Here is a little history of my martial arts adventure. I started my martial arts training in Kenpo karate in 1972 when I was 19 years old in Fullerton, California. My very first instructor was Master Bob White. After several weeks he moved on to his main studio in Costa Mesa, California. Two of his senior black belts, David Brock and Mark Lennon took over the training for this studio. This was Ed Parker’s Kenpo.
Kenpo was originally a combination of Chinese and Okinawan karate that Mr. Parker adapted to use in America. It was known as the “old pine tree style.” Ever notice how a tree stays rooted in the ground while it expands into this universe? It takes only the nourishment it needs and even helps other forms of life like birds, insects or vines. I think that is a good philosophy to live by.
I wasn’t very coordinated as a teenager. In grade school I went tried out for softball and since I wrote with my left hand my parents thought I should throw with my left hand. However, it turns out I’m ambidextrous and throw with my right hand. This led to setbacks during my formative years.
Kenpo karate training helped change that. Beginning training, especially from a horse stance, trains you to do a variety of movements with both arms and both legs. The various stances and foot maneuvers are very helpful with your coordination. Of course, it will still feel awkward at first but if you put forth an honest effort and you do it on a consistent basis you will see results.
As in all life consistency is the key. There were classes in basic self defense techniques, forms or kata and freestyle which is sparring. Classes for kids, classes for beginners and classes for advanced students. They all have their advantages depending on what you want to get out of your training.
After a few years and a couple of knee injuries, getting married and raising a family and of me or the studio moving around I finally achieved my green belt. I thought that was fantastic. This was Ed Parker’s kenpo which requires you to know, more or less approximately 100 self defense techniques, roughly 25 per belt, 5 forms and to be proficient in freestyle by that point. The self defense techniques are ideas about what to use against certain punches, kicks and various types of holds. They are only meant to be concepts about different ways to defend yourself. The forms teach correct body alignment, different angles of attack and mental discipline. The free styling class taught different way to kick and punch in a tournament.
LEARNING HOW TO TEACH
After I achieved my green belt I was allowed to warm up the class and drill them on the basics. Each individual has different strengths and weaknesses that they learn to adapt to. There is nothing like teaching another individual that teaches yourself the proper way to do a technique. Everyone is different and can be reached in a different manner. I taught people from all walks of life and loved it. Kenpo always taught to adapt the system to the student not the other way around.
There is nothing like sparring in the studio or at a karate tournament to heighten your sensory awareness. Although back then it was supposed to be non-contact it ended up being anything but that. Guys at tournament would try to take your head off for a plastic trophy. But all in all you end up sharpening your reflexes, improving your coordination and really building your confidence. Things that could help anyone in their everyday life. In the end you usually end up becoming really good friends with whoever you sparred with.
After a grueling 3 1/2 hour test, at one time I almost passed out, I finally got my black belt on July 10, 1993, in Yorba Linda, California. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life but well worth it. That and the birth of my daughter are the two most profound accomplishments in my life.
Soon after that I got divorced and moved on with my life. I kind of put karate on the back burner while I pursued other endeavors. I kept working out on my own but upon hindsight I wished I would have kept my studies up.
Fast forward to 2017. I am now 64 years old, still work fulltime, and go to the YMCA 3 or 4 days a week. I also do Kenpo basics or punch a 100lb punching bag once a week.
Nowadays I’ve been practicing an internal martial arts system called Qi Gong. It is a series of rhythmic breathing coupled with rhythmic movement. It teaches the body to move in one coordinated movement. It is a holistic approach to well-being that incorporates posture, movement, breathing and meditation. It will improve the flow of qi which we will to talk about later.
Meditation, spirituality, higher awareness of self, vibrations, frequencies and this universe are something this website wants to talk about in the future. I truly believe that this is one planet, one race and one universe we all live in. Although it seems like everything is separate everything comes from the same source.
This is the first article I’ve published on the internet. I plan to do more. My goal now is to help people learn about their higher selves and for them to help me learn about mine. My deep appreciation to Wealthy Affiliates for showing me how to build a website. I will appreciate any input from anyone with knowledge of this subject.