American Kenpo or Kenpo Karate is a system of martial arts commercialized by Ed Parker, characterized by the use of quick moves in rapid-fire succession. The multitude of fast strikes, sometimes criticized by other arts, has a dual purpose. The strikes may overwhelm an opponent but more importantly, the various strikes demonstrate to the practitioner that there are many options should the technique not work as planned, and also should the initial strikes miss some will not.
When has the Kenpo Creed been written?
March, 1957 by Ed Parker
What does the Kenpo Crest mean?
Represents physical strength and the early stage of a martial artist's learning.
Represents spiritual strength and the later stage of a martial artist's training. The dragon is placed above the tiger in the crest to symbolize the importance of mental/spiritual strength over physical strength. This does not mean that physical strength is unimportant. What it does imply is that martial artists need to think first before acting physically.
The circle represents continuity.
The lines within the circle represent the original methods of attack first learned by ancient practitioners of the Chinese martial arts. They also demonstrate the pathways which an object could travel by.
The colors are representations of proficiency within the art alluding to the colored belt ranking system. The white represents the beginning stages and progresses through to black (expert level) and then red (professorship).
The writing acknowledges the art's Eastern roots. The characters on the right of the crest translate to "Law of the Fist" and "Empty Hand" a.k.a. "Kenpo Karate." The characters on the left translate to "Spirit of the Dragon and the Tiger."
The shape of the crest represents the structure of a house. The walls and roof are curved to keep evil from intruding. The ax at the bottom of the crest is a solemn reminder that should a martial artist tarnish the reputation of the organization they will be "cut off" completely.
When has the Kenpo Crest been designed?
The design of the Kenpo Crest was completed in 1958 when the art of American Kenpo was gaining international notoriety.
Has Kenpo been known under any other name?
Ed Parker initially called his art Kenpo Jujitsu. When Ed Parker embraced the Chinese Arts he began to refer to his art as "Chinese Kenpo." And only later he called it American Kenpo.
How many belts in Kenpo?
American Kenpo has a graded colored belt system consisting of White, Yellow, Orange, Purple, Blue, Green, Third degree Brown, Second degree Brown, First degree Brown, and Black Belt (from first to tenth degree).
Who is Ed Parker?
Parker was born in Hawaii and began his training in the martial arts at a young age with Judo and boxing. Sometime in the 1940s, Ed Parker was first introduced to Kenpō by Frank Chow. Frank Chow introduced Ed Parker to William Chow, a student of James Mitose who trained Parker while serving in the Coast Guard and attending Brigham Young University. In 1953 he was promoted to the rank of black belt. Parker, seeing that modern times posed new situations that were not addressed in Kenpo, adapted the art to make it more easily applicable to the streets of America and called his style American Kenpo Karate.
When Ed Parker opened his first dojo?
Parker opened the first "Americanized" karate school in the western United States in Provo, Utah in 1954. By 1956, Parker opened a Dojo in Pasadena, California.
Who were the first black belts?
The first black belts in chronological order up to 1962 were: Charles Beeder, Rich Montgomery, James Ibrao, Mills Crenshaw, Rick Flores, Al and Jim Tracy of Tracy Kenpo, Chuck Sullivan, John McSweeney, and Dave Hebler.
Why Ed Parker was so popular?
Parker was well known for his business creativity and helped many martial artists open their own dojos. He was well known in Hollywood where he trained many stunt men and celebrities, most notable was Elvis Presley, to whom he eventually awarded an eighth degree black belt in Kenpo. He left behind a few grand masters who are known around the world to this day such as Al Tracy and Frank Trejo. He helped Bruce Lee gain national attention by introducing him at his International Karate Championships.
Was he an actor?
Parker had a minor career as a Hollywood actor and stunt man. His most notable film was Kill the Golden Goose. In this film, he co-stars with Hapkido master Bong Soo Han. His acting work included the (uncredited) role of Mr. Chong in Blake Edwards' Revenge of the Pink Panther. In the 1991 he served as a fighting choreographer on The Perfect Weapon movie starring his most talented student Jeff Speakman.
When did he died?
Edmund K. Parker died in Honolulu of a heart attack on December 15, 1990. His widow Leilani Parker died on June 12, 2006. Of their four surviving children, only his son, Ed Parker Jr., remains active in the system his father created.
What books did he write?
He left a very good collection of books.
1960, Kenpo Karate: Law of the Fist and the Empty Hand. Delsby Publications
1963, Secrets of Chinese Karate. Prentice-Hall
1975, Ed Parker's Guide to the Nunchaku ISBN
1975, Ed Parker's Kenpo Karate Accumulative Journal. International Kenpo Karate Association.
1978, Inside Elvis. Rampart House
1982, Ed Parker's Infinite Insights into Kenpo, Vol. 1: Mental Stimulation. Delsby Publications
1983, Ed Parker's Infinite Insights into Kenpo, Vol. 2: Physical Analyzation I. Delsby Publications
1985, Ed Parker's Infinite Insights into Kenpo, Vol. 3: Physical Analyzation II. Delsby Publications
1986, Ed Parker's Infinite Insights Into Kenpo, Vol. 4: Mental and Physical Constituents. Delsby Publications
1987, Ed Parker's Infinite Insights Into Kenpo: Vol. 5: Mental and Physical Applications. Delsby Publications
1988, The Woman's Guide to Self Defense
1988, The Zen of Kenpo. Delsby Publications
1992, Ed Parker's Encyclopedia of Kenpo. Delsby Publications
Who can be an instructor?
Any student from the First Degree Black Belt.
First Degree - Junior Instructor
Second Degree - Associate Instructor
Third Degree - Head Instructor
Fourth Degree - Senior Instructor
Fifth Degree - Associate Professor
Sixth Degree - Professor
Seventh Degree - Senior Professor
Eighth Degree - Associate Master
Ninth Degree - Master
Tenth Degree - Grand Master
Tenth Degree and Founder - Senior Grand Master
We're not doing Karate, Kung Fu or Mixed Martial Arts. Kenpo 5.0 is a system within itself. It's based on a series of combat models.
- Jeff Speakman