Brian's Kenpo Page - Terminology
Kenpo Terms And Definitions

[A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [H] [I] [J] [K] [L] [M]
[N] [O] [P] [Q] [R] [S] [T] [U] [V] [W] [X] [Y] [Z]

- A -

Adjust - Part of the formulation process where you can calibrate the range, angle of execution, or both.

Alphabet of Motion - Each move learned in Kenpo, whether used defensively, offensively, or to serve both purposes, is viewed as part of the alphabet of motion.

Alter - Part of the formulation process where you can vary the weapon, target, or both.

Alternating Zones - General rule is to strike different zones, or alternate zones to get `rocking' effect. Glancing Salute is a good example.

Anatomical Positioning - Calculated striking of vital targets to force an opponent into preconceived postural positions that will make the next target of your choice readily accessible for a successful follow-up.

Anatomical Week Points - Essential body parts which can be rendered helpless or have a fatal effect when struck.

And - A word in our Kenpo vocabulary that is eliminated by the more adept. It involves time and therefore is contradictory to economy of motion, a principle well worth following.

Angle of Deflection - On high block keep arm bent at a 45 degree angle above our head to get Angle of deflection to keep strike from pounding on our arm or hitting us.

Angle of Disturbance - That angle which, when a move is executed, does not necessarily injure, but rather upsets an opponent's balance.

Angle of Execution - Any angle which, when an attack is executed, produces maximum results.

Angle of Incidence - Refers to your weapon making contact with your target on a perpendicular angle (right angle to each other) that will render the greatest effect.

Angle of No Return - Refers to the position and angle of the upper body and hips while delivering a front kick or forward motion, making it awkward, difficult, and illogical to attempt to return to your starting position. Because of the awkwardness and the time needed to return to your original position, exposure of your vital areas would work in your opponent's favor--not to mention your inability to render an immediate counter.

Angles of Travel - Entails a more precise and acute viewpoint of direction. They describe direction as degrees of measurement. Angles of travel employ the "compass principle" where a student is made to visualize specific degrees on the compass to view motions of attack and defense.

- B -

Back-Up-Mass - The use of body weight that is directly behind the action that is taking place. For example, (1) a punch delivered when the elbow is directly behind the fist, or (2) the bracing of one finger directly behind the other when delivering a two finger chop to the throat, etc. Back-Up Mass is greatly enhanced when proper body alignment is achieved. Body alignment gets mass into proper perspective and allows the body to take full advantage of channeling weight and energy while traveling in the same direction (directional harmony)

Balance - Two triangles, head and chest. If they point in different directions, balance is off.

Basics - Simplified moves that comprise the fundamentals of Kenpo. They are divided into stances, maneuvers, blocks, strikes, parries, kicks, punches, specialized moves and methods, etc.

Belt Ranking System - A colored belt system used to grade the students' ability and proficiency. This judgment is determined after a student undergoes a performance test.

Black Dot Focus - Our Kenpo concept of focus. We visualize a black dot on a white background representing total awareness. Our concern is not only to maximize power, but protection as well (compare to White Dot Focus).

Block - A defensive maneuver used to check or hinder an opponent.

Bob and Weave - Body maneuvers used to avoid an attack. A "bob" involves a vertical movement of the body. A "weave" is a horizontal side to side movement of the body.

Body Alignment - This involves the placing of angles into perspective. It is the coordination of body parts in order to harmonize the angles at which they travel. All parts of the body are aligned to travel in one direction. This principle, when followed, automatically triggers the principle of back-up-mass where body weight enhances your action.

Body Fulcrum - Using the natural curvatures of the body as launching platforms to accelerate the speed and force of the Conchaku or other short weapon.

Body Fusion - A concept in which body parts move as a unit prior to relaying action to other parts of the body. These body parts are literally fused together in order to function as a single unit. Body fusion can occur any time during the course of a sequential flow of action.

Body Momentum - The utilization of body weight to increase the force of your action. It involves the coordination of mind, breath, strength, and body weight while shuffling forward or in reverse so that all forces are moving in unison.

Branch - Refers to the leg as used in a technique.

Borrowed Force - An opponent's force which is used to defeat him. This can be accomplished by going with the opponent's force or, upon occasion, going against his force. The concept allows your opponent's force to enhance the effectiveness of your action.

Borrowed Reach - You can have Borrowed Reach without Borrowed Force, but not the other way around. Use Borrowed Reach to get Borrowed Force. A kick to the groin, gives you Borrowed Reach (bends attacker over and gets them closer to us) but we don't get Borrowed Force until you follow the kick with a strike.

By-The-Numbers - Methods used to teach beginners the basics. Each step is given a number. This is similar in principle to using phonics.

- C -

Capoeira - An excellent Brazilian method of self-defense. Experts of Capoeira resemble graceful dancers. They employ cartwheels, handsprings, ground techniques, and takedowns to effectively subdue their opponents.

Catches - Involve the use of either the hand or the armpits in stopping or delaying the continuous action of a Conchaku for purposes of quickly changing hands and/or directions.

