Under: karate
26 Jun 2011

12 Responses to “American Kenpo Karate, Kick Boxing & Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu!”

  1. Matt Klein Says:

    It is gratifying to see my sensei’s school is evolving. Brazilian Jiu jitsu, MMA, kickboxing, Kenpo, it’s all good. Have learned so much from that great studio on El Cajon Blvd.

    I’m with you on boxing, John. Extremely valuable for self defence. We are teaching more and more of it down here in Oz.
    Matt Klein recently posted..Take a ChanceMy Profile

  2. Dr. J Says:

    I was already a first dan when I walked through the doorway of that new karate school in town, Tracy’s! It was run by two high ranking black belts from San Jose who were in the Midwest seeking to spread their art and make a living. They tested me then welcomed me to learn from them. It was the best decision in the martial arts that I ever made. Sure we joked about how the Tracy symbol on our sleeve looked like a dollar symbol, but what they instilled in me with both technique and dedication made me better than I ever thought I could be and stays with me to this day! I’m proud to say that I have both Al and Jim’s signatures on my Tracy diploma!
    Thank you, John!
    Dr. J recently posted..Lab Notes: Medicare Pays for Avastin for Breast Cancer; RBC Membranes Help Nanoparticles Fight CancerMy Profile

  3. Luke Says:

    Hi guys ! I know this could be a recurring question and you heard it few times probably, but…what should i learn to be able to simply protect me and my girlfriend when we go out ?

    I don’t want to be a master in everything, and look pro – i just want to be efficient.

    Thanks in advance.
    Luke recently posted..What degree should i getMy Profile

  4. John W. Zimmer Says:

    Hi Matt,

    I read with interest your BJJ training. I guess one has to evolve… I know back in my fighting days it was evolve or loose some effectiveness.

    Hi Dr J,

    It is good to see a fellow Tracy’s black belt do well… funny about the dollar symbol but Al always had a good business sense. He was wise enough to get a good business system as well as having a good fighting system. :)

    Hi Luke,

    Take a look at what is being offered around you and try to find something you are comfortable learning. Some of the schools will be to formal and some maybe no discipline. What I am trying to say is you are the buyer and have to like, respect and think the practitioners are good at what they do as well as they need to be good teachers.

    When you pick one school… let them know it is for a limited time – maybe 3 to 6 months to see if it is a good fit. You as a beginner don’t really know what you like or where you excel yet. Letting the instructor know you are starting on a trial basis might help them know you expect good value for your money.

    weather you pick boxing, karate, kung fu, muay thai, jiu-jitsu, wrestling, or whatever is not as important as it being a good fit and meeting your goals.

    If you goal is self defense, most any school should be able to do that but my bias would be one that teaches some light contact sparring too… not so you become a great sport fighter or so you can try everything out but rather so you get the feeling of what it takes in an altercation to succeed.

    In reality a street fight will be short and you will win fast so long as you are properly trained.

    I chose Tracy’s (now American Kenpo Karate, Kick Boxing and Jiu-Jitsu) because when I talked to the instructor about my frustrations while trying other schools… and mentioned I already know how to kick and punch but I cannot seem to connect constantly… Dick Willett was able to tell me and demonstrate distance, initial movement and timing he would be teaching me to actually connect with my strikes… that I did not learn in some of the other schools I tried.

    I’d guess that half or more of what is out there is mediocre. But the rest of the schools (of whatever style or martial art) are no nonsense good fighting schools that teach excellent self defense moves.

    Good luck finding a school that meets your needs and don’t worry about having to change schools if one does not seem to be teaching you what you are doing in addition to basics…

    If you are in San Diego or Australia, I have a couple of Dojo Recommendations of schools I personally vouch for…

    Good Luck Luke!

  5. John T Says:

    I always have a question to ask if all these are learnt can we remember to use these really at the most difficult tim to achieve the goal of learning.
    John T recently posted..Propiedades del alpiste.My Profile

  6. John W. Zimmer Says:

    John T., the training is worth it considering the alternative.

