The origins of Karate are
lost in antiquity. Some historians take it
back to Egypt several centuries ago. Some give
credit to Daruma, the twenty eighth Buddha from
India. Whether that's accurate or not, we'll
never know but we do know that eventually some
form of organized, weaponless self defense was
taken to China and there, eventually developed
into what is known today, as KENPO. The more
interesting and important part of the history is
what happened to Kenpo upon leaving China and
making its way to the United States.
One of the leading exponents of the
system of Kenpo in the Hawaiian Islands in the
1940's was Professor William K.S. Chow. It
was with him that a young Ed Parker began his
study of the Art. These were his formative
years. It was before he was married, did a
hitch in the U.S. Coast Guard or got his degree in
sociology at BYU. When all of that had been
accomplished Ed Parker, upon graduation, decided
to migrate to Pasadena, California to open what
was to be the first Karate Dojo in the United
States (Hawaii not yet being admitted to the
Union). Thus, he earned the title, "The
Father of American Karate".
Like his teacher before him Mr.
Parker found it necessary to adapt what he had
learned to a more Western way of fighting.
Professor Chow's changes worked for the
differences between the Orient and Hawaii and Mr.
Parker's for the differences between Hawaii and
the Mainland. The Art was so new the word
Karate wasn't even in the vocabulary yet. I
remember doing an early morning TV show with Mr.
Parker and Dave Hebler. Ralph Story was the
host and he spent so much time trying to learn to
roll the "r" in Karate (an early pronunciation)
that we had practically no time left for our
demonstration... but I've gotten ahead of history.
Ed Parker opened his first Dojo in
Pasadena in 1958. I began studying with him
at his second location, on Tweedy Blvd. in South
Gate, Calif. in Feb. 1959. The place was
originally an Aikido school opened by a career air
force Sergeant who was about to be transferred.
Ed bought the place and converted it to
Kenpo. There were three signs on the
premises. One on the roof, one on the front
window and one on the door. The one on the
roof was just four letters: JUDO.
Even early in 1959 the word
Karate was still largely unknown. The sign
on the window read AIKIDO, another word that was
mysterious at best. After I had inquired as
to the nature of the first two (to a
student-caretaker who was there at the time) and
was told they didn't teach Judo or Aikido, I was
about to leave when I noticed the third word.
"Ah", said the kid, "Karate, that's what we
teach". "Uh huh" says I, "What the heck is that?"
It was then and there I got my introduction
to Kenpo Karate, by a person who's name I've long
forgotten. But I'll never forget what he
did. I thought he was devastating. He really
impressed me. I thought I'd better get some
of this just in case I were to run into someone
like him in the future. I asked if I could
come back and watch a regular class in action.
He said I could. I was there for the
very next session. That's when I learned the
difference between a kid who knows enough to
impress an outsider and a true professional.
That's the night I met Edmund K. Parker for the
first time. I had never seen speed like it
before. The obvious power emitted by the man
was awesome and the sweat rolling off his students
a tribute to the training and workout he was
putting them through. Something I felt in
dire need of at the time. That was the
beginning. I signed up on the spot and soon took
my place in line, watching and listening as best I
Something Ed said early on
grabbed my attention and got through to me.
It's something I try to pass on to all my
own beginning students. He said, "When a
correction is being made during the class, even if
it's directed to someone else, apply it to
yourself and you'll be getting a private lesson
every class." From then on, if he said, "Get
lower", I got lower. Even if I could
look around and see, I was the lowest in the
class, I'd try to get lower yet. It worked
then and it still does. The photo on the
front of this Newsletter is one of the earliest I
have. As you can see, Ed Parker is the only
black belt. In fact, at that time he
was the only Kenpo black belt holder in the
Not too long after I started, the
South Gate location was closed and the classes
moved to Pasadena, a twenty-six mile one-way trip
on surface streets but a trip I made twice a week
for many years. That's where the photo was
taken (the old dojo, not the current one).
