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Bowley Kenpo Karate » 3 Questions » 3 Questions with Rick Queary

3 Questions with Rick Queary

[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: Rick Queary
Practices martial arts at: Texas Kenpo Karate
Location of the school: Grand Prairie, TX

How did you get into martial arts? –
I was tricked into it by my pastor.  Actually, I was always interested in it, and my instructor (my pastor) has always offered to let me train with him. 

Mr. Rick Queary working (receiving) with his instructor, Mr. Jenkins.

Mr. Rick Queary working (receiving) with his instructor, Mr. Jenkins.

I’m 46 and way out of shape.  I still had no intention to start Kenpo as I had been turning him down for 15 years.  That was until my son decided to start taking Kenpo. 

My pastor called the next day to tell me how good he did and said (again), “you ought to come and work out with us.”  I hate pain and tried to use that as my excuse.  He told me I could just stay in the back and watch.  I finally gave in and went.  I only got to stay in the back for about 20 minutes before he pulled me up and had me trying a couple techniques. 

I had a good time, but felt my obligation was completed.  On the way home he called me and said he was thinking about what he’d have me working on next week.  I haven’t missed since, except for classes that were cancelled or if I had a schedule conflict.  It’s become one of the highlights of my week.

Now I’ve been doing this for a year (November 11th will be my one year Kenpo-anniversary).  And my son?  He’s already gotten bored with it and quit.

What is your first martial arts experience like or first memory? –
My actual first experience was having my pastor try to explain Kenpo to a visiting missionary about six or seven years ago. 

I happened to be walking by them and he asked if he could “borrow” me for a moment.  Then he was using me to dummy for him while he explained how Kenpo uses your opponent’s actions and reactions against them.  There was a hit to my groin, face (several times), stomach, neck, and kick to the legs.  All with great control, but enough to move me.

I woke up in the hospital four days later and it only took three weeks to regain full use of my right leg.  Just kidding.  🙂

Tell your favorite karate story –
I think my favorite story for me personally is my yellow belt test (just got it this past July).

There were several of us testing that night. I was the only one going for a yellow belt.  My instructor, Mr. Jenkins, did a mixture of testing between everyone.  He’d have some do a few forms and then another had their sayings.  From what I understand he normally doesn’t do it that way, but he did that night. 

When it came time to do my forms he had one of my fellow students as my dummy.  The guy, nice as can be, has this phobia about being hit and has a tendency to back away from you while you’re doing the technique.  He made me work extra hard because I had to chase him before I could do the technique. 

My instructor saw this and asked for a different volunteer.  Out comes this kid who weighs a 1/4 of my weight.  I was throwing him all over the dojo without even trying.  It was pretty comical to watch.

Finally I had to fight one of our brown belts.  He was actually an MMA fighter at one time, so I know he could kill me at any moment.  But he let me work … and work … and work until I was fully winded.  I got in a few combinations and was able to block some of his punches and kicks.  My proudest moment of the sparring was when I landed a side kick to his ribs.  I’m not sure who was more surprised … him or me.

I’ve such a very long way to go, but I’m having a lot of fun learning.  I only wish I had started this 15 years ago when I had a lot more energy and didn’t feel so old on the days after class.

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  • Alex Hatcher

    I’ve been studying Karate for almost a year and I’m 43 and still out of shape, but getting better.

    I need to start blogging about my experiences, and your post is going to help motivate me to write.

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