The April 2010 AKKI Camp is over now and it was one of the best yet. Good ole’ Mother Nature decided to grace us with a few inches of snow on Friday, but it was over by the afternoon. A freak spring storm hit the area just as people were coming in from all over the world, but the weather did not deter anyone from attending this awesome event. The expectations for participation at the camp, with this economy, was good, but at the end of the day everyone was blown away at the amount of students and instructors that showed up, it was incredible. They came in from all over. This was a very large camp, well attended and those that missed it, will definitely not want to miss the teachings.

Friday Recap

Friday morning was the time for the AKKI Kenpo Int’l Test. Students from all over came forth to show their skills in front of the International AKKI Testing Board. All testers did an awesome job and performed their sets, weapons, forms and self defense techniques to a high level of competency. Watching the brown and black belts perform is always in incredible experience. They can really move and are a testimony to Mr. Mills expertise, knowledge and teachings.

On Friday around 3 pm, the first of many incredible seminars taught by SM Paul Mills and other extremely qualified, and knowledgeable AKKI instructors took place. The first opening seminar was taught by Mr. Mills. This seminar aptly subtitled “ Master Keys within the AKKI Yellow Belt Techniques” was the lead off to other great, eye opening and enlightening seminars that would be taught during the camp. In this seminar, Mr. Mills imparted to all the participants some important information on how to accelerate and explode their motion utilizing the master key movements in the yellow belt techniques. Just when you think you have the yellow belt techniques down, then Mr. Mills’ let’s you know just how much you don’t know. As one of the participants, I can tell you that the knowledge that Mr. Mills shared with us, will keep us working for a long, long time . It is amazing to see how the motion within “Flashing Swords” can increase your power, speed and movement and how Mr. Mills’ application of this was so revealing. It was a real eye opener to see how this basic motion can ap- ply throughout the AKKI curriculum.

The next seminars were taught by Mr. Bruce Tompson and Mr. Frank Elsasser. Mr. Tompson’s expertise in teaching Form 2, Level 2, as well as the other AKKI Forms, really showed while explaining the internalization patterns and grafting from one technique to another. Mr. Tompson has a dedication and incredible desire to help AKKI practitioners understand and perform the AKKI forms with proper execution, power and function- ability. Mr. Elsasser, AKKI 10th Degree Black, once again taught the Corrective Adjustments of the Testing techniques. With his many years of experience in American Kenpo and within the AKKI system, he really knows how to get the camp participants moving and excited about what they are doing. He has a way of explaining and refining techniques and basics that helps everyone he teaches move better and more efficiently.

The 3rd set of seminars were taught by Mr. Steve Bybee and Mr. Alan Jacob and Ryan Wheaton. Mr. Bybee a 6th Degree AKKI Black Belt, taught “Motion Explosion”. Mr. Bybee worked on helping students to explode their techniques and expand their motion to reflect power and speed. He has a way of explaining and teaching that really helps the students understand how to explode the techniques, basics, etc. with effectiveness and reality. Mr. Alan Jacobs and Ryan Wheaton taught “Blueprinting Trapping Set”. What an awesome set this is, these two incredible instructors really know their stuff. Mr. Jacob and Mr. Wheaton, really went into detail about this set and helped everyone understand it to a much deeper level, and helped refine it so everyone had a better idea of the why’s and how’s of the set.

The 4th and last seminars of the day were taught by by Mr. Jim Clark and Mr. Josh Lannon. Mr. Clark, a 6th Degree AKKI Black Belt, once again imparted his expertise by teaching the 3 phases of the AKKI Club set. Mr. Clark has distinguished himself as one of the AKKI’s best club practitioners and his knowledge of the clubs is a testament to Mr. Mills’ teachings. Mr. Lannon is another excellent instructor who taught the “Combat Applica- tions of the AKKI Finger Set. This was another eye opening seminar which showed you how to apply the aspects of the finger set when it counts What an awesome seminar and Josh is an excellent seminar presenter.

Saturday Recap

Saturday’s seminars started off with a bang. Mr. Frank Elsasser expanded on his Corrective Anatomical Adjustments/What you think you know. Mr. Elsasser, in his own way, takes you to that next level of under- standing, by letting you know, that what you think you know, you really don’t. To work with him, is to gain a better understanding of basic movement and techniques application and so much more.

