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Inside Look At Art of One Dojo | ART OF ONE DOJO

Inside Look At Art of One Dojo | ART OF ONE DOJO

Hi. In today’s video I want to try something a
little bit different. In the past couple weeks, I have seen some
tremendous growth of this channel, seen a lot of great input from viewers, a lot of
feedback, and I’ve also gotten a lot of questions. So, in the same effort to build our community
of martial artists and provide a resource for people, I kind of wanted to take a moment
to actually answer some of our viewer questions. At least their most common questions. A lot of people have weighed in with a lot
of expert knowledge, which I think is fantastic. There’s been a high volume of quality comments
and feedback, and I think that really contributes to the nature of what we’re trying to accomplish
here, and I thank you so much for that, because that just helps make this channel better. I also want to apologize if I mispronounce
any names. One thing I never really was exposed to was
a lot of Japanese terminology. In my training in American Kenpo, the Japanese
terms really aren’t as common. So, I wasn’t exposed to that until just recently. So, I do apologize ahead of time if I mispronounce
names or any particular words. I hope I will be forgiven on that. I appreciate your patience. So, I have actually been getting a lot of
questions about my training, my history, my background, also any topics that I can cover,
or I will be covering in the future of this channel. So, I’m going to go through my bio, because
a lot of people are asking about that, but I’m going to put that in the second half of
the video. First I’m going to address some of the more
common questions that I’ve been getting. The first question I get all time is, what
kind of Kenpo do they train you in? The short story of that is basically I’ve
trained in quite a few variations of Kenpo. I started in 1993 learning the variation of
Tracy Kenpo, which is an off-shoot of Ed Parker Kenpo, the Tracy brothers were Ed Parker students. They earned their black belts under him, then
they went and formed their own school, and they adjusted the system quite a bit. So, I did that for about three of the four
years. After that, I studied traditional Ed Parker
Kenpo, both more modern curriculums and also the original 24s for those of you who know
what that is. It was Ed Parker’s original curriculum broken
up into 24 techniques or technique blocks. I also have a few years experience in Jeff
Speakan’s Kenpo 5.0, and I found that one really interesting, because it’s kind of new
in it’s formation. It’s a newer version of Kenpo, but what I
like is he actually addresses a lot of the systems weaknesses, particularly ground fighting. Kenpo is a stand up street fighting art, but
when it was formed Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and a lot of grappling that you see today wasn’t
around. So, a lot of Kenpo systems kind of had that
vulnerability, which is why I think that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a great add on, but Jeff Speakman
took the system and he implemented a lot of more modern day street fighting concepts,
tried to revamp the curriculum, expand it a little bit, and he also addresses quite
a bit of the ground fighting techniques. So, that was a really unqiue approach, and
after the Jeff Speakman 5.0 system, my instructor started to make his own hybrid and he implemented
even more MMA tactics, Muay Thai techniques, a lot more Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He kind of created a hybrid program for our
school. So, for several years we did that. So, my Kenpo is actually kind of ranged in
various other versions, and I actually feel fortunate in that, because I have a lot of
different samples and different flavors of Kenpo and put it together. It gives me a much wider picture, so I’m not
just stuck in one discipline. I’ve actually seen a bunch of different versions,
and I’m very, very fortunate that I’ve had that experience. I also get the question often, why do I not
train in MMA? Technically speaking, MMA simply means mixed
martial arts, and that can be a mixture of any art. Secondly Kajukenbo is mixed martial arts. So, I do have a mixture of arts. I’ve got various versions of Kenpo mixed with
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I’m now training in San Yama Bushi Ryu, Japanese
Jiu Jitsu. So, I do have a mixture. Now as far as the common usage of MMA as in
the UFC style what you see a lot of times now, I did a little bit of it. Not formally, but like I said my instructor
brought in a lot of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He brought in a lot of Muay Thai concepts. So, we did that for a while, and I got a really
good sense of it, and we did that for a few years. I’m not formally trained in it. I haven’t gone to a particular school for
it, but I have gotten a good taste of it. Now, another question, actually more of a
comment I’m getting a lot is, this is a little bit more of a personal issue is, some people
have commented on my weight. You know what? It’s a legitimate question. I have put on a few pounds. I am not so huge that I can’t move or I can’t
practice, but I have put on a few pounds, and I am actually working to correct that. The past few years have been very tough, as
I have mentioned in one of my previous videos, the hardest part of getting into a black belt
is sometimes life throws you some curve balls. Your training can get interrupted by forces
that are out of your control. Several years ago, I had some surgeries on
my foot and my knee. Each surgery, while I have made a full recovery,
knocked me out of training for a good six to eight months. Anything serious at least for sure. That was a lot of down time. Also, additionally, on a personal note, two
years ago my father got sick. He was diagnosed with cancer, and that put
a tremendous strain on the family. I spent a lot of time being his advocate,
fighting the hospitals and his medical system, and trying to take care of him, as well as
working double, triple time just to make ends meet. So, unfortunately for a couple years my training
took a back seat. I still taught. I teach part time at a local Kenpo school
I think it’s great. I work with young children, and while that
kept me kind of in touch with my marital arts, working with children is not the same as my
own personal training with martial arts. Their stuff is very basic, mostly. We work with a lot of young children, five,
six, seven year olds, and at that point they’re still learning coordination. They’re still learning discipline. They’re still learning the grass root foundation
of the system. So, that’s not the same as me training. Earlier this year, in February, my father
