Tag Archives: Karate tournament

Before People Knew What Kenpo Karate Was

Back in the Beginning of Kenpo…

I began studying Kenpo in 1967.
It was so unknown that it was called Kenpo Karate so it could be identified with the art of Karate. Not that that many people knew what karate was.

lop sau rolling fists freestyle drill

Check out How to Create Kenpo by Al Case. Fifty years of martial arts knowledge turned loose!

Kenpo was born in Japan. There are many lineages, but the specific Kenpo that is so widely known these days came from James Mitose, Thunderbolt Chow, Ed Parker, and finally, an instructor near you.

Martial Arts were not studied widely at the time, and usually it was fellows who were tough, who looked forward to the street fight, who studied them.

Kenpo came from Okinawan Karate and Japanese Jujitsu. There were other sourcss, many and varied, but the American style Kenpo you might study was likely based, at least in the beginning, on these arts.

Right from the outset Americans realized that Kenpo could be marketed more easily through tournaments, so we studied our freestyle rabidly, and we looked forward to the weekend trips.

For such a violent art, the participants at these tournaments proved to be a polite bunch. Schools were located a distance apart and there wasn’t much competition. Instructors actually looked forward to seeing each other, to comparing notes, and even learning a ‘secret’ technique or two.

And, outside of school, fights did happen. Proud warriors, Kenpo stylists, all martial artists, were happy to step up to a challenge, take umbrage at a veiled insult, trade fists with a goon.

We were more rabid back then. We didn’t do ten or twenty kicks and think we were done, we would do a couple of hundred and chide ourselves for being lazy. We would do forms by the hour. See if we could do 60 forms in an hour.

In short, we would exhaust ourselves. We would go for a run, do some weightlifting, and then freestyle for a couple of hours in class, and know that we were doing it right.

Mistakes? We made a ton of them. But over time we fixed them; the martial arts tend to be self fixing; the turn of the foot, the line of the wrist, the physics of the universe corrected us and were out teachers.

And now, near fifty years later, all we wish is one thing: to do it all again. To do Karate and Kenpo, to throw and kick and punch to our hearts content.

And we feel sorry for all those people who quit early, or who were born too late, or who were just too lax in their training to really find the truth: You are what you do, that is your measure, and that is your worth.

If you want a REALLY good book on Kenpo, consider ‘How to Create Kenpo’ by Al Case. It has the real history, the one you don’t hear much about, plus a section on how to do forms, plus 150 kenpo techniques, thoroughly analyzed so that you can be the best Kenpoka you can be. That’s How to Create Kenpo, available on Amazon. The hard work is up to you.

Here’s a fascinating bit of history: The Man Who Killed Kenpo.

The Death of the Martial Arts

The Martial Arts Died in San Francisco in 1969…

Good morning from Monkeyland!
Fog is thick everywhere up here…
except in my brain.
My brain,
because of the martial arts
is like a steel trap!
Doesn’t rust at all!
That is what a martial arts work out does for you.

You know,
thinking about what I just said,
I have always believed in motion
as a cure.
You put your body in motion
blood circulates,
everything gets rejuvenated.
It’s true.

let’s talk martial arts.

I saw the death of the martial arts.
When I was in Kenpo,
this was back in 1969,
I used to love to go to tournaments.
there were only a few schools in the area.
Maybe 20 for the whole SF Bay Area.
So tournaments were big deals.
I remember going to the big one
the National Karate Championships,
and there were only 500 people there.
That’s not many.

loved to fight,
went to tournaments,
and the quality of fighters varied.
Some bad,
some good.
But there was an immense amount of respect.
Even when instructors were in direct competition,
they knew each other,
and looked forward to getting together.
There just weren’t that many of us,
you know?

So the last tournament I went to,
there was a fellow
and he would run across the ring
and start hitting his opponent.
Not the point technique,
where people acknowledged good form,
but he literally ran across the ring
and started whaling away.
Punching with all his might.

he was a white belt,
didn’t show ANY martial arts at all.
No stance,
no technique,
just ran and punched.

instructors just sat there and stared.
Nobody complained about lack of control.
Nobody said anything.
So the judges,
instead of calling fouls for loss of control,
started awarding him points,
and matches.
And he just keep beating people.
Made it up to the semi finals
before somebody started fighting back
and clocked him a good one.

here’s the point.

Last tournament I ever went to
because I saw what was happening.
People were questioning whether the art worked.

Sure enough,
within a year or two
point karate was dead,
full contact was in,
people wore protective gear.
Even people like Chuck and Superfoot and so on
they went to full contact.
At least for a short while.
Then they quit,
it just wasn’t fun,
and people were getting beaten up,
instead of sharpening their art.

