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Recap of March 08 AKKI Kenpo Camp

Recap of the 11th Annual March AKKI Kenpo Camp
By Bruce C. Smith/ 6th Degree AKKI Black Belt

Well, another incredible AKKI camp has come and gone. There was much anticipation about this particular camp because of Mr. Mills’ injury to his left shoulder. Let me tell you, his injury has not diminished his hitting capacity at all. Even though he is still in a healing mode, he continually amazed everyone with his power and speed.

Some of the main themes for this camp were “ never sacrifice velocity” and “improving your basics to maximize your effectiveness”. There wasn’t one person at the camp who was not extremely impressed with all the instructors who taught the seminars. Even though attendance was down a little, due to prior commitments, fuel and travel costs, around 200 + participants came to work and learn from some of the best instructors the AKKI has to offer. With other Kenpo organizations not holding their Vegas seminars anymore, the AKKI continually grows and proves that it is one of the fastest growing and best American Kenpo organizations in the world today.

With usually a small attendance on Thursday, due to participants not being able to come until the weekend, everyone was excited to see around 100 AKKI members show up to rekindle their incredible and continuing journey. These 100 were treated to the 1st seminar, taught by Mr. Mills, who was teaching some of the “Master Keys” to Perfect Basics. This seminar was fantastic. It brought everyone together refining the use of the master key movements to hit harder, faster and to never sacrifice velocity. Mr. Mills’ skill, speed and expertise is uncanny and a tribute to his knowledge of Mr. Parkers concepts, principles and his continual hard work.

The next seminars were to be taught by Mr. Randall Miller (7th Black) and Mr. Greg Hildebrand (4th Black). Unfortunately, Mr. Miller had an emergency and could not make it, but Mr. Bruce Thompson (7th Black) stepped in and refined AKKI Form I, with his usually expertise and finesse. Bruce has a way of relating to the students which makes things easily understandable and easy to learn. Mr. Greg Hilderbrand, in the main room, taught “Working the Gap”. Greg moves with a speed, power and enthusiasm, that made him one of the highlights of the Thursday
seminars. Greg can really move and hit……………….. Wow! Continuing the high quality instruction, the next seminars were taught by Mr. John Connolly (5th Black) and Mr. Rick Brumby ((5th Black). Mr. Connolly taught “Timing for Emphasis” and how to understand major and minor moves within the AKKI timing patterns. This seminar was very informative and helped us all to realize the relationship between major and minor strikes. A great instructor, Mr. Connolly really knows his stuff. In the main room, Mr. Brumby had everyone working on the “Ballistic Approach to Locks and Manipulation”. Mr. Brumby’s knowledge of locks and chokes is a tribute to his continual training. Whether it be, Kenpo, Grappling and other aspects, Mr. Brumby is a very well respected AKKI instructor and continually improves his knowledge . The next seminar was taught by Mr. Mills on “Review, Refine and Rearrange AKKI Yellow Belt Techniques to Achieve Maximum Street Effectiveness”: I can tell you, this was one of the best seminars of the camp. Working parts of the Equation Formula to increase the effectiveness of the techniques really paid off. It gave a new perspective on using advanced concepts to create more speed and power and increased velocity. This was one of the many seminars that will help you increase your students prowess in American Kenpo.

To end the evening, Mr. Ryan Wheaton (6th Black) and Mr. Bruce Thompson (7th Black) finished out the evening with two great seminars. Mr. Thompson refined the AKKI Form 3 (2nd level). with his usual expertise. Mr. Wheaton taught “how to use Intercepting, Wedging and Centerline Control for Tactical Advantage “ He taught some really great drills that everyone can take back to their schools. Mr. Wheaton is very articulate and demonstrates an incredible knowledge of kenpo
Principles. Because of his excellent teaching ability, no one really noticed that the seminar went well beyond it’s ending time. Everyone was having a fantastic time learning and working. The Thursday seminars ending on a very high note, with anticipation for the next two days.

On Friday, the AKKI Testing Board once again gathered together to host the AKKI International Test. Under belts up to 1st Brown went first. The test showed that the students are a testament to their instructors. They were rockin’ and rollin’ and everyone on the board was very pleased with their progress. The 2nd Browns and Black Belts were next. This was truly a test to behold. Usually the test start

2nd part of 3 parts of Recap of 08 Camp

out with basics, sets, forms, weapons, etc, then on to the techniques lines. Mr. Mill’s
decided to see what they could do right out of the box. Technique lines were first. This was one of the most impressive technique lines in a long time. Even some of the testing board members got down on the floor to join in on the excitement. Anyone who was in the room could feel the energy, the speed and the power of the participants. Watching everyone move, really got the rest of the board members
fueled with excitement. Next came forms, sets and weapons. They really ramped it up. Movements were crisp and clean and powerful. There was one particular testee who performed the AKKI Club Set, the entire board was blown away with this. He used silver coated clubs and the speed and expertise that he exuded made our jaws drop. It was very enlightening to see how Mr. Mills’ teachings are being past down and taken to higher levels. The test went back to technique lines to continue the energy. Wow!, they elevated their intensity and the whole place from Brown Belts to High ranking Black Belts were Rocking and Rolling and doing it. This test was one for the books. Our hats go off to all the testing participants. You did an awesome job. You are to be commended.