passed away, and I’ll say this right now, this kind of told me two things. One, it’s a reminder for mortality. Time is limited. Our life is a gift. So, if I want to train and get back into shape,
I have to make the time to do it. So, that was the first lesson. The second lesson is, I have never seen anyone
put up a fight stronger than my father did. So, that’s a huge, huge sense of motivation
for me. I saw how hard he fought for the past two
years. He cheated death a couple of times. Even up to his last breath he fought. So, I feel I owe it to him to put up the same
kind of fight. So, I made myself the promise that I’m making
the time to get back into training. I joined a new school I’m working out as much
as I can. I’m working out in my free time. I’ve already lost quite a bit of weight. So, that’s a good goal I’m starting on, and
I just wanted to address that. Not so much that I’m offended, but I do see
it mentioned, and I think it is worth talking about. My goal is to be transparent and honest, and
open with my viewers. If that is a concern, well, I’m addressing
that concern right now. Yes, I’m on a goal to improve myself. This channel is helping my improve myself
and in turn I’m trying to bring resources and knowledge to help improve everyone else,
too. I get a lot of questions and request for covering
different arts, and honestly the answer is yes, I intend to. There’s quite a bit out there, I’ve gotten
people asking me to cover Shotokan, cover Kyokushin Karate, a lot of Kung Fu requests
Krav Maga, a whole bunch of requests, and my answer to you is yes. Our goal is to go in depth into a bunch of
different arts. We did the different type of Jiu Jitsu. I want to expand on that, and right now we’re
in the process of scripting them out, doing research, because I want to make sure we bring
you the proper formation. I don’t want to just throw something together. We’re also talking to a bunch of local schools
for instructors and even more in depth, and even some demonstrations. So, yes, all that is coming. We are working on that. The goal is to bring a whole bunch of different
arts to you and into the mixture, and even on a more fun note, we’re going to try to
bring some arts that maybe you aren’t familiar with, historical arts. Every art that’s around today has an ancestral
art, and it’s kind of fascinating to see which art shares which roots. So, I would like to go into depth of that
as well. A lot of great viewers on here, and I actually
really appreciate everyone’s input. So, if you have any questions, if you have
any arts you want to see me do, please by all means suggest it, and we’re going to add
it to the list. It’s all coming. So, those are a lot of some of the quicker
questions that I get quite a bit of, more in depth, people have asked me to talk about
my own training and my experience, my kind of biography, if you will. I’ve touched upon it in a few videos, but
for those of you who are still interested, I’ll give you another brief overview right
now. Basically, I started training in 1993 at the
age of 14. I joined a local karate school that was part
of a franchise, just for the sake of privacy, I’m going to call him Mr. Richard. He eventually had to close the school due
to personal issues, which I’m not going to get into here, to respect his privacy, but
the school went through quite a few changes. Originally it was a Tracy Kenpo school, and
it was part of a franchise. There were a few different satellite schools
under the same banner, and after having done the McDojo video, I look back now and I’m
kind of like, “Huh, this school had a few signs of it,” but once he broke away from
the franchise, he kind of revamped the school. He converted it for Tracy Kenpo over to traditional
Ed Parker Kenpo and I saw an immediate increase in quality, and the McDojo aspects of it kind
of went wayside. So, I’m kind of glad he made that change. So, we did have Parker Kenpo for a few years. Now, when he switched I was almost to my black
belt level in Tracy Kenpo. I was about maybe six months away from it. So, when he switched over to Parker, for those
of you who aren’t aware, it’s a completely different system, a completely different curriculum. We started from white belt again and worked
our way up, and eventually though, he decided that we were close enough to our previous
belt that he duel trained us for the next year. So, we got to finish up our Tracy curriculum
as well as starting Ed Parker curriculum and in 1997 I was able to test and receive my
first degree black belt. It was a fantastic experience. It gave me a sense of pride, and I also started
teaching at the school. So from that point on, I kept working in the
Parker curriculum, trained for a few more years to work up towards my second degree. 2003, my instructor closed the school due
to personal reasons, and I was crushed. One, because I was so close to finishing this
Parker curriculum, but two the school was my second home. I was 10 years into my training, and I was
loving the material. It was a family, and it really kind of threw
me for a loop. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I knew for one thing I wasn’t going to quit,
but I didn’t know what I was going to do, but before I could give it too much thought,
a previous instructor, Fred Mergen, had come back to the school, and he actually purchased
it and reopened it as his own school. Now, one thing I really want to say about
Fred Mergen is, his teaching his a bit unorthodox, but he is one of the best teachers I have
ever seen. He taught me so much. How to look at the art, how to dissect an
art, how to take it apart, look at the working pieces, choose what works, find out what doesn’t
work, and whatever doesn’t work how to adjust it so it does. So, he really taught me how to dissect the
art and how to understand it. At this point, I had the speed, I had the
techniques, I had the philosophies, I had all of that, but he actually took that and
he taught me how to really apply it. He told me one day, he goes, “Okay.” He had me do a technique, I did it, and he
goes, “Looks great that was fast. You hit the guy 10 times.” He goes, “But why hit him 10 times when you
can hit him once or twice and do the same damage?” He had a good point. So, he took me back to the beginning, and
we started again from white belt, each technique, and he broke it down, and he taught me to
analyze each technique, how to make it work, how to apply it effectively, and what needs
to changed. You know, nothing is set in stone. Kenpo’s got a lot of pre-choreographed techniques. They’re not meant to be performed exactly
as is every time. They’re examples of ideas. There’s little nuggets of information, there’s
