So way back in early 1987 a work mate who taught Karate talked me into joining. I did that for a little while and earned my yellow belt! I had to take some time off with a retinal detachment (not from Karate) and then I found it hard to go back. You know, my class mates had moved up a rank and motivation was not exactly high.
Another friend of mine had recently tested for his Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and again convinced me to go along a give it a go. I did, I loved it and eventually years later earned my Black Belt. I remember one of the Black Belts bringing in Jeff Speakman ‘Perfect Weapon’ tee shirts in for all of the Black Belts…his dad owned the video store in Ingleburn and it had just been released on VHS cassette! I was very jealous! I loved the movie, and I spent countless hours trying learn some of the moves.
I opened my own Tae Kwon Do school in Narellan in 1997. I steadily built the school to around 120 students…big by any standards back then!
In February of 2000, I was flicking through the Australian martial arts magazine Blitz, when I saw an ad for ‘THE PERFECT WEAPON SEMINAR’… “What!” I have to go!…”I love this movie!” I told all my students and quite a few decided that they would come with me to see Jeff Speakman in action.
I could not believe the intensity, speed and incredible power that I saw with my own eyes, and felt on my own body. I made a decision that day, that I could no longer continue to teach what I had believed to be an truly effective self defence…not now that I had seen Kenpo first hand.
Mr Speakman was approachable, friendly and even came out to my school to give a demonstration to my other students! As he was leaving, he extended an invitation to me to go and train with him at his school, and stay at his home before we attended the annual training camp in Las Vegas, in June of 2000.
My amazing brother gave me the airfare and came along with me for the trip. So there I was in Mr Speakmans school, no idea what I was doing.. but I was determined that this was the best choice that I could make for myself and my students!
On my return, I was so excited at the prospect of sharing the little bit of Kenpo knowledge that I had gathered from my trip. To my disbelief many students had already left and many more would follow. The change it seemed was too dramatic for some. My school suffered to the point that I had to close my full time centre and move to the local school to teach my few loyal and remaining students. But by Christmas of 2000 it was gone….