Bruce tegner

Tim's Discussion Board: Martial Arts - Miscellaneous: Bruce tegner
   By guest (Unregistered Guest) on Thursday, June 09, 2005 - 02:05 am: Edit Post

I was wondering if anyone knows what type of Tai Chi, Kung fu, and Karate Mr. Tegner was doing in the books he put out on the subject. I did a web search and I couldn't find any name of the styles that he had in the books. Thanks for your answers.

   By Michael Andre Babin on Thursday, June 09, 2005 - 09:01 am: Edit Post

I would suspect that what he was trying to teach in his many books should have been called "Tegner-style" ... which would explain why you can't seem to find any references to the styles he had supposedly studied.

To be fair, I did read long ago when his books were still in print that he did have a reasonably solid background in judo but that the rest of his martial expertise was built on rockier ground.

   By Troy on Thursday, June 09, 2005 - 09:49 am: Edit Post

I have always wondered about this guy because his stuff looks so terrible.

   By stan (Unregistered Guest) on Thursday, June 09, 2005 - 10:23 am: Edit Post


I didn't think his stuff was bad. In that time marketing, photography and stuff was not that sophisticated. Even today with all its expertise they show you stuff that make the person seem like the opponent is being lifted into the air or throwing a chee ball (or is it a cheez whiz ball, anyway) with an aura and some trick protography!!!

   By Charles W on Thursday, June 09, 2005 - 12:12 pm: Edit Post

The above post reminds me of B.K. Frantzis. I've read most of his books, and every single one has been of extremely high quality and caliber in my opinion...

But what the heck is up with the cover to the Power of Internal MA along with that video clip from the 60's of frantzis doing the same fajing "throw him 8 feet in the air move?". The cover of POIMA has had some obviously photoshopped elements like the trails and glows, and that aweful 6 second video has a definate glitch in it at the very moment he executes the move.

I think BK is an exceptional martial artist and have no reason to doubt his skill and teaching ability, but these 2 issues just make me go "wtf" in my mind. He needs a new cover for POIMA.

I guess I got a bit off topic here, but my point would be don't judge a book by its cover. I've found that most books with more photos than detailed explanations and words aren't going to be very helpful anyway if thats the case with this Tenger individual.

   By Shaolin Bushido on Saturday, June 11, 2005 - 10:20 am: Edit Post

Bruce Tegner's Judo credentials are pretty damn good; I think both of his parents were Judo Black Belts and in the 60's the martial arts community was closer ... he probably had many acquaintances of other styles who he exchanged information on and trained with.

Perhaps due to his level he honestly felt he grasped the concepts and physics of the various arts he also claimed competency in ... these styles that no one's ever heard of?

Good question.

   By Kenneth Sohl on Sunday, June 12, 2005 - 04:42 am: Edit Post

What are the names of these styles that no one has ever heard of?

   By Bob Rosenbaum (Unregistered Guest) on Monday, July 18, 2005 - 03:18 am: Edit Post

Bruce Tegner's early training was in the full spectrum of judo, Both the sport, And the fighting systems. Judo was origenly created by taking and modifing jiu jitsu, And the origenal jiu jitsu's included, Atami waza, the striking and kicking to nerve centers and pressure points, Think karate, the holds, locks, and chokes of the jiu jitsu's, think aikido, And the pure fighting techniques and princaples of what is now called hand to hand, or close quarters combat, Plus Bruce thought out of the box, and would not just parrot what he was told, He always made sure what HE taught was logical, and would really work. From his childhood, when his parents, both black belts in judo trained him, and brought in others to teach him other styles of fighting, such as canadian savate, and some of the karate of the day, One of the style's that Bruce had knowledge of was shito ryu. And in the early 1960.s Bruce was asked by Chijaro Tani (sp ?) to represent the shokoki ?, But about a year later, When thay triad to dictate how and what Bruce should teach, he left their orginazation.
Sorry to be long winded, but I'm not much of a writer, By the way, YES I'm prejides to Bruce as he was my instructor.
Good Luck, Train Hard, Train Smart
Bob Rosenbaum/jukado1


   By Kenneth Sohl on Monday, July 18, 2005 - 07:21 am: Edit Post

Thanks, Bob. Sounds like you were fortunate to have found an instructor like him.

   By Brian Kennedy on Monday, July 18, 2005 - 08:00 am: Edit Post

If you are talking specifically about the stuff shown in his Kung Fu & Tai Chi Chinese Karate book which first came out in 1968 my guess (and I have no proof to support my guess but I will guess anyway, I could well be way off base) is that it comes from Ark Wong. There are three reasons I guess that; first, in Los Angeles circa 1968 there are not that many real possibilities for a white guy to learn kung fu. Ark Wong was teaching then and teaching non-Chinese. Second reason is the (now) laughable outfits (cheesy pseudo silk with the wide white trim kung fu outfits¡XI laugh because I used to have one just like it!) were the official uniform of Ark Wong & students. And lastly, the stuff in the book just has the Ark Wong look about it.

I bought a copy of the book about a year back for sentimental purposes. That was the first Chinese martial arts book I ever owned. If I read the introduction right, that is not Bruce Tegner posing for the photos, it is some other guy V.E. Christensen M.D.

Actually all modern American students of martial arts owe Bruce Tegner a big thanks. Tegner was the first one to come out in print and say:
1.Martial arts is athletics, just like any other sport and modern sports science should be used in developing and critiquing martial arts.
2. Martial arts is not inherently tied to some culture. You can do judo/karate/kung fu well without having to turn Japanese or Chinese.

