Another question posed on Facebook was about why we teach defenses for a step-through attack, the comment being made that “nobody attacks like that”.
I believe that much of what is taught in Kenpo is not taken into context. By that I mean that often it seems the level at which material taught is not being considered. When you take a beginner, who may never have been punched at in their life, and put them in this position, many of them are uneasy, to say the least. Starting their training with a good distance between them and the opponent tends to relax them, if even just a little. It buys them time to see what is happening and how. By coupling instruction in how a punch works and how a step-through works, then translating that into what it looks like when coming at them, understanding should follow.
What the core problem is that so many of the middle and high level techniques are taught the same way. If you’re doing this out of “the book”, that’s a problem. Mr. Parker laid out the three phases of ideal, what-if and formulation. What I have seen in my travels is that people who managed to get “the book” or videos and started teaching don’t know the actual teaching/training progessions taught as they should be.
You were to take that ideal phase, the step-through attack, and change it. As timing, accuracy, speed, position, etc improved, you would change the attack to a shuffle right, a combination left/right or some variation thereof. This was how one learned to alter the technique sequence.
Step-through attacks help learn and recognize mechanics but you must train with the other variations to get a sense of timing and range.