Train Smarter, Not Harder as you Age

Train Smarter, Not Harder as you Age

–Michael Miller

As you get older in the martial arts its important to note that your body doesnt respond the way they did when you were in your twenties. You need to find a way to stay in tune with your training, but not find yourself trying to heal from multiple injuries. According to Bill Larson, a second degree black belt who is in the medical profession, you have to listen to your body. He explained that if you are in pain, its a good sign that your body is telling you something.

As you get older you have to understand the aging process and understand that injuries take longer to get over, Larson explains. What may have taken a couple of weeks or a month in your twenties and thirties; it takes you five to six months, maybe a year when you get older.

Working out should be tailored to the aging process. You need to know when to take it easy, when to stop, when to start, when to turn it on, when to slow it down, etc. You have to pace yourself in your training regimen. Larson says that it is important to train slowly when you are older, because you can always speed things up when necessary. You can slow down, because you know when to turn up the volume, he explains, where the young wheels want to do everything hard, fast, how much and how many.

Larson notes that as you age you will realize that you could probably still do all those things you did when you were younger, meeting your maximum potential, but you need to know when to customize things to your body type and your own style of performing and teaching the art.

Stretching plays an integral role in the aging process. Although it is no mystery how important stretching daily is to a martial artist, stretching properly is the key. Larson prefers to stretch the larger muscle groups and he makes a bi-weekly visit to his chiropractor to maintain appropriate body structure.

Larson feels that you need to do aerobic workouts and also do some weight training or other anaerobic workouts to strengthen the muscles as you age. You are going to lose muscle mass as you age, he explains. Just like anything else, if you dont use it you lose it.Calisthenics are a good supplement to weight training, which will stress the muscles and the joints to assist in maintaining muscle mass.

The trick is to stay with your training. You dont want to have long extended absences from stretching and training or it will only get more difficult. According to Larson, as you get older you lose the elasticity of your muscles and you also lose a lot of the fluids in your body including the lubricants of the joints. The bottom line is to keep loose and limber, Larson adds. The key is to not get away from stretching.If you dont keep stretching you will raise your susceptibility for an injury.

As you get older, use your head and common sense. Dont push yourself too far. Sometimes you will find that your body will hit a plateau and Larson suggests that you allow your body to take a vacation. Take a day off from training to get re-energized and you will feel much better and will overcome your obstacle.

Honor is Still Out There

From the Archives


I wanted to share something that took place recently and how much it meant to me. My daughter Tori had her birthday on July 17th, 2009 and has turned 12 years old. She is a big fan of the "Twilight" series and had a request for getting her own custom "Twilight" Sneakers done.

Her mother located on E-bay the ability to order these custom made sneakers and one could pick a particular design out of a selection of about 4 different choices. The only clench here was they were being ordered out of the country from the Philippines. My worry was getting them, buying them and of course never to ever receive the order and being out of $160 dollars plus Tori being let down out of her special gift.

The Order was placed on July 2, 2009, and I did this to give me a window of about 15 days to get them, since they were to be shipped within 3-5 business days. Well, there were a nightmare of problems through the United States Mail services and our Customs department.

There were a cluster of emails and phone calls to our customs and Miami Mail Division as well as reports of possible mail fraud. I found out that problems had been reported about ordering from China and claims have been coming in constantly that there was a mail fraud concern, but not yet from the Philippines.

I was so upset because it came down to the wire of it being one more day before her birthday and no item was mailed. It was now in the hands of customs and nobody was able to assist because there was no tracking of the item and they do not go after "A" item for anyone.

I ended up calling my American Express company as E-bay wants you to work it out with the seller, but AMX took immediate action and put the payment on hold for investigation reasons.

The situation was frustrating, but there is a positive side to this whole story. The woman who was responsible for the handcrafted sneakers goes by the name Ayin Gurling. She lives in Manila and runs an online business. She was sincere and very upset at the chain of events and was more than willing to go the extra mile to make sure I received Tori’s gift and her reputation was not damaged.

