One of the earliest pictures of William Chow's school

John Bishop

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This picture dates from the mid. 1940s. It is before SGM Parker joined William Chow's school. Seated next to William Chow is Sijo Adriano Emperado, who was Chow's first black belt, and later founded the "Kajukenbo" system.
Sijo Emperado and SGM Parker were close friends for over 40 years. Many years after SGM Parker became estranged from Prof. Chow, it was Sijo Emperado who promoted SGM Parker to 8th degree because of his great contributions to the Kenpo arts.
 
Thanks for the pic!

While we are on historical pictures, I have a pic of SGM Parkers 1st black certificate. I can't post the picture due to a copyright of the Parker estate. However, you can view it if you click HERE.
 
Hi Mr. Bishop,

On that picture, there is typed labels denoting rank of each person.

There are listings for white, purple, blue, green and of course black belt.

I was under the impression that the color belt system in most of the US started much later than the mid-forties. Are these labels on the photos a modern addition denoting the estimated ranks of the practitioners based on the modern colored belt system. Or was Prof. Chow actually using those color belts at the time.

Thanks,

Lamont
 
I noted Bobby Lowe (blue belt then) in the photo. He later became a high-anking black belt in Kyokushin Karate under the legendary Mas Oyama. Does anyone know if he is still alive?
 
Originally posted by yilisifu
I noted Bobby Lowe (blue belt then) in the photo. He later became a high-anking black belt in Kyokushin Karate under the legendary Mas Oyama. Does anyone know if he is still alive?
Last I saw Shihan Bobby Lowe was 10 years ago at the Sensei Kenneth Funakoshi's Tourny in northern Cal. I believe he still lives in Hawaii. He was still in great shape.

:asian:
 
Yes, the early Hawaiian kenpo schools used color belts. If you look in James Mitose's book "What is Self Defense, Kenpo Jui jitsu" there are some newspaper clippings indicating some students pictured with Mitose as being "Blue, Green, and other colors" There were no Yellow or Orange belts. First color was white/purple.
The early Kenpo schools in Hawaii used "Half Belts" instead of stripes. "White/Purple" would be between White belt and Purple belt, and onward. They simply had belts sewed back to back, so both colors showed between the tip and the knot.

Bobby Lowe received black belts from both James Mitose and William Chow. He later aligned his school with Mas Oyama's Kyokushinkai Karate, and is still the Kyokushinkai representative in Hawaii.
 
I always wondered where Mr. Kuoha's Kenpo group got those wacky one-sided belts from.... now I know!

OK, so if Mr. Chow used color belts, why did Mr. Parker use the "three brown tip" ranking system when he came to the mainland?

Anyone know?

Thanks,

Lamont
 
Originally posted by John Bishop
fc833c27.jpg



This picture dates from the mid. 1940s. It is before SGM Parker joined William Chow's school. Seated next to William Chow is Sijo Adriano Emperado, who was Chow's first black belt, and later founded the "Kajukenbo" system.
Sijo Emperado and SGM Parker were close friends for over 40 years. Many years after SGM Parker became estranged from Prof. Chow, it was Sijo Emperado who promoted SGM Parker to 8th degree because of his great contributions to the Kenpo arts.

anybody here can tell me who are in this picture ? Please name each of them ORDERLY. I can't see a darn thing in this picture.

i will enjoy more if i know who are in this picture

thank you
 
Originally posted by Blindside
I always wondered where Mr. Kuoha's Kenpo group got those wacky one-sided belts from.... now I know!

OK, so if Mr. Chow used color belts, why did Mr. Parker use the "three brown tip" ranking system when he came to the mainland?

Anyone know?

Thanks,

Lamont
Probably because of the japanese strong influence. Those days Oshima's Group only wore white, brown and black and so did most traditionalists.
:asian:
 
The men in the picture.

Front row R to L: Manual De La Cruz - Blue Belt, Joe Emperado - Blue/Green Belt, William Chow - 10th Dan, Adriano Emperado - 5th Dan, Bobby Lowe - Blue Belt.

Back row R to L: Hank - White/Purple Belt, Paul Yamaguichi - Blue Belt - Dr. Arthur Keawe - Purple Belt, Masaichi Oshiro - White Belt, Henry - White/Purple Belt, last man unk.
 
Originally posted by John Bishop
The men in the picture.

Front row R to L: Manual De La Cruz - Blue Belt, Joe Emperado - Blue/Green Belt, William Chow - 10th Dan, Adriano Emperado - 5th Dan, Bobby Lowe - Blue Belt.

