In 1985. I began training in Ed Parkers American Kenpo Karate. After migrating with my family to Australia in Late November 2008, it was not long before we opened our first Kenpo club. (www.kenpo.net.au)
By 2010 I had turned my passion for Rockabilly, and also my skills as a sheet metal worker, (which I also began in 1985) into making the very first Alikat Aluminium instruments. First was the Phat Kat Double bass, followed almost instantly by a second double bass and 3 guitars. Although the first double bass stands as pride and joy at a friends house , I kept the first prototype Alikat Guitar, Numbered 000.
That so mentioned 2nd Double bass... was to celebrate my 25th year in Kenpo.
In 2011 this iconic double bass project began.
The idea was to have an oriental theme, so the F holes were Yin and Yang, the curved sides were turned out to resemble the roof of the chinese temple`s.
At the time I saw in China a fella was carving into violin scrolls, I asked if he could do a dragon into a double bass headstock. By hand it took 4 days to carve. The tail piece, as with everything I made then, cut out with a $10. jig saw from cash converters. It was the shape of the Kenpo Crest. The body was just orbital sanded all over and polished sides, that was it. My good friend Trevor of now Trev`s Signs, hand painted the dragon head, and will be pinstriping the whole bass shortly...
anyway, someone interstate asked to buy it, so I sold it. We kept in touch, and in November 2020, I got a message saying with about 8 double bass`s and no room, would I like to purchase the bass back?. I was so greatfull to have been given the chance to buy back an iconic piece of not only Alikat history, but in my Kenpo journey.
I was in no great hurry , so it arrived back in Adelaide about February 2021. Unfortunately, some severe damage on the edges, the bottom and damage to the dragon.... Severe if you were not a sheetmetal worker...lol
Maclaren Vale Vintage and Classic car Rally in the historic wine region of Adelaide, was happening on 18th April 2021, so that was the goal.
Split and dented sides
Damaged Dragon head
I cut the bottom off to get in side, panel beat out all the dents, re weld any splits
Tommy and the Lucky Strikes. 3 Alikats on Stage, 2011. Including two of the first ever Alikat Guitars.
Steve Mitchell, of the Satellites, was first to debut the first and 2nd Double bass`s I made.
Shaping the retro trims to go around the edges.
Easier to polish the trims while on the bass, in preperation for chrome plating
C.N.C Designed, cut and engraved, bottom plate and TailPiece
Traditionally on the Kenpo Crest, the Wise Dragon sits above the tiger, while the tiger looks up to the dragon.
So this tiger engraved looks up to the carved dragon headstock.
Chrome Plating by A Class Metal Finishers in Adelaide, Paint by Southern Custom and Classics.
I chose the orange, not only because it blended with the original painted head, but the orange is symbolic on the Kenpo crest to represent the tiger.
Rockin out with one of my awesome students who came along to the exhibition.
for my 30th year in Kenpo, I made this very special Kenpo Karate Crest guitar..