Martial & Tactical Influences
The way a teacher or student progresses with his training is dependent on the influences around that person as well as whether they have confidence in the influence. Many people follow blindly due to a teacher who has told them that their path is the true and most productive path. This can be a deadly and extremely wasteful use of time and devotion. Below I will talk about my influences and why I choose them as beacons. These are also in time sequence. Some of them are very new and have only just recently come into play but they are the paths I will follow over many years to come. Some I have left but are still a part of my "style" and influence the way I teach. One has been called a mistake by many but I considered it a good foundation and a stepping stone albeit an expensive one. And another is due to where I grew up. I must also say that my focus has always been on self-defense but looking good doing it. Go here to read the story of my training if you care :) The below opinions on the styles are the way I view them and the way that I teach them. More could be said about all of these arts but I don't have a life time to write. All of these arts link together as you go back through time, as well as today, so many of the aspects I mention can be cross referenced. I am must going to stress the aspects of the styles that are incorporated into our school, although it is considered that kung-fu is the base for all arts.
The one thing I must say is that all of these arts have more in common than not. I wish to stay with the same lines. That is why I am so excited to be introduced to arts that also follow the same principles and rules that we do, such as the 3 rules below. This is only my opinion but such things as high kicks and submission fighting must be learned in order to defend against but I do not believe that these principles should be used in our self defense systems as options. This is just my opinion, and I believe they may work well for others but my experience has shown that your odds go way down when using these tools for attacking. The men who I have worked with, as well as the ones I hope to work with soon also believe this. The real world involves many unknowns that must be realized and dealt with in training.
There are 4 main rules that we try to follow with all of our concepts and whether something will be effective. These are what you ask yourself if you could deal with when performing the defense and if those considerations were taken into account.
1. THERE ARE ALWAYS MULTIPLE ATTACKERS!!!!
2. THERE IS ALWAYS A WEAPON INVOLVED!!!!
3. THE ATTACKER KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING!!!!
4.THERE IS A WITNESS
Kenpo: Aspect Used- All, the main art.
Kenpo a Chinese art that is a fast, hard hitting, multiple striking, continuous flowing, low kicking, body destroying art. Mr Parker devised a style that was based on many years of tradition but adapted to today's culture. The art revolves around the attacker throwing an attack what ever if might be (kick, punch, weapon etc) and then finishing that person off whether it is to a control situation or unconsciousness. Kenpo is considered overkill by many but that is used to overcome the situation if the strikes fail and you must adapt. The art has been compared to the actions of a hummingbird with rapid limb motion and minimal body motion and a straight back. Aspects of the body position change at higher levels at our school but posture and the ability to adapt from a neutral position is important at lower levels. Kenpo mainly deals with the fact that you keep about a foot buffer between your body and the attackers body during an encounter in order to increase you options.
Definition- Kenpo is a category of mixed martial arts that has a basis in Karate and incorporates Shaolin kung fu and kickboxing to make the art more technically complete. It is believed that Kenpo follows much of the same path Kung Fu takes, but in order to shorten the amount of time to train a person, methods from
Karate were used as the basis to quickly allow a person to learn the basics, and techniques. As it often takes 10 to 20 years of continuous effort
to master one form of kung fu, Kenpo practitioners often can be black belted in around 3 to 5 years depending on the instructor and the level of dedication.
Normal Karate usually has linear attacks and blocks, or straight moves with power meeting power with the accuracy with power being
more important then learning separate techniques. Kenpo emphasizes more circular moves, such as the hooking, or the different angle strikes as main attack
methods. Kenpo has more grappling moves, and throws than Karate. Both Karate and Kenpo use katas, but Kenpo katas tend to have more
techniques to them, with an emphasis on multiple hits.
Natural Spirit Arnis, Kuntao, Sibat: Aspects used- Stick, knife, staff, close quarter fighting and locking
Datu Kelly Worden has put together the aspects of arts such as Arnis, Sibat, Kuntao, Wing chun, and others to form his own unique system. Datu Worden's tactical applications of the arts are well known and he teaches the special forces out of Fort Lewis regularly. This man is world class. I have also been introduced to many aspects of Datu's work as well as some aspects of Kali from one of Datu Worden's representatives. Mr. Worden's knife and stick work is quite easily transported over into empty hand applications including striking, parrying, gunting (nerve disruptions) and control techniques.
Filipino Kuntao: Aspects used- Close quarters combat, Fa Jing, Body motion backing up strikes
Professor Rick Hernandez was honored to be a close student of the recently passed away master Professor Florendo Visitacio (Professor Vee). I have recently been introduced to Mr. Hernandez's material and have seen him in action at the DeThouars Family Gathering. He is very open and inspires me to expand my knowledge deep into his art. My view of Kuntao is one of Kenpo compressed in a bubble. Kuntao is a very punishing art the same as Kenpo, but deals with everything at a very much closer range using short range weapons and short, sharp generated power(jing force). It also uses things such as marriage of gravity to ground (sink him into his stance and check changes in depth, width, height) the opponent. Also reverse motion when a strike is done one way and then the strike is done backwards along the same path. It also uses low line kicks to destroy the base of the attacker. The Kuntao player also uses strikes and manipulations to many parts of the attackers body in order to control him beyond his own control. In Kuntao concepts such as Gyroscopic Rotation, whiplash, seating, shearing as well as leg traps or leg locks are used to manipulate the attacker instead of relying on muscle strength.
This is something also very new to me but is going to be the path I travel down for a long time. In Denver I met a great deal of amazing and big name people who also posses amazing physical skills and understanding. DeThouars Kuntao/Silat is a very aggressive art that attacks the attacker before he/she knows what happened. Attacking line are started as soon as the attacker moves. Most blocking lines are on a direct vector with a target on the assailants body. The Kuntao practioner then takes control over the attackers body from very very close in. An a defender can then us his/her own body weight as well as leverage and displaced balance to take down the attacker. This is an amazing grappling art without submission so to speak, because you get so close and really control the attacker. As my journey progresses in this style I will add more and expand my understanding.
Kung-fu (Bak mei, Bak fu pai, iron palm, dragon, hung gar): Aspect Used- Jing or ging force
These kung-fu arts consist also of fast flowing motions but are much more form based as far as the training goes. Some of the motions are more pronounced and artistic. The part of these arts that is a big part of the higher level of training in our school is the jing or ging force which is also present in Kuntao (see more later). This involves developing a short range whipping force which doesn't rely on large pull back in order to develop power. This is convenient for close quarter striking. The arts use several ways to develop jing. These consist of corkscrew spring action, bending the knees, sinking the body slightly and then propelling the hips and punch forward, and generating a wave from the toes up through the body and then out to the strike. All different ways but give you the same effect, the ability to generate penetrating power from as little as a few inches away from the target.
MORE TO COME.....