History of Tracy's Kenpo

Discussion in 'Tracy's Kenpo' started by John Bishop, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. John Bishop

    John Bishop Master Black Belt

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  2. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Thanks for bringing this to our attention.
     
  3. Twin Fist

    Twin Fist Grandmaster

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    wow, accusing a dead man (parker) of stealing cash from celebs...
    thats CLASS
     
  4. Twin Fist

    Twin Fist Grandmaster

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    FC,
    I like you,and I know you are a Tracy BB
    So, out of respect to you, i wont post what i as gonna
     
  5. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    keep in mind, this is Jim Tracy, not Will Tracy. I'm part way thru it, find it interesting. I don't think he's said anything derogatory about Mr. Parker as far as I have gotten so far, i'm maybe 1/3 of the way thru it.

    as far as whether or not Mr. Parker swiped the tips off the tables, i seem to recall hearing that elsewhere as well, but I don't remember where.

    I don't think it was an attempt by Jim to make Parker look bad. I think he is just telling events as he remembers them, and he is illustrating how financially desperate those times were for Mr. Parker. It was a tough time, and a difficult business field that they were trying to get going. It really doesn't surprise me to hear things like this, and I don't say that at all in an accusatory way. Difficult times often lead people to make difficult decisions and sometimes do things they wouldn't otherwise do if they weren't approaching a point of desperation.

    It's an interesting read. The thing that I find really interesting, as well as sad, is that it seems there is a long and strong history of mental illness in the family. That must have been very difficult to cope with, particularly in those times when treatment for mental illness was very rudimentary and often not available.
     
  6. Danjo

    Danjo Master Black Belt

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    "Ed did lunch a lot with the stars. He never paid. Because of their status, they always tipped big. No coins, always bills were left on the table. Parker made sure that he was always the last to leave… then he would reach back and steal the tip. That is how the karate industry in America was originally funded."

    Parker funded the Karate "industry" by stealing?

    "Parker was intimidated by no one and ate like he was at a Hawaiian luau."

    ROFLMAO!!


    " I sat directly across from the daughter, Maria. She was an attractive blond college student two-years older than me, (seven pounds overweight)."

    Seven pounds over weight? Jeez, he's a bit critical given how Al turned out weight wise eh?

    "I have come to the conclusion that social dining is a woman’s thing."

    Because he can't figure out which fork to use?


    "Jimmy Wu teaches traditional Kung Fu to the first class of Caucasians in an American karate school. He is not teaching beginning students, but the best Parker ever produced. We did not have to put up with the traditional ten years of learning nothing. Three years studying under Parker put us all on the fast track. When Jimmy Wu took over the class, he was working with students who already had the equivalent of fifteen to twenty years of Kung Fu training."

    Modesty anyone?

    " Here is what I did: I contacted several yellow page companies in major cities by calling them collect. So far it cost us nothing. I had them send me their current yellow pages for free, which as a public utility they were obliged to do. It still cost us nothing. I looked at each city’s yellow pages to confirm that there was little, if any, karate school competitors. If there was too much competition I simply went on to another city. America was a big country and it was foolish to go head-to-head with good competitors when there were so many cities wide open. I then placed an ad in certain select city yellow pages. These were usually small display ads as it was foolish to place a large, expensive, display ad in a yellow pages when we were the only ad. The yellow page ad had to be connected to a phone number, also established for free. The phone number and yellow page ad did not start billing until the yellow pages came out. So far everything was free. It just took a lot of planning and time consuming work. The day the yellow pages came out I had the phone number disconnected. This automatically stopped the billing for both the phone number and yellow page ad. I now have yellow page ads in several major American cities...for free. "

    "We now have one little problem. We have thousands of franchise pages printed but no way to collate them, put them in order. One of our instructors had a job working in the local government’s printing shop. And...he has a key to the shop! The instructor and I sneak into the shop in the middle of the night and use the government collating machine. It is a big job taking up most of two nights..
    I tell you this story because I believe in being honest in writing this story. Also, I am telling you this story because the statute of limitations has run out.
    We purchase a hardback book binder, which again was expensive. It continued to be expensive because in addition to the binding machine we had to keep on buying the custom printed book covers and binding materials.
    We finally have our franchises ready to sign."

