New and exciting in 2006

exciting like river rafting

The last few years have been hard for many students. I’ve made many mistakes in running the school. I’ve upset some, disappointing others. However, it’s no excuse to wallow in misery. You may remember my old saying, “If you’re not getting better, then you’re getting worse.” I’m trying to turn the school around for the better. We are embarking upon a new, bold direction.

It’s been a lot of work developing a better plan for the school. I’ve spent time talking to other school owners, masters, and grandmasters, but I think we’re on the right track now. I’m using all I’ve learned from these great minds to make our school the best in San Diego. Over the last five years, our school has done a lot of wonderful things. Here’s a recap of the most important items.

  • Contacted and work under the original Shaolin Kempo grandmaster from the 1960s, Grandmaster Sonny Gascon. Now residing in Hawai’i, he has allowed our school to join his organization. I’m also a personal student of Sijo Gascon since 1998.
  • This has also revealed our relationship to Kajukenbo, American Kenpo, and the other Shaolin Kenpo.
  • Adapted our Kempo curriculum to include Sonny’s original katas, punch counters, and drills. There are lots of missing, exciting material that’s now available to all our students.
  • Established a formal organization to help administer, register, and support our members. This will help clear up information, standardize procedures and authorize changes.
  • Improved our Black Belt program to include more advanced material and to incorporate themes. There is a lot to learn in a safe, friendly environment. All returning Black Belts will train with Sifu Bagnas directly and privately, as desired.
  • Introduced a Tai Chi theme to our Black Belt course in 2000. We added a Jujitsu course in 2005. Soon, we’ll be adding Kobudo and Arnis courses. All these will start as Black Belt-only classes. Later on, kyu-ranks classes will be added.
  • Our official newsletter, Leopard Pause, started out quarterly and now is distributed monthly. We also have a quarterly Black Belt Club newsletter called Club Quarterly.
  • Celebrating our 14-year anniversary this year.

We want to invite you to tea – to thank you for being our student…even if it was a long time ago.

Questions for our inactive students

  • Do you still want to continue your Kempo training?
  • What would you like to do with your Black Belt?
  • What would you change about school?
  • What do you like most about school?
  • What would it take to get you back in class?

Please help us change your school for the better, so we can all grow together.

Feel free to contact me on my personal mobile phone anytime to answer any questions or for directions to the dojo. I would love to hear from you even if it’s just to catch up.

P.S. The hardest thing to do is return after such a long time. Many people feel awkward about forgetting the material. You’d be surprised how easy Kempo comes back, with a little help. Ask me about free private lessons to get you back on track. We need you back in school.