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Carter Hargrave is a second generation Bruce Lee School instructor, meaning that he learned from a direct student of the famous martial arts Icon Bruce Lee and his co instructor James Lee.
This Bruce Lee instructor invited Carter to be trained in authentic Jeet Kune Do and become one of his instructors in the early nineties, and received induction into the Martial Arts Hall Of Fame as Jeet Kune Do Instructor Of The Year.
One of the most important things that Carter Hargrave accomplished in his career was to found a new martial arts style, today known as American Combat Kempo. This style is now recognized by many international organizations and its techniques have been used by the United States Marines.
American Combat Kempo was born because Hargrave felt that a combat self defense art is needed in order to meet people’s requirements in what concerns real world situations. It is a style that can be practiced at any age and even by people physically limited. Hargrave combined different styles to come up with this one that doesn’t resemble anything else in Kempo or Kenpo. He teaches his arts at the private school Hargrave Martial Arts in Tulsa.
Hargrave describes in a simple way the process that he followed in order to create his new system or fighting style. He takes a traditional technique or move and then removes all the unnecessary steps, changes the angles and curvature in order to convert it into something that can’t be anticipated by an attacker.
In this way our counter attack cannot be blocked or prevented from finding its target. The new straight lines and non chambering have a second effect in that delivers a high amount of energy that before his modifications was not present, or was at a much lesser degree.
He started with modifying some moves from Standard Kempo and Okinawan Karate and combined them with Kung Fu strikes. Then Carter Hargrave also included the best of Ju Jitsu and, in order for his art to be complete, he incorporated traditional okinawan weapons and modern weapons. The final purpose was to make the procedures effective for real world fighting scenarios.
Hargrave designed American Combat Kempo to be an art that meets real needs that real people have and not just a sporting art. Hargrave being an expert second generation Bruce Lee School student and now teacher, added his knowledge of Lee's supreme art into this Kenpo system making it even more street effective.
For years, Carter both trained in and taught Jeet Kune Do, Ju Jitsu, Kung Fu and Kempo Karate. The training was hard; the facility offered no air conditioning in the summer and no heat in the winter. The training was usually conducted outside in the blistering heat or bone numbing cold. He split his time between training and his personal life, caring for his two daughters during the day and traveling to train at night.
In 1992, the World Jeet Kune Do Federation was formed by Hargrave to bring both teachers and students together. This organization also promotes Bruce Lee’s teachings and philosophies. He founded a school known as Combat Martial Arts and founded this discipline of martial arts. American Combat Kempo techniques are now taught to the US Marines as a part of their training program and are recognized as a formal discipline throughout the globe. Hargrave is the grandmaster of this style as the founder, or Soke, of the discipline. He founded the World Kempo Association to spread his techniques across the world.
As an author, Carter has published three books to date: “Japanese Kempo Karate Entrance to Secrets Manual” as a guideline for more advanced training, “The Original Jeet Kune Do Training Manual,” a bestseller which promotes Bruce Lee’s discipline, and “Japanese Kempo Karate Manual” which outlines the techniques used in his own martial arts form.
Carter Hargrave currently holds seven black belts in the disciplines of Ju Jitsu, Tae Kwon Do, Kempo, Kung Fu, Eighth Degree Black Sash, Arnis Guro, and Goshin Jutsu, and is a member of the Soke Council of Grandmasters. For more history of influential Jeet Kune Do Teachers you can can research JKD History.