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Studio will reopen Tuesday 8/7

Studio is closed until Tuesday 8/7/2015

 

Happy memorial day everyone.

Newark Kenpo Demo Team News Journal Article

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When the 15 members of the Newark Kenpo Karate Action Demonstration Team performed Saturday at the opening ceremony of the International Karate Championships in Dublin, Ireland, there was much more to the demonstration than showing off their karate skills. A message, in fact.

“We have a reputation in the martial arts community not just of dynamic demos but demos with a message,” said Newark Kenpo Karate founder Kathy Owen. “This one is about bullying.”

“ ‘The Master Key’ tells the story of a 10-year-old bullied by bigger children. They push him down, punch him and dump his backpack on his head. He’s obviously upset and demoralized. A woman then comes along and tells him the [symbolic] story of the fierce, young tiger and experienced dragon,” Owens said. They leave, and an older boy – who could be the younger boy grown up – enters and confronts two more bullies, and his “fighting show that it’s still from anger, not yet controlled.”

Time passes again, and an adult – maybe that boy grown up – now faces four opponents. He avoids fighting, but when he is finally pressed, “you see his wisdom, focus, experience and concentration.” After his tiring victory, he sees a girl being bullied, and he intervenes to stop the bullying cycle.

The 15-minute story was created by the studio’s three oldest students: Cameron Gracey, 27, and siblings Sara and Karl Anderson, respectively 23 and 19, with Owens’ help. It was performed to a soundtrack that included “First Snow” and “The Lion’s Roar” by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, “Silk Road” by Kitaro and a remix of the theme from “Mortal Kombat.”

The quartet began working a year ago on “The Master Key” (the title refers to how the skills learned in karate are as valuable as a key that can unlock any door), but the tale eventually involved more at the studio. “All of us were tossing in our two cents,” Owens said. “We work very well as a team.”

The key, the tiger and the dragon were inspired by the school’s uniforms, Sara said, and the closure in the karate-based fable reflects the idea of “attaining all the knowledge that is given to you, keeping us safe and passing that knowledge onto future generations.”

The themed demo traces its roots back to 1988, when Owens founded the Glasgow school; to 1994, when Gracey first started taking classes there; to 1995, when students made their first long-distance trip, to California; and 2004, when students made its first trip abroad, to Ireland.

The school’s themed demonstrations have included “The Dream,” about a student dreaming of becoming a black belt; “The Stool,” a comedy about two guys fighting over a stool; and “Kenpo in Motion,” which showed off kenpo karate’s four styles – solid, liquid, gaseous and ballistic, Owens said.

The event in Ireland featured seminars, a brotherhood meal to unite attendees from 20 countries and competitions. Afterward, team members and accompanying family members toured Ireland.

The demo team today includes students, age 9 to 27, with purple, blue, green, brown and black belts. The team started out performing at local festivals, parades and school fairs, progressing to larger audiences at the Delaware State Fair and Flyers, 76ers and Blue Rocks games.

It followed its 2004 international debut with a command performance in Las Vegas for the American Kenpo Karate International Association’s Training Camp. In 2008, the team was invited to perform at the opening ceremonies of the International Karate Championships on the British island of Jersey.

Between 2009 and 2013, the team performed in Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Boston and several local locations. “Unfortunately, expenses to provide these performances have become prohibitive, and we have had to turn down some opportunities offered,” Owens wrote in an email asking for donations to support the team. For information about the school or donations, go to www.delawarekenpo.com.

“It’s a couple of thousands dollars a person,” Owens said of the cost for the trip to Ireland, noting that the school has conducted fundraisers to help subsidize it.

Karl said that he enjoyed making stories out of the lessons has learned in karate. He said that he has seen bullying but hasn’t resorted to fighting to stop it.

“The self-confidence I learned in karate has taught me to deal with situation in better ways,” he said. “I know how to negotiate, not fight.”

 

(KEN MAMMARELLA, SPECIAL TO THE NEWS JOURNAL Original article)

Downloadable NKK Demo Article PDF format

Newark Kenpo Karate Open House and Demonstration

Join us at Newark Kenpo Karate on Sat July 18 at 3 pm for an Open House and Demonstration by our NKK Demo Team as they prepare to perform in Ireland at the International Karate Championships next weekend. This is a kick off demo for the trip and our opportunity to share what we are doing with our friends and families. Please join us and help support the kids!