Friday, December 31, 2010

Why Home Invasion is Up

Found and sent by Tim Walker in North Florida
Dangerous Trends

The act of committing a home invasion is escalating much like carjacking. The reason for the increase seems to follow a similar pattern. Much like automobiles, the traditional commercial targets for robbers like convenience stores and fast-food restaurants have hardened themselves against criminal attack and have reduced available cash. Technology has allowed commercial establishments to install affordable video surveillance systems, silent alarms, and other anti-crime deterrent devices. A residence, by comparison, is now a more attractive choice.

Home invaders know that they won't have to overcome alarm systems when the home is occupied or be worried about video cameras and silent alarms. Unlike robbing a retail store, home invaders expect privacy once inside your home and won’t have to deal with the police suddenly driving up or customers walking in. Once the offenders take control of a residence they can force the occupants to open safes, locate hidden valuables, supply keys to the family car, and PIN numbers to their ATM cards. Home invaders will try to increase their escape time by disabling the phones and sometimes will leave their victims bound or incapacitated. It is not unheard of for robbers to load up the victim’s car with valuables and drive away without anyone in the neighborhood taking notice.

Method of Operation

The most common point of attack is through the front door or garage. Sometimes the home invader will simply kick open the door and confront everyone inside. More common is when the home invaders knock on the door first or ring the bell. The home invader hopes that the occupant will simply open the door, without question, in response to their knock. Unfortunately, many people do just that.

Home invaders will sometimes use a ruse or impersonation to get you to open the door. They have been known to pretend to be delivering a package, flowers or lie about an accident like hitting your parked car. Once the door is opened for them, the home invaders will use an explosive amount of force and threats to gain control of the home and produce fear in the victims. Once the occupants are under control the robbers will begin to collect your valuables.

Some home robbers have been known to spend hours ransacking a residence while the homeowners are bound nearby watching in terror. Some robbers have been known to eat meals, watch TV, or even take a nap. A major fear is that the robbers might commit more violence like sexual assault or even murder. Some robbers have kidnapped and forced a victim to withdraw cash from their ATM machine or take them to their small business to rob it as well.

Excerpts taken from Chris E McGoey, CPP, CSP, CAM

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Getting greased up

Of interest to police and others, sent to me by e-mail.

Safety warning: Beware of slippery suspects
Is hand lotion the newest threat to officer safety?
In California, sheriff’s deputies stopped a vehicle with occupants that included an ex-con gangbanger who’d recently escaped from an unsuccessful buy/bust operation. Ordered out, he “remained calm and appeared to be very cooperative, allowing himself to be placed into a cursory search position” for a pat-down, according to a report of the incident.
But “as soon as his hands were gathered behind his head, he slipped out of the deputy’s grasp and fled on foot.” He reached to his waistband several times as he ran, but never produced a weapon or fired a shot.
Good thing! The searching deputy discovered that he was “unable to grasp his service pistol because his hands were made extremely slippery from something on the suspect.”
Others from the car explained: As soon as the deputies pulled behind them, the ex-con began “applying an extremely large ‘coating’ of hand lotion on his hands, wrists, and arms — readying himself for a physical confrontation.”
A safety alert from the LAPD warns that “it is reasonable to assume” that applying copious amounts of lotion, cream, or other lubricant is “a new tactic being taught” among prison inmates to escape from being searched or physically detained.
“It is important to remember this tactic when coming in contact with any street gang member, especially those belonging to Hispanic gangs,” the alert advises.
“There’s no end of weird stuff you can encounter on the street,” comments Bob Willis, former instructor for the Calibre Press Street Survival® Seminar. “You have to really be vigilant.
“Gangbangers and other criminals expect to get stopped. Their whole lives revolve around how to defeat the police. Unfortunately, they often engage in when/then thinking more than cops do.”
Instructor Gary Klugiewicz agrees that intensifying threat assessment before and during an approach is critical in preempting potentially deadly surprises. “Good threat assessment involves more than just being alert for standard pre-attack postures,” he says. “You need to be carefully listening to what each subject is saying, watching what he’s doing, assessing his appearance, evaluating everything about him and the surrounding environment, and asking yourself, ‘How is this person and situation different from what I normally see?’ ”
From a practical standpoint, he adds, “Always reach for contact first with your reaction hand so your gun hand stays safe.”
Another trainer, Officer Gary Monreal of the New Berlin (Wisc.) PD, suggests that “the use of certain ‘tactile’ gloves may help” deal with the slippery-hands problem, providing the glove can “withstand a substance and still have gripping ability.”
Likewise, having backup present, if available, may discourage suspect resistance.
“If, at any time during the contact, an officer perceives that a substance has been applied to the suspect, the officer needs to escalate force or disengage from the subject,” Monreal says. One option might be to have the suspect kneel during the pat-down, in an effort to better control him.
“The key is for the officer to identify the risk associated with a subject’s ‘greasing’ up,” Monreal says. “Why else would a subject do that, other than to resist an officer’s attempts at control? Having knowledge of this offender tactic may help an officer articulate why he or she took ‘extra measures’ during a pat-down.”

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Matt Walk makes black

Matt Walk is our newest black belt here at the studio in Ft. Myers. Matt's been working hard for some years now and just passed his exams. His promotion was held at the studio on Tuesday, 21 December. His name has been added to the Family Tree on my site at
Congratulations to Matt!

Friday, December 17, 2010

New post on

I have posted an article on eye pokes and hooks in the Member section of my site. Here's an excerpt.

Consider too that the reaction to the hook is usually different than the poke. The hook tends to keep the head in place and turn it before they try to pull it back (the natural reaction to being hit in the eyes). A poke tends to move the head backward along the line it was struck on.  In short, the hook turns the head and the poke moves it back. There’s a “dirty trick” the Silat people use in which you take the man down on his back and poke at his eyes. His reaction is to pull his head back and so he hits it on the ground even when you don’t get him with the poke. This could be used against a wall, too or of there were two opponents close together. Neat.
To access all the available articles and scans, you can join for $29/yr at

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

20th anniversary

Today, Dec. 15, is the 20th anniversary of the passing of Ed Parker. He'd have been 79 this year, turning 80 in March. It doesn't seem that long. We will never forget you.

News spot on tai chi

Here's a link for a short thing they did on my class at the local hospital.

See the Dec 14th SHARE Club/tai chi segment.

The doctor is in

Two articles sent by Doc Rowe

How Zen meditation controls pain
Previous studies have shown that Zen meditation has many health benefits, including a reduced sensitivity to pain. Now researchers at the Universite de Montreal have discovered how meditators achieve this.
They found that meditators do feel pain but they simply don't dwell on it as much.
"Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we demonstrated that although the meditators were aware of the pain, this sensation wasn't processed in the part of their brains responsible for appraisal, reasoning or memory formation," said senior author Pierre Rainville.
"We think that they feel the sensations, but cut the process short, refraining from interpretation or labelling of the stimuli as painful," Rainville said.
Rainville and his colleagues compared the response of 13 Zen meditators to 13 non-meditators to a painful heat stimulus.
Pain perception was measured and compared with functional MRI data. The most experienced Zen practitioners showed lower pain responses and decreased activity in the brain areas responsible for cognition, emotion and memory.
In addition, there was a decrease in the communication between a part of the brain that senses the pain and the prefrontal cortex.
These findings may have implications for chronic pain sufferers, such as those with arthritis, back pain or cancer.

