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Thread: Connor Style Kenpo

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    Default Connor Style Kenpo

    Has anyone else heard of this?

    I talked to a guy in Granite Bay who says he teaches 'Connor Style' kenpo and until I talked to him, I'd never heard of it.

    He said it's the soft style of kenpo using the animal system. Some of the basic techniques are the same, but it also sounds Tracy-ish.

    Anyone?

    --Amy
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    Default Re: Connor Style Kenpo

    Connor was a major driving force in the business of kenpo, and a Blend of his version and tracy's has been dubbed Tra-Co Kenpo, which produced some very good kenpo practioners.
    jeffrey likes this.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: Connor Style Kenpo

    Interesting...
    I never thought anything about Kenpo was "soft." LOL.

    Is it more closely related to traditional Chinese Kenpo?
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Connor Style Kenpo

    connor kenpo is traco.
    i take traco kenpo right now
    it is pretty close to the tracy system
    tra- sands for tracy
    co- in connor they had sevral schools in the 60s and had a fallen out

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    Default Re: Connor Style Kenpo

    That's too bad...the falling out part I mean. Politics are counter productive to the learning process IMHO. Do you know exactly what the "falling out" was all about?
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Connor Style Kenpo

    i dont know,
    I do know that for some time the tracys was bashing Tom Connor pretty
    bad on there web site.
    saing that he didnt have his black when they might him
    but Master connors wife was on jims or Als board whin he tested for is third black thats off of the tracys web site

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    Default Re: Connor Style Kenpo

    This squabble goes back to the 70's and so much time has passed the events have been blurred by time.

    Quote Originally Posted by kenpochad
    i dont know,
    I do know that for some time the tracys was bashing Tom Connor pretty
    bad on there web site.
    saing that he didnt have his black when they might him
    but Master connors wife was on jims or Als board whin he tested for is third black thats off of the tracys web site
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: Connor Style Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by kenpochad
    i dont know,
    I do know that for some time the tracys was bashing Tom Connor pretty
    bad on there web site.
    saing that he didnt have his black when they might him
    but Master connors wife was on jims or Als board whin he tested for is third black thats off of the tracys web site
    Tom Connor is listed on Ed Parker's Black Belt Family Tree. The Tracy's camp also claimed that Ed Parker was only a brown belt. Which is dumb, because that would mean that their rank was invalid. You gotta take that stuff with a huge helping of salt.

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    Default Re: Connor Style Kenpo

    I started in Kenpo in 1965, in Downey, Ca., with Mr. Joe Dimmick. In 1968 I moved to Phoenix and joined the Traco Studio, and began to teach in Phoenix, Glendale, Mesa, and Scottsdale. I worked under Fred Williams in Phoenix, Fred Abbott in Glendale and Scottsdale, and Rick Lister in Mesa. I had the fortune to meet Mr. Parker when he came to Phoenix to test Mr. Tom Connor for his next belt level. (3rd degree black I believe). Yes, there were conflicts with the Tracys, but that didn't stop the Trco system from expanding into Texas, and I heard later, into Mexico. I spent most of my life in Law Enforcement, and I can tell you that the Traco techniques kept my butt out of trouble on a number of occasions, which helped me make it to retirement in 2007. Although I couldn't kick a large Chihuahua in the butt now, I've never fogotten my time with the system, nor have the law enforcement officers that I taught over the years. I'm proud of the system, and of all of you who continue the tradition of this style.

    Shadow106 (My nickname, favorite band, and my 1st badge #, LOL)

    Boise, Idaho 2009

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    Default Re: Connor Style Kenpo

    Wow, I am still learning so much every day from being here on this forum.
    There is nothing so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.
    Unquestionably man has his will - but woman has her way! - Bruce Lee

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    Default Re: Connor Style Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow106 View Post
    I started in Kenpo in 1965, in Downey, Ca., with Mr. Joe Dimmick. In 1968 I moved to Phoenix and joined the Traco Studio, and began to teach in Phoenix, Glendale, Mesa, and Scottsdale. I worked under Fred Williams in Phoenix, Fred Abbott in Glendale and Scottsdale, and Rick Lister in Mesa. I had the fortune to meet Mr. Parker when he came to Phoenix to test Mr. Tom Connor for his next belt level. (3rd degree black I believe). Yes, there were conflicts with the Tracys, but that didn't stop the Trco system from expanding into Texas, and I heard later, into Mexico. I spent most of my life in Law Enforcement, and I can tell you that the Traco techniques kept my butt out of trouble on a number of occasions, which helped me make it to retirement in 2007. Although I couldn't kick a large Chihuahua in the butt now, I've never fogotten my time with the system, nor have the law enforcement officers that I taught over the years. I'm proud of the system, and of all of you who continue the tradition of this style.