Mr. Mark Keller, 8th Degree Black Belt, taught “Exploring the AKKI Timing Patterns”. This was an awe- some seminar that showed how the timing patterns within the techniques help in creating more power, more speed while creating extreme effectiveness not found in other kenpo systems. Learning to alter your timing and adjust your speed can trigger an explosive amount of power within the technique and helps to make it even more effective. Mr. Keller really taught an excellent seminar which left the participants wanting more.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Mr. Randall Miller could not make the camp, so the next seminar was taught by long time Paul Mills’ student and 8th Degree Black Belt, Mr. Herb Padigimus. He taught “Hammering the hit with Anchorage, Path and Angles”. Wow, what a great seminar from a fantastic presenter. He really showed how working angles of execution, paths of action and anchoring can make you rip through a technique and cause extreme pain and damage. This was very enlightening for everyone involved. A seminar well worth attending, which also carried over into other seminar aspects later. Next came Mr. Alan Jacobs and Mr. Jim Clark. Mr. Jacobs taught some of the new Brown Belt techniques, both empty hand and knife. This seminar was really involved. Not only did you learn and refine some of the new Brown Belt Techniques but we worked on the empty hand knife technique of “ Intercepting Lance” Mr. Jacob has a way of explaining techniques that helps you understand and perform the technique with ease and gives you a better understanding of all aspects of it. Since it was so involved and time ran out, we could not finish the overall technique, but it would be picked up and finished later in Mr. Wheaton’s seminar. Mr. Clark taught “ Generate More Speed through Reverse Motion” Once again Mr. Clark showed his exper- tise does not only lie with the clubs. Jim has a very good understanding of motion, generating speed and power and he really knows how to explain it and helps the student gain knowledge and a better understanding of it, through reverse motion.

The 4th Seminars on Saturday were taught by Mr. Bruce Tompson and Mr. Scott Hilderbrand. Mr. Tompson taught “Basic Kicks” The Heavy Artillery of Kenpo. The drills which he imparted to everyone made everyone understand just how important kicks are, how to execute them properly and apply them to the techniques. He helped people realize how the utilization of properly executed kicks can make the techniques much more effec- tive. Mr. Hilderbrand’s seminar on “Connecting AKKI Drills Enhancing One’s Versatility of Motion” was an eye opener for everyone who participated. The way he approached connecting the different drills, sets, etc. left everyone wanting more and gave them enough material to work on for the next 6 months or more.

The next seminars brought Mr. Ryan Wheaton, 7th Black, and Mr. Josh Lannon, 6th Black to the stage. Mr. Wheaton, finished off Mr. Jacobs seminar on Intercepting Lance and then went into the next empty hand against knife technique, Ascending Lance. The application of these two techniques are incredible and power- ful and helps a practitioner really understand how dangerous a knife can be and how you can effectively pro- tect yourself against one. Mr. Mills has really gone way beyond the next level in creating these techniques which has come from many years of actual defense and an expertise in weapons fighting. Mr Wheatons teaching on this seminar is a testament to training he has received from Mr. Mills. Mr. Lannon’s seminar on ground fighting is always interesting and to the point. In “No Time to Tap”, Guillotine chokes on the Ground he addresses the need for AKKI members to train in some ground fighting aspects. Participants really enjoyed this seminar and know that at each camp, Mr. Lannon will be teaching more and more aspects of ground fighting which help AKKI members become more rounded martial artists.

The last seminar taught by Mr. Mills, was a real eye opener. He expanded on what he had taught during the first seminar and went into more knife techniques. His expertise with the knife is 2nd to none. To watch him perform these techniques and patterns is simply incredible. It is no wonder he is considered a Master with weapons. The way he applies concepts and principles to everything he teaches makes it more understandable and creates an avenue which is extremely conducive to learning. His knowledge of motion and creating speed and power within defensive and offensive moves is uncanny. He expands on Mr. Parker’s principles and concepts and takes every- thing past the next level, making AKKI Kenpo, not only the most effective and realistic self defensive art for today, but the most incredible American Kenpo “Art of the Future”.

The seminar series ended on an incredible high note with everyone getting so much information and leaving wanting more. The anticipation for the next Int’l Camp in September is very high and is sure to bring even more participants… from all over the world.

On Saturday evening all the AKKI School owners and black belts got together with Mr. Mills for an impromptu meeting and discussion on the future of the AKKI. I can tell you right now, that the future of the AKKI, under the tutelage of SM Paul Mills is extremely bright and moving forward. Many great suggestions were made and discus- sions held on different subjects. Many contributed their thoughts and desires to the discussion. There will be more meetings and the AKKI will continue to grow worldwide and be one of the fastest growing American Kenpo Organizations around. For those interested non AKKI members, schools, etc. who read this recap, be sure to contact an AKKI Rep in your area to find out how you can become a member of the fastest growing American Kenpo Association in the world, and learn this incredible art.

--By: Bruce Smith
7th Degree Black
AKKI Mid Atlantic Regional Representative


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Revised: March 25, 2007.