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Be a Shark

There was an attack in Jiu-Jitsu class recently where the opponent throws a left hand, step-through roundhouse punch. The defense involved blocking, stepping in, and sweeping the opponent’s leg resulting in going to the ground. This isn’t surprising at all as I’m there to learn how to do this type of counter-defense. What I noticed though was the difference between this and Kenpo. Kenpo beginners learn to create distance and counterattack with ranged strikes (like kicks or punches). Jiu-Jitsu focused on moving the attack to the ground. So I’ve pondered when do you stand up with your opponent and when do you initiate taking the fight to the ground. Certainly some external circumstances will dictate various answers. Multiple opponents would almost guarantee you don’t initiate taking the fight to the ground. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Personal Stories

Smell That? It’s Kenpo Funk

Dear Sam, I’m you. Plus quite a few years of seasoning, experiences, and hopefully wisdom. I’m sending this letter to you to help get your head out of a dark spot. (Don’t get caught up in the details of how. It’s not important right now.) You’re about 16 and just competed in your first Kenpo tournament. While you did fine, you’re dwelling on comparing yourself to the other, higher-rank Kenpoists. See? Told you I knew what was going on in your head. I remember what you’re thinking. Those guys moved so well, were very fast, and knew so much. Desiring what they had, you started pushing too hard in your own training. Wanting it all right now led to frustration. This downward spiral in your head has a name: the Kenpo Funk. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Philosophy

What can Spider-Man teach us about Kenpo?

What can Spider-Man teach us about Kenpo?

One of the first things beginners learn upon starting Kenpo is the creed. A particular statement sets up a recurring theme found in the future belt pledges. “Should I be forced to defend myself, my principles, or my honor . . .” It continues in the orange belt pledge: “which will direct me to greater obligations and responsibilities . . to serve my instructor, fellow students, and fellow man.” In the purple belt pledge: “shall … Read entire article »

Filed under: Philosophy

Raw Emotion

Raw Emotion

A couple of weekends ago I tested to move up the belt ranks to 2nd degree brown. The test was attached to a seminar weekend at Disciple Martial Arts and had guest instructors and other Kenpoists onsite to watch. The curriculum portion of the test was one night and sparring the next, after a day of seminars. The technique and forms portion of the test was fine with the exception of developing dehydration cramps at … Read entire article »

Filed under: At Disciple Martial Arts, Belt Promotion

Satisfied? Not hardly.

The other day my Jiu-Jitsu instructor, Mr. Bosquez, was telling me the story of a recent advanced class where he had to “humble” a few of the students. No one had anything hurt except their pride, which is what he was setting out to accomplish. He said those students had shown signs in recent classes of being satisfied with where they were in the Art. I saw where he was going, but wanted to play … Read entire article »

Filed under: Personal Stories

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