    Shadow106 (My nickname, favorite band, and my 1st badge #, LOL)

    Boise, Idaho 2009
    Wow, Shadow--
    THANKS for contributing. I've often heard of "Traco" Kenpo....but never knew much at all about it. PLEASE> tell us more. What is the system like? # of forms / techs....etc.

    THanks again.
    I look forward to learning more.
    Just like my Favorite Angel said:
    Wow, I am still learning so much every day from being here on this forum
    Your Brother
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    Default Re: Connor Style Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by Arizona Angel View Post
    Wow, I am still learning so much every day from being here on this forum.
    Ditto that!
    ~ Steve Zalazowski
    Continuing Student of the Arts.

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    Default Re: Connor Style Kenpo

    I guess I kind of cheated when I joined Traco. I didn't claim any experience because I wanted to see if there was a lot of difference between what I'd learned in Downey and Pasadena. Unfortunately, the first time we free-styled, I threw a punch with my right hand, and popped my Gi with the other (called "checking" back then) . Apparently that had become a traditional technique with instructors, and the cat was out of the bag.

    Techniques? As I recall there were thirty or more in each level. I started a notebook with each technique I picked up, typed by my secretary who thought I was totally nuts. I gave that notebook to a young man in Phoenix back in the '80's, because he was self trained with chucks and absolutely a natural. He has gone on in another style, but I'd bet there's a taste of Kenpo in what he has done.

    I was pretty good with my hands, but my legs, although long, weren't as quick as they could have been. Adequate, but thats what originally took me from Tang Soo Do in Chuck Norris' Redondo Beach Bojang, to the Kenpo system. I graduated from North Torrance high in '60. As most people know, Chuck (Carlos) graduated in '58. When it was obvious that I wasn't going to be a world class kicker, Chuck suggested Shotokan first, but the 2nd class in Long Beach ended in a bit of a brawl when a student tried to punch me during forms practice. I was not the most patient person back then, but I did mellow out. Honest. And it was due in large part to the Kenpo system.

    Traco's style was very Chinese in some moves. Flowing, circling techniques that applied multiple strikes and an attitude that the fight finishes as rapidly as possible, and decisively. One of the Phoenix instructors, Henry Harvey, used to take a break occasionally, and go down to the Jack in the Box on Central avenue....., in his black Gi (instructors only, thank you). All I will say is that he came back with a grin on his face, and probably some extra greasy tacos too. LOL

    Those were great times for me, and a JKD friend of mine (much younger) says he is amazed at the people I knew. Apparently some them became well known. Back then, martial arts was a relatively small and closed community, and after I went on to other things, I had no idea what happened to them.

    More "stuff" if you wish. I don't want to bore anyone here.

    Jerry

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    Default Re: Connor Style Kenpo

    Not bored here, always enjoy a good "old times" story.

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    Talking Re: Connor Style Kenpo

    All Interested - You can see a demonstration of Traco Kenpo on Youtube. I believe it is on one of the interview shows with Kenpo Joe Rebelo.

    PEACE
    1stJohn1:9

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    Default Re: Connor Style Kenpo

    Amy, here's a little bit on TraCO from a thread I started on MT.

