Our founder Master Jeff Speakman / 9th degree black belt in American Kenpo Karate, 9th degree black belt in Japanese Goju-Ryu.
Picture from The Essence of Martial Arts Masters Magazine FB page.
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el maestro jeff speakman entre los grandes de hollywood !!!!
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👑 MR. JEFF SPEAKMAN !!!! 👑
Gratis pa foldelsedageb
La multi... Ani
Allen Gute zum Geburtstag
👑 MR. JEFF SPEAKMAN !!!! 👑
JEFF SPEAKMAN'S INVERVIEW IN DRAGONES MAGAZINE
1. What view does Jeff Speakman currently have on the Kenpo?
To answer this question it’s necessary to understan...d what was the nature and thought of Mr. Parker and his vision about the Kenpo. It is important to understand that Ed Parker's view on the Kenpo was that it should always change and evolve over time, with the goal that it could remain the best martial art of self-defense for the streets.
I knew Ed Parker very well, obviously, especially during the period when we made the film "Perfect Weapon", he was filming with me every day. In addition, I went to his house every week to study Kenpo with him, so I knew him and knew what he wanted from the Kenpo.
Moreover, if you read the sentences he wrote about the importance of evolution and the Kenpo's change for the future, we can understand that his main concern was that if it did not change, it would become obsolete.
Since I understood who he was and what he wanted, I knew that it would not be difficult for me to understand how art should evolve to fit the untreated dimension into the Kenpo until then, the fight on the ground, so important in the world of martial arts nowadays.
So this is how I actually see the Kenpo and how I understand it should be, which is to evolve and learn how Kenpo works in the fight on the ground. That is exactly what we have achieved with this version of the Kenpo we teach, the so-called Kenpo 5.0.
Now we have a Kenpo that is correct and practical today. We can fight as easily on the ground as we do on foot, so we get a breakthrough into the future. Thus younger generations can learn Kenpo and thus acquire all those skills so important in Mixed Martial Arts and Juijitsu. It is important that we understand where the Kenpo has to reach to remain relevant today and thus have a future. We need to learn how to use Kenpo on the ground, and that's exactly what Kenpo 5.0 does.
2. What challenges or missions do you have?
The challenges that have come to me over the last 15 years, since the Kenpo 5.0 came about, have been to educate the rest of the Kenpo world in the direction I think we need to go.
To evolve, to change and to grow is the nature and the mission of Kenpo. The problem is that many other Kenpo groups have not done this. Most have not done anything new since Mr. Parker died. They have been doing the same Kenpo, that was very effective 30 years ago, but today it is much less effective because they have not evolved and changed to include mixed martial arts fighters.
My challenge is to get the rest of the Kenpo world to feel comfortable with us and help us build the solution for the Kenpo world.
That they do not want to evolve and change is a madness for me because it is all that the Kenpo implies from the beginning and the most important man that showed us that evolution was Mr. Parker. He was the one who taught us what was a Kenpo in constant evolution and the funny thing is that when he died, nobody wanted to do anything new. Kenpo Karate is anchored in the past because it is not as practical as it was 30 years ago. Therefore, this has been the main challenge that has come to me, to convince the rest of the Kenpo community that it is okay to question oneself, change and evolve, it is necessary for the Kenpo to have a future. They may not want to come to Kenpo 5.0, they may not like me for whatever reason, that's fine, even so, I insist them to change and evolve in the Kenpo they teach.
3. How has your vision of Martial Arts changed in recent years?
This is a very important question and requires a very important answer.
Sports that are called Mixed Martial Arts are the ones that have changed martial arts so dramatically all over the world. That is a very important point. What I want everyone to remember is that Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) should be called Mixed Martial Fights (MMF) because they have moved away from art and have become strictly in struggle.
That's fine and I think it's amazing what they do, they have all my respect. But we mustn’t confuse being a martial artist with being a fighter. Let me explain. A martial fighter looks for another man to respond to his struggle. A martial artist must see to it that another man grows, not just martially. One is combat, the other is humanity. It is a very important distinction that I want to make today. Many martial artists, whether Kenpo or not, are being pushed aside because they can not compete in the same way as mixed martial arts MMA fighters, and that is the key. If you are a martial artist you are helping to change the world and change your community, you must be a good person and teach good moral values to your students.
That is to be a martial artist and you should be rewarded for it. The problem is to understand the difference between martial fighter and martial artist. Do not confuse the two. They can work together and you always have to keep an open mind to try to help all people understand that difference. We in Kenpo 5.0, with our fighting system called "Fighter 5.0", we want to win the respect of the MMA community. We are trying that they can see what we are and how we work and maybe they can also work 5.0, because within our system lies the essence of being a martial artist, not just a martial arts fighter.
4. What has changed the Kenpo 5.0 Kenpo Karate what do we know?
Kenpo 5.0 represents an impressive change over Karate Kenpo in some aspects, as techniques have evolved and changed in some cases dramatically.
