In 1952, Edmund Kealoha Parker, already a Sho-dan (black belt) in Judo began his Kenpo training with Professor Chow while he was serving in the US Coast Guard. He earned his Kenpo black belt in 1953.
By 1956, Ed Parker added modifications to the system which he felt were better suited to American streets. He brought Kenpo to the U.S. mainland when he started teaching his American Kenpo Karate commercially in Provo, UT.
Over the next two decades, Grandmaster Parker was known for his business creativity and for helping other martial artists establish their own dojos. He was also well known in Hollywood where he trained with noted celebrities such as Elvis Presley and Jeff Speakman. In 1962, Mr. Parker established the International Kenpo Karate Association (IKKA).