Comparing Ryukyu and Tracys

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After much debate I am moving on to another style.
I live in the Lexington, Ky area and two of the better choices before me are a Tracy's school and someone who teaches Ryukyu kempo.
My current style is loaded down with katas, literally dozens. I am looking for a style that is more concerned with techniques and sparring than memorizing a lot of katas. Ideally I would like a style that has a traditional base, has somewhat of an old school approach as far as intensity and conditioning, but is definitely rooted in real world self defense and sparring.
I am not looking for a style that is completely entrenched in tradition and from what little I have gathered, Ryukyu kempo seems to be a very traditional Okinawan type karate style (of course I could be wrong on that one). Not that that's bad, it's just not what I'm looking for.
Any help on what these two styles consist of as far as how many katas, what sorts of techniques, drills, and what kind of sparring is done would be greatly appreciated. Especially if someone has experience with both.
Thanks.
 

arnisador

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Ryukyu Kempo is typically very kata-based. Nowadays the name is strongly identified with pressure point techniques in the States. Is it a DKI (George Dillman) group?

You might also ask in the Karate forum here.
 
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Yes it is a Dillman affiliate. Are they reputable for real self defense, do they only focus on pressure point stuff?
 

Sigung86

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Hate to turn of a prospective student, but you have two kata per belt in Tracy's... Gotta work for it and learn what is there. Insofar as RyuKyu Kempo... It too has lots of kata. If the school you are looking at is an offshoot of a traditional RyuKyu school, it might have a changed syllabus... But I doubt it would.

I would suggest that you go and visit both schools ... Ask questions and note the answers. Best answers gets the student. :lol:

Dan Farmer
 

arnisador

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Originally posted by Searcher
Yes it is a Dillman affiliate. Are they reputable for real self defense, do they only focus on pressure point stuff?

Opinions vary widely on the DKI material. Often a DKI school will teach its own traditional style of karate with DKI interpretations. There's a lot I like in my experiences with the DKI material, and that I find very useful, but Mr. Dillman himself is now teaching no-touch knockouts and other very questionable material. I'd encourage you to check out the school and see what they teach. Also, check out the Karate forum here for many discussions on Mr. Dillman and his methods.
 
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sammy3170

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Originally posted by arnisador
Ryukyu Kempo is typically very kata-based. Nowadays the name is strongly identified with pressure point techniques in the States. Is it a DKI (George Dillman) group?

You might also ask in the Karate forum here.


Yes Dillman does Ryukyu Kempo but it ain't his style. He probably popularised it over there but there are plenty of other schools not affiliated with DKI who are just as good. Also not all schools affiliated with DKI are Ryukyu Kempo schools. As long as they pay their fees and have him for seminars now and again they can be a DKI member. I do Ryukyu Kempo and yes there are a lot of kata. To first dan we are required to know about 12. So what; if they benefit you're learning and self defence who cares. Also everything we do in class we do for a reason. ie chambering the non punching hand at the hip is never for power or anything like that, it always represents a grapple etc etc When you say tradition be careful. Anyone who says the reason they do something is because it's traditional means that they don't know why they do it.

Cheers
Sammy
 
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Searcher

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Thanks for the help. I will check out the karate forum as well. I don't have any interest in no-touch knockouts to be quite honest.
I've already contacted both teachers and plan on visiting both. The Ryukyu teacher also says he teaches principles of Small Circle Jiujutsu and Modern Arnis which seems in keeping with Dillman's association with Prof Wally Jay at least.
I had really thought I was done with learning lots of katas, but I suppose if the number is within reason and actual applications are done, then I'm ok with it. I've been studying for approx 7 years and know a little over 50 katas. And I could know more if I went to all of the extra classes and seminars offered. To me that's a lot.
And I know what you mean by tradition, a lot of people use that to cover up shortcomings.
 
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Can anyone offer their experiences with Tracy's ? I'm mainly looking for insight into effectiveness and how the style is taught, not if it's better than one thing or another.
 

