Edmund Kealoha Parker, SR.
"Father of American
Karate" "Creator of American Kenpo"
(March 19, 1931 - December
Master Ed Parker is known worldwide as the "Father of American Kenpo
Karate" and was the president and founder of the Ed Parker Kenpo school
chain, as well as the International Kenpo Karate Association. Mr. Edmund
Kealoha Parker was born on March 18, 1931 in Honolulu, Hawaii where he
lived until 1950, when he left to attend college in Utah. He studied and
earned his Black Belt in Kenpo Karate under the late Professor William
K.S. Chow, one of the world's leading Kenpo Black Belt holders and
innovators of the Art.
after he began his study of Kenpo, Mr. Parker knew that Kenpo would
become a way of life for him. He opened his first private Kenpo Club in
1954 at Brigham Young University, and his first public school in
September of 1956 in Pasadena, California. This school is still opened
today. Early in his training, Mr. Parker realized the need to further
modify the Art of Kenpo to suit modern day fighting situations.
Professor Chow had taught Mr. Parker a number of "Master Key Movements"
which provided Mr. Parker his start on becoming a creative innovator.
"The Parker System of American Kenpo" is based on principals,
theoretical innovations, and logic not yet employed by other systems.
Mr. Parker founded the International Kenpo Karate Association in 1956
(albeit, the Kenpo Karate Association of America). He traveled
frequently to share his vast knowledge of Kenpo, and he was also very
active in writing books (most notable are his five volume series in
Infinite Insights into Kenpo).
He was a graduate of Kamehameha High School (1949),
Honolulu, Hawaii, where he was born and raised. Mr. Parker had a B.S.
Degree from Brigham Young University (1956) with a Major in Sociology
and Psychology, and a Minor in Political Science.
FEATURED IN MANY PUBLICATIONS:
He has been featured in
National and International magazines: TIME, Look, Strength and Health,
Show Business Illustrated, Iron Man, Action Karate, Black Belt, Karate
Illustrated, Official Karate, Inside Kung Fu, American Karate, and
Karate / Kung Fu Illustrated; in newspapers nationwide; martial arts
magazines worldwide; articles in the World Encyclopedia and many others.
HE APPEARED ON TELEVISION AND IN THE MOVIES:
appeared in dozens of movies and television shows, including Revenge of
the Pink Panther and Curse of the Pink Panther. In addition, he taught
Karate to nearly every big name actor and actress in Hollywood of his
time -- including, Robert Culp, Joey Bishop, Jose Ferrar, Rick Jason,
Nick Adams, Frank Lovejoy, Robert Wagner, Elvis Presley, Natalie Wood,
and Elke Sommer, to name a few. He had also been a technical advisor for
motion pictures and TV.
DYNAMIC LECTURES AND
Mr. Parker spoke, lectured or put on
exciting demonstrations at high schools, colleges, civic clubs, clinics,
tournaments, church groups, youth groups, and a variety of other venues.
He was a highly sought-after speaker and his Karate demonstrations were
famous nationwide and worldwide. He was in great demand throughout the
world to put on his blinding demonstrations of speed, skill and power
along with giving his picturesque analogies when explaining the art so
all could understand. He frequently put on seminars and demonstrations
in Australia, England, Spain, Ireland, Chile, Venezuela and had many
worldwide government officials as his students.
MANY BOOKS AND PUBLICATIONS:
Throughout the years Mr. Parker
authored many books: Basic Kenpo Book, Kenpo Karate, The Women's Guide
to Self Defense, Secrets of the Chinese Karate, A Guide to Law
Enforcement, Home Study Karate Workshop Course, A Guide to the
Nunchacku, Infinite Insights Into Kenpo (Volumes 1-5), The Zen of Kenpo,
Kenpo in the Streets, Speak With A Knife, Speak With A Club, Everyday
Gestures That Can Save Your Life, Answers to Multiple Attacks On the
Street, Inside Elvis, Accumulative Journals (Yellow to Black), and his
revolutionary Encyclopedia of Kenpo. Instructional video tapes are also
products of his endeavors to enlighten others of the merits of Kenpo.
INTERNATIONAL KARATE CHAMPIONSHIPS IN LONG BEACH, CA:
Mr. Parker annually produced what was then the world's largest and
foremost Karate tournament, the International Karate Championships in
long Beach, California. Mr. Parker was also a consultant and advisor to
numerous other Karate tournaments worldwide.
Mr. Parker's uniqueness rested in his
continuous efforts to combat traditional restrictions binding
progressive thinking. He was truly a creative genius because of his
incredible ability to discover the problems within the Martial Arts. His
contributions and innovations are endless, encompassing logic and
reasoning not yet employed by others. His four decades of experience,
contributions, and endeavors establish him as the ONLY Senior Grand
Master of the system, the original author of the training material. Mr.
Parker was a close friend, teach, and mentor of 26 years. On December
15, 1990 in Honolulu, Hawaii, Mr. Parker passed away at the age of 59.
That was a very sad day for Kenpoist all over the world. His death was
unexpected and untimely. At the time of his death, he was in the midst
of completing his first series of Kenpo instructional videos and his
Encyclopedia of Kenpo. Thousands attended his funeral to pay their
respects to one of the world's greatest martial Arts or specifically
Kenpo innovators of all time.
Although Mr. Parker has gone, his
spirit carries on, and the many hundreds of Kenpoist who were fortunate
enough to have known and studied with Mr. Parker, continue his legacy.