Joe Lewis

Discussion in 'Tracy's Kenpo' started by Spartan, Oct 6, 2007.

  1. Spartan

    Spartan Green Belt

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    What's the connection between Tracy's Karate and Joe Lewis?

    I had always heard that Lewis received his original karate training in shorin-ryu, but I see that he's awarded a few notable kenpo practitioners around St. Louis their 1st black; there is still a close affiliation w/Joe Lewis and the Tracy's kenpo people around St. Louis.

    Could you tell me about this?

    Thanks,
    Spartan
     
  2. KenpoDave

    KenpoDave 2nd Black Belt

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    In the early days of tournament fighting, Joe Lewis was the head of the Tracy's National Fighting Team. He designed the original checkered gi that was at first worn in tournaments by these guys.

    The Tracy system "sparring method" is based heavily on theories and principles that were developed by Joe Lewis, and Lewis still does seminars often in Tracy's schools around the country.

    The 1st blacks that are awarded in the St. Louis area are likely black belts in the Joe Lewis system. Joe Lewis does not teach Shorin ryu, but his own style based heavily on sparring and fighting.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Spartan

    Spartan Green Belt

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    So did Lewis actually study the methods of the Tracy brothers/ does he have a ranking in kenpo karate?

    Also, how similar are his methods compared to Tracy's?
     
  4. KenpoDave

    KenpoDave 2nd Black Belt

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    I do not believe that Lewis has any ranking in kenpo karate. There are others here who would know more about that.

    As far as similarity of methods, well, Lewis influenced the early development of Tracy's sparring methods, and it has been nearly 40 years. For myself, looking at sparring methodology, it would be difficult to draw the line separating the two because so much of our methodology is based on Joe Lewis' stuff.
     
  5. Spartan

    Spartan Green Belt

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    Thanks Dave
     
  6. Doc

    Doc Senior Master

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    I've mentioned in previous posts the astuteness of Al Tracy as a businessman. When he decided to field a competition team in the heyday of point fighting, he hired Joe Lewis to head up his "A Team."

    Joe received his black while in the military stationed in Okinawa in Shorin-ryu, in less than a year. Joe Lewis' sparring ability and success in competition was actually heavily influenced by the methods taught to him by his coach and teacher, Bruce Lee beginning in the mid-sixties.

    This is the root of the bulk of the Tracy Method of Sparring as taught by Joe Lewis, as the Captain of the fighting teams, along with "B Team" Captain Glover "Jerry" Smith. Jerry was Joe's only private student taught the Bruce Lee Method of 25 principles of fighting. I worked out with them a few times because Jerry was a good friend and we trained together as well, along with Bob Leonard out of Tracy's Long Beach Ca.

    Joe brought his methods to Tracy's but never really trained in Tracy's Kenpo.

    Tracy's Kenpo is very eclectic to the extent that Al would hire some of the best at any art to teach and infuse their knowledge into his system. Tracy's Kenpo is unique in that depending upon teacher, and geography these specialty aspects of the art are available to its students. Much like the thread about Taiji, Al hired someone to teach select teachers, but that doesn't mean every teacher has learned every aspect of Tracy's kenpo.
     
  7. Rob Broad

    Rob Broad Master of Arts

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    Thanks for shedding the light on the topic Doc. I have been fortunate enough to have attended a couple Joe Lewis Seminars and all I can say is WOW. A lot ofo knowledge and a lot of power.
     
  8. Dr John M La Tourrette

    Dr John M La Tourrette Green Belt

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    Nice.

    The best source materials I've ever seen on those type of "real workable" sparring technologies (including Joe Lewis's) was put out by Karyn Turner 16-17 years ago.

    Mandatory study for all of my clients.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette
     
  9. Danjo

    Danjo Master Black Belt

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    Tracy also hired Al Dacascos to teach them forms around that time.
     
  10. KenpoDave

    KenpoDave 2nd Black Belt

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    I have been working on compiling a list of the forms in our system along with the originators of each. Do you know which forms Al Dacascos taught?
     
