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American Kenpo Karate International (AKKI) Public Forum
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Question to all AKKI Instructors

After reading the forum, I have noticed that not that many posts have been done conerning our AKKI
system cirriculum and posts on thoughts, ideas, concerns, etc for awhile and I was doing some thinking and I wanted to pose a series of questions to all AKKI instructors and members out there. We have an incredible system of American Kenpo originated by SGM Ed Parker and now redefined, re-emphasized,made incredibly more realistic and innovations that have taken AKKI Kenpo way past that next level from the original making Paul Mills AKKI Kenpo a leader in the world of American Kenpo Karate today. All this, due to the expertise, knowledge, dedication, desire and incredible love of the art, by our AKKI President SM Paul Mills. Whom I am personally grateful too for helping me to become a better kenpoist and martial artist. The questions I want to pose are: With the awesome redifined/redesigned techniques that we have, the innovations that have been done, the new techniques, , new drills, new sets, the subsections such as Knives, Clubs, etc., Are there

1)too many techniques; if so, what would you suggest?
2)not enough techniques: if so what suggestions do yo have
3)Too many drills: why?
4)Not enough drills: if so, what other types would you like to see?
5)Do we have too many techniques for each belt rank? If so, what direction would you suggest? If not, what would you like to see added, if anything to each belt rank?
6) Concerning Knife and Club, should we incorporate this training into earlier belt ranks or wait until upper belt ranks? What pros and cons do you see?
7)Concerning Sets, what types of sets other than the incredible ones we already have would you like to see and why?
8) Concerning Self Defense: Is there anything else you would like to see incorporated into our AKKI System? If so, what and why?

These questions are not aimed at saying we need to change anything in the AKKI, Mr. Mills is always innovating, and coming with things that keep us on our toes and guide us into being better martial artists. I personally am very satisfied with what we have now. there is enough there to keep a practitioners busy for a lifetime.

These questions are merely posed to get everyone thinking again, Mr. Mills is constantly working, thinking, innovating and creating to make sure we in the AKKI have the most up to date and responsive system possible, one that is always evolving and becoming more realistic to be able to handle yourself in today's society, where it is needed the most. I am just interested to hear what everyone has to say, that is all. I think it could spark some good converstations on the forum again, I am sure that Mr. Mills would love to hear what we think.

So please post, answer each question, answer only one, or a few. Put the number of the question by your answer, so everyone knows which one you are answering.

thanks, see everyone in Evanston in April. I am really looking foward to seeing everyone there and renewing old friendships and making new ones, as well as having an incredible AKKI Kenpo training weekend.

See you there,
Bruce Smith SPA
AKKI 7th Degree Black

Re: Question to all AKKI Instructors

OK, I'll bite.
I think the big thing that needs to be done is have a standardization of material through Black Belt. Right now we have a standard of material up to first brown. After that every school seems to be on their own. We have a list of possible 2nd brown material but other than a few gun techniques this hasn't been completed or at least the material hasn't been released to the masses.
Before anyone sees this as an overt complaint about not having "new material" (And I admit there is a little bit of that there) I understand we have more than enough to work on. We have tons of concepts and principles. I agree. I'm thinking purely in marketing the art and seeing some sort of standardization of material.
I personally would like to see us add empty hand lane techs. somewhere along the line. We defend club, gun, knife seems natural. We have knife curriculum so it seems a bit incomplete not to have this. As far as the mass attack techs...shrug. I was never a big fan of the IKKA mass attacks so I can take 'em or leave them. I don't know that we need them in the curriculum, but a few camp seminars on mass attack would be fun. We could treat it like the ground attack material we do at camps.

Re: Question to all AKKI Instructors

I'm curious to see who jumps in on this one. Here goes my 2 cents (and that's about how much it's worth.)
1 and 2). Too many/not enough techniques: I'm not a big fan of teaching techniques that have little value as application but promote concepts, principles, and theories i.e. category completion. That's why I like AKKI techniques, most work right out of the box. I don't think we need more empty hand but I would like to finish off the knife and handgun techniques. I would also like to see Mr. Paul's take on long guns (I've had one shoved in my face) and two handed weapons, baseball bats, pool cues, crowbars, etc. If you have ever been involved in a gang fight or worked the door with a partner, the idea of choreography involving multiple bodies is ludicrous. I would like to see hit and move techniques in a mass attack environment.

3 and 4) Drills: Using my Kali/Arnis and BJJ background as a reference, I would like to see more partner drills. Universal Set and Centerline Set have changed my whole way of applying sets as a teaching tool. The FMA guys call it “aliveness” yet we are not locked into the pattern. When you incorporate movement and techniques into the sets, you begin to understand why Mr. Paul called it Universal Set.

5) Too many techniques per belt: Doesn’t matter to me. Unlike Combatives, Kenpo is a career martial art that requires one to be diligent in its study and practice. If you want to knock it down to fewer techniques, then call it Kenpo Lite. There is validity to the argument that more time should be spent on attribute training and drilling (go navy) and less on learning a myriad of techniques. Like it or not though, Kenpo is a MARTAL ART and as such, tends to offer much more than a punch to the nose or a kick to the nads.

6) Gun and Knife: See above. I like the separate curriculum approach. As to when it’s taught, it’s up to the instructor and his take on his students. I work with a lot of law enforcement so they get an intro. quickly. Mr. Paul has built so much weaponry into AKKI Kenpo that students are learning knife and club on their very first technique and form.

7) Sets: Do we need more? No, but I can’t wait to see the next set Mr. Paul develops.

8) Self Defense: Other than what I mentioned above, I’m very happy with what we have. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to travel all over the states and Europe. Any and everywhere I went, I visited Kenpo schools. In my experience, there was more bad kenpo out there than good kenpo. Most instructors seem to be happy in their own little worlds teaching people that don’t know any better. Even when they have access to quality instruction, they choose to say inside their comfort zone. I also saw phenomenal kenpo and came to realize that it wasn’t so much lineage that determined quality but the individual that decided to do it right. The AKKI has it’s own unique method of movement that while obviously AK is still a little different. I like the difference and some people don’t. Like I said, there is great kenpo out there and it’s not all AKKI. The foundation is there in ALL American Kenpo but bottom line, it’s still the individual that will make it work, or not.