Kenpo Karate

Eric Daniel

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I have been doing some research on American Kenpo Karate and I have learned a lot about Kenpo Karate. The "father" of American Kenpo Karate is Ed Parker. Ed Parker learned Kempo from William chow in Hawaii. Kenpo means law of fist. After achieving his dan (black belt) rank he went to college and got a bachlors degree in Psychology. After that he came to the United States and opened his first dojo (school), it was also the first Karate school in the United States. Ed took what he learned from William Chow, revised it and came up with theories and concepts that will work more in today's world. Because of this many people believe Kenpo Karate is a good Martial Art to get into if you want sort of "reality" type of moves. On December 15, 1990 Ed died at the age of 59. Today there are many practiotioners out there who do and teach Kenpo Karate, Of these are Jeff Speakman, Larry Tattum, and Chuck Sullivan. (There are many others I just put down a few names that you might be familar with for Kenpo Karate.)
 

arnisador

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Eric Daniel said:
After that he came to the United States and opened his first dojo (school), it was also the first Karate school in the United States.

Well, not a Karate school in the sense of this forum (Karate as a JMA). Isn't Robert Trias usually credited with that? Kenpo is based principally on Southern Chinese Kung Fu...just as Okinawan Karate is.
 

JAMJTX

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"After achieving his dan (black belt) rank he went to college and got a bachlors degree in Psychology."

He was a broen belt when he left for college in Utah and began teaching. He promoted himslef to black belt when he started teaching.

And it is correct that this is not "karate". What Trias taught also was not karate "as a Japanese Martial Art".
 

OnlyAnEgg

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Shouldn't this topic be ocurring in the Kenpo Fora? I'm not agin it here, mind you; but, Bob's got a slew of drive space set aside for just this topic :)

Respectfully,

egg
 

Brother John

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arnisador said:
Isn't Robert Trias usually credited with that?
Yes. Mr. Trias opened the first Karate school in the USA.
I think that Mr. Parker opened the first "Chain" though. Could be wrong.

Your Brother
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Ronin Moose

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JAMJTX said:
"After achieving his dan (black belt) rank he went to college and got a bachlors degree in Psychology."

He was a broen belt when he left for college in Utah and began teaching. He promoted himslef to black belt when he started teaching.

And it is correct that this is not "karate". What Trias taught also was not karate "as a Japanese Martial Art".

Mr. Parker received his black belt from Professor Chow on June 5, 1953. I tried to upload a copy of the certificate, but the file was too big. It is available to view in several places on the internet.
 

arnisador

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Was that considered one black belt in Prof. Chow's system, or three black belts (in Kenpo, Kara-te, and Jiu Jitsu)? I understood it to be a single art that combined the three and so am surprised to see the three components separately listed, but I assume it was meant to refer to a single art?
 

Flying Crane

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arnisador said:
Was that considered one black belt in Prof. Chow's system, or three black belts (in Kenpo, Kara-te, and Jiu Jitsu)? I understood it to be a single art that combined the three and so am surprised to see the three components separately listed, but I assume it was meant to refer to a single art?

I believe it was a single rank in a single art. I think Mr. Chow (and others) combined the terms karate and jiu jitsu with kenpo at different times to describe the art. Since it has techniques that could be described as either karate or jiu jitsu, it sort of makes sense, tho I see kenpo as a distinct art.
 

Doc

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Brother John said:
Yes. Mr. Trias opened the first Karate school in the USA.
I think that Mr. Parker opened the first "Chain" though. Could be wrong.

Your Brother
John
Hey Bro John. What actually Mr. Parker laid claim to was the opening of the first "actual" martial arts school in this country. Mr. Parker's second school in Pasadena was built from the ground up to be a martial arts school and never has been anything else. Prior to this, there were different teachers teaching like Ark Wong, or even Robert Trias, but all before him taught in store fronts, gyms, schools, and converted facilities. Thus Parker's school was the "first actual school."
 

JAMJTX

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Since all of Trias' teachers were American, can someone explain how he opened the first karate school?
 

Doc

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arnisador said:
Was that considered one black belt in Prof. Chow's system, or three black belts (in Kenpo, Kara-te, and Jiu Jitsu)? I understood it to be a single art that combined the three and so am surprised to see the three components separately listed, but I assume it was meant to refer to a single art?
Actually sir, because of the way Chow taught, everyone actually studied three disciplines simultaneously. At the time it was not considered unusual in the islands to achieve ranking in multiple areas. Look at Mr. Parker's Sr. under Chow and Chow's most senior black belt, Sijo Adriano Emperado who is the chief architect of Kajukenbo. And art comprised of multiple arts itself.
"Ka"-rate "Ju"-do "Ken"-po and "Bo"-xing.
 

Doc

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JAMJTX said:
"After achieving his dan (black belt) rank he went to college and got a bachlors degree in Psychology."

