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17 of 17 found the following review helpful:
Amazing book on American Kenpo Apr 03, 2000
This book is the 4th of a 5 book series and gives a great insight to art of American Kenpo. In this near 200 pages book you can find the brown belt pledges as well as 55 ilustrated and exciting pages on target areas, near 60 pages on zone theories and some usefull terminology. In this book you can also find the explanation of the universal pattern among other things.
Definitely worth your money...
5 of 5 found the following review helpful:
The "What" of American Kenpo in Mental and Physical Constituents Jun 21, 2006
By C. J. Hardman
This is the fourth volume in a five volume series written by American Kenpo founder Ed Parker. Throughout the series Parker sets forth the principles of American Kenpo, going far beyond simple demonstrations of technique. In "Mental and Physical Constituents", Parker teaches "...additional ingredients that are often overlooked or taked for granted, but are necessary to maximize your efforts" (1)
This volume breaks down into three major portions. The first deals with mental conditioning breathing and sensory, the second with vital zones and strikes from a holistic standpoint (not simply a chart), and the last is the Kenpo Zone theory. While these are not the only things discussed within, they make up a major portion of this detailed work.
Parker first examines the importance of mental conditioning, namely the ability to maintain a tranquil state of mind through developing a positive attitude. He explains the connection between attiude, mental discipline, focus and confidence. I found the descriptions and views fascinating, as they were so strongly based upon Parker's personal beliefs and experiences.
Parker discusses mental control he witnessed from Hawai'ian Kahunas growing up as a Polynesian youth on the Big Island. This is probably one of the few occasions where Parker refers to his own religious beliefs and frames certain principles in the light of his Latter Day Saint (Mormon) faith. Parker writes:
"Where else have we heard of miraculous feats performed by man? Why from the Bible. Now it must be remembered that many of these miraculous feats were carried outby men other than Christ who were aided by the power of the Priesthood. [...] As offsprings of God (not creations of) we automatically inherit a conscious and subconscious mind [...]. (page 6)
He also names a number of other books and works associated with mind, and even discusses his beliefs concerning Ki or Chi. Next Parker covers Breathing, then Developing the senses, and then introduces a lenthy and specific chapter on Target Areas.
Parker stresses the importance of understanding the effects strikes have upon the body, knowing where to hit and what methods and angles to use. Positions of Readiness are show, as are reactionary positions from which the reader is instructed to craft practical attacks and follow up responses. Parker reminds us on page 38 that "TARGET AREAS should also be viewed from the positions you may find yourself in during combat."
He also stresses that you should not only be aware of an opponent's vulnerabilities from any given position, but of your own as well! In addition to explaining vital principles, Parker is always ready with common sense:
"When a punch is thrown at your head keep your blocking arm still as if it were a fifty cent fan. Do not attempt to block with it, but keep it from moving. Instead move your head away from the punch" (80)
Kenpo Zone theories are explained here in depth, and are presented as an extention of vital points discussion. Zones are offered as "...imaginary dissections of an opponent's anatomy and the space surrounding him." (81) The four basic zones of kenpo are introduced and explained in detail: Height Zones, Width Zones, Depth Zones, and Obscure (peripheral) Zones. I found principles based on efficient motion and safety to be taught in a straightforward manner here, no fluff, easy to understand. Also covered in this araea arerange of movements and checking and controlling, and the two are melded in a chapter on zone theory of directional movement starting on page 130, which include the Outer Rim and Quadrant theories. Contents Include Chapters on the following:
*Acknowledgements/Dedication/Brown Belt Pledges/About Pledges/Preface
2. Mental Conditioning
4. Developing the Senses
5. Target Areas (visualizing targers from position of readiness, unconcerned positions, reactionary positions, prone positions, other positions. skeletal bones fron/back. striking near the bones. internal organs fron/other vital areas. muscular systems front/back. vital targets front/back. natural weapons, contouring principle, action versus reaction, zone theories intro, environmental objects and targets, avoiding fatal blows)
6. Zone Theories (dimensional zone theory, repeated emphasis, checking and controlling, zone theory of directional movement, outer rim theory, quadrant zone theory
7. Basic Concepts and Principles of Technique
8. Revealing the Universal Pattern
*Glossary of Terminology
A good volume that ties the "What" of Americal together nicely. Vital for serious American Kenpo practitioners, and a good thought provoking read for those of you from other styles who may find some use in adopting or adapting some of Parker's principles to your own training. Parker's Fifth and final volume in this series is Mental and Physical Applications", where he has promised to present and explain the "Why" of American Kenpo.
1 of 1 found the following review helpful:
Infinite Insights Book 4 Apr 17, 2011
By Michele L. Schmidt
This book is also a must have for any American Kenpo Student. This set of books is also very beneficial to keep in your studio/dojo library.
It's Good But Not For Everyone Feb 08, 2013
By Richard J. Johnson
This book contains alot of valuable information on the origins of Ed Parker Kenpo. It is a true text book and not at all light reading. All of Ed Parker's books go deep in knowledge theroy and his ego. This book is well worth reading if you are a student of Kenpo, if not I think most people would find it very boring. The only complaint that I have about this book is the printing quality of the book itself.
Must have Feb 22, 2010
By T. Bank
All Kenpo stylists should have Ed Parkers "Infinite insights into Kenpo" books. I have read these books and they go into great detail of Kenpo techniques, history, and philosophy.