I have to say I learned that there still are many who are honest out there and it goes far on this planet, even to the place in Manila, Philippines. Not only did I eventually get my order on Saturday July 18th, 2009, the day after Tori’s actual birthday, but we waited for Saturday anyway to have a surprise party with karate friends and family at 3pm for everyone to come and be there. At 1:45pm the package arrived and it was the second pair that Ayin had done for Tori and Ayin drove an additional 90 miles to a mail delivery place to guarantee we would receive the gift.

Tori was so surprised and I was thrilled that it all worked out and I have to say this to those reading this, I highly recommend this lovely woman Ms. Gurling to anyone wanting to order these custom sneakers. She also put "Tori’s" name on them for no extra charge, and after all the problems, I received a second pair with extra small gifts from Ms.Gurling as well; So not only did I get what I ordered from out of the country, but also, I was given honesty treatment from a very special woman who displayed honor, dignity and my trust. I told her I look forward to many more business opportunities with her based on this situation that was a happy ending. Please check out her Web site at to see all that she has to offer. Ayinx custom hand painted sneakers.

Topic of Trust

In my recent travels I have found that many of the school/club owners have met up with customers not aware of the need of knowing how to understand that customer relationships and loyalty are built on mutual trust.

In today’s society the benefits and values taught at most karate schools is without the communication between parents and the coaches (karate instructors) in the commercial industry. Having taught as a professional facilitator for over 26 years now with over hundreds if not thousands of students I have found part of our lesson plan should be to educate our parents about their investment?the children!

There is no quick fix or mini-programs that is going to make any adolescent change in just a few months. This takes time, nurturing, and to change behavior it takes a team effort. I say welcome to the only school you get more than enough chances to make a change in life?no one quits and nobody gives up.

Karate is a discipline, which means like any education where mental, physical as well as emotional stages of improvement are being handled, it just can not be done without realizing it is a individual process and a skill that requires patience on all parties, especially in areas where there may be handicap challenges or for the sake a little extra care needed.

If our school system requires a 5 day/ 6 hours a day of habit forming time of investment to pass from one grade to another, then how is it people tend to believe that twice a week for a total of 8 hours a month qualifies them "Just Because" of paying a monthly tuition, to receive a minimum of 3 belts within a 12 month time period?

This is ludicrous as well as a disservice to our children and us as facilitators trying to bring out the best in every student we profile. Education is a must and we must take a roll of building trust with our parents to meet their goals but allow us to be the experts in our field as we would in their individual careers.

In reading a recent comment posted on Facebook by Michael Miller, who happens to be experienced in child protective services (as a caseworker for three years in McKean County) he reflects the need for parents to understand that children primarily learn through modeling behavior (social learning theory) by duplicating and repeating what they see and hear around them, primarily mirroring parental habits and behavior. This is a factor of concern to those wondering why their kids are developing or showing signs of improper behavior or lack of motivation to succeed.

The martial arts industry is place of improving character, self esteem, health/wellness, mental alertness, bully proofing, and developing strong work ethics for their future in corporate America. Let’s begin a new year with building stronger relationships at the front of classrooms and at the front door of our studios. If we neglect this we will lose another young kid who needs us, or a customer who needs a home for reconnection in his/her life. Let it be known your philosophy is about trust, dignity, motivation, and spiritual balance, not about engaging or endorsing violence, but prevention, intervention and solutions to what is missing in life; it still takes a neighborhood to raise a child!

Senior Teaching Black Belt

From the Archives

This letter is to provide an understanding as to why we in the Chinese Karate Federation have adopted the title "Senior Teaching Black belt" into our vocabulary and Lineage as it has been questioned by certain individuals and organizations in the past.

We chose this appropriate title because SGM Ed Parker passed away (in Loving memory) in the year 1990 leaving us vacant without a senior leader, to give us authentic first generation roots. With the help of training with the likes of many first generation Parker black belts I was fortunate to have trained and been on the mats with many top quality people, but I was missing something for me as the President of this organization and was dealing with some challenges that needed attention; and there was only one other guy other than Mr. Parker who I felt would be the man to fit that seat.

The CKF is about the future generations, not about me. It is about perpetuating the art of American Kenpo and passing on the Kenpo torch to those who carry it to the next level as well as future generations to come. After considerable thought and research I was at a loss for my own goals and path as a seed from Ed Parker’s garden and wanted what was missingleadership that was sound, and above all had honor, dignity as well as character; I chose to contact Michael Robert Pick.