He was a broen belt when he left for college in Utah and began teaching. He promoted himslef to black belt when he started teaching.
For the record: Parker was a brown belt when he left college in Utah to go into the military. While he was in the military stationed in Hawaii he continued to study and received his black belt from Chow. He returned to school and finished receiving a degree in soc and psych. Mr. Parker never held any "dan" ranks breaking from the yudanshikai almost immediately upon settling in Pasadena.

Sir, It wouldn't hurt to preface statements with "I heard," or "I was told."
 

Doc

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Eric Daniel said:
I have been doing some research on American Kenpo Karate and I have learned a lot about Kenpo Karate. The "father" of American Kenpo Karate is Ed Parker.
Actually Ed Parker laid claim to the title "Father of American Karate."
Ed Parker learned Kempo from William chow in Hawaii.
KENPO.
After achieving his dan (black belt) rank he went to college and got a bachlors degree in Psychology.
Mr. Parker achieved the rank of brown belt before he started college, and returned to college as a black belt after finishing his tour of duty and received his two degrees.
After that he came to the United States and opened his first dojo (school),
He went to school at BYU in Utah so he was already in the United States.
Ed took what he learned from William Chow, revised it and came up with theories and concepts that will work more in today's world.
If you don't mind, perhaps it would be respectful to address the man as Mr. Parker, unless you knew him personally and he told you to call him "Ed." He didn't like to be called "Ed."
On December 15, 1990 Ed died at the age of 59. Today there are many practiotioners out there who do and teach Kenpo Karate, Of these are Jeff Speakman, Larry Tattum, and Chuck Sullivan. (There are many others I just put down a few names that you might be familar with for Kenpo Karate.)
Mr. TATUM. You may find sir that this is the wrong place to give someone a history lesson about Kenpo. You might also consider finding a different source for your "research." This is how false information gets spread around. At least however you attributed your information to your own "research."
 

arnisador

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Doc said:
Actually sir, because of the way Chow taught, everyone actually studied three disciplines simultaneously. At the time it was not considered unusual in the islands to achieve ranking in multiple areas.

Ah, OK! Thanks for the info.
 

arnisador

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Doc said:
Actually Ed Parker laid claim to the title "Father of American Karate."

I gather this is meant to be distinguished from a title like "Father of (Japanese) Karate in America" that Robert Trias or others might claim? That he was claiming to be the father of the American style of Oriental fighting, in essence? Certainly, I can see where he could make and defend the latter claim! The former claim is open to counter-claims, though (whether Robert Trias qualifies or not).

and received his two degrees.

Now, this is a quibble that is near and dear to my heart (though no one else will care), for I have had to pore over the details of it many times in the academic rules and regulations handbook...almost certainly he received one degree with two majors, now two degrees (each with one major)? I did the latter, but the former is overwhelemingly more common, and with two Arts and Sciences majors like Psych. and Soc. I'd expect the former would be the only option allowed if they were both from the same college. Usually you can only get a single degree (with multiple majors) from a given college within a university, though not all schools follow this--for example, the school at which I currently teach does not.

-Arnisador, B.S. (Mathematics), B.S.E.E. (Electrical Engineering)
 

Doc

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arnisador said:
I gather this is meant to be distinguished from a title like "Father of (Japanese) Karate in America" that Robert Trias or others might claim? That he was claiming to be the father of the American style of Oriental fighting, in essence? Certainly, I can see where he could make and defend the latter claim! The former claim is open to counter-claims, though (whether Robert Trias qualifies or not).
Parker knew there were others like Ark Wong (Chinese), Sea Oh Choi (Korean), Hidetaka Nishiyama (Japanese), who were teaching martial arts in America. But he made the distinction that they were teaching a transplanted version of their various arts. ie "Chinese, Korean, Japanese, etc arts that happen to be taught in the U.S.A. as they were taught in other countries as well. He however was the first to create and teach an American Form of the art which made him the undisputed "Father of American Karate." He also obviously was the "Father of American Kenpo" but he purposely ceased using the term "American Kenpo" when he decided to broaden the business aspect of the art. He never actually claimed his rightful place of "Father of American Kenpo."

He instead, changed it to Ed Parker's Kenpo Karate. Many clung to or adopted the "American Kenpo" name but Parker held that in reserve for his personal and evolving interpetation he began with the Chinese thus transitioning fron "Chinese Kenpo" to his own "American Kenpo" interpretations that did not have the word "karate" attached.
Now, this is a quibble that is near and dear to my heart (though no one else will care), for I have had to pore over the details of it many times in the academic rules and regulations handbook...almost certainly he received one degree with two majors, now two degrees (each with one major)? I did the latter, but the former is overwhelemingly more common, and with two Arts and Sciences majors like Psych. and Soc. I'd expect the former would be the only option allowed if they were both from the same college. Usually you can only get a single degree (with multiple majors) from a given college within a university, though not all schools follow this--for example, the school at which I currently teach does not.
-Arnisador, B.S. (Mathematics), B.S.E.E. (Electrical Engineering)
Your point is well taken and I admit I never saw his academic creds, however he distinctly told me he had degrees in both. Probably a moot point, but curious.
 
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