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Blackwell Owner Highlighted in St. Louis Business Journal

What’s Your Routine? Wade Blackwell, Founder and Owner, Blackwell Inc., Wade Blackwell says his involvement in Kenpo Karate led him to start Blackwell Professional Security Services, which offers corporate and concierge security services.

Blackwell had boxed and participated in Tae Kwon Do as a youth. “Back in 1988, I was looking for something with a little more depth of intensity than what I’d done before,” he said.

Kenpo Karate is a self-defense, martial arts system first popularized in the U.S. in the 1950s. “It’s extreme street fighting,” Blackwell said.

Blackwell began studying with Bill Boyd, a Hall of Fame, Master in Kenpo, at Bill Boyd’s, Tracy’s Kenpo Karate Studio, located at 11970 Dorsett Road in Maryland Heights. Blackwell went on to become a certified black belt instructor in Kenpo and has taught at Boyd’s studio for the past 11 years.

“We’re here to teach certainly street self-defense, but it’s more,” Blackwell said. “We’re getting these ladies and gentlemen in top physical condition. We work with balance, coordination, confidence and awareness.” Blackwell, 51, said his involvement in martial arts pointed him toward the security industry. He’d previously worked at two other St. Louis-area security firms before starting his own firm in 1999, which now has 157 full- and part-time employees.

Blackwell works out at Boyd’s studio five mornings a week, taking off Tuesdays and Sundays. Each session lasts at least three and a half hours, including one-on-one Kenpo workouts with Boyd, a mixture of strength and cardio training, and constant speed and accuracy development. There are over 600 techniques to be practiced and perfected in Kenpo between the orange and black belt levels.

Blackwell’s sessions include work on a Powertec workbench gym, a Multi-Station weight and resistance apparatus with a suggested retail price range of about $3,000 to $5,000, plus accessories. On Mondays, Blackwell does three sets of chest, back and bicep exercises on the gym. “On Wednesdays, it’s all leg work, mostly extreme squats all the way up to 600 to 650 pounds,” Blackwell said. “The next day, we do shoulders and biceps.”

For daily cardio work, “we work on the power bags, we work on target strikes, and we work on the kicks. All this is done with full force and full speed,” Blackwell said.

Mixed in throughout the week are Kenpo Katas (a Japanese word describing detailed choreographed patterns of movements practiced either solo or in pairs.), or extreme combinations of movements chosen for form, power and speed. “If you do a 22-man attack Kata in less than a minute and a half, you’re absolutely dripping wet,” Blackwell said.

If he can’t get to the karate Studio, Blackwell has a full gym at home, which cost about $7,000.

“Just before a hard day at work, to me, there’s nothing better than coming to the studio, emptying the mind and just full-bore training,” Blackwell said.

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