Here’s the thing,
that guy was encouraged to fight
by his instructor.
You could hear his instructor talking to him,
telling him to hit harder,
go for the face,
kick the knees,
all sorts of things.
All sorts of things that weren’t considered fair back then.

the big mistake here was this:
he should have been placed in the black belt category.
He didn’t come there to learn,
to trade technique,
he came there to fight,
to beat people up.

Different from the art.
In a sport you beat people up.
In an art you refine your technique.

The black belts had experience,
they wouldn’t have been cowed by his onslaught and attitude.
They would have cleaned his clock.

I mean,
the guy didn’t know any martial arts!
He walked into a school,
started fighting,
beat a few guys up,
so they figured he was good to go.
They could win some trophies,
and nobody ever thought about the effect on the art.

I remember watching that match to this day,
and knowing,
what the result was going to be.

shortly after that I went to the Kang Duk Won.
No tournaments.
No pads.
You learned control,
or you got bounced around.
Kindest guys in the world there,
unless you lost control.
They were all old school,
and they knew that the art was based on
how much control you could learn.
And that there is no end to the amount of control,
if you just kept at it.


this is a new generation,
very few remember the bad old times,
and maybe that is good.
After all,
the art never dies.
It gets forgotten sometimes,
but then it just gets remembered again.

if you want to learn control,
it starts with learning how your body actually works.
Not the physics of the apple falling on your head,
but the physics of energy,
the physics of how things work on the deeper levels.

Did you know that physics defined is…
how matter and energy relate?
the odd thing is that chi is energy,
but western physics has never defined it.

I do.
Many ways,
but the main thing is that
in The Master Instructor Course,
I tell you how to use this energy.
Very simple.
It’s the seven simple principles,
which I go into
each and every one,
with explanation,
and video.
I show you egg-zackly
how energy runs through the body,
and how to make it run more,
and how to use it.

Okley donkey,
time to rock and roll,
turn up the music,
turn up life,
and have a good time.
You know…
work out.
So have a great work out,
and don’t forget to check out
The Master Instructor Course.



Karate Girl Kicks the S*** Out of Burglar!

Karate Girl Picks a Fight!

Poor Wilberto Zapata had a few drinks and then went home. Unfortunately, being new to the apartment complex, he went into the wrong apartment. Stunned by the change in his decor, poor Wilberto was examining the bathroom when the infamous Karate Girl, Jannine Ramirez, returned home.

One would think that Ms Ramirez would show a little tolerance for somebody who was just admiring her decor. But, no. She was apparently on an adrenaline high when she returned, for she had just been at a karate tournament. Eager for more trophies and blood, the Karate Girl  kicked our unfortunate drunk through a door, across the apartment and out. 

On the outside of the apartment looking in, befuddled, our inadvertent burglar was accosted by the police and actually cited for unlawful entry.

Unlawful entry isn’t too serious a charge, and Wilberto was finally released and allowed to go to his own apartment, if he could find it.

Now, this writer wants to go on record right now-even criminals have rights!

I mean, where does this vicious karate girl get off, beating up poor, helpless drunks?

Couldn’t she have just opened the front door and yelled ‘Free drinks!’

Instead, she has to show off and beat up some poor fool whose only real crime was being rendered temporarily stupid by alcohol.

And the police, instead of going after the real criminal (have you ever heard of assault and battery, karate girl?) have the nerve to add insult to injury!

Unlawful entry! Huh! What’s the world coming to?

At any rate, latest word is that a gaggle of lawyers are attempting to locate Wilberto, and to start legal proceedings against the Karate Girl’s foot.

Karate Fighter DQ’ed for Knocking his Opponent Out!

Is that odd? That knocking somebody out would disqualify a Karate fighter? Yet, the plot thickens, and it ain’t lookin’ good. Check out the Karate video, then I’ll tell you what happened to get the Fighter Disqualified from the Karate tournament.

The incident happened in the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China. Taiwainese Karate fighter Hsian Wen-huang was seriously ahead on points when his opponent Afghan fighter Sayad Amiri fell to the mat after a strike.  Hsian was disqualified, and Amiri declared the winner.

Oddly, a short while later Amiri was seen moving around. Was Amiri knocked out? Had he been the victim of the Most Pwoerful Punch, or was he faking it? Had he been so far behind on points that he did a dive so he could win?

This incident brings two serious problems to light.

One, the potential for a dive to victory, and two, eliminating an art for being too effective.

In the end Amiri was judged not to be faking by the doctors, because he did go unconscious. That’s sort of weird, because how are you going to prove it? Shake a downed fighter until he wakes up and ask him if he really is unconscious?

At any rate, Amiri did not go on in the tournament, claiming physical reasons.

But we still don’t know the truth of the matter, and there is still the problem of a Karate Fighter being disqualified because he was too good. For the best Karate in the world check out Matrix Karate at Monster Martial Arts.