My Own Kenpo School

I liked it so much, that in 1986, I decided to open my own studio in Encinitas, CA.

My very special guest at the Grand Opening was Muhammed Ali (who Chicken had become friends with) and the festivities were recorded that day in the 1986 Black Belt Yearbook magazine. After spending the day with him, I realized that he had a heart of gold, and he will always be a true champion in my eyes.


After receiving my black belt, I left the shipyards and became partners with my instructor "Chicken" Gabriel. Chicken took special interest in polishing my teaching skills. Being a good fighter does not necessarily make one a good teacher. During this time I discovered that I was very good at connecting with people and finding new ways to help them understand and achieve.

Muhammed Ali

Chris Krawchek was 8 years old. He had lost both of his parents in a terrible fire and had withdrawn from the world. Professional counseling suggested that only time would heal his wounds.

But his godmother finally saw a spark of hope while he was watching a Ninja Turtles movie. She brought him to my studio in the hope that Karate lessons would help.

It brought tears to my eyes as I looked at this troubled young boy and listened to his story.

As the apostle Paul said in the Bible, "I will be all things to all men, that I may save some", I tried absolutely everything to get Chris to respond. I was determined not to give up. This persistence finally brought results and slowly but surely, Chris began to become more like a normal little boy should be.

At the annual Kenpo awards banquet that year, I gave Chris a plaque as the most improved student of the year. Totally catching me by surprise, his godmother gave me one in return in appreciation for my patience and efforts. To this day, aside from all the tournament trophies and other awards, that plaque means the most to me.

"Soft answers turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger."
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