress" the art. Others, like Jeff Speakman and Frank Trejo, feel that Kenpo should evolve with the future which would mean adding a ground game to the art, or adding Ju-Jitsu back into the art, or making it more of a Combatives art. Neither thinking is wrong but they are two very different directions that the art could go in. My belief is either change with the times or become yet another art that was once relevant, but now has no place for the streets of the 21st century.

Which direction do you think the art should go in?

September 14, 2011 at 10:12 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Donald K. Carr
Member
Posts: 4

You have some valied points. I commited to Mr. Wahlen a while back in making sure all underbelts that I teach are enrolled in IKKA to expand the membership rolls. I understand that at this point that all I am doing is seeding the garden for our future harvest, but I do believe it to ba a critical role.

As far as view points. I believe that traditions has it's place. It is essential to maintain tradition in our art to preserve our differences and honor those that contributed. However, just the differences in our Kenpo orgin to Epak shows the need for evolution. Honor our founders we must, but adapt and evolve to maintain the edge of the sword is critical. This is why I believe that we need to continue the efforts and the discussion.

 

Lets maintain our philoshophy and honor or traditions, but allow us to move forawrd into battle with the sharpest of edge..........

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Donald K. Carr

Associate Master of the Art, (Hachidan), 8th Dan Balck Belt

September 18, 2011 at 8:47 AM Flag Quote & Reply

John Annunziata
Member
Posts: 5

Building up the roster of the IKKA is extremely important. I believe that there are strength in numbers, however, we need more voices then just you and me. We need to hear from everyone to see what their opinions are.

September 21, 2011 at 11:01 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Doug Schwinn
Member
Posts: 1

If I may be so bold; I've seen 40+ years of American Kenpo evolving, discontinuing some things and adding many more new things. The Whole Process seems to me to be sincere, in the best interest of All Kenpoists and Not disrespectful to Masters Parker, Chow, Mitose et al. Take as you wish and leave what you don't care to be a part of your growth. "Divide and Conquor, United we stand." For a long time now I chose to be silent andnow I have chosen again to break my silence. I've seen that divisiveness has Created This, That or Another Dialect of the same Principles that have been passed to us from Our Patriarchs. We're All in this alone, someone has said. If we Honor those we love and respect, from our Hearts we build Our Kenpo Family but not necessarily our chosen association; A "Melting Pot" much like the rest of the American Family? When Grand Master Parker passed, One of His Daughters phoned me to advise that there would be no Sucessor nor the Council of 12 Black Belts that had been proposed to run the Association and the Parker Family would run it. When Grand Master Chang Chien Wen Passed, His Widow, Lisa Chang Came to the USA to inform me that I would not be considered for a Successor to His Meng Po because: "You have neither the attitude nor the apptitude to be The Successor." I assumed that since Sifu Chang is a National Treasure of Indonesia that someone there would inherit that Station. She Asked what I would then do and I told her I will teach what Master Chang's and Master Parker's Art had influenced me to teach others. Lisa Chang smiled and said; "If you don't teach, Sifu's Meng Po will die." I am not ashamed that they have made me a Master and I will happily share their Legacey without conflict or contraversy. I love Them and Their Kenpo Flowers.

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In 1980 I met Chang Chien Wen, U Un Surya, a Kung fu Grand Master at a Demo in Salida CO. He was there with Steve Gartin, American Kun Tao Silat. Mr. Chang was seeking a work Visa and eventually his green card and was being sponsored by Indonesian Kun Tao Silat Grand Master Willem (Mild Bill) de Thouars. I asked to study with Grand Master Chang. Long story shortened: I introduced Sifu Chang to Grand Master Chang to at the IKC 1981 and recieved his blessing to study as an extension of Kenpo. I was only accepted by Sifu Chang because of my experience that I had to share at a battery of interviews. My Mentor and Instructor Barbara Hale came to Colorado to meet Sifu Chang shortly thereafter and I eventually signed a traditional contract to train in September 1981. Mr Parker and Sifu Chang passed within months of each other. I have been silent as well since avoiding the devisive aftermath. Sifu Chang was the 13th sucessor to Ie Fat Yan, Grand Master of Shing Ie Kung Fu that originated at the Shaolin Temple. I am one of the 12 students that Sifu Chang was allowed to teach the Ie Family Kung Fu and Meng Po Kung Fu which are in my opinion are ancestors of Mr. Parker's American Kenpo. I am Doug Schwinn, Student of above mention Teachers.

March 7, 2012 at 7:46 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Christopher F. Lussier
Member
Posts: 2

I agree with all the above. However, It is true we must allow changes to remain alive. The bad guys will develop ever more clever ways to attack and rob or rape the common people. We, as Sheepdogs against the wolves, in protection of the general (sheep) populace, must adapt to these changes by changing our own techniques. Ed Parker did not see us defending ourselves against a mortar attack, but tell that to an Israeli kenpoist. Beleive me when I tell you Kenpo is still in its infancy. less than 60 years since 1954 when it was invented. Compare that to kung fu thats been in the temples since around 570 ad, plus or minus a few years. Even Kung fu split many times in its own early years. Re emerged together several times and ended currently into two sects, northern and southern. *and now western (american kenpo). Please check out one of our members. His name is TIM BULOT. He has annotated most of the belt levels to DVD,  and has LIVED HIS LIFE in the highest level of kenpo. Probably saved hundreds of people in anti terrorism work. He currently runs a school for kenpo and several weapons schools for modern weapons. He wishes to combine it all into a kenpo curriculum. I applaude this attitude. Add as much techniques and weapons as you can add. Use the knowledge of others from different styles to supplement or replace. JUST IMPROVE the final product (kenpo). We all have ED PARKERS permissiion to do this. read his five books SLOWLY. He said he was the foundation, but we are the walls and the ascending floors and the ever rising roof.(sic) et all. Kenpo will not change its core untill we start to fight something with more or less than two arms, one head, two legs. Fighting a giant sentient centipede will change kenpo techniques radically. However it would be additive techniques and will not drop the original techniques or core values. (those pesky bad humans will still be around.) So, in my humble opinion, add what you can while you are young enough to do it. Make sure it really works.Then post it....Dr. Christopher Lussier, 10 dan, Phd, M.I.T. engineering dept. 

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October 20, 2012 at 10:38 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Thomas Vince
Member
Posts: 2

Interesting conversation, I would like to add that Kenpo was taught in several stages, the last being the most organized. Spending time with other Kenpoist like Larry Tatum or Gil Velez and many others helped me define my "Kenpo". I had the opportunity to model my Kenpo on what I consider to be "some of the best". As an Instructor I had to make a few decisions. Not all of the techniques work, but I never told that to a student. I always told the student that these techniques are designed to get them thinking about the principles and concepts and to give them options in various different scenarios. Going by the numbers is a great way to get organized but is that progressing? Does progressing mean that we have to changeor restandardize the art? I was once told that when you understand Kenpo, you understand all the martial arts. I spent time in my younger years analyzing and breaking down the motion of fighting styles so that I could beat these guys. After awhile I was good enough to figure it out in seconds, but none of that would have come without the foundation that was laid out for me. I can change Kenpo for "me", or I can "tailor" Kenpo to someone else, but I have no right to change the foundation laid out by SGM Parker. The foundation is what made us Kenpo Masters.

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Thomas Vince

6th Degree Black Belt

March 24, 2015 at 2:24 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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