Edmund Kealoha Parker
March 19, 1931
|Died||December 15, 1990 59) (aged|
Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
|Occupation||Martial artist, actor, stunt performer|
Edmund Kealoha Parker (March 19, 1931 – December 15, 1990) was an American martial artist, Senior Grandmaster, and founder of American Kenpo Karate.
Born in Hawaii, Parker began training in Judoat an early age and later studied boxing. During the 1940s, Parker was introduced to Kenpō by Frank Chow, who then introduced Parker to William Chow, a student of James Mitose. Parker trained with William Chow while serving in the Coast Guard and attending Brigham Young University, and 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. He called his adapted style American Kenpo Karate.
Parker opened the first karate school in the western United States in Provo, Utah, in 1954.By 1956, Parker opened a dojo in Pasadena, California. Ed Parker's first ever black-belt was James Ibrao. His first brown-belt student was Charles Beeder. There is controversy over whether Beeder received the first black belt awarded by Parker. Beeder's son has stated for the record that his father's black belt came after Ed Parker had moved to California. The other black belts in chronological order up to 1962 were Ben Otaké; Rich Montgomery; Mills Crenshaw, whom Parker authorized to open a school in Salt Lake City, Utah, in late 1958 (which later became the birthplace of the International Kenpo Karate Association, or IKKA); Tom Garriga; Rick Flores; Al and Jim Tracy of Tracy Kenpo; Chuck Sullivan; Mark Georgantas; John McSweeney; and Dave Hebler. In 1962, John McSweeney opened a school in Ireland, which prompted Parker to give control of the Kenpo Karate Association of America to the Tracy Brothers and form a new organization: the International Kenpo Karate Association.
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 several stunt men and celebrities—most notably Elvis Presley, to whom he eventually awarded a first-degree black belt in Kenpo. He left behind a few world-renowned grand masters: Bob White; Richard "Huk" Planas; Larry Tatum; Ron Chapel; and Frank Trejo, who ran a school in California prior to his death.Parker helped Bruce Lee gain national attention by introducing him at his International Karate Championships. He served as one of Elvis Presley's bodyguard during the singer's final years. He is best known to Kenpoists as the founder of American Kenpo and is referred to fondly as the "Father of American Kenpo." He is formally referred to as Senior Grand Master of American Kenpo.
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. He also played himself (as a mercenary) in the 1979 action film Seven , opposite William Smith. His other acting work included the (uncredited) role of Mr. Chong in Blake Edwards' Revenge of the Pink Panther and again in Curse of the Pink Panther . He was one of the instructors of martial arts action-movie star Jeff Speakman, and Parker assisted with the fight choreography of Speakman's film The Perfect Weapon , which was released in 1991, shortly after Parker's death.
Parker can be seen with Elvis Presley in the opening sequence of the 1977 TV special "Elvis in Concert". Parker wrote a book about his time with Elvis on the road.
Ed Parker was enrolled in Judo classes by his father at the age of twelve, and Parker received his Shodan in Judo in 1949 at the age of eighteen.After receiving his brown belt in Kenpo, he moved to the US mainland to attend Brigham Young University, where he began to teach martial arts. Mr. Parker's kenpo shodan diploma is dated 1953.
During this period, Parker was significantly influenced by the Japanese and Okinawan interpretations prevalent in Hawaii. Parker's book Kenpo Karate, published in 1961, shows the many hard linear movements, albeit with modifications, that set his interpretations apart.
All the influences up to that time were reflected in Parker's rigid, linear method of "Kenpo Karate," as it was called. Between writing and publishing, however, he began to be influenced by the Chinese arts, and included this information in his system. He settled in Southern California after leaving the Coast Guard and finishing his education at BYU. Here he found himself surrounded by other martial artists from a wide variety of systems, many of whom were willing to discuss and share their arts with him. Parker made contact with people like Ark Wong, Haumea Lefiti, Jimmy Wing Woo (who developed many of the American Kenpo forms still used today), Jimmy H.Woo (Chin Siu Dek), founder and Grandmaster of Kung Fu San Soo (Tsoi Li Ho Fut) and Lau Bun. These martial artists were known for their skills in arts such as Five Family Fist Kung Fu, Splashing-Hands, San Soo, T'ai Chi, and Hung Gar, and this influence remains visible in both historical material (such as forms that Parker taught in his system) and current principles.
Exposed to new Chinese training concepts and history, he wrote a second book, Secrets of Chinese Karate, published in 1963. Parker drew comparisons in this and other books between karate (a better known art in the United States at that time) and the Chinese methods he adopted and taught.
