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Bowley Kenpo Karate » 3 Questions » 3 Questions with John Guzman

3 Questions with John Guzman

[Editor’s Note – 3 Questions is a continuing interview series of martial artists who have become friends to Bowley Kenpo Karate either in real life or online. If you would be interested in participating in 3 Questions, please drop us a line. ] 

Name: John Guzman
Practices martial arts at:Brian Duffy’s Kenpo Karate
Location of the school: Austin, TX

Mr. Guzman at Disciple Martial Arts Fellowship Camp April 2011

Mr. Guzman at Disciple Martial Arts Fellowship Camp April 2011

How did you get into martial arts? –
I remember, as a kid, I was always the smallest. I was 9yrs old when my father enrolled me to learn self-defense.
My late Uncle (Jesse Renteria Nunez) was a Kenpo Black Belt at the time.  He told my father not to bother with comparing schools. Just  find a Kenpo school and that’s all we would need. So, in 1984, I joined Kenpo Karate of South Austin. Head Instructor- Brian Duffy.

What is your first martial arts experience like or first memory? –
In 1986, I got the chance to experience my first karate tournament.
Saturday, June 7, 1986. The 8th ANNUAL NATIONAL KENPO OPEN. (I still have the event flyer)
My very first sparring competition and I was already fighting for 1st place. Very exciting! At least until I made her cry. Yes, I said “her”.
I was always told not to hit a girl, but this was different. This was my 1st place trophy!
Long story short, I kicked her in the stomach, and she fell down crying. I was told to turn and kneel down until her recovery. So I did.
For the rest of that fight, I was very hesitant to throw any strikes. I just couldn’t bring myself to hit her again. And so, she ended up taking my 1st place trophy.

Tell your favorite karate story –
It was December 9th, 1989.
My very first, and my only meeting with the late, great Edmund K. Parker.
This was also the day I received my 3rd Degree Brown Belt. Along with Mrs. Mary Rodriguez, and the Cervantes sisters (Jennifer and Michelle).
I cant really say that I actually got the chance to speak with him, because I really can’t remember much more than the awesomeness of having been ranked in his presence.
I can still get that same unexplainable feeling of standing before greatness, only now, it comes to me every night that I get to train with my Sifu, Brian Duffy.
Every time I step on the mat with Sifu Duffy, my mind gets taken back to the first times of stepping on the mat with him. I feel like a kid again.
All the information he filled my head with at 9 years of age is no different than the information that he gives to us during every class.
If being in Kenpo is what makes me feel so young, then forever young I will stay.

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