Self-defense classes offered at Gold’s Gym

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Chief instructor David Fincher teaches Chinese Kenpo School of Self-Defense classes three times a week at Gold’s Gym in Rainbow City. 

Smaller class settings allow Fincher to spend more time with each student, giving him the opportunity to fine-tune his students’ movements. Classes are open to the community for ages 18 and up.

Fincher allows prospective students to attend several classes before joining, giving them the opportunity to see the system and movements in the class setting. Prospective students may participate and get a feel for the training. Classes currently are held Wednesday and Friday evenings, with advanced students also meeting on weekends.

In Kenpo, the martial arts of Karate, Kung Fu, and Wing Chun are combined into one integrated system known as Chinese Kenpo, a self-defense system of martial arts characterized by the use of quick moves in rapid-fire succession intended to overwhelm an opponent. Kenpo literally means “Law of Fist.” It emphasizes what we call ASP – like a deadly snake: Accuracy, Speed and Power.

“Those who practice the art of Chinese Kenpo are Kung Fu stylists,” said Fincher. “In my school, I teach 55 street techniques that can blend and borrow up to three or four hundred movements for self defense. This is done by muscle memorization. We teach that thousands of repetitions are the secret of martial arts. I also teach Kenpo stick fighting, gun retention, disarmament of guns and situation awareness.

“The belt system of Karate is Americanized with colored belts. In China, the monks all started with white belts. They washed the Gi (uniform) but never the belt. They wore the belts until they faded with age and were blackened with soil, thus the Black Belt. I emphasize experience (years) of practice ra-ther than the belt.”

Fincher began practicing Karate in 1982 in at the Sport Karate of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where he trained in the IshinRyu style under Jon Lee and David White. This style emphasized speed and the half-torque inverted fist. While studying in the IshinRyu style, Fincher met and trained with some of the fastest and most skilled sport fighters, such as Morris (Magic) Pollen. 

In 1996, Fincher met Dr. James Taylor, a former U.S. Marine office, who holds three or four Black Belts in different styles. 

Fincher began training under Vic Laroux and Chuck Sullivan, who is the 4th Black Belt in the U.S. trained under the late Ed Parker. The style is Chinese and the system is Kenpo, a brutal self-defense.

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