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Thread: An unbiased overview of Tracy Kenpo??

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    Default An unbiased overview of Tracy Kenpo??

    Can anyone provide me with or lead me to a complete and unbiased overview of "What is Tracy's Kenpo"...as in where it came from, how/why it developed and what it's curriculum is like???

    Just would like to be an informed guest.

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    Default Re: An unbiased overview of Tracy Kenpo??

    That will be hard to find. Most people think what they are doing is the best version of Kenpo there is so finding something that is unbiased will be tough. The Tracy guys will more than likely portray their system more favorably than they will EPAK, and the EPAK'ers will portray EPAK more favorably and put the Tracy system in a less favorable light. I would suggest you read the Articles by Will Tracy, the material on the Tracy's Website, and then add two grains of salt, mix it with you know already know. You will either come up with something pretty close to the truth or a true recipe for disaster.

    Especially since most of the facts have been blurred in the last four decades.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: An unbiased overview of Tracy Kenpo??

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother John
    Can anyone provide me with or lead me to a complete and unbiased overview of "What is Tracy's Kenpo"...as in where it came from, how/why it developed and what it's curriculum is like???

    Just would like to be an informed guest.

    Your Brother
    John
    When Ed Parker formed the IKKA, he turned the KKAA over to Al and Jim Tracy. They continued to run it the way that Ed Parker had run it, and continued to teach the same kenpo they were taught. Over time, they developed the Tracy Business System modeled after the Gene Kelly Dance Studios and brought in the private lessons. Their system grew rapidly and in the 70s they had well over 1,000 studios. During the gasoline crisis of the late 70s, Mr. Tracy nullified all the franchise agreements so the studio owners could keep all their profits for themselves without having to pay Tracy's a fee any longer.

    The order of the techniques has been changed once or twice, basically being put in such an order as to have a student learn the techniques in, say, Long #3 in Blue Belt, then learn the form in Green. A few kenpo forms developed by Mr. Tracy, #6,7,8 have been added, and quite a few weapons sets based on Mr. Parker's instruction to Al Tracy to research the shaolin weapons so that they could add them to the curriculum.

    Interwoven among all of that is a bunch of politics, hurt feelings, misunderstandings, myths, lies, etc, but that is a basic overview. There is a website out there that has a pretty complete timeline that I'll try to find for you.
    Dave

    "I consider that the spiritual life is the life of man's real self, the life of that interior self whose flame is so often allowed to be smothered under the ashes of anxiety and futile concern." - Thomas Merton


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    Default Re: An unbiased overview of Tracy Kenpo??

    Here is a timeline:

    Tracy's
    The Tracy brothers began their martial training in fencing, boxing, and wrestling. They embarked on their study of Kenpo with Ed Parker and his first Black Belt, James Ibrao, in 1957, while attending college as pre-law students. Over time they developed a close relationship with Mr. Parker, and soon after Mr. Parker turned all the teaching of beginner and intermediate classes over to the Tracy brothers, who would develop an order in which the techniques would be taught, and the advanced classes were run by James Ibrao.

