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Thread: Why

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    Default Why

    With all the styles of martial arts out there what made you chose Kenpo. And with all the Kenpo branches out there what made you chose the Tracy system.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: Why

    Luck is what it really boils down to. I got started in the MA in college, when the health club where I worked out began offering karate free to members. The style was gojuryu, and I was hooked from day 1. About 4 years later, the instructor married and took a new job in California. Myself and 2 other brown belts were left in charge of the training. None of us had been trained to teach, and we quickly realized that we were doing neither ourselves nor the other students any good.

    At about that time, Black Belt Magazine ran an article on Al Tracy, and from that, I learned that he was in my home town. It took me a while to find him, as he had no commercial school at the time, but once he brought in Steve Finn and opened for business, I was there. I believe I was the 12th student to sign up, and the 2nd to make black belt.

    During the interim time between styles, I tried several other schools. The small class atmosphere that I had enjoyed with Mr. Costello in gojuryu had spoiled me, as had his obsession with detail and perfection. Mr. Finn and the Tracy System is the only other system I have found that provided me with the same level of instruction.

    Prior to my introduction to goju, I knew nothing of the styles of karate. It was all karate or kung fu to me, and I didn't even know the difference between those two. It was the quality of instruction under first Mr. Costello, then Steve Finn and Al Tracy that hooked me and kept me, and the three of them are the models I use in my own teaching.
    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: Why

    I started the school that was nearest to me. It was just down the street from my house. Luckily it was the right choice. My instructor was part of the Tracy system and had a small group of students. The only other schools in the city at that time were Tae Kwon Do. Later when I was able to drive and attend tournaments I found other branches of Kenpo and eventually do to politics and frustrations I ended up studying EPAK from Joe Foster who had also come from a Tracy's background.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: Why

    So we were both lucky! So few people make informed decisions when choosing their first martial arts school. Most of us are ignorant of what is out there until we have been in it for a while.
    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: Why

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Broad
    With all the styles of martial arts out there what made you chose Kenpo. And with all the Kenpo branches out there what made you chose the Tracy system.
    Personally, I was coming in with a background in Kajukenbo and the closest thing I could find was a kenpo school, fortunately for me it was a very good kenpo school and it happened to be a Tracy lineage.

    Lamont
    Pekiti Tirsia Kali and Kenpo Karate
    www.blackbirdmartialarts.com

    “He, who will not reason, is a bigot; he, who cannot, is a fool; and he, who dares not, is a slave.”
    ~William Drummond

    "This person is as dangerous as an IED."

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    Default Re: Why

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Broad
    With all the styles of martial arts out there what made you chose Kenpo. And with all the Kenpo branches out there what made you chose the Tracy system.
    Back when I started in 1966 the Tracy School was the only school that had an open minded policy. I had tried several other dojos but was never really "welcome" to come in and get more information or just try it out.

    Hell, when I walked in to the Tracy School they answered questions and let me try it. After my first private lesson with Al Tracy I was totally "hooked". When I went into regular privates and groups I was proud to be a part of a school with hundreds of students who were learning an awesome MA.

    Dave Simmons

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    Jim Hanna is offline
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    Default Re: Why

    I'd started with a couple of other martial arts and became somewhat dissatisfied with group classes, feeling that I was ready to test much sooner but still having to wait for a set date.

    So one of the reasons I began with kenpo is not only because of the various escapes and counters but because of the private lessons at group rates philosophy. I could progress at my own speed and their was no charge for testing.

    Jim

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    Kenpo Gary is offline
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    Default Re: Why

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenpodave View Post
    At about that time, Black Belt Magazine ran an article on Al Tracy, and from that, I learned that he was in my home town.
    Any chance you still have a copy of BBM's article on Al Tracy? I would certainly like to get a photocopy.

    Kenpo Gary

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    don bohrer is offline
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    Default Re: Why

    I had a friend that was a cook in the Army. He introduced me to kenpo.

    don (el paso)
    Daffy, fighting with his $1.25 quarter staff : "Ho! Haha! Guard! Turn! Parry! Dodge! Spin! Ha! Thrust!" (quarter staff bounces off log, bending his beak. He straightens it back to normal, and starts speaking to himself) "Something's amiss here... hmm, let me run through it. Ho, haha, guard, turn, parry, dodge, spin, ha, thrust." (beak bends again) "Got it." (straightens beak, and starts his fighting moves again.) "Ho! Haha! Guard! Turn! Parry! Dodge! Spin!"

