Looking to connect with a Tracy's school near central Wisconsin

Discussion in 'Tracy's Kenpo' started by spawn2031, Nov 13, 2019.

  1. spawn2031

    spawn2031 Yellow Belt

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    Ok guys, here's my issue... 12 years ago, I was a Tracy's student in Silverton, Ohio... life happened and I had to stop training (was almost to brown) and then life happened again and I moved to Central Wisconsin. Now here I am, 12 years down the road and wanting to finish what I started. The only problem is, as far as I can tell the nearest Tracy's school to me is either in Missouri or Michigan, both of which are a 8+ hour drive away from me. I've tried sending messages to what appear to be both Tracy's main websites.. one run by Mark and another by Pat it seems (did they split?), as well as messaging them on FB to see if they can clue me in to affiliate schools that might be closer but have gotten no word, so I'm reaching out to you guys in hopes someone knows of or runs one somewhat close to me. Within a couple hours drive or so.

    I'm pretty sure that whatever I find, it's not going to be close enough for me to go multiple times a week so this is the plan that I hope to accomplish. I plan on purchasing all the belt DvDs thru black as well as the technique bible so I can do plenty of home training with them and then use that in combination with traveling to the school a couple times a month and for belt testing, if the instructor there (wherever there may be) would be ok with such an arrangement. Hell I'd even be ok with web private lessons. Just as long as I had an instructor to guide me. So... here's to hoping you guys can point me in the right direction!

    Thanks
     
  2. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Check in the Minneapolis area. There used to be a fellow there who was a member here on Martialtalk, a senior level Tracy instructor. He passed away over a decade ago, but it is possible that some of his students continue to teach.

    Unfortunately I don’t remember his name, and don’t know any of his students, so this is a pure guess.

    I would recommend you investigate what opportunities lie in your area, where you can train directly. I do not encourage a situation where the bulk of the instruction is done through video. I do not believe it is a good approach. Don’t get so attached to a particular system that you embrace a lesser training method in order to pursue that system. If there are good schools in your area, regardless of system, I would highly recommend you pursue training there instead.
     
  3. spawn2031

    spawn2031 Yellow Belt

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    Thanks for that info, I did a google search already for Tracy's in Minnesota but nothing came up. I completely agree with you on the sticking with local schools but in a relatively rural area, there are very few schools here and the ones that are here are TKD only. Not that I am against TKD but I prefer other styles. I started in one a couple months ago and then it closed down abruptly with very little notice or reason why so here I am looking again and pondering my options.
     
  4. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    May I ask, how far along in your training in kenpo had you reached before you had to stop?
     
  5. spawn2031

    spawn2031 Yellow Belt

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    I was studying for my 1st brown belt rank (currently green belt)
     
  6. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Ok, interesting. So you are not a total beginner, your fundamentals ought to be well under development (or at least had been while you were active).

    How much do you remember? Do you have a notebook or something with which you could reclaim the material that you had learned? That would be a good place to start, but it means you need to be motivated to drive your own practice sessions, which some people can do and others are not good at doing.

    I personally don’t see any problem with using video to reclaim material that you had already learned. If it is just a matter of being reminded of the choreography of the techniques and the kata, which hopefully will bring back to mind the principles and such that are needed in order to make it all work. I don’t like the idea of learning new things by video. I think that’s where the problems lie.

    As an ex-Tracy shodan myself, I’ll be honest in saying that in my opinion, the bulk of the good stuff is found in the early belts: green and below. Once you get into the brown and up, I was struck by how much of the material made less sense to me, seemed more contrived and unrealistic. So in my opinion, I think you’ve got most of what matters in the system, rank-be-damned. It’s mostly a matter of developing what you’ve got into a high level of skill. Sometimes at the higher ranks, the curriculum just becomes complicated and not functional.