    A bit about conners
    http://martialtalk.com/forum/showthr...ighlight=TRACO

    chart material bb manual
    http://martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9795
    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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    Default Re: Connor Style Kenpo

    While I was teaching in Phoenix in the 60's, I ran a Nuclear Medicine lab at a local hospital. I was asked to assist with an ICU patient who head a serious head injury, was out of his arm restraints, and who had no idea what he was doing. Only responding to touch by the staff. Happened to be a black belt from Mr. Trias studio. Once that was handled, the charge nurse asked me if I'd give some instruction to her nurses, which we started about a week later at a private home. To make a long story short, the charge nurse had five kids. She was a feisty, short lady and thoroughly enjoyed her training. One day her youngest, about 5 years old, told her that two kids down the street were beating up the little ones in the neighborhood. After some thought, Pat gathered all the kids on the block, including the two bullies, and told them she wanted to show them something. She set up the traditional cinder blocks, placed two boards on top, then with a lot of drama and gesturing, she broke both boards. Before the kids could get their mouths shut, she told them that anyone who hurt another child on THAT block, would have to deal with her. She also said that if there were any questions, to send their parents over and she'd discuss it with them too. At that point, I had to go in the house or I would have LMAO. The neighborhood was very peaceful after that demo.

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    Default Re: Connor Style Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by amylong View Post
    Has anyone else heard of this?

    I talked to a guy in Granite Bay who says he teaches 'Connor Style' kenpo and until I talked to him, I'd never heard of it.

    He said it's the soft style of kenpo using the animal system. Some of the basic techniques are the same, but it also sounds Tracy-ish.

    Anyone?

    --Amy
    Hi Amy,

    I teach Connor style kenpo in Arizona - aka the TRACO system. The TRA stands for Tracy and the CO for Connor, thus the similarities to the Tracy system. They were partners early on, then went their seperate ways. Mr. Connor retained the Traco name and the Tracy's formed Tracy's Karate.

    The bulk of the TRACO schools were bought by Bill Packer which he renamed the AKKA, but many of the schools in Arizona remained independent.

    About the system: there were about 40 techniques per belt level originaly, and 20 katas to black belt. This now varries from origanization to organization slighty since Grandmaster Connors passing. The techniques are arranged with a connective thread based upon the 5-Animals (Tiger, Crane, Leopard, Dragon, and Snake). The early katas are the Parker/Woo forms - then the kung fu forms added by Woo - then the Connor forms specific to TRACO. Weapons include the cane, broadsword, and staff.

    Leading exponents of the style include Gary McGhee, Rick Lister, Peter Hill, and Ray Fisher among others.

    Hope this helps.
    PorterKenpo

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    Default Re: Connor Style Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by PorterKenpo View Post
    About the system: there were about 40 techniques per belt level originaly, and 20 katas to black belt. This now varries from origanization to organization slighty since Grandmaster Connors passing.
    ....so you're saying that after the Grandmaster's passing things often became de-standardized?
    That sounds familiar.


    You said that the techniques had a common or connecting thread based in the animal systems.... could you elaborate on that please? Are you saying that each belt's curriculum of SD-techs were based on a different animal OR were there a variety w/in each belt?

    Thanks for all the info on this lesser known relative of American Kenpo.

    Your Brother
    John
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    Default Re: Connor Style Kenpo

    Hi John,
    Nice to meet you.

    I'll try to give a quick overview. The techniques are arranged in order of the animals, as opposed to many kenpo systems where the animal influence is dispersed. For example, yellow and orange belt emphasise tiger. The techniques at this level tend to be more linear and agressive - with hard "striking" blocks. Purple belt is crane material. These techniques tend be more lateral in movement, and employ softer blocking movements such as parries, hooking parries, folding arm blocks. This level also uses more evasion and kicking than the previous level. Blue belt is leopard material. Leopard uses angular movement in that it will move off line, then pounce back toward the opponent to disrupt his balance. Green represents dragon. At this level the student learns to ebb and flow with the opponent. When the opponent advances - dragon retreats; when the opponent retreats dragon advances. This level will tend to use more twisting, coiling, and long fist techniques. Brown levels are represented by the snake and have darting viper movements and/or constricting python movements. Simultaneous blocking and striking, pressure points, and weapon use is the halmark of these levels.

    The techniques of the various levels are similar to, or the same as, many Tracy or EPAK techniques because of their same root. They often even share the same names - only their grouping and emphasis vary from their sister systems. It should also noted that the traco 5-animals are less immitative than many of the Chinese 5-animal systems, in that they borrow the principals and concept of the animal, but do not try to act like a tiger - for example.

    Your friend in kenpo,
    PorterKenpo
    Last edited by PorterKenpo; 01-31-2009 at 04:24 PM.

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