I would probably never have had
the opportunity to work as closely with Ed Parker
as I did, had it not been for an incident that
happened sometime late in 1960. Mr. Parker
was working on his second book "The Secrets of
Chinese Karate" and had opened a second location
in West L.A. It was the most hectic of times
and Ed was bumping into himself coming and going.
I prefer not to discuss the
motivation for their actions. I'll leave
that for those who were involved to deal with.
I'll just tell you what happened. It
was at that time, the three men who Mr. Parker had
awarded their black belts and all of those he had
awarded brown belts, plus a number of lower belts,
left him and went with another Instructor.
It was his entire advanced class with the
exception of myself. Sometime before the
split came I sensed something in the group.
Nothing obvious just subtle things,
whispers, glances. I didn't know what was
going on but I didn't like the tone or feel of it.
I continued my workouts with them but I
began to distance myself from the group socially.
When the split came I no longer felt an affinity
with those people and called Ed Parker immediately
upon finding, out to let him know I'd be there, to
do whatever had to be done, to go forward.
It was a devastating blow to him.
He was betrayed by those closest to him and
I know immediately following the break was the
lowest of times for him but he rebounded with his
usual burst of positive energy and it was no time
before he was rolling along as if nothing at all
had happened. At least on the surface.
I knew the wound went deep. It was at
that time he asked me to take over more of the
teaching duties and I got to work much more
closely with him than I ever could have otherwise.
It was during that period he taught me a
staff set, which I felt was far too long so, on my
own, I cut it down by more than fifty percent by
taking out the repetitious and weaker moves and
moving sequences around to give it a more natural
Late one night after the advanced
class, when we were alone, I performed it for him.
When I had finished there was what seemed
like a long silence, then, he nodded slowly and
said, "That's it.... that's the staff set we'll
teach". I've got to be honest, I was more
than just a little nervous about what I had done
and those words came as quite a relief.
Those were the best of times!
Another thing that happened
around that time was the creation of the first set
of training films to be offered to the public. The
one thing about the Ed Parker's book that I didn't
like, and the only thing I didn't like, was the
fact that you couldn't see the Old Man move. (I'm
guessing you know, that when I call him The Old
Man, it's an endearment not a description.
Everyone called him that at the time and he
happily responded to it. It's a throwback to
an old military custom in reference to a company
The fantastic thing about Kenpo
is its dynamics, produced through geometric
kinetic symmetry. And to learn that you've
got to see it move. No written word or
series of still photos can do the job. So
again, late one night, after the last class I went
to the Old Man and laid out a plan to produce a
series of training films to be shot on sixteen
millimeter film and then transferred to eight
millimeter. It was the only viewing system
common to most households at that time.
Because I was his student and
still a Brown belt at the time I proposed a sixty
forty deal, with the sixty percent going to going
to him, as I thought it should. He listened
to my plan as well as my proposal and accepted the
plan without hesitation. But he had a reservation
with the proposal. He said there was no way
he could accept the deal as offered. It had
to be a fifty-fifty split. Equal partners or no
deal. I was more than a little surprised.
The average person would never negotiate
themselves down. But then again Ed Parker was
It was during that time I really
came to know Ed Parker. I thought I knew him
before that but it took the proximity that working
on that project provided to get close enough, long
enough, to allow it to happen. Working late
into the night with the man and feeling his energy
was truly an experience. I would probably
have fallen asleep at the wheel on my way home
under normal circumstances but I was usually so
pumped up when I left in those early morning
hours, the twenty-some miles evaporated before my
When the filming and editing were
done and it was time to merchandise the product,
we realized we knew nothing about that sort of
thing. But by putting our heads together, once
again we managed to pull it off. The films were
very successful and did what they were supposed to
do. They showed Ed Parker MOVE. That's what
I wanted and that's what I got. As an added
bonus I was able to take part myself, otherwise I
would never have had footage of that kind for
posterity, for which I am eternally grateful.
In no time at all, a few years had slipped
by. Ed Parker had created The International
Karate championships in Long Beach, California and
together we had opened a dojo on my side of town.
