Cerio/Masters Black belt returning to study EPAK style

Discussion in 'Kenpo / Kempo - General' started by 08Neely, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. 08Neely

    08Neely White Belt

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    Greetings all,

    Recently my son began taking karate classes at a reputable studio teaching an EPAK style of Kenpo.

    I earned my black belt in 1995 back in New England and stopped practicing in about 97 when I moved out west. The studio I studied at is still in the same place with the same instructor which amazed me.
    It was basically Villaris/Cerios and at the time was affiliated with masters Jim Bryant and Nohltey (sp.
    ?) under the Masters banner. Since then it has returned to Villaris and has some of the more reputable practitioners affiliated with it.

    so....
    After watching my son and seeing his interest level escalate I have decided to make a return to martial arts and start actively practicing again myself.

    I am very much looking forward to working out again but am curious to see what some of you folks think about a few things.
    I will be wearing a white belt (or I am assuming so anyway) the way I see it, 15 years removed from practicing I feel like I would be unwarranted in wearing a black belt.
    I also do not want to be perceived in a negative light wanting to wear rank I earned elsewhere even though we would be considered distant cousins.
    Ultimately I will defer to the instructors on this, it has not been discussed but I am sort of looking forward to moving through ranks with my son.


    Overall I remember large chunks of material, probably everything to Green belt without much thought. Beyond that I can see it and remember it but would need to work to regain the action without thinking.
    Question I have here is something I am torn over, should I work my older material back up while I learn this new Kempo or should I exclusively focus on the new material only?
    Initially I am thinking I should stick only to rank equivalent material to ease in and not worry about the rest.

    Does anyone have any experience in crossing over between a Cerio/Villari system to a Parker variant after Black Belt?
    Any thoughts on similarities?
    Any major differences?
    I am choosing to see it as a tremendous opportunity to add to what I know or knew and perhaps offer insight into a system that has been hurt by that USSD debacle out here.

    Another question I have is if anyone has experience in returning after a layoff of 10 years or more.
    I am sure not as flexible as I was and years of less than clean living have left me overweight and out of shape. More than anything I think my biggest challenge will be to manage my own expectations.
    so any insight there would be welcomed. I have played team sports throughout so I am not completely gone, think a 6-4 guy clocking in at 280. I can still move and fast too, just in spurts...lol.

    Thanks in advance for any insights.
     
  2. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    I am not a kenpoist, but I came back after a considerably longer layout than yours, and did exactly what you're thinking.
    I strapped on a white belt, I studied the material at the school while re-learning what I'd studied as a youngster. Better to be the best white belt than have people wonder why the hell you're wearing a black belt.
    I progressed considerably faster than the norm (a few months short of 4 years from white belt to 2nd Dan, in a system that averages 6-8 years to 1st Dan).
    The most important thing? Just go train. Everything else will sort itself out, if you give it a chance.
     
  3. celtic_crippler

    celtic_crippler Senior Master

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    Though I’ve studied many kenpo systems, the Cerio/Villari system is not one I’m too familiar with.

    Cerio studied under Chow, so I’d assume that style to have more of the “Chinese” influence meaning it likely to be more circular in nature.

    Regardless, based on my personal experience, all kenpo follows the same basic principles even though approaches and curriculums vary. So, I would think you’d catch on to the new curriculum fairly quickly.

    Good luck and enjoy training with your son! Perhaps I’ll run into you at a kenpo seminar sometime. :)
     
  4. Lightning Ram

    Lightning Ram Yellow Belt

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    I was out for about 7 years, taking care of my ill father, when he passed last year I decided to starting training in American Kenpo, I received my 1st Black in Shaolin Kenpo in 1982, everything came back really fast, I didn't get to far out of shape during that time I stretched and worked out off and on but not consistently. I started as a white belt in my American Kenpo, and I also hold rank of 7th Degree in International Freesytle Karate, I enjoy learning new concept and techniques, and also comparing the two styles as I progress.
     
  5. Stargazer

    Stargazer Yellow Belt

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    08Neely: Good for you for returning to martial arts with your son. I'm sure it will be a great experience for you both. :). Best of luck!
     
  6. Milt G.

    Milt G. Purple Belt

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    Great post...!
    Thank you.
    Milt G.
     
  7. Josh Oakley

    Josh Oakley Senior Master

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    I noticed some cross-over (I was just a 3rd Brown) between the two systems, but there's a lot in the EPAK approach that is a lot different.
     
  8. Yondanchris

    Yondanchris Master Black Belt

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    I was in a similar situation....studied SKK from 93-2001 and at that time was a 2nd dan.
    4 year layoff and started teaching SKK again in 2004 but started learning through
    real life situations that what I had learned was junk....started changing curriculum.
    Started looking for a new instructor/art in 2009-2010 and found my current instructor
    who teaches American Kenpo (He doesn't like to call it EPAK, he calls it Cole Family American Kenpo)
    I started over at white belt of my own volition, understanding that my previous "knowledge"
    wasn't worth the paper it was written on from both experience and exposure to other arts.
    Although I have since put together a "system" or "Style" that I teach my students with
    the approval of my instructor and organization called "Christian Kempo".
    I am currently a 3rd Brown in American Kenpo under Clark Cole (Head Instructor - 4th Dan).
    I also attend a lot of seminars, watch youtube, and read kenpo books to increase my exposure!

    Hope my story helps....

    Chris
     
  9. HKphooey

    HKphooey Senior Master

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    The forms are very different.123
     

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