Further Insights into Kenpo was what I intended Kenpo Karate 101 to be. Originally, Unique Publications (now defunct) said they would publish it but it would not come out for about three years. So I took the manuscript back and didn’t do anything with it. If I had, my first book would have been out in the 80’s instead of 2000. Then I sat down one day with the intent to collect all my work and began to write. What came out was totally different than what I intended. The original draft was done in six weeks. The re-writes took a few months. The book came together smoothly and has since sold thousands of copies. The title refers to how we label our entry level college courses here in the United States, such as History 101, etc. I plan to update parts of it in 2015 when The Kenpo Karate Compendium comes out. Kenpo history is constantly changing (what history does not?).
Further Insights into Kenpo was to be the first book but became the second. The title was actually an idea given me by Ed Parker Jr. As I went through my articles I realized how much I had learned in the passing years about Kenpo itself and how other arts related to it. Therefore, I added the notes to the original works, which, some say, are just as, or even more, interesting than the original material. What I think is funny about that book is that it is what people urged me to do for years, saying they wanted a collection of all my articles. It was somewhat difficult to get hold of all the stuff I’d published. So I did that and it sold more slowly than the other two books! (I’ve had people tell me that the chapter on How to Set Up a Seminar was worth the price of the book alone.) It’s out of print now.
Kenpo Karate 201′s numbering refers to advancing knowledge a level, so it cover basic forms only. It took the longest of the books to produce, with lots of technical problems which delayed it by almost 6 months from its original intended publication date.
In October 2000 I approached my then teacher, Huk Planas, about working on Kenpo Karate 201 with me. He agreed when I told him I thought it should be an adjunct to his videotape series. The idea was that using a book to describe motion is not as effective as using a videotape. However, one cannot carry a VCR around, so the book makes sense for storing information not included in the tapes. Huk read the manuscript, keeping it for about six months. We then briefly went over it together, correcting, adding, and deleting information. He approved the final draft. I wrote it, he spent little time with me at the kitchen table adding his ideas, and I published it. That’s why it says Lee Wedlake WITH Huk Planas on the cover instead of AND. The first edition has his picture on the cover. Subsequent printings have a crest instead. I put his picture on the cover with his permission to give credit where credit is due. He taught me a lot.
If you have all the books, you’ll notice that when you put them on the shelf side-by-side that they look like black belts with the black belt degree stripes on the spines. Ed Parker Jr has done a fantastic job with the cover artwork on all of them.
Thousands of copies have been purchased by Kenpo people all over. The series goes up to Form Six and another book with titled of Lessons with Ed Parker is my last book. In 2015 my next book, The Kenpo Karate Compendium, will be published by Blue Snake Books. It includes updates of chapters from Kenpo Karate 101, and a re-sequencing of information from the other forms books. New chapters are added on sets and Forms 7 and 8. Some astute readers caught some typographical errors and some transposed directions in the books. Those mistakes are corrected in the Compendium and can also be found elsewhere in this site on the errata page.
The Kenpo Karate Compendium came out on schedule. The release was January 13, 2015 with the e-book and the paperback followed almost immediately. The response has been good and it’s been purchased by many across the US and other countries. It is available thru Amazon.
Lee Wedlake’s Kenpo Companion was published in 2022 in soft-cover and e-book, available on Amazon.
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