Midwest Tai Chi & Self Defense
a World Dragon Kenpo program


A New Direction            
            After being involved in martial arts for many years I felt I needed a vacation. After taking some time off (not completely) I decided to go in a new direction looking for a new challenge to instill motivation and drive. I started with the phone book then proceeded to the internet in search of a new philosophy or different outlook on martial arts. I favored Kenpo Karate due to being actively involved with it for many years. After coming across World Dragon Kenpo online I had a lot of questions and doubt. Before proceeding I contacted Mr. Pfeiffer and had a long but enjoyable conversation with him regarding Dragon Kenpo. Mr. Pfeiffer was not only very knowledgeable regarding martial arts but I could tell he was truly passionate about it. Mr. Pfeiffer's enthusiasm rekindled my own interest of martial arts. The internal drive that I use to have regarding martial arts was lost but now reacquired. What once was a full cup was now half empty ready to take on new challenges through knowledge and focus by learning new techniques and a different thought process regarding effectiveness through simplicity. Due to my hectic work schedule I began studying these new techniques online. I felt the online course was very informative and relatively easy to learn especially if you already have a background in martial arts. This is an excellent resource for a beginner as well as a seasoned practitioner. I continue to use online training in conjunction with one on one and group training. Each form of training complements the other. World Dragon Kenpo Virtual (on line) Training offers the ability to learn new techniques anytime of the day making it very convenient and effective. One on one training is very effective and offers instruction at an accelerated pace. Group training provides necessary interaction and the opportunity to help others that have just started in the martial arts.
Thank You Coach Pfeiffer and World Dragon Kenpo Schools of Self Defense

Distance Learning... Really...

           I have been studying martial arts for over two-thirds of my lifetime.  Most of that training has been in the realm of traditional Japanese karate, Shotokan to be specific.  Eventually, my training partner (father) and I began searching for alternative methods of studying martial arts.  We stumbled upon World Dragon Kenpo (WDK) and decided to look further into the curriculum. At first, the distance learning concept sounded a bit unrealistic to be honest, but we chose to try anyway. 

            Once we began to train with WDK, my opinion of the distance learning curriculum was slowly changed.  Unlike other organizations that I have been involved in, this curriculum was more than one of those “pay me my money and get your promotion” sort of deals.  Coach Pfeiffer did not just contact us for a check and actually cared about our progress through the program.  Once I got into the higher ranks of Dragon Kenpo where your promotions require more than a request and a fulfillment of the time requirement, I became convinced that the distance training concept was actually a viable curriculum, if both the teacher and the student are committed to learning.

            My training with WDK has allowed me to learn more about martial arts than just what one would think Kenpo has to offer at first glance.  I have fully integrated what I have learned in Shotokan with what I have been learning in Dragon Kenpo.  There have been multiple situations where when learning a new technique in Dragon Kenpo I have been able to see it as an application of Shotokan techniques that I have learned in the past.  In this sense, not only have I learned Kenpo in my training with WDK, I have learned more about other the other styles of martial arts in which I have experience.

            Coach Pfeiffer has been an integral part of what has made my training with WDK so enjoyable.  Unlike other groups that I have trained with, Coach Pfeiffer understands his students’ will to learn more than one medium of martial arts at a time.  He has supported my experimentation with other styles while training with WDK and even encouraged my integration of my WDK training with our previous knowledge of Shotokan.

            My WDK training experience has been great so far and I plan to continue to study with Coach Pfeiffer.  Not only does WDK offer a great training experience, the curriculum is easy to follow yet credible.  The distance learning videos are shot using instructors who do a good job in terms of describing the techniques at each level and displaying examples using a training partner.  Another important thing to note about WDK is the documentation of your progress as you train with WDK.  I learned the hard way that if there is no paper trail behind your training, your progress in that martial art is not very credible beyond the school in which you are studying.  WDK distance learning provides a great method of learning and practicing martial arts on your own time while still following a valid curriculum and making documentable progress.

