It’s ironic that I was awarded Karate Black Belt of the Year by the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame when just hours earlier I’d traded in my black belt for a white belt in Ameri-Do-Te.
Let me explain.
I love to laugh, and I love the martial arts.
So imagine how stoked I was to learn that Master Ken would be doing a presentation at the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame.
Master Ken is a character played by Matt Page on his YouTube show, Enter the Dojo (note: It might be considered PG-13 for mostly language).
The style of the show is perhaps best described as “The Office” meets “Karate Kid”. The show centers around an egocentric martial arts instructor named Master Ken, who teaches his own homemade brand of fighting called “Ameri-Do-Te” to a band of misfit civilians.
For nearly half an hour, Master Ken entertained the crowd of several hundred and provided evidence to support his claim that his martial art truly is “the best of all, worst of none.”
He dissected various martial arts, pointing out their supposed inefficiencies and calling them irrelevant and outdated.
“Krav maga? What a joke. They don’t even use the belt system. They give each other patches like a bunch of Girl Scouts.”
Then he turned his attention to roasting various martial artists in the crowd.
Master Ken confused Ed Parker, the father of American kenpo, with Eddy Parker, the kung fu stylist out of Peoria, before immediately turning to tai chi chuan instructor Steve Aldus.
“Tai chi is the only martial art to be officially sponsored by the AARP,” he ribbed.
Finally, Master Ken brought up some volunteers to demonstrate various Ameri-Do-Te techniques, which I’ve not included in the video.
Master Ken mentioned that his program was offering a black belt exchange, in which all the scores of black belts in the room could give up their belts for an Ameri-Do-Te white belt.
After this segment, I took Master Ken up on his offer.
“Sorry, sir,” I said. “I don’t have my black belt with me because it’s in my room.”
“That’s fine,” he replied. “Just promise to burn it later.”
What a fun gimmick. I would have loved to have chatted with Matt Page about the character and the show because I appreciate his DIY approach.
I guess if you’re an 11th-degree black belt, though, you only have so much time to give.