A 10th DAN in Kempo is ridiculous!

A 10th DAN is ridi­cu­lous! Wital­li Rein­gard, trai­ner of the Lung Chu­an Fa Kem­po, 3rd DAN, has his own opi­ni­on about high DAN levels in Shao­lin Kempo.
Why the 32-year-old Sen­s­ei has can­cel­led his own exam for the 4th DAN, whe­re his roots are and how he is ori­en­ta­ting hims­elf fur­ther, he tells us in the interview.


Name: Wital­li Reingard
Style: Lung Chu­an Fa Kempo
Gra­de: 3rd DAN Kem­po, 1st DAN Kickboxing
lives in: Stralsund
trai­ned at: cur­r­ent­ly without Dojo

When did you start mar­ti­al arts?
At the age of 8, I star­ted kara­te with Sho­to­kan in Kyr­gyzstan. At the age of 10 I arri­ved in Ger­ma­ny and star­ted with kem­po­trai­ning 3/4 year later.

Who were your trai­ners, who influ­en­ced you in terms of Kem­po? Whe­re do your influ­en­ces come from?
My first Kem­po trai­ners were Marc Richards and his team of trai­ners. Later on I was also trai­ned by other graduates.

Plea­se descri­be brief­ly what sta­ti­ons your mar­ti­al arts life has had so far.
To get that tog­e­ther, I would have to search in one of the moving boxes for the pile of documents 😉
In Kem­po I made the black belt, then I was at the Bund and sup­por­ted the Kem­po­ka from August­dorf for a while. Until then I had some suc­cess on local and natio­nal level in the disci­pli­nes Kata and Waf­fen­ka­ta. In my Pader­born stu­dy time I taught in Kal­le­tal and trai­ned Capoei­ra twice a week for 3 to 4 hours. Ther­eby I gai­ned a lot of dyna­mics and fle­xi­bi­li­ty, which hel­ped me a lot in my later con­ta­ct fights.
Then came the time in Müns­ter and in the Kem­po­kai. The offer of the mar­ti­al arts school was per­fect. One could train every day, name­ly Shao­lin Kem­po, Kick­boxing and Tae­kwon­do. So I spent 4 of 5 days at the trai­ning and enjoy­ed on the one hand the qui­te tech­ni­cal Kem­po trai­ning of Cars­ten Just and on the other hand the fit­ness-ori­en­ted kick­boxing. The Tae­kwon­do trai­ning was the icing on the cake and satis­fied my dream of high­ki­cking. My Capoei­ra expe­ri­en­ces hel­ped me to always lea­ve the trai­ning unharmed.
A few years later I took the exam for the 3rd DAN with Cars­ten and could even do my 1st DAN in kick­boxing. In the mean­ti­me, I had alrea­dy led several kick­boxing and kem­po­trai­ning ses­si­ons on behalf of Cars­ten and was thus able to signi­fi­cant­ly expand my “trai­ning skills” through the often chan­ging stu­dent body.
I always pas­sed on this know­ledge to my stu­dents in Kal­le­tal. I took part in com­pe­ti­ti­ons main­ly in kick­boxing and dis­co­ve­r­ed the fun of half and full con­ta­ct figh­t­ing, which was clear­ly dif­fe­rent from semi-con­ta­ct, but also gave me much more fun. Due to a chan­ge in trai­ner and phi­lo­so­phy at Kem­po­kai I loo­ked for alter­na­ti­ves and tried Sys­te­ma, Wing Tsun, Kung-Fu and many other mar­ti­al arts, but never found the fun I had in kem­po­trai­ning. So I deci­ded to try some­thing new and found my fun in road cycling, later in running.
After moving to Stral­sund, I did not have the time to catch up with mar­ti­al arts until then. But this is in work 😉
(Wital­li now lives in Ham­burg and trains Tae­kwon­do )

Favo­ri­te tech­ni­que? Favo­ri­te weapon?
All jum­ped High­kicks & Mawa­shi Empi Uchi.