A new study from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) found meditation provides the same protection against depression and depressive relapse as traditional antidepressant medication.
"With the growing recognition that major depression is a recurrent disorder, patients need treatment options for preventing depression from returning to their lives," said Dr. Zindel Segal, Head of the Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Clinic in the Clinical Research Department at CAMH.
Recent studies have shown about half of depressed people on antidepressants stop taking them, sometimes within two to four months, well before the medication has had a chance to work.
Segal said this could be due to side effects or an unwillingness to take medication for years.
"Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is a non pharmacological approach that teaches skills in emotion regulation so that patients can monitor possible relapse triggers as well as adopt lifestyle changes conducive to sustaining mood balance," said Segal.
For the study, participants who were diagnosed with major depressive disorder were all treated with an antidepressant until their symptoms remitted.
They were then randomly assigned to come off their medication and receive MBCT, come off their medication and receive a placebo, or stay on their medication.
Participants in MBCT attended 8 weekly group sessions and practiced mindfulness as part of daily homework assignments.
Clinical assessments were conducted at regular intervals, and over an 18 month period, relapse rates for patients in the MBCT group did not differ from patients receiving antidepressants (both in the 30% range), whereas patients receiving placebo relapsed at a significantly higher rate (70%).
"The real world implications of these findings bear directly on the front line treatment of depression. For that sizeable group of patients who are unwilling or unable to tolerate maintenance antidepressant treatment, MBCT offers equal protection from relapse," said Segal.
"Sequential intervention -- offering pharmacological and psychological interventions -- may keep more patients in treatment and thereby reduce the high risk of recurrence that is characteristic of this disorder."
The study was published in the current issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

We have a winner

Marc Rowe earned a gold medal in his first powerlifting event for the deadlift. Marc is planning to train for another in February. If you don't know Marc, you need to know he's 80. He channeled his chi and lifted 242 pounds; first place in his age/weight group and likely a state or national record.

Monday, December 13, 2010

New promotions

I sat on an exam board in Manchester, New Hampshire over the weekend at Steve White's studio. We tested and promoted Bill Gaudette of Worcester, MA (right front) to sixth black and Lee MacDonald of Manchester (left front) to fourth black.  Both did a fine job on the physical portion and their medical implications dissertations were very well done.
   I also conducted two seminars and a surprise class. The seminars were packed. The first was on a variety of drills and the second on using and defending the knife. The surprise class was for the Black Belts and we did some kajukenpo techniques. Fun for all.
  I flew Southwest Airlines. They are still my favorite airline even with the rare delay I've experienced with them. Three out of the four legs were delayed due to weather and mechanical issues but I was delayed about 2 hours total. If it had been Delta, I'm sure I'd still be there.
  Anyway, Congrats to Bill and Lee and thanks to all for their support.

Update on the last story

The shipping company has fired the aggressor involved in grabbing our student.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Score two for the ladies

Up in Chicago recently, two of our Kenpo ladies were grabbed on separate occasions and successfully used their knowledge to thwart the attacks.
     One was leaving a museum when a man grabbed her wrist and attempted to steal her purse. Unfortunately for him, he found himself in the Crossing Talon position  and having a broken wrist. Even better, a police officer saw the attempt and was running over to help as he saw she really didn't need it (his words). The man was arrested. Our girl is an 18 year-old, new black belt in my lineage.
    The second instance was on the job. A female yellow belt was working at one of the large shipping companies loading a truck. A co-worker decided he liked what he saw and grabbed her from behind and his "international hands- rushin' hands and roamin' fingers" went to work. She rewarded him with a spur kick in the groin. That stopped him. He was reported to the higher-ups. He's allegedly done this before and they don't seem to think anything needs to be done.  Apparently they can get your package to you but don't protect their employees.   
     Nice job, ladies. I'm glad you're safe.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Of interest to police and trainers

This is an excerpt. Look for issue #164 at

New Force Science study results: Prone suspects with hidden hands more dangerous than imagined

The latest study by the Force Science Institute has produced 2 surprising findings of importance to trainers, street officers, and police attorneys:
1. Some suspects lying flat with hands hidden under chest or waist can produce and fire a gun at an approaching officer faster than any human being on earth can react to defend himself;
2. The angle sometimes advocated as the safest for approaching a prone subject appears, in fact, to be potentially the most dangerous.

Discovery Channel Video:

The Force Science News is provided by The Force Science Research Center, a non-profit institution based at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Subscriptions are free and sent via e-mail. To register for your free, direct-delivery subscription, please visit and click on the registration button.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Great Saying

Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic.

Monday, November 22, 2010

High school presentation

I spoke to two classes at Lely High School in Naples this past week. The students I spoke to are in the AVID program, Advancement Via Individual Determination and it's a college prep program. Here's a link about the program from their local paper,
   I spoke to them about the importance of getting a good education, conflict resolution and problem solving. Both groups asked great questions and their teachers said they were fascinated. I used a lapel grab situation to illustrate how a problem is presented and the US Air Force six-step process one can use to solve it. That process can be used anywhere but using it on the body brought it to life for them.
  The classes surprised me with a gift of President Bush's book, Decision Points and a Leatherman tool.
Thanks to Mr. Davis and Ms. Gaddis for the invitation. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The doctor is in

Keep working out.

Importance of Exercise for Those at Special Risk for Alzheimer's
ScienceDaily (Nov. 18, 2010) — In a study that included healthy 65- to 85-years-old who carried a high-risk gene for Alzheimer's disease, those who exercised showed greater brain activity in memory-related regions than those who were sedentary. The results suggest that physical activity promotes changes in the brain that may protect high-risk individuals against cognitive decline.
Physical activity promotes changes in the brain that may protect high-risk individuals against cognitive decline, including development of Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study done at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM).
J. Carson Smith, an assistant professor of health sciences, included in the study both people who carry a high-risk gene for Alzheimer's disease, and other healthy older adults without the gene."Our study suggests that if you are at genetic risk for Alzheimer's disease, the benefits of exercise to your brain function might be even greater than for those who do not have that genetic risk," says Smith.
While evidence already shows that physical activity is associated with maintenance of cognitive function across a life span, most of this research has been done with healthy people, without any consideration of their level of risk for Alzheimer's, says Smith.
A team of researchers compared brain activation during memory processing in four separate groups of healthy 65- to 85-years-olds. The level of risk was defined by whether an individual carried the apolipoprotein E-epsilon4 (APOE-ϵ4) allele. Physical activity status was defined by how much and how often the participants reported physical activity (PA). The study divided subjects into Low Risk/Low PA, Low Risk/High PA, High Risk/Low PA and High Risk/High PA.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to measure brain activation of participants while they performed a mental task involving discriminating among famous people. This test is very useful, says Smith, because it engages a wide network called the semantic memory system, with activation occurring in 15 different functional regions of the brain.
"When a person thinks about people -- for example, Frank Sinatra or Lady Gaga -- that involves several lobes of the brain," explains Smith. In the study groups of those carrying the gene, individuals who exercised showed greater brain activity in memory-related regions than those who were sedentary.Perhaps even more intriguing, physically active people with the gene had greater brain activity than those who were physically active but not gene carriers. There are many physiological reasons why this could be happening, Smith says. "For example, people with this increased activation might be compensating for some underlying neurological event that is involved in cognitive decline.." "Using more areas of their brain may serve as a protective function, even in the face of disease processes."
The study's collaborating institutions include the Cleveland Clinic, Marquette University, Wayne State University and Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. It was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Aging.
The study will be published in the journal NeuroImage. Smith's current research builds on this study. He and his team are conducting a new study testing the before-and-after effects of a structured exercise program on brain function. The study includes patients diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment or early Alzheimer's disease, as well as a healthy control group.
For more information on this ongoing study, visit

