By Joseph Duke.
Jonathan Duke has been teaching Kenpo at Heritage since 1995. Many students don’t know much about Kenpo or Mr. Duke, so I decided to ask him the questions everyone wants to know.
When did you start learning Kenpo?
I started 35 years ago, when I was 13 years old.
What made you want to learn Kenpo?
Ever since I could remember, I always wanted to be a Black Belt. I also was very short and physically not strong, so I wanted to learn how to defend myself.
What is Kenpo?
The Kenpo I teach is strictly to protect against an assault; it is not for sport competition or tournaments.
What does Kenpo teach?
Kenpo teaches you how to use the mind, body, and natural-made and man-made weapons to protect yourself and your fellow man.
Why should someone take Kenpo?
For life-long friendships, confidence, coordination and awareness.
Why can’t someone just carry a gun or knife to protect themselves?
They could, but by law there are places such as establishments, concerts, sporting events, etc. where weapons are not permitted
Have you ever had to use Kenpo?
Yes. In one instance a guy tried to stab me with a knife. I was in France as an LDS missionary knocking on doors when a lady answered. We made an appointment with her to come back later and teach her. In the back, I saw this guy beating the lady up, so I took my backpack off and walked in to intervene. He tried to kick me, but I stopped him and told him to leave. He left. So then I came back a couple of days later to that house and knocked on the door. The same guy that was there a couple days before answered the door and came at me with a knife, so I stopped him and the next thing he knew was that the knife was pointing at him.
Have any of your student used Kenpo?
Several have, especially those that are in law enforcement and the military. I would tell all my students that no one carries swords around anymore. But one day I got a call from one of my Black Belts who is a police officer. He said he got a call for domestic violence between a dad and a son. When he got there the son came at my student with a sword, so he did a technique called sword of destruction and knocked him out.