    These quotes are something else! At least Jim Tracy admits the sleazy business practices and crimes that they used to get their business off the ground.
     
  7. Jim Hanna

    Jim Hanna Yellow Belt

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    I read it pretty much as you did. Of course, it all depends on your background/perspective as to whether or not it is offensive. It was a different time. Laws that are now commonplace, were not on the books then. (For example,consider the current criminal laws against steroids. They were nonexistent at the time.) Civil matters that involve businesses are even more complex to figure out.

    What about the reader's background/experience? Can he or she identify with things.

    When I was a young man I hitchiked around and had very little money. Sometimes I would enter a diner and order a cup of coffee. After the people at the next table or chair would leave, I would simply reach across, take the leftovers, and was well content to eat what had been left. If I had had a wife and children maybe I would have taken some tips.

    Jim
     
  8. Twin Fist

    Twin Fist Grandmaster

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    Dress it up however you want to, Jim Tracy just called Ed Parker a thief.

    his instructor, and he called him a thief.

    Even IF my instructor was a thief, i wouldnt call him one in public
     
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  9. Imua Kuntao

    Imua Kuntao Green Belt

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    I understand it all very well and am not offended or bothered by the read. I have met Al Tracy, at one of his seminars in Whicita Tx., I was a member of the United Kenpo Assoc. under J. T. Will, and I once had a chance meeting with Tom Conner here in San Antonio, Tx, he brought Dick Raney here to run a franchise, according to him. After having met Mr. Conner even though the visit was about 40 min.s I could see him doing the things that were said of him. I believe Tracys are honest, but I am just another reader. I cant myself see Mr. Parker doing what was said, but I once saw a good man steal food right out of a grocery store. Who can really say what they would do under any given circumstances?
     
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  10. Danjo

    Danjo Master Black Belt

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    Me. I, like most people, can see someone stealing to survive, i.e., to prevent starvation or to get life saving medicene etc., but to keep a Karate school open when he could have just got a job instead?

    Clearly, Jim Tracy (I won't presume to say that he speaks for his brothers) has little problem with fraud (The Yellow Pages scam) or misappropriation of government equipment, since the only reluctance he seems to have with talking about such things is the statute of limmitations. Heck, he seems proud of how clever they were to come up with those schemes.

    But I would think that one should have more clear evidence of a crime before accusing someone of it (even though you can't libel the dead legally). It seems like a cheap shot to tell that story about someone else if they aren't around to dispute it.

    Don't even get me started on the "7 pounds overweight thing" :)
     
  11. Imua Kuntao

    Imua Kuntao Green Belt

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    I my self know much of the histroy of martial arts here in San Antonio, Tx. I wouldn't tell of all things negitive, but I have known of an instructor here to change his name more than 5 different times, and he was/is a child sex offender, he no longer teaches. Others used to accuse each other of stealing students, and "pencil whipping" the books, these are just a few things. What really gets me upset is the stealing of material/knowledge from another teacher to be able to teach something new or advanced to thier own students. Its funny when you are the only one around with certain knowledge like some tradional bo kata from a particular style, and then you find out you were on someones camera being video taped. Yes there are things I know about but for the sake of the martial arts business, I wouldn't say much about them. I know to steer clear of certian individuals who would practice bad methods of conducting business. Most of the teachers here are OK, there are many new ones trying hard to make it, I wish them luck. It is a hard business to be in, we sell something the buyer cannot see, feel, taste, or here, at least in the beginning.
     
  12. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Well, give him a call then and take it up with him if you really feel this way. If you are really offended by it, then go to the source and set the record straight, if you have information to the contrary.

    I don't believe he was calling him a thief. I believe he was just illustrating how desperate the times were. I didnt' get the impression that Jim was casting judgement over it either. He was just relating what happened.
     
