Ed Parker

Discussion in 'Kenpo' started by Stick, Apr 4, 2004.

  1. Stick

    Stick New Member

    What was Ed Parkers background and training? Did he make it to an advanced level in another martial art?

  2. nekogami13

    nekogami13 Master of all I Survey

    "Mr. Parker began his studies in Judo and boxing then found his way into Kenpo, under the instruction of Professor William K.S. Chow while living in his native land of Hawaii"- http://www.usadojo.com/bioedparker.htm
  3. Crazymonk

    Crazymonk Banned Banned

    Professer William K.S. Chow, don't sound Japanese. I'm speculating that Ed Parker learned Chinese Martial Arts and called it "KARATE". Since Karate was the most known eastern martial art in America at the time, he must have done it to make money. This is only a speculation. lol.
  4. Brad Ellin

    Brad Ellin Baba

    What does this have to do with Ed Parker's background? So what if William K.S. Chow doesn't "sound" Japanese, does that disqualify him to teach Kenpo? And where does it say that Kenpo (or Kempo as I have also seen it) is a "Japanese" art?
  5. Pacificshore

    Pacificshore Hit n RUN!

    Apparently the "Japanese" aspect, or influence if you will comes from the association that Prof. Chow had with James Mitose at one point. Mitose was the founder of Kosho-ryu Kempo.
  6. Crazymonk

    Crazymonk Banned Banned

    Isnt Kenpo mixed with chinese or Japanese or something? My professor was telling me something like that. Please inform me what i am saying that is wrong.
  7. Colin Linz

    Colin Linz Valued Member

    Kempo or Kenpo if you like is a generic name for a type of martial art, for example Karate. Kempo loosely translates as the way of the fist. There are a number of styles around the most well know in the west would probably be the American Kempo styles linked to the people that you have been discussing. It should be noted that not all Kempo is related to these styles.

    Kempo or Quan fa as it is known in China is much older than Karate. Karate is relatively new, from around the 1600’s and was developed from Kempo by the people of Okinawa to protect themselves from the occupying forces of Japan at the time. Their needs were specific; they had to defend themselves from the armoured Japanese samurai of the time and therefore modified Kempo to achieve this.

    Colin Linz
  8. Crazymonk

    Crazymonk Banned Banned

    From what i studied on Okinawan history, isnt Karate used as self-defense against bandits and thieves? When the Japanese took over, in a point of time, Swords were banned, leaving Okinawans defenseless, unless they had other means of defending themselves. A lot of Okinawans were starving at the time, leaving the nobles targets for abomination and aggression from the poor. The peasants were said to be more worried of starving than learning to fight.
  9. KenpoDavid

    KenpoDavid Working Title

    There is no reason to speculate (except, you don't want to learn). Parker's background is well documented. And actually I think Judo, at the time, was much better known in the USA.

  10. matsloth

    matsloth New Member

    hi chaps and chap'ets
    james mitoese was born in hawaii in 1916 ,then was moved to japan when he was 5 ,returned to hawaii in 1937 and opened a kyosho ryu kempo school,
    one student wiiliam chow born 1914 studied under him ,blended it with shorinji kempo to make kara ho kempo.
    chow opened a school in 1944 in hawaii and his top bod was ed parker,
    parker born 1931 moved to the states in 1951 opened a school in pasadena,
    there he developed the principles of american kenpo karate ,he was a well acoplished martial artist ,well understated .some of the greatest artist in the world studied with parker ,benny the jet ,inosanto,bruce lee,norris,and then there's the stars presley ,wagnor,fera ect.
  11. Colin Linz

    Colin Linz Valued Member

    Hi Crazymonk,

    There are probably a number of versions as to why it developed. I favour the one I mentioned because it stands up to reason. Kempo in its many forms has been around since about 600BC, it had been used for along time to defend against bandits, why would you change it? Answer, to improve it.

    The circumstance of Okinawa at the time was that it was governed by the Japanese and their rule was enforced by the Samurai. The local inhabitants where banned from carrying weapons, but the Samurai were of course allowed theirs. This lead the local inhabitants to feel a need to develop methods of defending themselves against an unpopular occupier. Kempo was a very good method of defence against your normal attackers; however the Samurai added complications to your normal defence. The first complication was that they wore armour; this meant that to be effective they had to break through the armour. Now because of the armour they were not particularly mobile so you could sacrifice mobility for a wider and more powerful stance. The second complication was that the Samurai used Ju Jutsu as their method of hand to hand combat. If they charged down an attack and managed to grapple with their opponents they had a big advantage. This is why Karate relied more on power combined with drive rather than the concussive blows that are more the norm in Kempo. The twisting of the arm during punching also helps by locking the elbow shoulder so it is more difficult to charge down.

    Another area that supports this is the use of weapons. The weapons used in Karate are all developed from agricultural implements. Certainly there may have been bandits to contend with but their main problem was the Japanese occupying forces.

    It is interesting to examine Karate now, especially sport Karate. Now that it no longer needs to fight slow moving armoured people, that if they did manage to get hold of them would tie them in knots they have returned to a much more mobile stance, with punches that resemble Kempo or Boxing.