Recently, we have had dialogue with many across the globe who have questioned, debated, or challenged our views and some tried to say we are lying in our attempt to document history as seen in the eyes of people like Master Rainer Schulte in his biography written by Michael Miller.

Like many who have written books about either themselves or topics that they have experienced, everyone will have his own opinion or view in terms of what he recalls on how things are remembered. The bottom line is thisits their biography, their book, and their point of view how they lived it.

If we look at the book Inside Elvis written by Ed Parker, he wrote about Elvis from his point of view and how he recalled the chain of events he was a part of. Some liked it, others said it was not true. Then we have a book that was written August 1, 1977 by Steve Dunleavy called Elvis – What Happened, a story by 3 of his personal bodyguards who told their stories after being fired by Elvis and Vernon Presley. This book was very controversial, damaging to Elvis career, and actually sold so many copies that had to have a second distribution series written; again, their point of view.

We in the CKF chose to bring Mr. Pick into our organization as the Senior Kenpo authority. He accepted it with honor, not with any agenda or goal. He spoke candidly with me on his ideals and we found out we knew each other through the same whispers of conversation, and that was by Ed Parker himself. I did not assume he knew me and went on to introduce myself, he stopped me immediately and said, I already know who you are and your place within the Kenpo community.I was stunned and was not sure if this was good or bad? I found out it was good.

Mr.Pick prefers the title "Senior Teaching Black belt" because it does not disqualify who Ed Parker was as our founder and as the Senior Grandmaster of our system, American Kenpo.

I am a student under Mr. Pick and have a relationship with him, as do my students and the organization the Chinese Karate Federation. He is in my school every February as a testimony of his role within our organization as well as the international "Alliance" that has been formed with many other organizations such as with Tony Cogliandro (AKI), Professor Brian Hawkins (UKS), Master Kevin Mills (BKKU), and many other independent Black belts who have come on board to network with us.

Mr. Pick does not push his authority; if anything, he is always open for dialogue with those who like debate, advice or opinion. Along with that, as my teacher, I mention his worth in my travels and to the CKF family and invite those to meet and train with him. As an example of this, he will go with me this year to Santiago, Chile in November to meet my CKF South American Rep Mr. Roberto Vidal and his students.

The series of books coming out by Michael Miller are personal biographies with title "Legends of Kenpo" just like the book written by Joe Hyams and Tom Bleecker in 2000; it was 24 honorees selected to appear in the book with their own stories about Kenpo and their individual history. Some agreed and some said it was not factual. Bottom line we all can show documents that are good on one day and terrible the next. Who cares! I say if you want to read it then buy; otherwise leave it on the shelf.

I found it very hard to digest the rank disease we have within the martial arts and how many obtain it. If Ed Parker’s system was called "American Kenpo" some might read it twice and realize it comes from its roots in America. This is not Japanese Kenpo, Hawaiian Kenpo, or any other pseudonym. We applaud our beginnings as Ed Parker did in his beginnings to the Chow line and Mitose lineage, but it was given the name Ed Parker’s American Kenpo for a reason and we must keep that in mind. The unique thing is we have brothers, sisters and many cousins in Chile, Ireland, United Kingdom, Spain, Canada, Alaska, Mexico, and others to be very proud of. I call them family and am always honored to be invited by them to share my piece of the puzzle.

Over the years I have met some very special people who have become extended family such as Vivion Spain (Ireland), Jamie Seabrook (Canada), Kevin and Jenni Mills (United Kingdom) Thomas Kozitzky(Germany), Marcel DeJong (Netherlands), Roberto Vidal (Chile), and many others who stay in touch as well.

I’m a Professional in my career of teaching in Florida alone now for over 26 years. I teach almost 7 days a week with a schedule of 10 am-10 pm and have become an international facilitator. I can communicate my skill verbally as well as physically to a captured audience and can say with honor, I have the ability to address all ages from as young as 4 years old up to the levels of advanced black belts through my years of education. That education was my journey of being with some of the best of the best in their particular fields of expertise. This is better known as schooling yourself to have the ability to say, I am a professor, because I earned it and can demonstrate the skills, not because I have had X amount of birthdays or because I have stepped in or around the Kenpo arena on a few occasions.