principles, there’s concepts. Once you understand that, you can see everything
is interchangeable, and you adapt to the situation to defend yourself. So, we did that for a few years. I started again, started working my way back
up. I’m like, “I’m going to earn this second degree
black belt, and it’s going to mean a lot more to me this time. 2005, right before I got to the point, the
school closed again, Fred Mergen went and joined the military, which much credit to
him, but I found myself in the same position, out of a school. So, I actually took some time off, and did
a lot of independent study. I talked to other Kenpo instructors, both
locally and around the country. I took the time to get familiar with a lot
of the more academic side of the art, and I actually spent two years in my garage working
out on my own. So, I kept training, and this gave me a much
different insight. Primarily I learned that every school in Kenpo
teaches very differently, and it exposed to a lot of different ideas, and a lot of ways
of teaching, and only reinforced that Fred Mergen taught me that. There’s no one right way to do it. You have to take it apart and make it work
for you. Kenpo is meant to be tailored towards its
practitioner, and adapted for your experience and your needs, and that was definitely an
eye opening experience. In 2007, Fred Mergen came back, reopened the
school. It was fantastic, but this time, once again,
we had a new curriculum. He was now teaching under the Jeff Speakman
5.0 banner, which again, was an incredible experience. With it came a whole new curriculum, or at
least a revamped version of the previous curriculum, but it addressed a lot more stuff. It included a lot more ground fighting. It Muay Thai concepts in there. It was overall a much, in my opinion, a much
better rounded system in terms of ideas. So, that was a great experience. So, once again I started from white belt and
we worked all the way back up. In 2008 11 years after receiving my first
degree black belt, I finally tested and earned my second degree black belt. It was a major relief, and it was a major
milestone to know that I persevered for all that time, and was able to reach this goal. the goal wasn’t the belt itself, but it was
the fact that I didn’t want to stop. So, we did that for a few years. I kept on training. Late 2009 I tested for my third degree black
belt. It was a little bit of an abbreviated period
between second and third, but that was because of the 11 years that I had prior, and also
around this point in time, that’s when Fred Mergen started to bring in a lot of MMA concepts. He really trained hard in MMA and Brazilian
Jiu Jitsu. He trained his own set of fighters. They fought in local circuits. They did fantastic. So we had a lot of that coming to the school. So, the curriculum was reborn again. So, now we had a hybrid system. We had parts of traditional Kenpo, parts of
Speakman 5.0, and we had a good chunk of Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu all mixed together,
and what was really interesting was, and it was probably frustrating for new students,
but every time I came into class, techniques were different. It was always fun walking into class and Sensei
Mergen would be like … I can see him in deep thought. He’d be like, “We’re going to try this technique
this way this day,” and he would take one of our basic texts and he would totally modify
it, and instead of doing a bunch of the traditional strikes, he did the first two strikes and
went to a AA take down, and it was so smooth, and we implemented it, and I was like, “What? That’s really cool.” So, like I said, I thank Fred Mergen so much
for the art and the knowledge he brought into our system, and how to think, and how to apply
it, and how to change it. The martial arts are a very, very dynamic
thing. There’s no set rule. There’s no one thing that works for everyone. So, it’s part of being the artist. A part of the discipline is, what works for
you, and he really helped me identify that and how to make it my own. So, I thank him very much for that. Unfortunately, in 2015, my instructor closed
the school and he decided he wanted to move on with his life, and he moved to it, and
moved out of state. Before he left, he awarded me with my fifth
degree black belt, and he pulled me aside. He said, “Dan,” he goes, “You’ve been through
the thick of it with me for the last 20 some years,” that I have never given up. That I have constantly persevered through
all different styles, and that I have taken what he has given me, and I have made it my
own. So, he felt that I had reached level. From there, I kind of embarked on my new path. Right now, like I said, with this channel,
I’m trying to absorb as much martial arts as possible. I’m trying to build a community. I’m trying to learn as much as possible. I am now training in Japanese Jiu Jitsu. I am loving it. So many different ideas that I didn’t have
before. It’s meshing well with what I’ve already learned,
and I feel very fortunate to be a part of this great new dojo. So, I thank you, Shihan Wood for that experience. I’m also looking into Shotokan. I want to kind of train formally in that as
well. So, as we go, as this channel grows, I want
to continue to add to my arts. There’s so much to learn. It’s impossible to learn it all, because it
doesn’t matter what system you know, how long you’ve trained in it, how good you are in
it, what you expand your knowledge to, there’s always a lot more out there that you don’t
know. There’s always a better fighter. There’s always a better martial artist. There’s always a better way. So, the only way you can improve yourself
and be the martial artist you can be is to constantly keep learning, stay humble, keep
an open mind, always go back to your roots, start fresh. There’s nothing wrong with that, just build. If you learn a new system, it doesn’t have
to replace what you’re learning and what you’ve already done. Add to it. Build upon it. That makes you unique and that makes your
art as strong as it possibly can. So, I hope this answers a lot of questions. Like I said, I wanted to do this video a little
bit more informally, kind of in the interest of being transparent and open and honest with
all of you. You guys have been fantastic with me. I want to give back to you. So, please, by all means, if you want to see
any specific topics, if you’ve got suggestions for different arts, if you don’t like the
types of video I’m doing, and you prefer something else, please leave your feedback below. Share this channel. Help us grow. The bigger this channel gets, the more we
can do with it. I have a lot of aspirations for this channel. I love you guys for the support you’ve shown
me, and let’s keep this thing going from here on out. Thank you, very much.

