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 Ed Parker

Ed Parker

Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA
Death 15 Dec 1990 (aged 59)
Kahaluu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA
Burial Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Memorial ID 16961875 · View Source
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Actor, author, martial arts promoter,stunt man. As a actor or stunt choreographer, he has worked in: The Wrecking Crew, Money Jungle, The Devil's Choice, The Revenge of the Pink Panther, Seven, and Kill the Golden Goose. He has appeared in numerous television shows, including The Rebel, I Spy, I Love Lucy, and The Courtship of Eddie's Father, the movie Perfect weapon was dedicated to him staring Jeff Speakman, and his son Ed,Jr played his father in the movie Dragon the Bruce Lee story. Ed Parker was born in Hawaii, and raised a devout Mormon. When Ed was about eight years of age his father got him started in Judo. The next endeavor for Ed was Boxing. Most boxing was done at the YMCA and Boys Clubs.Ed's first real training in the Martial Arts came from a fellow Church member, Frank Chow. Frank taught many of the local youth out of the Mormon Rec. Center. It wasn't long before Frank recognized the young tough Hawaiians potential and recommended that Ed study with his brother, William Chow. After some time Frank Chow introduced him to William K. S. Chow. Mr. Parker trained with William Chow, while serving in the Coast Guard and attending Brigham Young University. It was 1953 that he was promoted to the rank of brown belt by William K.S. Chow. by 1956, Mr. Parker opened his own school in Pasadena, California. There is a bit of a debate in who was actually his first black belt, some claim it was James Ibrao, others claim Charles Beeder was his first black belt. In either case, the 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. In 1962 one of Mr. Parker's black belts, John McSweeney, opened a school in Ireland, which enabled Mr. Parker to create the International Kenpo Karate Association, which came to be known as "American Kenpo" and Ed Parker was then referred to as the Senior Grand Master of American Kenpo. Parker was well known for his business creativity. He helped many martial artists to open their dojos. He was also well known in Hollywood where he trained a great many stunt men and celebrities; most notable was Elvis Presley, to whom he awarded a black belt in Kenpo. He also left behind a few grand masters who are know around the world to this day such as Frank Trejo who runs a school in California. He also helped Bruce Lee gain national attention by introducing him at his International Karate Championships. He served as 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. He is best known to Kenpoists as the founder of American Kenpo and is referred to fondly as the "Father of American Karate". He is formally referred to as Senior Grand Master of American Kenpo. His acting work included the (uncredited) role of Mr. Chong in student Blake Edwards' Revenge of the Pink Panther. Ed Parker died in Honolulu of a heart attack . His widow Leilani Parker passed away on June 12, 2006. Despite his death, the tradition of American Kenpo lives on in many schools and through many of his black belts all over the world.
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"Father Of American Kenpo"

  • Created by: Michael Neal
  • Added: 8 Dec 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 16961875
  • Anon
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Ed Parker (19 Mar 1931–15 Dec 1990), Find A Grave Memorial no. 16961875, citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale), Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Michael Neal (contributor 16382626) .