    Al Tracy was the powerhouse of Ed Parker’s studio, and, as seen in the brochure used in 1962-64 by Ed Parker, Al Tracy did all the breaking demonstrations. The Tracy brothers would also run Mr. Parker’s studio when he would periodically return to Hawaii.
    There has been question as to whether or not Al and Jim Tracy received their Black Belts (Shodan) from Ed Parker. In the Family Treelisted in the original "Infinite Insights", by Ed Parker, you can see that Al and Jim Tracy are listed as Black belts under Ed Parker, first generation. They also have the largest number of Black Belts listed undertheir tree!
    Al Tracy was the fifth person promoted to Black Belt (Shodan) January 2,1962. Certificate dated January 7, 1962.
    Jim Tracy was the sixth person promoted to Black Belt (Shodan) January 2,1962. Certificate dated January 7, 1962.
    Will Tracy received his Black Belt (Shodan) in 1961, under both William K.S. Chow and Great Grand Master Fusae Oshita (James Mitose’s sister).
    In the spring of 1962, the Tracy brothers opened their first studio in San Francisco, which was named Kenpo Karate Studio and was the northern branch of Ed Parker’s organization. It was there that the Tracy brothers created the three new Kyu ranks and the Kenpo "colored belt system". Ed Parker adopted the new 8-kyu system, but rejected the colored belts until finally converting to the Tracy color belt system in 1966. The Tracy brothers also created belt manuals (which contained 40 techniques per belt at that time) and gave the techniques names, like Attacking Circle, Raising the Staff, etc.
    The Tracy brothers opened a second school, in Sacramento, in 1962, and a third, in San Jose, in 1963, and later changed the name of the schools to Tracy’s Kenpo Karate.
    Ed Parker turned the Kenpo Karate Association of America (KKAA) over to the Tracy brothers and then formed the International Kenpo Karate Association (IKKA). The Tracy brothers agreed to join the IKKA, on the condition that they could keep the standards of teaching of the KKAA for their own students.
    In 1964, the Tracy Brothers were promoted to 3rd Degree Black Belt (Sandan).
    Ed Parker promoted Al Tracy to 3rd Degree Black Belt on December 4, 1964.
    The certificate is from the IKKA and is signed by Ed Parker, Mills Crenshaw, Stan Hall, and Charles Sullivan, and witnessed by Charlotte Connor, the wife of Tom Connor.
    The Tracy brothers later opened schools throughout California, as well as other states, and formed the Tracy’s International Studios of Self-Defense.
    By 1982, Ed Parker had changed what he called American Kenpo, so much so as to make it in Parker’s own words, "no more than 10% Kenpo." It was around this time that the Tracy’s completely broke from Ed Parker.
    Al Tracy's Kenpo Karate remains to this day teaching "Original/Traditional" Kenpo, as taught to him by Ed Parker, one of the most realistic combat scenario based systems of self-defense available.
    The Tracy’s International Studios of Self Defense is a worldwide organization, based out of Lexington, Kentucky, comprised of over 1,000 schools. It is the largest system of affiliated schools and the longest-running self-defense chain in the world.
    Al Tracy has organized the largest “gathering” of Kenpoist in the world. A true historic event called the “Gathering of Eagles”, which took place in Las Vegas, Nevada, February of 1999.
    The Gathering brought together over seventy masters, representing Kenpo, American Kenpo, Shaolin Kenpo, Wun Hop Kuen Do, Lima Lama, Kajukenbo, etc., and included some of the biggest names in Westernized Kenpo; James Ibrao, Thomas Mitose, the son of the late James Mitose, Al Dacascos, Ralph and Rob Castro, William Chun, Sonny Gascon, Bart Vale, Larry Tatum, Dave Simmons, Adriano Emperado, Richard Lee, Sig Kufferath, Tino Tuiolosega, John McSweeney, and the list goes on and on.
    Between 1100-1200 people attended the event, coming from all over the globe, with a choice of five seminars at any one time and eighty overall.
    The second Gathering took place in 2001 and was attended by approximately 1500-1600 people. The event also included the son of Choki Motobu, Chosei Motobu, and others included Koshiro Tanaka, Ron Sanchez, Steve Labounty, and Bob White.
    Dave

    "I consider that the spiritual life is the life of man's real self, the life of that interior self whose flame is so often allowed to be smothered under the ashes of anxiety and futile concern." - Thomas Merton


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    Default Re: An unbiased overview of Tracy Kenpo??

    thats a great post, Dave!

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    Default Re: An unbiased overview of Tracy Kenpo??

    Very nice
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: An unbiased overview of Tracy Kenpo??

    Thanks for sharing that Dave!!!
    Very interesting.

    Your Brother
    John
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    Default Re: An unbiased overview of Tracy Kenpo??

    "Most people think what they are doing is the best version of Kenpo there is, so finding something that is unbiased will be tough."

    Pretty bold statement... Most people huh?

    I did enjoy the information from Kenpodave!
    The above is just my opinion.

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    Default Re: An unbiased overview of Tracy Kenpo??

    Quote Originally Posted by Dianhsuhe
    "Most people think what they are doing is the best version of Kenpo there is, so finding something that is unbiased will be tough."

    Pretty bold statement... Most people huh?

    I did enjoy the information from Kenpodave!
    If a person didn't think what they were doing was the best then they wouldn't be doing it. No one wants to go to the 3rd best movie, they want to go to the best. The same is true with martial arts, you go to the best school to fit your needs.
    Last edited by Rob Broad; 12-14-2005 at 10:47 PM.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Thumbs up Re: An unbiased overview of Tracy Kenpo??

    That sure did bring back a lot of memories. When I started in EP Chinese Kenpo in the mid 70's, I had a friend who was taking Tracy Kenpo. It was interesting to hear the stories and prejudices. I don't know how much things have really changed since the split in the early 80's, if at all. I have always followed the advice of my first teacher, Mr. Jeff English - it all comes down to strong and powerful basics. This is the same advice given by Mr. Sullivan and LeRoux in the IKCA material I now follow.

    EKP RIP
    Big Pat

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    Default Re: An unbiased overview of Tracy Kenpo??

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Pat
    That sure did bring back a lot of memories. When I started in EP Chinese Kenpo in the mid 70's, I had a friend who was taking Tracy Kenpo. It was interesting to hear the stories and prejudices. I don't know how much things have really changed since the split in the early 80's, if at all. I have always followed the advice of my first teacher, Mr. Jeff English - it all comes down to strong and powerful basics. This is the same advice given by Mr. Sullivan and LeRoux in the IKCA material I now follow.