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Strange stuff

An as yet unknown person has been mailing defamatory information about me to my students, business associates and other kenpo people around the country. This person is obviously unbalanced and has been described  as "deranged", a"whack job" and "a nutbar" by some of the recipients I have spoken with. One person, who contacted another recipient, told them they didn't know me well at all but knew the stuff within is absolutely fabricated.
     This person obviously has an axe to grind with me and apparently has for some time. (I wonder what their shrink has to say about that.)  They do not put their name to it and have gone to some lengths to cover their tracks because they know it is false (and illegal).  Too bad they got postmarked rather clearly, so the law enforcement agencies I have contacted have a pretty good idea where they came from.
   Like propaganda, it has some grains of truth such as where I went to junior college, some of the names of students and instructors from my first schools in Chicago and the like. They make numerous statements that you'd have to ask yourself how they knew something and them realize it would be next to impossible to discover such information, even if it were true. They attempt to weave a story around these facts, which was probably good because it gave us several clues as to their identity.
    This person makes laughable attempts to discredit me in attacking my 1) intelligence, 2) abilities, 3) appearance, 4) social affiliations, 5) character and integrity and 6) accomplishments. They spent a lot of time creating this. They start by taking a print-out about me taken from someone's website and run with it.
   They open by saying I was self-promoted and have no certificates for any rank at all. Hundreds of people have seen my diplomas hanging on my studio walls. They state I tell everyone my first kenpo teacher was Mike Sanders, also untrue. Loads of proof  exists that I went with Mr. Sanders after leaving the first school I studied at (for example, read The Journey). As to my first instructor, I don't normally mention his name but suffice to say that John Sepulveda worked for him, too, when he was in California and I found the man was a convicted flasher. And it was Ed Parker who told me that. You can imagine my surprise. Speaking of Mr. Sanders and Mr. Parker, this person makes allegations about them, too -  pretty brave when those two are dead and can't respond.
   They continue by writing that I did not win any competitions and simply bought trophies and had plates made for them. I have to wonder how I did that and still managed to accumulate enough points to be nationally rated by Karate Illustrated magazine in 1980? That's easy enough to look up and verify. They mention the American Karate Association several times. Check with them, they still have the same president and he remembers me and my record. Another invention of theirs is that I simply copied numerous ideas from others. That happens all the time in society but it's bad for me to do it, I guess. If you think about it, that's what WE do, we copy people doing techniques and forms, etc to transmit the art. They go on to say Mr. Parker had a pencil portrait so I had to have one. Shame on me. This person apparently does not know (or conveniently disregards) that Ed Parker Jr. asked all the seniors if he could do their portraits when The Journey book was being written. That tells me this is out of touch with the mainstream kenpo world. Even people who don't study but are familiar with kenpo people know that Ed was taking commissions to do portraits and anyone could have one done. Heck, this person can get one done so they don't feel so bad about themselves and we'll have a face to put with a name when we file the defamation lawsuit.
     They included a photo of me and make a hand-written note with it that points out I cast no shadow and that makes me evil. Good photographers go to lengths to insure there are no shadows in their work and that's what mine did. I can only imagine that this person thinks I don't have a reflection in the mirror, either.
   But this is not enough. They go down the road of making allegations of improper sexual activity by myself and another instructor at my Chicago area school and then create a delicate chain of "what-ifs" and associations to imply that my niece could have been at risk at the hands of another kenpo instructor. This is a sick mind. And there is much more weird stuff that I won't bore you with but is a fantastic stretch of the imagination.
    This person's attack on me is not founded on truth, is easily proven false and they are hiding. The law says you cannot defame a person in the workplace. They have done this, and anonymously to boot. As one recipient said, "They can't write, can't spell and don't even have the balls to sign it." I'm not going to sacrifice my reputation on the altar of their ego. On the other hand, I have to feel bad for a person who holds this much hate, envy and jealousy for such a long time and feels the need to act on it. One of their letters to me says "say it ain't so". Of course it's not so and they know it. So do the people they sent it to. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Member section article

A new article is posted for subscribers to me website at on cover-outs. Here's an excerpt.
Theories on the Origin of the Cover-Out

By Lee Wedlake

At a seminar in Chicago I was asked by a participant* if I knew if the cover-out (or cross-out) was always a part of the techniques. I had never thought to ask Mr. Parker that question and had to admit I didn’t know. But, like a good instructor should, I told him I would ask and see if I could find an answer.

I surveyed some of the higher-ranking instructors and came up with a variety of answers, some of which were the same as mine. After gathering information and thinking about it, this is what I came up with.

The seminar participant himself sent me a link to story about Joe Emperado, one of the brothers who had studied under Professor Chow and a founder of the Kajukenbo system. Emperado had been stabbed in the kidney during a street fight in 1958 and died two days afterward. The implication is that he didn’t see it coming. Of course, there is more than one version of how it happened but here is a link.

Friday, November 12, 2010

New article at my site

I have posted an article by England's Phil Buck on Pacific Fighting Arts. It's a quick read on Polynesian arts. You can find it at

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Frank Trejo

Mr. Trejo went into the hsopital with a heart problem while on a seminar weekend in Fresno recently. I spoke with the gentleman who took him to the hospital and he said Frank was out and home by Weds. Let's keep him in our thoughts.

California seminars

I was out at the Valdez Dojo in Madera and Graham Lelliott's school in Fresno over the weekend. The turnout at both schools was great. The children's seminars were well-attended. Both studios teach good discipline and the kids were attentive, learned something new and we all had some fun. We did a little ground work and some two-man techniques for the adults. In the course of the evening, Mr. Lelliott promoted Pete Valdez to fourth degree black. David Jimenez was Pete's first instructor and he was present, too. It was a pleasure to be there with them.
   At Graham's the next day I did another seminar for children.The intermediates worked on more two-man and the brown/black group worked on Long Three. Amy Long was down from Sacramento, Armen George was in from Washington and many local black belts attended. Two of Graham's brown belts, Marty Sherwood and Doug Taylor were promoted to 1st black, too.
  Mr. Lelliott was celebrating his 30th anniversary as a black belt (on a date now shared with Mr. Valdez).
Congratulations to them all!
  Thanks to everyone who made the seminars a success.

New junior blacks

Mitchell Etheridge started as a Little Dragon and kept at it tenaciously. He recently tested for and passed his junior black exam. You can tell by his grin that he's excited to make the achievement.
  Maria Caamano was also promoted. She had just been elected as her class president at school. She's a good example of the scholar/warrior.
  Will Spearman is right behind these two, working toward his as well. He's our next candidiate.
  Congratulations to all of them!

Friday, October 29, 2010

KenpoTV milestone

I've just uploaded video # 800 to The newest ones are three for instructors on curriculum evolution, a principle video in Kenpo 201 and some 401 videos on extensions. I am almost done with the core material and will soon move into Phase Two, which is to illustrate and explain the terminology. Some of those videos are done and uploaded but many  more await.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Kenpo website

Check out this website by Roy Travert in the Channel Islands. He's a student of Graham Lelliott.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lederhosen and all

Our guy Lenny in Germany was with me at what we would call Octoberfest when I was in Stuttgart and captured this madman on video. He was having a great time and the best part wa that he's not even German - he's a Brit!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

More podcasts uploaded

I've posted about six new 'casts for you on a variety of subjects. You can access them thru my homepage at or on iTunes.

European visit

Thanks to everyone at Bushido ES in Esslingen, Germany and Plymouth Karate in Plymouth, England for turning up at my classes in these schools recently.

At Marc Sigle's school in Esslingen, I sat on an exam board. Marc now has a new black belt, Andy Kissler, who did a fine job.He's intense and a hard hitter.
Marc also had a 40th birthday that weekend, you can send a birthday wish or a razz to

As part of his birthday celebration several of us taught classes over the weekend. Below you'll see Toni Deitl (excellent Shotokan instructor, myself, Marc and Andy Guettner (he did a great job teaching Filipino concepts).

   I went over to England to see my old friend Gary Ellis in Plymouth. He's been renovating his house and here's a photo of what he's accomplished.

Gary and his lady, Sara, hosted a kid's class on Friday that was well-attended. We had some classes on tai chi and extensions to techniques for the adults.  It was good to see Mark Richards and Felix Bishop there, too. Both are good guys.
 Gary and Sara went out of their way to show Jan and I a good time, taking us to country pubs and driving up to Bath to meet us. Gary drove us out to Tintagel, up on the north Cornwall coast, where the legend of King Arthur lives. The scenery is spectacular. That's Gary soaking up the energy, below.
I've been going to England for almost 25 years now and each trip is always a pleasure. If you're going to be there, drop in and see Mr. Ellis. He's probably the most knowledgeable Kenpo man in Europe (although Britain is technically not Europe) and moves like Mr. Parker. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Asian Journal of Martial Arts

This is a high-end magazine for martial artists and they've made it possible to purchase individual articles from their back issues. I had my article with Doc Rowe in there about a year or so ago, so if you want to get that without buying the whole magazine at .15 per page, go to this link.
For the entire list of available articles go here;

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Danny Inosanto

Steve White sent this recent link from You Tube of some rare Bruce Lee footage and an interview/demo with Danny Insosanto. I trained with Danny in the early 80's and the shots of the Torrance studio brought back some memories. His studio is now in Marina Del Ray. Take a look.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

New article added

I've posted a new addition to The Kenpo Instructor's Handbook in the Members section of my website at Here's an excerpt.