I just read on a recent email sent to Mr. Pick where some so called master called him Mike. This is a sign of disrespect bottom line. I never called Mr. Parker Ed even though it was his name. I will never ever call my teacher Mike, and never have heard Wes Idol, Vinny, Marcus, or quite honestly Rainer Schulte say his name without proper etiquette.

The Kenpo community has new 8th-9th and 10th degrees almost monthly now. The youtube advertising, forums, and web sites all feature many with DVD’s and comments such as being former rangers, featured magazine cover holders and in high demand in the United States or globally and the fact is their con artists selling themselves with self made credentials.

One does not get rank or receive Hall of Fame awards by sending in coupons or filling out an application and sending in their $199 entry fee, or by rallying up their own students for new candy cane stripes on a beltyou are reviewed by your peers. This once happened in my living room with Mr.Dave Hebler as he was living with me at the time and I received the call. Mr. Hebler was so hurt and offended by the call he disbanded his organization O.A.K.K.A. because it lacked the loyalty he was hoping for. Not saying all were not up to par, but not enough to maintain the respect and history he brought to the table.

Kenpo is a generic term and we must educate those that Ed Parker was a figure head in the martial arts world. Many needed to have him in their cour
t for notoriety and for the ability like in other countries you must have affiliation to your training or you were not allowed to teach. The words credibility and authenticity are a serious undertaking and people like Mr. Pick, and many of the other first thru last generations of SGM Ed Parker’s disciples, must be careful not to prostitute themselves for the almighty dollar and give away or sell cheap our art as a cheap art. Please restrain yourself from letting this get out of hand as we are in a delicate situation.

A gathering is in place for a few of us to visit Ireland to repair a broken bridge that is over something that is more cultural pain than international pain. I only hope my Irish roots and adopted brother Vivion Spain can lead me through the "Irish Pub" wars that get stirred up as I am not a heavy drinker but enjoy watching my Irish roots beer-spar and I can be a awesome spectator of the events as they allow my handshake to a new friendship.

If anyone can make this happen I can say with confidence behind it will be 2 people with diplomacy in their monotone and that is my brother Wes Idol and my mentor "Senior Teaching Black Belt Mr. Michael Robert Pick" let’s bring peace back to our arena….TCB!

Relationships – Keeping them real

On my Journey, I have seen many people suffer from bad relationships and a few keep it alive and thriving. It doesn’t matter if it’s in your personal relationship with a friend, teacher, or significant other(male/female), relationships are built on trust. Trial and tribulations are common ground and constant communication is a must between all parties.

There comes a time in your life where you need to take a moment and ask yourself is this where I want to be? Is this a healthy place to be for my goals to be reached, or does it seem that I am just spinning my wheels and giving more than what is being returned as a healthy investment.

The martial arts are a place where many have found to reconnect what has been broken in their lives. Children, teenagers and adults all need to be nurtured through peaks and valleys and need to rebuild confidence and self-esteem through some spiritual balance.

The world is filled with crime, abuse, neglect, and other things that cause a person to seek counsel. We need balance in our lives both mentally and physically. The martial arts give us that. A recent colleague of mine took notice to a recent class I was teaching and said this, WOW, it is amazing to watch the full package of your philosophy as you share your knowledge to your students.He commented on saying I give a full spectrum of life’s lessons for a small investment but the return is like a jewel with value far past the eyes of the beholder.

He was impressed with the mix of education on a physical, mental and spiritual level. He noticed the inspiration of a motivational tone much like a professional coach who teaches his team the ability to go the extra mile and see the investment would protect their own lives, their children and those who are of weaker ability.

Like many of you, I have my own dark days and must dig deep down to find the flame to re-light and realize many rely on me for my teaching skills, counsel, and ability to push them the extra mile to become over achievers in their Journey.

I have had many relationships and even a recent one that was pretty devastating to get through. When you Love someone it is hard to let go knowing you cannot fix everything no matter how much you try. If you give it youre all and God knows youre sincere in your attempt then you just have to realize you have done your best and that is all that counts!

Friends and family are what you make of it. If it is broken try to fix it or at least come to terms with it. I will not give up my Integrity or character for anyone or for anything. I will step up to the plate to defend my honor and to aid in my families who need me as a support system. Some are not so fortunate and others come from a broken heart from childhood and leave as a victim.