    It’s a bummer when you live in an area with few or no options. I know that story very well, as I grew up in a small farming community in southwest Wisconsin. As it turned out, my little town had a Tracy Kenpo school. My teachers have since moved on and have not actively been training or involved with kenpo for several decades now, and I know that have no interest in teaching, so that isn’t an option either.

    I would say, get started rebuilding what you had. If you can establish a relationship with a Tracy’s teacher, then save the new material for sessions with the teacher, even if those sessions are far between because of distance. Don’t try to work ahead with the videos. Use the videos for reference material on what you have already learned.

    May I ask: in what town do you live? You could send me a PM if you don’t want to put it on the open forum.
     
  7. spawn2031

    spawn2031 Yellow Belt

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    Na, that doesnt bother me at all, I live in Wisconsin Rapids. And yeah, even though my body's conditioning, balance and flexibility is not what it once was I still very clearly remember how everything looked and felt and I can still tell now if I make a movement if I'm doing it right or not. You never really forget the feeling of a move when it's executed correctly. I was very much enveloped by my training at the time. My instructor even had me leading some group classes and helping out with teaching kids classes and what not, which he didn't let too many others do. I was pretty obsessed with getting all my moves right and being my own worst critic. I do not have any notes from back in the day but I do remember how the technique bible was written and it did a pretty good on it's own of jogging my memory when I needed it to which is why I'm pretty confident that reviewing everything from white to brown on my own wont be too difficult, especially with the videos also. Of course with doing this, I am going to take it as slow as I did when I was first earning those ranks so I can regain my body's conditioning.

    I kinda think this is coming at a good time with winter setting in. It'll be a perfect opportunity to use the time to review all that I can and retrain myself. But I really hope to find a teacher to take me to the next level when I'm done with that. I remember how I felt when I was actively training. I felt like I had learned so much cool awesome stuff and felt very confident in my art, I'm not surprised at all by what you said about a lot of the brown and black techniques and katas.... still, I wont lie... I do want to officially earn my black belt in Kenpo. I know it's just a rank and just a different colored belt... hell, I saw several BBs at the TKD studio that closed down where I wondered how they earned it b/c they looked sloppy to me, but still, none the less... it's something that I really do want to earn someday. I'm just not sure how to besides that home study course of theirs but the idea of that just doesn't sit well with me.
     
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  8. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Well, do the best you can with what you’ve got. And see what you can do about finding a teacher, even if your visits aren’t as often as you would like. Be honest with yourself about the integrity of your training.

    And by the way, one of my best friends from high school days lives in Wisconsin Rapids, I’ve been there to visit a couple of times. I grew up in a little town called Lancaster. I live in California now, since 1994.
     
  9. spawn2031

    spawn2031 Yellow Belt

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    Haha! What a small world huh? What's the likelihood of that? I know where Lancaster is at, haven't been there though. And I will, I will stay true to what I was taught while going thru this. If I get lucky enough to find a teacher, if I'm not true to my old instructor's teachings, I'll end up wasting a lot of time with having to unlearn bad habits / technique. Does Tracy's have a bat signal I can light? lol
     
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  10. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I’m not aware of a bat signal. ;)
    Maybe you can look for some of the folks in the Lexington area, Steve Finn has a good reputation among the Tracy people, though I’ve never met him and cannot speak to his ability. But maybe take a long weekend about four times a year and drive down to train like hell with him for a couple days at a time. You can get guidance on what you are working on and gradually start working on new material. Then the DVDs would have a place in your personal review and practice. If you’ve got a buddy or two to train with and split travel costs, that would be very helpful. You could create a little training club of sorts.
     
  11. JKDJade

    JKDJade Yellow Belt

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    I would advise training at whatever school/style is near you, but if you have your heart set on Checkered GIs.. reach our to Mark Tracy in Tampa, Florida (Al Tracy's son) I've heard he instructs online and gives rank online as well. Heck with COVID that might just become the norm.

    Or you can do what Al Tracy did, just codify new moves and add to what you already know and call it a new style of Kenpo ;) :) good luck.123
     

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