Lenny is missed he was not only a teacher but a dear friend as well.
Lenny was one in a million and in my opinion, the greatest teacher of Lieu Siong Kun Tao.
I miss speaking with Lennie. The whole situation with him back then was really strange (regarding his death).
I was a senior student of his, and eventually got my white sash. I taught a bit up here in Indiana, but have fallen off the wagon... I still move a bit here and there, but It's hard to stay focused without students or Sifu's to hit or be hit by...
Hope to hear from some of the guys from down there...
You can kick and punch a bag all day, but you can't take that with you into old age. It's the internal that stays with you.
I don't know, how about you guys?
Maybe some of you will remember me if I describe myself. I'm Filippino-American, and at the time I had very long hair. I wanted to learn some martial arts to help me with my acting/modeling career, but Lenny taught me so much more than Kuntao.
I loved training with Lenny -- come in whenever you want, learn whatever is being taught.
The more I think about it, the more I remember:
Practicing Eskrima and getting my knuckles smashed by Darwin.
The "Bum Rush." I'll always remember the first time I didn't get crushed.
All the internal chi gong exercises, and all the drills with the staff with the boxing glove, the chest whips.
Getting attacked as soon as you go through the beaded curtain.
The "Iron Man" and all the "hit medicine" we put on our hands. That stuff really worked -- Lenny's hands didn't look like fighter's hands, no big calluses and knuckles.
The rock-hard heavy bags filled with cat litter.
Rat traps screwed into the wall for speed and accuracy drills. Lenny kept a bear trap, too!
I remember going to a retreat at someone's house and all of us running/clawing up a tree to practice light-body. Darwin was awesome at this.
My first sparring match was with Chris Derbaum -- he took it easy on me, he coulda lit me up.
I also sparred with Jose Sotolongo -- he coulda lit me up, too. He went on to work security at a fancy Miami hotel.
I remember walking into the little front room office and Lenny saying, 'Ya hear 'bout Chris Derbaum -- he's at the prison!' Of course I'd take the bait and ask what happened.
I remember going to a closing ratan furniture factory to pick out Eskrima sticks, I think with Brian Stiner.
I remember Tammy -- very young, but her whip was painful!
I remember Lenny curing my ailments with his Chi and also things like white lily oil, mustard seed and chrysanthimum tea.
Mikets (sp?) was such a great guy. We all watched some PPV fights at his home. He used to fight with his butt -- he could defend and strike with his hips/butt.
Turn in three.
Lenny was such a great person, always trying to help. He always protected me just a little, because he knew I couldn't model or go to casting calls with a beat up face! He had a profound spiritual influence on me and all he touched.
I miss him.
I still really don't know much about the circumstances surrounding his death. If anyone remembers me or could fill me in a little, it would be greatly appreciated. If certain details are not suitable for this forum, just AIM or email me. Thanks in advance.
I also remember training with you multiple times when you were in town.
All of us should get together.... everyone one of Lenny's students. Just to reminisce, or workout, or any such personal gatherings.
If anyone wants to see a picture of me (because you can't put a face with the name), go to http://www.brianstiner.com
Jared, I think at least a portion of my body is in that bag..... who ended up with it?
I have one with kitty litter in it, and it feels extremely like Lenny's.
I agree with Brian Stiner in that the difference with the Liu Seong arts, compared to others I have tried, was definitely the internal training. Of course there were the Qigong exercises, pupil dilation followed by working the candle, the whip test & glove test (you either tried to perceive the whip/punch and move or get whipped in the chest or punched in the face), touch sensitivity drills (you were to explode into movement at the first sensation of the slightest touch from behind). Lenny would also channel his Chi through a staff and into your back asking “what do you feel?” He used to give "sensitivity talks” to create a heightened sense of awareness. At the end of a day training like this your body would feel coiled and ready to explode into action and your mind would kind of tingle alerting you to everything going on around you – Lenny would call it “buggin’ out”. It was an incredible sensation that I have not felt since training in those days – I miss it greatly.
I couldn’t continue my training for several years while I was in college and unfortunately Lenny passed away before I could return to the school. I was able to reunite with a few former students and resume training at a mini warehouse in S. Ft. Myers rented out by Ed Sweeney. Ed inherited almost everything from the old school and had it all set up in this little warehouse. It was almost surreal to see all of our old training equipment again and yes, he did have the bag filled with “body parts of former students” - as Lenny would tell us. Ed also had the original iron man, large kicking bag, the 4 sunglasses cases filled w/rocks & duct taped which he hung from the ceiling for “bag runs”, as well as the contraption from which they were suspended. He also had the metal contraption that held 3 boards at the top and 3 at the bottom which we used to practice breaking boards with our whips and kicks (anyone else remember that thing?). There was also the old training weapons, rattan sticks, staffs and even rebar. Ed even had Lenny’s old desk in that little warehouse. It was almost sad to see all that stuff without Lenny around.
