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Stephen LaBounty

10th Degree Black Belt

Senior Master of the Arts

Founder Of Stephen LaBounty’s American Kenpo


(1942-2020) Arguably one of the most widely known Kenpoists, there are many in the martial arts who say that Steve LaBounty is the true definition of the "Warrior Spirit."  


Sigung Stephen LaBounty began his martial arts journey in 1958 at a local Judo school in Fort Worth, Texas under the instruction of Sam Namajura. 


In 1961, after earning his brown belt, Mr. LaBounty traveled to San Francisco for work and began looking for a Judo school in which to continue his training. In the phone book, he found three karate schools and figured they could point him in the correct direction. Instead, Mr. LaBounty watched the class at the Ocean Ave. Tracy Kenpo school and became hooked on Kenpo from the beginning.


Mr. LaBounty began his entry level Kenpo training under Mr. Steve Fox and moved through the ranks rather quickly. In short order he started teaching the beginner classes at the Ocean Ave. location. Soon after he was helping the Tracy brothers teach at their new San Jose location, which was the school where many significant Kenpoists, such as Mr. Tom Connor, Mr. Harvey Clary, and Mr. John Sepulveda, began their Kenpo journey.


Having initially come to Ed Parker in 1966 with a background in Judo and having a Black Belt under Al & Jim Tracy (only their third), Mr. LaBounty went on to distinguish himself in the Martial Arts, carrying Mr. Parker's banner wherever he went. 


Both a National and International fighting champion, he was widely sought after on the seminar circuit where he is legendary for his "fighting drills”.  Mr. LaBounty spent many years in police work and was active as a Law Enforcement Consultant and trainer. Having reached a level of excellence in the "Yang" side of the martial arts, he spent years pursuing an education related to the opposing "Yin" side, and he became a practicing Acupressurist and Herbalist, and taught seminars in bodywork to martial artists.


At times Sigung was outspoken, but he was always willing to support events and causes he felt would bring the brotherhood closer. A friend to many in the Kenpo community, he was often sought after for his wisdom and experience, and was a valuable influence to the American Kenpo community.


The American Institute of Kenpo is honored to stand in the Rough N’ Tumble lineage of Sigung Stephen LaBounty! 


Until the last day…  


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