I think loyalty, devotion and love is a common glue of long term relationships both personally and professionally. Organizationally we have a special bond with many of our immediate members and there are few who need to make the effort and step up to the plate and build their relationships closer to us rather than just sport the logo.

Today I ask you to forgive someone who has hurt you, or call an old friend and tell them you were thinking of them. I strongly believe when making relationships you must like them first before you say you love them. And don’t be surprised by the return response you sometime will get when you say to a friend or family member, "I Love You" and you get nothing back on the return. This is okay because you took the action first and were brave enough to say it, feel it and then share it! Some will never ever get it.

To all of you reading this thank you for the years of support and the dedication in our relationship as we have each other to assist us when the "Tide is High" and the "Weather is Dark"…..I salute you all….TCB

Guardian Angels Newsbrief

From May 2009

Members of the Guardian Angels came together on May 2, 2009, to pay tribute to the passing of Mildred Horton. She was 90 years young and was a woman with outstanding qualities from working with the original company of Walmart to supporting her son Steve Horton who has been a Guardian Angel for over 10 years serving the area of Port St.Lucie, Florida to many other cities throughout South Florida.

The pastor giving the service was Pastor Wendell Hilderman who gave a touching and peaceful speech as he announced that two days before giving his service he was looking over the web site of Michael Miller’s Kenpo Dojo and was taken by the very words that Mr.Miller had said that knowing the martial arts means nothing if you do not believe in Jesus.

Pastor Hilderman is not only a Pastor of his Church but also a Kenpo student at the Kelley Karate Center in which he trains personally with Professor Sean Kelley , and also takes private lessons from Black Belt instructor Mr. Brian Phelan.

I was asked to speak before the Church about Mildred and I was Honored to have been chosen by Steve Horton the son of this awesome mother, grandmother, friend and supporter of all the Guardian Angels she has gotten to know over the years.

Wearing the colors of the Red Beret and T-shirt is a symbol of giving your devotion into making a difference in your communities, let it be for changing the minds of our youth, speaking at schools, or attending funeral services in bowing our heads before those who have been lifted by God and now will watch over us as they too are now in better hands than before. The photo attached shows how we are looked at as "Angels" and prayer is a way of having a communication with yourself and to whom your faith is with.

This letter is dedicated to the many who attended this service, not as a sad moment, but a celebration of a 90 year "young" woman who impacted many and left smiles and tears on all who will keep special memories of happiness going and to say….save me a spot we will soon see you again and carry the mission to the next step into the Gates of Heaven…..GOD BLESS!

Back on Track

From the Archives

We apologize for such a delay with the Presidents Letter and the Articles on this site. Michael Miller has been extremely busy with the two year project of the first biography in the "Legends of Kenpo" series featuring Master Rainer Schulte, which was revealed at the Florida Camp this past February.

We are proud of Michael Miller for what he has accomplished with this enduring project of history. The book turned out amazing and is set as a documented piece of Kenpo history with more legends to follow. We have had numerous testimonials from people in Europe and the United States stating that they could not put the book down. For more information on the book and how to order it, click the Legends of Kenpolink on this site or go to Next on the list of biographies is Grandmaster Michael Robert Pick.

I must also apologize for my absence as my Fianc? has been very ill and I have been spending as much time daily as I can putting our lives in the position of priority about her health. I want to thank many of you for being there for both of us under stressful times.

We are proud to announce that Kenpo Legend Master Rainer Schulte has become our new CKF Vice President since our good Kenpo friend Dave Hebler has stepped down, and moved back to Nevada to put all his focus on his "Gift of Power" program with him back to Nevada. We wish him nothing but luck and good grace with his endeavors.

We are honored that Mr. Schulte stepped up as he wanted a way to stay active with administration and counsel, and even though he has announced his teaching retirement, it will not stop him from being around the Kenpo Community. He will enjoy his retirement with his wife Brigitte and their dog Rudy.

