The Kenpo Continuum is a collection of stories about Kenpoists from around the globe. This is a sample story of Amy Long, with information on how to submit YOUR story for volume two of The Kenpo Continuum. If you are a Kenpo Black Belt with at least ten years of training time on the mat, you qualify.
Several years ago, I released the first volume of "The Kenpo Continuum'. The book is a collection of stories about kenpoists who have devoted their lives, or at least spent a whole lot of years, improving their Kenpo karate. I'm currently in the process of putting together volume 2 of the book and am seeking submissions. To qualify, you must be a black belt in http://www.kenpocontinuum.com Kenpo Karate and have at least ten yrs. of time on the mat. Your lineage isn't important, as far as qualifying, because I am looking for people from all different lineages. This isn't about horn-tooting or showing off, it's about remembering our Kenpo roots and keeping track of where the many branches have gone.
My Kenpo karate tale started in 1979, when I was 11 years old. My good friend at the time, Roben, was taking a kenpo class and because I My idea worked; we were close buddies for many years.) I had no knowledge about the style, but was blessed to end up in an American Kenpo school, which was held at the Belmont, CA YMCA. My first teacher was Vinton Koklich. I trained at that school for a little over 4 years until my family moved to Sacramento. The class was once per week and since I never practiced, I left there a purple belt with one stripe. But -- I was hooked.
I took time off from kenpo to become adjusted to the move, but after a year or so, I began looking for a Kenpo school. I did a short trial at a few schools till I found one I liked. One day, when I was stretching before class, I noticed a black belt on the floor stretching, who I hadn't met before. I smiled and said hello and told him my name, after which I proceeded with my stretching, then katas.
He watched me intently for a bit, left the workout room, came back in, picked up my technique list, then instructed me to follow him. He brought me into one of the private curtained sections, and said, "I'm your instructor now." Uh, okay. His name was Ray Arquilla.
I developed my fascination for Kenpo from Vinton, but I think I formed my passion for Kenpo because of Ray. He cleaned up my basics and showed me how to train. And BOY, did we ever train! I was 17, so the three hr. twice-weekly training sessions had been easier to handle then. We did some over the top workouts. One particular one that I remember specifically was the 5in the morning, crack-of-dawn, dead of winter, up-in-the-hills, on a Sunday workout, nearby the river. For the grand finale of the killer workout, he announced, "I want you all to do what I do -- no hesitation." YES SIR! Then, he took off down the hill, through the brush and dived headfirst into the freezing cold river! I was clearly a little whacked in the head then too because I took the dive. (GOD, I DESPISE cold water!) The other student helping us on the other side said that my head poked up so high from the river that I looked like a turtle.
One of the best things about attending Bob Lyle's dojo was that I was able to participate in a seminar taught by, as well as being an uke for, Mr. Ed Parker Sr., the year before he died. I later made the move to Marin County, where I found Marin Kenpo, becoming a student of Richard LaFave. I was forced to leave before he passed because I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease (Lymphoma). I was deathly ill for about eighteen months, with an additional year or 2 for overall recovery. I checked out a couple of different Kenpo schools during my healing, but none proved good for me.
Eventually, I came across Darryl Liner's school, at which I trained for about one and a half years, leaving when I found a bun in my oven. One child became 2 and before I knew it, it had been six yrs. since I had been without my art.