HISTORY
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About
Robert Flaherty
(Honorary Great Grandmaster)


“Wherever there are two that are known, 
there is one that is unknown.”







Kenpo came to Robert Flaherty when he was serving in the U.S Army back in 1951 and he observed his Asian friend, acting in self defense, pop the rib cage out of another soldier using only the speed of his hand and his finger tips. Needless to say, this was the most amazing thing Robert had ever seen, and it left both a lasting impression and a desire to learn real Kenpo in action. That desire had been fulfilled, thanks to motivation, development, and learning.


Flaherty’s  Kenpo  Karate
A   S   S   O   C   I   A   T   I   O   N
Special Consideration:

Law enforcement personnel, educators, realtors, sales agents, and other traveling professionals enjoy learning hands-on self-defense from our Qualified Black Belt Teachers.
Grandmaster Randall K. Flaherty
Information  about  the  F.K.K.A.  Founder





History Preview
Grandmaster Randall K Flaherty credits a great amount of his martial arts experience to his father, Robert (Bob) Flaherty. Without the childhood wartime stories, pearls of wisdom, and continued encouragement from Flaherty’s mother and father, F.K.K.A. (Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate Association) wouldn’t have been established.
Our association Grandmaster has had the extreme good fortune of meeting and working out with some of the finest people on God’s Green Earth:  Angel Martial, all the instructors of the International Martial Arts Academy, G.M. Ed Parker, G.M. John Sepulveda, G.M. Frank Trejo, G.M. Larry Tatum, G.M. Chuck Sullivan, G.M. Roland Gonzales, Benny “The Jet,” Urquidez, Bill “Super-foot” Wallace, Dr. Jim Thomas, Professor Bruce Crary, and Master Jin Sun Ding to name a few. (“G.M.” is an abbreviation for “Grand Master.”)
The respected, recognized, and honored people who contribute to the success of Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate Association include: Great Grandmaster Robert Flaherty, and Grandmaster Randall K. Flaherty Sr. (FKKA founder / creator / program developer & owner). In addition, our outstanding program teachers are: Prof. Dave Cantrelle (San Jose Academy Owner / Studio #1), Mrs. Becky Cantrelle (San Jose Academy Owner / Studio #1), Mrs. Tina Aubert (aka: Kawamura), and Mr. Joe Aubert. 

About the Founder
Robert (Bob) Flaherty didn’t realize the powerful impact his wartime stories of martial arts, specifically stories about early Kenpo, had on his son, Randall. At the age of 15, young Randall Flaherty became involved in his first professional martial arts school. On the outside of the small retail building in Kentucky that looked like a small house and had previously been a clothing store was a sign near the top of the roof that read, “DOJO.” All Randall Flaherty knew was that he was going to his DOJO for training. Flaherty thought DOJO was the style of Karate he would be learning. It wasn’t until later that he learned that “DOJO” was another name for “academy” or “school”. Training at the DOJO didn’t last too long - just long enough for Flaherty to pick up sparring maneuvers, such as a slip kick, and learn how to get slammed to the floor by the owner’s Black Belt son.
Shortly after leaving the DOJO, Flaherty’s family left the great state of Kentucky for San Jose in northern California. It was there Flaherty settled into a local Kenpo school, “International Martial Arts,” owned and operated by Angel Martial. At first sight Angel looked like an Asian man wearing a straw hat, and the type of Kung Fu uniform Bruce Lee would wear in his movies.  During this first meeting, Flaherty took a deep breath, liked what he saw in the academy owner and his school, and decided to settle in as a permanent, full time student. This was to be his martial arts home for a long while.
In time, Young Randall Flaherty became the top fighting instructor of the International Martial Arts Academy, but not before testing for his Kenpo Black Belt twice, and earning his rank during both testing examinations. Flaherty’s training partner and friend, Ruben Ruiz, received his Black Belt first, and then went on to open the “Twin Dragon School” with his twin brother, Roger.  It was at the Ruiz brother’s academy that Flaherty earned his second Black Belt, voted in, by way of unanimous decisions from about a dozen Brown and Black Belt attendees. 
It was there, too, where Flaherty displayed great fighting skills and took two one-inch pine boards, held them together by himself (i.e., free standing), and with one swift move broke the boards with a reverse punch. After the breaking, the top Instructor approached young Flaherty and said, “I didn’t think that could be done.” Then he turned to the instructors and asked, “Is there anyone who disagrees with passing Randall Flaherty?” 
The instructors responded with an absolute “YES on passing.”
Randall Flaherty has since achieved many additional Black Belt rankings, growing within the martial arts community under the tutelage of many influential people. He founded Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate Association in 1999, and currently holds the high level of 10th Degree Black Belt (Grandmaster Status). 