In other cases they have not changed, but in some cases they have, and a lot, with a clear objective, our techniques have evolved to be able to fight with fighters. It is important because it shows how martial arts have evolved and changed in the world. We have evolved the Kenpo to achieve that challenge.
Kenpo 5.0 is radically different in its practical application of some of Kenpo's original karate techniques, but it is exactly identical in the application of the principles and concepts that Mr. Parker designed and that made the Kenpo into what it was, the definitive system Of self-defense in the world 30 years ago.
We know that because of the changes we have made now we have the most efficient system of personal defense or defense in the street. We have been able to evolve by incorporating the training principles and concepts of a trained MMA fighter. So we think we can say that Kenpo 5.0 is the most effective self-defense system for the streets.
5. Is it meeting the goals for which it was created?
This is exactly the question, it is exactly what we have done. We have followed the directions and vision of Mr. Parker's messages and followed his teachings to evolve the Kenpo and keep it relevant, in the position in which it is today.
And that is exactly the same goal Kenpo has always have, from the writings and teachings of Mr. Parker.
Let me put it this way, people who oppose Kenpo 5.0 and what we have done say that what we do is no longer Kenpo. I say that the Kenpo we now do is more Kenpo than the one they are doing, because we have evolved and changed, we have successfully led the Kenpo to fight on the ground. This is exactly what GM Parker wanted and that is what we have done, following his mandate.
6. Tell us the points that characterize the Kenpo 5.0 System
We have been able to maintain the effectiveness of our standing fighting system, of hitting and kicking, but now also, the main feature of the Kenpo 5.0 is that we are also comfortable fighting on the ground. Thus the Kenpo fighters are no longer at a disadvantage if they are thrown to the ground. They have the skills to fight with our art, since now Kenpo is a system also effective for fighting on the ground.
That is clearly the main difference between Kenpo Karate and Kenpo 5.0.
7. Should we highlight today the social and human value of martial arts, how does Kenpo 5.0 contribute to today's society?
That is the key, trying to understand the difference between martial artist and martial fighter.
In martial arts you have a responsibility to make the world a better place. It is your responsibility as a black belt, as a school owner and as a leader, to carry the values of what it means to be a "human being" and to help people contribute to the common good for all.
This happens when we remember that we all come from the same place. People all over the world, all languages, all religions ... we are all the same.
And if we can begin with this thought, we can remember instead of forgetting that we are all equal. When we forget that we are all equal, it is when differences are emphasized and conflicts are created, when people want to control other people. That happens because they have forgotten that we are all one. If we can begin by remembering that we are all one, then the world will be a better place and our work will be completed. But if we do not remember this, we will continue along the same path, in which if you can beat someone you are a hero. That's not martial arts, that's fighting.
8. Most kenpoists in the world have been influenced by the movie "Perfect Weapon", released 26 years ago... a perfect representation of Kenpo on the big screen... have you got new film projects now?
I'm still working on a movie I've been wanting to do for 6 years. Everything is going very well, but as you can imagine it is very difficult to raise millions of dollars to invest in a movie. So I have a project that I'm very excited about. We've got half of the collection, so I'm cautiously optimistic that we'll get the other half of the money and we'll be able to make this movie.
9. Does Jeff Speakman plan to write a book about the Kenpo 5.0 System ... his philosophy, his mission, his technique, etc.?
For a long time I have thought of writing different books, and every time I sit to do it, something changes, it evolves. So I kept telling me it was not the best time to write the book, because there were so many things changing. Now I think we have taken the Kenpo 5.0 to a solid evolutionary point, that we have a solid structure and system. We now have schools in 16 countries around the world. We are the largest Kenpo organization by far. So I think now, and only now, with the stability we have with our evolved system, may be the time to write my first book, which would be more an encyclopedia. It would be called "Kenpo 5.0 Terms and Applications", to help the martial artist. I would like to write a different book about leadership and the role of the martial artist as a leader and how we can use that position and energy to make the world a better place.
10. How do you see the expansion of Kenpo 5.0 worldwide?
The expansion of the Kenpo 5.0 has its own trajectory. We have franchised schools in 16 countries, we have very qualified teachers and great people all over the world who represent exactly what I want to achieve. Now the Kenpo 5.0 has its own energy, it moves forward by itself. An example is Ramón Buitrago in Spain. I am totally convinced that the Kenpo 5.0 will be incredible in Spain because we now have the right person, at the right time and in the right place. Spain is the perfect example of how Kenpo 5.0 is expanding worldwide. It is not because of the system itself, it is thanks to the people within the system.
11. Tell us about the competition system "Fighter 5.0", are being held worldwide, what is your goal?
Yes, one of the important points is the competitions. What I want to achieve is what we have for 8 years in Australia and New Zealand. For 2 years we have been celebrating a championship in Europe and for 1 year a championship in South America. So I want all those competitions to grow, prosper and logically have their projection in the world championship in Las Vegas, which we have been celebrating for years. I want the 5.0 fighters to expand, not just around the Kenpo world. I want the 5.0 fight to bring together other martial arts fighters and work together. I have the vision that one day there may be a Taekwondo 5.0, a Lima-Lama 5.0, etc. That there is a competition system that is realistic and exciting. I think that's the way the world of martial arts can come together, not just the Kenpo world.
