(10th Degree Black Belt)
Founder of Tracy’s International Studios of Self Defense.
One of Ed Parker's earlier Black Belts.
The Tracy brothers began their martial training in fencing, boxing, and wrestling. They embarked on their study of Kenpo with Ed Parker and one of his first Black Belts, James Ibrao, in 1957, while attending college as pre-
Al Tracy was the powerhouse of Ed Parker’s studio, and, as seen in the brochure used in 1962-
There has been question as to whether or not Al and Jim Tracy received their Black Belts (Shodan) from Ed Parker. In the Family Tree listed in the original "Infinite Insights", by Mr. Parker, you can see that Al and Jim Tracy are listed as Black belts under Ed Parker, first generation. They also have the largest number of Black Belts listed under their tree!
Al and Jim Tracy were promoted to Black Belt (Shodan) January 2, 1962. The certificate was dated January 7, 1962. In the spring of that year, the Tracy brothers opened their first studio in San Francisco, which was named Kenpo Karate Studio, and was the northern branch of Ed Parker’s organization. It was there that the Tracy brothers created the three new Kyu ranks and the Kenpo "colored belt system". Ed Parker adopted the new 8-
The Tracy brothers opened a second school, in Sacramento, in 1962, and a third, in San Jose, in 1963, and later changed the name of the schools to Tracy’s Kenpo Karate.
Ed Parker turned the Kenpo Karate Association of America (KKAA) over to the Tracy brothers and then formed the International Kenpo Karate Association (IKKA). The Tracy brothers agreed to join the IKKA, on the condition that they could keep the standards of teaching of the KKAA for their own students.
Ed Parker promoted Al Tracy to 3rd Degree Black Belt on December 4, 1964. The certificate is from the IKKA and is signed by Ed Parker, Mills Crenshaw, Stan Hall, and Charles Sullivan, and witnessed by Charlotte Connor, the wife of Tom Connor.
The Tracy brothers later opened schools throughout California, as well as other states, and formed the Tracy’s International Studios of Self-
By 1982, Ed Parker had changed what he called American Kenpo, so much so as to make it in Parker’s own words, "no more than 10% Kenpo." It was around this time that the Tracy’s completely broke from Ed Parker.
Al Tracy Today:
Al Tracy’s Kenpo Karate remains to this day teaching "Original/Traditional" Kenpo as taught to him by Ed Parker.
The Tracy’s International Studios of Self Defense is a worldwide organization, based out of Lexington, Kentucky, comprised of over 1,000 schools. It is the largest system of affiliated schools and the longest-
Grand Master Al Tracy has organized the largest “gathering” of Kenpoist in the world. A true historic event called "The Gathering of Eagles”, which took place in Las Vegas, Nevada, February of 1999. The Gathering brought together over seventy masters, representing Kenpo, American Kenpo, Shaolin Kenpo, Wun Hop Kuen Do, Lima Lama, Kajukenbo, etc., and included some of the biggest names in Kenpo; James Ibrao, Thomas Mitose, the son of the late James Mitose, Al Dacascos, Ralph and Rob Castro, William Chun, Sonny Gascon, Bart Vale, Larry Tatum, Dave Simmons, Adriano Emperado, Richard Lee, Sig Kufferath, Tino Tuiolosega, John McSweeney, and the list goes on and on. Between 1100-
The second Gathering of Eagles took place in 2001 and was attended by approximately 1500-
Grand Master Al Tracy has also been a wealth of information and should be honored as an innovator for his work in spreading Kenpo throughout the world and brining the Kenpo community together with events like the Gathering of Eagles.
Grand Master Al Tracy was inducted into the Blue Grass National Hall of Fame in June 2000.
Grand Master Al Tracy passed away on October 31, 2017.