It was then that I began seeing less and
less of my partner and friend. Business kept
us busy on different sides of the L.A. basin.
If I had it to do again I would
not have suggested the opening of our school in
South West L.A. which eventually moved to
Inglewood. Instead of going off in different
directions, I would have maintained a much closer
working relationship with my partner and the
closest friend I had at that time. The other
side of that coin is that I would never have the
opportunity to teach and make friends with people
like Steve Sanders, the winningest black belt
competitor of the sixties and seventies and one of
the finest people you could ever have the
privilege to call a friend. And Vic LeRoux,
the man who doesn't know the meaning, of the word
"No" who would back you all the way. Plus
the other dozen and a half Black belts that came
out of that school. As well as a host of
others and those I've become acquainted with
because of my relationship with all the students
and friends I've made through that dojo. A
collection I could never forget and will cherish
Then came Viet Nam and the
hippies. Karate and the Martial Arts in
general hit a new low. Ed Parker and I
closed our dojo in 1971 and I went to work for him
at his West L.A. location. I continued
there for several years and at the same time
completed courses at L.A.C.C. in filmmaking.
Which proved fortuitous in more ways than
KARATE CONNECTION VIDEOS
One of Vic's locations on the
desert was teaching the officers and enlisted men
and their families at an Air Force Base. In
1988 the government announced the closing of that
base. The people in the classes panicked.
How were they going to complete their
training? Where would they go for Kenpo when they
were transferred? Some of his students became very
upset so Vic tried to think of a way in which they
might continue their training. More
specifically, they really wanted to continue under
Remembering my filmmaking and
video background he came to me and asked if I
would help put something on video tape for the
people at the Air Force Base. I said "No".
He said when he told them he was going to
video the techniques for them they became very
excited. I still said "No". This
started something that went on for almost a year.
I tried to explain to Vic the intricacies of
putting an entire system of Karate on video.
He said he didn't want to put the whole
system on tape, just the techniques they didn't
know yet. I told him, that wouldn't be good
enough. A percentage of those people would
inevitably have learned some of their basics
incorrectly. Some would have forgotten
certain elements they'll need to progress
properly. Either way, they needed a
reference guide of all the basics, broken down and
explained in detail. Vic says, great! Let's
do that. My answer again was no. I
couldn't see going through all the work I knew it
would entail to put all of that on tape for a few
dozen people. It just didn't make sense.
The bigger and more important
issue was that I didn't really believe it possible
to teach anything that complex by video. Oh sure,
you could certainly show things and if a student
was dedicated enough they might be able to learn
something from it. It was the same problem I
had when Ed Parker and I did our training films.
Only at that time the problem was even worse
because you couldn't even speak to the student.
I even tried experimenting with audio tape
and phono records but nothing was feasible
cost-wise at that time. Vic still wanted to
do it. Everybody else was putting out tapes.
That argument didn't hold water with me.
I've never particularly cared about what
everybody else was doing. If I didn't think
it could be done properly, I wasn't about to do it
"No". The word only
contains two letters. It's meaning is very
straight forward. "No", means "No".
How is it then that Vic just couldn't seem
to grasp the meaning of the word? He'd ask, I'd
say "No". He'd ask again and again I'd say
"No" again. Then he'd ask, "Why not" and I'd
do the same thirty minutes I did last time on the
subject . This went on for months. Seemed
like years. Then one day, for what felt like
the millionth time, we were on the topic again.
I don't know where it came from but I
remembered an incident that happened years
earlier. One of my students came up to me before
class and said, "I heard something about Chuck
Norris you'll get a kick out of". First, let
me explain our relationship. Chuck Norris'
school and ours (Ed Parker and myself) were
located not far apart. We were friendly
competitors. I've always liked Chuck and
have a great deal of respect and admiration for
him. I can only surmise that my student
didn't know how friendly the competition was.
