ED PARKER JR.
Ed Parker Jr., son of the late Ed Parker, Senior Grandmaster and found of American Kenpo karate. Many considered Grandmaster Parker a one of the greatest martial artists who ever lived, and was dubbed, “Father of American Kenpo Karate,” by Black Belt Magazine.
Ed Parker Jr. grew up among the stars, as his father was the personal karate instructor and bodyguard for Elvis Presley in addition to a host of other Hollywood celebrities.
“I remember Elvis was so impressed with my father and his kenpo that the King of Rock’n’Roll put my father’s martial arts logo on the side of his guitar,” Parker Jr. recalled.
Ed JR’s focused on studying art and theater, then at age 19 he moved to Arizona, doing social work as a missionary with the Navajo, Hopi, Zuni, Southern Ute, and Jicarilla Apache tribes.
Two years later he moved to Oahu, Hawaii where he obtained a degree from in Theatrical Arts. Ed JR excelled in film making and won Best Student Film at the Hawaii Film Festival. He also received an internship on Magnum P.I.
Up returning to California Ed Jr. went into partnership with his father. From 1983 to 1991 he produced 9 International Karate Championships, which played host to more than 6,000 competitors. Originated by Ed Parker Sr. the Internationals were the largest and longest- running martial arts tournament in the world. For more than 35 years Ed Parker’s International set the stage for many of the arts superstars including Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Joe Lewis, Benny “the Jet” Urquediz and many more.
In December of 1990 Ed’s father, Grand Master Parker passed away. Continuing in his father’s footsteps Ed Jr. has continued to promote American Kenpo and martial arts in general by producing a series of martial arts videos and published more than 20 martial arts books.
In June of 1992 Ed Jr. published “The Encyclopedia of Kenpo,” a complete reference on American Kenpo karate, based on the teachings of his father, Grandmaster Ed Parker. In 1993 Ed Jr. produced the first annual Martial Arts Expo, an event that attracted more than 8,000 participants. The Expo featured the first-ever martial arts talent star search.
In addition to acting in numerous feature films Ed Jr. choreographed the action in several martial arts films that include: Deadly Takeover, with Jeff Speakman and Cage 11 starring Lou Ferrigno.
Currently Ed Jr. is a freelance illustrator and graphic artist, and is dedicating his talents to the drawing of a tribute to the legacy of his father and Kenpo karate.