Group versus private instruction

There is no doubt that private instruction is of great value. Tutoring is a service touted in all areas of skill-building endeavors. Group instruction is cost- and time-effective. Mass instruction spreads the expense of the facility and teacher amongst the students (or their parents/benefactors).

I had lots of private time with Ed Parker and other teachers. I used it to ask the questions I always wanted to and the discussions that would often go with the answers were valuable. In a group that opportunity is often missed due to time constraints or the composition of the group. When a mixed class of white to black is working and the black belt has a question, it often requires an in-depth answer. That may not help the white belt and lack of time may not satisfy the black belt. If there’s no time after class to talk the learning opportunity can be lost. And this is the point of the article. While private time is perceived as being the best vehicle for learning, that simply may not be so.

That said, I am a fan of the semi-private or small group session. I like to tell people that two or more brains are better than one. You can have the “fertile, prepared mind”, take notes furiously, and ask great questions. Yet when you have that other brain there, that perceives things differently, it may generate a question you may never have thought of. That question can open up a whole new line of thought, bring to light facts you never considered and the like. That’s the value of group instruction. It touches more than one individual, spreads cost, allows input and discussion from more than one source and triggers other insights. Peer pressure tends to make those involved stay involved. If you’re going to take privates you have to accept the responsibility that goes with it.

A yearly subscription is $29 for access to tons of information. Register at

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

National Guard

These two patches were sent to me by one of our Georgia black belts, Greg Schreffler. Greg joined the Georgia National Guard after 9/11 and was the oldest man in his unit.
   Greg has been overseas on a few tours and recently contacted me to advise he's back from Afghanistan. Looks like he took the flag right off his uniform, and that always means the most.
Thanks, Greg!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Update on martial encyclopedia

A while back I wrote that a new book had come out and that I had written the section on Kenpo. I also said I didn't know how much it cost for the two volumes. John Corcoran of Martial Arts Success magazine sent me a copy of his review and the price shows as $180! But it IS some good reading.

Europe visit

I'll be over in Germany to see Marc Sigle this weekend. It's his 40th birthday! He's got some instructors teaching seminars this weekend and I'll be doing some teaching. You can drop him a Happy Birthday e-mail at
   I'll cross the Channel to England to see my old friend Gary Ellis in Plymouth, too. It's been too long. I'll do some classes in Plymouth the following week. Hope to see some of you there.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What do teachers make?

The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life. One man, a CEO of a large corporation, decided to explain what he thought was the real problem with education. He asked the group, "What's a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?" Thus, he implied, teachers who make little money aren't as useful and/or worthwhile as business people who make more by working in the market place.
To stress his point he said to another guest: "You're a teacher, Bonnie. Be honest. What do you make?"
Bonnie, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness, replied, "You want to know what I make?" She paused for a second, then began . . .
"Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.
"I make a kid receiving a C-plus feel like he-or-she won the Congressional Medal of Honor."
"I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can't make them sit for five without an IPod, Game-Cube or movie rental."
"You want to know what I make? (She paused again and looked at each and every person at the table)
"I make kids wonder."
"I make them question."
"I make them apologize and mean it."
"I make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions."
"I teach them to write and then I make them write. Keyboarding isn't everything."
"I make them read, read, read."
"I make them show all their work in math, make them use their God-given brains,not a man-made calculator."
"I make my students from other countries learn everything they need to know about English while preserving their unique cultural identity."
"I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe. I make them stand, placing their hand over their heart to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, One Nation Under God, because we live in the United States of America."
"Finally, I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life!"
Bonnie paused one last time and then continued."Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, with me knowing money isn't everything, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because those people are ignorant. You want to know what I make?"
"I MAKE A DIFFERENCE! What do you make Mr. CEO?"
His jaw dropped, and he went silent.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Chicago seminars

The weekend seminars in Chicago were successful. Members of several schools attended. Three sessions covered takedowns, grafting and multiple attackers. In takedowns we worked the differences in trips, buckles and sweeps. The multiple attacker session was designed to change perspective by moving one of the attackers' point of origin. The tag line for that one was "The purpose of this research is______."  I got that line from Dr. Rowe. Grafting is always fun and we started with Wing of Silk and took off from there.
     Mr. Zoran Sevic of Saviano's White Tiger in Addison took the classes. You may recognize his name, he has a website called He asked a question I had never thought to ask. It was "Where did the cover-out come from". Did Prof. Chow do it? Did Ed Parker innovate it? I never saw the Castro's do it in CA. I'd seen Danny Inosanto do it while demonstrating Kali, but he was a kenpo man before going to the Filipino systems. Zoran presented  a theory that one of the Emperado brothers integrated a form of it and we (Mr. Parker) picked it up. We're looking into it. Thanks to Zoran for that.
  Mr. David Zorich was there, too. He's my boyhood friend and now a 4th dan judo teacher in the northwest suburbs. Always good to see him. (Over 40 years now, David!)
  Come out and hang with us next time. In the spring, when the temps go back over 70. Thanks again to Kurt and Barb Barnhart for hosting. See their site at By the way, interview podcasts with them are uploaded, see the link at my site homepage,

Monday, September 20, 2010

Analysis paralysis

In my last post I wrote about an analysis technique and mentioned that kenpo people sometimes get so wrapped up in talking about techniques they don't actually do the techniques. There's a term for that in our system and it's "analysis paralysis". It also applies to trying to think of what you should do in an attack situation but you take too long to think instead of reacting. When you're thinking about what you're going to do to him, he's probably already doing something to you.
   "Do something, even if it's wrong" is what you may hear. You can, but think about this. Doing something wrong can be interpreted two ways. It would be wrong in any context to block so that the attack is redirected into your face. It can be "wrong" if you did a parry instead of a block. "Wrong" in that the standard technique may call for a block but "right" in that it kept you from being hit.
  That's the problem with getting locked into the standard sequences. You tend to think any change is wrong. But we're taught that flexibility in thought and action is important. So we get mentally "double-weighted" and are stuck. Know that the standard, reference technique exists to illustrate principles. Change is good in application. Don't change the standard for the next person because you may eliminate the principle taught that triggered you to figure another answer.  

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cage fighter vs police

Cage Fighter Attacks Three Colo. Officers
A competitive cage fighter is accused of assaulting three police officers at an Aspen lodge until officers zapped him twice with a stun gun, police said.$54495

New article posted

Those of you who subscribe to my website at and read the articles in the memebr section have a new one. Sorry it's late but I've been focused on KenpoTV.  This one is on the idea that what works for you can work against you. Here's an excerpt.

Let’s talk about posture or alignment. We know that when we work against an opponent we are trying to affect or control their alignment. We want them off-balance. We “break their waist”; we change their alignment through disturbance or impact. We need to get their head out of line with their hips to the front, back or sides. That changes the available levers the body needs to accomplish certain actions like punching, kicking, grappling and lifting. When using impact it also causes pain so they are thinking about something else and less likely to do what they want. This is the very reason we teach student to stand and move a certain way. It keeps that necessary alignment to allow the power delivery and control we want.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

More on an interesting teaching technique

Doc Rowe saw my post and wrote back with the below, which he gave permission to post.

Lee, saw your blog about Dr. Clatworthy and me. He actually pulled the same technique you do to me in push hands. As we progressed he led me on and I figured I finally got him. I said "newborn babies can't tolerate cold!" -got ya. He looked at me and said "why is that?" I looked at him and admitted I didn't have the foggiest idea, never actually thought about it, it just was. He said "bull sh..t you, damn well better find out."