We came back to start the Friday evening seminars. Mr. Mills started off in the main room with AKKI 1st and 2nd Brown Techniques. It never ceases to amaze us at his knowledge and approach to self defense. His is truly a Sr. Master of the Arts. To be a student of Paul Mills is an honor and a sincere pleasure, although painful at times. I count myself as one of the lucky ones. His innovations and knowledge are second to none and he continually strives to create and pass his knowledge on to others. He doesn’t just show you, he Shares his knowledge. Mr. Frank Elsasser (9th Black) taught in the other room. He went over Corrective Adjustments of Testing Techniques. Frank’s knowledge of body movement, stances, striking and technique is uncanny. He relates to all students and shows them how to improve their techniques, stances and overall movement. The next seminars were taught by Mr. Scott Hilderbrand (5th Black) and Mr. Jim Clark (6th Black). Mr. Hilderbrand taught “Street Ready - Reality Wise”. Scott moves with power, finesse and speed. His knowledge of streetwise applications is apparent in his teaching. Scott’s seminars were very informative and everyone had
a great time learning from him. Mr. Jim Clark, once again, taught the club applications. Jim’s expertise in use of the club is a tribute to Mr. Mills tutelage. Jim wields the club with authority, speed and accuracy. When Jim is teaching the club work, everyone goes away with a lot more knowledge. Friday evening ended with Mr. John Herman (6th Black) and Mr. Joe Ferraccio (5th Black) teaching
the last two seminars. Mr. Herman’s seminar on Street Fighting 101, using Compressional Stances for a Real World was awesome. John has so much practical self defense experience in the real world, that his seminars are always well attended. John has a way of bringing out the best in you and relates to each participant the essence of practical self defense and how it works in reality. Joe Ferraccio taught “Desperation: Just when He thinks He has you?” This seminar was against grabs, joint locks and so much more. Joe, related man aspects of getting out of a joint lock or grab situation, how to turn it around on the attacker in counter joint locks, etc. This was Joe’s first time teaching a seminar at the camp and he did an incredible job. He related all aspects of his particular title and the students left with a better understanding of joint locks, grabs and counters. The seminars ended with an anticipation for Saturdays seminars and the ensuing Banquet that evening.

Saturday started off early, with Frank Elsasser (9th Black) once again continuing the Corrective Adjustments to Enhance Optimum Performance of Basics and Self-Defense Techniques. Those that attended the Early Bird seminar were truly inspired by Franks knowledge of movement and body position. The next two seminars were taught by Mr. Derek Ence (7th Black) and Mr. Herb Padigimus.
Mr. Ence went over aspects of the AKKI Brown Belt Freestyle Techniques and how you can relate them to the self defense techniques. Some very interesting aspects were taught at this seminar. Derek’s mastery of technique and freestyle movements was evident in this seminar. Everyone learned some new ideas which we can take back to our schools and relate to our students. Mr. Padigimus taught “A Circular Infusion to a Linear Motion” Herb’s seminars are always packed with information and are lots of fun to attend. He makes everything that he teaches easily learnable and as with all the other instructors takes his time to help out every student. The 3rd set of seminars were host

Re: 3rd part of 3 parts of Recap of 08 Camp

hosted by Mr. Jim Clark (6th Black) and as a last minute replacement for Bruce Thompson (who had to leave due to an emergency), Mr. Ger Hickey and Mr. Tony O’Reilly taught the Knife Dexterity Set. Jim Clark, once again, did a fantastic job teaching. His “ Generating Tail End Speed and Power with your Empty Hands, Utilizing Orbital Compression” carried over from the club seminar. Jim has a knack for being able to get the point across and consistently teaches with knowledge and tact. Mr. Hickey and Mr. O’Reilly, from Ireland, took over for Mr. Thompson and did an excellent job with the knife. They refined the dexterity set and went over each section in detail. Refinements like this are needed by every AKKI Kenpo practitioner.
Congratulations to both of them for a job well done.

