Page 65 - Galveston Monthly - September 2017

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Fortunately, Galveston has always been fertile soil for new ideas to form and grow,
and it has provided a perfect outlet for Steve’s skill and creativity. “You know even
as a kid I dreamed of having my own dojo—I have always trained and hit the bag. I
started advanced training at a very young age, it’s what I know.”
The SD FIT-6 Total Body Workout is not only a unique and effective fitness program,
it is an amalgamation of all that Steve Fuentes has lived and learned. “You can’t get
this kind of training anywhere else,” he says of what he calls a “fusion” system. While
some gyms promote “functional” systems, Steve’s training focuses on acquiring a set
of practical self-defense skills, and the potency of the program is strengthened by
adherence to the traditional and philosophical tenets of martial arts.
“I wanted to be cutting edge, but also maintain the traditional aspects,” he says,
pointing to a small rug that sits at the edge of his dojo’s mat. “We bow every time
that we start the training—for two reasons—to pay respect to the art and to pay
respect to the training you are about to receive.”
Parker realized that the “battles” fought by
modern people are much different than the
ones that were fought four centuries ago
when many of the martial arts were taking
form. This was particularly true on American
streets, where the styles of a potential attack
were markedly unique and dismantling them
required a specific system.
By revising traditional methods to work in
modern fighting scenarios, Parker created
what was primarily a self-defense system that
incorporates a multiplicity of quick strikes
designed to overwhelm and disorient an
attacker. He continued to evolve and hone
his methods for years and encouraged his
students to customize the art for themselves
by focusing on concepts and principles rather
than specific sequences of motion.
Steve Fuentes became a student of American
Kenpo at age fourteen, was a black belt by
age seventeen, and still today works to fulfill
the art’s legacy in the truest way possible—by
using his training and vast fitness and life
experience to cultivate an art all of his own.
His dad was a black-belt in Tae Kwan Do and
a Golden Glove boxer in the Air Force; by age
eight, Steve had begun to learn spin kicks and
certain moves. He has trained every day of his
life since beginning his official Kenpo training
and recently retired as a 28-year veteran of
the Dallas Police Department.
His decorated resume includes four
nominations for Officer of the Year, a position
on the S.W.A.T. team, and an individual gold
medal in bodybuilding at the World Police
& Fire Games in Canada. Throughout his
career, Steve also trained at local boxing gyms
where he would work with at-risk kids, taught
personal safety and active shooter classes,
and studied facilitative and servant leadership.
Shortly after his retirement, Steve and his
wife decided to move to Galveston two years
ago so that she could pursue her nursing
degree at the University of Texas Medical
Branch. “We were married here,” he says, and
notes a fondness for the island that he has
always had.
Steve Fuentes