    EKP RIP
    Big Pat
    Here is what I know regarding change...the teaching and training methods tend to evolve and sometimes even devolve, but kenpo is kenpo, and the split was never about kenpo. The "big controversy" has become largely a brown belt issue. Suffice it to say that the seniors seem to have gotten way past it and it is kept alive by those who simply like to fight or are looking to impress the higher ups. This is what I mean by "brown belt issue."

    Those who know understand, as Big Pat states, that it's all about the basics.
    Dave

    "I consider that the spiritual life is the life of man's real self, the life of that interior self whose flame is so often allowed to be smothered under the ashes of anxiety and futile concern." - Thomas Merton


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    Default Re: An unbiased overview of Tracy Kenpo??

    BTW, I need to be sure and mention that the above timeline was put together by Scott Heaney at http://www.freewebz.com/kenpoexchange/
    Dave

    "I consider that the spiritual life is the life of man's real self, the life of that interior self whose flame is so often allowed to be smothered under the ashes of anxiety and futile concern." - Thomas Merton


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    Default Re: An unbiased overview of Tracy Kenpo??

    Rob Broad: Oh- you mean most of the Tracy practicioners, I thought you meant most people in general--- Which sounded strange...
    The above is just my opinion.

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    Default Re: An unbiased overview of Tracy Kenpo??

    Quote Originally Posted by Dianhsuhe
    Rob Broad: Oh- you mean most of the Tracy practicioners, I thought you meant most people in general--- Which sounded strange...
    Most people think what ever art they are studying is the best, rarely do you hear some say I study X but is crap, I really wanted Y.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: An unbiased overview of Tracy Kenpo??

    Thank you Mr. Hopper. I had not heard the phrase, "Brown belt issue" before. It sure seems to fit the "controversy" of Parker and Tracy Kenpo.

    EKP RIP
    Big Pat

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    Default Re: An unbiased overview of Tracy Kenpo??

    They say time heals all wounds. They also say that history is always re-written by teh survivors. So there really are no definitive answers on what happend all thsoe years ago,because our recollections get distorted over time. With out the ability to put all 3 Tracy brothers and SGM Parker in a room together there will always be little inaccuracies in what happened.

    The phrase Brown Belt issue is very fitting here, and I glad to see boards like are trying to help mend the fences.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: An unbiased overview of Tracy Kenpo??

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Broad
    Most people think what ever art they are studying is the best, rarely do you hear some say I study X but is crap, I really wanted Y.
    Yep. That is the heart of the matter. If I were to find an art I thought was better than mine, I would go study it.

    However, that does not give me license to put down other people's arts. An honest critique in a discussion format is great. Usually, we find that we are all pretty much on the same page in the same book. We just tend to read different translations.
    Dave

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    Question Re: An unbiased overview of Tracy Kenpo??

    [quote=Kenpodave;6052]Here is a timeline:

    Tracy's

    By 1982, Ed Parker had changed what he called American Kenpo, so much so as to make it in Parker’s own words, "no more than 10% Kenpo."

    Sir,

    Is the above quote a misquote? What I remember reading as a quote from Mr.Parker in relation to the above mentioned. Was "no more than 10% of what he was originally taught by Mr.Chow",ie;technique applications,theories,etc.. Is my memory failing me? I know that someone has to have one of the publications. That contains this quote.
    1stJohn1:9

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    Default Re: An unbiased overview of Tracy Kenpo??

    The best way to formulate an opinion either way is to study both and figure out the answer. To look at one video clip, magazine article, take one class, etc. cannot give you enough experience to formulate an answer. I have studied a few forms of Kenpo/kempo and I have found there are more similarities than differences. I have learned a lot from different teachers, kenpo/kempo styles and other style practioners.

    I like meeting stylists from any "kenpo camp" and learning about their experiences and views. I do not have to agree with them, but I do respect them.
    "You can't account for everything, but you should account for the reasonably probable. Unfortunately for the unknowledgeable, those never ending 'what if's' will choke your thought process to death with useless information." - Doc

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    Default Re: An unbiased overview of Tracy Kenpo??

    [quote=kenpochrstn;52363]
    Quote Originally Posted by Kenpodave View Post
    Here is a timeline:

    Tracy's

    By 1982, Ed Parker had changed what he called American Kenpo, so much so as to make it in Parker’s own words, "no more than 10% Kenpo."

    Sir,

    Is the above quote a misquote? What I remember reading as a quote from Mr.Parker in relation to the above mentioned. Was "no more than 10% of what he was originally taught by Mr.Chow",ie;technique applications,theories,etc.. Is my memory failing me? I know that someone has to have one of the publications. That contains this quote.
    1stJohn1:9
    that's my recollection as well.

    Your Brother
    John
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