Dec79Although Shaolin Kempo techniques date back many thousands of years, modern Kenpo Karate’s history (as it is taught today) begins in 1954,  When the late GrandMaster Ed PARKER began teaching the style in the USA. 

Ed PARKER grew up in Hawaii and began learning Kenpo from local Masters such as William CHOW and James MITOSE.  He moved to mainland USA to study at University and at the same time opened his first training hall in California.  He immediately recognised that the traditional art that he had been taught needed to be developed to deal with modern day fighting situations.  He discarded all traditional methods that were not realistic for street fighting or real life attacks, and added his own applications, concepts and theories that were unique to karate at that time. 

Today, Ed PARKER is recognised as the Father of American Karate and his art is popular throughout the world.  It is characterised by the use of quick moves in rapid-fire succession.  These rapid-fire techniques serve two purposes:  Firstly, they may overwhelm the attacker, and secondly, it teaches the practitioner that fast follow up strikes are needed in case the first are not successful.

Kenpo Karate's non-traditional focus makes it an ideal art for Westerners to learn.