Master Dave Hopper
Mr. Hopper began training in the martial arts in 1985 under the instruction of Mr. Russ Costello of Kanzen Gojuryu Karate, earning a 3rd degree brown belt before Mr. Costello transferred jobs.
In 1991, he began training in Tracy's Kenpo under Steve Finn at the Tracy's National Headquarters in Lexington, KY.
On September 16th, 1991, Mr. Hopper became a certified instructor of Tracy's Kenpo Karate and began teaching kenpo at the National Headquarters, becoming the studio manager in 1992.
On October 8th, 1993, he earned his Shodan (1st degree black belt) from Steve Finn.
On October 3, 1994, Tracy's Kenpo Karate of Shreveport, LA was opened. On February 1, 1995, Mr. Hopper became certified to teach Tai Chi.
On January 1, 2005, he was certified as a Master Instructor of Tracy's Kenpo Karate.
In June of 2007, Mr. Hopper was inducted as a Charter Member of the International Kenpo Hall of Fame.
In January 2012, he completed requirements for certification as a YogaFit Level 1 Instructor.
In June of 2013, he taught 2 seminars on Book Set at the 4th Gathering of Eagles.
In April 2014, Mr. Hopper completed the mandatory YogaFit Level 1 Retrainer, and in June 2014, completed the YogaFit Level 2 Teacher Training Course.
In August of 2015, Mr. Hopper attended the 5th Gathering of Eagles and presented seminars on Mitose's Japanese Yoga.
On August 8, 2015, Mr. Hopper was awarded Shichidan (7th degree black belt) from Grandmaster Al Tracy.
Mr. Hopper was trained in kenpo under Grandmaster Steve Finn, and has received training from Grandmasters Al Tracy, Roger Greene, Ted Sumner, James Stewart, Ray Arquilla, and Bart Vale.
I began studying Tracy's Kenpo in 1991 under GM Steve Finn at the Tracy's National Headquarters in Lexington, KY. GGM Al Tracy had an office in the studio and was there on almost a daily basis. Aside from the physical training of kenpo, I was around to listen to Mr. Tracy explain much of the history of the system that he was researching and putting together at that time.
In Mitose's books, he speaks of 4 sides of the physical self defense arts: the Wartime Arts of Punching and Kicking, Joint Locking and Striking, Push/Pull Arts, and Evasion Tactics. The self defense techniques of modern kenpo systems are based primarily on the Wartime Arts (as Mitose began teaching publicly in the U.S during WWII).
At the Last Man Standing, I will provide a conceptual framework that will allow participants to add the other aspects of Kosho Kenpo to their existing arsenal of techniques. I base this framework on Mitose's books, information from Elizabeth Chun and GM Ray Arquilla, both of whom studied directly from James Mitose, GM Ted Sumner who has researched this topic extensively, and my own research and practice.
I have been exposed to several different teaching models of this framework. The method that I will teach is based on the existing structure of the self defense techniques. According to GM Ted Sumner, "An understanding of this concept effectively triples one's knowledge of their respective system."