Sigung86

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Originally posted by Searcher
Can anyone offer their experiences with Tracy's ? I'm mainly looking for insight into effectiveness and how the style is taught, not if it's better than one thing or another.

Perhaps I can be of some assistance. My real name is Dan Farmer. I am a 6th Dan in Tracy Kenpo with training and teaching experience in Kenpo going back to 1971, so with that in mind I hope you will understand that I am a little biased.

Tracy Kenpo is a technique based system. There are 10 techniques for the yellow belt with some variations The other belts have 30 techniques per belt plus variations. The kata, or forms, if you will, are relatively easy to learn, and are specific to Kenpo, but they can be quite intricate. They are not like the traditional Okinawan or Japanese forms. I say this, because I do not know what your previous training is. The techniques for each kata are taught in the belt before, so that you will have a much easier time placing the kata in a useful form.
And with your background in kata, you should find it relatively easy to put the Kenpo forms together.

The system itself is what Ed Parker taught before he began developing American Kenpo. It is, much to the chagrin of American Kenpo Stylists, and often Tracy Practitioners, what we like to call a repository of Kenpo Technique. The techniques are generally full and complete, and often bottom heavy with variations that will often times seem to be dealing with minutiae, such as different hand forms to be used in the same motion. However The general overall motion training is good, the defense concepts and applications are very effective. They are more spoon-fed than other systems.

I dont want you to think however that it is simple. You will get out of it as much as you are willing to put into it. You will see a whole different perspective if you have been used to dealing with more traditional styles.

Ive taught these same techniques and methods to Military Special Ops personnel, Government employees, and police, city, county and state in Missouri and other countries. Several of my students have gone to the military. One was asked to come back after his active posting in USMC Swimmer/Scouts (Kind of a USMC Delta Force) as a hand to hand combat instructor based solely on what he used that I had passed to him in the form of Tracy Kenpo.

Kenpo is imminently adaptable to weapon fighting, both one handed and two handed, it lends itself well to fighting in full military pack and it is as simple or complex as you want to make it..

You will hear a lot of hassling back and forth between American Kenpo and Tracy Kenpo stylists, much of it good natured, some of it not so good natured, but in the words of Frank Trejo Its all good.

I don't know that I have covered anything you want to know, as you have not asked for specifics... I have given a very, very light overview of what I think you were, generally, getting at. Regarding effectiveness ... The techniques have saved my bacon a couple of times in actual application. As KenpoJoe Rebelo says, I hope I was of some service. If you have specific questions, please feel free to contact me at:

[email protected]

or You can call me at 636-745-3058. I am unavailable usually Sunday to Tuesday due to an extremely heavy work schedule, but you can always leave a message and Ill call back or call on Wednesday through Saturday. LOL!

Take care, be well, and Happy New Year

Dan Farmer
 

arnisador

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It's common to have DKI Ryukyu Kempo, Wally Jay's SCJJ, and Remy Presas' Modern Arnis (my style) taught together. They used to tour together as the "Big Three" and of course exchanged techniques. Modern Arnis has SCJJ techniques in it.
 

Goldendragon7

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Originally posted by Sigung86
My name is Dan Farmer. I am a 6th Dan in Tracy Kenpo, been at it since 1971.

Tracy Kenpo is a technique based system which is what Ed Parker taught prior to his constant "up grading" and evolution ane eventual development of what today is known as "American Kenpo".

All Kenpo is imminently adaptable to any type of fighting desired, wether it be weapon fighting, 1 or 2 handed, fighting in full military pack, or against multiple opponents, it is as simple or sophisticated as you want to make it..

American Kenpo and Tracy Kenpo stylists, love to debate issuses, much of it good natured, some of it not, but in the words of Frank Trejo Its all good.

As Mr. Farmer stated..... Kenpo is the way to go! But it all depends upon the individual studio and instructor that you get that will make all the difference. (that is with anything)

Dan and I have taked much over the past couple of years and enjoy the talks. One day we will get together and really have fun! LOL

Whereever you go....... check out the school for yourself and be sure you feel comfortable and like the atmsophere .... then go with your gut.

