This section contains the most commonly asked
questions about the American Kenpo Legacy Belt Ranking System. If
you have other questions, please send us an email or go the forums.
1. What exactly is required
for each belt rank for the Advanced Black Belt Degrees?
2. Do I have to start over
at the beginning to test for Black Belt Degrees in the American Kenpo
Legacy Association (AKLA)?
3. What is the minimum number of
years between each test?
4. I have a 1st Degree Black
Belt in the American Kenpo System. How do I test for 4th degree black
belt and above?
5. I have a 1st degree Black
Belt is Tracy's Kenpo (or Shaolin Kempo, or Chuck Sullivan Kenpo,
or other Kenpo style cousins). Can I test for advanced degrees in
American Kenpo Legacy Association? How?
6. Do I have to be a member
of the American Kenpo Legacy Association to test for advanced degrees
of Black Belt?
7. I am not a Black Belt (brown
or lower). How do I get involved to train for the advanced degrees
in the American Kenpo Legacy Association?
8. How do black belts in Tracy's,
Parker's, Sullivan's, AKKA, WKKA, and other kenpo associations measure
up to the American Kenpo Legacy Association? How can members of these
associations, which are so diverse, attain the same black belt in
the American Kenpo Legacy Association?
9. How much does it cost to test
for black belt tests?
10. How do I become a certified
instructor in the American Kenpo Legacy Association?
11. What will my skills be after
becoming ranked with the American Kenpo Legacy Association (AKLA)?
What is the big picture of of the AKLA?
12. As an instructor, will
I be a free agent? Or do I have to be subservient to other regional
leaders in the AKLA?
13. Can I get my students
certified for their belt ranks?
14. I already have a 5th or 6th
Degree Black Belt in one of the Kenpo Organizations. What is required
for me to advance?
15. Why is it necessary
to learn more material for advanced degrees? Many of the American
Kenpo System are reducing the amount of material for each belt. Will
this lead to better kenpoist's?
16. I thought
that the Elite-Fighters System was a non-belt system. Why was a belt
system added? How does this affect the Elite-Fighters Program?
What exactly is required for each belt rank for the Advanced Black
The exact testing requirements are
found on these two pages:
Elite-Fighters Testing Requirements
American Kenpo Legacy Degrees
More will be posted soon.
Do I have to start over at the beginning to test for Black Belt Degrees
in the American Kenpo Legacy Association (AKLA)?
You do not have to start over to advance
in the AKLA. Most martial arts organizations force you to start over
mainly from a financial standpoint. By making you start over, they
will gain more wealth. We do not require this. What the AKLA requires
is quality performance and comprehension of the degree material that
you are attempting. Basically, "We are not concerned
with where you came from, but where you are going."
By following our guidelines, you will be ranked at the belt rank that
you truly are able to attain. There are no belts awarded for being
in the system for a number of years, or being buddies with other members,
or paying extorted belt fees. The AKLA will not lose integrity for
monetary gains, 'power' or popularity.
is the minimum number of years between each test?
There is no minimum amount of time
to any belt level. What is require is quality performance and comprehension
of the degree material that you are attempting.
Consider Joe Lewis. Joe Lewis is reported
to have achieve his 1st Degree Black Belt in only a few weeks, while
he was serving in the U.S. Marines in Okinawa. A few months later he
was world champion. Joe Lewis was a rare, true Elite Fighter. Our goal is to help produce new legends like Joe Lewis.
We do not
try to hold anyone back from any belt promotion that they truly deserve.
Many schools do require a minimum time limit stating that they want
to prevent 'too many black belts from running around'. While this
statement sounds good, the truth is, the longer you have to take to
attain your next belt, the more lesson payments and association dues
will be collected from you.
We are confident that our system will
be challenging enough to prevent anyone from running through the belts
too fast. However, if you are an Elite Fighter, nothing will get in
your way to slow down your progress.
have a 1st Degree Black Belt in the American Kenpo System. How do
I test for 4th degree black belt and above?
