Dennis Conatser studied Judo in 1967 for a short period of
time but his formal martial arts training (American Kenpo) began in August 1971,
under the direction of Mr. Lonny Coots in Tempe, Arizona. He remained with Mr.
Coots (started his studio in June 1974) until he achieved his 1st Degree Black
on February 14th, 1976. Mr. Coots then directed Mr. Conatser to study with Mr.
Gary L. Swan, President of the National Chinese Kenpo Karate Association (NCKKA)
in San Antonio, Texas. After a brief period of time (a little over 1 year), Mr.
Conatser elected to study with Mr. Steve LaBounty, then Senior Advisor to the
NCKKA and past resident and Founder. This relationship lasted only a short
period of time, at which the opportunity arose to study directly
Founder of American Kenpo and Mr. LaBounty's
instructor, Mr. Edmund K. Parker in mid 1979. Mr. Conatser then began studies
and became one of the very few Kenpo instructors of the past decade that studied
directly with Mr. Parker, even staying at his house as a guest. This
relationship continued until Mr. Parker's untimely passing in December 1990.
Conatser continues to be active in teaching, researching, developing, and
exploring all aspects of American Kenpo. While studying the Art of Kenpo, Mr.
Conatser has had vast experience in many areas, to name a few: Competition,
Promoting Events, Teaching, Writing, Traveling all around the
United States, England, & Australia with Mr. Parker and
interacting with several other notable Black Belts such as Steve LaBounty, Tom
Kelly, Frank Trejo, Bob White, Skip Hancock, John Sepulveda, Diane Tanaka, Lee
Wedlake, Huk Planas, Craig McCoy, Joe Palanzo, Jeff Speakman, Larry
Tatum, Paul Mills, Gary Swan, Ralph Castellanos, Gil Hibben,
Bryan Hawkins, Bob Liles, Mike Pick, Ron Chapel, Harvey Clarey, Tom Riskas, Tom
Connor Sr. & Jr., Steve "Nasty" Anderson, Ray Sua, Byong Yu, Joe Lewis, Mike
Stone, Chuck Norris, Bill Wallace, John Natividad, Pat Johnson, Steve Sanders,
Al Decascos, Eric Lee, Anthony Chan, Cynthia Rothrock, James Lew, Y.C.Wong,
Paulie Zink, Ark Wong, Ted Tabura, Benny Urquidez, Brendan Lai, Wally Jay,
Robert Trias, Tom Schlessinger, Robert Haliberton, Roy Kurban, George Chung,
Roberta Trias Kelly and many, many others.
Mr. Conatser has also trained many International and State
Champions proving his technique teaching methods are valid to
anyone that will
devote time and effort into learning and practicing the challenging and awesome
art of American Kenpo. Having placed at the prestigious Long Beach
Internationals several times himself as well as being a 5 time Arizona State
Champion in Forms, Breaking, and Sparring. Mr. Conatser has produced two of the
States finest Karate Tournaments: The Arizona State Open Karate Championships
and the Fiesta Bowl Karate Classic (now Fiesta Karate Classic). Mr.Conatser now
devotes much of his time to the International Kenpo Karate Organization, which
he founded in 1991. Like his teachers he is currently engaged in several
projects, and is currently writing several books on American Kenpo and his
experiences. "To keep American Kenpo alive and expanding is now my journey and
"He" would have wanted it that way"