I trained in that warehouse for a while with Chad Gingerich and John Comito and a few sporatic “drop-ins” until Ed could no longer maintain it and it closed. After the warehouse closed, I trained a few times in Chris Derbaum’s garage as he has his own students now and continues to teach from his home in S. Ft. Myers. Anyone still in that area might be able to link up with him and resume training – he is very good!
I know that Darwin continued training with Carl Spitale and eventually received his 3rd degree black sash and began teaching from his home for a while. I have recently trained with Darwin a few times from his home in SW Florida and he is still interested in teaching a few serious students.
Lenny’s cousin, Tony Laughlin, does still teach at this time in the Liu Seong arts from his home near Tampa, FL. I have trained with him a few times there and I am always amazed at how similarly he moves compared to Lenny. He is a great source for anyone looking to resume their training in the arts as taught by Lenny.
I am now a student of Chuck Stahman who is a Sigung instructor in Kuntao Silat deThouars. Chuck currently resides in Merritt Island, FL and teaches just a few students. He is also a great source for authentic Kuntao; although his style is Wu Kung Kuntao, it still is very much related to some of the techniques found in Willem Reeder’s system’s.
I currently train in Tampa with a small group of guys from various silat styles and we are always looking to grow our training group. If anyone is interested in training in the Tampa area, please don’t hesitate to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope to hear from some of you,
As Sifu Lenny would say, “I was bugging” and found this forum. I trained with Sifu for 3-4 years and I remember most of you. My name is Mark Holly and I ended up going into the Coast Guard. Man, I miss training with Sifu and hanging out with the crew. I have great memories doing the outdoor workouts bruising up my forearms on the pine trees….lol. Anyway, hope everybody is doing well. Lets keep in touch.
I will always remember getting hit with his punching gloves on a staff as we tried to channel the chi, conditioning on the iron man and duck taped rock filled bag and hanging balls, lightbody, get smacked in the chest with the "Whip", and remember the forms( katas), drills, and light sparring.
I don't train anymore in traditional martial arts but I do continue to train in other combative areas. Nothing wrong with old school, just moved on to what fit for me now. I train in Krav Maga and Martial Blade Concepts. I will probably go back to traditional martial arts when my kid(s) get bigger and I can train with them.
Anyways, miss the old days and truly miss our old Sifu
-Frank LaPoint (The skinny little Asian kid - look me up on facebook)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IL6AYu7l ... re=related
My fondest memories from studying with Lenny are:
Being the test dummy after missing my first day of class.
The first time he threw me.
"You kick my wall, I kick you!"
The lion dance on the casino boat in rough weather.
Losing track of time practicing tai chi out back.
Driving by his house to find him preparing for the "Battle of the Griswalds"
The iron man.
Observing the tournament in Lauderdale, or maybe it was Miami, and convincing Lenny to get up and do his form. That was an amazing experience.
And if you look closely at that heavy bag, you should find some flesh that I left behind after taking years of pent up agression out on that thing all at once.
I live in New Jersey now, and enjoy visiting with those that knew him whenever I return to Ft. Myers. It was so good to find this forum...
I was not what you'd call a good student, except in the sense that I remember him very well.
I remember setting foot into the kwoon for the first time with a couple friends of mine and him putting the whip on us. I remember him saying "You'll feel that later". He certainly wasn't wrong.
I remember the other students and how intimidating it was to watch them move. They were so graceful and powerful, I wish I remembered names.
I remember the reflex drills and him getting frustrated with my lack of response and sicking one of his senior students on me. She was about half my size and she hurt me but she made me move.
I remember the iron man and hurting my hand on it to the point where I couldn't use it anymore. I remember him making me take my shoe off and hitting some pressure points and making the pain from some injury (might have been the iron man but now I'm not sure) all but vanish.
I remember his laugh. The stories. I remember that he scared me and awed me and inspired me all at the same time.
I regret that my choices took me away from Sifu and Kun Tao in general, but I honor his memory as best I can.
I hope his contemporaries and better students carry on his teachings and that his name is never forgotten. Thank you for putting up this place for those who knew him.