The American Kenpo System has a natural
flow from 3rd Degree Black Belt to the 4th Degree Black Belt with
the AKLA. The material for 4th Degree Black Belt is listed in the
requirements table in the requirements
information page. You can complete your 3rd Degree Black Belt
using our American Kenpo Home Study Course material, or you can begin
your study of the 4th Degree Black Belt material and beginning training
to attain the rank of 4th Degree Black Belt.
Ed Parker produced material only up
to 3rd Degree Black Belt. After that belt, most American Kenpo Organizations
will have you to keep retesting what you have previously learned.
Some have you to learn materials from other martial arts styles. Most
require your adoration and submission to the 'good ol' boys at the
We don't do any of this. The American
Kenpo System is built upon a learning system based on concepts and
principles. The advanced material from 1st Degree Brown Belt to 3rd
Degree Black Belt finished the techniques with the 'extensions' of
the lower belt techniques. These extensions are not simply a bunch
of more moves and abuses that you can do against your opponent. Instead,
they are used to teach the advanced principles of the Kenpo system.
However, most instructors have lost sight of this information. Naturally,
a great number of students are in the quest for the lost grail of
' Family Groupings', 'Master Key Moves', 'Category Completions', and
more. Sadly, several organizations have made themselves the sole source
of this information, stating that only they have the 'Secret Manuals
of Ed Parker', or that Ed Parker taught them something that the general
public never knew. And they promise to teach this to you, too, if
you start over and work your way up (while passing over your fortune
in lessons, association dues and adoration).
The Elite-Fighters System of Martial
Arts has analyzed all of the Kenpo systems and given a complete treatment
to the Family Groupings and advanced concepts. What was found was
that no one Kenpo system was complete. Ed Parker's system did not
cover all of the possible groupings, nor did any other systems. The
Elite-Fighters founders developed a system that has completed these
areas and developed curriculum to attain the highest belts in American
Kenpo. After testing the system on several students, it was discovered
that the system was simple and effective enough for a new beginner
to learn, yet detailed enough for Black Belts to be challenged in
their pursuits to the highest degrees.
I have a 1st degree Black Belt is Tracy's Kenpo (or Shaolin Kempo,
or Chuck Sullivan Kenpo, or other Kenpo style cousins). Can I test
for advanced degrees in American Kenpo Legacy Association? How?
Yes, you can test and be certified
with the AKLA regardless of your previous associations. As we always
state, "What is required is quality performance and comprehension
of the degree material that you are attempting." To reiterate "We
are not concerned with where you came from, but where you are going."
You will find that if you achieve
the requirements for rank advancement, your skills will supercede
those of your peers in other kenpo associations. The AKLA has set
new standards for what a Black Belt means in not only Kenpo, but Martial
Arts as a whole.
Do I have to be a member of the American Kenpo Legacy Association
to test for advanced degrees of Black Belt?
Yes, to test for rank advancement
with the AKLA, you simply need to join using one of the membership
options listed in the membership
page. Individual membership is free
with any purchase of AKLA
I am not a Black Belt (brown or lower). How do I get involved to train
for the advanced degrees in the American Kenpo Legacy Association?
If you have not yet achieved a Black
Belt, you should first attain your Black Belt using our American
Kenpo Karate Home Study Course. From there, you will be best suited
for moving into the Advanced Degrees with the AKLA.
How do black belts in Tracy's, Parker's, Sullivan's, AKKA, WKKA, and
other kenpo associations measure up to the American Kenpo Legacy Association?
How can members of these associations, which are so diverse, attain
the same black belt in the American Kenpo Legacy Association?
The development of martial arts in
America, including the kenpo systems, has followed three stages of
Stage One: The 'Old
School' approach included pioneers such as Ed Parker and the many
offshoots, such as; Tracy's Kenpo, Chuck Sullivan's Kenpo, and others.
The Old School approach to training is, practice, practice, practice.
The overall philosophy is that, "You must learn the whole system
and make it second nature. When moment of truth arrives, your instincts
will naturally kick in and protect you." 'Survival of the fittest
'is the underlying factor that drives this phenomenon. While this
is very true, the best students of the Old School approach would remain
as the senior students and be able to apply their art against new
practitioners of the art effortlessly. Thus, instructor worship led
to the second generation of martial artists.
