About Dragon Kenpo Karate
December 2007 Charity
Table of Contents
The Only Constant by Coach Ron Pfeiffer
Featured Article: Dragon Kenpo in Real Life by Michael A. Gregory
A Gift For Yourself by Phoebe Nelson Oshirak, RN
SAMBO: The Russian Martial Art by Steve Amoia
New Member Biography: David Hayes
Closing Comments by Coach Ron Pfeiffer
Staff Biographies Link
The Only Constant
By Coach Ron Pfeiffer
Each year, I announce a Member/Instructor of the Year. There were quite a few candidates, and making the choice is one of the toughest end-of-year tasks I have. Congratulations to Steve Amoia who is our World Dragon Kenpo Member of the Year for 2007. Those of you who know Steve are aware of his untiring efforts to promote our school, and his very professional efforts with our newsletter. Additionally, he was one of those who I was able to lean on a bit during some personal challenges and changes which I am still dealing with.
For those of you who know me well, I want to thank you for the kind words and encouragement that I have received during this past year. My life changed in 2007 by 360 degrees, and that change has been more than a simple distraction. Now that I am adjusting, I'm putting all members of WDK on notice to prepare for an unprecedented year for our school.
Since the inception of World Dragon Kenpo Schools of Self Defense in July of 2004, we've seen a steady growth and developed a very loyal membership. These take no prisoners. No holds barred warriors have been persistent and insistent in personal development, and in sharing the experience of being a member of our elite program.
Instructors and students of our (Note: "our" means all of us) organization, school, program and virtual dojo share a unique bond. It is my sincere wish that over the next year, all of us rededicate our efforts to share our Dragon Kenpo with friends, family and others so that they too can know how empowering the study of Kenpo can be.
Many of our members have embraced the Nunchaku as "weapon of choice" and Tai Chi as "a counter balance." This has truly expanded the scope of WDK and will for years to come.
So as we enter 2008, let's refocus and prepare for the some of the most interesting times of our lives... They are coming... Watch or you'll miss it... So what is the only constant…
That's right, you guessed it, change.
Coach Ron Pfeiffer can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Give him a little earth for charity!” --- William Shakespeare
Dragon Kenpo in Real Life
By Professor Michael A. Gregory
It started out as a routine traffic stop in
WDK Wrist Lock Technique
As I questioned the driver further, he became verbally abusive, and very agitated. I ordered him out of the pickup and had him stand at the rear of the vehicle. If this verbal attack was going to become a physical fight, I wanted him away from the child. I ordered him to face the tailgate and put his hands on the truck and proceeded to pat him down for weapons. At that very moment, he shoved his right hand into his pants pocket shouting an obscenity at me. Without hesitation, I grabbed his wrist with both my hands, and placed him in a wrist lock while lifting him off the ground. I promised him (in terms I won’t repeat here) that I could and would pull his arm off if he wanted to fight. White technique number something, I don’t remember. (Editor’s note: Professor Gregory refers to WDK White Belt Technique # 1).
New Skills Utilized
The point is, I received no police training in my past that equipped me for the situation as well as the Karate training I had recently received in Dragon Kenpo. In times gone by, his sudden movement of reaching into his pocket while being searched would possibly have resulted in my .40 cal. Glock being pointed at the back of this angry man’s head, or taking him to the ground in the gravel to subdue him as I had been trained in defensive police tactics. Instead, I felt calm and reacted appropriately to the threat level using my “new” skills. It was smooth and professional. Karate had actually helped me to de-escalate a potentially violent situation while making an arrest alone on a two lane highway in rural
By the way, it was a cell phone vibrating in his pocket that the driver foolishly reached for. He ultimately went to jail for invasion of privacy, got a speeding ticket, and the baby left with relatives at the same time his vehicle left with the tow truck. As for me, I went home and started practicing yellow and orange belt techniques. The bad guys are still out there waiting to be found, and I still have a great deal more to learn.
I study under Sensei Jim Patus at
Michael Gregory can be contacted at email@example.com
“Charity begins at home.” --- Terence
By Ed DellaCroce
ABI'S Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Studio, located in
I am the North Carolina State Director for World Dragon Kenpo Karate, and a 2nd Degree Black Belt instructor. At ABI'S, I am a staff instructor, and have taken a personal self-defense class. I have developed a more realistic street level fighting course. My course encompasses the arts of World Dragon Kenpo, Hapkido, Aikido and other mixed defensive tactic techniques. My course allows a victim to adjust their force to the attacker. Teaching persons to defend themselves is their greatest reward.
The defensive class taught at ABI'S is entitled "Dragon Kenpo Street Defense." The name certainly describes the course outline. Unlike traditional Karate classes, the street defense class is only eight (8) hours of instruction. It teaches a basic approach to everyday self-defense situations. The proven techniques show a student how they can defend themselves against a much larger attacker. Keeping a technique simple ensures a natural reactive response under pressure. What we learn, good or bad habit, becomes second nature under pressure.
