You may be correct about who he received the Black belt from. I got the information from the biography written by Ed Parker's wife, Leilani Parker. In it she writes that, "Whenever 'Parker' was back in port 'from the Coast Guard', Ed took every opportunity to continue his study of Kenpo Karate with his instructor, Professor Chow, at the YMCA in Honolulu; attaining his Black Belt in Kenpo Karate on June 5, 1953."
She does not specifically state that Chow awarded it to him though it does seem to be implied.
I do believe she was dating Parker at the time so one would think she should have first hand knowledge.
Thanks for the note.
Edited by: KIPPEREDHERRING at: 9/17/2008 (17:38)
Fitness Minutes: (55) Posts: 60 9/16/08 5:24 P
Added note: A very short informational note that William Chow received his black belt from James Mitose, Kosho-Ryu Kenpo, which was linear Martial Art. William Chow with his knowledge of Kung Fu added the circular movements. It has also been said that Ed Parker only received the rank of purple belt from Chow or Brown belt depends on who you get the information from.
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American Kenpo Karate & Ed Parker a short history:
In the mid 1900's a bright and energetic 16 year old Hawaiian unknowingly started on a course make the Martial Arts common place in the USA. Ed Parker stated taking fighting lessons from fellow church member Frank Chow, a teacher of the eastern art of KENPO. Soon Ed progressed and continued his studies with Frank's older brother William K.S. Chow at the local YMCA in Honolulu. During the Korean War Ed joined the Coast guard for three years and was stationed in Hawaii. During this period he earned his Black Belt from Professor Chow.
When Ed moved to the Mainland his self defense skills impressed the local community. He soon taught the local university students and law enforcement his art. After Ed married he moved to Pasadena, California and had an opportunity to open his own studio. Through a series of chance and planned happenings Ed met and taught Kenpo to several people in the Hollywood community. He also appeared in some Television shows and movies displaying his impressive art. Until then, Martial arts was not common place in the U.S. Ed Parker though, met or taught, and subsequently introduced to the world several now famous Martial artists and Kenpo practitioners: Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Jeff Speakman, Elvis... With in 6 years of Ed opening his studio in Pasadena he had Karate studios trough out the world.
Parker also took this time to refine and organize Kenpo into the art we would soon refer to as American Kenpo. He designed an art that would appeal to the American desire for street fighting and defense as opposed to the often stereo typed ceremony laiden and traditionalized Eastern Martial Arts.
In 1964 Ed Parker organized and held the first International Karate Championships. Karate now started to flourish as a readily recognized sport in the U.S. Ed Parker continued to write several books on Kenpo, and general karate as well as being featured in many magazine articles for the next three decades.
December 15th, 1990 Ed Parker suddenly passed away while traveling from a Kenpo seminar to spend the holiday's with his family. Today his family continues to provide his writings to the public and keep his legacy alive. Students continue to learn and cherish American Kenpo as the first true Martial Art designed specifically for the needs of the contemporary world.
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