The Self Defense School Of Kenpo

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


Where it began I can't begin to know it” a quote from Neil Diamond.  Ah but I can place the beginning in 1972 at Dennis Nackords Tracys Karate Studio near Philadelphia , Pa. I took the introductory course there but did not continue because of time restraints, money, my enrollment at Salisbury State College and the fact I had to drive there from the Eastern Shore of Maryland. In 1973, I ran into John Cochrans School,  Denver Kenpo Karate Academy in the Metro Denver area and took his introductory course and I fell in love with Kenpo from the very first day in 1973. I have trained every day of my life in some fashion or another in Kenpo. I'm 66 years of age as I write this essay and I still practice over 30 Forms that range from Forms I learned in Tom Mitoses Kosho Kenpo system as Bruce Juchnik taught me, The Tom Connor system of Kenpo commonly known as Tra - Co International Studios Of Self Defense and the Al Tracy System of Kenpo as formulated in the early 80s.

In the beginning Kenpo was just Kenpo I did not realize there were different Kenpo systems however  over the years I studied three of them. I might add I have never truly Mastered any of them.  Tom Connor had a system of Kenpo that very much stood on it's own merits which was a composite of Ed Parkers system and Al Tracys system of Kenpo. Tom Connor was brilliant in that his brown belt techniques had great diversity and were very interesting indeed to study. Tom Connor created Forms that competed well in Chinese Form divisions in tournaments. His system was one of par excellence. Al Tracy had a working back ground in classical Chinese Forms and that provided the Tracy System with additional weapon sets and empty hand Forms that were not in the Connor or The Parker system. In fact today December 12, 2018 I delivered a lesson to George Stumpf and continued to teach the Form named Chinese Set to him. George is 60 years old and has recovered from the arthritis that hit him when he was in his 40s. He actually trains 7 days a week and has a couple Orange belt students and one Brown Belt under his tutelage. Chinese Set classically has full splits and butterfly cresent kicks in it. I no longer can do the buttery fly cresent kicks or the full splits and I won't even attempt them for fear of injury. None the less I will show George where they are in the Form so some day if he ever has a student he teaches the Form to that can actually perform the splits or the butterfly cresent kicks he can pass it on to his student.

There is no reason a senior cannot perform Kenpo and benefit greatly from his or her study of the Art. It is important that that we teach with compassion and understanding regarding a seniors physical and mental challenges.

So late in this Active Kenpo Instructors life I have a system of movement that is diverse and  I am never bored with my practice of Kenpo. One day I may decide to do all the number Forms up though #7, the next day I might practice the Connor Forms, the next day while on a hike up in the National Forest I might perform Bookset or Tiger and Crane. In fact I often practice Kenpo Forms while out in the National Forest...the uneven natural ground is good training and it enhances leg development and balance coupled with an increase in heart rate. The next day I might decide to practice all the weapon forms and the possibilities go on and on. I keep my personal practice varied and therefore never get bored with my training. The key is this:  don't let your self get fat and out of shape which takes away the edge as I like to call it when you are in your 60s. Staying in decent physical condition was always important to me even when I was a young teenager and my practice of Kenpo allows me to stay in touch with my mind and body.  

At this point in time regarding my own life my personal philosophy of the Kenpo Arts is best summed up by  quote of  Norman Maclean who wrote the book A River Runs Through It ,late in his own life.  Let me quote from his book: Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs though it.  Late in my own life Kenpo is just Kenpo thus remaining an Art Form and a way of Life for me.