Patterns and Sequences: Made to be Broken

Patterns and sequences are made to be broken.

I started out in Parker Kenpo in 1972. (and I was not a kid – that’s how old I am). Parker had his program together in many ways and many levels. It was revolutionary for the time. His writings and advice were as good or better than Bruce Lee’s in many ways. But alas, Ed never made those movies! (Folks forget or don’t know that Dan Inosanto and Larry Hartsell were 1960s Parker black belts, in a very, very blood and guts era.)

Anyway, one complaint of modernists versus old “kuraty” today, is over what appears to be choreographed dance steps in scenarios. Yet, choreographed combinations are practiced BY ALL, and these complainers don’t have the intellectual depth and savvy to recognize this point. Even sports teams – baseball, soccer, football teach things in combinations. My God, take a look at focus mitt drills in boxing and Thai. At their best, they are plans to respond to the reactions of the opponent. (I repeat – when at their best, because sometimes they are just constructed at random as “busy work” in classes.) In all combination experiments you gamble on the reactions and results.

Now I fully understand that doctrine has splintered and strayed for many systems, through the years. And I do share in some of the complaints. I still shake my head at many things. But Parker worried about some of these problems too. As in the quote of this photo.

This problem-solving application concept was taught in the Parker Kenpo beginnings. Somehow I never forgot the concept and used it through the years and use it today. You must be free to respond to what you see.

All training drill patterns and sequences are meant to be broken. But you have to start somewhere…or you can start nowhere and probably end up nowhere.

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