The Life and Art of Mister Parker DVD
A telling documentary on the legacy of American Kenpo Karate legend, Ed Parker. Mister Ed Parker was born in Hawaii in 1931 and began training in the martial arts at a young age in judo and later boxing. During the 1940s, Parker was first introduced to Kenpō by Frank Chow. He introduced Parker to William Chow, a student of James Mitose who trained Parker while serving in the Coast Guard and attending Brigham Young University. 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 and called his style, American Karate. Parker opened the first "Americanized" karate school in the western United States in Provo, Utah in 1954. By 1956, Parker opened a dojo in Pasadena, California. 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 a great many stunt men and celebrities; most notable was Elvis Presley, to whom he eventually awarded an eighth degree black belt in Kenpo. He left behind a great number of grand masters who are known around the world to this day such as Al Tracy, Frank Trejo... Parker helped Bruce Lee gain national attention by introducing him at his International Karate Champion- ships. He served as one of Elvis Presley's bodyguard during the singer's final years, did movie stunt-work and acting, and was one of the Kenpo instructors of martial arts action movie actor Jeff Speakman. Mister Parker is best known to Kenpoists as the founder of American Kenpo and is referred to fondly as the "Father of American Kenpo". Edmund K. Parker died in Honolulu of a heart attack on December 15, 1990. His widow Leilani Parker died on June 12, 2006. Of their four surviving children, only his son, Ed Parker Jr., remains active in the system his father created.