ABI'S street defense also teaches many of the techniques outlined in World Dragon Kenpo (WDK). It provides a defensive approach to react, neutralize, and withdraw from a dangerous situation. The skills taught are not to be taken lightly. Because of the combative nature, many of the moves can cause serious injury to an attacker. Other skills, such as Tae Kwon Do, teach execution of high kicks. In a close environment, such as a small hallway, it would not be practical. WDK teaches a more close-quarters approach. Properly applied, the skills can allow a person to defend themselves with confidence.
Application Versus Strength
Other techniques taught are how to escape from the front and rear choke hold, bear hug, clothes grab, side and rear head lock, and others. Emphasis is on application versus strength. A student can build self-confidence in themselves. Seeing the results of their efforts is a wonderful experience. Many are amazed that they can escape from stronger opponents. We owe it to ourselves to live our lives without a constant fear of being victimized. ABI'S, WDK, and other defensive arts offer victims an opportunity to say no to victimization, and yes to a happy and capable life.
Ed DellaCroce can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
“A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.” --- Jack London
A Gift For Yourself
By Phoebe Nelson Oshirak, RN and Tai Chi Student
Tis the season to be jolly,
Sip your eggnog, go pick holly,
Skip your next Tai Chi lesson
And you will only feel depression.
Go on; attend the office party.
Scoop the dip and stuff in treats.
Deck the halls and eat real hearty.
Give no thought to what you eat.
Tis the season; shop for folly
Eat the cake for which you pine.
Tis the season, indulge, by golly
The pounds add up, you will find.
So fill your tummy to the brim,
‘Cause later on we’ll think of thin.
At season’s end, un-trim the tree
And once again …
Practice, practice your Tai Chi.If you are like I am; not long after you have been wined on a good Merlot or Cabernet and dined on Thanksgiving turkey with Grandma’s butter- cornbread stuffing (There’s a pun in there somewhere!) you begin to think about the approaching year-end holidays. You think of cards and wrapping, the family gatherings, the New Year celebration and of course, the FOOD! You also anticipate the pure joy of giving. There is something a bit selfish about giving presents simply because the very act elicits such a warm and satisfying feeling within us.
Why not include yourself on the gift list? Generally speaking, we are so “wrapped up” in the gift process during the holidays we forget about taking care of ourselves. But think about it. Shouldn’t you be good to yourself too?
Why not give yourself the gift of a healthy life-style. It sounds simple, but it is not always easy to do, especially during the holiday season. It takes a great deal of will power not to indulge in all the things mentioned in the rhyme. On the other hand, if we respect our minds and bodies and think about the consequences of over-indulgence, perhaps that might help us say, “No Thank You” when the dessert tray comes around for the second time. It is important that we care enough about ourselves to make the right choices for a healthy life-style. In doing so, we can improve our cholesterol, drop our weight, our blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
We can ease the stresses that come with the season’s mayhem… and yes, the guilt we have because we eat too much. But what are holidays for, if not to celebrate? Do we have to “Just Say No” to all the fun and goodies? Of course we don’t. Just use common sense. Practice everything, including Tai Chi, in moderation. It is a lot easier to be careful now rather than trying to correct matters later.
This time of year, spare time is precious, however; try not to skimp on your exercise regimen if possible. Take time or make time, even if it is just a little time, to exercise, rev up the metabolism and burn those extra calories. Another helpful suggestion: Plan ahead for the parties. Eat something healthy before you go. Fill up on lower calorie foods and when you arrive at the party, just take really small portions of the foods that are high in sugar, fat and calories.
Phoebe Nelson Oshirak can be contacted at Ophoebe0077@aol.com
“Too many have dispensed with generosity in order to practice charity.” --- Albert Camus
SAMBO: The Russian Martial Art
By Steve Amoia
Video courtesy of YouTube shows Fedor Emelianenko, who is the current
World Combat Champion.
A few weeks ago, I was watching a martial arts program, “Human Weapon,” on the History Channel. I saw an interesting display of a Russian system called “Sambo.” This is a very popular Russian martial art practiced by a wide variety of people. The Russian Federation President, Vladimir Putin, is a Master of Sports in this discipline. Such a classification would be the equivalent of a national champion. Internationally, this art is deemed to be in the wrestling genre.
“Created at the instigation of Vladimir Lenin during the Bolshevik Revolution in 1918 to improve the hand-to-hand combat skills of the military and the police, the secret self-defense training eventually spread to the masses and became an official, competitive Soviet sport in 1938.” (1)
- Special (Which is a specialized form of the combat style).
- Freestyle (Which is a uniquely American style).
Personal Russian Perspective
A friend of mine, Dan Leo, grew up in the former
“The word SAMBO is a Russian acronym that means (SAMozashchita Bez Oruzhiya) or Self-Defense Without A Weapon.
The Soviets made it sound like an ‘original’ Soviet type of fighting or wrestling. That was obviously to oppose the West. Or, really, the Eastern forms of Judo, Karate, and so forth. I'd never seen Bruce Lee's movies there, but that must have entered into the Soviet subconscious somehow.
