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Bowley Kenpo Karate » Seminar Notes » Brian Duffy and Dennis Conatser Seminar Notes

Brian Duffy and Dennis Conatser Seminar Notes

At the end of March 2014, Mr. Brian Duffy and Mr. Dennis Conatser Sr were at Stronghold Martial Arts in Webb City, MO to give belt tests and seminars. These are a few of the thoughts jotted down after the exams and classes.

Brian Duffy and Dennis Contatser Seminar at Stronghold Martial Arts in Joplin, MO

Brian Duffy and Dennis Contatser Seminar at Stronghold Martial Arts in Joplin, MO

Concepts and Ideas

  • Always cover out. Especially in practice
  • When doing Long Form 1, the block-strike portion should be done quickly and with a lot of power.
  • The most important move in a technique is the first move.
  • Explosiveness in a technique isn’t just moving fast, it’s doing each move quickly but with power and accuracy. There can be a brief pause followed by bursts of explosion.
  • The two man techniques are more a guide to think about multi-opponent engagement as opposed to a hard order of sequencing.
  • At the higher levels of understanding, it’s not “Deflection, then infliction of pain”. It’s “Deflection with infliction of pain”.
Mr. Duffy demonstrating a technique during the grafting portion of the seminar.

Mr. Duffy demonstrating a technique during the grafting portion of the seminar.

Techniques

  • Hooking Wings – On the first move, remember to keep your elbows in close to your body so as not to send your opponent’s arms back into orbit. Also keep the circle your right fist travels in a compact, short circle for the strike.
  • Thundering Hammers – As you shuffle in for the right forearm strike, remember to keep the left hand cocked by the ear. In a multiple opponent fight, this “cocking motion” could also be a strike to the second opponent.
  • Twist of Fate – Lock your opponent’s left arm underneath their right, at the elbow, before trying to proceed further in the technique.
  • Five Swords – As you move to the heel palm strike, cock your right hand for the upcoming uppercut strike at the same height as you would normally chamber the fist in a horse stance.

Drills

Mr. Conatser showing the finer points of the Star Block Drills.

Mr. Conatser showing the finer points of the Star Block Drills.

Hubud drills (great example video): straight punch, roundhouse punch, overhead punch, inward elbow, uppercut

Grafting techniques is an idea of transitioning from one technique into another. It can be done by finding similar positions or movements among techniques or by modifying a maneuver to make the transition. Then once in the similar position, cut over to the different technique.

We used the Hubud drills as bridge between techniques or to graft techniques together.

As a defensive move: Person A does a front thrust kick. Person B replies with the technique Deflecting Hammer. Person A uses the Hubud drill for an inward elbow to transition into a new attack, grabbing Person B from a rear bear hug. Person A does the technique Captured Twigs. Person B re-engages after taking the punishment to regrab Person A with a flank headlock. Person A finishes the sequence with the technique Grasp of Death.

Offensive Moves: Run the technique Five Swords through the uppercut punch. Then, if necessary, use the Hubud drills to graft in the next technique.
Five swords – Attacking Mace
Five swords – Triggered Salute – Attacking Mace
Five swords – Crossing Talon
Five swords – Thundering Hammers – Back Breaker
Five swords – Circling Windmills

Star block can be used for more than just building Block Set. It can be a much more useful teaching tool with many variations. (More discussion here) Just a few examples:
Right hand up
Left hand up
Right hand down
Left hand down
Both hands down
Right down, left up
Left down, right up
Right down, left down one beat behind right

Mr. Duffy has been one of my instructors for quite a while now. Every time we’re on the mat, I always learn so many new things. The same is true with Mr. Conatser as his goal is to make everyone better at Kenpo. Their passion for the art is infectious. Should you have the chance to train with either of them, I can’t recommend it highly enough: especially at Mr. Duffy’s Spirit Camp in Austin, TX every October.

Sam Bowley
Bowley Kenpo Karate in McKinney, TX

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Brian Duffy and Dennis Conatser Seminar Notes
Brian Duffy and Dennis Conatser Seminar Notes
Seminar notes after attending a Brian Duffy and Dennis Conatser seminar at Stronghold Martial Arts in Joplin, MO.

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