Ten years later, after long days in the lab and extensive studying I presented a number of research studies at national meetings and published a series of articles on newborn thermoregulation in the medical literature and wrote the article in the standard textbook of Pediatric Surgery on temperature control of the newborn surgical patient.

What my boss didn't know was that after every dueling session I sat down and wrote down the troubling questions that we uncovered in my trusty notebook and they formed the basis for much of my research and the basis for my NIH grants on how the newborn responds to life threatening challenges. Much to my embarrassment I became internationally recognized as the pioneer in the field of newborn surgical physiology. You know I fell a little awkward about talking about this stuff but the above is a true story and illustrate the profound and life changing effect a true teacher can have on his student. Marc
Marc gave me one of those little notebooks, which he calls an auxilary brain, and I tote it with me from time to time when I sit with him. He's one of those guys that if he's talking you should be listening and taking notes.

Joe Palanzo's black belt test

Sunday, September 12, 2010

An interesting teaching technique

Dr. Marc Rowe and I were talking about his days as a pediatric surgeon-in-training and he related an interesting story about how his mentor taught using an interesting technique. His boss asked him "how are babies different from adults?" He followed that by telling him that since was the boss he'd go first (good leadership example. Or a way to bag your student). "Babies are smaller than adults", he said. Marc countered with something like "Babies can't talk". The distinctions got more and more fine as they progressed. This technique requires one to think hard and intelligently about similarities and differences. We could use it in discussing kenpo techniques.
   Kenpo people love to talk about relationships of techniques, opposites and reverses and the like. So much that sometimes we get wrapped up in that and not doing the physical end. We point that out by saying "Less yak and more smack". But having what Doc calls a "fertile, prepared mind" and a discussion of this type can certainly be illuminating.
   Thanks to Doc Rowe for the story.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Kenpo TV has a new look

Webmaster Tom has given our site a new look. Check it out at
New info has been added to all levels, including a women's self-defense clip based on the isolation in Long Three.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

For the tai chi people

Came across a website used as a reference in the Harvard Health report. Tricia Yu comes from the same tai chi lineage as I.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Manchester seminar

Kid's seminar
A few weeks back I was up at Steve White's Manchester Karate Studio in New Hampshire. As always, we had a good turnout and the group was enthusiastic.  

Steve recently had a birthday and his program manager Lee MacDonald just "tied the knot" and is off to Europe for his honeymoon.

I saw some old friends up there including Bill Gaudette from MA and Jeff Hardy from Concord, NH. Hadn't seen Jeff in years and he looks great. His son, Kyle, came along, too. Looks a lot like his dad. My guy from MA, Lance Soares was there, too. Lance is opening a club in New Bedford soon.

The adults did some joint locking techniques in one session and gun defense in another.
The studio has a big anniversary coming soon, I think it's 25 years. Congrats to the team at MKS!

Monday, September 6, 2010

On Leadership

Lance Soares up in Massachussetts sent this along. It's worth the read.

Many people do not qualify as leaders, but are always on the lookout for a good one. People complain of lack of leadership and yet perish the thought of stepping up to the plate themselves. Just imagine if leaders could show up on call. Wouldn't that be a wonderful circumstance to experience? But, the reality of the situation is that leaders come from within the ranks of those they serve more often than not. True leaders serve because they are called to service. If a person looks at what they can get before what they can give, their leadership position will not endure.
The functions of positional leadership are designed to meet the needs of those who support a leader in their role. Imagine a pyramid as a base and consider the foundation of the structure as it rises to a pinnacle or point. The point is the culmination of the edifice, but the support is in the structure below. As with leadership, a person doesn't rise to the top without personal effort, nor does a person stay in this position without positive action. Leaders need to cultivate an alliance with the group they represent.
Consider that a good leader serves as a spokesperson for the group. This is one aspect of their role. Another equally important aspect is that they serve as a visionary and sets the pace for the group to follow. The Biblical quotation, "Without vision the people perish" is a good reminder for leaders in any field to stay ahead of the norm. A leader should maintain the status quo, but also have an eye on growth and development. Leaders who are stagnant do not maintain equilibrium in the organization, but begin a downward spiral. Leaders who are in motion, utilize the energy of the flow to empower themselves and their organization to new heights.
As in life, when you're green you grow, when you're ripe you rot. There can be no status quo leadership. By definition, a leader must think intelligently and take action. Nothing less is acceptable.
Be Your Very Best Always,
Judy Williamson
Director of the Napoleon Hill Learning Center
at Perdue University Calumet

Friday, September 3, 2010

I'm an "independent scholar"

A few weeks ago I came across an old file that had an article I had been asked to write on the Kenpo system by two men who were compiling a book. I wondered what had happened to that project and recently I found a two-volume set delivered to my door. The set is entitled Martial Arts of the World; An Encyclopedia of History and Innovation by Thomas Green and Joseph Svinth. Green is an associate professor of anthropology, Svinth is an editor.

Volume 1 is titled Regions and Individual Arts and that’s where you’ll find my entry. It’s listed under the Americas. Volume 2 is titled Themes. The first book breaks the arts down, as have others, into where they come from or are largely practiced. You’ll find some unusual information on Zulu stick-fighting and Mongolian martial arts mixed in with more mainstream systems. The second volume is interesting in that it discusses belief systems, globalization, police and military use, political use and secret societies.

I verified as much as I could with seniors in the systems such as Sibok Tom Kelly. I kept it balanced. It was an honor to write it. The independent scholar thing? That's how they listed me in the contributer list. I guess it's better than "karate guy".

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Perishable skills

Practice is what we need to keep our knowledge and skill fresh. Without it, they diminish. I took the Healthcare Provider CPR class a few days ago. It wasn't but 4 months ago I took my two year basic CPR refresher. The rust builds quickly but it came off fast. I'm slowly working toward my CPR instructor card and this certainly helped.
    This brought to mind why I became an instructor in more than one discipline I studied. First, I love to teach. The sharing of knowledge and watching people grow is a huge reward. It seems that every time I get into something I'm told "You should be an instructor". I heard it when I took up competitive handgunning, when I learned to fly, when I went to motorcycle safety courses, even CPR.
   Anyway, the second reason I became an instructor in some of those disciplines is because I wanted to stay fresh. Being an instructor normally means you work in both roles; that of student and teacher. You have to be a student to keep perspective and to increase your knowledge. Teaching helps keep your skills from deteriorating.
   I believe too many people teach but don't keep learning. Learning will help keep what you have fresh but does little for increasing knowledge. Yes, I know Socates said "By your students you will be taught". But that does not prevent you from getting some instruction and keeping the process of learning engaged, because those wheels get rusty, too. Being a student also keeps your perspective on what students experience and that's valuable.

Harvard likes it

Harvard University says tai chi is good for you.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Opposite and Reverse

Many kenpo people like to talk about these two terms. But, like anything else, you have to remember that not only for every physical move is there and opposite and reverse but also for concept, principle and definition.
   Down here in Florida we have an instructor who has recently taken to wearing a red belt with black stripes instead of the standard black belt with red stripes to "show the opposite and the reverse" in his words. It makes me think.
   He's reversing the color scheme, sure. But he's not showing the opposite. The opposite of red is green and the opposite of black is white. Maybe it should be a green belt with white stripes or white belt with green stripes. Wait, no, that won't work. The opposite of wearing a belt would be NOT wearing a belt.
  Just thinking.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Leader or Follower?

Read this article at and decide. I don't agree with much of it and apparently neither do some of the people who wrote comments, which are interesting in themselves. I spent a lot of time reading about leader and followership. This is rather simplistic but worth a few minutes to get some perspective.
    There are many other articles there at you may find better written and more interesting.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A challenge is on

I recently posted a note from Robert Wallace in South Carolina asking for help getting gear for a class he's running at a boy's school there. These are kids with problems and we all know martial arts can really help these guys. Tony Velada in Chicago and Tony Perez in Australia have responded and are sending uniforms. How about you? See my recent post entitled "a request to help some kids" on 11 August.
  Thanks to both Tonys.