Due to some unexpected problems, the next seminars had to be rearranged. Ryan Wheaton (6th Black) and Mr. Mark Keller (7th Black) taught the next set of seminars. Mr. Keller, a long time student of Mr. Mills, is an excellent instructor, and his seminar on “Utilizing Tail End Speed to Maximize Striking Power” was very enlightening and the participants gained knowledge on how to strike harder utilizing kenpo concepts and principles refined by Mr. Mills. Mr. Wheaton’s seminar
on “Tapping into the Spinal Reflex Arc Utilizing AKKI Internalization Patterns” was extremely
insightful. As usual, Ryan has a way of relating subject matter to the students that makes him one of the top instructors in the AKKI. His knowledge of movement, concepts and principles and how he relates the application of these, continually provides an in depth learning experience to all
AKKI members. The next seminar was taught by Mr. Josh Lannon (5th Black). Mr. Lannon’s seminar on AKKI Ground Fighting (Ground and Pound) was inspiring. Mr. Mills has decided to
introduce more ground fighting into the AKKI and Mr. Lannon’s knowedge and expertise in this area is a natural cohesive effort in this endeavor. Mr. Lannon in conjunction with other
experienced MMA fighters has been working on incorporating this aspect into the AKKI. His
seminar had everyone on the ground really working and sweating. The last seminar of the camp was taught by Mr. Mills, on AKKI Magnetic Timing Patterns. With not much time left, Mr. Mills had all the senior members/Board of Directors get up in front at the head of the class. In his
inimitable way, he had everyone in the room exploding with power and speed. He definitely took
it up a notch and you could feel the power that was being generated throughout the room. Just to watch Mr. Mills perform is something to behold. It is no wonder that he is known as one of the “Fastest and Most Powerful American Kenpo Instructors in the world today. The camp ended on an incredibly high note, with expectations for the next camp which is being scheduled to take place in September in Evanston, Wyoming, Mr. Mills’ home town. The banquet that evening brought all of the attendees together in an air of camaraderie and friendship. The AKKI camps renew old friendships and we all make new ones. It is a fantastic event that all AKKI members should
Experience. See you at the next camp:

Bruce C. Smith
6th Degree Black
AKKI Mid Atlantic
Regional Rep.

Apologies for so many parts

My apologies for so many parts. Evidently the forum won't take that large of a post without breaking it down into parts. Ryan should have the whole think posted on the main page soon. It has been sent to him.

Thanks, and look forward to seeing everyone in September in Evanston.

Bruce Smith/P.A.
AKKI Mid Atlantic
Regional Reo.

Re: Apologies for so many parts

Wow!!! A camp in Evanston? Man I am so there if I can make it!!!! I better start working some overtime for vacation time so I have enough! Awesome camp this year!! I learned tons and I can't wait to start working it on some bodies. Special thanks for Mr. Hickey and Mr. O'Reily for teaching the knife set!! You guys made it really easy to do and understand and they way you broke it down and let us work on it was way cool. This is, of course, with no offense towards Mr. Thompson, who I believe to be the absolute best forms instructor on the planet!!

Hoping to see a lot fo you guys in Evanston!! Take care and heal up!


Re: Apologies for so many parts

Bruce, thanks for the plugs and for the recap. I will get this on the home page shortly!

Re: Re: 3rd part of 3 parts of Recap of 08 Camp

It's been so hard to tell myself that I wouldn't be able to make it to this camp. I read up on the camp recaps and kick myself over and over in the teeth (I am somewhat flexible lol) for not saying 'Forget it, i'm heading out'.

Definately looking forward to Septembers camp in *gasp* Evanston!

Many Thanks

After being away from the AKKI for nearly four years, this was my first time to the Vegas camp; not only was I blown away at the quality of instruction given, but at the camaraderie that I experienced. I've met some great people, hopefully made some new friends, and am grateful to be welcomed back into the AKKI family. A great "thank you" to Mr. Mills, the board of directors, each instructor at the camp, and especially to Mr. Brumby.

Jay Wilson
AKKI, Mississippi

Re: Recap of March 08 AKKI Kenpo Camp

Great write-up Mr. Smith! This camp was awesome all the way around and the Black Belt test was inspiring! Actually, it was SCARY!
Jay, it great to see you at a camp. I overheard a couple of people saying you "moved well". Good to have you back!
I would also like to congratulate Matt Smith for getting his Brown Belt and his penmanship, lol (he won the "Pit-viper" knife).
"Head Instructor Lee" rocked on the Black Belt test. Congrats, Mr. Bowgren!
I was happy to see Mr. Brumby and Mr. Greg Hilderbrand do a seminar. Even though, I've trained with both of these great instructors previously, I was blown away.
They definitely give credence to Mr. Parker's saying, "I taught you everything you know-not everything I know"!
I can't wait to do it all over again!

Re: Recap of March 08 AKKI Kenpo Camp

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