About Five Fingered Fist Society

The Five Fingered Fist Society is a traditional-style Chinese Kenpo self-defense school founded in 1992 by 10th degree black belt Gary L. McGhee, sifu. Students of the McGhee-influenced system receive authentic Chinese Kenpo training taught from a manual that dates back to 1959. The system focuses on the original five animals, and promises martial arts training for mind, body and spirit.

About Gary L. McGhee

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Gary L. McGhee is a 25-year veteran and retired Captain for the Kansas City, Missouri Fire Department. He began his Chinese Kenpo martial arts training in June, 1971 at the age of 18 as a student of Tom Connor’s Traco International School of self-defense. After four years of study under a variety of instructors, in 1976, Sifu McGhee achieved the rank of brown belt. It was then he began receiving direct instruction from the school’s Grandmaster, Tomas Connor, Sr. At that time, Connor, a student descendent of Chinese Kenpo master Ed Parker and 10th degree black belt, was then sole proprietor of the school he originally founded with brothers Al, Will and Jim Tracy. (The school’s original name is a combination of ‘Tracy and Connor.”)


For the next eight years, Sifu McGhee perfected his craft under the Grandmaster, and in 1984, completed the entire training manual and achieved the coveted rank of third black. Sifu McGhee received his 4th degree black belt rank from Grandmaster Connor in January 1989, five months prior to Connor’s death.


Sifu McGhee has since received honorary ranks of 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th black from his loyal students, and 9th black from Chuan-Fa America, Albuquerque, New Mexico, the martial arts organization headed by John Patrick Nieto. In December 2012 Sifu McGhee was honored with the rank of JuDan or 10th black. In his 42 years as an instructor, Sifu McGhee has continued to build the Chinese Kenpo family tree by awarding more than 12 black belts to accomplished martial artists. In recognition of his dedication, in 2007, Sifu McGhee was inducted into the International Kenpo Hall of Fame as a charter member. The ceremony, A Gathering of Eagles, was held in Chicago, Illinois and hosted by Grandmaster Connor’s former business partner Al Tracy. In October 2009, Sifu McGhee was a featured presenter at the International Martial Arts Summit at Kilauea Military Camp, Hawaii. The event brought together martial arts masters from around the world for a weekend of networking and instruction. In November 2010, Sifu McGhee also was invited to share at the annual Martial Arts Exhibition at the Yasukune Shrine and Temple in Tokyo, Japan. At the close of the exhibition, Sifu McGhee was honored for his participation by Takaharu Kyogaku, Chief Priest of the Shrine.


In addition to providing private and group instruction, Five Fingered Fist Society delivers customized group training, such as a course entitled Restraint With Minimal Force, developed for the Security staff at the Truma Medical Center of Kansas City. Sifu McGhee also is a husband, father and grandfather, former co-chair of the Deacon Ministry at Friendship Baptist Church, and instructor for the National Motorcycle Safety Foundation.