He said, "I heard Norris wants to add rank
to his black belt so he sent an eight millimeter
film to his instructors in Korea". Then he
said laughingly, "What do you think about that?"
It took less than a full second for me to
answer. I asked, "What's the matter with
it?" My student looked stunned. I said, it
sounded like a good plan to me. If his
instructors told him what they wanted to see and
Chuck shot a good clear movie of it, I couldn't
see anything wrong with it at all. His
instructors are professionals and Chuck surely
wouldn't attempt to fake anything on the film.
They would know what they wanted to see and
if they did they'd promote him. Anyway, it
sure beat a trip to Korea, which he could ill
afford at the time.
I have never substantiated that
story. I don't know if Chuck ever really
sent that film or not. It doesn't matter as
far as this story is concerned. What matters
is the fact that it brought forth an idea at the
time I thought of it. I told Vic the story
then added, "You know something, there's been
enough camcorders sold by now to do something very
similar." Heck, anyone should be able to get
a hold of one or someone who has one. You give a
ghetto kid a day and I bet he can score someone
who has one, or somebody on a ranch in the middle
of nowhere. Push comes to shove you can rent
them. And in the worst case scenario, if it
were important enough to you, you could buy one.
The point is that camcorders were
finally available enough to the average household
that a complete correspondence was at last
possible. It was an exhilarating revelation.
From there the ideas just came pouring out.
It was like the dam broke. It was one
thing after another. It got exciting.
I got excited. It was the first time
in over twenty years I became that ebullient over
anything in the Art. Kenpo had become an
addiction. It was something I could never
seem to get away from for long but as far as
exciting was concerned. It had been a long
time. That's how the Training Videos were
conceived. Now came the job of formulating
the idea into a cohesive system of teaching.
Back in the eighties, you'll recall, we cut
the system by quite a bit. Now it was time
to complete the job.
Chuck Sullivan flying', Ed Parker
defending, circa 1961
The wonderfully intriguing and
horribly irritating thing about video is that you
don't have to repeat anything. In fact you
can't repeat anything. If you do you're
destroying the concept altogether. Once is enough.
The student can rewind and watch as many or
as few times as needed. This presented a
problem. Neither of us were used to teaching
in that manner. Usually, you work off the
class. You teach the moves and then make the
necessary corrections. You keep repeating that
process until most of the class is doing what your
teaching properly. Unfortunately, the
slowest are generally left behind and have to
catch up on their own. Video of course
The first thing we had to do was
to realize that we had to change our teaching
approach and then practice on video until we had a
workable procedure and then develop it until we
were comfortable with it. Not an easy task
for someone who had been teaching something the
same way for over thirty years.
Surprisingly, it didn't take as long as we
thought it would. The next step wasn't quite
as easy. Here's where we had to take over
fifty years of training and teaching experience
and reformulate the concepts but include all the
principles. Let's examine those two words
for a moment.
A CONCEPT is an idea, a thought
or central notion. As related to Kenpo,
let's say that the concept of increasing your
speed when striking with the hands would be to
recock the striking hand while the other hand is
striking so that no time is lost between
movements. Actually, that concept works with
almost all combinations. However it isn't a
concept that is common to all styles of Karate,
that's one of the things that makes Kenpo unique.
A PRINCIPLE. is a fundamental
truth, law, doctrine or motivating force. As
applied to Kenpo it could be the law that if your
weight isn't distributed evenly over your
supporting leg you cannot maintain a one legged
stance. It's a physical fact. That's why we always
recock our kicks so we have perfect balance on our
supporting leg and don't have to drop toward an
opponent because the kicking leg pulls our body
Once we had defined the concepts
and principles as they related to Kenpo we knew
what we had to do.
We had come to the conclusion
through experience, the average person would never
put the time into learning the entire system as we
had. And let's face it, most of the people
who take up the Art are just that, your average
person. Most new students never stay long
enough to take anything into the future with them
to make it work. It's a shame but that's the
cold hard truth of the matter.