Overall, the USSR stressed ‘public/citizen defense’ since it was a very military nation and everyone in school had to take these ‘public defense/military preparation’ classes with boys of 13-14 required to know how to shoot and assemble a rifle (AK-47 and single shot), march, take ‘orientation,’ which was another pseudo-military semi-Olympic discipline where people had to run an unmarked course while using a map in an unfamiliar forest and finish 3-5 km by hitting every required post while being timed.
SAMBO was just one of those paramilitary events.” (2)
(2) A special thanks to Dan Leo for his assistance with this article.
Steve Amoia can be contacted at email@example.com
“In the end, we will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” --- Dr. Martin Luther King
New Member Biography
By David Hayes
Coach Ron Pfeiffer and World Dragon Kenpo extend a warm welcome to Mr. Hayes.
I began training in Karate in 1987 at the age of 36. I was interested in the Arts when I was young (10 to 12), but my family was not able to afford that at the time. When my son Marc expressed an interest in Karate at the age of eight, I figured I would give him the chance at something I wanted to do but never did. As it turns out, watching him sort of got my mind going and the next thing I knew, I'm training.
We started training with Sensei Greg Tearney of the Purple Dragon Dojo in
James Coker (my main instructor while at Sensei Tearney's) opened his own dojo and my son and I went to train with him. I believe I was a Green Belt at the time, 4th Kyu. This is where I received Shodan grade, and was given the title of Instructor on
My son, Marc, died in an accident in September of 1993. I continued to train but it was the hardest thing I had ever been through and going to the dojo without my partner from day one of my training was something I had to give up. I continued to train on my own and to research Bunkai for kata I knew. I attended tournaments on and off and judged the competitors of Kata and Kumite.
I sought to expand my knowledge and studied American Tiger Jujitsu thru what I refer to as distance study. Material was sent to me, and I would send video back when I felt I knew the material. ATJ is basically a system of 60 or so techniques designed for self-defense. This has given me some further understanding of technique that I find in my kata that could be interpreted as throws or joint locks, etc.
In or around February of 2005, my granddaughter took an 8 week class sponsored by her elementary school in Kenpo (Masters of Karate). Once again, as before when watching my son Marc in his classes, my desire was rekindled to train with other Karateka. I sought out some of my old friends and found some training at a boxing club that had donated space for a karate program that would be offered to residents of the area. I worked-out there for about two years. It seems to be “too kata heavy” (if you know what I mean) with little in the way of hands on self-defense. I do believe that kata is the vehicle that Karate uses to teach techniques and the means of practicing these techniques for solo training. But there is no substitute for actual hands on application when it is available.
While looking to further my knowledge, I came across The American Federation of Jujitsu under Master J. Moore. Through email conversations about the program, along with training I had already, Master Moore thought I should be ranked higher than Shodan due to my time in the Arts. The AFJ (Master Moore) recognized me as Sandan in the art GoJu Jutsu. I don't claim or use this title/rank. Never really felt comfortable with it. This is based on my own feelings and that I had been out of formal training in the arts for such a long time. But as I continue to grow and train, I’m starting to embrace the grade more and more in my mind.
Rank may be good at one place but not good at another. Knowledge will always be what it is and it is something that can not be taken away from you.
At the present time, I am training on my own and occasionally getting together with other practitioners to share ideas and techniques. I am on the Board of Directors of the Brotherhood of Martial Artists, which is a non-political association with the goal of sharing martial arts knowledge with other practitioners open to all styles.
Now I’m here looking at Dragon Kenpo. The concepts of Kenpo have always interested me. I see Okinawan Karate as a hard linear style with the one strike, one kill mindset. Kenpo seems to flow, and seems more alive. I also like the idea of straight up self-defense apposed to learning kata, and then finding the technique in it. I trained in it for years and I love it. But at this time in my life and training I’m looking for something new, at least new for me.
David Hayes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
“In charity there is no excess.” --- Francis Bacon
Closing Comments by Coach Ron Pfeiffer
If you have an article that you would like to submit, you may respond to me or Steve Amoia. Comments and questions about our publication are encouraged via the interactive nature of our blog. Or you can direct them to me by email. Please proofread your submissions, and shorter rather than longer articles are preferred. WDK reserves the right to edit any submission.
Important Notice To All Members
All Student/Instructor members are reminded that advancement and promotion are not automatic. Contact Coach Pfeiffer or your local instructor if you have questions or to request advancement information.
Is your school having an event? Let the Dragon Kenpo community know by placing it in the Slayer News! We are here to help you and your students get the most out of your training.
Please remember to keep your information updated so that the World Dragon Kenpo Schools of Self Defense can serve you in the best way possible!
The articles within this newsletter are the views of the writer and not necessarily the views of World Dragon Kenpo Schools of Self Defense.
Coach Ron Pfeiffer can be contacted at email@example.com
Staff Biographies Link
For a link to our Slayer News Staff Biographies, please click here.