John Sepulveda's 1st Annual West Coast Training Camp

Michael Billings

Senior Master
MTS Alumni
Apr 5, 2002
Reaction score
Austin, Texas USA-Terra
I had to see if any of you were planning on being at the camp next month? This is one of the cheapest Camps I have seen. I usually pay for the flight, hotel, meals, car rental, and cost of the camp. When I go to LA from Texas it has been $800+ or more. Of course if it is in Texas, I am the one getting off cheap.

This one is in the Spirit of a true camp - Training 1-1/2 hours North of San Francisco (in Occidental, CA.?), meals, cabins, they will transport from the airport ... I can't wait.

This is in the nature of a shameless plug, but it is not my camp and since it is a Kenpo Camp, I wanted it on this forum for a day or three. Anybody going?

Sigung LaBounty
Tommy Burks
Tom Graves
Steve Hirst
Scott Johnson
and more.....
Contact Mr. Guintu-Camp Director 925-935-5963 [email protected]

Hope to meet some of you that I am online with in person.

This sounds great! I am trying to go to Seattle however and if that doesn't pan out, I'll make this camp. I don't know most of these gentlemen, but I think it'll be a good one. Occidental is north of Santa Rosa and a bit more than 1 1/2 hours from S.F. especially if you're in traffic. But it's a pretty town with a hotel restuarant and bar that is famous. Of course we'll be training and won't have time for such revelry..Thanks for the info...
I've only been to one camp. What are the typical
sleeping arrangements like at a kenpo camp? Outdoosy, in tents
and stuff?
Hey, this is one of the first camps or seminars that I've seen a post about here that I might actually be able to attend! Thanks for the e-mail address, Mr. Billings, I'll find out more about it!


Starting in the late 60's or early 70's some of the Chinese Kenpo people, specifically Gary Swan, with Steven LaBounty (National Chinese Kenpo Karate Association - NCKKA) decided to do a weekend retreat and train. OK, so think Bastrop State Park - yep, that is where it was. Tents and cook your own food, or beef jerky it, with some trail mix and bananas.

It evolved to where the NCKKA could afford to actually rent Camps out in the hill country, usually empty in October (Camp Maddox - we called Mud-ox, Pipe Creek, etc). There were bunks, and you took bedrolls ... but wait, I fogot the intervening year's camps where Black Belts had cabins and everyone else was in tents. Then, eventually, we all got to sleep in cabins ... but just for a while.

Because, when Brian Duffy split from the NCKKA he established his 1st Annual Texas Spirit Camp. The rest is history ... well almost, because we did not have a large student base for camps those first few years, we were forced to go back to the tents, whether you were a Black Belt or not. We camped on a student's or family friend's ranch. There was one cabin, and Mr. LaBounty, Sigung Kelly and a few of the others got to sleep indoors. See the pictures I posted on the SIBOK thread. That was a camp in the early 1990's. We were there at least 2 years. One hot and dusty when I tested for 3rd (1992), then another rainy muddy and nasty, but not too cold.

As time went on, the camps grew, until the one in 1994, which established the American Kenpo Senior Counsel.

NONE OF THESE WERE EVER HELD IN A HOTEL, SCHOOL, OR GYM. They were not tournaments, they were hard, sweaty, training, all day, from early in the morning with PT, to the end of camp. Ask Mr. LaBounty about HIS Gathering, not the "Las Vegas" one, or the one in Seattle. He and others, thought the removal from distractions, and opportunity to focus with like-minded people in a different setting, gave us exposure to another time, another level, or another facet or way of learning. I don't want to put words in his mouth, that is how I experienced it. (But I gotta tell you, that is in retrospect - then it was hot sweaty, fireant ridden training, or freezing rain as we slid around on our butts and faces in the mud.)

I could tell stories but I wouldn't want to scare you off. Not that I think I ever could at this point in your training. It was all good, as they say.

