Ever since the late 1950s and early 1960s, American soldiers, sailors, marines, and air force members have come back to the States after being stationed in the Far East. Many of these exceptional military personnel were trained in the Martial Arts and obtained a Black Belt. These soldiers were some of the first to bring the Martial Arts back to the United States. Once back in the States, the question was: Now what? Where do I train now? How do I continue this Art that so few have mastered, especially here in the United States?
Many of these gifted military personnel just gave it up and never continued. However, some of them trained in private–a few found a stateside instructor and most of the time this instructor was not of the same style. Some of these Black Belts went on and started teaching in YMCAs, Boys’ Clubs, high schools, colleges, local parks, and, yes, even in local bars at night after closing hours. After being discharged from the military many soldiers became police officers and taught their fellow officers. In the late 1950s and 1960s there were less than 100 studios in the United States, making it extremely difficult to train. No magazines, no television shows, no movies, and only a handful of self-defense books by Bruce Tegner.
Enter American Karate and American Kung-Fu.
This is almost an oxymoron, however, the truth is that because of the American ingenuity and the freedom of expression, over 75% of these Martial Artists started incorporating techniques from other styles and systems. This concept spread like wildfire. Although many claimed they were traditional to the style they were taught, this was not the truth.
Certain styles which did not have weapons had them incorporated. Styles without a back-fist or spinning techniques had them incorporated. Shotokan and Okinawan Karate became American Karate. Kenpo became American Kenpo. Shorin style Kung-Fun became American Kung-Fun. Yes, it took more than 40 years, but the fact-of-the-matter is that traditional Martial Arts are now American Martial Arts, and we are very proud of this.
AKKF CODE OF CONDUCT
The A.K.K.F. Code has 10 components. Their values will guide you and develop a warrior’s ethic in your training and your life. The components are: