Hello all you Kenpoist out there! Whether you are new to Kenpo or been around as long as I have, you will know that Mr. Parker had a few Instructors that stood out from the rest. You can find most of them in the Mrtial Arts Book called: “The Journey.” It is a great book and you can find it on Amazon. But today I will be introducing one of the best Kenpo Master I know. Not only do I know this guy, but I have had the pleasure of having him as an instructor as well. In this part one interview I will be asking just a few, “get to know you” questions so you can understand Dennis, he a man that when you talk with him, his ability to speak Kenpo is amazing so stand back and…….
For all the Kenpo students out there, please tell us about who Dennis is?
** I know everyone is dying to know when you first started taking Martial Arts an if it was Kenpo?
Well, I really started to take Kenpo in August 1971 in Tempe Arizona while going to college, I was studying Physical Education as my major. My first Martial Arts Instructor was Kenpoist Lonny Coots. I was with Mr. Coots from (white – 1st black…4 1/2 yrs). I then moved to Mr. Coots instructor Gary L.Swan and that was from (1st – 2nd black) .. (demoted for 1 year back to 1st then gained my 2nd black) (1 1/2 years) lol.
Then I continued to moved on to his instructor, Mr. Stephen LaBounty for 1 year. Bu what the most exciting part about moving forward in my Kenpo was, I got the opportunity to study directly with FGM Parker for about 12 years …. So I jumped at the opportunity…lol Worked my way up the lineage in reverse….
** If you are like me and have been in Kenpo like forever, who was your biggest influence in Kenpo and why?
I was influenced 1st by my desire to not be picked on, followed by a desire to learn to break Bricks, boards etc….. An early Elvis movie “Roustabout” and the Sugar coated Rice Krispies cereal ad character “SoHi”, peaked my interests in the Martial Arts. After Starting Kenpo (I totally lucked out with both the best System & Lineage anyone could get) All my Instructors: Lonny Coots, Gary L. Swan, Stephen LaBounty & concluding with FGM Ed Parker Sr., influenced my being in all areas, learning, teaching, competing and innovating.
** What is your favorite technique? And why?
I really don’t have a “favorite” technique per se, rather a “rip” mode of explosive movement. I’m into Knowledge these days more than sex…… Kind of an “Info-Maniac” LOL
** What is the worst technique? And why?
Once again, I don’t have a worst technique, rather techniques I need to practice more or develop the specific mind-set or skills in executing. 🙂
** If you could explain why Kenpo is different than any other Martial Arts out there, how would you explain it?
Kenpo employs the most Logical, Pragmatic or realistic mental considerations & Physical executions that tailor to ones specific body and mind. (when taught properly & effectively by a skilled teacher)
** What have you done to give back to Kenpo?
I have taught Kenpo for 42 years, continuing the legacy and continue to do so as well as also developing Training Aids (posters DVD’s, books, & videos) to aid current & future generations in the learning and development our Art~!
I know there is tons more that we can learn from Dennis, but I like to keep it until part 2. One of the best things you can see in the interview is that Dennis loves to seek the knowledge in Kenpo. People can walk into any other Martial Arts school out there and learn Kata’s and basics. But when you walk into a Kenpo school your brain hurts from all the information that you can not only apply to techniques, but everyday life.
When I was working out with Dennis, I got to understand not only the instructor “Dennis” but the man also and the wisdom he teaches. If anyone is given the chance to talk with Dennis, workout or anything I highly recommend it. Look him up on Facebook, I know if you send him a message he will answer. Until next time OSS!