John "Jack" Bartsch
Jack Bartsch began his martial arts career, in the Air Force in 1967, as a student of Shotokan Karate under the instruction of Staff Sergeant Robert B. Lindsely, Sho Dan, at Maxwell AFB, Montgomery. After a year, Ssgt Lindsley gave him a purple belt, but because he was only a Sho Dan, could not promote him officially. In those days, belts were white, purple, brown and black.
Mr. Bartsch was assigned as a medic to the Air Commando forces in SEA. After two tours in SEA, Mr. Bartsch was assigned to Misawa, AB Japan where he continuted his studies. Officially promoted to ik-kyu before he left for the states. At Sheppard AFB, he found his "old" instructor, now Master Sergeant Lindsley. They continued to train...but "Bob" said it was time to find another instructor because he had nothing further to teach him.
A New Road....
Mr. Bartsch found the "Joe Lewis" Karate school in downtown Wichita Falls, Tx. (under the Tracy's banner.) Owned by Dave Roberts, a fellow military man. He met with David Willliams who signed him up. He took instruction from Dave Willliams, Dennis Laycock, Billy Noah, Craig Rhyne and Mike Browning.
Mr. Bartsch was promoted to Sho Dan (1st Dan) in International TKD (Chun Do Kwon) and Sho Dan in Shotokan Karate.
In 1975 the school took the Tracy's name, John Fite took over day to day operations. Mr. Bartsch was promoted to ik-kyu (1st degree Brown Belt) in Kenpo.
After John Fite left, to open his own school, Mr. Bartsch was asked to take over weekend duties, Mr. Rhyne returned and assumed weekday duties. The school was open 7 days a week. Mr. Bartsch taught all the weekend private lessons and group class. In 1977, He was asked to go to headquarters, then in Belleview, Washington, to gather more Kenpo from then, Master Al Tracy. Mr. Bartsch brought home many techniques, and advanced Kata. In those days only 8mm film was around. He taught his senior students the techniques, and divided Kata among them so that would not be lost. All were responsible to teach one another. In 1978, the physical school moved to Kemp Blvd. Mr. Bartsch, as a Sho Dan, was the head instuctor. He opened a "Kenpo club" in Graham, Texas and commuted there twice a week. But because of his military committement, he could not assume the day to day running of the school, had to resign and Craig Rhyne, once again, came back to run the operation. In the spring of 1979, the school was sold to Mr. Rhyne. In the fall of 1979, Mr. Bartsch resigned to open his own school. Mr. Bartsch affialiated with the IKKA and SGM Parker came and put on a seminar where many TKD and JKA students attended.
In 1980, Mr. Bartsch was promoted to 2nd Black Belt by SGM Parker. Leaving Texas after almost 9 years, Mr. Bartsch accepted a commission in the Air Force and was transfered to Virginia. He opened a school there, the only Kenpo school in that state. In 1982, while assigned to a Nevada test site, Mr. Bartsch had a school on the test site.
In 1986, Mr. Bartsch was assigned to Eglin AFB, Florida. Mr. Bartsch held classes for military students who were displaced from their classes at both Eglin AFB and Hurlbert Field.
In 1991, Mr. Bartsch was promoted to 3rd Dan by Dave Roberts, with the blessing of GM Al Tracy. In 1999, Mr Bartsch was promoted by Master Steve Spry, IKKI founder, to 5th Degree Black Belt.
After more then 33 yrs in the Kenpo System, 39 yrs in the arts, Mr. Bartsch was promoted, directly my SGM Alva A. Tracy as a Roku Dan, 6th Degree Black Belt on Dec. 23, 2006. In April of 2007, he was promoted to 7th Degree Black Belt.