Shedding New Skin

By: Sean Kelley

 

It’s been awhile since I have been able to sit down long enough to let everyone know updates, events and news within the CKF organization. This past year has been very busy with me traveling doing seminars and both working full-time in the security field as well as teaching my VIP Program.

 

Our recent Florida Kenpo Camp was another amazing venue with guest instructors Vinny Anfuso, Rich Hale and Mohamad Tabatabai (first time appearing at the camp). As a special addition to the weekend we had MMA/Kenpo instructor Fred Mergen and firearms expert Paul Pawela bring their worth to the 45 VIP Guests who attended this past February 2011 event.

 

I was honored to see old friends and dedicated students that have trained with me for over 20 years being able to visit us and travel to this year’s event. We had visitors from Pennsylvania, Maryland, California, Kansas, Colorado, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alaska and throughout Florida attend. It was an awesome reunion for CKF members.

 

We are reviewing the new CKF Instructor’s manual and hope to have this available soon for those interested in getting the revised material as well as the new information that has been created for current CKF Members only. Hard work and effort in this project is being conducted by CKF Black Belts Susan Jordan and Buddy Morrison. We will keep you updated.

 

We are also planning to add to the web site my daughter Tori performing the forms Short Form 1 through Long Form 2 for those who enjoy a quick visual library. For those interested in getting a copy you can purchase these by contacting me at Kenpo5@aol.com. The investment for this DVD will be $15.95 plus shipping/handling and you can make checks payable to the Guardian Angels. We are using this project as fundraiser for the organization and as a reminder this is a tax deductible donation since this a Non Profit organization. It is our way of giving to a wonderful cause.

 

I would also like to mention my return trip to Chile has been scheduled for November 2012 hosted by CKF South American Rep Maestro Roberto Vidal. Going along with me will be Grandmaster Michael Robert Pick and Kickboxing Legend Bill ‘Superfoot’ Wallace.  I look forward to my return trip in seeing our CKF South American family.

 

If you have ever heard of the expression of Shedding New Skin I would like to say I too understand the phrase as of recent. Over the years I have taught hundreds if not thousands of people from ages 3 years old up to a senior citizen who hired me to be a coach, mentor and personal trainer. With over 30 years as a Martial Arts instructor I have given testimonies to many who have asked me to write something for their web sites, jobs, or social media only to help build a long time relationship. Sometimes it works and then there are times it comes to a dead end and we must then move on. I call it Shedding New Skin.

 

I was recently informed that someone posted on a forum that I was giving credit to a Black Belt as the top CKF student or that they were the best under my lineage. When I heard this I immediately recall the time SGM Ed Parker told me of his situation with having so many so called protégé’s and that some of them he himself never met. He also said he had many within his organization that were very talented but that there was no one person he could say was the guy to take over when he was ready to retire. He did say he had a few chosen Black Belts that were assigned for particular reasons but that was something he kept to himself.

 

Over the years I have written testimonies for people and even gave the okay for some to be self-written only because I was too busy to do it myself and I guess that could bite anyone in the tail bone down the road; matter of fact it happened to Ed Parker there in his last few years of being alive as I recall.

When someone takes on a career to be a facilitator you might think he/she would groom all his/her Black Belts well enough to end up better than they would be as a matter of producing quality and future leaders in the industry. Some forget though being a Black Belt requires a ‘Teachable Spirit’ and when you become self centered and driven by the idea of ‘I and Me’ versus the ‘We and Us’ way of thinking I would say immediately you need to be back in the class setting of learning the art as a Art not as a Hobby.

 

Being progressive and free thinking is a healthy stage we all can admit is needed in growing as a Martial Human; but do it with honor, dignity and humility.  Do not use the reputation of others to gain something for your own hidden agenda. This is not a good martial path to be on and in the Kenpo system we created an axe at the bottom of our Crest for a reason. You can be cut off from our inner circle, organization, network and family if you demonstrate disgrace, or are dishonorable as a Martial Human.

 

If I were to openly announce or even suggest at this time who might be the person I would say is my top student or who would represent me as a person it would be only one individual – my daughter Tori. She has been involved in the martial arts community since the age of 4. She started as a Little Dragon then became a Junior as soon as she turned 11 years old. Now she is 13 years old and ready to turn 14 years old come July 17th and is a qualified 2nd Degree Brown Belt learning the adult material and just finished learning Long Form 3 just like my adult students.

 

I’m insulted by any person thinking they have the right to take on the title of being my top student when in reality I have taught all over the world to all ages and have taught Black Belts of all levels as well. If we want to be technical I have even taught a few who were much higher in rank than myself only to prove knowledge will always out weigh cloth in my book.

 

Tori has the hours and years of being in my arena of teaching. She has been around many of my own personal Mentors and has assisted me in teaching as well as participated in seminars and camps where there were times she was the only young teenager in class. I’m proud of her dedication and I’m proud of her devotion in following my foot steps and when the time comes to strap on a Black Belt you can be assure of yourself she will know her stuff.

 

I do want to say over the years I have chosen a few of my closest Black Belts as assistants to my teaching staff. I have created a review teaching requirement venue called the ‘DNA’ Kenpo seminar series for those who are looking into the system as a Science and for being a certified CKF Instructor. So far people like Mike Friedman, Jeff Lewis, Susan Jordan, John Rhoads, Kevin Kuliga, Buddy Morrison, Alfred Magnan, Mike Miller, Doug Hotaling, Mike Miranda, Tony Capone, Bill Larson, Matt Trejo, Jamie Seabrook, Kurt Snyder, and a few of my Brown Belts have shown an interest in pursuing this level of training which will take a number of years to perfect. I’m proud in saying this will be what the Kenpo Community is missing in making future quality instructors if it is not passed on this way. Ed Parker’s system was a methodical, test proven science of learning how and why his art was so popular in its structure. Our goal is to qualify those interested in being carriers of the Kenpo torch with knowledge, ability to perform and to pass on the art as it was laid out as a science of street fighting with positive results. Those who will learn the academic side of the art will have the Master Key principles to advance into the combative mode for the sake of safety, survival and to protect those in a reality world of crime and disconnection. Use your studies as a means to find balance and peace in our modern day struggle for directional harmony.

 

Last piece of news is my returning as the leader of the Palm Beach County Guardian Angels here in West Palm Beach Florida. I have brushed off my cob webs on my Red Beret and have stepped back into the arena of leading the organization once again to do battle against bullies, teach crime prevention and to reach out as a speaker in schools or other places and be a voice in the need to create positive role models through martial science and the concepts created by Curtis Sliwa and his 32 years of success by creating a International Organization that lends a hand at helping others where others have stopped caring or in some cases Men forgot their role in life as protectors of the ‘Neighborhood’ when faced with things out of order….I say ‘Court is back in session’ and I’m back!

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