  13. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    seems to me it was sort of the same thing. Sure, Jim mentioned that this is how Kenpo was "funded" at that time. I think what he really meant was, this was how Mr. Parker was forced to survive, while trying to work on being successful with kenpo. That's how I read it anyway, given the full context of what was said.

    well, these were hardly high crimes and treason worthy of the gallows. A bit sneaky? yup. Does it tarnish their image? Maybe. I guess it depends on your perspective. Personally, it doesn't really bother me much, but then again, I myself have used my employers copy machine to photocopy personal things from time to time. I simply find it an interesting account of the history of how things developed in Tracy kenpo.

    He knew Mr. Parker pretty well and was in frequent close contact during this time. I suspect he was in a position to know what was happening.

    If you want to really dispute it, give him a call and see if you can set the record straight with him. If you have evidence to dispute what Jim stated, then bring it forth and see what Jim has to say about it. Get him to retract his statements on the matter. If you are really upset about it, then see if you can get something done about it. Let us know how that turns out for you.

    You've mentioned this twice now. Does it strike close to home for some reason?

    Was it an odd thing to say? Maybe. I'm not sure it's worth starting a crusade over.

    I don't understand why you feel you need to be Mr. Parker's Champion (which I doubt Mr. Parker needs), and I don't understand why you feel such a strong need to take issue with what Jim Tracy has to say. I just don't get where you are coming from.
     
  14. Twin Fist

    Twin Fist Grandmaster

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    how about because it is extreemly disrespectfull to talk smack about your instructor?

    how about it is extrremly disrespectfull to talk smack about the dead?

    How about because for 18 years now all the tracy's have done is talk smack?

    how about because no one cares how many fancy cars they had in the 60's?

    How about because they BRAG about turning out half trained black belts to run those chain schools?

    How about because we have THEM to thank for the McDojo's now?

    I could go on and on and on.

    FC,
    please dont get me wrong. I have a LOT of respect for the STYLE you practice. Seriously, I think the Tracy system of kenpo is very good, very complete, and well rounded. The FEW tracy BB's I have seen all seemed to know thier stuff. I have no doubt you do as well.

    Whatever thier skills in Kenpo, the actions of Al and Jim are IMO highly disrespectfull of thier instructor, without whom they would be unknown, and thier art, without which they would be unknown.

    FC, please believe me, I am not trying to insult YOU, or your style. If you studied directly under one of the tracy brothers, then I apologize for bad mouthing your instructor.
     
  15. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    well, he's just telling the history the way he remembers it. Keep in mind, this history is a small part of a much larger family history that he has written, most of which has nothing to do with kenpo. This is just the section about he and his brothers, and their involvement in kenpo. Yes, he did post it on the internet, yet he has hardly run around trying to attract attention to it. It actually looks to me like it is posted for his family and friends to read. I was completely unaware of it until Mr. Bishop posted the link. I simply find it interesting to read about their experiences. I am probably 3/4 of the way thru it, and honestly, I don't see anything yet that I would say was disrespectful of Mr. Parker, at least not intentionally. It seems that some people are taking issue with WHAT is being said, but it reads to me like Jim is not deliberately trying to talk smack about MR. Parker. He is just telling the history the way he remembers it. Nothing about what he has said about MR. Parker was done in a derogatory or accusatory way. And he has said some very flattering things about Mr. Parker's skills and how he taught them at that time.

    neither do I. I don't care about the fancy cars. I don't care that they DID own them, and I would not care if the HADN'T owned them. It's just part of the history and what they were doing at the time. Again, just an interesting story.

    according to our very own DOC Ron Chapel, Mr. Parker actually was working on setting up a chain of schools, and he actually embraced the term "McDojo", including its McDonalds implication. It seems that Mr. Parker felt it made good business sense, and this is what he was trying to accomplish.

    We do not have the Tracys to thank for McDojos. That responsibility is shared by many people throughout the martial arts, in many styles, including kenpo, but also including virtually all other styles taught in the United States.