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100 thoughts on “Inside Look At Art of One Dojo | ART OF ONE DOJO

  1. With all due respect Sensei, your current body physical type, is no one's business! You are actually spreading, educating and expanding the knowledge and public awareness, of martial arts. Often to novices as well as those of us, already veterans of the martial arts, about the various systems out there.

    So the focus ought to be on your work, dedication and ongoing dedicated passion and commitment, to spreading the knowledge of martial arts, through your informative and educational videos.

    I myself lost my mother to liver and lung cancer, back in 2008! I truly comprehend your deep and profound loss. For which as you said can be hard to focus and prioritise your training. I myself as mentioned in another of your previous videos, two weeks ago, obtained my third dan black belt in Kyokushin Karate. Prior to that I had been training and assisting my instructor with the lower ranked students, also two years ago, commenced teaching my very own students, on weekends. If I may ask respectfully in your Kenpo Karate system, given that you are a fifth dan black belt instructor, what is your title? For example in Kyokushin Karate, from first to second dan black belt levels, our title is (先輩) Senpai literally meaning senior, however in English more loosely translated as instructor. From third to fourth dan black belt levels, we obtain the title of Sensei (先生) meaning teacher. Then from fifth dan onwards the title is that of Shihan (師範) meaning master.

    As for the martial arts that you have covered so far, I wonder if you have done video segments on Capoeira from Brazil, Hwa Rang Do, Taekkyon, Kuk Sul Wol, Hapkido, Tang Soo Do, Subak from Korea, Ban Do from Burma, Kajukenbo, originally from Hawaii, Sambo from Russia, Krav Maga from Israel, Savate from France, Wushu, Sanshou (Sanda Chinese kickboxing , Shuai Jiao (Chinese Wrestling), all from China, Sumo, Ninjutsu, Aikido, Iaido, jiu-jitsu and Judo, kobudo all from Japan of course.

    Lastly without sounding disrespectful I look it from an archaeological, anthropological, historical, as well cultural perspective. Many people claim that Kalari Payathu from India, was the origin of Asian martial arts. I disagree as I do not see any similarities or clear influence of such an art on Kung Fu, Karate, judo, jiu-jitsu, ninjutsu, taekwondo, Hwa Rang Do, Tang Soo Do, Muay Thai, Taekkyon and so forth. I mean in arts like Taekwondo, Karate, Kung Fu for example I see many of the same or very similar stances, such as forward leaning stance, back leaning stance, cat stance, crane stance, horse stance and so forth. I have seen Kalari Payathu and none of it is in that art.