Simplicity
Our Grandmaster began teaching Karate with over one hundred techniques - including variables, principles, theories, and concepts - to the general public at his San Jose retail space on Piedmont Rd. He remembers sitting at his desk waiting for the next customer. People would come in to learn, realize the training was difficult to grasp, and then, almost as soon as they signed up, they would quit. People just didn’t have the time to invest in a long, drawn out martial arts program. In today’s day and age people need things done now. They want to feel they are learning and improving as soon as they join the first class and have an easy to understand or program to follow.
This led our Grandmaster to think about simplifying his martial arts programs. He began reducing the amount of techniques, inserting forms per belt color, and then adding other material not yet seen by his students. Flaherty approached key members about some of the system development changes, and once the instructors approved, he inserted the new material. 
The idea wasn’t to water down the system of learning, but rather to trim the fat off what wasn’t working and insert material that would get immediate results. With innovative ideas and in depth knowledge, we merged new learning materials with old system ideas to create a program that would work for everyone, including most age groups.

Our System for Learning
Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate Association employs a 40-technique system with a variety of basics, forms / katas, sets, weapons, sparring, and, of course, history in an easy to follow format. Our programs are designed to keep our family’s precious time in mind. We offer classes, private lessons, monthly and annual programs, and lend a friendly ear when it comes to helping our students succeed. We offer a personal self-defense program that will work for almost everyone. 
Our techniques are FUN, exciting, and highly motivational. Additionally, our material doesn’t stop after Black Belt; students are encouraged to continue their training for a continuity of flow within the higher degrees of Black Belt. Tournament competitions are also highly encouraged.

Our Commitments
Our committed desire is for everyone to enjoy his or her own martial arts system, no matter where he or she studies. We have students who have joined us from other schools. They are encouraged not to forget their old material, but rather to learn from us and apply their prior knowledge when teaching classes.
While we understand that Kenpo is a hybrid of martial arts, all styles or systems are good for people. There are no bad martial arts programs. Instructors of Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate believe that whichever style or school one puts his/her heart into is ultimately the best training choice. 

Passion
Training half-heartedly is not training with passion, and we believe in passion, in training with a determination to increase accuracy, speed, and power through hard work and repetition. We encourage all members to learn from everyone - each other, the school’s instructors, F.K.K.A. owners, and especially from Grandmaster Flaherty.

Community
Collectively, we are all martial arts students. Whatever style or system we study, be it, Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Kung fu, Kickboxing, or Kenpo, we are brothers or sisters in this thing we call “The Martial Arts.” 
The Great Grandmaster (Robert Flaherty) taught his six children to get along with each other. Robert never wanted his children arguing. fussing, fighting, or verbally bashing each other was also out of the question. He encouraged his children to treat people the way they wanted to be treated themselves. If they wanted respect, then they had to respect other people first. If they wanted kindness, then they had to be kind to others. If they wanted to be taken seriously, then they had to act accordingly. For Grandmaster Flaherty  the rule was out: “Just get along.”
Grandmaster Randall Flaherty brings those same childhood talks, lectures, and sense of family and community to his students, to his martial arts, to his businesses, and to other local communities. Members of Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate enjoy their training, meeting friends, and working-out with the Association instructors while learning from real experts in the field of martial arts. The martial arts discipline teaches students to follow through, by promoting determination and commitment, dedication, hard work and, finally … “community”. 