A decent work­out involves…
A coach’s plan and a goal. Only in this way can moti­va­ti­on be gua­ran­te­ed and a suc­ces­si­ve impro­ve­ment is possible.

After a decent trai­ning you should …
… count the brui­ses with your part­ner 😉 And think about why the trai­ning was decent, which means that the­re are also “not decent trai­nings”, why the­re are such and how to redu­ce them.

You sur­pri­sin­gly can­cel­led your exam for the 4th DAN in spring. What was the reason?
I had the exam firm­ly plan­ned, pre­pa­red mys­elf inten­si­ve­ly for more than nine mon­ths. Then I asked the Sei­bu­kan asso­cia­ti­on, in which Budo SV Kal­le­tal is also a mem­ber, whe­ther they had an exami­na­ti­on com­mit­tee for me. They did, and I was also invi­ted to a pre­pa­ra­to­ry semi­nar for DAN bea­rers. Sud­den­ly a new, very high DAN mem­ber came into play, who sud­den­ly has a voice in the asso­cia­ti­on (Man­fred Lee Rosen, 10th DAN Rus­si­an Kem­po Kara­te; editor’s note). I did not know the gen­tle­man and to this day I have no idea whe­re he came from and what he had done before.
At this pre­pa­ra­to­ry semi­nar, the­re should be “sigh­ted”. But how can you actual­ly judge what a sin­gle can­di­da­te real­ly has to offer in a full gym, and it was real­ly full? I am very scep­ti­cal about that.

Howe­ver, it beca­me absurd for me when one of the fel­low can­di­da­tes, an older DAN bea­rer (Heinz-Josef Köring, Stein­heim, editor’s note), was awar­ded the next DAN degree at this cour­se. He would cer­tain­ly have done so without this rather dubio­us “honour”. And that with a mega-albern speech as a rea­son. So I deci­ded to can­cel the exam.

What hap­pens now?
Honest­ly, I have no idea. I’m real­ly disap­poin­ted in this mar­ti­al arts sce­ne. All the­se arti­fi­cial and absurdly high DAN levels are ridi­cu­lous. How can someo­ne achie­ve a 10th DAN and then have high DAN gra­des in other arts? This awar­ding and giving num­ber is com­mon in Sei­bu­kan and Shao­lin Kem­po and all around, the level is sin­king or gets lost com­ple­te­ly. No one fails any DAN exam. It is lent back and forth in a fun­ny way, in fun­ny orga­niz­a­ti­ons, which are then mutual­ly reco­gni­zed. Some­ti­mes spi­ced up with the odd 100. At first the­re is still blas­phe­my in the sce­ne, but the­re are no con­se­quen­ces, and after a few weeks, no roos­ter crows after it any­mo­re. The­re is some­thing wrong. Until the 2nd or 3rd DAN it’s okay if the spor­ty aspect is in the fore­ground, but whe­re is the spi­ri­tu­al aspect? Whe­re is the preoc­cup­a­ti­on with the back­ground of the style, with the why? With your own reflection?
So DAN only beco­mes a back­drop to the out­side world. One acqui­res the right to fur­ther exami­ne one’s stu­dents. But then one could also snap cards or check off atten­dance lists. You can’t real­ly take that serious­ly any­mo­re if you still have some­thing in your head! Nobo­dy will take that any more… I cer­tain­ly won’t.

What are you doing now? And when will we see you at Kal­le­tal again?
Cur­r­ent­ly I’m a self-employ­ed IT ser­vice pro­vi­der (SEO, mar­ke­ting, web design), buil­ding up a com­pa­ny with a friend and I’m up to my neck in the cof­fee bar pro­ject of my life part­ner Lui­se (coffifee.de).

Next year I will defi­ni­te­ly be back in my old home coun­try and I will plan enough time to beco­me acti­ve in mar­ti­al arts as well.

More Infor­ma­ti­on: www.witalli.de

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