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

Fast Food Karate and The Decline Of A Great Nation



     The first time I heard the phrase “Fast Food Karate” was back in the late 80s. If memory serves me accurately, I was talking to Greq Gram either on the telephone or at a karate tournament in the Denver area. I guess the location is not important but the conversation was.  Mr. Gram used the phrase to describe what we were seeing in the Martial Arts.

      The late Ralph Kruse was the most prolific tournament promoter in the Rocky Mountain region beginning in the early 70s . It was at his tournaments that I first saw the beginning of the symptoms of this disease that would desecrate the Martial Arts though out the United States. In the beginning his tournaments were respectful of the traditional values found in the Martial Arts. As time went on the all mighty dollar took up residency, trophies were given out from first place to eighth place. Everyone was a winner. Often the center judges judged in blue jeans and t shirts and I wondered what was next.  One tournament in 1990 had a center judge wearing a T Shirt that said , “get in the ring mother fucker”. By then I had stopped competing in tournaments and no longer advocated them in the  Kenpo Karate  schools that I had in the area. The Traditional values that I was teaching in my studio were no longer being reflected at karate tournaments locally.

      This Progressive Movement that was sweeping across the Nation had leeched into the public school system and was becoming firmly embed throughout the Karate community. Black Belt programs were being sold to parents who wanted their 4-6 year old children to study the Martial Arts. The spin off was that children were now becoming Black Belts all over the country. After all, these Progressive paradigms advocated everyone was a winner and there were no losers. In time the coveted Rank of Black Belt would mean little or nothing at all.  We are now seeing students directly out of College expecting top level positions in companies. They don't understand they need to have work experience in a chosen field of study to get to the top in their field.

     More recently over the past ten years the pyramid in Kenpo is now top heavy with more 10th degrees then 8th or 9th degree Black Belts.  Al Tracy told me in 2009 that the 10th degree Black Belt meant nothing because when you look around "everyone is a 10th degree Black Belt".  This has hurt each and every one of us that trained hard for our Shodans.