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Meet Kiplan Dooley of Kip-Star’s Jeet Kune Do in Sherman Oaks and Van Nuys

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kiplan Dooley.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My father was and still is a big Bruce Lee fan, so he got me involved in martial arts when I was 5 years old. I started taking Tae Kwon Do along with my father and older brother. Tae Kwon Do is a Korean art that is made up of about 70% of kicks. I was a good student, totally into it, maybe a little too much energy, but dedicated never the less. I got kicked out of the class for kicking a little too much. I’m probably the only person on this earth to be kicked out of Tae Kwon Do for kicking a little too much. LOL. Now that I’m a martial arts instructor, I can reflect back and realize that my instructor, back then, failed me. He was bound by tradition and didn’t know how to handle someone who was a little unorthodox with loads of enthusiasm and energy.

I studied various forms of martial arts throughout the years and gravitated towards Bruce Lee’s philosophy on Jeet Kune Do, also known as JKD It wasn’t until college that I had the opportunity to train with Jeet Kune Do instructors. I learned a great deal but felt like something was missing. During my quest for a deeper understanding of JKD, I discovered Sifu Bob Bremer, Jim Sewell, who studied under Bruce Lee, and Tim Tackett from the JKD Wednesday Night Group in Redlands, California. I posted a video of myself doing a couple of moves to their forum and was invited to train with the group once I relocated to California. I had already planned on moving to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career.

Once I relocated, I drove almost 2 hours on weekly basis to train with them. I was stoked to be training with the group and martial artists who had learned directly from Bruce Lee and followed his philosophy of being free from limitations of traditions. This was liberating for me. One of the Teachers, Sifu Jeremy Lynch, recognized my dedication and determination and invited me to his own backyard semi private group. He took me under his wing and has shared with me all that he knows. I’ve been training under him ever since. It’s been 7 years.

While training under Sifu Lynch, I was eventually certified as an instructor. My first students were a group of Griffith Park Rangers. When my clientele grew, I started Kip-Star’s Jeet Kune Do. And here we are today.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My journey has been fruitful, but there have definitely been some challenges. Jeet Kune Do is not your traditional martial art. It isn’t flashy; it’s quick, simple, and direct. There aren’t many tools (punches, kicks, elbows, knees, etc…) to learn but mastery of these can take a long time. It’s not for people who lack patience. One major challenge I find is getting students to see beyond their own frustration. The frustration of looking ridiculous in the beginning or not having their body do what they are commanding it to do. I’ve been there, it’s all a part of the learning curve but, in order to experience and achieve a deeper understanding of this art, you must be willing to let go.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Kip-Star’s Jeet Kune Do – what should we know?
This is a new business venture for me. I ran my own personal training company for 10 years and that experience helps. Being a martial arts instructor is a different beast altogether. I’m a one man show. I do everything, answering emails, social media, construct lesson plans, and teach the classes. It’s a lot of work, but I love it and feel blessed to do it.

As an instructor, my specialty is fine tuning techniques and helping students become more in tuned with their bodies so that they are able to recognize their own mistakes when learning. I have noticed through my own personal experience that I retain more when I figure out mistakes on my own. In my teachings, I incorporate specific tailor made exercises passed down from Bruce Lee himself, so that students will learn proper body mechanics, improvements on their own personal attributes, and gain a greater sense of self-awareness which in return creates self-confidence.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
A genuine love for what you do is essential. One common thing that previous students share about me is how passionate I am about Jeet Kune Do and I think that is what keeps them coming back.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Sean Kremer, Julian Borrego, James Le’tonio Collins, Alex Hughes, Jeremy Lynch and Daniel Burke

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