Stage Two: The 'New
Wave', or 'New Age' of the martial arts. In this stage, numerous associations,
variations and factions develop due to Association Dissolution, death
of a Grand Master and fraud. Several associations developed for the
purpose of: monetary gain, perpetuating student loyalty to themselves,
and to attain notoriety that was not afforded them by the former association,
head instructor, or 'inner circle'. The result of the New Wave is
that each association has changed the material to their liking to
avoid lawsuits, to be different from the other associations, and to
announce that their system is the 'best, most authentic, or original
system'. Some associations add more material to add to the value of
the quantity of information that they teach. Others reduce the amount
of information to make it easier to attain belts faster, therefore
the instructor gets testing fees faster. Because of this, much the
art is lost, or adulterated to be indistinguishable from the other
New Wave, or New Age martial art systems. Instructors of this phase
are usually concerned with their position of the Family Tree or association,
and also to be popular in the 'good ol' boys network. Often they switch
from association to association until they find the the level of respect
that they feel that they deserve. Wannabe is a suitable term for these
Stage Three: The
'Reformation Stage'. This third stage is where the founders of the
Elite-FIghters System of Martial Arts are in. In this stage, we realize
the limitations of stage one, and the downfalls of stage two. The
Elite-Fighters has analyzed all of the main systems of the kenpo systems,
focused their strong points, developed solutions for the weak areas
and created material for the areas that have been absent. All of this
was accomplished while maintaining the integrity of the kenpo systems
from which they originated. As a result, the American Kenpo Legacy
Association offers a complete kenpo system with demanding curriculum
to attain the highest belt levels in American Kenpo. The Elite-Fighters
System approach demands the student to be in shape and proficient
for rank advancement.
Therefore, to become ranked with the
Elite-Fighters System of Martial Arts, you are obtaining rank that
is veritable and stands above the other systems. We take testing very
seriously. Whether you are testing in person or by video, each test
is given complete attention.
much does it cost to test for black belt tests?
Testing for each degree of Black Belt
is only $15.00 (free for Individual Members who are involved with
the Complete Home Study
Course). What you have to do is, video tape yourself performing
the required material for the belt that you are attempting and submit
the tape to the AKLA. (See
video testing procedures.)
The testing fee covers the testing
time, certificate upon successful passing of rank, and a critique
of your skills. Testing in person is simply the fee of a private lesson
with Eric or Kevin Lamkin. The AKLA Regional
Representatives may serve as testing proctors for individuals
who are unable to video test, or test in person at the AKLA headquarters.
How do I become a certified instructor in the American Kenpo Legacy
There are three levels of instructorship
available for certification in the AKLA.
One - The Trainer - A trainer is one who teaches kenpo
in a club setting, yet has not yet attained the level of Black Belt.
The trainer has at least two students registered with the AKLA
Level Two - Part Time Professional
- A part-time professional is one who does not teach kenpo as their
sole source of income. A part-time professional, is a Black Belt of
a 1st or 2nd Degree with at least 5 registered students with the AKLA.
Level Three - Full Instructor
- A fully certified instructor is one who is either a 3rd Degree
Black Belt or higher, or a 1st or 2nd Degree Black Belt who has a
full time school with 20 or more registered students with the AKLA.
To apply for instructor certification,
please fill out the application form in our instructor
will my skills be after becoming ranked with the American Kenpo Legacy
Association (AKLA)? What is the big picture of of the AKLA?
Each belt rank has qualities
and characteristics that are required before promotions. By maintaining
a strict adherence to these requirements, each student will possess
a high level of consistency between schools throughout the organization.
We understand that you will have various deficiencies in certain areas
of kenpo depending on which association that you have come from. The
strengths in one association may be a weakness in another.
The Elite-Fighters founders have developed
a methods of learning all aspects of personal combat that complete
these areas that may be deficient in other kenpo associations. The
4th degree Black Belt material, covers all possible grabbing scenarios,
the 5th Degree 5th Belt Material covers all possible striking scenarios.