Some people thought Ed Parker
added all the techniques he did for financial
gain, to keep his students with him longer.
I don't believe that for a second. I truly
believe he kept creating new techniques simply
because so many of his Black belts insisted upon
it. They wanted more, so he gave them more.
The problem came when those techniques were
passed on to the new students. The system
became a monster.
Digging back into time I
remembered something the Old Man said way, way
back. He said, "Id rather have ten
techniques I can fight with than a hundred
techniques that fight me". That became the
Karate Connection's quest.
We had to analyze somewhere over
three hundred techniques, that we had been
teaching over the years and get rid of the excess
baggage. We had to eliminate the repetitious and
weaker techniques. Others we could reformulate
into techniques that still contained the original
concepts and principles. Some we were able
to use as they were but no matter what we did, we
knew that above all we had to retain the full
essence of Kenpo, otherwise it would mean nothing.
We created a chart that went from
wall to wall and two years later everything we
wanted to teach was on that chart. Being
able to see the entire system at once was the only
method that was workable. Every time we
wanted to see if a principle or concept had been
covered we didn't have to read through reams of
pages. Of course after a time we became so
familiarized with that chart we could go directly
to what we were looking for.
The idea of putting all the
techniques together in what we refer to as the
"Master Form" just came naturally. The Kenpo
forms have always been an easy way to remember
your techniques. The added advantage of the
Master form is that you are doing your entire
system in under three minutes. There are
480, three minute segments in every twenty four
hour period. Who among us can't afford just
one of them a day? We designed the form so that it
doesn't take a great deal of space so that's no
excuse for not doing it.... Sorry, I didn't mean
After the master plan was
complete all we had to do was shoot it.
Right? Riiight! The next part of the process
is the nearest and dearest to my heart. I
love seeing Kenpo work. We have always done
everything possible to make our training as
realistic as it can get. We wear shoes because if
you always train without them it could chance
things on the street when you have them on.
A change in timing, a change in contact with
the surface your working on, anything that takes
your concentration away from creating target
opportunities is out of the question.
During the time of the original
Karate Connection School we instituted training
techniques and devices that made what we were
teaching work. We fought in our street
clothes - in the dark - on an asphalt driveway -
between the dojo and the building next door. We
fought cold - no warm up - because that's the way
it happens on the street. You learn to warm up as
you get down. We changed the way other Kenpo
schools ran the technique line. We stopped
throwing a punch at the man in front of us and
doing the technique on the man behind. Doing
it that way only lets you work with one attacker a
night. It also forces you to stand around
wasting a lot of time and cools you down between
techniques. Experience proved, it was much better
to take on everyone in the line so you get to work
with all sizes, shapes and speeds of attackers
instead of just one. That way, the time you
spend in the line awaiting your next turn makes
sense, because you need it to catch your breath
for your next time up.
Sometimes we would bring
furniture onto the mats and freestyle around it to
get used to obstacles. We started the semi-circle
without verbal commands for spontaneity. I
wanted to instill a hundred and eighty degrees of
awareness into my students. Then there were
the speed and control drills.
Our next step was to integrate
all the drills into the video series. A
pleasure indeed. The drills are not only
what makes the system work they're also what makes
it fun. Nothing feels better than to have a
perfect run through the escape technique line or
the semicircle. When your reaction time,
accuracy, speed, power and control is in top form.
Eventually, it really was
finished. Now all we had to do was shoot it.
After months of planning and assembling the
people we needed, we scheduled the shoot for a
long holiday weekend.
We owe a great debt of gratitude
to all those who gave so freely of their time and
effort. Without them the series would never have
gotten off the ground. But that first
weekend, that's all that happened. It got
off the ground. We put in three fifteen hour days
shooting the first tape, the Orange belt tape.
I knew when some of the segments
were being shot I was going to want to do them
over again. You can tell when things just aren't
flowing the way you'd like them to. As it
happened, we not only reshoot those segments, we
ended up shooting all of the others as well.
