What is it?
The KenpoNet was an idea conceived on the abundance of information that the Internet contains. You can check a hundred sites and see a little here and a little there, all very hard to organize and all very hard to remember where you saw it. Here we hope to create an active archive of information for all Kenpoists. We offer an archive called the Flame, the most popular discussion forum on the Internet which is visited by thousands weekly, a store for your Kenpo needs, and an international studio directory. In addition, if we don't have it, we probably have links that will lead you to what you are after.
We offer you the freedom to look at information from all people. The forum is international, giving you the ability to chat with martial artists from Australia, Ireland, Netherlands, as well as all over the United States. There is a mailing list you can join. There is also a guestbook you can sign in at. Please do. Let us know you were here.
The KenpoNet itself is maintained by one individual, Joshua Meredith. It is also overseen by Universal Kenpo Karate Dojos' President, Clint Hughes. The site is on numerous links pages, in search engines, and really just about anywhere.
Who is this guy?
Me? Joshua Meredith? I guess I am just as passionate about Kenpo as every other person that visits the site. I also have a knack for making web pages, so the two fit together rather easily.
Personal stuff now. I grew up in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area and still reside just south of the city near the Amana Colonies. I also am currently (4-21-01) a 2nd Degree Brown Belt. (Just proves to you all that a Black Belt doesn't mean the world. I have done so much and I don't even share the honor of wearing a black belt yet. Of course, that is probably due to the fact that my instructor is six hours away.)
I began my web creating adventures for the Buena Vista University Kenpo Karate Club. I was a yellow belt and the university had just agreed to make us a club so we could get university funds for doing what we loved. I had been working on the page for a month or so, but when the club officially became a club, I made the page available for the world. I did build this site up, attracting numerous visitors to trade links, won over a dozen awards, and I kept going, adding more and more to the site.
The forum came about during my senior year at BVU. I was beginning to develop the Universal Kenpo Karate Dojos website and attracting visitors to this site. During my last Spring Break, I was student teaching and didn't get to go on break when everyone else did. I had to stay on campus and follow the schedule of the school I was teaching at. I sat in front of a computer one night just surfing the Internet for any good awards to submit to or any good ideas and then I came upon the Discussion Forum. I created it and posted a few introductory posts about feeling free to ask and answer questions. It took off about a month later after some weblinks had been created and some email sent to fellow webmasters. At first, there was a dozen or so of us regulars and a few others who arrived and left as they felt. From the beginning, we were chatting with Dan Farmer, Gou Ronin, and Dennis Conatser. The forum has moved twice since its inception and doesn't look to be slowing down any. Right now (4-21-01) were are averaging over 450 hits day, and many people just read the site. In other words, the forum started due to a little boredom.
The KenpoNet came later. I was antsy and really only doing short-term updates to the UKKD websites. I had graduated and moved on with my life after college. Now I was employed and working, and recovering from a sudden surgery. Again, I guess I was bored. I began thinking. The Universal Kenpo Karate Dojos Website is a bit long and not all that glamorous. No one wants to visit a school's website. They want to visit a Kenpo website. And kenpo.com was taken as well as a few other choice domain names. My third choice was actually KenpoNet.com. I wanted to create a Kenpo Network, a place where all Kenpo was attached, somehow. A place of resources for all. So I started building around the forum and UKKD website as those already had a following of visitors. I let that sit for a short bit and stew, prompting people to submit articles to the site. I got a couple, that's about it. I then created the Flame, an archive that is constantly growing, and a resource of written material on Kenpo, the martial arts, etc. I immediately created a section for techniques, teaching, and forms. Since then I have added a section of a Black Belt Magazine search, the creeds, additional articles, and a glossary of general terms. And I plan to add much more. I am working on a Who's Who, a history of Kenpo, and much much much more. A third thing I added to the list of items on the KenpoNet was the mall. Of course, people don't just want to log into the computer and stare at text. They want to be able to walk to the lake and read or sit on the couch at home and watch Kenpo. The KenpoNet Mall gave ability for people to see what is available on Kenpo: Huk Planas' tapes, Martin Wheeler's tapes, Lee Wedlake's book, etc. Also added some novelty patches, jewelry, and other items like gear and flags. The last item to be added to the KenpoNet was the StudioNet, a project I worked on throughout the cold winter months. The basis: the KenpoNet should not just be for experienced Kenpoists looking for a place to buddy-buddy and network. It should also be a place of interest for the new generations of students. The StudioNet features a list of schools from around the world, divided into sections of states, provinces, and countries. And of course, if you want to be listed, just let us know.
In addition to all that, I also have links for you, hundreds of them scoured from all sources and given to me through mail, email, conversations, etc. I also have a mailing list anyone can join. I have a guestbook you can sign. I have a webring you can link to in order to travel to Kenpo sites that may not normally be visited.
That, my Kenpo brothers and sisters, is the KenpoNet, a network for all Kenpoists to use and visit. It is not even a year old. And the best is yet to come.
Joshua J. Meredith