More items uploaded

I just uploaded some podcast interviews with Steve White (link at and more  original Green belt videos are coming online at
   I did a four-part interview with with Mr. White in which he talks about abour kenpo in New England, how he grew his school from part-time to one with 400 active students, and more. I encourage anyone with a school or club to listen to him. There's historical info in them about how Parker kenpo took hold in New England and that there's a difference in it and what is called "New England Kenpo". Steve also discusses his philosophy of growing a student from beginner to black.
   On KenpoTV you'll find the majority of the gun and knife techniques coming on view in the next ten days. I just finished shooting the rest of the original Green belt techniques and they'll be coming up soon, too. We'd missed one two man technique and that's been done, as have the rest of the kick defenses and combo punch techniques. More chi kung and instructor materal is coming, too.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The doctor is in

This is big news for fibromyalgia sufferers. Dr. Rowe sent this along.

Chinese practice of tai chi may be effective as a therapy for fibromyalgia, according to a study published on Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine.

A clinical trial at Tufts Medical Center found that after 12 weeks of tai chi, patients with fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition, did significantly better in measurements of pain, fatigue, physical functioning, sleeplessness and depression than a comparable group given stretching exercises and wellness education. Tai chi patients were also more likely to sustain improvement three months later.
“It’s an impressive finding,” said Dr. Daniel Solomon, chief of clinical research in rheumatology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, who was not involved in the research. “This was a well-done study. It was kind of amazing that the effects seem to carry over.”
Although the study was small, 66 patients, several experts considered it compelling because fibromyalgia is a complex and often-confusing condition, affecting five million Americans, mostly women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since its symptoms can be wide-ranging and can mimic other disorders, and its diagnosis depends largely on patients’ descriptions, not blood tests or biopsies, its cause and treatment have been the subject of debate.
“We thought it was notable that The New England Journal accepted this paper, that they would take fibromyalgia on as an issue, and also because tai chi is an alternative therapy that some people raise eyebrows about,” said Dr. Robert Shmerling, clinical chief of rheumatology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, co-author of an editorial about the study.
“Fibromyalgia is so common, and we have such a difficult time treating it effectively. It’s defined by what the patient tells you,” he added. “It’s hard for some patients’ families and their doctors to get their head around what it is and whether it’s real. So, that these results were so positive for something that’s very safe is an impressive accomplishment.”
Recent studies have suggested that tai chi, with its slow exercises, breathing and meditation, could benefit patients with other chronic conditions, including arthritis. But not all of these reports have been conclusive, and tai chi is hard to study because there are many styles and approaches.
The fibromyalgia study involved the yang style of tai chi, taught by a Boston tai chi master, Ramel Rones. Dr. Solomon and other experts cautioned that bigger studies with other masters and approaches were necessary.
Still, patients, who received twice-weekly tai chi classes and a DVD to practice with 20 minutes daily, showed weekly improvement on an established measurement, the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, improving more than the stretching-and-education group in physicians’ assessments, sleep, walking and mental health. One-third stopped using medication, compared with one-sixth in the stretching group.
Dr. Chenchen Wang, a Tufts rheumatologist who led the study, said she attributed the results to the fact that “fibromyalgia is a very complex problem” and “tai chi has multiple components — physical, psychological, social and spiritual.”
The therapy impressed Mary Petersen, 59, a retired phone company employee from Lynn, Mass., who said that before participating in the 2008 study, “I couldn’t walk half a mile,” and it “hurt me so much just to put my hands over my head.” Sleeping was difficult, and she was overweight. “There was no joy to life,” she said. “I was an entire mess from head to foot.”
She had tried and rejected medication, physical therapy, swimming and other approaches. “I was used to being treated in a condescending manner because they couldn’t diagnose me: ‘She’s menopausal, she’s crazy.’ ”
Before the study, “I didn’t know tai chi from a sneeze,” said Ms. Petersen, who has diabetes and other conditions. “I was like, ‘Well, O.K., I’ll get to meet some people, it will get me out of the house.’ I didn’t believe any of it. I thought this is so minimal, it’s stupid.”
After a few weeks, she said she began to feel better, and after 12 weeks “the pain had diminished 90 percent.” She has continued tai chi, lost 50 pounds and can walk three to seven miles a day.
“You could not have convinced me that I would ever have done this or continued with this,” she said. “I wouldn’t say it’s a cure. I will say it’s an effective method of controlling pain.”
Dr. Shmerling said that though tai chi is inexpensive compared with other treatments, some patients would reject such an alternative therapy. And Dr. Gloria Yeh, a Beth Israel Deaconess internist and co-author of the editorial, said others “will say, ‘It’s too slow, I can’t do that.’ ”
But she said it offered a “gentler option” for patients deterred by other physical activities. “The mind-body connections set it apart from other exercises,” she said, adding that doctors are seeking “anything we can offer that will make patients say ‘I can really do this.’ ”

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Student Visit

Now and again instructors will get a visit from a former student who drops in to report on things. In my career I've gotten many such visit and had another recently. A week or so ago one of my young black belts came by before he shipped off to Germany with the US Air Force. Austin Cooner was one of those kids who started in the junior program, moved up to teen and then into the adults. In the meantime he worked on graduating from high school with an International Baccalaureat degree. His father, Jeff, and sister, Olivia, started taking kenpo, too. He and dad have a close relationship and went mountain climbing together, summiting some pretty tall peaks.
   Austin enlisted and recently graduated top of his class in the USAF Air Traffic Controller school, which qualified him for a choice spot. Austin dropped in, in uniform, to say hello. He thanked me for being a positrive influence in his life and credits his martial arts training with helping him develop the necessary discipline to accomplish what he has. It's pretty satisfying to hear.
   I've heard from many students like Austin, some as much as 30 years after they trained with me. One is an international lawyer (Khoa Do in San Francisco, and he fought on the Cung Le team there), Tony Velada in Chicago, now an IT guy for United Airlines, Terry Hyland, who is an FBI agent, and Chad Dugan of Ft. Myers, who is not just a nuclear engineer but finished medical school lately. One of my junior browns, Kal Judah grew up to go to the Air Force Academy ( I gave him his first flight in an airplane) and Pat McGerty of Chicago went to West Point. The list goes on.
   I'm glad to have contributed to their success and could not do it without their parents. So if you have a mentor in your life that you haven't told them what they mean to you, do it. It may mean more than you could ever know. Too often, as instructors, we don't know what we did and it's great when you tell us.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Podcasts update

Sice uploading my first podcasts in late June, I've found they've been downloaded over 1300 times. This past week Dr. Rowe and I did some on impact injuries to your breathing apparatus, catgorizing them three ways. You can affect breathing by shutting off the nerve signals, by choking off the air or by impact. I describe how KenpoTV works, too. Listen at
or through i Tunes at

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Learn how to learn

Dr. Rowe and I were discussing something and we agreed that people often don't know how to learn. We're told to go study but not HOW to study. Here's an example.
   He and I are working on the dynamics of breathing; the functional anatomy, chemical reactions and such. I need to know more. What do I do? Marc likes pictures. So he draws stuff for me (and you. See my website newsletters.) Then he adds a narrative. We follow up with discussion -  "I'm gonna teach you something".
  He gives me homework. I can go to Google and type in "respiration". I get loads of items. I can narrow it down if I need. I can also go to Google images if I need pictures, Google video to see animations. I go to Google scholar and the technical stuff from studies such as what the doctors write is there (read the abstracts).
   Got the info. Make time to watch or read the material and take notes. Write down questions. It takes discipline. I found that the Chinese don't call someone Master until they have mastered Five Excellences. What I also found is that to do that you need some serious time management. Thomas Jefferson supposedly took 20 minutes a day per subject. That's a pretty effective time allotment, I've found. If you think abut it, it makes sense. You don't get bored with trying to read mathmatics for hours. You switch gears and keep things fresh. This may not apply to a college student with a big test coming but it will work for the rest of us.
     I hate being called Master because I am not a master of kenpo or anything else. I am designated as such in three disciplines, but that's other people laying that on me. The kenpo world calls me master. In the aviation world I am a master flight instructor. In my work with the Civil Air Patrol I have a master level in two areas (specialties). But I know I need to know more and be better at it. So I pursue further education and that requires discipline to study and to know what to study. That's why I need a schedule.
   The Dana organization prints a newsletter about studies of the brain. In a recent issue there was an article about how today's communication vehicles are actually changing the way we think. Instead of focusing we jump from place to place to gather information. It's affecting our ability to concentrate. Just what we need...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Breathing, Part Two

I've added a second part to last month's article on breathing on my website Member section. Here's an excerpt.