  7. Zara Says:

    @Luke: for self defense you need something that can be learned quickly, is effective and prepares you for a wide variety of situations. I’d recommend something along the lines of krav maga, kenpo or jujutsu (provided it’s non-classical). I’d steer clear of martial sports and purely traditional arts since they either don’t adequately prepare you for dangerous situations or they tend to have a long learning curve. It all depends on what your situation is and what sort of risks you expect: ideally you should have a competent teacher write up a program that is suited to your particular needs (you probably won’t need a lot of what is taught at a typical martial arts school and a lot of techniques are mostly taught for other reasons than pure self defense although they usually can be used as such with enough training) and prepares you through one-on-one training. Unfortunately such training (at least of sufficient high quality) is hard to find and expensive since most teachers are eiter not willing to teach just one student or they don’t have the necessary skills or flexibility to adequately develop basic self defense skills in a short timeframe. If you’re young and in good health it might be worth taking a few months of boxing or thaiboxing lessons: you’ll develop decent punches and kicks and it’s still one of the fastest ways of learning to defend yourself realistically. The downside of course is that boxing/kickboxing doesn’t prepare you for holds, weapons or ground. For that the above mentioned arts are very good so it’s worth taking a look and maybe combine two arts if you have the time. Hope this helps.

  8. Terrence Says:

    Hey thats pretty cool. I just started martial arts and you are very knowledgeable let me know what you think of the school. http://www.sifuoch.com

  9. Matt Klein Says:

    I am in agreement with Zara that boxing or Thai kickboxing is very effective and also simple for a beginner to learn. What attracted me to Todd’s school was the fact that we sparred in both point and kickboxing styles. We had a lot of guys from different backgrounds come in and have a go on sparring night–boxers, kickboxers, TKD, Kung Fu, and even a few street-fighters, so we were exposed to a lot. It really helped us develop a good defense against all kinds of fighters.

    Also agree that some form of grappling, whether it be BJJ, judo, wrestling, or submission wrestling would be very beneficial for self defense.
    Matt Klein recently posted..A White Belt Again | Brazilian Jiu-JitsuMy Profile

  10. Zara Says:

    @Terrence: of course the question was directed at John but I’m going to be presumpteous and give my own opinion. First of all it’s hard if not impossible to properly judge a school without having seen it and trained with them but it looks good and I like the combination of WC (very good striking style for SD) and jujutsu (for any decent SD program you need to be able to deal with an attacker on the ground). If it has weapon defenses too you’re pretty much set. In our style (a blend of Japanese jujutsu combined with elements from JKD, Kali-escrima, some BJJ/shootfighting and the previous experience of my sensei in karate en judo) we solely use boxing/kickboxing defenses and WC entries against strikes and kicks (the karate stuff is usually way too stiff or slow) followed up with boxing and/or karate type strikes (handsword, hammerfist…) ending in grappling range where locks and throws play a role, finishing or controlling the opponent on the ground. We also train defenses on the ground (including some ground sparring BJJ style) and weapon defenses and usage (knife, stick and pistol mainly although we don’t teach shooting) at the higher belts. As John said in a previous post: the style doesn’t matter all that much aslong as it’s effective and you’re comfortable with it.

  11. Joshua stiens Says:

    I think a ground game is the most effective. Kempo covers it all

  12. Steve Doss Says:

    I had the honor of meeting and spending time with both Al Tracy and Ed Parker. Even though I wasn’t a Kenpo practitioner, they both couldn’t have been more friendly and open with me.

    I first met Al Tracy when I called him from a newsletter about martial arts business practices he wrote. He was very smart and of course experienced on the subject, and spent time teaching and helping me. When I finally met him several years later, he clearly remembered our discussions and couldn’t have been more friendly and cordial. It is great men like these that are the roots and foundation of the martial arts in America.