American Kenpo-Ed Parker

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American Kenpo began with Ed Parker. But it is not a single system as Ed went through five transitions before arriving at what would become the Ed Parker Style of American Kenpo.

It might rightfully be said that Ed Parker's new system sprang full grown from the head of Ed Parker, much like Athena sprang fully armored when Prometheus split the head of Zeus with a two man beetle at Lake Tritonis. At least Ed was pleased with this analogy when it was presented to him in 1990.
Ed Parker's martial arts training under Professor Chow, his teaching of Kenpo and study of the Chinese systems, his education and his life experience all, like the wisdom of a swallowed Metis, grew in Ed until the past became too confining for his new gift to the world. Thus, in 1965, Ed Parker's new system (his fourth) began to emerge from his genius.

But Ed did not reveal this new system completely that early. He was still using the term Chinese Kenpo, which he would soon change to Ed Parker Kenpo. He recognized that his students would not be able to assimilate all of his new knowledge and theories immediately, so he gradually introduced his new concepts and movements over the next several years--"line upon line, precept upon precept... here a little, there a little," that he could "prove" his students "herewith." Ed often spoke in parables and reminded others that even Jesus had said that you cannot put new wine in old bottles.

Ed knew that the future of American Kenpo would not be with the his existing students, because they would resist breaking their ties to the past, and most had already gone beyond Kenpo to study kung fu, first under James Wing Woo, and then under Bruce Lee. And as a prophet of the new order, Ed Parker would rightfully foresee that most of his black belts and advanced students would either reject the new system, or forsake it after a few years.

Ed felt no great bitterness toward this, because American Kenpo was not created to replace Ed Parker Kenpo. It was created as a way to advance his standard for Kenpo. Ed knew his existing students would not serve two masters. They would not learn a system that was designed to take them where they already were, and most would go on to other systems where they could continue to develop.

What Ed eventually created as "American Kenpo" was like, and yet very much unlike, the Kenpo of his former styles. The differences were those of style and theory. His new system would have its critics. And while much of their criticism was valid, no one could deny the genius of the man who was its father.

This video specifically addresses stances and stancework in kenpo. All the different stances are demonstrated, along with typical hand positions, and also some footwork. The basic and fine points of each stance are shown and discussed. Master Parker always had very strong stances and good form in his stances and also hand positions and that comes across here very well. Overall a fine video on this particular topic from master Parker.

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