World Dragon Kenpo and Me.
I would just like to say the WDK org has been great for myself and my club.
I have been involved with the Martial Arts for over 31 years now. As many, I started when I was little kid training in a basement - back yard school with my first instructor and then got involved with the traditional arts during High School. After High School I went into the Military joining the Army Reserves, and started working in Security for about 10 yrs. I discovered that what I learned as a teenager was not effective for use in the environments I was now in, some will call it reality some call it street, I myself just use the term real world application. Why do I use this term? Many people get involved with the Martial Arts for many reasons. Sport, Self Defense, Combat and not everyone has the same needs.
Anyway, getting to WDK. I have incorportated a variety of styles into my System from traditional Okinawin Karate, Ju-Jitsu, Stick Arts, Aikido principles, and of course Kenpo.
During the late 90s I started with the Dragon Kenpo series through Ed Hutchinson and only made it to Brown Belt.
Around 2002 I was browsing the internet and came across a very nice gentlemen name Ron P. We exchanged many phone conversations about Dragon Kenpo, and it basicly boiled down to was that I wanted to continue on with the program. At the time my club was close to shutting down, because of the building I was in had been sold. So training was slow. Around 2002 I relocated my club to my Rescue Squad, and started to work with the newly formed WDK which I think was really great. It allowed me access to all the training and made it so much easier for me to bring the WDK to my students.
How does the WDK effect me? I use the Dragon Kenpo as part of our Advanced Black Belt program. Students that reach First Dg Black Belt in our System are introduced to Dragon Kenpo, which helps them reach thier 5th Dg. Black Belt Rank. I feel that the WDK is a great program in that anyone who wants to train, past experience or new to the arts can benefit. It is a great way to learn and no one is able to not have access to the instructor. Ron has always been wonderful in keeping in touch be it e-mail or phone. He is prompt to take care of any issues that may arise. Once I had a billing issue, and after some research and e-mails with Ron, all was taken care of.
Dragon Kenpo principles can be carried over to, or from many styles and this is why I enjoy training in it. It has really helped me in developing my advanced program which is a blend of various styles.
I so far have only reached Instructor status (Red Belt). I am currently only working with young kids at my club now, and our student base is only a handful which is more geard to private instruction. I was working on my last rank within my System this last year, and am now looking to continue on in Dragaon Kenpo. I hope to attain my 2nd Dg. Black Belt soon.
Thanks Again to WDK.
                                        Videos are easy to follow!! 
I found WDK while searching the web. I was immediately excited about what the program had to offer. Then when I saw what the tuition was. I was hooked. The defense techniques and ideas are similar to the style I am currently working in. I was also impressed with the amount of information provided. The videos are very easy to follow which makes the techniques easier to learn and practice. I hope this will be the beginning of a long and beneficial relationship with Coach Ron and the WDK. He is also a very approachable person, which is very helpful with an online program. I am also getting my son involved. He seem real excited about the training also. We really share our love for the Martial Arts. This program will be another way for us to bond and enjoy spending time together.
Thanks again Coach Ron and the WDK family."

                            I was excited about the Marital Arts again!!
About fifteen months ago I discovered Dragon Kenpo and got excited about martial arts again. After reading what information I could find and asking questions through the discussions groups, I was very

interested to start learning this practical art. With limited time and money and no nearby instructors, I was very happy when Coach Ron Pfeiffer launched his World Dragon Kenpo online learning program. I signed up in March 2005 and have been working through the lessons since.

Currently I am a purple belt and very appreciative of all the hard work Coach Ron has put into making a student friendly Dragon Kenpo program available. Since Dragon Kenpo is a technique driven self-defense system, I decided to renew my study of Taijiquan as I thought the qigong elements and form practice would complement the Dragon Kenpo program nicely. So I have been working through Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming's book and DVD on the traditional Yang Pan-Hou long form. Honestly, I have even less free time now then when I stopped actively training a couple years ago, but I have learned that you have to make time when you can. I often work on Dragon Kenpo first thing in the morning, and do Qigong or Taijiquan during my lunch breaks. 

Dragon Kenpo epitomized what I think true martial arts are: simple, dynamic, effective, and adaptable. The system is based on sound logical principles, and has a limited number of techniques that are still robust enough to deal with a wide variety of self-defense situations. The World Dragon Kenpo distance learning program provides me a user-friendly way to study the Dragon Kenpo system at my own pace. But I would be a fool to think that logging on and watching a few video clips is going to make me an effective fighter. You have to practice what Coach teaches, and you have to work on your own core attributes like balance, power, speed and awareness. 

                                    Coach Pfeiffer responds quickly....

After nine months practicing in the World Dragon Kenpo program I would like to offer some of my experiences and observations of the program. I entered WDK at the age of 50 and having practiced another form of Kenpo in a local school for three years. Although I still practice in that system sometimes, the techniques and rigor of the program aggravate some ongoing challenges I have with a bad hip and swollen ankle. Those challenges have made the twists and stomping of that particular system of Kenpo difficult to keep up. The more I worked at the program, the more painful my hip and ankle became.

In one of my earliest conversations with Coach Pfeiffer, he shared with me his "no pain, no pain" philosophy. I have found the self defense techniques of WDK both challenging and at the same time much less stressful to those areas of injury. Let me detail some of my observations since enrolling in the program:

First, I really benefit from the combination of the training manual and the videos. By using them in tandem, I feel like I am able to get a good understanding of how the technique should be done. I am able to use the videos for details and the training manual as a quick reference in my workouts.

Second, the progress journal and charts at the end of each chapter in the manual are very helpful to keep me motivated. I just can't bring myself to go a week without marking that I have practiced the techniques. I like to mark a date for the beginning of each week so I don't skip a week in between practices.

Third, regular practices are essential. While WDK is not the only exercise I do, I like to center my exercise routines around WDK. I lift weights twice a week and do other cardio exercises on the other days of the week. I try to practice all self defense techniques at least three times a week. Also, I believe that the warm-up exercises are probably more important to overall ability in than even the SD techniques themselves. They build strength, improve cardio and develop power when the motions practiced in the warm-ups are incorporated into the techniques. The result for me has been and improvement in balance and core muscle strength since taking up WDK.

And then on a personal note, I have found Coach Pfeiffer to be a great joy to train with. Coach responds quickly to questions and is more than willing to give his time to make the program work for his students. It's been a great experience!

Thanks, Coach, for making this program available.