    The striking also looks anything unlike those mentioned arts for example, or its grappling techniques, nothing like judo, jiu-jitsu, ninjutsu, Aikido, Hapkido. Again I do not mean any disrespect by it, however I do not ascribe to the theory that the Buddhist monk Bodhidharma, who went from India to the Shaolin Temple in China, taught them any fighting arts, other than Buddhist religious doctrine, yoga, breathing and other meditational techniques. Neither Bodhidharma nor Sidartha Gautama, the Buddha himself, were warriors, let alone martial arts practitioners. Historical and archaeological evidence, shows that Chinese Kung Fu, already existed in China, prior to the arrival of Buddhism, from India. Hence my dismissal of Kalari Payathu, being the fore runner of Asian martial arts. I hope all is well with your family and your students. Greetings from Melbourne, Australia 🇦🇺, Osu! 👍 ☺ ✌

  2. Another great video Instructor Dan. One of the reason why I made sure to get back to training is to get my shodan and to lose weight. You displaying the progression, trails and struggle is why I greatly support you're channel. You also are creating a welcoming community and carry yourself as a martial artist should; honor, integrity and humility. Keep up the amazing work. Personal note, Jeff Speakmen was one of my favorite martial artist in my preteens.

  3. I can understand about using or not using certain terms and phrases when practicing Martial Arts. I started in 1992 I learned ITF Taekwondo, but because "Karate" was so prevalent in the U.S.A. at that time and Taekwondo was not very well known, many of the instructional words that my teacher used were actually Japanese terms. I've observed over the years many different styles and I am 100% certain that I did in fact learn was I was told I was learning, but it is interesting to see that his teaching language was very different.

  4. I am curios about something since this is a question and answer vid. I am curious to know your opinion about Martial Arts demonstrations. And I don't mean the normal style of demonstration, I mean the kind where the "master" stands in the middle of the room and throw "attacking" students around as if they were baseball cards. I bring this up because I have always felt that this cheapens any Martial Art and while I understand that the teacher wants to look good and look powerful and knowledgeable, I have always felt that it instead makes them look lazy and weak instead. I will bring up specifically Aikido because I have seen it there so many times although I know this happens in most if not all Martial Arts at one time or another. I have seen way too many times where the Sensei will stand in the middle of the room and one of the students will run at him to deliver what looks like a comically bad "karate chop" to the teacher only to have them lazily grab the student by the hand and with nothing more than a flick of their wrist throw the attacking student 10 feet across the room. I see these kinds of things constantly in demonstrations and I think to myself, "It's no wonder so few people take Martial Arts seriously when they see something like that." I feel that those kind of things hurt Martial Arts an incalculable amount. I'm sorry this was so long, but I really want to know your opinion on these and perhaps how we can avoid falling into traps like that.

  5. Can you also make videos about the ridiculous no touch martial arts and why it exists and why lots of misguided martial artists believe in it.

  6. I had injuries on my shoulder which put me out for 2 years now after doing judo and submission grappling. The school I went too had some politics and it was later shut down. I did had some down time for a while but I took some martial art philosophy that I learned and I was able to get back on my feet and I started losing 10 pounds of weight after doing yoga, walking, resistance training, science based-diet then I took a path on and going back to college. I hope when the time is right for me, I will be able to do martial arts again.

  7. Jeff Speakman gained weight as well over the years. However I've yet to see it affect his success negatively. As you've said before Dan, life and situations happen. But what really shows our fortitude is how we handle those situations. If we're strong enough, we'll only come out a better person. Keep up the awesome work Dan!

  8. I agree I am 45 and slightly overweight I have gone back to doing martial art koi do rye ( The true way ) and just been awarded my yellow belt and you know what? I am enjoying the journey.

  9. Mr. Dan I enjoy your input and respect your commitment to martial arts. I recently started shotokan through the global martial arts university (GMAU) and recommend you take a look at their curriculums any input would be appreciated

  10. You have a really amazing story🙌🙌! My last dojo closed a few months ago, it taught both goju-ryu, and shorin-ryu, and I had a very similar feeling. I also was about to get my shodan, but I found a new goju school as soon as I could, and am commuting about 3 hours each way to get there, because I just won’t quit. And now I’m testing this upcoming January so it all pays off👍👍

  11. I would love to learn from kempo from you because of your personality I think you're very humble and I respect you for that

  12. Your dad fought harder and seemed to have more courage than any mma comp. Cancer is no joke and the people who fight it are true life fighters.

  13. Training in “multiple martial arts” doesn’t mean that your instructor who may or may not know it shows you some things. And you getting a “taste of I️t” unless you train in a pressure tested martial art day in and day out for an EXTENDED period of time you should not consider yourself a mixed martial artist. And Japanese ju jutsu In 2018 is a less effective style of grappling because the ufc is more popular than ever and more and more people are doing real grappling (competitive bjj,wrestling,judo)

  14. Love your videos. Sorry for the loss of your father. Wish you all the best in all of your endeavors. Keep making videos.