Guardian Angels Receive Donation


From August 2008

There comes a time when you realize there are many out there who still care about the mission of living a life of a crime free society. Many will talk a good talk, but few will "Walk the real Walk." I want to take a moment to thank a few people who banned together and sent a kind donation to me for the crime fighting team the "Guardian Angels" who I have been a big supporter now for over 22 years. As a former member, training consultant and close friend to its founder Curtis Sliwa, I have gone all over the world sharing my faith in this organization as I travel internationally teaching seminars.

My trip last month to Santiago, Chile led me to the understanding that they too have found a great interest in this organization as a deterrent for our youth who have been influenced by gangs, drugs and other acts of crime only to "Step up as leaders of tomorrow through role models such as the Guardian Angelsand it’s leader Curtis Sliwa have demonstrated since February 13, 1979.

An extended thanks goes out to the following people and groups who came together and sent a kind donation to this organization for which I’m honored to have been so proud of being a part of: Communications Workers of America (CWA) , Pa. Local 13000 Unit 22, Branches 2 & 7; Kevin Kuliga C/O Independent Kenpo & Arnis of Martial Arts Green Lane, Pa; Kurt Snyder C/O All Star Kenpo, Quakertown, Pa; and Chris Genell C/O Empty Hands Karate, Elkins Park, Pa.

I thank you all for believing in the cause to care and to carry on the motto "Dare to Care" as spoken by all of the many Guardian Angels who have been involved as volunteers since it’s beginningwe appreciate your gift of kindness.

The Future of Training and Direction

From July 2008

There comes a time in your life when you need to look in the mirror and decide what direction you want to go on your journey. After considerable thought and from speaking with both GM Dave Hebler and GM Michael Robert Pick, I have concluded that my focus will be toward my motivation and interest. As a full time school owner I have provided my time and wisdom for over 34 years as a martial artist and it is time to be more professional and time managed.

My secretary, also my Fiance, has brought up a valid point that I have neglected to pay attention too and I will not allow it any longer. With a busy schedule, I have allowed my time and energy to be interrupted at almost a 24 hour capability. My time is my livelihood and many have called for questions to be answered or resources to be found and most of the time no compensation has been brought forward. I will no longer allow this to happen.

As President of the CKF and owner of Kelley Karate Center my students are my customers and I will service their needs as able when I’m able to put my attention to the task. I will no longer be doing things in such a way that I just get taken advantage of or used for other people’s needs without being compensated as a professional in my field.

Recently I have contacted many of my current top students and made it known that my price scale of teaching and time will be updated since it has been the same rate for over 5 or more years. Experience is worth the price you pay. If you disagree, go somewhere else and get it!

In speaking to CKF members such as Kevin Kuliga, Bill Larson, Mike Miller, Mike Friedman, Brian Phelan, Tony Capone, Susan Jordan, Mike Miranda, Alfred Magnan, Blake Bannister, John Rhoads, Fred Mergen, Bill Celestino, Matt Camburn just to name a few, they have all said, Mr.Kelley we appreciate you and will support your needs so count us in and your decision.

To help with the problem of gas prices and a growing problem in the economy we have cut down our teaching staff at many of our events. We have also passed on the torch to a few others to handle the load of demand who have asked for seminars, step exams, private training and welcoming new arrivals into the CKF organization.

For now my travel will be to those who have been loyal and consistent with organizational scheduling. With GM Dave Hebler now being the manager of my studio and available to assist within the CKF structure, he will take on some of the load.

Mr.Pick has already been involved with our friends in the Cayman Islands who have joined his UKF organization making it a part of the growing Alliance.

I have been in touch with Dr. Brad Frazier with Warrior Scholar Kenpo from Cube, Missouri as he will be visiting my studio in the future with his Black belt teachers who have worked with the Lamkin brothers Eric and Kevin.

In speaking to Kurt Snyder his school is moving ahead with Associate Professor Kevin Kuliga keeping a watchful eye and helping out when it is needed. Kurt will soon be coming a CKF Charter school once he meets the required student count and we will announce that as time permits. Let’s all wish him the best as he is an awesome carrier of the Kenpo torch.

Last but not least keep your eyes open on upcoming events as we have seminars being hosted by our 3 M&M’s: Mike Friedman, Mike Miller and Mike Corsello

If anyone is looking to purchase the Kenpo Cargo Pants with the Logo down the leg please contact me as they are available and in limited quantity.