  11. Danjo

    Danjo Master Black Belt

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    No clue, but I'll try to find out. Here's a picture of Lewis and Dacascos from around that time.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. NubreedKaliSilat

    NubreedKaliSilat Yellow Belt

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    Joe Lewis together with my instructor Al Dacascos taught Sparring and forms to Tracy's Black Belts back in the 70's. Here is a list of some of the fighting principles that was taught back in the day~

    1. SETUPS
    1. Set yourself up physically and mentally.
    • Raise your energy level.
    • Use sparring partner for timing and distance.
    • Practice external focus.
    2. Set up opponent verbally.
    • Confuse him.
    • Psyche him out.
    3. Set up your opponent through body language.
    • Mislead him.
    • Frighten him.
    2. POSITIONING
    1. Position for mobility.
    • Keep in mind Constant Forward Pressure.
    • Be capable of moving offensively or defensively.
    2. Position for distance.

    Keep in mind your opponent's critical distance line when positioning.
    Be able to bridge the gap effectively from your position.
    3. Position for best defensive capability.
    • Keep in mind your defensive choices.
    • Keep all vital areas covered constantly.
    4. Position for best offensive capability.
    • Keep in mind your line of attack.
    • Be in a relaxed state that you can explode out of.
    5. Position with the right psychological attitude.
    • Be assertive.
    • Be active or passive according to how you want to set him up.
    3. INDEPENDENT MOVEMENT
    1. Strike moves independent of body and body follows.
    2. No tell-tale leading centers.
    3. Keep in mind relaxation versus tension.
    4. Keep in mind initial speed and direct angle of attack.
    5. Independent movement should be used with all five primary techniques.
    4. INITIAL SPEED
    1. Relax--Explode.
    2. More important that timing speed or natural speed (MPH).
    5. CRITICAL DISTANCE LINE
    1. Your opponent's effective killing range is the critical distance line.
    2. Your ability in bridging the gap will determine where you position yourself in relation to your opponent's critical distance line.
    6. LINE OF ATTACK
    1. INSIDE.
    2. OUTSIDE.
    3. MIDDLE.
    7. BRIDGING THE GAP
    1. Initial speed and proper footwork are the two most important principles involved in bridging the gap.
    2. Keep in mind critical distance line.
    3. Keep in mind extension, hyper-extension and double hyper-extension.
    4. Keep in mind half commitment, full commitment and extension commitment.
    8. FIVE PRIMARY TECHNIQUES
    1. Sidefist or backfist (Leading side).
    2. Inverted close punch (Leading side).
    3. Reverse punch (Rear side).
    4. Side kick or roundhouse (Wheel) kick (Leading side).
    5. Spinning rear kick (Rear leg).
    9. LEADING SIDE VERSUS REAR SIDE
    1. Economy of motion in terms of shorter distance.
    2. Bridges the gap faster.
    3. Helps cut out leading centers.
    4. Most of the five primary techniques come off the leading side.
    10. ECONOMY OF MOTION
    1. Keep in mind straight line versus curved line.
    2. Keep in mind leading side versus rear side.
    3. Concentrates on the direct angle of attack because economizes on movement and lessens the time commitment.
    11. RELAXATION VERSUS TENSION
    1. Initial speed increases.
    2. Time commitment is less with fast initial speed.
    3. Conserves energy.
    4. More deceptive with less leading centers.
    12. MOBILITY VERSUS IMMOBILITY
    1. Footwork.
    • Basic stepping
    • Hopping
    • Switch stepping
    • Creeping
    • Shuffling
    2. Directions.
    • Vertical.
    • Horizontal.
    • Arcing (Off angle).
    3. With mobility there is more deceptiveness and unpredictability.
    13. EXTENSION, HYPER-EXTENSION, DOUBLE HYPER-EXTENSION
    1. Your own critical distance line increases if double hyper-extension is used.
    2. Your ability to bridge the gap is more effective.
    3. Keep in mind half commitment, full commitment, extension commitment.
    14. LEADING CENTERS
    1. In most of your techniques you should use independent motion and cut out all leading centers.
    2. Leading centers can be used purposely in faking and broken rhythm.
    15. UNPREDICTABILITY VERSUS CLASSICAL FORM
    1. Use leading centers for faking and keeping your opponent off balance and jumpy.
    2. Mobility is more unpredictable, keep moving using different kinds of
    3. footwork and directions.
    4. Use different kinds of broken rhythm.
    5. Be interchangeable with straight lines and curved lines.
