master ken

Master Ken and Todd Talk About What It Takes To Make Their Hit Web Series - And What's In Store!

As I pull into a parking spot in front of the worldwide ameri-do-te headquarters, a smile spreads across my face. The dojo door is locked, but that's OK because a banner sporting a familiar tiger tells me I'm in the right place. I snap a few pix for social media, then drive off to kill time until my appointment with Master Ken.

I return a little early and run into him and his sidekick Todd, who just drove up and are still stuffing burgers and fries into their faces. As I follow them inside, I'm accosted by the aroma of onions, which for some reason does not seem out of place.

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Check out the second half of our chat with the very real Matt Page and the very made-up Master Ken, founder of the deadly martial art of ameri-do-te.

Caution: You’re about to read comments from a real martial artist (Matt Page) interspersed with comments from a fictional character (Master Ken). To make it easier to distinguish the two, we’ve italicized the words of Master Ken. Go here to read Part 1. BLACK BELT: WHEN A PERSON TEACHES AN ART AS DEADLY AS AMERI-DO-TE, IS IT ESSENTIAL TO COUNSEL STUDENTS ON HOW NOT TO WIND UP IN JAIL? Master Ken: Absolutely. Some of the moves I’ve invented simply cannot be taught for liability reasons. For example, recently I created an inescapable hold where you trap your opponent’s arms and legs, then you sit on their head and release a lethal barrage of flatulence to suffocate them. It’s called the “gas chamber.” I can’t send civilians out in public with that kind of knowledge. It’s just too dangerous. Years ago I took an invaluable class called Introduction to Business Law at the Central New Mexico Community College, and my instructor, a one-legged veteran named Jim Hooker, gave me the most important piece of legal advice I’ve ever heard: “Dead men don’t sue.” And he was right. Because a year later, he died in a freak accident at a meat-processing plant and ended up being served as ground beef at three Albuquerque public schools. Nobody even noticed until some cheerleader bit into a sloppy Joe and broke her tooth on what turned out to be a piece of his catheter. But the point is he never pressed charges because he was deceased at the time of the accidental ingestion. BLACK BELT: WHERE DID THE CONCEPT FOR MASTER KEN AND ENTER THE DOJO COME FROM? Matt Page: In creating Master Ken, I was influenced by something I noticed: Some instructors, no matter how skilled or intelligent, tend to bad-mouth other styles. They see a move from some other martial art and say, “That’s not bad, but in our style, it’s better because we do it like this.” Each time something weird happened in any dojo, I would take a mental note and say, “Someday I’m gonna do something creative with all this.” Eventually, I found my way to New Mexico and went to College of Santa Fe, now Santa Fe University. Once I received my bachelor’s degree in moving-image arts, I saw that everyone was making their own Web series. At the time, I’d become obsessed with Ricky Gervais’ original version of The Office on the BBC, and I decided I wanted to try that but in a world I understood. So I chose martial arts.

The newest release from combatives authority Kelly McCann and Black Belt is titled Kelly McCann Combatives 2: Stick & Ground Combat. It’s a streaming-video course you can watch on your digital device. Click here to watch the trailer and then sign up.

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The comedic genius — and real-life martial artist — who lurks under the skin of Master Ken is Matt Page. This schizophrenic interview will introduce you to both of them.

If you haven't watched the wildly popular Enter the Dojo comedy series, do it now. Before you read this article. Go to YouTube and click. That's the only way you'll be able to put a face, a voice and a moustache behind the wacky words that come from the martial artist known as Master Ken. Caution: You're about to read comments from a real martial artist (Matt Page) interspersed with comments from a fictional character (Master Ken). To make it easier to distinguish the two, we've italicized the words of Master Ken. BLACK BELT: WHEN YOU'RE IN CHARACTER AS MASTER KEN, YOUR MOVES REMIND ME OF KENPO. DO YOU COME FROM A KENPO BACKGROUND? Matt Page: My first style was Okinawan kenpo and kobudo. I received my first-degree black belt from Rich Pelletier in 1996. He was an amazing instructor and instilled discipline and structure in my life when I really needed it. His school was very traditional and gave me a strong foundation not only in martial arts as a way of self-defense but also in martial arts as a way of life. After that I moved around a lot and sampled various arts: aikido, boxing, stick fighting, etc. Then I settled on American kenpo, studying under Tony and Erika Potter in Santa Fe at one of Jeff Speakman's kenpo 5.0 schools. I'd always wanted to learn the kind of kenpo I'd seen in movies like The Perfect Weapon, so that was great fun. More recently, I've been studying Brazilian jiu-jitsu. There are so many styles I'd like to study — hapkido, kung fu — but for some reason, I'm always drawn back to some form of kenpo.

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