Overall Accountability
Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate (established - since 1991) has successfully made it through hard financial times, hard economic times, and of course, the good times. Every class day, no matter what’s happening in our economy, no matter what worldly conditions are taking place, no matter what life’s negatives or positives include, we are always having a great time teaching students, encouraging people to succeed, sharing our knowledge, and helping others develop and evolve. 
Over the years Grandmaster Randall Flaherty has learned the secret to personal, business, and managerial success. He believes “people don’t care about how much you know unless they know you care about them.” Grandmaster Flaherty’s greatest interest is teaching, allowing students of all ranks to learn at their own pace, congratulating students on their efforts (whether small or great), then offering genuine (sincere, and honest) help in self-improvement, when needed.

“As a positive identity in our local communities, we hold ourselves accountable to be here for families in the future with rooted self-defense that will last a life time. “









What is Kenpo?

Kenpo is a style of Karate developed in the west. The only difference between Kenpo and Kempo is in the translation of the Kanji to its English form. The words Kenpo and Kempo both mean "Law of the Fist." However, the more "traditional" forms of Kempo use the "Kempo" form, while the more nontraditional modern or contemporary versions use the term "Kenpo." Kenpo is a martial art that teaches self-defense and self-control through three primary methods: self-defense techniques, forms, and sparring. However, Kenpo diverges from traditional Karate in several important respects. Students are encouraged to change and adapt the techniques. Kenpo emphasizes vital point attacks using punches, strikes and kicks. Throws are also important in Kenpo. 
 
Western Self-defense techniques help Kenpo students develop their skills by allowing them to practice with different threatening situations and experiment with what-if scenarios. Initially, forms and katas help students to develop mental concentration and mental discipline. As they progress, the forms and katas help them to develop self-awareness and self-expression. Kumite’ (also known as freestyle or sparring) is an exercise in which students test their skills, self-confidence, and self-control in a friendly competition among other classmates. It gives students the opportunity to develop their reflexes and timing in a controlled environment while engaging in a sport activity.

Kenpo (FKKA) also teaches students how to use weapons to increase their understanding of self-defense. In Kenpo, defense against knives and clubs are taught from the green belt and up. Weapon training often begins at green belt level, although some schools restrict it to those of the black belt level and higher. In addition, the Kenpo style strives to maintain a balance between "martial" and "art." The "martial" aspect is expressed by effective self-defense concepts and techniques. The "art" is expressed by creativity, self-expression, and presentation of form.


 
The Origins of Kenpo
Kenpo is considered by many to be the first eclectic martial art. Its origin evolved from Karate which; according to legend, began over a thousand years ago in China. At the beginning of the seventeenth century two families, Kumamoto and Nagasaki brought knowledge of Kenpo from China to Kyushu in Japan. Modified throughout many years into its current form, it is referred to as Kosho-Ryu Kenpo, or Old Pine Tree School. It is from here that most modern forms of Kenpo are derived.
 



Grandmaster Ed Parker

Edmund K. Parker, who is probably the most famous of Chow's practitioners, began studying Kenpo with Chow at the age of 16. Parker further adapted the methods so that they would prove practical in an actual fight and opened the first commercial Karate studio in 1954. He created a logical organization for the basic Kenpo techniques, dividing them into eight categories, such as stances, blocks, punches and so on. Parker graduated from Brigham Young and moved to California where he opened his second school in 1956 and also founded the International Kenpo Karate Association the same year. Parker taught the martial arts to many actors and celebrities such as Elvis Presley and Steve McQueen. He also appeared in movies and television shows like "I Love Lucy." Grand Master Edmund Parker is the undisputed "Father" of American Kenpo Karate (IKKA). 

When Mr. Parker died in December of 1990, the International Kenpo Karate Association (IKKA) went through some major restructuring due in part to political differences, as well as, other reasons. Many of the senior students went off to create their own associations and promote their own style of the American Kenpo system (i.e., Their World View or Martial Arts Interpretation).