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The Black Belt Magazine Podcast MASTER KEN: The Bombastic Rise of Ameri-Do-Te

In World War II, my dad was a Scottish Sergeant Major (SSM) in the British Army, who was responsible for training the new special forces unit, British Commandos, in Scotland in June of 1940. As a lad in the late ‘60s England, I saw a BBC documentary where an English SM (ESM) instead of using wooden guns to teach disarming skills he used a banana. When the banana-armed Commando attacked the ESM, he killed the Commando by dropping a heavy weight on his head. When a second Commando attacked, the ESM released a tiger that mauled the soldier.

My dad didn’t buy into the documentary, yet he said the point was clear, Commandos must be ready for anything, no matter how bizarre the scenario and that they had to use any weapon at their disposal or create one on the fly.

It’s the same point as to why Master Ken, founder of Ameri-Do-Te, began teaching self-defense 11 years ago that defied every martial artist on the planet by revealing their weaknesses and haughtily posting his self-defense strategies on YouTube. He basically turned over a new Page in his martial book and used video. As you listen to the podcast it will occur to you that his approach sounds more dangerous than Count Dante’s Dim Mak or “Death Touch” from the 1970s, as Master Ken is highly outspoken and never backs down on his opinions of any marital artist.

FYI, when Master Ken was working on a film project, the filmmakers challenged him to come up with 17 different animal styles of kung fu as each person would say the animal and he’d create the style right before their eyes. Therefore, I believed him when he once told me that his famous Hurricane technique was not influenced by Chinese kung fu’s 10,000 bee skill.

He also had never heard of kung fu’s vomiting style, where individuals learn to vomit at will. It was created by a Shaolin Monk who noticed that when giant house flies (1.25 inches long) ate non liquid food, it vomits digestive enzymes onto the food that digests it into a liquid pool. It then sucks up the liquid like a mosquito feeding on blood. I’m wondering if Master Ken is trying to perfect this technique.

During the podcast, you’ll quickly realize that he’s a rebel with a cause, purposefully controversial, yet he stands by his self-defense philosophy and doesn’t apologize for it.

Whether it’s a traditional stylist, an MMA (hence UFC) fighter or blatantly revealing to us what he thinks about each of the styles he’s learned, he gleefully bemuses them. Master Ken’s martial arts background includes boxing, Okinawan Goju Ryu, Okinawan kenpo, American Kenpo as well as informingly dabbling in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, stick fighting and Aikido, which is in no way related to the ancient Viking form of grappling known as Ikea-do. I feel that he might be part French because he has the Gaul to stigmatize each style and bench their approaches.

I’ve heard, but please don’t quote me on this, that he might be developing a wooden samurai sword/stick fighting weapon called the America Do-Te Bo-Ken. It seems that when it comes to self-defense, often times Master Ken crosses the thin lines between, truth, reality, myth and the unrealism of crypto skills, that has nothing to do with blocks of crypto currency, but martial art plasticity and affability. If says he can do it, he Ken do it and he doesn’t make false claims.

Master Ken’s blunt sleight of hand skills are nothing like his sleight of mouth skills. At the end of the day, depending on one’s level of critical thinking and emotional intelligence training, you might appreciate how he answers each of the no holds barred questions that are expertly twisted brilliant insights into simple onsite questions. Master Ken clearly interprets the inquiry with direct repartee-rambling abandonment that are molded into quasi-honesty…something that is rare these days.

Listen to the full episode here: Episode 15: Master Ken

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