“Everyday Gestures That Can Save Your Life” is the title of a never-completed book by American Kenpo Founder Ed Parker.Â As a Kenpo student I was so intrigued by the concept that I eagerly awaited the printing of this book, which never came.
Why am I thinking about a never-finished book?
Because the idea behind the book is so powerful it was featured in a hit movie and now another New Movie.Â I’ll give you a clue–“Wax On, Wax Off.”
Yes, The Karate Kid showed the world the principle that martial arts movements are no different from many ordinary, everyday gestures and actions.Â The current incarnation is “Jacket On, Jacket Off” in the Karate Kid remake, starring Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith.Â I’ve already heard people asking how that could possibly apply to self-defense.Â I can see many ways.
Mr. Parker got to share some good examples in his book series, Infinite Insights into Kenpo, as well as at seminars.Â One example was yawning and stretching.Â The action of moving your arms out could easily be a heelpalm strike.Â Another example was brushing the hair behind your ears.Â That natural movement easily becomes an upward elbow strike.
In the movie, Mr. Han (Jackie Chan) says, “everything is Kung Fu,” and he’s so right.Â I was taught, “if it’s right, it’s Tai Chi,” and “Systema is just natural movement.” ALL good martial arts seek to reach this same point of unity of action with purpose.
I regularly relate movements to common everyday gestures and have so many examples I may just finish that book!