The Self Defense School Of Kenpo

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


     It has been said, “Every good teacher deserves a good student and every good student deserves a good teacher.” One of my students once said to me, “There is no Completion without payment.”  There is no understanding how much Time we have in our Bank of Life.

     Once many years ago a representative from a National Trout Organization once asked me to donate one of my hand crafted Bamboo Fly rods to the organization to be raffled off.  At that time I was selling my rods for a medium market price of $1500. I asked the guy how much was the organization going to pay me. He said, $800. I looked him square in the eyes and said, “A mans time is worth something” and my time is not going to be thrown away.

     Now you may wonder where I'm headed and just what trail am I headed down. Read on and stay with me and your find out. I will not mention the names of the instructors or the students that come  to mind in the following situations.  In fact in a few cases I don't even know the students names.   You can guess but odds are your be wrong. But if the shoe fits you might be wearing it.   Keep in mind after being a teacher of Kenpo for over 40 years I have a number of high ranking Kenpo instructors who are my friends and often we call each other and discuss the Art Of Kenpo with all the issues that crop up from time to time within the teaching of the Art.  Below are a few stories that I hope will define what this essay is all about. Of course in life there are always exceptions to these situations in life so keep that in mind while your reading along.

     Story #1

      A Kenpo teacher teaches his wife Kenpo and she develops into a very good color belt tournament competitor. He also teaches about 12 other students during this period of time and she earns the respect of all the students within her husbands Kenpo group of students. He teaches all his students private lessons during the week and they all pay him for their lessons. His wife one day said to him, “Why are you so hard on me in my lessons?” His response was , “What is your last name and have you not looked at your first place trophies of recent”. Some time after this conversation with his wife he decided to open up a commerical studio. He promotes his wife to Brown Belt 3rd degree without actually running her though a test, thinking she would be a good instructor and help get his school off to a good start. That's not what happened she quit the Martial Arts completely after he promotes to Brown belt. The marriage ends in divorce for a number of other reasons I suppose. Anyway he tells me this story 20 years after the event occurred. He  comments on the phone that she was really a good Green Belt but truly was not a Brown Belt. I said what did you learn? He said “to never give away my time free again and to never promote a student to Brown Belt without them going though a comprehensive test.”

Story #2 

     A noted Kenpo Black belt tournament competitor who, ranked high in weapons, empty hand kata and fighting back in the late 70s and 80s was asked by another  Black belt from a  karate system unrelated to Kenpo if he would teach him Kenpo katas. The Kenpo Black belt thought to him self, “this is really an honor” and replied,  “sure I will be glad to teach you  Kenpo katas.”  The Kenpo Black belt worked for a large corporation and only taught a few students Kenpo on his free time. He taught the Black belt for free and the more katas he taught him the worse he performed them. So the day came when the Kenpo teacher  he said to the Black Belt "from now on you pay me for  your  lessons".  Guess what happen the Black Belt actually started working on the Katas that the Kenpo teacher taught him and started to place in Black belt Kata competition. A perfect example of “There is no completion without Payment”

Story #3

     A Kenpo teacher teaches a student for three years. The student is promoted to Green Belt after he barely passes the Green Belt test.  When the student completes the requirements for Brown belt his instructor reviews him for the comprehensive brown belt test. There are times during the reviewing process that the student performs so poorly he could not even pass a yellow belt test.  After 6 months of review lessons the student  looks at the instructor and says he has gone as far as he wants to. “Every good teacher deserves a good student and a mans time is worth something”. There was no completion what so ever. This is the byproduct of a foolish teacher who was kindhearted literally giving his life time away. The Kenpo lessons in life are sometimes hard ones but in the end worth learning.

Story #4 

     A Kenpo teacher who has spent over 40 years actively training and teaching the Art is paid his hourly rate for a couple years by a student, who often comes to his lessons with excuses why he did not get time to practice. The student quits out of the blue and then after two years wants to come back for instruction. The Kenpo teacher is not interested in wasting his time with this student. Half of the Completion was met with money the other half that being, “Every good teacher deserves a good student” was never met. The Kenpo teacher in his lates 60s realises that he has very limited time left in his Bank of Life and thus makes a value judgement. Instead of wasting what little time he has in life with a poor student he decides to get involved in his favorite pastime and goes fishing.