I have spent a considerable amount of time lately viewing some old Villari seminar footage. I noted that more than 90% of the time Villari does not teach a technique, nor does he go over the combinations et. al… He talks about concepts and the how of fighting his way. I know that I have been to a few seminars where everyone is waiting for the next great technique we could learn. yet, most of us feel the system is too cumbersome as it is… Of course I find it fun and exciting to learn a higher combination or a cool animal technique. In the end, though, are we teaching or learning techniques or, a fighting system? I want to teach an effective fighting system that will work when I am tired, slow, the weaker fighter and old. Shaolin kempo fits the bill, in my opinion. How much is too much material? Or, a better question may be, how much emphasis on the next technique is too much. If you heard of a system that had one form that consisted of 108 postures and a five animal concept plus 12 energies you would think of an internal style such as i-hsing yi, t’ai ch’i or xing yi quan. All effective styles and few people argue that they are too cumbersome. Well, this is shaolin kempo also,as I understand it. I want to spend less time and emphasis on the set material as it is taught and more time developing skill and understanding THROUGH the material. Concepts such as chin na, locking, breaking, splitting, chopping, ward off, push, rollback, fold, unbalance, crush… are all things essential to my goal and these are found in the forms of skk and the techniques. To simply drop material from the curriculum does not solve the issue of effective fighting as I outlined above. Shihan Dwire mocks me about combination 6, yet the sun- moon block/ double block is a cornerstone of our kempo for a reason. Pushing the limits of the sensible I can teach my students important fighting concepts through combination 6, that includes the leg being longer than the arm but also execution of the block, how it can check off weapons opening space for you to enter; how they must come across in a particular manner or else other things happen that negate the primary effect of checking off the weapons; how the attackers weight distribution is manipulated by your contact; how you can begin to use this contact to gain control and awarernes of your attacker’s body…we can spend a long time on one “posture” in the 108 form and develop real skill. It takes time and can be as tedious as it is rewarding, so at a certain level, well, it just doesn’t sell. While the ‘purists’ recover from shock I will say that all the other stuff helps to boost the interest and get the bills paid. This is necessary and worthy of every true martial artist to demand at the least decent compensation for thier teachings. Back on track now, I say that more time must be spent learning weight distribution in a form, in order to strike in the most effective manner, from different positions. The dynamics of positioning and breathing and target selection beyond mere athleticism must be given emphasis over the technique and the technique and forms used as vehicles to practice and bring form to the function we are seeking or else we can talk all we like but we are just kicking and throwing out our arms like lost idiots. The more I spend time and emphasis on what I can get out of my material, the less it seems like too much material.