As you continue to progress, you will have covered all of the grappling,
joint lock, multiple attack, multiple opponent, offensive methods,
and hand-held weapon attacks. The overall pedagogical methods utilized
to teach these materials, enables you to distill the information to
a potent, easily utilized system of fighting. In essence, the ultimate
goal in the material that you are to study is to make you a true master
of interpersonal combat.
As an instructor, will I be a free agent? Or do I have to be subservient
to other regional leaders in the AKLA?
As an instructor
with the AKLA, you are a free agent. The AKLA does not demand a minimum
number of seminars, camps, or direction from regional representatives,
etc. Your students are your students. However, we do require that
you maintain the integrity of the quality of instruction and standards
set forth by the AKLA. Ranked students in the AKLA should feel confident
that their belt ranking is consistent with that of other similarly
ranked peers throughout the world.
The AKLA Regional Representatives
serve as agents to assist instructors within their region. An AKLA
Regional Representative is one who will mentor the new instructors
and students and help set up and run Kenpo events to further the training,
knowledge and fellowship among the Kenpo community.
Can I get my students certified for their belt ranks?
Your students can get certified through
the AKLA in two ways:
- Students may test directly by
using our video
- Students may test directly under
instructor. The instructor then submits a request for rank certification.
Rank certification is only $5.00 and comes with a certificate for
the instructor to sign and present to his student, and the certified
students will have their names listed the AKLA
14. I already
have a 5th or 6th Degree Black Belt in one of the Kenpo Organizations.
What is required for me to advance?
To advance for your next rank, you
are to test for the requirements listed for the belt that you are
pursuing. Time in grade of other associations do not apply. We do
not promote to rank for the simple reason of longevity in an association.
You must demonstrate the required skills at the required level of
execution for promotion. If you follow our training program for each
belt, you will have no difficulty in passing a promotional exam.
Why is it necessary to learn more material for advanced degrees? Many
of the American Kenpo System are reducing the amount of material for
each belt. Will this lead to better kenpoist's?
The Kenpo Associations that are removing
material for each belt are doing this for monetary reasons. The faster
they can push you through the belts, the sooner they get testing fees.
There is also a misconceived notion that students will drop out if
they do not get promoted more often.
The Kenpo material
that these other associations are using, does not use the best pedagogical
methods. Some have arranged the material for each belt to correspond
with the forms. Others have even admitted to writing the names of
the techniques on 3x5" cards, tossing them in the air, and scooping
up them up to fill in the material for each belts.
founders have analyzed the materials for each kenpo system, developed
lesson plans to teach what the goal for each belt is, and refined
the teaching plan after experimentation with actual students have
become successful. You will find, after completing the materials presented,
that instead of keeping track of more and more information, you will
see to the root of the system, and have
an understanding of kenpo that a master in Kenpo should possess. From
this internalized knowledge, you will be able to respond to any threat,
I thought that the Elite-Fighters System was a non-belt system. Why
was a belt system added? How does this affect the Elite-Fighters Program?
The Elite-Fighters System is a non-belt system. However, we have trained
many over the past few years in the Elite-Fighter System and were
questioned by many who wish to have a belt system. The American Kenpo
System has a belt system that goes to 10th Degree Black Belt. However,
the material required to get there stops at 3rd black The question then is asked, "How can you have advanced
degrees with no material?" The answer lies in corruption. Either,
the belt is paid for, or it is granted for service, loyalty or friendship
with those of power to grant higher degrees. This corrupts the belt
The Elite-Fighters System gives a
belt system to those who wish to pursue belt ranking. The Elite-Fighters
System of ranking still remains above all other ranking systems. Those
who obtain belts must gain their belt through the standards set forth.
However, an Elite-Fighter maintains his ranking through the ranking
trials. Maintenance of ones ability is a much greater honor than obtaining
rank and not maintaining ones ability. If a belt rank is obtained,
then the student is also ranked with the Elite-Fighters System. He
will always maintain the Kenpo rank throughout his life. However,
the Elite-Fighters rank will be maintained by regular Trials. By obtaining
both, you will have a rank to be proud of, and always be fit and in
shape to utilize your skills.