12. What has been the most difficult martial moment of your life?
The most difficult moment of my career in martial arts was when Ed Parker died unexpectedly on December 15, 1990. When he died we all lost a lot in the world of martial arts. He was an impressive man, innovative and a very loving person.
What I try is to continue with everything I learned from him, that is how I have achieved this position in the world, with all these wonderful people. So losing him, both in the martial arts world and in the personal world, is one of the hardest things I've ever faced in my whole life.
13. And the best martial moment?
I think the best time happened in 2013 when I was diagnosed with stage 4 throat cancer. Last weekend, before starting my treatment, my black belt students came to Vegas to line up and be with me on the mat before I started my treatment. I did not want them to do it and they insisted, so I agreed.
We were at one of the students' schools and the door opened, I knew there were black belts from California, Texas ... which was an incredible way to support me. At the same time Rodrigo Fernández, from my team in Bolivia, came through the door. He bought a last minute ticket to fly to Las Vegas and be on the mat with me one last time before I started my treatment. I think it was at that time that I felt the highest level of gratitude in the world of martial arts. That it could have such influence on a person's life as to come to show his love and support ... That was the most shocking and important moment for me.
14. What is your philosophy of life?
My philosophy of life is to never give up. I have never wanted to have money, money has never been so important to me as to other people. What I want, what has always interested me, is the potential of the human being. What I have learned over the years is that the potential of the human being is not in the acquisition of things, money, houses, cars ... The greatest potential of the human being is in love and friendship. I actively pursue that kind of life in the martial arts and my personal life. I am very happy because I believe that I have reached that destination where I have a great friendship with my family of Kenpo 5.0 and in my personal life, in which I am about to marry.
I can honestly say that I am deeply happy and have achieved many accomplishments in my life. Even if my cancer returns and the end of my life is near, I think I have had a good life.
It's amazing, every time I do an interview like this, that will reach many people I would not normally talk about ... it's a feeling of satisfaction very important to me. I love the fact that this message can reach the world of martial arts. All this could become part of the memory, remind us that we are all one, that we should all unite to make the world a better place. Humans have forgotten that we can live and work together, so this reminder message is the most powerful message I can give.
15. What would you recommend to people who "want to be like you"?
I would say don’t try to be like me, I would say (this is a lesson I have learned from Ed Parker) " don’t try to be like nobody, be yourself", but allow yourself to be influenced by other people you admire and maybe also by other people you love. Let this influence change you. But don’ttry to be anyone else. Be yourself and allow yourself to grow and change throughout your life. Because to live is to change, to succeed is to change. Ed Parker wrote "a martial artist does not fear change, he creates it." This is the philosophy we have in Kenpo 5.0 and the philosophy that has taken us to where we are today, the philosophy that will drive us into the future.
16. Tell us about the people who have influenced you and inspired you to be who you are today.
We will begin with Lou Angel, who was my first martial arts instructor while studying at Missouri Southern State University, after leaving Chicago. There I began in the martial arts with the Master Lou Angel, concretely in Karate Goju-Ryu.
Thanks to my relationship with Master L. Angel I started with Mr. Parker in Kenpo. When I graduated in the university, Lou Angel told me about Ed Parker, he told me about the Kenpo and encouraged me to move to California to begin learning Kenpo with Mr. Parker. Therefore, later would be Ed Parker, the person who influenced me from that crucial moment in my martial life.
But I must say that in general, they have always been the Martial Arts. From the moment I started training, I knew that I would practice martial arts throughout my life. I knew they would be my passion. Maybe marriages come and go, people too, parents die, children are born... in our lives changes happen constantly, but what has never changed and will change in my life are martial arts.
Of course, I did not know that martial arts would be a life choice for me, but I'm glad they were. I think it was a difficult choice but it was the right one, especially after Ed Parker's death. Now I do not usually look back, I look where I am now and always look forward. Life is great now.
17. Where does Master Jeff Speakman walk in the martial and the personal?
What I want in the near and distant future... I think we have done a good job and I believe that the love and friendship that we have, never has been experienced in martial arts on this world scale and I want to live the rest of my life with my students enjoying martial arts.
Thank you very much for your time, I hope you liked the result of this interview, and this is the moment to convey the message you want.
What I would say is that the message is to remember, even if you are very young, that all things come to an end. All the people who are alive now will die someday, including me.
So the question is what you should do during the time you are alive on this earth, to make this a better world while you are here.
Never give up and do not be one, try to get out of bounds and move forward without fear of change.
Do you want to learn more: www.jeffspeakmanlv.com
JEFF SPEAKMAN AUTOGRAPHED 11x17 COLOR Limited edition poster (Only 100 posters will be printed). Poster buyers number 1, 50 and 100 will receive a free magazine.
We are late with the June issue, but the wait will be worth it. Many great techniques with GM. Jeff Speakman.