Every time we would reshoot a portion it
would look so much better, it would make all the
other original footage look bad by comparison, so
we ended up reshooting the entire two hour tape
except for the montage at the beginning.
That's the only part we liked well enough to
What was presumed to be a long
weekend shoot turned into weeks of intensive work.
I guess my earlier success with the
commercials made me a little self assured.
Actually, I was more than a little naive.
I won't bore you with the rest of the video
process, just suffice to say that it was a long,
arduous, tedious, demanding, exacting.....labor of
I'm glad we got all this on tape
when we did. If I had tried to do this too
soon I wouldn't have had the background and if I
had waited many more years I might not have had
the physical agility to personally perform the
material I wanted to teach.
THE KARATE CONNECTION
It was 1980 that things looked up
again. Vic LeRoux, who had been a student of
mine from the time he was fourteen years old and
later a co-worker and fellow instructor at Mr.
Parker's West L.A. school, came to me and said
he'd like to get the "Old Gang" back together and
open a dojo on his side of town. I told him
he'd never get the "Old Gang" back together but
chances are he'd create a "New Gang." He
asked me to be the Head Instructor It felt good to
have a steady teaching thing again, instead of
just an occasional get together with old friends.
And I was right about the Old and New Gangs.
But the New Gang of the Karate Connection
School is now the Old Gang and the Old Gang from
the Crenshaw school is now the Over The Hill Gang.
If that's too hard to follow, don't worry
about it. It just means we're all getting'
When Vic was about to open the
Karate Connection I asked him exactly what it was
he intended to teach. He said, "The whole
thing, all the techniques I taught at the West
L.A. school". I told him it was too much.
Then I asked him if he had ever taught
anyone all of that material. He said,
"Practically none, nobody ever stayed long
enough". I asked if that didn't give him
some sort of clue, maybe something was wrong.
I told him how, in the early days there
weren't but a handful of techniques, so we
concentrated on the basics. I mean we really
concentrated on the basics. And the guys of
that time were some of the finest practitioners of
the Art I've ever had the pleasure to work with
and learn from. They were focused, the
system was lean and the Old Man wouldn't allow
anyone to advance without impeccable basics.
Kenpo techniques have always
been, and still remain, the most fascinating part
of the Art. It isn't hard to understand why
techniques won favor over strong hard basics and
it was my observation that the instructors doing
the actual teaching, wanted still more.
Their appetites seemed insatiable. The
basics were still there but they seemed to be
gotten through as quickly as possible in order to
get to those "Fabulous Kenpo
Techniques". As the demand for
techniques grew so did Mr. Parker's ability to
create them. He once told me that with the
number of basic moves he had to work with, the
number of combinations was virtually limitless.
The only problem is, not all the
combinations are worth putting together.
Some things just don't blend and flow.
It's always been my personal philosophy, if
it doesn't work don't do it!
I told Vic, if I was going to act
as Head Instructor we were going to have to go
back to basics and cut down the number of
techniques taught up to black belt. My
feeling was and still is, when a student got his
or her black belt they could go and learn all the
techniques they wanted, from where ever they might
choose. But we weren't going to turn out
Black belts who didn't have the strongest basics
we could give them. The sum total of the Art
is in the basics. There's never been a great
practitioner in any style or system who didn't
have great basics. Can't be done.
Vic's main concern was that if we
cut the amount of techniques from what the Old Man
had set up for each belt, he wouldn't want us as
an affiliate school. I told him, there's no
way he wouldn't want us as an affiliate school no
matter what we do, just as long as we turn out
Black belts he can be proud of. We're using
his basics, aren't we? We're using his concepts
and principals, aren't we?
We wanted to be independent and
affiliated at the same time and we achieved just
that. In fact we wore his club patch on the
left side of the chest and our club patch on the
Mr. Parker acted as head judge
and referee at our inter-dojo tournaments and
participated in our promotion ceremonies. He
awarded all the 1st degree black belts and all
subsequent degrees in Black belt. It was at
the Karate Connection School in Hawthorne
California that Vic and I received our last
promotions from Mr. Parker on Oct. 27, 1981.
