Posted On:3/07/2013 7:51am
Style: Kyokushinkai / Kajukenbo
I didn't know what to expect. Some old guy, a student of Ed Parker is going to drop into our dojo. He shows up and Mr. Zach, the instructor introduces him. Says this is Mr. Skip Hancock and if he'd let me I would introduce him as Grand Master...
Skip tells us that he's a student and always learning so he doesn't want to be called master as that would imply he just teaches.
He takes over the kid's class, emphasizing to us bbs that he teaches ONE technique, one lesson at a time. He talks of watching a class with several black belts teaching nine techniques in a few minutes and the students were lost. So he starts with the kids on the floor, one leg tucked one out, rolling back on their backs and up to sitting. In a few minutes he was showing them to turn their heads, reach out and roll a leg over toward the hand that's out. Then everyone in class took turns doing full mount reversals. Then he showed the same move with both legs, going over to touch both feet. Then added a kick, then added going to sprawl, then added going to pushup position. He didn't get to teaching going back to fighting stance, but he did it himself many times.
What really got me was that here was this old fart, effortlessly rolling around. I can still do rolls, but I'm looking at him and thinking, are you immune to arthritis? How the **** can you roll so well?!?
It took most of the hour and he got everyone, all the kids, ranging from 6 to 13, doing all the techniques. He kept telling us bbs 'one lesson at a time.' He was very effective at teaching. A great mix on coaching and challenging, he kept the kids engaged the entire time, never needing the usual chewing outs they get.
Then he blew my mind. He'd asked "Who wants a challenge?" several times and the same group, mostly older boys would respond. To them he gave more techniques (he also pointed out one of the best kids, who does circus tumbling stuff, as needing challenges as the kid was bored). So he took the sub-group through back roll to push up position and snapped out a pushup. They all did it. Then same with a clap pushup, then slap the chest pushup, then slap the thighs, then roll to spread out, then roll to spread out finger pushups... By this point none of the kids could keep up and I'm going, what the ****, here's this unimpressive looking old fart doing fucking arms spread finger pushups coming off a VERY smooth back roll?
And of course his front rolls, fighting techniques, and such looked great. He took over the adult class and taught the difference between symmetry and dominant fighting. It's too much to get into here, but covers stuff like weak side block and dominant side hit for sparring, dominant side attack in front for self defense and such. He showed symmetry in doing kata: he did part of a kata and then did it opposite side. Both were snapped out with power and grace - rather impressive. But he said that is pretty worthless for teaching fighting. He actually taught us using 1950 pro wrestling moves with added kenpo stuff, all one small lesson at a time, and very similar methods to Clarence Emperado's Kajukenbo school in Honolulu - all improvised reactions to attacks using principles of the art to respond.
And he took the 300 pound Hawaiian bb and did throws, keeping ahold of each other with reversal throws, the way I've seen good Judoka do. Hmmm, and of course he ends it slipping into an arm bar. He looked kinda like Sambo Steve! Fucking Kenpo!
So I've finally met a good Kenpoist!
Last edited by patfromlogan; 3/07/2013 7:57am at .
"Preparing mentally, the most important thing is, if you aren't doing it for the love of it, then don't do it." - Benny Urquidez
Posted On:3/07/2013 10:46am
Style: stick,Taiji, mountainbike
Wow! Sounds like an awesome experience.
Combatives training log.
Gezere: paraphrase from Bas Rutten, Never escalate the level of violence in fight you are losing. :D
Pavel Tsatsouline: kettlebell workouts give you “cardio without the dishonour of aerobics”.
Posted On:3/07/2013 8:45pm
Yeah, and I always thought Hawaiian Kempo ruled and EP Kenpo was mostly slappy Moons of Juniper.
Posted On:3/08/2013 3:35pm
Style: Arnis de Mano
Sound like you met a true master. A true master of the martial arts is also a master student.
Goes to show that you can't judge all Parker Kenpo by the state of those claiming to teach his art.
Sound like you learned some great lessons.
Posted On:4/12/2013 1:24pm
Style: American Kenpo, Judo
Both my teachers are Skip Hancock BB's. Given the fact that they claim having not even 10% of Mr Hancock's prowess (even though they move at... considerable speeds and deliver blows that leave me crippled for at least a few minutes) this account doesn't really surprise me. I would have given good money to be there. But Pat, he did start in regular EPAK. He was just one of the few to get the point.
Posted On:6/25/2013 11:02pm
Style: TKD, MT, KEMPO
He looks like Lee Marvin, sans the alcoholic eyes. Sounds like an awesome experience.
"Coffee is for Closers" GlenGarry Glenross
Posted On:6/26/2013 12:27am
Style: TKD, CMA & American Kenpo
I am green with envy; Mr. Hancock is, IMHO, 'The Real Deal'. He practically wrote the book on Kenpo and is one of the (few) EPAK folks who facilitated the evolution and general growth of the system.
Kenpo 2000 is an open-ended style and continues to keep up with the times, I like it better than Speakman's Kenpo 5.0. Having done some training with both, I personally believe Mr. Hancock is better at explaining and demonstrating his interpretation of Kenpo. And he does kind of look like Lee Marvin a little.
Posted On:6/26/2013 12:31am
I was going, that dude looks mighty familiar....LOL!
Posted On:1/17/2015 7:28pm
Our school in Westfield, MA has been associated with Skip Hancock and Kenpo 2000 since before I started in June of 2001. Skip was instrumental in helping getting my brown belt and is the best instructor I have ever trained with. I'm now part of Skip's online instruction at www.thepathtoexcellence.com , and the refinements just keep coming. With upwards of 40 principles involved in throwing a single strike, that's a lot of refinements.
Finally glad I can mention my Kenpo training without getting my ass handed to me in text. (But I'll probably still grief from people who have never met such an extraordinary student/instructor as my friend Skip)
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