    Colin Linz
  12. matsloth

    matsloth New Member

    when my students ask me about kenpo i try to put it into it's own catagory,
    realy in my mind it's not karate or jitsu, i think kenpo/kempo stand alone quite well,
    esecialy with epak all the linear and circular motion ,the use of all bodily weapons ,used in so many different ways.it's fairly self contained.
    i think (and this is only my opinion) it can be misleading to call it either.
    i don't know what you guy's and girls think.
    the other problem that arises if you just call it kenpo or american kenpo is people ring you up on seeing and advert and say is it karate or jitsu,
    and your back to square one.
    the stances are more boxing jitsu ,but alot of the strikes are karate ,
    foot manoeuvers from jitsu and karate also aikido ,many of the instructors i speak to also say "it's kenpo that's all anyone needs to know".
    but i think the most important aspect of epak is ,this sh*t works.
  13. Colin Linz

    Colin Linz Valued Member

    Hi Mat,

    Yes, you’re right it is a style unto itself. I think the reason that people use the term American Kempo is to differentiate it from other forms of Kempo. I have to admit I don’t know a lot about American Kempo but from what I have seen it appears similar in many ways to Karate. Other styles are quite a bit different; the style I practice is very much different especially the strikes. The problem with describing it as Karate is that students come along expecting it to be similar to what they have done in the past and find that just about everything they have learned is different, different kihon, different Kata and a different way of moving. Jitsu, or more accurately jutsu does not denote a style but more a way training and using the waza in the same way “do” is used in Judo or Karatedo.

    I understand you with regards to people calling you and asking what is it like. I train in Shorinji Kempo, no one has heard of this in Australia despite it having the biggest single Martial arts organisation in the world (WSKO) and being the most popular Martial Art in Japan. Although many have heard of Kempo and they will ask is anything like American Kempo, judging from what I have seen in movies and what I’ve seen of students of American Kempo when they have come to train I would say no. Please don’t interoperate this as criticism of American Kempo rather just an observation of the difference.
  14. Stick

    Stick New Member

    Jitsu is a Kanji that is used as "honesty" or "truth" -- such as "jitsu-wa" ("to tell the truth"). Jutsu is the Kanji used for "use of technique" or "means" or "method." The Hirigana for "ju" kanji is written "Ji-Yu" and pronounced "Ju" and means "gentle" or "supple." Thus JuJutsu means the Gentle Method while JuJitsu means the True Technique or Method of Light.

    When one consides what "do" means (way, Tao), a Jitsu is a very appropriate alternative to a Do when the skills taught and used are part of a way rather than "just" applications. Consider the Dojo Kun: To be faithful in seeking the truth (or To be faithful in seeking a true way). Jitsu describes such an art very well.
  15. Colin Linz

    Colin Linz Valued Member

    Hi Stick,

    Sorry about the confusion, I was not aware of the use of the kanji for truth. The arts I've seen where they use jitsu use the same kanji as jutsu e.g. Ju Jitsu and Nin Jitsu. Apparently the use of jitsu for this kanji started some time ago with an earlier version of the romaji system than the one we use today. Westerners at this time heard ji not ju and corrupted the sound when using it, having done this it was then very easy to change the spelling to suit the altered pronunciation they used.

    My understanding of jutsu is that it means useful or how to use, while do means the way or path and ho or po means method. These are very loose translations and I know of some Japanese that have said that jutsu can also be considered a path or way. There is no doubt that with the number of kanji and the many common pronunciations there is considerable room for confusion when it comes to nihongo.
  16. Stick

    Stick New Member

    I don't speak Japanese, it's all Greek to me! lol
  17. Colin Linz

    Colin Linz Valued Member

    I just noticed I had helped in a bit of thread drift. Getting back on topic matt you mentioned that William Chow blended Kyosho Ryu Kempo with Shorinji Kempo.

    I would very much doubt this unless you are using shorinji kempo to mean some form of shoalin kempo. Shorinji Kempo is a registered trade mark and used to denote the martial art developed by Doshin So. As all Yudensha in Shorinji Kempo are on WSKO's records this could be checked easily. I don't mean to be pedantic, it's just when people read something like this they may not understand what it is that you are referring to and think that William Chow has knowledge and or experience of Shorinji Kempo. Incidentally Kara Ho Kempo sounds strange, my translation may be off but "empty method fist method" sounds strange of course the kanji used for kara could change its meaning, but I can't think of a better use than empty, it could mean shell or husk, or a number of other things relating to colour.
  18. S.Mac

    S.Mac New Member

    It has already been said that kenpo is niether exclusively a Chinese or Japanese martial art, and that kempo originally came from Japan. However, it is important to note that many styles of Kenpo (from Parker, Tracy, Castro, etc.) are most closely tied to Professor Chow, a man who throughout his life vehemently denied being Mitose's "student", instead saying they were associates and that he primarily learned martial arts from his father, who did a form of Chinese kung fu. Basically, this is a longwinded way of saying that, despite the Japanese history of Kenpo, many American styles have a heavy Chinese influence.
  19. Kenpo Kicker

    Kenpo Kicker New Member

    I have taken al tracy's system before (even met tracy :) ) and there is alot of kung fu movements, japanese weapons, ju jitsu for ground work, and boxing type punches in what I was taught. To me kenpo stands alone and is a combo of american, japanese and chinese.

    edit: oh forgot the kicks they resemble karate more than kung fu. More practical kicks than tkd (system I take now) but closely resembles them but tkd comes from shotokan karate.
    Last edited: May 21, 2004
  20. KenpoDavid

    KenpoDavid Working Title

    (don't forget the black sheep of Kenpo's genetic pool : filipino!)

    That is a good way to describe most if not all of the varieties of Kenpo/Kempo. Excpet the very specifc copyrighted "Shorinji Kempo", of course : )

    We all go back to Prof. Chow. (and most also come through Emperado and Gascon) - Villari's, Tracy's, Castro's, Parker's, Cerio's, Geary's, Kara-Ho, Kyosho... please correct me if I am wrong.

    I read an account of Mr. Mitose visiting Parker's school in California, and Parker and his black belts were like "what the heck, this guy sucks". I think that is in one of the Infinite Insights books...

    Chow is the Man!
    Last edited: May 21, 2004

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