Ed Parker's Universal Pattern


**  Jeff Brady's New Mexico Tiger Dragon Kenpo Karate Site provided the graphic above, with a few of the paths/patterns of motion as viewed in a single plane.

Some of what it teaches:

1. The Eight Angles - A multiplication sign laid over an addition sign could be used to show the eight major directions that someone could attack or defend from.
2. The Triangle - is a useful tool when learning what path to follow for parries, laid horizontal with your shoulders acting as the base. For covering, again laid horizontal with your rear foot at the peak front foot would follow the base line.
3. The Diamond -could be used to show a geometric path.  An example would be the inward block used in Alternating Maces traveling on a downward diagonal path.
4. The Circle - (or circular motion) could be found by following the line the foot travels on in a roundhouse kick, or the footwork in Brushing the Storm.
5. The Oval - (an elongated circle) could be found in Snapping Twig or Locked Wing.
6. The Figure Eight - could be seen as following a geometric line as in Dance of Death where the right hand is making a figure eight with the back knuckle strike to the left knee followed by the hand sword to the groin. It could also be seen as following a path of action in Snaking Talon as the whole forearm uses the figure eight with the inward and outward hand swords.
7. The Overlapping Circles - can be found in Circling Fans.
8. The Heart - can be found in Blinding Sacrifice, Fatal Cross and Locking horns.
                        Kenpo Salutation

1. Attention Stance. Have your right arm straight out towards 12:00 as a fist. Bring your left hand to rest on it as a blade.

2. Step your right foot forward into a right front crossover as you pull your hands near your right shoulder.

3. As you step your left foot forward into a cat stance, loop and extend your two hands (still together) towards 12:00.

4. Loop your hands. This starts with the backs of both hands together. They turn into fists and go back into chamber as you first step back with your left foot and pull your right foot to its side into an Attention Stance.

5. Step your left foot to 9:00 into a horse stance with your arms above you, hands open and creating a triangle with your index fingers and thumbs touching, palms of the hands facing outward and fingers together.

6. Hands come down and in towards you slightly, stopping in front of your chin in the "salute" position.

7. Your hands come down  and in toward your chest until they ar palm to palm (fingers up) as if you were praying.  Settle back into a meditative horse stance with your hands in the "salutation" position and prepare to begin your form.

The Formal Salutation has a poem that accompanies it; and there are several variations, but the theme is same.

The warrior and the scholar come together,
fight back to back to pull our country together.
We have no weapons, we hide our treasure: Kenpo,
and pray that we never have to use it.

The triangle symbolizes "Body", "Mind", and "Spirit" - the 3 things we train,
The "salutation" position represents our art of Kenpo,
The hands in the "praying" position are begging forgiveness for what we are about to do.
(This was presented to me as one of the "alternative" variations.

     Family Groupings or Related Techniques

Family Groupings
of American and Traditional Kenpo Techniques

"You may train for a long, long time, but if you merely move your hands and feet and jump up and down like a puppet, learning Karate is not very different from learning to dance. You will never have reached the heart of the matter; you will have failed to grasp the quintessence of Karate-do" - Gichin Funakoshi

Family groupings are a great way to help with your response time in a self-defense situation and are key to understanding the workings of Kenpo..

To view the Family Groupings of your particular system, please choose one of the following pages, but please note I have broken them down into categories such as Punches, Grabs, etc. From that point you could continue to break them down into subcategories, such as all techniques that begin with a left inward block of opponents right punch, etc. .

Ed Parker’s American Kenpo Family Groupings

The Tracy’s System of Traditional Kenpo Family Groupings

Note: This is my own version of Family Groupings and does not reflect what is outlined in Ed Parker's American Kenpo. For a great explanation of of Mr. Parker's Family Groupings I highly recommend the Kenpo Secrets web site and the page on American Family Groupings.

Family groupings reduce the number techniques for each specific attack, thus reducing response time. But there are other variables that you have to take in account in a self-defense situation, such as:

  • Increased adrenaline

  • Increased heart rate

  • Increased respiration

  • Vascular flow moves away from extremities

  • Pupil dilation

  • Sense of time and space is distorted

These changes affect your performance in following ways:

  • Loss of fine and complex motor skills

  • Tunnel vision

  • Hearing is impaired

  • Loss of depth perception

  • Increase in reaction/response time

There are way to train to improve your performance and spontaneity to help with the previously mentioned physiological changes, such as those mentioned in the Flow Drills and Grafting section.

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