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

Tracy loyalty - The  bifurcation of Kenpo and it's cause and effects , still waters run deep.

        Al Tracy was a genius regarding the propagation of Kenpo Karate and let me tell you why.   Al,  had a mathematical mind and found himself thrown into the world of military electronics during the Korean war and was a member of the U.S. Air Force.  He also had a strong interest in History and this was a major course study while in college.  Both of these two mind sets came together and when Ed Parker decided to invent his own system of Martial Arts he gave the Tracy brothers his blessings cira 1981 - 1982 regarding their teaching and maintaining what many refer to as the Original Method Of Kenpo Karate that Parker had picked up from Professor William Chow and the Kajukenbo instructors that he personally knew in Hawaii. This bifurcation of Kenpo Karate had some unique cause and effects, that have manifested over time and not always for the  good of Kenpo.

       Al developed a documented system that was composed of manuals and later on videos that kept the original Kenpo Karate in tact.   In doing so he kept history intact and therefore his students would have knowledge of the Kenpo techniques as they were taught to Ed Parker by Chow.  Ed Parker who in turn taught the Tracy brothers.

       Mr. Parkers American Kenpo would continue to develop into a Martial Art that actually had very little Kenpo Karate left in his system.   Therefore, many of his students from the mid 80s through present day would never know what the original self defense techniques were.   Al knew the importance of lineage and by keeping Kenpo Karate as it was fundamentally taught to him  he gave each of  his students a family that went back right to James Mitose.  

       In the early 80s Al mentioned to me that I might be one of the few independent Kenpo instructors who could make it in business.  He knew my back ground and I pondered his perspective for some time.  I had come out of the Traco International system formulated by Tomas Connor who's requirements from Orange belt though Green were  the same techniques that Al Tracy had taught him.   In fact the Traco self defense techniques  predated the Tracy franchise expansion.  I realized that by becoming a business partner with Pat and Al Tracy my business would be enhanced.  I had my own school and I sold three Tracy Karate franchises to three of my top Black belts.   The fact that Al had kept the Original system of Kenpo Karate that he had learned from Mr. Parker in a documented form  allowed my franchises and my own school to be part of a very large family.  Often students from other Tracy schools would move to the Denver area and march right into my schools totally delighted to see the requirements had stayed the same that  nothing had changed, they felt at home.   This was delightful for me when I saw the smile on their faces during their introductory course.  After their lessons they would often exclaim, "its just the way I learned Kenpo twenty years ago and even the names have remained the same."

     Al Tracy told me one day, "Bill your always be successful if you don't care who gets the credit".  I did not understand what he meant then. Now with 40 years of being an active Black belt in Kenpo, I have come to understand.  Most recently Al and Pat promoted me to 9th degree.  I called the Tracy's and Pat answered the phone, I thanked her and Al for the promotion  and she gave me a wonderful compliment, she said "Bill your legitimate".

      When Mr. Parker died  at such a young age he only had a few Black belts at 7th Degree.  These men got together and gave themselves 10th degrees.   I have no problem with this, after all  "There was no Master before the first Master".   They then created a number of organizations.   Many of them broke away from even the American Kenpo requirements that Ed Parker had documented in his books.  This weaken American Kenpo.  May I share a short story with you.  One day in 1996,  I had a husband and wife walk into my studio, they said they studied Ed Parkers Kenpo and they asked me to explain the difference between the Tracy Kenpo system and what they had learned...I'll cut to the chase, they only had a total of Ten Self Defense techniques from yellow to Green belt.  That's right only ten techniques, I simply showed them the belt requirements that were on the wall above the mirrors in the main training area, they saw we had 130 self defense from yellow to green belt.  I can't put into words describing the looks on both of their faces.  I felt sorry for them, they were a function of the fact that Mr. Parker died too young and never promoted  any of his top students to 9th degree Black belt who could led and therefore not splinter his system.

      Al Tracy is head of his system and recently has promoted a few men and women to 10th degree Black belt.  By doing this his family system will have a strong leadership governed by his yodanshaki.  Pat Tracy is also a 10th degree  who has physically developed the Tracy System of Kenpo and was in many of the training videos.  

      One day Al said to me, "Bill your part of Kenpo history".  Now I know what he was talking about.  You see I have had a number of organizations who have offered me higher Rank over the years.  Each time I responded, "if Mr. Tracy feels I am worthy of a Rank he will promote me and if my rank does not come from his hand then it will not come from another".  You see it has always been  important to me to have my personal students be able to clearly see that their lineage in Kenpo Karate goes well beyond me, though Al Tracy, Ed Parker, William Chow to James Mitose.  I sleep better knowing my roots in Kenpo Karate.   For those  Black belts that feel jumping ship so to speak and Self Ranking themselves and starting their own organizations, I would say, better look before you leap, still waters run deep.  I would hope they would ponder these two questions: What kind of splinter effect in Kenpo will they be contributing to?   What type of legacy are you offering your personal students?  I asked myself these questions over thirty years ago and being loyal to the Tracy's family and their Kenpo system was the path I took and it was a wise  decision  then and a good one now.