Re: Camp accomodations.
DANG! it sounds like boot camp! At least there we got to sleep inside... well most of the time.
I think to be out of your comfort zone and to focus on training is a good thing. If the occasion ever occurs that you must defend yourself, you'll definitely be out of your comfort zone.
To all the Kenpo Brothers and Sisters that are emailing me about this post.
It is not my interpretation that Michael Billings is stateing that Sigung Steve LaBounty, or any Kenpo Senior for that matter, are down playing the AKKS Las Vegas Camp, or the Reunion of Warriors in Seattle.
I believe Mr. Billings is making a comparison in the term "training camp", and the term "camp" as used in the description of a combineing of many units.
Our annual camp with the SilkWind school and daughter schools is of the "roughing it" type of camp. Tents, fires, sweat, rain, and mosquitos. And I concur with what Mr. Billings said about distractions.
The term "camp" can allow for different forms of accomidations. For example, Football camp, baseball camp, computer camp, and I do not think Mr. Billings had any intent of malice.
I personally telephoned Mr. Billings and invited him to our gathering, and found him to be a genuinely real individual, and hope he can join us at some juncture.
As for the use of "HIS gatherings", the official symbol of the "Reunion" is Sigungs patch, Sigungs slogan, and HE will be the keynote instructor. I am hosting it. I don't interpret Michaels statement as being cutting or obnoxious, but a mere clarification of the differing venues.
Les Sipes
Originally posted by Michael Billings
This one is in the Spirit of a true camp - Training 1-1/2 hours North of San Francisco (in Occidental, CA.?), meals, cabins, they will transport from the airport ... I can't wait.
Camp-Featuring: Sigung LaBounty Tommy Burks Tom Graves Steve Hirst Scott Johnson and more.....

Man, that sounds like fun!!!!!!!

You are correct, I did not mean in any way to be disparaging of any other event or martial artist at all. If I had I would have said it to them directly, not inferred or demeaned in a forum or public setting. Just not my nature.

Hope I did not ruffle any feathers, but rather I was excited about attending a Camp, outdoors, somewhere other than the lovely Texas Hill County, sometimes a dustbowl, sometimes a mud bowl, and a lot of times just plain beautiful.

Wish you and Prof. Conatser could be there.

Are you going to be there Mr. C.? The "Host of others" announcement I got was vague, but with Sigung, John Sepulveda, etc., I was going anyway. I have to do something for myself and my Kenpo. I have put everything on hold for the past two and a half years with my Mom. In January I decided life had to go on and started a diet, yuk, and started training again in earnest. I always teach and learn, but had not been as enthusiastic and taking care of myself, by focusing on MY Kenpo ... it helps me feel better about everything, and thus I have more quality time to offer my loved ones and students. Peaks and Valleys you know?

GREAT!! If you will be there, I have something more to look forward to. I truely would like to spend some time with ya! Might want to let them know on KenpoNet that you will be there. Gerald Ghintu and John Sepulveda both indicated that they still had room for more at camp.

I know that is not what you said, that was why I asked the question. Do what you can and hope to see you there.

I know you will probably be up in Washington the week before. Wish I could make that one also (Sigung's Gathering), but too much travel and too little time.

It was just a bonus for me and others attendees to look forward to.

Take care,
No sweat! I didn't think anything, but there are those that can read what they want to read.
As for Prof. Sepulvedas Camp, I know it will be the place to be.
I saw a thread that asked, If you could attend only __ events next year, which would they be?" I believe this camp would be one of my choices.
Considering west Texas Spirit camps, I attended one in the early '80's and it was a ----breaker. And I still have the Tshirt.
It fits me now, like I'm painted red from shoulders to navel. (I am
twice the man I was in the '80's, literally).
We have many years in which to train together. Let's just not make it to far in the future. Maybe we can find a gathering in
Colorado or Elko, NV. or somewhere like that.
Have a great camp, and we can compare notes.
OSS! Les