  15. Nice video, I've trained in a few martial arts: Shotokan, TKD and kajukenbo. Mostly in kajukenbo for the past 7 years. Like you said, as martial artist we have to keep evolving and keep on learning from the best teacher, life.

  16. Hey doing Zack Burns once again I'm here to tell you that I like your videos the whole style of approaching another martial art is definitely awesome I have been doing cross training since I was 14 way before MMA you can hit the scene I currently have six different styles under my belt three of which Iron Man black so I fully understand I completely I run my own school out of my own house I do it completely free why because I believe someone should learn martial arts and I have to pay money dollars for it leave me your contact information and maybe we can talk on a personal basis one on one I'm kind of new to this YouTube thing so I don't know how to get in contact with you or if it's good to leave my phone number and address and stuff I don't think it's good so if you can get me the email at Skyline man underscore 69 at appreciate it thank you

  17. Great Video, Check out the International Kenpo Karate Association's Chinese Kenpo Karate From GM Chuck Sullivan and Vic Laroux, It focuses on 55 core techniques but you train to change and adapt the techniques to different situations. It might be a good idea for content for your channel and to add to your kenpo vault, GM Chuck Sullivan was one of SGM Ed Parker's Original Students and one of his original Black belts.

    I got my 1st degree in 2011, and because of life and cross training in other systems I haven't tested for my second degree black belt, So hopefully I can test next year. I Look forward to seeing your channel grow and seeing your content.

  18. I really enjoy your videos. I would like for you to help me spread the word about the Healthie movement. Idea instead of taking selfies, we post pictures and videos doing healthy things. Check this out.

  19. Hi sir I have enjoyed your video's,  I feel you are a very honest individual and do not need to defend how you look, you have knowledge beyond your age. Thank you

  20. You are the exact type of instructor I need. I come from a Kempo background( that's not a typo it's Kempo with an m). Life gets in the way, an instructor that I understand that is very important. I trained under Soke Scot Conway. He's made a lot of changes since I left, but he instilled in me a lot of the same principles you talk about. I am looking at Ed Parker's Kenpo as a way to continue my training, and the fact that you speak about the art plainly and simply with no bias against other Arts is exactly what I'm looking for. Life has got in the way of my training a lot, but I'd like to get back to it. I really miss the dojo setting, I miss training with friends. If I could find a teacher like you I would jump in wholeheartedly. You are a credit to your system and the martial arts in general.

  21. Love your channel. But there is one thing that I see on everyone of these channels. Over my years of training I have found out that belt levels is an American thing. I’m not into any art now other than Kung fu. And I have been taught all through my adventure over the last 40 years is that you just do whatever art you do. You either are good at or your not. Been through some of the things you mention about schools closing and so on. My sigung, that is my teachers teacher. Has been the same throughout! But he will not give me the chance to test with him because he doesn’t see me everyday. Maybe once every couple of years. He honestly just pulls me to the side when he’s in the states and says your doing things right! That’s worth more to me than any belt!!! So don’t get caught up in rank or belts!! It’s not about that it’s about learning. Ranking is not an Asian thing. To them it’s about a way of life!!! So just do your thing and do it well.

  22. Hey brother, a really inspirational post, i am 6’3 150kgs, and on my channel people have commented on my size as well, you handled it with class and integrity, TBH people can be so petty and straight out vindictive, but hey your stuff is great your training pedigree is sound, glad i subscribed, keep it up brother 🙂

  23. If you get to it I would love to see a follow up of this video:
    And perhaps a comparison.

  24. I would really love to see a documentery on Judo Kata/No Kata, which is the official art of The Royal Canadian Mounties who protect their Prime Minister. I believe that it is extensively taught to upper belts at the Kodakon. It's the only form of judo that incorporates strikes.

  25. I appreciate your candor and transparency. I also have tons of respect for your perseverance and commitment to the journey rather than just the destination.

    I started Kenpo in high school after seeing Perfect Weapon. Loved it but ended up taking time off and transitioning to another art after as I moved away right after graduation (1993). I studied Shuri Ryu and Goshin Justsu Karate for 15 years and earned a nidan. After some other life issues which required some more time off, I returned to Kenpo to sort of finish what I started so long ago. Well, this coming Saturday I will test for my 1st black in (Ed Parker) Kenpo. 27 years after tying on my white belt. I personally am loving the exploration of where the hard and soft styles can not only intersect, but compliment each other.

  26. My deepest condolences to you and your family for your lost. I understand how hard it can be to lose someone that you love.