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    Kenpo Gary is offline
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    Default Re: Why

    And this is how I came to study Kenpo

    I was eight years old when a buddy (same age as me) and myself stumbled on an old Akido magazine we had found in a dumpster. We tried many times to make sense of the movements from those still pictures, we also attempted moves we had seen on the Old Kung Fu T.V. series with David Caradine (name most likely spelled wrong).


    With little success or martial arts acumen, I continued my quest to become a Shaolin Priest. It was the summer of 71 when after an especially busy morning I fell asleep on the sofa in my parents living room. Napping there, I had the most intense dream. A Dragon appeared, more orange than red, and stood up on the end of its tail, and spoke saying that he was the scholar, and he presented me with a diploma. The diploma had the Tracy Kenpo logo and it read "Black Belt." I knew that this was the guidance I was looking for and I enrolled at a Tracy studio the next day.

    By now you have all rightfully concluded that the preceding words are nothing but a bunch of baloney. Yet the story is so much more spectacular than the truth.

    The truth of the matter is that a Tracy Studio happened to be the first
    school I stumbled across in my area. The system, students and instructors were so good it never became necessary to change.

    Kenpo Gary

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    Default Re: Why

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenpo Gary View Post
    Any chance you still have a copy of BBM's article on Al Tracy? I would certainly like to get a photocopy.

    Kenpo Gary
    Yep. I had him autograph it for me.
    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: Why

    I was thirteen years old, in 1984, and had wanted to learn "karate" since I was about 5. I lived in a small town in Wisconsin, and it seemed there was just nobody around to teach it.

    I finally got wind of someone teaching out of his living room. Turns out, he was just a few blocks from my home. I didn't know much about different styles, and he was teaching Tracy kenpo. I was hooked and loved it, and I consider Tracy Kenpo to be my roots in the martial arts.

    Over the years after I moved across the country I have drifted from kenpo and studied other arts, some for several years at a time. But I always would return to my kenpo at some point. I guess it just kept calling me back, even after years away from it. About a year ago I decided to reconnect and retrain in Tracy kenpo, starting from the beginning. I didn't really know who any of the personalities were in Tracy kenpo, but I discovered that Ted Sumner lives and teaches not too far from where I live, and he is held in very high regard in the Tracy system. I've been training with him since January of this year, and have been very very happy in his school. It's good to get reconnected with my roots, and take my understanding to a higher level.
    Michael


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    Default Re: Why

    I received a black belt in a Korean style, I went there because it was a club at the college I attended, and lessons were free. When you are a poor college student, free is good.

    Even though I eventually received a black belt, I felt that there were holes in my capabilities. I had reached a point where I was faster and stronger than the instructor. Sparring him was not the challenge it originally was.

    I took a few years off, moved to a different locale, and when I was checking new places, I walked in and knew it was the real shizzle. The defensive moves made sense, and the intensity of training made it real. Been going ever since.

    Some people may think that going with Tracys, you lose something offered in other arts. Or that the Tang Soo Do I once did had elements that Tracys Karate does not, like certain kicks. This is so totally not true. Tracys is almost a superset of other systems. With the exception of katas, there is nothing I did in Tang Soo Do that isn't in, covered, or very similar to something in Tracys.

    For a practical example, in Tang Soo Do, we were very leg focused. I thought we might lose some of the kicking ability in Kenpo. However, not only does Tracys have the same kicks, they actually have more (or more variations). But, you focus on your hands more in Tracys. A 1st black at our school is much harder than the 1st black I received in the late 80's.
    Kenpo, moving in open piecewise Bézier curves since 2011

    Trying hard not to lapse into speaking kenponics

    Been doing computers since 1982, on forums, chats and all for nearly 3 decades. Only ever blocked one person.