Toward the mid eighties Vic
decided to pursue other business opportunities and
closed the school. I continued to
teach a small select group until it was announced
that Mr. Parker was himself teaching at his West
L.A. school. It was such a pleasure to see him
back on the mats again. From then on, we all
attended his classes.
By this time Vic had come back to
full time teaching and had a couple of schools in
the high desert about a hundred and fifty miles
from L.A. He immediately rescheduled his
classes so that he could make the Old Man's
workouts. Ed Parker drew black belts to
himself like bees to flowers. We had the
opportunity to meet and workout with some great
people from all over the world. Each year
around the time of the International Karate
Championships in Long Beach they would flock to
his studio. Sometimes the mats would be so full of
high ranked black belts it was difficult to move
but it was always fun.
The Association is another story.
I've been asked by people outside the Art, many
times over the years, how one gets promoted to
decrees in black belt. It was a constant
embarrassment to have to say that it was up to the
head of the system and that there was no clearly
delineated method of promotion. The promotions
came, if and when, the head of the system said
they came. It always felt lame. I usually passed
it off by saying, degrees in black belt actually
denoted little more than your time in rank. By
looking at a Black belt's belt and seeing a lot of
red stripes or how ever other systems rank their
black belts, you could usually tell how long the
person had been engaged in the Art.
I had never heard of a set of
bylaws, rules, policy or whatever, for any
organization. I could never quite understand
that. Why not? Why had that never been done? Why
wouldn't anyone put in writing, what was expected
for rank? Why was nothing ever written as to how
you became qualified to be an instructor? Perhaps
they were afraid of making it too tough or maybe
too easy. Possibly they were afraid they
would have to justify their own rank and wouldn't
be able to live up to their own expectations of
No accusations or assumptions
here, merely questions.
We probably had more enjoyment
creating the bylaws than any other element of what
has transpired thus far with the Karate
Connection. It was simple. It was
easy. All we had to do is ask questions of
ourselves and all our Black belt friends.
How would you like to have seen this done?
How would you have liked to have seen that
handled? Is this fair? Is that justified? Why
should you be required to do something? Why can't
you do something else? All we had to do was, "Do
onto the bylaws, as we would have the bylaws do
The more we thought about it the
more we wanted to create an entity that wouldn't
self destruct upon our demise. We wanted something
that would perpetuate itself beyond us. We wanted
something we could hand off to the next generation
of Kenpo Practitioners and something they could
pass on as well.
Once you yourself have learned
the Master form and have been awarded your black
belt by a panel of your peers, you are then deemed
capable of judging a performance of that form by
anyone else, either above or below you in rank.
Once you yourself have been through the entire
process and judged proficient you should know what
to look for in others. A Black belt member may be
asked to judge tests by students of any level, up
to and including Black belt and render a written
or video evaluation of said performances. This is
one of our ways of determining the quality of his
or her judgment, prior to invitation for placement
on the INTERNATIONAL KARATE CONNECTION ASSOCIATION
Board of Black belts. When it becomes necessary
for Vic LeRoux or myself to step aside we will
have qualified people to carry on the work we've
There are already people in the
Association I would not hesitate to turn the
organization over to. Since creating the Karate
Connection we have become acquainted with some of
the finest, most dedicated Martial Artists, I have
ever had the privilege of knowing. They of course
will be bound by the same bylaws we all are. Vic
and I laid the foundation but in time it will be
up to others to carry it on and build upon it. We
don't plan on going anywhere for quite a while.
It's too much fun working with our new students
but when we must, the line of succession will
already be in place. There will always be an
or-organization for you to get your rank through
and for your students to get their rank.
This history has been a bare
bones attempt to try to tell you where we came
from and how we got to where we are. If we were to
tell all the stories about al I the people we've
been involved with in the Martial Arts, it would
become a book of considerable length. Some of the
best chapters would be yet to come, because of
those we have yet to