    As far as half-trained black belts go, I don't know, I wasnt' there. I suppose some were better than others, and Jim alludes to certain schools that were not doing well. That may or may not have been due to instructors with inferior skills. But I do know that they also trained a lot of very skilled and capable martial artists, many of whom are now teachers.

    Did every student Mr. Parker trained turn out to be a stellar martial artist and teacher? How many of the less-than-impressive ones are also wearing black belts with a lot of red tips?

    I appreciate that, and I also do my best. How well do I personally stack up against the rest of the world? I dunno, really. That's between myself and my instructor, I guess, and I don't lose sleep over it one way or the other.

    I just do not see the disrespect in what Jim has said. In my opinion, it is just not there. It's a history from Jim's point of view. COuld he be mistaken about some things, perhaps remembers things incorrectly, or misunderstood something that he saw 40 years ago? Sure, that's possible. But it's his version of the history, and nobody should take it as anything other than that. Nobody said, "Hey, here's Jim Tracy's story, this is the gold-bound indesputable unbiased truth". Nobody has said that, and you don't need to take it as such. It's just another point of view, and I would point out that compared to many things that Will Tracy has said, Jim's story is very very reasonable and cordial with regards to Mr. Parker.

    I am not a direct student of the Tracys, but my instructor was a direct student of both Jim and Al Tracy, beginning in about 1963. He was actually there when a lot of things were happening, this was at a time when the Tracys were still part of Mr. Parker's organization, as he says: "we were still all one big happy family" at that time. He actually learned the Two-Man set from Mr. Parker directly, when Mr. Parker was visiting the Tracy's school in San Jose. He witnessed the split, and a lot of what went on during that time. So he is in a position to know, as well.

    I don't even see this topic as having anything to do with the whole split issue, and I don't want to steer the discussion in that direction. As I keep saying, it's just Jim's story, read it for what it's worth, or not. I don't see anything to fight about in what Jim says.
     
  16. Twin Fist

    Twin Fist Grandmaster

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    FC,
    thank you for being reasonable. I appreciate your opinion and viewpoint
     
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  17. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    You are welcome, and thank you too.
     
  18. Danjo

    Danjo Master Black Belt

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    I have no need to dispute it per se. I think it was a cheap shot at Parker to say it. If it's true, then why mention it? Seems like muckraking to bring it up at this point. a way to tarnish his image long after he was around to defend himself against the charges.

    It goes to Jim's state of mind and what he obsesses on. How does he know that she was exactly "7" pounds over weight? What was the relevance of this statement? If you notice the smiley face after my statement, you would know that i have no intention of starting a crusade over it. It just makes him seem odd which goes to how reliable he is about the rest of what he says IMO.

    I dislike it when people try to promote their own image by tearing down someone else's. That's how this reads to me.
     
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  19. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I think you have a very simplistic way of looking at things.

    I don't buy this explanation. In the time you have posted here on Martialtalk, I've definitely noticed a trend wherein you target a certain group or individual, and you like to go after them. For some reason, you seem to have a vendetta against the Tracys, among others.

    I don't know why that is, because from what you have posted on your background, you don't seem to be in either a Parker lineage or a Tracy lineage. So I don't understand why you are so eager to nit-pick and manufacture offense where none existed, any time the Tracys come up in discussion, or when they have written something.

    So what's the deal? Why all the animosity towards the Tracys? What's your personal involvement, and why the axe to grind?
     
  20. Danjo

    Danjo Master Black Belt

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    Well, sorry you feel that way. You seem overly sensitive regarding YOUR defense of Jim Tracy. Why do you feel the need to defend him when he put his story up for all to read? Let the man's words speak for themselves and don't jump on those of us that have issues with the things that he says. He didn't have to write them and make them public, but having done so, they are up for criticism.

    When you uncritically defend his writing, you sound like a Koolaid drinker rather than a student who studies a particular style. I think you're smarter than that.
     
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