Julio da Ponte – 4th Degree Black Belt

Julio da Ponte began his training in the Martial Arts in 1980, at the age of 11, after watching a Bruce Lee movie. He began his training in Chinese Kenpo, training for approximately 3 years and achieving the rank of Green Belt. Interestingly, one of his instructors at that time was a Brown Belt by the name of Kathy Owen.

After pursuing other interests during his high school and college years, in 1991 his interest in the Martial Arts peaked again after a serious motorcycle accident left him in need of physical therapy. At this time he trained in the traditional style of Shorin-Ryu. After training there for about 1 year, he realized his interests were still with the art of Kenpo. Shortly thereafter, he located Newark Kenpo Karate and his old instructor, Ms. Owen.

“I find the AKKI system of American Kenpo to be the most complete system of self-defense anywhere. Kenpo is an explosive, deadly and yet beautiful system of self-defense, which is the primary reason I chose Kenpo in the first place. I think it was Ed Parker who stated, ‘ Kenpo is for the person who has everything, and wants to protect it’.

I particularly enjoy the unique timing and ballistic hitting which Mr. Paul Mills has integrated into the new AKKI techniques and forms. These incorporate movements within the anatomically correct D1 D2 flexion and extension patterns. This optimizes results while minimizing damage to one’s own body, which can occur through moving ‘against the grain’ over time.”

Mr. da Ponte has been teaching at NKK since 1996 and currently teaches the Teen and Adult classes on Monday nights. He lives in Middletown with his wife and 4 daughters and works full time as a Vice President for his family business, Industrial Valves and Fittings, Inc.

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