Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Florida seminar

They came from Ft. Myers, Sarasota, Tampa and Naples and packed Genie Byrd's Imperial Dragon Kenpo on Metro Pkwy in Ft Myers.
I did a small class for the kids and then when the adults came in we went to work on some principles in the two-man techniques and club defenses. They told me I wore them out.
It was good to see my old group there and we had a visit from Masschusetts studio owner Bill Gaudette, who was down on vacation. Another MA resident who has relocated to Naples and opened a studio is Harry Grimm, who was also there Saturday.  Ed Cabrera was down from Tampa and a couple of adventurous yellow belts came in from Sarasota. I'll post pictures when I get some.
I was able to meet with several of my friends and some family down there, too. Bill Spearman, who shoots the video for kenpotv.com was in town and we shot some more segments for the site. The site itself is having some issues we're trying to resolve but there will be much more new material coming once that's worked out.
I visited Dr. Rowe's tai chi class at the Health Park hospital Monday, too, and they're coming along.
We had a dinner on Saturday evening that Genie had arranged and they suprised and embarrassed me with a nice card and the staff singing me a birthday song in Italian.
It was a nice trip to Ft Myers. I miss the people there, but not the traffic.

Functional Blindness

The February article (is late) but is now posted for subscribers at www.leewedlake.com. It's on functional blindness. Here's an excerpt.

As kenpo people we know about Mr. Parker’s term “object obscurity”. This refers to the times we put a weapon on our opponent’s face to either get them to close their eyes or to cover the eyes. The beginner technique, Raining Claw, is one of the first examples of this. The claw “rains” down on the bridge of the nose and the fingers follow and the hand stays in place just long enough to slip the following shot in. Mr. Parker said the interval between strikes was close enough to “prevent the light from getting in.”

There are two things at work here. One is the hand(s) being in front of the eyes. Unless he or she has x-ray vision, they can’t see, i.e. they’re functionally blind. The other is the instinctual defensive reaction of closing one’s eyes when something gets close to them.  There’s an ancillary effect as well. Impact typically makes us close our eyes. It takes lots of training to make ourselves not flinch in anticipation or reaction to loud noises, impact (sometimes impending) and pain. Strikes to the eyes and nose often result in a pain that causes watering of the eyes, which also contributes to limitations in sight. I’d hazard to say that we have all three going in such a technique as Raining Claw. And many of you are thinking about others that do the same thing in a variety of ways.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Ft Myers this weekend

I'm heading down to SW Florida this weekend. My host is Genie Byrd at Imperial Dragon Kenpo, in my old studio location on Metro Parkway. I'll be doing one seminar for children at 11:30 and two for adults starting at 1:30.Contact number there is 239-362-1393 if you want to attend.
  I'll have a chance to see my family and hang out with Dr. Rowe, too. Looking forward to seeing everybody.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

How many tenth degrees?

I'd recently posted a poll here that was not well-voted on, something I thought was interesting. Polls here are usually better used. Anyway, the subject was how many tenth degree black belts do we have in the system. Only three people voted. One said we have less than 20 and the other two indicated 20-30 was the answer.
I have done some research on the subject and have found over 30 people claiming 10th. Now this is a bit sticky since those I found are kenpo people but are of several branches. All have some base in Parker kenpo. A few have a rank but don't claim the Parker system but wear the same rank markings and some version of his crest. Therefore, I'd say they infer a Parker system rank. Like I said, it's sticky.
  I read some of their websites and they state a date they were promoted by Ed Parker and then go on to say they earned the subsequent ranks but don't say from what group or person. Others simply took promotions from their people, by association. I'm not saying that's good or bad, it just is. Others have rank from groups outside our system and seem to have transferred it.
   We are not the only system to have this situation. It appears the rank system is a bit "off the chain".
The purpose of my research was to get a better idea of where we are as a system and maybe where we're going.