1. Who is the dojo’s founder and what prompted him/her to build the school? Is there any rich history behind its making?
The Dojo’s Founder is Dr. John La Tourette who moved to Colorado Springs from Boise,
2. What forms of martial arts do you teach in your school? Can you please share with us the history behind them?
We teach Ed Parker’s American Kenpo Karate. Ed Parker is known as the founder of American Karate and opened the first commercial Karate School in the continental United States in 1954. American Kenpo Karate is a system of practical Self-Defense based on logic and common sense. The student learns to defend oneself while developing conditioning, physical coordination, and mental concentration. Kenpo employs a wide variety of strikes, blocks, kicks, punches, locks, chokes, and throws to subdue an attacker.
3. What are the principles and concepts that you uphold and try to instill in your students?
We teach the old school Martial Arts values such as respect, determination, discipline, honor and integrity. We are not a black belt factory! Each student must earn his or her rank through hard work, discipline and rigorous testing. All techniques are done live, on bodies, with realistic contact. Sparring is part of the curriculum, and as such is required on testing day as well. I believe that contact fixes most problems, so all techniques are done on bodies, not on the air. I believe competition is also good for the student and I compete both nationally and internationally. Competition allows the student to test themselves against martial artists of other styles from different schools.
4. Why do you think it is important for people to learn martial arts?
I think it is important for everyone to study some type of martial art. There are so many different types of styles, and one should be able to find something that suits his/her goals. Some people want to learn how to defend themselves, some for sport or exercise or relaxation. Any reason to study a martial art is a good reason!
5. What difficulties and obstacles have you encountered so far with regards to teaching martial arts and how did you overcome them?
The main difficulty I have found to be that most Americans want instant gratification. There is no substitute for repetition to build muscle memory. The only way to become proficient at anything is to do it over and over. I have found that if you find a way to disguise this repetition, then your students are less likely to get bored doing “the same old thing”.
6. What advice and/or insights can you share with our readers who want to pursue their interest in the Japanese form of martial arts?
If you are interested in pursuing your interest in the study of martial arts, I applaud you! The best advice I can give you is to check out as many schools in your area as possible. Most people won’t drive more than 5 minutes to a karate school; expand that to include schools that are farther, but could be better for you. The style is less important than the instructor; watch a few classes to see if you like the style of teaching and what is being taught. If a school won’t allow you to watch, what are they hiding?
7. Can you give a short biography of your instructor(s)?
Head Instructor David Coppock began training in Kenpo in 1981 and received his First Degree Black Belt in 1985 under Dr. John LaTourette. Mr. Coppock since then has received his 2nd, 3rd 4th and 5th Degree Black Belts in Kenpo under Master John Sepulveda. He also gained considerable experience in tactical security and executive protection when he worked for Vance International. He has trained in corporate security, surveillance, threat assessment, riot control, armed and unarmed combat, tactical response force, and diplomatic security and has experience in those fields from the violent coal mine strikes of West Virginia and Kentucky to diplomatic protection details in the finest five
Martial Arts Experience (1982 to Present)
- Senior member of Board of Directors Colorado Karate Association
- Owner/Head Instructor American Kenpo Karate School – Colorado Springs 1996 -
- Tournament Promoter Summer Festival Karate Championships 2001 – 2009
- Began Training in Kenpo Karate in 1981, received First Degree Black Belt in 1985 under Dr. John LaTourette.
- Promoted to 2nd Black in 1995 by Master John Sepulveda
- Promoted to 3rd Black in 1997 by Master John Sepulveda
- Promoted to 4th Black in 2000 by Master John Sepulveda
- Promoted to 5th Black in 2004 by Master John Sepulveda
Competition Background (1983 to Present)
Mr. Coppock is well known on the karate tournament circuit, both locally and nationally. He is a 27 time Colorado State Champion in Sparring and Forms, and currently the National Black Belt League World Champion in Sparring.
- NBL Sparring World Champion
- Member of Team Acura National Karate Team, NBL Competitor
- Golden Gate Nationals Sparring and Forms Champion
- Pacific Jewel Nationals Sparring and Forms Champion
- Kumite Classic Sparring and Forms Champion
- Boston IKC Sparring Champion
- Beach Battle Sparring and Forms Champion
- Houston Nationals. Sparing and Forms Champion
- Mexican Open Sparring and Forms Champion
- El Paso Nationals Sparring and Forms Champion
- Salt City Nationals Sparring and Forms Champion
- 2008 U.S. Open Sparring Champion
- Toronto Nationals Sparring and Forms Champion
- Guatemala Grand Jaguar Sparring and Forms Champion
- USA World Championships Sparring Champion
- 1998 CKA Official of the year