Edmund Kealoha Parker, SR.
"Father of American Karate" "Creator
of American Kenpo"
(March 19, 1931 - December 15, 1990)
Senior Grand 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).
AN EDUCATED MAN:
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:
He 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 DEMONSTRATIONS:
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.
AUTHOR OF 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
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.
A FINAL NOTE:
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.