Catching - A method of stopping and detaining an opponent's strike or block.

Category Completion - Techniques can be grouped according to levels of difficulty or danger. For each of these groups, a single technique can be run. For example; Lone Kimono, Raking Mace, Twin Kimono, Mace of Aggression and Cross of Death deal with grabs - single, double, push, pull, choke. They are essentially the same technique, altered to account for distance and position.

Check - To restrain, hinder, or repress an opponent from taking action. This is accomplished by pressing, pinning, or hugging an opponent usually at the joints so that it minimizes his leverage and nullifies his actions.

Chi - A Chinese term used to describe the powers that can be generated when the mind and body are totally unified. It involves total complete synchronization of mind, breath, and strength to achieve maximum force. It is that extra inner force created by the precise synchronization of the conscious and subconscious mind, along with an individual's breath and strength.

Circular Movements - Moves that predominantly loop or follow a curve. Such moves can be used defensively or offensively.

Classical - Traditional methods and moves used by the so called, "pure system" of Martial Arts.

Claws - Refers to the fingertips as used in a technique

Clock Principle - A system, in teaching, which was developed by Ed Parker to help the student to visually imagine the direction which he is to follow. He is generally asked to think of himself as being in the middle of a big clock facing 12 o'clock with 6 o'clock to the rear, 3 and 9 to his right and left and all other number in their respective places.

Close Range Encounters - Action that occurs within elbow and knee distance.

Common Sense - It is that sixth sense that many lack. It is the ability to overcome problems and difficult situations by using logic.

Complimentary Angle - A strike or block that follows a path or angle that parallels an attacking weapon, a defensive posture, the contour of an opponent, or a given line. Following these angular paths allows clear entry to desired target. Taking advantage of these angular opportunities helps to produce maximum results as well as cause greater damage.

Conchaku - Newly innovated nunchaku developed by Francisco Conde.

Conditioned Response - To conform and respond instantaneously to a given variable.

Conscious Mind - A section of our mind (brain) that we use on a daily basis which allows us to think while we are awake.

Contact Placements - Predetermined knowledge of the targets which you plan to strike using the weapon of your choice.

Contouring Principle - This concept involves using the outline of your or your opponent's body as a homing device or guide to accomplish certain feats. The concept is divided into two basic categories--methods that employ (1) body contact or (2) non-body contact. There are many sub-divisions to this concept.

Controlling - (1) The ability to restrain oneself from all out action, or execute action with regulatory frequency and persistence. (2) The use of various techniques employed to restrain your opponent from taking all out action.

Cover - The repositioning of your body into a protective pose while creating distance between you and your opponent. This is usually done by shifting the forward leg to the opposite side as you turn and face the opposite direction.

Counter Manipulation - That stage of motion that is utilized just prior to employing the principle of opposing forces to its maximum.

Creed - A modern code of ethics authored by Ed Parker for Martial Artists in today's environment. It reads as follows: "I come to you with only Karate, empty hands, I have no weapons, but should I be forced do defend myself, my principles or my honor, should it be a matter of life or death, of right or wrong; then here are my weapons, Karate, my empty hands."

Crescent - A path of action that can be compared and paralleled to a hooking type maneuver.

- D -

Dark/Darkness - Refers to attacks from the rear or flank (coming from the unknown) as used in a technique

Dead/Live - A grab is a Dead attack, a push is Semi-Live, a punch is Live

Deflecting Block - When we move straight back we use a deflecting block to get Angle of incidence (Deflecting Hammer, Retreating & Hugging Pendulum)

Depth Cancellation - Getting in close to an attacker. We decrease the distance between them and us.

Depth Penetration - The concept of going beyond the point of contact when you are striking with a weapon.

Depth Perception - The ability to judge the distance of objects.

Depth Zones - One of the categorical zones of protection . It entails the protection of approximately seven depth zones. These are vertical zones viewed from the side.

Deviate Weapon/Target - Move away from where strike is coming and/or parry/block the strike.

Dimensional Zone Theory - It was created to teach students of American Kenpo how to use their imagination to visually divide their opponent's body into vertical and horizontal zones (sections) as viewed from the front, side, or back. This in turn allows a student to subdivide an opponent into four basic zones--height, width, depth, and zones of obscurity. Knowledge of this theory can also be used to keep your opponent's dimensions in check. Controlling your opponent's actions by restricting the use and versatility of his dimensions (angle of cancellation), makes retaliation by your opponent considerably difficult.

Dimensions of Travel - Are concerned with the height, width, and depth of motion, or the height, width and depth that can be created and controlled by motion.

Direction - Refers to the direction from which opponent's or your action may stem. It is one of the ingredients that make up the analytical study of motion.

Directional Change - The ability to switch or alter directions while keeping the momentum of your body flowing constantly so as not to interrupt the initial motion started.

Double Factor - It entails utilizing dual movements to defend yourself. These moves can incorporate any combination of blocks, parries, and checks. It also refers to s