John B - Junior Blackbelt

BB - John Bactol

I started Kenpo training at the age of 7. I saw Kenny Kenpo on a flyer in McDonalds and asked my mother if I could do martial arts. I imagined myself as Jackie Chan doing a flying kick through the air. I remember I held a white belt for almost a year before I graded for the next belt. I was caught up with having too much fun but then the momentum kicked in and I began to progress exponentially.

My favourite tournament event is Forms. The first tournament I competed in, I entered in forms and lost. I didn’t like the feeling of failure and I decided to take my training more seriously. I practiced my form and every other form I’ve learned since then with conviction. I’ve never lost since.

I graded twice a year and by the time I was 12, I earned my Kenpo 4 Kids Junior Black Belt. This achievement wasn’t easily accomplished, and Kenpo has taught me that if I want to succeed I have to put in the hard work and strive for greatness. I now train in the adults programme and am motivated to continue my Kenpo training as I progress through senior high school and higher studies.

Kenpo training can be a daunting prospect. However it also promotes confidence, focus, discipline and dedication. So over time and with patience and perseverance, I increasingly gained a maturity towards my training and found a deeper appreciation of my forms, self defence techniques and sets, but most of all the significance of the Kenpo 4 Kids motto. I have realised that the strongest and most skillful martial artist is nothing without respect and consideration for others. Your training may give you an outer strength, but it is your inner strength that will complete you.

As we journey through life and its various stages and evolutions, we must continue to learn and “grow” everyday. The form that your success will take is certainly going to be different from others. Everyone is individual and unique, and will be successful in his own way. It is important to know and develop your abilities and strengths but also determine and work on your weaknesses.

I believe that my longstanding and continuing relationship with Kenpo has changed me as a person. I believe that I have gained values and qualities that I can take with me for life and make me a better son, student, neighbour, community member and other roles that I may fill. From an early age, I have always said that I would like to become a respiratory physician. I have yet Senior High School, university studies, specialty training and many years of hard work to contend with. However, having had Kenpo as a fundamental part of my self-development, I am assured that I have the “tools” that I will need to achieve these.

(You can check John’s performance of Long Form 7 in Disneyland, September 2012 via Youtube: He won 1st place in Forms in the Black Belt Division.)

Name of Instructor: 
Year Black Belt was Acquired: