- May 12, 2002
- Reaction score
- Southern California
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.