Self Defense School Of Kenpo - Tracy's Chinese Kenpo ( Fist Law - Chuan- Fa )

Self Defense in empty hand, stick and edged weapons - Private Instruction - No Belt Testing Fee's - No Contracts

Some Where Back In Time by Bill Hensel

January 9, 2014



Without fear I undoubtedly will be wadding into opulent waters and thus will wade in over my waders.” by Bill Hensel

 One writes more often then not so one can hear ones own mind grind out an idea. So often, the reader does not resonate or simply finds the ideas put forth by the writer are not palatable enough to finish the sentences before him.  I am on the downward slope of my life and thus feel the presence of my life's end.  Perhaps these essays will cause one to laugh and bring about a little  enjoyment to the reader  though it will be only temporal at best.


      Sometimes I can't remember a persons name or a word I would like to use while carrying on a live conversation with another person.  At 61 years of age this is not uncommon. I admit it is frustrating to a degree. However, one learns to laugh it off and continue in the direction one was heading. It is when you don't remember what direction you were heading and / or what your destination was or why your out there wondering around in the first place that your in trouble. Hopefully you still reading this and have a little understanding of what I tried to convey. Oh yes, I remember now what I was going to write about.

      Back in the early 70s when I was first learning Kenpo, I was getting private half hour lessons from John Cockran once a week who owned the Denver Kenpo Karate Academy. Typically new basics were delivered to me along with new Self Defense Techniques and new moves to Form that I was learning.  Each week I showed up for my lesson with excitement. In those ½ hour private lessons I received a good work out. In my mind, I felt if I failed to demonstrate the self defense technique that was taught to me in the last private lesson my instructor would not teach me another one. The same was true for the Form that I was learning. I made sure that all the old techniques were improved and thus were not forgotten. We had to make our own notebooks back then for there were no quick reference manuals like we have today. It was dishonorable in my own mind to forget a single move that my instructor had taught me. My instructor never told me this, I just figured that was the way it should be.

      I have found that the average student who is taught two Self Defense per week moves through the requirements to fast and does not develop the understanding and fundamentals that he or she should. The end result is a beginning student or color belt student who is at best a very weak color belt. The student dose not grasp the idea of practice, practice, practice they simply are beginning to be “Paper Tigers”. The student that forgets at the speed that he learns new material is simply standing still. In the commercial studio he helps “keep the lights on” so to speak for the few motivated hard working students. When I think back in the day, when I had well over 150 active students in my own studio perhaps 10-15 percent were good students. The others learned some self defense and paid the bills. I see this in fly fishing, 15 percent of the fly fisherman catch 80 percent of the fish. The average fly fisherman never goes out on his lawn and works on the basics of casting a fly rod. I have made many Bamboo Fly rods anglers in the past and would guess maybe 20 percent of the owners could really cast the rod well. Sad but true.

      A good instructor has patience however, it is only a matter of time when he begins to feel burn out, which comes from teaching those students that simply pay the rent. That is when you better train a student to be a good instructor and let him teach the beginners before total melt down occurs and making money is the only motivation left for keeping the studio doors open.

      Some 41 years later I'm still practicing those same moves and I find myself not wanting to forget what I was taught. To me the Self Defense techniques and Forms are jewels glistening in the sands of time.

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