Black Belt Ranking and Evolution

Black Belt Ranking and the Evolution

This is a subject that can go on forever as many in the Martial Arts industry have changed standards to fit the needs of their individual schools or current market. Let’s first agree we only have 2 hands and 2 feet to work with period! What you decide to do with them is a personal thing depending on how much education, training and over all experience you have to work with.

To evolve I believe means the teacher or coach needs to become better educated in communication skills, being able to deliver to all age groups, a sound system of learning at a level they can understand. SGM ED Parker was real big on us learning the vocabulary of Kenpo as well as the Insights of his system of American Kenpo Karate.

The topic Black belt ranking is one nobody will agree on from school to school or organization to organization. We all talk about evolving or how Kenpo has become broken and we must fix it, but I don’t agree; it works fine and maybe the individual is what needs repaired or updated.

Since the passing of Mr. Parker, Kenpo has evolved, and some may wonder how? Well let’s look at what we have today in talent and in new levels of experience coming to the main stream. There are literally more people studying Kenpo than ever. We also have the ability to work with some the best talent produced by a true Grandmaster than ever.

In the list of diversified talent, skill, and value we have had people like Dave Hebler, Michael Robert Pick, Larry Tatum, Huk Planas, Frank Trejo, Bob White, Lee Wedlake, Lee Epperson, Trever Sherman, Ron Chapel, Skip Hancock, Jeff Speakman, Tony Cogliandro, Roy Macdonald, Gary Ellis, Pat Salantri, Bryan Hawkins, Dennis Conaster, Steve LaBounty, Manny Reyes, Ed Parker Jr, Joe Palanzo, Dennis Nackord, Barbara Hale, and the list goes on. We have been involved with evolving the art of Kenpo since its beginning. Many have designed personal criteria and added moves or a training concept to fit their own goals.

The hype of Mixed Martial Arts is not new to the Kenpo Community or us not being involved with the launching of the UFC era. Frank Trejo’s student Zane Frazier was seen in many of the UFC’s matches and it is known Trever Sherman was also a trained fighter in this field who assisted Jeff Speakman in the 5.0 series that was attempted.

Let’s not forget there are many Kenpo teachers such as Kevin Kuliga, Pat Salantri, Dennis Tosten, Dan Inosanto, Richard Planas, Josh Ryer, Brian Price, Mike Friedman, and many others who have become well schooled in the weapons systems. Then we explore a passive or not aggressive/alternative approach to the martial arts and we have the talent of people like Martin Wheeler, Ed Parker Jr., Lee Wedlake and Frank Soto who have fused a Kenpo theory of yielding with control and elusive handling of an opponent to force them off balance by using a method of joint control and timing of the body mechanics as a tool of control.

The combative side or the side we seldom step into is the side many of us will never indulge into unless we are in the military, personal security/bodyguard, or law enforcement line of work. GM Michael Robert Pick is known for his Kenpo combative systems as an expert in teaching the military and law enforcement. He still uses the principles of Kenpo but went from a technique based system to a set based system.

Kenpo is not in trouble and does not need repaired; it needs devotion and for the current level black belts to explore what is already been out there. If we think about it, we have the ability to become better educated than ever before and the skill is right in front of all our faces if we choose to hang up the ego and anger toward each other. I think the growth of many of us who run organizations have learned networking is our best answer to evolving. This applies to business as well.

To be a better teacher or student we need to be more open-minded and willing to continue to learn and realize that technology is at our hands. As an example of this message along with myself, UKF-Michael Robert Pick, AKI-Tony Cogliandro, and supporters like Dave Hebler, Rich Hale, and Rainer Schulte, we all have agreed we all have worth & value to offer and we invite anyone to jump on board who is willing to assist us in sharing the evolution we strive for.

Rank is nothing without students, and students are why we enjoy the art of teaching, communicating and changing lives for the better. Mr. Fred Mergen, I for one endorse your growth in developing your Kenpo with the blend of grappling as taught to you by Trever Sherman along with our brotherhood relationship within the CKF as a plus on your part as a future carrier of the Kenpo Torch. Ed Parker always said this was not "His" art but it is "Our" art to grow and share as we progress to the path we are in search of! TCB!