7th Degree Black Belt
Senior Professor of the Arts
Founder of Practical Protection Concepts
(1960-2014) Lee A. W. Sprague was a notable member of Team Elite, a select group of advanced black belts under Bill Packer. During and after the formation of The American Institute of Kenpo, Mr Sprague provided guidance and direction accumulated from an exceptional lifetime of experience.
Those that met Mr. Sprague know that he was a consummate warrior; his technical abilities, tactics, and combat mindset were unmatched in his field. What stands far above the rest however, was Mr. Sprague’s unique ability to bring out the very best in his students. He had a way of leaving his presence with his students long after their lessons were over. This was who he was, and long before he even knew what the code of Bushido was, it was a part of him. Once he learned of the code of Bushido, he found that it fit his belief structure fully, and thus used it to convey his beliefs to countless students, friends, and families. His goal: to show them how to live life sincerely and righteously.
Mr. Sprague's first encounter with the concept of Bushido took place in a department store. While shopping, he found a shirt that caught his eye. Upon inspecting the shirt, he noticed it had a tag with a strange symbol on it - the symbol of Bushido. He was enamored with what he saw, and felt a calling to the words on the symbol instantly. Despite this, he did not fully understand each word of the symbol, and needed his good friend to explain to him the meaning of 'discernment'. He discovered that this symbol was actually a code, the code for an ancient set of morals utilized by the venerable Samurai. From that point on, Mr. Sprague dedicated himself to learning and following the code of Bushido. Indeed, the code became such an integral part of his life, and his persona, that after hearing this story, many who met him were shocked to hear he was not born knowing it.
Mr. Sprague's journey is one that impacted many. Throughout his lifetime he has had many accomplishments: being in the military, being a lead bouncer, to having a Kenpo school for a time when he lived in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Mr. Sprague spent some time as Bill Packers right hand man pulling classes and teaching countless students and contact fighters at the American Kenpo Karate Association’s (AKKA) flag ship school located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The American Institute of Kenpo is forever grateful to Mr. Sprague for his teachings which has had significant effect on the philosophy we teach. As a tribute to him the “L.A.W.S (Lee Allen Walton Sprague) of the Scholar and Warrior”, the system AIK uses to teach about and convey traditional value and bushido based character building blocks, was purposefully named after Mr Sprague.