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Forum Home > General Discussion > Mike and Midwest Kenpo (MWK)

Posts: 6

I can honestly say that Mike has a love for the Martial Arts, and also a love to watch his student's succeed. His classes not only dealt with Kenpo but other Martial Arts as well so that we could be well rounded. His dedication to Midwest was one of sacrifice and dedication because there was much that he gave up to keep the school open even it would have been so much easier to close. I thank him for the knowledge that he has passed onto me, as well as making us (his students) think with an open mind and to not only study the techniques, but to also study anatomy, physics and psychology of the martial arts. He also encouraged us to find our owns paths in martial arts. There were times that I went to him explaining that I found something in this technique and in that technique through observation, practice and application. He made it so that we could think on our own and helped us with the tools to do so.


Midwest (MWK) was not for the faint of heart. Belts were not given away and we were taught "Old School". There was a lot of sacrfice and pain, yet at the same time there was fulfillment and encouragment. We practiced our strikes on each other, we practiced our strikes on metal plates and on a cement column that I personally remember. It was in an effort to train our bodies to be able to deliver the strike correctly andto be able to take a strike. This was all part of the curriculum. It took awhile to move from belt to belt. At first it seemed discouraging, not being able to make it to the next belt quickly. But after a little time, it did not matter anymore, even the belts themselves did not matter anymore. It was about the knowledge that we had learned and were learning. The focus of moving from yellow belt to orange belt and orange to purple instead became the focus of knowledge and gaining, learning and using the knowledge. That is what seperated Midwest from the other schools in the area.


When we went to tournaments, at first we were not known because most of the same schools in the area competed at them and were usually there. We were newer to the tournament scene and when we came out doing personal katas, the judges did not know how to judge them. Generally, everyone did the same katas, Short 1, Long 1, etc. We had something different and moved in a way that most students of our belt did not move. In the point sparring, we did quite well, to the point that they started putting our purple belts against brown belts. We had to wear certain gloves because we would grapple in point sparring. We would also use techniques.  Many of the judges disliked this. Many in the area thought that we were Black belts posing as younger belts. This was not the case, we were doing what we had learned as they were doing what they had learned.


My experience of Mike and Midwest was an extremely postive one. We were given the opportunity of knowledge, not just repetition. We had a teacher that had our best interests in mind. Because Mike loves the arts, he wanted to pass that on to his students and make them better than what he was. There were no smoke and mirrors at Midwest, there was no easy acheivements. Searching for answers and knowledge was encouraged and he cared about what type of students he produced. It was not about money to him, it was about passing on knowledge to his students and helping them.







July 5, 2010 at 8:24 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Joe Whelan
Posts: 18

I could not agree more....Mike's passion for the IKKA has not only inspired me but other members of the IKKA..I hope he keeps it up.  

July 5, 2010 at 9:22 PM Flag Quote & Reply

1 wandering ronin
Posts: 3

We are all climbing the mountian of life and their are many paths in the moutain fo life and all of the climbs can be felt like the point of a knife....

Some paths are short, while others are long, but if you listen closely, you will find were you belong;

So climb your own path, true and strong, but respect all other paths, for your path for them could be wrong....

From the Tao Of Jeet Kun Do

Bruce Lee

October 2, 2010 at 3:07 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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