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    Default Re: Why

    I started out in Kajukenbo in Denver Colorado under Sifu Al Dacascos. When he moved to Germany in 1975. I then moved to Wyoming and could only find a Tae Kwon Do group teaching at an elementary school gym at first. Then, as luck would have it, I read the weekly penny saver and seen an ad for Kenpo Karate classes. I found a Tracy's lineage Kenpo school teaching in an old school gym. Some say; that you don't choose the art, but the art choose you!
    Sigung Kajukenbo Wun Hop Kuen Do
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    Accumulation of knowledge and hacking away at the unessential is not a product, but a process. It is a continual process that lasts our entire lives. We are contantly accumulating and eliminating. Then again accumulating and eliminating.

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    Default Re: Why

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Broad View Post
    With all the styles of martial arts out there what made you chose Kenpo. And with all the Kenpo branches out there what made you chose the Tracy system.
    Twenty years in the art, then I "experienced" kenpo, and my guts sort of fell out because "I did not (back then) have that type of skill level, even though I'd been a black belt for years.

    Went to work for a Tracy's school in Portland, and another in Gresham. Met Jim Mitchell.

    Met Al Tracy.

    Liked them both.

    Later on, Jim Mitchell had switched to running Mr. Parker's school in Pasadena, and so I did switch to Ed Parker style.

    A very short beginning version of a very long story.

    It's all been good, even the Judo, taekwon-do, blab, blab, blab, and the various types of kenpo.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubreed View Post
    I started out in Kajukenbo in Denver Colorado under Sifu Al Dacascos.
    Several of us knew Al back in the old days when he did the Tracy's stuff (I'm sure I still have those old Tracy newsletters somewhere around here).

    Saw a lot of him in the bigger tournaments.

    Fun times.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Why

    I started in a TKD based, freestyle martial art. We lived near an army base and had lots of guest instructors. Probably the best thing I learned was how to sift through the BS moves and find what seemed right. Some guys had fancy techniques that they couldn't get to work at half speed let alone at full speed.

    When I left for the military, I attended a TKD school because that was all I knew as far as terminology, katas, etc. I realized after getting into it, that it was all BS.

    My next duty station had only TKD schools and a kenpo school. I never heard of kenpo before but figured it had to be better than TKD. It was refreshing. I left my first school as an instructor, started over as a white, and always had something to learn. Sifu Chuck Glenn beat the snot out of me on my first night of sparring and was hooked ever since.

    What I truely enjoyed about the system is the private instruction, defined advancement requirements, training focused on those requirements, and of course answers to all my "why" questions. I learn and synthesize based on understanding of the principles.
    "Many years of training is wasted by one night of drinking"-oldslowguy

    "Pain may be a cruel master..........but it breeds diligent pupils."

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    Well I had always wanted to do martial arts since I was a kid. Luck would have it when I met my best friend William, and ended up living with him and his parents for a awhile, I found out his farther taught kenpo nearby. So I quickly joined and studied there. I was very spoiled that our instructor John's main income was as a computer consultant so keeping the studio open was more of a passion then a business. We paid very little, and what we did pay was merely to cover the rent and utilities. I still doubt that with as few students as we had that it even did that. I was hooked by how much attention the instructors gave. I mean hell for my mere 50 bucks I got 2 group classes each week, a private lesson, a sparring class, and our instructor welcomed anyone who wanted to come on Saturday mornings to come work out as well. Which usually ended up being another private lesson for me and one other dedicated student. We never paid for any belts, for any tests, and we only tested when the instructors thought we where ready to do so. It just so happened that our head instructor Craig Swanson came from a Tracy background, and still taught it to us how he was taught. For example no yellow like I noticed most studios have now, each belt consisted of 40 defense techniques, 2 katas, and your basiscs. What really got me was when we would go to tourneys, and at every event there was if someone from our studio was in it we took first.... if two students where in that event they took first, and second. It was great to see how working for your belt rather then being given a belt quickly so that a studio could make more money, made you more proud of your blue belt compared to someone elses brown or even black at times. Needless to say I was spoiled and now that I joined the AF and am struggling to find a new studio I miss my old one.

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    Default Re: Why

    Quote Originally Posted by hh60gunner View Post
    Needless to say I was spoiled and now that I joined the AF and am struggling to find a new studio I miss my old one.
    There is kenpo near Barksdale AFB...
    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: Why

    After 7 years of Tae Kwon Do, I got my butt kicked by my best friend who had done 3 months of kenpo. I moved states to study at that school. Best decision ever.

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