Edmund Kealoha Parker Sr.
10th Degree Black Belt
Founder of American Kenpo
Mr. Edmund Kealoha Parker Sr. was born in Hawaii on March 19, 1931, and raised a devout Mormon. He began his training in the martial arts at a young age in Judo and later boxing. Some time in the 1940's, Ed Parker was first introduced to Kenpo by Frank Chow. After some time Frank Chow introduced Ed Parker to William K. S. Chow. Mr. Parker lived in Honolulu, Hawaii where he trained in Kenpo with William Chow, until 1950 when he left to attend college at Brigham Young University. In 1953 Mr. Parker earned his black belt..
Soon 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. Early in his training, Mr. Parker realized the need to further modify the Art of Kenpo to suit modern day fighting situations.
One of his first black belts was James Ibrao. Other black belts in chronological order up to 1962 were; Rich Montgomery, Rick Flores, Al Tracy, Jim Tracy, Chuck Sullivan, John McSweeney, and Dave Hebler.
"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).
Mr. Parker was well known for his skills as an instructor. He also helped many a martial artists to open their schools. He was also well known in Hollywood, he trained a great many stuntmen and celebrities. One of his most well known celebrity students was Elvis Presley. There are a great many people who owe Mr. Parker in one way or another.
On December 15, 1990 in Honolulu, Hawaii, Mr. Parker passed away at the age of 59. 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.