Kris McKinney is a nationally certified practitioner of acupuncture and oriental medicine under the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), earning his Masters of Science at Pacific College in Chicago.
He completed his Bachelor degree in Movement Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and is also a nationally certified and licensed Massage Therapist under the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). In addition, he is a licensed Registered Nurse (RN), completing his Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) at Chamberlain Nursing College.
Kris began martial training at 15 and has been studying for nearly 23 years. His past experience includes Ed Parker’s Kenpo, Boxing, Kick Boxing, Muay Thai, Judo, and Jujutsu.
Kris discovered James Morganelli online and has been training with him regularly for more than 13 years. He currently teaches three time per week in addition to continuing his training with James when his work schedule permits.
In 2013, he earned his Shidoshi (teacher’s) license on his first trip to Japan.
Ten Questions with Shidoshi Kris McKinney 2019
What is your personal martial arts biography?
I've been training martial arts for 23 years and have studied of variety of striking and grappling arts. In addition, my time studying Bujinkan Taijutsu has also included extensive weapons training. This has resulted in a well-rounded and well-developed martial skill set.
Why do you train?
I train in order to better myself mentally, physically, and spiritually.
What do you think is/are the core value(s) of martial arts training?
I believe that the core values of martial arts training is the protection of oneself and others.
Can you explain your method of training and teaching?
My training method focuses upon the concept, "Practice makes permanent" as opposed to "Practice makes perfect." Repetition ingrains movement into one's mind, body, and spirit, thus it is important to be aware of not only what you do, but how you do it.
Is there a “secret” to training?
If there is a secret to training it is that you have to keep going, you have keep challenging yourself to be better. You have to be willing to dedicate yourself to mastering your respective art. The more time, effort, and energy you put into it the more you will get out of it.
What would you recommend others do to improve their training?
Do things outside of training to enhance your training. Engage in strength training and cardiovascular conditioning. Also exercise and build your brain. Learn about the human body and all its capabilities.
What are the biggest differences today than when you first began training?
The biggest difference is the duration of classes. When I first started, classes would sometimes last three to four hours. One can overtrain martial arts, like one can overtrain muscles at the gym.
At a certain point the mind hits maximum capacity. You have to allow yourself time to process what you learn in class similar to how you need to allow your muscles time to recover from strength training.
What is the role a martial artist plays in our world?
The role of a martial artist is that of a protector and teacher/mentor. It is our job to not only use our training to conquer our own fears and insecurities, but also help others do the same by teaching and passing on our art.
What one thing would you contribute to a “Book of Knowledge?”
That the highest level of martial skill is achieved by seeking to protect and preserve life. Keeping this in mind during one's training, we can inherently develop the highest level of skill and ability possible.
Do you have any great hope for the future of martial training?
I hope that martial training will continue to grow and thrive to serve as the means to break down barriers between people.
I hope that it will help to create a world where people are not held hostage by their fears and insecurities, instead they will be able live their lives freely.