  27. sensei dan you are a great role model for the martial arts and the valuable knowledge that is portrayed through your videos

  28. Kempo. The art of attacking a compliant partner with a barrage of techniques when there is no resistance to? To make you feel like the “ perfect weapon”????? 😂😂

  29. I heard you mention other arts and I was wondering if you could do a video about Kuk Sool Won I've always been drawn to that style but There are no schools in my area the closest being 9 hours from where I live. On another note please accept my condolences on the loss of your father.

  30. Dan. You are an absolutely incredible person and martial artist. I wouldnt worry to much about negative comments. I completely agree with you about Fred. He is by far the best instructor I've ever had. He changed the way I looked at Kenpo and I am very grateful to have been one of his students.
    Just know that you inspire myself and many others through your instruction, training and this incredible YouTube channel. Keep up the great work buddy.

  31. I'm really enjoying the channel. A lot of really great information. I want to touch on one of the topics you discussed in this video. The weight. I have been training off and on in the arts since age 15. (Now 48 going on 49) I have always loved training. Unfortunately I am overweight. But like you I am working on this. Started the ow carb meals and already down 10lbs.

    At this time I am 6' 1" and I weigh 388lbs. Weight is a major embarrassment for me and a major self esteem issue. My Dobak (GI), I've pretty much always trained in Korean arts, never fits. The top always comes out from under my belt. I get winded before my classmates and I have suffered injuries. But even at my heaviest weight of 422lbs I was able to launch a kick to the side of a 6' tall students head and to this day I can still do full splits. Many people look at heavy martial artist and think "Look at him. You know he doesn't train hard." "He doesn't look professional." (I was an assistant instructor once.)

    All these stereotypes about how a martial artist should look. But as a nurse I also have the medical knowledge that as we age out bodies change. Our metabolism slows. We gain weight. It's harder for us to lose the weight we have. I just get so tired of people that have to point out the fact that someone is overweight. Like the person doesn't already realize this fact.

    On top of my weight I have stopped training because of a knee and shoulder injury. The knee is bone on bone and requires a total knee replacement but until I lose 100lbs the surgeon will not perform the operation. The shoulder isn't as bad as the knee. But I do not know exactly what kind of training or how much training the knee can stand. I want to train but finding a school that I think I can handle is not easy. Especially when most all the schools in the area are TKD or McDojo's.

  32. My condolences about ur Father. I recently lost my Mother and karate was a very big part of our lives(she was also black belt in shotokan) she was my biggest fan at tournaments and my biggest supporter in my karate journey. Like u i had to step away to take care of her, to the point where i had to shut down the classes i was teaching. Now im trying to get back to it and get grounded again. Life happens and like martial arts it all about how we deal with these issues. U have motivated me in showing me its not just me.

  33. I hate to keep bombarding ur videos with comments but im a karate nerd so forgive me lol, i very shortly attended a chain of schools called United Studios and they taught Shaolin Kenpo whats the diff of that vs. American kenpo? Also what about Larry Tatum which version does he teach? I also noticed in most of ur footage amd photos that ur not wearing the kenpo patches. If u dont mind me asking why

  34. Congratulations sir for your story. I just celebrated my 33rd year in Martial arts practice this February and life does bring us some expected and unexpected turns. I have had several surgeries also and it does take some time to come back together. A mentor once told me that, "In martial arts there are two kinds of students, occasionally interested and lifers." It seems you are a lifer sir.

  35. Al Tracy opened a school as a brown belt not a black belt and he hired black belts that were teaching in Ed Parkers school to teach for him.
    Just putting that out there.

  36. No need to apologize about your weight. I've seen many black and red belts who were large guys, and I think it made them more lethal. Too many MMA-heads around. MMA is a sport. Not to take anything away from those practitioners–they are tough opponents–yet I think MArts goes deeper than one's ego.

  37. Great channel. I am 70 years old and a year ago, I started training in Shotokan karate after a 35 year break from martial arts. My priority is health related as I am dealing with diabetes and high blood pressure, and I find martial arts training to be the most effective way to maintain fitness. It's also a great way to feel good. Thanks for the inspiration!

  38. Your a good guy. I enjoyed everything you put out. Hopefully everything life wise works out for you.😎😊🇺🇸

  39. Lost my dad on Xmas eve and been fighting his gf in court over my sisters inheritance. Getting back into martial arts to get refocused and relax.

  40. I have to say that your students are very fortunate to have an instructor that takes the time to research a subject before speaking on it. I learn much from your videos. Keep up the great work, Sensei!

  41. Hi, Sir. I love your channel. Please can you tell me the origin of the word “ kata” aka form, hyung, etc. I try to remember that kata actually is an abbreviate form of a full japanese word. Thank you. Osu.

