Paul Mills
Part 2

Mr. Mills has also started to redefine the empty hand side of the system as well. He has developed new curriculum based on his personal experiences in his nightclub, as well as some of what he was taught by Mr. Parker. He was taught how to move differently than how things were written in the belt manuals. In addition, this first hand knowledge helped him formulate the greater majority of the updates to the American Kenpo system. 

Millsdoubleknives.gif (41823 bytes)He has followed his instructor's example by developing and putting back into the system more than what was just taught to him. Mr. Mills studied the American Kenpo system from inside out, developing a complete and effective club and knife system based on universally true and correct concepts and principles. In this process of developing and expanding these American Kenpo systems, he had to term new concepts and principles that he identified that were not part of the vocabulary of traditional American Kenpoists. What has been developed in the AKKI incorporates some of the additions that Mr. Parker was making prior to his death. Mr. Mills has carried on the innovation process to develop the greater majority of what is taught in the association today.

Mr. Mills has also studied out knife designs, uses, and materials for over the last fifteen years in an effort to better understand the weapon and how to make it better fit his needs. He has discussed with several of the worlds top knife makers and designers his ideas and got their feedback. This was done to ensure his designs were up to date and some of the most progressive knives out on the market. Some of these designers have even incorporated his ideas into their knives. His knives follow his philosophy of "Structure Governs Function" and his weapons systems are predicated on "The 3-S Concept -- Speed, Surprise, Simplicity".

millsandbanner.jpg (56440 bytes) In 1997 after much consideration Mr. Mills struggled with the decision to leave the I.K.K.A.  Mr. Mills wanted to innovate and develop the art further as well as pursue other interests. He intended to just keep teaching American Kenpo to handful of his students. After the tremendous response from his students and others seeking him out as their instructor, a large group of people requested that Mr. Mills form his own association. In September of 1997, the American Kenpo Karate International association was officially formed. Today he is the President of the AKKI and is a 10th degree black belt. There are now over 200 schools and clubs affiliated with his association.

Mr. Mills misses his instructor and speaks highly, and often, about him in his classes, seminars, e-mails and phone conversations. Anyone who has been around him in the last twenty years knows the respect, admiration and loyalty he has for his instructor. So much so that he has tried to carry on his instructors work. Mr. Mills has made many great contributions to the art with the many principles, techniques, forms, sets, drills, freestyle as well as manuals and journals that he has developed for the members of the AKKI.

Written by Ryan Wheaton

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