Ed Parker, the owner of an international chain of karate schools, died of a heart attack on Saturday after arriving at the Honolulu Airport. He was 59 years old.
|1964||The Secret Door||Uncredited|
|1966||Dimension 5||Sinister Oriental|
|1968||The Money Jungle||Cassidy|
|1968||The Wrecking Crew||Guard||Uncredited|
|1978||Revenge of the Pink Panther||Mr. Chong||Uncredited|
|1978||Buckstone County Prison||Jimbo|
|1978||Kill the Golden Goose||Mauna Loa|
|1983||Curse of the Pink Panther||Mr. Chong||(final film role)|
|1963||The Lucy Show episode Lucy And Viv Learn Karate||Himself||Named in show, credited as "Judo Student #1"|
Kenpō is the name of several arts. The word kenpō is a Japanese translation of the Chinese word "quánfǎ". This term is often informally transliterated as "kempo", as a result of applying Traditional Hepburn romanization, but failing to use a macron to indicate the long vowel. The generic nature of the term combined with its widespread, cross-cultural adoption in the martial arts community has led to many divergent definitions. The word Kenpō translates thus: "Ken" meaning 'Fist' and "Po" meaning 'Method' or 'Law' as in 'Law of gravity', a correct interpretation of the word Kenpō would be 'Fist Method', the same meaning as 'Quanfa'. However, it is often misinterpreted as 'the Law of the Fist'.
Dan Inosanto is an American martial arts instructor. Inosanto is an authority on Jeet Kune Do and Filipino Martial Arts and Pencak Silat.
American Kenpo, is a unique martial art founded by Ed Parker Sr, a Polynesian man from Hawaii who studied and earned a Black Belt Shodan in the Martial Art of Judo and also learned Western Boxing from his father before starting his training with William Kwai Sun Chow a Hawaiian born and raised Chinese martial artist who had received training in Southern Chinese Martial Arts from his father who had grown up in Canton, China before immigrating to Hawaii.
Shōrin-ryū (少林流) is one of the major modern Okinawan martial arts and is one of the oldest styles of karate. It was named by Choshin Chibana in 1933, but the system itself is much older. The characters 少林, meaning "sparse" or "scanty" and "forest" respectively and pronounced "shōrin" in Japanese, are also used in the Chinese and Japanese words for Shaolin. "Ryū" means "school". Shōrin-ryū combines elements of the traditional Okinawan fighting styles of Shuri-te.
Jeff Speakman is an American actor and a martial artist in the art of American Kenpo and Japanese Gōjū-ryū, earning black belts in each. Between 2008 and 2018, he was President of the International Kempo Federation.
James Masayoshi Mitose was a Japanese American martial artist who brought the art of Kenpo to the United States starting in 1936.
The Long Beach International Karate Championships is an International karate and martial arts tournament in Long Beach, California that was first held in August 1964 by Kenpo Grandmaster Ed Parker. The tournament is still in existence. Many great tournament fighters earned their stripes at this tournament, including Chuck Norris, Tony Martinez Sr., Mike Stone, Joe Lewis, Benny "The Jet" Urquidez, Billy Blanks, Jerry Piddington, and "Superfoot" Bill Wallace. The Long Beach Internationals is also where Bruce Lee was first introduced to the martial arts community in August 1964, with Lee making another appearance in 1968.
Edmund Kealoha Parker Jr. is an American martial arts practitioner and artist and the only son of American Kenpo Karate founder Ed Parker.
William Kwai Sun Chow was instrumental in the development of the martial arts in the United States, specifically the family of styles referred to as kenpo/kempo.
Nicholas Raymond Cerio was an American martial artist. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts on July 9, 1936 and died on October 7, 1998 in Warwick, RI.
Adriano Directo Emperado was one of five martial artists who developed the kajukenbo self-defense system.
Jay T. Will was an American martial artist. He trained under Ed Parker and Al Tracy in American Kenpo and was promoted by the latter to the rank of 8th degree black belt.
Takayuki Kubota is a Japanese American master of karate. He founded the Gosoku-ryu style of karate, and is the founder and president of the International Karate Association. Kubota holds the title of Sōke for his development of the Gosoku-ryū style of karate. He is also the inventor and holder of the trademark of the Kubotan self-defense key chain.
The New Gladiators is a documentary movie by Elvis Presley and Ed Parker centered on the fights of the United States Karate team in London, England and Brussels, Belgium. Narrated by Chuck Sullivan, it was filmed between 1973 and 1974 but finally remastered and later released in 2002. The movie was financed by American singer and actor Elvis Presley, who began to practice karate during his duty years in the United States Army.
Kim Pyung-soo, also known as Kim Soo, is a South Korean taekwondo practitioner.
Shaolin Kenpo Karate is a martial art style that combines the Five Animals of Shaolin Kung Fu (Shaolinquan), the core competency of Kempo, the hard-hitting linear explosiveness of traditional Karate, as well as the power of Western boxing and the felling and grappling arts of Jujutsu, Chin Na, and Mongolian wrestling. This system was founded and developed by Fredrick J. Villari, who devised a hybrid system which integrated the four ways of fighting: striking, kicking, felling, and grappling to eliminate the inherent weakness of martial arts systems that focus on just one or two of fighting techniques.
Mutsuto "Bill" Ryusaki was a pioneer of Kenpo in the United States.
Simeone George Pesare was an American martial artist born in Providence, Rhode Island. He was a 10th-degree black belt and had high-degree black belts in additional martial arts including judo, taewkondo, eskrima, and aikido. Pesare was a successful karate and judo competitor. He was a member of the New England Black Belt Hall of Fame.
Mike Stone is an American martial artist, retired karate fighter, fight choreographer, stuntman, actor, author, and motivational speaker.
Karate was first introduced to American service men after World War II by Japanese and Okinawan karate masters.