Getting a sense of just how much more deeply you can breathe using both does the same as using maximum range of motion for learning a punch. You start to know how much you have and can get through “big” moves and then learn to condense them. You get the same amount of power in a shorter stroke. Now you can start to see what your lung capacity is and then begin to control your breath. This will be handy when you exert yourself and need to resort to a breathing technique to recharge yourself as you tire. In other words, you can use partial capacity for some of the exertion, enough to get the job done, and when you need more you change the breathing. This relates to the “second wind”. It’s part of a series of metabolism changes. It’s pretty complex and I’m not the guy to talk to about it. You can watch this to see the metabolic changes. It’s a little lame and has ads in it but you’ll get the idea.

Let’s talk about reverse breathing. This is a complicated subject and I’m going to address it briefly. Normally you read about it in relation to internal martial arts. What they want to get you to do is instead of letting your belly stick out as it does with diaphragm breathing, they want you to keep it in. Very simply, this tends to pressurize air in the lower lung and cause it to permeate cell membranes and force some oxygenation. It’s way more complex than that and beyond what I want to cover here.

Go to to join the Member section for $29/yr. There are almost 200 articles in there to help you enhance your education of kenpo and related subjects.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Request to Help Some Kids

This is from one of my guys running a program for at-risk boys.

The following is information about the Kenpo program that I've been providing to the young men at Glenn Springs Academy - formerly Spartanburg Boys Home - since early June. One of my PL students (John Gramling III) got this program off the ground as a piece of "Mission Work", and raised the money to provide a small income for me to teach Mondays and Fridays. I've invested many other hours into helping these "youth at risk" outside of the regular class time the past two months, due to being so inspired to help them. As I have told them more than once - "I am here to help you have a better life than what you've lived so far." These 14 guys (and staff members) work hard for me and have responded well to my efforts to help them GROW into better behaved, more productive citizens in our society. Here is their web address with all the info you need:

John and I are trying to raise outside contributions to provide uniforms, belts, T-shirts, training equipment, etc. for these students - as all they have in this world is what caring people provide for them - along with some meager support from the state. But I've spent plenty of time with them in their little "cubby hole" rooms, and as Exec Director Scott Scheel and I agree - they deserve all we can provide for them. Some of these guys have told me they've been in DSS or DJJ since they were two years old. Some have been removed from their homes by the state because their "home lives" are so bad. Anyway, I am a big believer in "full disclosure", and therefore will be providing a quarterly report for everyone - beginning the end of September - showing the names and amounts of money contributed - along with the total amount raised, along with line item expenditures as to what the money was used for. If you can support our program with $20 or $200 or whatever - anything will be appreciated. If you do not want your name listed on the quarterly report, just include a note to post you as an "anonymous contributor". You can make checks payable to "Robert Wallace", and send them to me at:
310 Evins Road
Pauline, SC 29374-2810

Thank you very much for your time in reading this information, and considering supporting our program. Please contact me with any questions you may have.
Coach Robert 864-576-2525

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Slap 'em!

Many martial arts have resuscitation techniques taught as part of their system. Hmm, missing in Parker Kenpo as part of the standard curriculum. (I have to say that many of us fill that gap with required First Aid/ CPR/AED/other training such as traditional Chinese medicine, Danzan-Ryu ju-jitsu and Judo kappo, etc.
Mr. LaBounty in CA, Kurt Barnhart in IL, Steve White in NH come to mind.)
Below links were sent to me by Bujin Kenpo brother Nelson Kari in Illinois as part of an e-mail exchange we had about an accupressure point. I was reminded that they slap the feet to bring someone back from unconsciousness. 
In kappo jutsu:
They also used to slap the sole of the feet with a stick to reanimate an unconscious person.
     Naturally, I had to run it by Doc (Marc Rowe). Marc's a retired pediatric surgeon and he immediately commented that it's a technique they use to get a baby breathing. No, they don't hit them with a stick. They thump their foot with a finger snap. My lady, Jan, immediately knew this when I mentioned it, she having been in the medical field, too.
   Now they question is why it works. Turns out there's a point in the foot that sends a message to your cerebral cortex. Go figure.

Friday, August 6, 2010

KenpoTV is here!

You can put down the torches and pitchforks, the online learning site is here! Go to Here's the scoop.
A recurring monthly charge on your credit card of $45 for an all-access Charter Membership for the first 100 members.  OR, a basic membership is $30/month and you can upgrade at any time to get even more information in our other packages. You may cancel at any time.

Trial package on the guest home page is FREE ! See a selection of videos from the various sections for beginner, intermediate, skilled and advanced levels as well as basics, principles, sets, and Instructing for Instructors under the "Recently Featured" tab. They're marked "free videos".
What’s Inside?

General Rules and Principles lay the groundwork for Kenpo motion. Other rules and principles are incorporated in the technique segments.

Drills/Basics/Freestyle detail components of the singular moves. The basics are described in detail and context. Drills are helpful to develop skills and are easily learned and practiced. Instructors will find them to be popular classroom tools.

Techniques - Each technique has three dedicated segments. One shows the technique “in the air”. The basic instruction segment shows how it is applied along with instruction on targets, weapons, basic theme, principle and terminology. The segment labeled “A Closer Look” adds more related information such as family groupings and common variations. Kenpo 101 includes the first 42 self-defense techniques of the original Yellow and Orange belt curricula set down by Ed Parker. Kenpo 201 has more from Purple and Blue. Green and Brown is in Kenpo 301 and Kenpo 401 teaches extensions.

Instructing for Instructors will give teachers insight into effective instruction. Too often those responsible for passing on knowledge have received little or no training in how to teach. An entire science, pedagogy, has grown up around the subject of teaching. These tips cover laws of learning and forgetting, how people learn and ways to transmit information effectively.

Playlists have been created to group certain subjects together for ease of reference, such as Web of Knowledge groupings. The "search media" box in the upper right corner is also very useful. On your media page you'll see the Kenpo 101, etc, groupings.

Right now I have 625 videos up. We still have techniques to add. Information will periodically be added to the site. 98% of Blue is shot and will be uploaded in the next week. Instruction on Forms 4, 5 and 6 has to be shot as do the Staff and Spear Set segments. Chi kung is on the list and so are the rest of the freestyle techniques. Guest instructors will be included. We’re far from finished!

