Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Kenpo: Thrusting Wedge and the Xingyi Tiger Form
Here again we have Kenpo instructor James Hawkins.
I really like the relaxed humor he presents in his instruction, which is indeed "Functional Kenpo".
As I wrote in a previous post, the Japanese and Korean Karate I have practiced in the past leans towards "crash-and-bash-linear", despite the spin kicks of TaeKwon Do.
I believe Ed Parker was a genius. In his creation of "American Kenpo" he re-categorized motion itself, adding much more blending and circular movement. Detractors of the style refer to it as a "slap art", with lots of checking the opponent's weapons and minor strikes to set up knockouts. Bullshit. Watch how Hawkins moves; he takes what the opponent gives him, blends and moves through his defenses until he is defeated.
Historical commentary about the Hawaiian-styles like Kajukenbo and Kenpo say that Japanese Karate in the early days could not defeat the huge native islanders.
Emperado and Mitose created their arts for that reason, with more fluid streetfighting movement. Ed Parker ramped it up to a level unseen before, and we view that in instructor Hawkins' relaxed body dynamics.
My personal opinion is that Parker included more Chinese-based movement, indicated by raking minor and circular strikes not commonly seen in more traditional Karate.
While the Kenpo style I practiced in the past was a Hawaiian style, we incorporated many Parker techniques that were pretty cool.
While not a perfect comparison, take a look at the basic movement of the Xingyi Tiger Form below. It is nearly the exact movement in Kenpo's "Thrusting Wedge" demonstration by Hawkins above, the entering movement to be followed by techniques to finish the opponent off.
Xingyi Tiger Form