December Theme: Honor

Copyright © 2007-2010 by World Dragon Kenpo. All rights reserved.
Blog design copyright © 2007-2010 by Steve Amoia. All rights reserved. The blog template was provided by Google Blogger.

"Everything begins in the mind. Create the intention and then apply the effort to receive the result."

"It is very easy to break a pencil in half. Breaking ten pencils in half is an altogether different matter."

--- Coach Ron Pfeiffer, 7th Degree Black Belt, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin USA

"Don't fear the person who has studied a thousand techniques one time. Fear the person who has studied one technique a thousand times."

--- Ed DellaCroce, 3rd Degree Black Belt and the North Carolina State Director for World Dragon Kenpo.

December Theme: Honor.

The Example of Staff Sergeant Salvatore A. Giunta

“I lost two dear friends of mine. I would give this back in a second to have my friends with me right now.”

Featured Video

Thursday, December 13, 2007

December 2007 Slayer News

About Dragon Kenpo Karate
December 2007 Charity

“With malice toward none, and charity for all.” --- Abraham Lincoln

Table of Contents

The Only Constant by Coach Ron Pfeiffer
Featured Article: Dragon Kenpo in Real Life by Michael A. Gregory

Dragon Kenpo Street Defense by Ed DellaCroce
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.

From Hawaii to the United Kingdom to Iraq and points in between, the style known as Dragon Kenpo Karate has been adopted, not as a replacement, but more as an attitude towards self-improvement and improvement of martial teaching.

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

“Give him a little earth for charity!” --- William Shakespeare

Dragon Kenpo in Real Life
By Professor Michael A. Gregory

(Professor Gregory is a member of the Ivy Tech Community College Dragon Kenpo Training Group).

It started out as a routine traffic stop in Harrison County, Indiana, where I have been a Senior Reserve Officer for the Sheriff’s Department for some thirteen years. Driving 70 mph in a 55 mph zone with a kid in a car seat will generally get my attention. I pulled the driver over and ran him through our dispatch, looking for wants and warrants. He came back “signal 80” (not wanted by any jurisdiction), but did have a restraining order against him. I wrote the ticket for speeding then asked who the child was. He replied that it was his, and named the person listed on the restraining order as the mother. Now we had a problem. He was to have “no contact” with the mother, or the child, according to the conditions of the restraining order issued by the Judge.

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 Indiana.

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 IVY Tech Community College in Sellersburg, Indiana. I teach Anatomy to the Nursing and Allied Health students here. Jim and I both enjoy the study of the history of the martial arts, and have adopted Dragon Kenpo as the basis of our training. I am currently working on the analysis of the anatomical features of power and strength, as well as speed of movement of the various techniques we practice. I look forward to hearing from anyone who has questions or comments concerning the anatomy of martial arts.

Michael Gregory can be contacted at

“Charity begins at home.” --- Terence

Dragon Kenpo Street Defense
By Ed DellaCroce

ABI'S Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Studio, located in Goldsboro North Carolina, is a 10,000 square foot facility filled with Martial Arts enthusiast and an atmosphere of pure adrenaline. Serving the local area since January 2007, MMA fighters train and prepare there for regional competitions. Offering a variety of arts from Grappling, Boxing or Ultimate Cage fighting the staff of certified instructors maintain the needed pace to be the very best.

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.

Basic Approach

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

“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.

However, if you do go overboard, don’t berate yourself too harshly. After all it’s holiday time and I know all too well that it is easier said than done when it comes to resisting the temptations of Mom’s Christmas cookies or the cheese ball at the company party. Gosh, I am making myself hungry just writing about this stuff. This holiday season, I will try my best to give myself the gift of health. I hope you will too. Let’s open a box of “sensible eating.” Let’s fill our stockings with “exercise”… like practicing Tai Chi – and last but not least, let’s bless ourselves with a good night’s sleep as often as we can during this hectic time of year. It sounds to me like the perfect recipe for a Merry Holiday and a Happy Healthy New Year.

Phoebe Nelson Oshirak can be contacted at

“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)

Five Styles

  • Sport
  • Self-Defense
  • Combat
  • 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 Soviet Union. I asked him for his perspective about this very popular martial art:

“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)


(1) The History Channel, Sambo: Russia’s Extreme Fighting.

(2) A special thanks to Dan Leo for his assistance with this article.

Steve Amoia can be contacted at

“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 Mattydale, NY. This was a combination of both Shorin and Goju kata techniques. As an Orange Belt, I entered my first tournament (The Empire Open in Syracuse, NY) and took 1st in Kata and 1st in Kumite in the over 35 year old division. I continued to compete on and off until 1991. By then (40 years old), my training had taken on more of a personal meaning. I was looking to perfect myself and not seek trophies. (I am still working on that self-perfection by the way). I also was studying Oriental Sports Training (acupressure, chi/qi meridians or pathways and how bodily organs are affected by things that would seem completely irrelevant).

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 July 13th, 1991. I taught morning classes to adults of all Kyu grades twice a week for several years, along with helping out in two evening classes that my son, Marc, was still training in. In the summer of 1992, Sensei Coker sought affiliation of his school with the Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate Do Goshinkai under the guidance of Shihan Frank Van Lenten. (Master Van Lenten was instrumental in establishing Karate in the Central NY area along with Sensei Peter Musacchio back in the 1960's). All Yudansha under Sensei Coker were asked to audition for certification with the new association. I was recognized as Shodan on November 7th, 1992.

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

“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

Staff Biographies Link

For a link to our Slayer News Staff Biographies, please click here.

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