Please pass this e-mail along to your Kenpo friends and students. That 100 person Charter Member offer won't last long.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


More 'casts have been recorded and uploaded. The most recent are on power principles and the functional anatomy of breathing. Dr. Rowe and I are working on some about the implications of impact to the breathing apparatus of your body.
     Since I launched them on June 24 the recordings have been downloaded almost 1,000 times. Looking at the stats, it looks like you're enjoying the technical material. The podcasts on the basics priority, analysis of the original Orange belt techniques are top downloads.
     The feedback I've gotten is good and you're using them like I thought you would. On your iPod at the beach and the like.
   You can listen to them over your computer or through iTunes. The links are on the home page at There's no charge and you don't have to have iTunes to listen, just use the first link if you don't.
   Always looking for suggestions on subjects. E-mail me at

The big grin

Sam Babikian promoted to 4th degrre at Marc Shay's studio in Broomall, PA on August 1st, 2010.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Weekend seminars successful and some promotions

Three airlines, two cities, in three days. I visited Steve Hatfield's Panther Kenpo Karate in Mt. Vernon, OH and Marc Shay's American Karate in Broomall, PA over the weekend. Steve and I tested some of his people on Friday and Monte McCammon was promoted to third black. On Sunday I promoted Sam Babikian of Media, PA to 4th black. Sam hadn't been promoted since 1991 and has been working under me for the last three years. Congrats to them both!
   I taught seminars for Steve's juniors and then two man defenses for his adults. What's notable about Steve's people is they always have their notebooks out- and they use them. This is something Mr. Parker always encouraged and I seem to remember it being required at Pasadena at one time.
   Mr. Shay's group asked to do some basic groundwork and joint-lock countering. I'd done a class like that in Chicago earlier in the year and the guys loved it. It's just a little basic "rolling" but enough to familiarize people with some grappling principles.
   Steve Hatfield also showed me a book he's been included in. He writes poetry and is one of ten poets to be published in the Apple Valley Poets collection.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Use your head

Brains will win every time.
Entering a classroom at MCAS, ( Marine Corps Air Station) Yuma, Ariz., a female Marine captain encountered a clearly apathetic audience. She was selected to provide a full hour’s instruction in Iraqi electronic warfare capabilities to 150 Marine aviators who showed by their body language deep skepticism about her ability to teach war fighting skills to an all-male class of Marine Fighter Pilots.
She began by noting that her voice had just been tested to see if it was suitable for some new cockpit recorder messages for Marine aircraft. Unfortunately she had not been selected to be the new “Bitching Betty”, but it was only fair to warn the audience, however, that an analysis of her voice pattern revealed that her particular voice had a tendency to lull to sleep any male homosexual within earshot.
The assembled officers shot upright in their chairs. 150 sets of eyes were wide open and locked on her and stayed that way for the rest of the period.
Colonel W. Hays Parks, U. S. Marine Corps Reserve

Sunday, July 25, 2010


One of my students has been doing bonsai for many years and she invited me to a meeting of the local bonsai club she belongs to. They were having a bonsai master from Puerto Rico do a talk and demonstration. I got my keeper, Janis, and headed off to the meeting. This was to be more interesting than I thought.
   Apparently this man, Pedro Morales, is a world-class bonsai artist. He started off with a powerpoint presentation of  what was going on "out there". He said he thought it was important that the group see what others around the world were doing with the bonsai. There started a discussion of the stylistic differences of traditional bonsai vs the new generation bonsai. Is this starting to sound familiar? I thought so.
  He touched on competition. There are shows that these people bring their trees to and are judged. He spoke of how he familiarized himself with the style of the judges and worked his creations appropriately, to appeal to their particular tastes. This should be familiar to those of you who have competed in tournaments. I used to do the same thing when I was competing. I wrote about it in my books but here's the gist. I'd harden them up for the karate judges and flow them for the kung-fu people (of which there were not many in the 70's in the Midwest).
   Someone asked him why he selected a particular person to go study with. He talked about his teachers and how far he had to travel to work with them. One point he made was about how his teacher told him he needed to do a particular thing and he disagreed, telling him it just wouldn't work, "no way". He decided to comply, even with his misgivings, and was very surprised to find the instructions were correct and it worked beautifully. He was gracious enough to go back and admit he was wrong and passes that information down to others he teaches. How often does this occur in our training; we are told to do something, we have our doubts and after all, it works? Happens all the time.
   The demonstration he gave was interesting. I really had no idea of how they train the trees and the complexity of the art. I'm always fascinated by the genesis of these things. Who thought of this and why? Then they worked out how to make it pass. The difference in style, like in our arts, was apparent. The Japanese traditionalist makes the tree tell a story with a minimum of information to the viewer. Chinese, Southeast Asian and European bonsai have a different look. There are styles within the styles -  cascade, windswept and others. Some get classified as "landscape" instead of bonsai due to small changes. Technicalities you might say. But we do the same in the martial arts. 
   He worked a tree and explained what he was doing and why. He got people to picture where that three would be in a year or two or five. It really was interesting. I found that when they say something is true when it is true everywhere, it's true. People are people and the concepts they used in their art are like ours. People talk about tradition vs innovation, interpretation, vision, stylistic variations, appeal to the eye and more. In this, their art is like our art. I'm glad I had the opportunity to see this and listen in.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

US Army changes unarmed combat training

Our military is moving away from the grappling it was focused on as in the Marine Combatives program. The Army says it's going standup.
"3. Combatives are more relevant...and tougher! New instruction has been added which teaches Soldiers to fight from their feet, not wrestle and grip on the ground. Soldiers now attend 22 hours of instruction, which is double the previous requirement at BCT. Additional techniques - wearing full kit - have been added that is more relevant to what Soldiers might be asked to do in a combat situation."
      11 hours of instruction was what they got prior. Would YOU go into combat with 11 hours of karate training? That's a yellow belt course if you go twice a week for 45 to 60 minutes a class over 10-12 weeks. This assumes a student will practice over that time span also, so it's contact hours. The new 22 hours is better. And I realize there's quality vs quantity but 22 is still better than 11. I've had yellow belts go in the military and they told me their kenpo training was a real asset. One was a  Marine Staff Sergeant who my curriculum as a core for training his guys and brought them all home. He successfully used it at least once in a stand-up grapple situation. He didn't think much of the Marine system -  and he was an instructor! There recently was a story about three troops who encountered an insurgent. It got physical and one started rolling with the opponent. The other two stood by to watch since their guy "was winning". The bad guy decided enough was enough, pulled a grenade and blew them both up. My guy told me that when his guys got tied up like that they dropped a "flash-bang" between themselves and the opponent. They knew it was coming and the bad guy would let go long enough for them to escape and take further action. Same tactic, not fatal.
     I like the ground stuff. I just don't believe it should be the core of a warrior's training. I use warrior in the military sense. The military has changed the nomenclature over the years from soldier/sailor/marine to warfighter/warrior when using generic terms. I also understand the need for short-term intense basic training for warfighters and police. Most don't practice and need something easy to learn, use and retain. Plus, it's part of a force progression; words, hands, mace, club, gun, for example. And they have gear hanging off themselves that's useful but also an impediment. It's harder to throw and uppercut when you have a gun on your hip and more difficult to roll around wearing a backpack and helmet.
 "5. Physical Training is standardized, with scientifically proven techniques that improve conditioning and help prevent injuries. Those returning from combat say "drop the long runs, the repetitive sets of pushups and sit-ups, and volleyball games; instead focus on training the right muscles and energy systems needed in the fight! Prepare your body for walking patrol with SAPI and equipment or hauling your injured buddy out of harm's way!" FM 22-20 has been replaced with TC 3.22-20, and that applies to Soldiers in Basic Combat Training and the entire Army (and, you can get this Training Circular as an app starting in August)! "
6. No more bayonet assault course against rubber tires...but lots more pugil and combatives against a thinking opponent. The bayonet assault course has been a staple of bayonet training since WWI. But that's when bayonets were prevalent on the battlefield! The last time the US had a bayonet assault was in 1951, and the rifle we now use in combat isn't meant for bayonet charges. Now, Soldiers will see more pugil drills in pits and on obstacle courses. This, combined with additional hours in combatives, will "warriorize" our Soldiers.     Good for them - times have changed.
"8. We're treating the Soldier as a "Tactical Athlete". The Surgeon General of the Army will begin supplementing initial training units with physical therapists and athletic trainers to prevent injuries and ensure better conditioning. Additionally, we're instituting the "Soldier Fueling" initiative, to teach and enable Soldiers to develop a nutritional lifestyle to counter our societal challenges."    Bravo- they caught up with the rest of the world on exercise physiology.
I am pro-military and that does not mean I am pro-war. I hold a field grade rank with the USAF Aux and believe in the best training for our people (civilians, too!) to insure their safety. We have many of our young people enlisting and some are entering our schools prior to going to basic. Don't let them be sloppy, you'll do them a favor. That goes for all your students, anyway.
  Tim Walker sent the link in that I took the excerpts from. Read about all the changes there.