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

                                                     Grand Master Willie Pineda  

                                                                                                                 

        It was back in the late 70s that I first met Willie Pineda aka Cat Man.  Ralph Kruse was the main tournament promoter in the Denver area.  I competed in kata competition against Willie in those days.  I was always excited to see Willie and his students come down to Denver to compete.   Watching Willie move in his Tracy Kenpo forms left me impressed deeply.  He was fast and crisp in his movement.  His wife at that time was a color belt as was my wife.  They both competed as color belts.   Willies wife moved well, after all look who her instructor was.  I got ideas from watching Willie and his students compete in forms.  For example his wife would perform Short III kata with a unique series of lead in movements from the technique Darting Serpent.  Willie would often perform Mass Attack and end it with Finger Set and he won first place a number of  times with that combination.   At that time in my Kenpo life,  I was competing mainly with Tomas Connors forms such as The Boxing Form sometimes referred to as The Boxer.   Often I would combine Stalking Panther with Flowing Hands together and enter them into competition.  At this point in time Willie and I would be the only Kenpo Black Belts competing in Forms.   Willie was a mentor to me  without him even knowing it.   I loved to watch him perform Staff Set, he had some shinny tape on the ends of his staff that really made  the rotation of the staff stand out to the observer.  He could move that staff faster then anyone I have ever watched.   Again,  I went home  after the tournament and even trained harder then before.   When it came to Fighting, Willie again was my mentor.  His back fist delivery was lightening fast and his ability to angle off was amazing.  I once watched an amazing feat. His opponent  came at Willie with a flying  side kick to Willies head , what I witnessed blew my  mind, Willie ducked and and his opponent went flying over Willies head, Willie threw a spinning back fist that hit  the  opponent in his head   before his  feet touched the ground thus scoring a point and winning the match.   I went home and worked on my  spinning back fist.      Willie  competed with the Japanese Sword and the Chinese Sword form together once or twice.  Again that was an eye opener for me regarding   edged weapons.  Deep down inside I wanted the Tracy connection because I knew Willie had insight into Kenpo that I did not have at the time.  Willie was  a Nidan  (2nd Black)  and believe me back in the 70s there weren't many Kenpo 2nd degree Black Belts out there.     Willie and I often talked when we had time and we liked each other.   We were not into obtaining another Dan Ranking as much as learning more Kenpo material.   Willie taught me : Staff Set, Finger Set and I think Japanese Sword.  I taught him The Boxer.  If  we had lived closer, I'm sure we would have taught each other more material.   Tracy Black belts even today want to learn as much material as possible.  The Tracy System is with out a doubt the largest Kenpo system in the world.  Between the Tracy brothers, Al, Jim  and Will  brought in many Chinese Forms or Sets into the Tracy System Of Kenpo.  

        Willie had many talented students at the time that I'm writing about,  the mid - late 70s.  Since that time  he has gone on to train  some of the very best  Martial Artist in the country.  One student who I remember clearly was was a young man by the name  Ben Fajardo.  Ben received his Black Belt from Willie and since then has gone on to study many Martial Systems.    Ben is the only person I have ever taught the Pre 80s Parker #6 Form to other then my student George Stumpf.  

        As time would move along I would move over to the Tracy System because of its depth of knowledge.  Studying the Tracy forms under Bruce Juchnick enabled me to pick up rare forms that existed in the Tracy System.   It was my respect for Willie Pineda as a Tracy's Karate Black belt that always pointed me in the direction of the Tracy Kenpo.   As time would move along, Willie stopped coming to Denver to compete so often and I became involved in owning my own Tracy Karate Studios and franchising in the metro area Tracy  Karate Studios and thus dropping out of going to Karate Tournaments.  

        It wasn't until the summer of 2011 that Willie and I connected  again via telephone.  We had both been Inducted Into The Kenpo Hall Of Fame.  We talked many times about the good ole days and as we spoke on the phone I found myself being mentored by  Willie  once again.  Then the day came that I got to see Willie out at the Gathering Of Eagles in Las Vegas  2011.   What a treat it was,  Willie was  still lean and fast as ever and I will never forget his smile.  Willie has no idea that I wrote this about him.   Let me end with this statement: Willie Pineda is a Masters Master.  Willie has been running his Kenpo school for over forty years in Rock Springs.  Pinedas Kenpo School    http://pinedaskenpo.com

An updated note:  Today on May 30, 2017 Willie told me he received in the mail his 10th degree Black Belt.  This means a lot to me and should mean a lot more to Willies students.  I humbly bow out of deep respect.