Both of those two positions flew in the face of received wisdom at that time and Tegner was widely criticized for taking those positions. What the deal was back then was (for example) karate is inexorably tied in with Japanese culture. To do karate well you must speak Japanese, wear Japanese clothing, accept Japanese cultural values, visit Japan and kiss the ass of all Japanese karate instructors and their respective organizations.

Fortunately times have changed¡KI think.

Take care,

   By Mark Hatfield (Unregistered Guest) on Monday, July 18, 2005 - 12:01 pm: Edit Post

Brian I got my 'start' from the Tegner books around 40 years ago. I had forgotten about those elements of his philosophy. Initially, I was taken by his judo book (before the others came out) mainly because of the section on 'self defense'. For some time, he was the only source of information I had.

   By Bob Rosenbaum (Unregistered Guest) on Wednesday, July 20, 2005 - 09:13 pm: Edit Post

Mr. Kennedy: Dr. Val Christiansen was a student of, and a friend of Bruce Tegner, Who after earning a black belt in, I beleve jukado, from Bruce wanted to learn gung fu, so he trained with Ark y. Wong, and after a couple of years suggested to Bruce that they do a gung fu book, As there was nothing about real gung fu, Only the books that made gung fu sound like some super secret instant superman stuff. The gung fu book was written to show what gung fu was, not to keep it hidden.
Good Luck, Train Hard, Train Smart.
Bob Rosenbaum


   By Brian Kennedy on Thursday, July 21, 2005 - 05:13 am: Edit Post

Now if I could just guess with the same accuracy who will win the Super Bowl I could place my bets early and when I win move my family out of "blue collar/hoodlum" San Chung.

In any event thanks for the info.

take care,

   By Kenneth Sohl on Thursday, July 21, 2005 - 09:05 am: Edit Post

Speaking of Ark Y. Wong, I once read an article about him (I believe it was "Inside Kung Fu", not a great source, I know). Supposedly, he could break lit candles from a distance without touching them simply by crooking his index finger. I think it was force of intention or whatever, according to the article. Anyone able to elaborate on this?

   By Russell on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 03:43 pm: Edit Post

Thanks for this thread! It brings back fond memories of his books and it's sad to see he died, apparently only in his 50s.

   By M. Hatfield (Unregistered Guest) on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 05:59 pm: Edit Post

I remember him (Tegner) having written that if you already have a full time job or have a family to take care of, don't expect to become a master. It takes too many hours and years of training. That was quite diferent from later generations of 'teachers'.

   By Chuck Arnold (Unregistered Guest) on Friday, March 24, 2006 - 02:18 pm: Edit Post

I was one of Bruce's students when I first started college. He was teaching Judo at Moorpark College and Ventura College in the mid 70's in Southern California.

Bruce was a wonderful man with lots of talent. My backside could prove that just about any time that I sparred with him. Mind you, I'm 6'3" and at that time weighed about 225 lbs so I wasn't a small man. Bruce would grab my gi at the mid points between my shoulders and head and dance me all over the floor. The entire time he would do this he would be looking off into space in no particular direction and the next thing I knew, I was laying on the floor wondering where the heck I was.

I was in the criminology program at Moorpark College and Bruce would teach self defence programs for that department as well as handcuffing and baton techniques. I learned a lot about handcuffing and baton techniques in those classes. He was sharp with all of them!

Bruce trained a lot of military and law enforcement personnel. He told us often about some of the things that he did. He trained US troops bound for Korea in hand to hand combat as I recall. He also did a lot of stunt work in Hollywood.

Bruce was a very affable man. I never saw him angry when he was working with the students he was always the consumate professional.

I was just telling some stories to some of my coworkers here about the things we did in class which made me look him up on the internet. I'm sorry to hear that he passed so long ago.

As Bob Rosenbaum commented on his books, they used older style photography and sometimes things looked a little hoaky, but from my personal experience, I would never want to see Bruce in action. For a big man he was fast and he was hard.

It's sad to hear that he has left us but I still have my original Judo Gi with Bruce's patch on it and I even have his book on Judo. Too much fun to ever get rid of those!

   By Russell on Friday, March 24, 2006 - 03:04 pm: Edit Post


those are great memories! I'm envious that you met and trained with him. I only know his books, which I poured over as a young teenager. There was something about his image - enlightened, advocating self defense for those who needed it most, while at the same time having that square jaw (and, as you say, consumate ability!)

   By Fred Olivo (Unregistered Guest) on Tuesday, May 30, 2006 - 11:00 am: Edit Post

I knew Bruce from May of 1960 until just a few years ago. I received a Black Belt in Karate and
a Brown Belt in Judo from him. Although he was
commercial,he got many started on the right road.
I went on to study other styles,earn other Black Belts and teach at my own Dojo,thanks in part to
him. I welcome any questions. My email is posted.

   By John Kahn on Sunday, October 15, 2006 - 11:04 am: Edit Post

I studied Judo under Tegner for two years at Moorpark about '77. I had forgotten about his habit of looking off to the side, although now I can picture it clearly in my mind. I believe he was also teaching at Ventura College then too.

This reminds me of an incident he told us about. If I remember correctly, some time earlier, Tegner and his instructors had taught a group of blind students. It seems the class was in a room without windows, and the power went out one day... The students did well that day..... Tegner used it as an example in developing our other senses in dealing with our opponants.

The things I learned from him have been useful, and are appreciated.

I was saddened a few years ago when I heard of his passing. But I have not forgotten.

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