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Tribute To A Legend: Doctor John LaTourrette

Slightly over a year ago (April 2023) the legendary Kenpo practitioner and Mind-Training coach Doctor John LaTourrette passed away. I wrote this article at the time but never sent it. But this week I want to give tribute to a man who walked his own path in a way that no one else did before...not even close.

Some people called him "Doctor Death" or "The Speed Man" while others called him things a lot less polite! He was a colorful and controversial figure in the martial arts world who genuinely seemed to enjoy every minute of it and laughed at his detractors all the way to the bank. I think he genuinely had the burden of being a genius born into a world of stupid people and it gave him an attitude which you either liked or disliked. Maybe even both. When his name comes up, it's been my experience that people have a strong opinion one way or the other though damn few ever met the man in person.

GM Ed Parker and Dr. John LaTourrette (1983)

If you don't know "Doc" as he was called by his friends you may remember the advertisement for his Speed Fighting book and videos that ran for many years in Black Belt and Inside Kung Fu magazines...


That single ad made him literally millions of dollars and while it might sound like a wild claim, he was a pretty wild guy! A scrapper since childhood he learned TKD while in the Army in Korea, Kenpo and Jujutsu stateside, etc. and continuing throughout a lifetime of study of various arts. Special Forces warrior Michael Echanis who I wrote about in a previous Training Tip got a Black Belt from Doc if that gives any idea what an ass-kicker he was.

Doc wrote many books starting in the 70's such as Mental Training of a Warrior, The Master's Kicking Guide, Secrets of Kenpo Karate, Warrior's Guide to Knife Fighting, Ninja Mind, etc. as well as producing dozens of training guides and hundreds of videos / DVDs. He was incredibly prolific at producing content and a single weekend seminar of his might end up being a 20 DVD series so he made literally hundreds, maybe over a thousand, individual videos in his time.

Paperback Secrets of American Kung-Fu Book
Mental Training of a Warrior was so good it helped Doc get his Black Belt with Ed Parker...
But Kenpo Karate so was better and it got him in trouble for "giving away the secrets"!

Warrior's Guide to Knife Fighting eBook : La Tourrette, Dr. John: Kindle  Store - Amazon.com
The foot-placement and closing-gap details in Master's Kicking Guide make all the difference...
Warrior's Guide to Knife Fighting shows Kenpo defenses (ie. Delayed Sword) with the Blade!

Here's a list of all Doc's books / training guides on Amazon - many for FREE on Kindle!

Doc Teaching SPEED HITTING (2007)

His material on winning tournament Karate is also something anyone serious should study because it goes far beyond the physical side of the sport and deep into the mental aspects which are seldom taught. Who cares how good your techniques are if the judges don't see them because they like the other competitor more than they like you, and so they are looking for the competition's points and not yours. Yet with basically one good technique and the right tools to win the minds of the judges (and to defeat the mind of the opponent) his students have swept tournaments as he discusses in the books.

And this is all just the martial arts side of Doc...because there was a whole other side of his career that is much lesser known.

As much as all those books had an effect on me as a young instructor, martial arts technique-wise, they were also the first place I ever heard about things like NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and the Silva Method that I would go on to explore and incorporate. I've said it before but learning mind training early on in my life helped with everything else in the martial arts.

(Read chapter 12 of Master's Kicking Guide for a mind training exercise I did all the time as a teenager and would later learn he had modified from the Silva method.)

To many people worldwide Doc was first and foremost a master level psychic skills trainer and not a martial arts Sensei. My wife, who has hundreds of class hours in hypnotherapy went out to Medford, Oregon several times to train with him at multi day events on the Silva Method, Huna, NLP, Energy Medicine, and related subjects. (He knew she trained and so had her speed-hit one of the guys at the seminar on-camera to show just how fast someone could learn to do a 4 strike combo!)

When it came to psychology, mind training, and metaphysics, Doc had trained with pretty much all of the top people and then put the pieces together across disciplines in a way literally no one else could because while they knew their own field of study they did not have the cross-competency in a series of related disciplines. So for example Doc use NLP embedded commands while having you do an Energy Medicine drill in your mind while you're at the Alpha state through the Silva training...the way he could "layer a cake" as it were to make things more powerful was profound and he always made it look so effortless.

Doc Teaching at a Mind Training Seminar

You can watch the class videos as he does these things live and it's so casual, the people don't realize at the time but (later on) you can see the way they react to how profound the change was from what started as a joking conversation, from little hand gestures up and down or pointing into space where someone looks, etc. If you know what you're watching him do it's like a symphonic score but with one man conducting and playing all the instruments easily at once...

My wife and I have a library of nearly every Silva course ever produced since the early days and Doc's instruction on the Remote Viewing & Remote Influencing CD series from the 90's really shows just how good he was; there is no comparing any other presenter (other than Jose Silva of course).

Doc NAILED those inductions for the various exercises vs. so many who sound like they are reading off a page and of course he snuck in extra non-official Silva stuff that was beneficial.

You can still find those recordings on Audible - highly recommended.

As you can tell from the above videos, Doc had a weird and at times very dark sense of humor and so I'll end this tribute with a spin on an old joke in his honor.

Doc was doing an Alpha mediation one night and the spirit of Michael Echanis appeared to him and said, "Doc, I have some good news for you and some bad news for you. The good news is that there are Karate tournaments in heaven and we get to kick the literal holy shit out of demons!"

"Wow, that sounds great Mike; what's the bad news?"

"There's a big 3-Man Tournament this weekend and Bruce Lee wanted me to get you for our team."

God bless you Doctor John LaTourrette and thanks for the teachings - SALUTE!

I hope you and Ingo Swan are having fun.

All my very best to you,

Pete Kautz

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