    6. Be flexible with the different angles of attack.
    16. STRAIGHT LINE VERSUS CURVED LINE
    1. The most direct route to your target is a straight line.
    2. A straight line attack is more powerful and economizes motion.
    3. Most of the five primary techniques utilize a straight line of attack.
    17. DEFENSIVE CHOICES
    1. Hand and body positioning is a matter of preference with the individual as long as the vital areas are covered at all times.
    2. There are four defensive movement patterns that can be used according to the size, structure and fighting attitude of the person using them; your opponent's size, technique, and footwork should also be a determining factor in what kind of defense you choose.
    3. Be unpredictable and switch back and forth between the different defensive movement patterns to keep your opponent unsure of himself.
    18. INITIAL SPEED VERSUS COMBINATIONS
    1. Initial speed and the direct angle of attack are more spontaneous when you are externally focused.
    2. Practice combinations is future thinking which is negative thinking.
    3. Initial speed ties in with independent movement which gives us more
    4. economy of movement.
    5. There is less time commitment in the initial speed of the direct angle of attack.
    6. A good portion of our practice and programming should be spent on initial speed and the direct angle of attack because it is one of the most important principles of them all.
    19. FAKING
    1. The main leading centers used in faking are:
      • Hip
      • Body
      • Shoulder
    2. Faking is used in the direct angle of attack.
    3. Faking makes your opponent commit himself and throws off his timing.
    4. Faking is used in broken rhythm also and helps to increase your unpredictability.
    20. CONSTANT FORWARD PRESSURE
    1. Mental - assertiveness and external focus.
    2. Physical - forward movement, offensive body positioning, and aggressive body language.
    3. Result - Confusion.
    21. TIME COMMITMENT THEORY
    1. Keep in mind initial speed.
    2. Bridge the gap with straight lines and direct angles of attack.
    3. Keep in mind your opponents timing and reaction time, how much time does your technique take to complete in comparison to the time it takes for your opponent to react and counter.
    22. DEFENSIVE MOVEMENT PATTERNS
    1. Jammer - moves forward.
    • Use the direct angle of attack against a Jammer.
    • Use broken rhythm (move in with a body fake to draw him, move back as he tries to jam, and kick him as you retreat or move back into him).
    2. Blocker - stays in position or moves a half step back.
    • 80% of all fighters are blockers.
    • Use all five angles of attack against a blocker.
    3. Runner - moves backward out of original position.
    • Use the direct angle of attack and hit him before he runs.
    • Use a combination and follow him.
    • Use broken rhythm (active - he runs, active - he runs, passive - hit him before he runs).
    4. Elusive runner - moves all over and is unpredictable.
    • Set him up.
    • Wait until he comes to you.
    5. Name your opponent by his footwork and by where he is at your point of contact with him.
    • He may be a jammer and intended to jam your move, but if you nailed him before he moved he is a blocker.
    23. ANGLE OF ATTACK VERSUS TECHNIQUE VARIATION
    1. If you can't make a technique work, change your angle of attack rather than change to a less effective technique.
    2. Direct - Initial speed and independent motion.
    3. Indirect - Fakes.
    4. Combinations - Direct and Indirect.
    5. Broken rhythm.
    24. HALF COMMITMENT, FULL COMMITMENT, EXTENSION COMMITMENT
    1. Set your opponent up with broken patterns (Full commitment-doesn't reach him, full
    2. commitment-doesn't reach him, extension commitment-nail him by bridging the gap.
    3. Be unpredictable and throw his timing and distance off.
    4. Keep in mind extension, hyper-extension, and double hyper-extension.
    25. THEORY OF BROKEN RHYTHM
    1. Change target (low, low, high).
    2. Change body rhythm (active, active, passive).
    3. Change body motion (forward, backward, forward).
    4. Change speed fast to slow to fast).
    5. Change movement (stop, go).
    6. Change angle of attack.
    7. Change techniques.
    8. Change positioning and set him up.
    9. Change patterns of any sort.
    10. Change attitude (aggressive, passive).
    11. Change your defensive choice.
    12. Change your footwork.
    13. Change your commitment.
    14. Change your line of attack (inside, inside, outside).
    15. Be totally unpredictable with broken rhythm and throw your opponents timing totally off.
     