:asian:
 

cdhall

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Hi Searcher,

My original teacher taught a derivative of Tracy Kenpo or Pre-Tracy Parker Kenpo so I have some familiarity with Tracy Kenpo. However later I switched to an Ed Parker American Kenpo teacher (who had a background similar to mine) so there is a difference between the two but this is not really the point of my post.

This being my background and since I was born in Lexington Kentucky, I went to the Tracy HQ school in Lexington in 1994 while I was visiting my Mom. The guy who was running the place was very nervous to have me in there being friendly and asking questions. At the schools I have been to anyone can come in and watch a class, but this guy just wanted me to go away. He seemed to be teaching 2-3 lessons at once, rotating between them. There seemed to be a few people there in Private Lessons and a few people in the back in a group workout in a larger area. He let me stay in the lobby for a bit as he went back to his teaching. I was probably there less than 10mins altogether.

I am curious to know if they let you in to watch a class and how they treat you when you visit. I had called ahead I think and when I went in I think I introduced myself as someone with previous experience who was curious about them and had heard that this was the Headquarters school.

Let me know how your visit goes. I would have thought they would have been more eager to see a "prospect." But this was almost 10 years ago now so I will not be surprised to hear that things might be different.
 

Sigung86

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Well Doug,

Let's put a negative spin on things! :lol:

I suspect that the teacher was not as nervous as you perceived. It is often easy to put our interpretation on other peoples actions.

Tracy International has a very well rounded and complete Instructor training program that teaches the instructor how to deal with the public in a business manner as well as in the studio. Tracy International is, if nothing else, a business venture. I suspect that there were other things going on ... And teaching a class would be more important than stopping everything to talk to you. Remember, from a strictly business sense... I have 20 paying students at a time taking private and group lessons... I am going to take care of them first. And a number one rule is that you don't let anyone in to watch private lessons... That's why they're called "Private". :lol:

Not having been there, I don't know for sure, but he may have been upset that the person who would have, or should have been there to greet and help you, wasn't there and he got put on a bad spot. Sounds like it if he was stuck teaching two or three privates and a group. Bad scheduling on somebodies part. it's a matter of perspective and perception.

Just a way of looking at it. It didn't make sense for an instructor to be nervous and evasive, on purpose and not without reason. Kenpo is very important, but continuity of the school is, essentially, paramount, otherwise there's no place to teach the Kenpo and no one to teach it to.

Dan
 

cdhall

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I hope the guy was overbooked. There was no one in the lobby when I arrived and I do remember that I called to get driving directions because I was from out of town.

I wanted to see how the very successful guys kept their shop.

I am hoping Searcher comes back not understanding how I could have gotten that impression.

But we used to tease the Tracy guys a good deal several years ago so my apologies if any of that crept in.
:asian:
 
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Kenpomachine

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Originally posted by Sigung86
I have 20 paying students at a time taking private and group lessons...
How can that be? If I pay for a private class, I should recquire that the instructor be there only for me. Just my opinion....
 
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RCastillo

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To Wright City, Mo! FAST

I'm missing out on what Mr. Farmer has to offer. With him teaching all these other people, I'm isolated here in Texas.

Let's see, what Interstate do I hit to get out of here?:eek:
 
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Kirk

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Originally posted by RCastillo
Let's see, what Interstate do I hit to get out of here?

I-10 West to I-35 North. Don't let the door smack in the hind
end on your way out!
:D :p :D :p
 
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RCastillo

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Originally posted by Kirk
I-10 West to I-35 North. Don't let the door smack in the hind
end on your way out!
:D :p :D :p

Hey, my butt ain't that big, I've been working out on them fancy Ellipitcal trainers!:cool:
 

jfarnsworth

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Those machines are really good to work out on. If you use your upper body also you can get a total body work out. Very low impact on the knees as well.
 

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