Back row R to L: Hank - White/Purple Belt, Paul Yamaguichi - Blue Belt - Dr. Arthur Keawe - Purple Belt, Masaichi Oshiro - White Belt, Henry - White/Purple Belt, last man unk.

didn't Mitose open the school of Self Defense after 1941? at least that's what he states in his book- the "kenpo" ranks for Emperado and Chow seem odd for the mid-40s even in light of Chow's previous command of other arts and fighting prowess.

and if Emperado started with Chow when he was 20-- that would make it 1946 when he began his Kenpo training and correct me if i'm wrong- kajukenbo got it's start in 1947 :confused:
 
Well,
Kenpo training then and now are 2 differant things. In the old tradition you were expected to train 5 days a week after work for 3-4 hours, and there weren't as many techniques and katas. In fact Mitose only taught 1 kata, and Chow taught none.
According to Mitose's first black belt, Thomas Young, Mitose started teaching in his garage before he opened "The Official Self Defense Club" in the early 40s. Both Thomas Young and William Chow received their black belts before the official openning of the club.
In old kenpo traditions a black belt could not be the "Chief Instructor" of his own school until he was 5th degree. In other words he could have a school, but it had to be a branch school under his instructor, and he had to pay "tribute" to his instructor, ussually 30%. (That is still the tradition in Kajukenbo and the older Hawaiian Kenpo schools such as "CHA-3 Kenpo", and "Universal Kempo". Of course the 30% no longer is the norm. It's ussually some type of Association dues.)
According to William Chow, Mitose promoted him to 10th degree, and he in turn promoted his senior black belt (Emperado) to 5th degree. Back then it was not uncommon for kenpo black belts to be promoted straight to 5th if they were running their own school. Often times for a fee.
Emperado was still teaching at Chow's school during the development of Kajukenbo in the late 40s.

Now days we look at men like Emperado, Parker, Chow, Funakoshi, Kano, etc, and think that they must have always been old masters in the arts. When in reality they were young men in their 20s who had a vision of what their art could be, and spent decades pursuing that vision.
 
Now days we look at men like Emperado, Parker, Chow, Funakoshi, Kano, etc, and think that they must have always been old masters in the arts. When in reality they were young men in their 20s who had a vision of what their art could be, and spent decades pursuing that vision. [/B]
An excellent point sir to be sure. All of the "old" masters were young kids feeling their way, and trying to make heads ot tails of what they were doing. They all changed over time and evolved. Some improved some didn't but they all changed. Modern "masters" are no exception. Parker was a brown belt when he began teaching on his own in Utah, and in his twenties when he opened his frist school and became the head instructor of his own system. Bruce Lee was 19 and opened his first school after barely 3/4 years of training in Wing Chun and was only 24 when he gave his famous demo at Parker's IKC. By then Parker was a "senior" in his very early thirties.

It was a different time and place in the arts, and high rank coud be attained for various reasons in a very short period of time, primarily because there was so "little" to learn, because so little was known.

That changed when Parker became exposed and began training with Chinese Masters, and discovered informatin he never knew existed.

Unfortunately Bruce Lee and others have given every wide eyed bored student who doesn't progress as fast as they think they should, the idea they can create their own style and then teach it. What they didn't understand was Bruce was creating a style for himself, not for teaching others. When you teach others you can't strip away information someone else may want or more importantly, need.

Kinda like teaching college but because you don't like math, you don't teach it to your students who may in fact need it for what they intend to do in life. You do them a disservice to those who trust you to know what they need, not what you like.

Everyone has a right to create their own way of training, but calling it a style and teaching it is questionable. There was a time when I knew every style that existed. Now there are so many "backyard styles." I don't even try to keep up with them. Actually creating a codified progressive curriculum with significant validity to all is more than the "notion" some of made it.

As usual sir, right on the money.
 
Originally posted by John Bishop
Well,

In old kenpo traditions a black belt could not be the "Chief Instructor" of his own school until he was 5th degree. In other words he could have a school, but it had to be a branch school under his instructor, and he had to pay "tribute" to his instructor, ussually 30%. (That is still the tradition in Kajukenbo and the older Hawaiian Kenpo schools such as "CHA-3 Kenpo", and "Universal Kempo". Of course the 30% no longer is the norm. It's ussually some type of Association dues.)
According to William Chow, Mitose promoted him to 10th degree, and he in turn promoted his senior black belt (Emperado) to 5th degree. Back then it was not uncommon for kenpo black belts to be promoted straight to 5th if they were running their own school. Often times for a fee.


first off- thanks for the insights- very fascinating.

but do you mean in the Hawaiian' martial art tradition or Japanese/Okinawan tradition?
 
You know I don't really know if it was a Japanese tradition or a Hawaiian Kenpo tradition.
I know that the early Kenpo schools adopted many of the traditions of the Okizaki Dojo (jujitsu) because they were the only traditional school availiable to all races. And when Mitose gave his "Official Self Defense Club" to Thomas Young in 1953, Young affliated it with Okizaki's American Jujitsu Institute, as the karate branch. And to this very day it is still affliated with the A.J.I. with it's head instructor Prof. Charles Lee.

One other point about early masters. Some people have said that when people like Emperado and Parker started their systems they were not masters. But you can't apply todays standards to the martial artists of the 40s and 50s. When Ed Parker started teaching in Calif. there were only 2 karate black belts in the whole state, Ed Parker and Tsutomu Oshima. So if they werent masters, who was?
Same for Emperado. In 1947 there were only 4 or 5 kenpo black belts in all of America. So who would be masters if they werent?
 
OK, so I know I am computer "challenged", but where is the picture?

Great post immediately preceeding that. Insightful and informative Mr. Bishop.

-Michael
 
yilisifu said:
I noted Bobby Lowe (blue belt then) in the photo. He later became a high-anking black belt in Kyokushin Karate under the legendary Mas Oyama. Does anyone know if he is still alive?

He is very much alive and well I was talking to him last weekend at a tournament he threw in Honolulu. He is still very powerful and runs a very hard class. His classes are not for the weak of heart.

Respectfully
 

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