  42. Sir with all due respect martial scientists come in a variety of body types. I'm old and fat and I do FULL splits fight and beat younger stronger more athletic build people and outlast my teenagers routinely. Much respect for you and what you are doing and ya just can't please everyone. If a person is not a martial arts MASTER or a trained fighter I can maim you easily and sometimes even if you are. Advanced Kempo technique is gruesome as you well know and many many fights are lost by underestimating your opponent which I enjoy.🐅🐉 🙏🏾🙏 💪🏾🐯 Your channel is quite valuable to me. Thanks and OSU

  43. I would like you to do what most martial artist / combat sports artist dont cover. I would like for you to cover the martial arts of Europe ( Lucha Canaria, Gouren , Loita Galega, Ranggeln etc) Africa, North Africa , India , The Middle East and the Americas. Many good arts out there outside of the Far Eastern realm.

  44. Excellent and informative videos. I feel like you can cover topics very professionally while making the content entertaining to watch.

  45. I started training in Tracy's Kenpo in 94, right about when you started! I had the exact opposite of your experience. I went to an American Kenpo place for the prior 6 months and it was a total McDojo with no sparring ever and an instructor who couldn't kick as well as I could already… I did Tae Kwon Do and boxing from age 12 all the way through school. I graduated school in 94, moved and found Kenpo.

    The reason I mention the McDojo thing is this, it's not the style as often as it is the specific school and instructor. My experience could have put me off from American Kenpo, but that would have been unfair. You can find crappy schools in any style. I wish there was a good American Kenpo place around here. I would love to train in other forms of Kenpo. I'm 43 now and just got back into martial arts after about an 8-year hiatus. I started training at a BJJ/Judo gym to do something completely different from what I'm used to. It's fun, but the Judo is kicking my old butt. LOVE this channel. You're cranking out some great content!

  46. I hear so many things that reflect my own experiences. Thank you for saying things I can not say or did not even consider. Also, thank you for not giving up. It has been the thing I struggle with the most. I still practice but, not on a consistent basis. Your video has sparked something in me.
    Thank you thank you thank you.

  47. Mr. Dan, I totally understand about the weight. It gets harder as we get older. Also, life is not easy especially with what you went through with your dad. Selfcare is important but also easier said than done. Keep training.

  48. You have a really good channel… I really like your honesty and keep at your fitness goals….you will get to where you want to be…
    Be well and…"Keep your hands up"….

  49. Hey love your channel but how come you haven't done anything on BKF yet?? And Chuck Sullivan yet???? And how come Kenpo Karate isn't on the East Coast🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

  50. Came across this video, thanks for making it. Definitely can relate to some of the things you have gone through. Keep it up the work, I certainly appreciate your insight.

  51. You are the definition of what martial arts is. That it is for everyone no matter your size or condition. Its a life long journey of discovery and self improvement. It is not about winning fights or competition. You are very personable and convey information in a way that people listen. That makes you a better teacher, instructor, or coach than most think that they can do. Keep up the good work. And those of us that are not critical of you but are thankful for the knowledge and effort to share this with us.

  52. Same thing I was ask when I studied the bujinkan. Why I didn't study MMA. The bujinkan has a mixture or strikings, throwing, tripping, restraining, locks, grappling, guerrilla tactics, many weapons skill ( including guns and explosive) chimon(weather tactic) ambush and concealment tactic, etc. So…I don't need to do that.

  53. I like how you are very open to other martial arts. You aren't taking any side and you're very neutral about it. Makes your site very interesting. You have no big ego and you are a humble person. We need more people like you in this world. 😊

  54. I agree it not easy to take off the weight the older you get. I too had many surgeries and each time it does seem to really set you back. But that is, nothing we can't over come!

  55. how did you come to gain this channel from the other gentlemen you were talking about in the video? jw great content btw.

  56. I always taught that we should never have to explain our Skills and how we achieved them. Martial Arts is for Self unless you are worried about what people think. After 45+ years, I won't explain myself to anyone, Never had anything to Prove and still today I believe Fighting is for Fools with Broken Noses, Cauliflower Ears and Bran damage before they hit 50. Kenpo was created to Evolve and embrace different arts, at least that's how I teach. Mix Martial arts is just a lifestyle of Living, working out and different Gyms and Dojos. Well again if you are worried about what others think in all this grab for who is who, or you are like this generation, Teaching how to Fight, the disrespect shown everywhere is witness to that truth. Salute

  57. I must admit, I was also wondering about the weight mostly because you see a lot of bullshido "masters" who are totally out of shape. After watching this video though, I feel like a horrible person for even thinking that! I lost my father to cancer couple of years ago too, so I'm very sorry for your loss and glad you are moving on with positive things in your life.

  58. Great video and I appreciate the humble open minded approach. Sorry to hear about your life challenges — good luck getting back to fighting weight. 👍☮️

  59. Your story of weight gain is very similar to mine. Hope you are happy and healthy – getting to the weight you want to be.

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