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


Kenpo Belt Rank

A perspective and nothing more


 Bill Hensel


     To begin with let me say this is a touchy subject and therefore keep this in mind as you the reader  read this essay.   This is only one mans opinion and little more.   Perhaps a relativistic frame of reference must be used to measure and gage ones knowledge and even ones Rank in the Art Of Kenpo Karate.  The phrase "there was no Master before the first Master"  should be reflected upon over and over again and in doing so one may resolve any disquieting thoughts that are a function of pondering Kenpo Belt Rank. 

     Excepting  Rank from Shodan and up should contain not only physical components such as basics, self defense techniques and Forms but a sense of responsibility.   You may ask, what kind of responsibility?   The responsibility for the propagation of the Art  of Kenpo and a clear understanding  of Integrity and philosophy  that are corner stone's of the Art. 

     There are those that discontinue studying the Art once they reach Shodan.   Their path in Kenpo ends there and I have no ill  feelings with these individuals.  They do no real damage to our beloved "Law Of the Fist" for they come and go like the dust riding upon the winds of time.  For those rare individuals who continue to study the Art,  with each new Rank their responsibility increases also.  Quite often they will become Sifu's and then will have students under their guidance and tutelage .  It makes no difference how many students a Sifu has under his tutelage his responsibility will even be more heightened.  I remember Al Tracy once said to me,  "Bill you and I will always be students of the Art".  This type of thinking lends one to an understanding of  humility and by always being a student, one will  always be practicing the Art.  Thus when we are teaching the student before us we find that we must be the embodiment of discipline and kindness.  Recently, I was fortunate to teach all the material from yellow though Black belt 4th  degree to one of my students George Stumpf.  In fact this student is still receiving instruction from me.  It forces me to practice the 4th degree Forms and techniques and beyond that.  Thus, I remain a student in a Kenpo Work Shop so to speak.  

P.S.  Just because a High Ranking Black Belt says he teaches the Tracy System  don't be fooled.    Many instructors don't even teach the Forms/Katas and others don't even teach all the standard Self Defense Techniques.   What good is Rank in a system if you don't teach the system.