Lea Michael “Demps” Dempsey Sifu of the Wales Kempo Association visisted the Intercontinental Federation of Filipino Martial Arts Schools (IFFMAS) recently at the Bacolod YMCA, Burgos St., Bacolod City.
Dempsey, a handsome and mild mannered gentleman, traveled to the Philippines to meet his Filipina girlfriend, Mary Joy M. Depon, whom he had been communicating with thru the internet. He stayed in the City of Smiles for 3 weeks and experienced Filipino hospitality and culture.
Depon arranged for Dempsey Sifu to meet some of the Fouding Members of IFFMAS. Depon had previously studied Aikido under James U. Sy Jr. Sensei, Narciso “Hansy” L. Alojado Sensei, and Victorio “Vic” C. Perez Sensei of the USLS Aikido Club at the University of St. La Salle in the early 2000s
Dempsey Sifu met IFFMAS President Grandmaster Elmer V. Montoyo and his sons Masters Elmer “Don-Don” P. Montoyo and Ernest Christian “Chen-Chen” Montoyo, 5th and 4th Dan Black Belts respectively, of the Philippine Integrated Martial Arts Academy-Filipino Tang Soo Do Association (PIMAA-FTSDA), Inc. and Founders/Masters James U. Sy Jr. and Narciso “Hansy” L. Alojado of Conceptual Martial Arts Society (CMAS), Inc., both 4th Dan Black Belts.
The hosts gave Dempsey Sifu a glimpse of the Asian view of the Martial Arts. They explained the shared cultural, historical, linguistic, philosophical, anthropological, and combative basis of the Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Filipino, and other Asian Martial Arts. GM Montoyo explained and showed the application of the Filipino Tang Soo Do pain principle as applied to defensive maneuvers. Master Sy shared his synthesis of Lapu-Lapu Viñas Arnis, Aikido, and other Fighting Arts into a Conceptual Martial Arts System. Dempsey Sifu himself showed elements of his Kempo.
Kempo (Kenpo) is the Japanese reading of the kanji (Nihonggo “Chinese characters”) for “Fist Method.” The same Chinese ideographs are read as Chuan Fa and Kwonpup in Mandarin and Korean. Kempo is used as a generic term for a wide assortment styles of empty handed arts of defense and offense (some use weapons) that trace their origins from the famed Shaolin Temple of China or from its countless derivative arts.
Dempsey Sifu is graded 2nd Degree Black Belt (awarded 2006) and recognized as the Founder of White Wolf Kempo by the British National Martial Arts Association of H.D Williams Sensie (2003). He has a total of 13 years combined martial arts experience, having started training under D. Davies Sensie in 1995 at the Fernhill Karate Club. He earned his Nikyu (2nd Grade Brown Belt) before the club closed down in 1999.
Dempsey continued his studies under Howard Phillips Chungsi of White Tiger Kempo (Quanfa) in 1999. He was awarded his Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt) on April 10, 2001. He was active in the group, having joined the fundraisers for Cancer Research (August 10, 2001) and British Heart Foundsion (2002).
In 2002, Dempsey joined the Welsh Kempo Karate Assocition headed by Julie Williams Renshi, the Welsh Representative for Kempo International. He was awarded a Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt) on April 11, 2003. Williams Renshi a 3rd Dan Black Belt in Kempo Karate and Goshin Ryu Kempo and currently studies and teaches Dacayana Eskrima under Master Jun Dacayana, Jo Biggs, and Marcie Harding.
Dempsey took and passed the Black Belt Club (BBC) test in Scotland and undergone weapons training under Jorgen Jorgensen Kyoshi of Goshin-ryu Kempo Karate, President of Kempo International. He was graded Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt) on April 7, 2006 in Sweden.
Dempsey Sifu attended Merthyr College from 2000 to 2003, studying theatre, music, acting, dancing, and stage combat; Carmarthen University from 2003 to 2004, taking up acting, stage combat, and fight directing; and the British Academy of Dramatic Combat. During his time at school, he got Bronze in rapier and dagger, single sword, and unarmed combat (July 26, 2002), Silver in staff, sword and shield, and dagger (July 25, 2003), and Gold in stage Aikido and case of rapiers/two swords (July 22, 2004). His fight director and fight mentor was Kevin McCurdy.
Dempsey Sifu had taught self defence at the Carmarthen University (2003-2004) and to bouncers while working as a bouncer himself at the Carmarthen Town Centre (2004-2006). He was also employed as a part time bouncer and part time security guard at the Aberdare Town Centre (2006-2007). He had taught stage combat workshops in at the Carmarthen Theatre (March 12, 2004) and in England (August 22, 2004). He had passed a security and bouncer exam (June 6, 2004) and first aid exam (June 7, 2004).
“I’m thankful for the hospitality and the knowledge imparted to me by IFFMAS. When I return to the Philippines, I would like to have some more time with these wonderful teachers,” commented Dempsey Sifu.