Tag Archives: chinese kenpo

He Used Karate Kumite to Beat Me Up…and I loved It!

Karate Kumite in Yer Eyeball!

My first experience in real Karate Kumite was back in 1967 in a Chinese Kenpo Dojo.

I had signed up for five lessons in Kenpo Karate, and I had liked it, but it was pretty much dry instruction. Still, it was pretty heady, I was going to be able to stop kidneys, squash adams apples, and end the life of any fool who messed with me. I was, you might surmise, a bit young.

karate kumite

Karate Freestyle is a special type of discipline

 


For youth, a good lesson in hard fists is always the best antidote.

My sixth lesson, i had signed a contract, and the instructor lifted my hands up and said, ‘Don’t try to hit me, just see if you can stop me from hitting you.’

Well, that was a blinker.

And he proceeded to wail the tar out of me.

Great control, the bruises wouldn’t even show, but…there were bruises. There were especially bruises to my 19 year old ego.

You mean…I can get beat up? I am not immortal?

And, when some fifteen minutes of me being pummeled around the mat ended, we sat and talked, and that was when the real lesson commenced.

Learning how to puncture lungs and stop hearts from beating is fine, but that is just the anatomy lesson. The real lesson was in learning how to move, and…learning how to be polite.

He beat me up, without really damaging me, and smiled gently the whole time. He knew he was changing my outlook on life. He had gone through it. It was time for him to pass the message down.

Sure, you can hurt somebody, but what’s it going to cost you? And, wouldn’t you rather get along? Be on the same path? Share a brewski at the end of the day?

One of the saddest things I see, these days, is when people are taught how to freestyle in the wrong manner. The instructor doesn’t take the time to give the lesson thoroughly, and with understanding.

Instead, kids are thrown into karate tournaments and told to win, win, win.

The real lesson is in the back of the dojo, when few are looking, and it consists of sweat and bruises, and learning that there is a real human being on the end of your fists. Both ends.

If you wish to learn how to freestyle the correct way, I suggest Matrix Combat. It’s a short course, but has all the progressions of freestyle presented, how to do them, and–here’s the bonus–how they fit together so that you know when to do what. That is something that NOBODY goes into.

I do , and it’s an inexpensive way to get to the back of the dojo and get that friendly, little fists on education in Karate Kumite.

I have a confession to make, I used to practice Shotokan Katas while I was going to an Ed Parker Chinese Kenpo Karate style martial arts school.

I kow, heresy, I am impure, oh sob and moan.

But, on my behalf, Kenpo was originally Shotokan. Check out the video, and then I’ll tell you about it.

You didn’t know that Ed Parker Kenpo Karate was originally a shotokan based hard style of Karate? But it’s true! If you look at the first book Ed Parker wrote, it is a sequence of techniques that, when put together, make up the forms of Shotokan.

Mind you, it might not have been Shotokan proper, might even have been Isshin ryu, or shito ryu, or something like that, but the point is made. Chinese Kenpo was originally basic Japanese Okianwan Karate.

Why did it change? Because Parker never got his black belt (Oh, I think he did, but not from Thunderbolt Chow). So he taught a bunch of fellows Karate, ran out of stuff to teach, and started teaching a type of made up Kung Fu.

Look, I know a few dunderheads will get upset with this history, but it’s fairly accurate, there are a slightly different versions out there, but it seems to hold up when you do a little basic net research, and especially when you see that first book.

So, when I say I was doing Shotokan Karate (the Heians out of the Best Karate seriess by Nakayama, while I was studying at an Ed Parker Chinese Kenpo Karate style of martial arts school, that isn’t a bad thing. Heck, if it was good enough for Ed. Right? Check out my site, Monster Martial Arts, ┬álots of books and courses and things, all the way back to the martial arts taught in the sixties.