A new beginning for me in Tracy's Kenpo...

Flying Crane

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I have made the decision to retrain in my kenpo. Kenpo was the first art I studied, beginning in 1984 when I was in high school. I reached first dan, but was unable to continue training beyond that, as I left for college, my instructor moved way, etc. I always kept practicing on my own, but drifted away from it while studying other arts, sometimes for years at a time. But I always seemed to return to it again at some point.

I always felt it had a lot of good stuff in it. However, in the last couple of years I have modified my material heavily, to streamline the system for myself. I have often felt many of the SD techs were unnecessary and burdensome, and my rants can be found liberally scattered around here on Martialtalk. I won't reiterate all that again here.

I have been giving this a lot of thought, in the meantime. It has been many years since I have had a chance to work with a kenpo instructor. In the meantime I have been focused on learning other arts, and I am sure there is much in my kenpo that I have forgotten while my focus was elsewhere. My original instructors were not high level people, and I now live halfway across the continent from them. While I believe my training with them was solid, I am sure there is a lot that perhaps I never learned as well as I could. So I decided that it would be a great benefit to myself to retrain with another instructor.

I have been speaking a couple times with Ted Sumner in San Jose, CA. As many of you probably know, he is 8th dan under Al Tracy, and has been involved in Tracy's kenpo since around 1964 or so. I believe he is among the very top teachers and practitioners in the Tracys system. Next Tuesday, I will drive down to San Jose from San Francisco, and take my first class with him. It is a long drive, during commute hours. It could take anywhere from an hour, to an hour and a half each way. Honestly, I don't know if this will work out, primarily due to the commute, but I want to give it a try. I am excited about this prospect. Mr. Sumner has been very good to talk to on the phone, and I am looking forward to meeting him and working under his direction.

On top of this, my wife is going with me, and will also take the class and see if she likes it. She has been training in Capoeira for about 8 or 9 years of so (that is where we met), and is kind of wanting to explore something different now. In the past, I taught her a little bit of kenpo, the first couple of forms and a few SD techs from Orange Belt. She also has a background in Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido, during her high school days. So this stuff shouldn't be entirely foreign to her.

We intend to continue studying Capoeira to some degree, and I will still meet with my kung fu sifu on Saturdays. that stuff is too damn good to abandon, and I have no intention of doing so. But I want to bring a stronger line of kenpo back into my life. Exciting stuff, I just wanted to share. Thx, everyone.
 

Drac

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Congrats and good luck...
I hope that this works out for you and your wife...

Ditto...Please keep us posted on what you're feeling as re-start your journey..
 

kosho

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I have been driving about 1 hr each way to keep my kempo going.
after awhile the drive will just be part of the routine. good luck and give it time to become part of you again
kosho
 

Tames D

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Good decision. And as far as the commute, at least you'll have your wife with you for company, so it might work out well.
 

exile

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Sounds like a very good decision, Michael. It's clear from the tone of your post that you're really happy about it, and I hope and believe that it will give just what you feel you need now in your MA career. As everyone has said, please keep us posted on how it's going.
 

Carol

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That is fantastic Michael! Best of luck to you and your wife! I hope it goes well for both of you. :)
 

KenpoDave

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Ted Sumner is not just one of the top Tracy's instructors. I would put him up there as a top martial arts instructor. Period. I would love to only have to drive an hour or two to see him!

You will not be disappointed. I envy you.
 

Jim Hanna

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Original/traditional kenpo is a truly impressive martial art when taught by someone who has mastered it. If your lifestyle can commit to the long drives, then you will see how "alive" kenpo can really be. I consider Dr Sumner to be the chief instructor for Tracy's kenpo.

Jim
 
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Flying Crane

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Thank you everyone for your words of encouragement. I haven't had a chance to meet Mr. Sumner face to face yet, but I am encouraged to hear how highly others think of him.

I personally don't mind doing the drive. The only problem is that his class starts at 6:30, so I have to rush out of work and make that drive during commute hours. I am concerned that I might simply end up missing class, or at least being chronically late due to the timing and traffic. He understands my situation, and has indicated that he doesn't see it as a problem if we are late, I just hate to have to do that.

Well, if I find the experience good, I guess I will make the commitment to keep it up regardless, at whatever level I can manage in my hectic life. I hope my wife also decides to keep with it, I think it would be a fun thing for us to share together, including the travel time.

I'll keep you all posted as things unfold...
 

Xue Sheng

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Sure I'm happy for you but.... but.... what about Xuefu???? :uhyeah:

I just saw this post.

I am very happy you found a good teacher and are returning to Tracy Kenpo and I am glad to hear you are going to keep meeting with your sifu too. I have no doubt you will do well. :asian:
 
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Flying Crane

Flying Crane

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Sure I'm happy for you but.... but.... what about Xuefu???? :uhyeah:

Ahh, well, Xuefu is always kept in my back pocket. It's really the secret weapon, far too devastating to unleash when first provoked, but available in an instant when all else has failed and the enemy is too powerful! Then, Xuefu always reigns supreme.

But I need a healthy arsenal of "lesser" arts to use for my primary defense. Liability purposes, you know...:p
 

Xue Sheng

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Ahh, well, Xuefu is always kept in my back pocket. It's really the secret weapon, far too devastating to unleash when first provoked, but available in an instant when all else has failed and the enemy is too powerful! Then, Xuefu always reigns supreme.

But I need a healthy arsenal of "lesser" arts to use for my primary defense. Liability purposes, you know...:p


OK… I feel better now… I was worried there for a minute..... and I understand fully. That is why I openly train other styles so I have no reason to unleash the devastation of Xuefu. :supcool: :uhyeah: :p
 
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