  13. Dave Simmons

    Dave Simmons Green Belt

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    Al Dacascos did not teach Tracy's any forms! The Tracy System then as well as now will incorporate those techniques that will enchance the system. As a side note Al Dacascos is a friend of Al Tracy but did not teach Al Tracy any forms.
     
  14. Doc

    Doc Senior Master

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    Those are the 25 Fighting Principles of the Joe Lewis fighting system, ostensibly taught to him by Bruce Lee, but also containing principles from Ed Parker shared with Bruce. Al Dacascos may have learned them as well, because Parker didn't keep martial arts "secrets" and shared with all bright and astute enough to understand, but I am unaware of Al ever teaching sparring to the Tracy's.
     
  15. MarkC

    MarkC Orange Belt

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    I was fortunate to be Joe's neighbor several years ago when he lived in NC.
    Saw him at the corner store a few times, and he came to our class and gave a FREE seminar one night.
     
  16. jukado1

    jukado1 Orange Belt

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    Al Dacascos while not teaching his forms for the Tracy's belt ranks did help the Tracy's form competetors a great deal, And as far as Al's student, Karyn Turner, Much of her sparring skill came from training with Howard Jackson, Who at that time was one of Joe Lewis's sparring partners.
     
  17. Danjo

    Danjo Master Black Belt

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    Mr. Simmons, Obviously the forms you demonstrated in that now infamous (but mysteriously vanished) video clip didn't come from Al "The King of Kata" Dacascos. No one would ever accuse Dacascos of teaching you those forms. Trust me. Basically, he was brought in to help the Tracy's win tourneys, just like Lewis did in sparring.
     
  18. Dave Simmons

    Dave Simmons Green Belt

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    First and foremost I was addressing the notion that Al Dacascos was brought in to help Al Tracy (forms etc.) Second Joe Lewis was hired to help the Tracy org. form a national "fighting team". However Al Dacascos, in fact, operated Tracy franchises around the Denver, CO he never worked for the Tracy org. End of story whether you like it or not.

    Have a really great day!
     
  19. Danjo

    Danjo Master Black Belt

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    Well, I've heard different from those that were there, but who cares? How about putting up that forms video of yours again? I know Youtube could host it for free. Hard to get people as highly ranked as you demonstrating things the way you did, so you should really think about sharing your wisdom and skill.
     
  20. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    According to my instructor, Ted Sumner, the way they used to spar back in the early days was heavy on contact, a basic disregard for the notion of rules and the notion that a target might be off-limits for some reason, and continuous fighting without regard for points. Basically, they would face off and beat the living **** out of each other. Lots of injuries.

    this caused them problems when they brought this method to the tournaments with them. It frequently got them disqualified because they were not playing by the rules.

    So Al Tracy hired Joe Lewis to teach them how to fight successfully in tournaments. Joe knew how to play the game well, he was very successful as well as very tough, and he taught winning strategies for tournament competition. What the Tracy students in the early days did not need was help in winning fights, however. They just needed an attitude adjustment in order to be successful in the tournaments.

    Ted has faced off against Joe Lewis, and indicated that Joe was extremely good, and could be quite intimidating. But he told me that Joe never studied the Tracy system. In fact, he has said that Joe has commented that he wished he would have taken the time to learn a complete system, such as Tracy kenpo. His skill and time was mostly spent on fighting and developing the skills necessary for that kind of face-to-face competition combat, and never really learned a complete martial system. Joe was very good at fighting, and was very very tough. When he was a student he was awarded rank because he could beat all the higher ranking students in the dojo where he studied. Not because of knowledge of a complete system.

    I have never heard it suggested that Al Dacascos taught forms to Tracy people, or at least not at Al Tracy's request to formally incorporate material into the system. It is certainly possible that some particular Tracy students may have studied with Mr. Dacascos and learned his stuff, but this has never been codified into the Tracy system.

    Tracys does have a number of Chinese forms that do not exist in other kenpo lineages. A lot of this material came from Jimmy Wing Woo, and some other people, but I've never heard of any of it coming from Al Dacascos. Ted has also mentioned that Mr. Dacascos had operated a Tracy school at some time, but what exactly he was teaching, if it was the complete Tracy system or something else, I do not know.
     

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