Membership Information

 

Membership is open to all martial artists who have an interest in the art of Kenpo Karate.  We aren't concerned if you follow the 16, 24 or 32 technique curriculum, as it's not the techniques that define a system, but the principles within the techniques that are most important.  If your basics, forms, sets and techniques follow the principles set out by Mr. Parker, then your art is American Kenpo.

 

I teach these techniques not for the sake of teaching the techniques, but for the principles that are involved in the techniques.  And even then, these principles have to be altered to fit the individual.  My system is structured to bring out a “style” of an individual.  His “style” will be determined by his anatomical structure.   Ed Parker, Black Belt Magazine, November 1985

 

An important aspect of membership, in our association, is that we do not want to take anyone away from their current instructor/association.  If you're currently a member of another association and would also like to be a member of our association, please seek permission from your current instructor/association.

Membership Renewal

 

Annual membership in the Ohana Kenpo Karate Association is $24.  We do not send out renewal notices, or bills to the members.  It's been our experience that if a member would like to drop out of the association, the last thing they want is to receive continual requests for money.  We feel if a member wants to stay current with the association, they will make an effort to do so.

 

In some cases a member has forgotten to pay their dues and have become an expired member. To reactivate their membership all they need to do is come current with their dues and their membership can be reinstated with their original membership date.

 

In some cases they may be several years behind on their dues and although they would like to reinstate their membership, they don't want pay their past dues.  In that case they can re-join the association and their membership will begin on that new date.

  • Fees & Dues: The initial membership fee to join the association is thirty-eight dollars, which . . .

    The initial membership fee to join the association is thirty-eight dollars.  In return for your membership fee you'll receive a Certificate of Membership, a 3 inch OKKA Association Patch, 4 inch OKKA Rocker Patch and the 6 inch Ohana Kenpo Curriculum Patch (see patches)

  • Education & Training: One of the best avenues for instruction is through seminars, but it's sometimes . . .

    One of the best avenues for instruction is through seminars, but it's sometimes difficult for a small school to host a seminar, due to the expense.  This is certainly one of the advantages of belonging to an association of schools who are all working together in support of one another.

     

    As an association we'll always work with the schools in order to make seminars accessible and affordable to everyone.  Additionally, members of the association are not only welcome to host seminars with instructors from other associations, but encouraged to do so.  There's a wealth of knowledge out there and it would be terribly unfair to limit anyone's access to it.

  • Communication: The most difficult thing for me to do is to know which members to contact and when . . .

    The most difficult thing for me to do is to know which members to contact and when to contact them.  I do send out periodic newsletters and make occasional phone calls, but there are members who may need more than that.  I know there are some members who need little or no attention and others who need considerably more.  Please remember it’s the member’s responsibility to contact me if they have questions or need something I may be able to provide.  I try to keep in touch, but not knowing everyone’s schedule it’s difficult anticipate the best time to call.  On the other hand, I’m available most hours of the day and most days of the week.  Please feel free to contact by either phone or e-mail with any of your needs and concerns.  If I don’t answer the phone, simply leave a message with your name, number and the best time to call.

  • Exclusivity: The main reason I've seen members move from one association to another is because . . .

    The main reason I've seen members move from one association to another is because their current association won't allow them to host events, or even attend events, with instructors from outside of their association, therefore limiting the member's access to many great and knowledgeable instructors.  At this point the association starts becoming a liability instead of an asset.  We claim no exclusivity to our members.  Our members are welcome to associate with and/or join any other reputable association of their choosing.  The reason I say "reputable" association is there are several associations who are attempting to gain status by giving rank to just about anyone who's willing to accept it from them.  I would suggest before joining any association, you verify that it's legitimate and not a paper mill.  Members who chose to join and/or accept rank from organizations who cannot prove their own rank and lineage will not be welcome in our association.

  • Awarding of Rank: Rank is awarded to personal students who study directly with me, or another accredited . . .

    Rank is awarded to personal students who study directly with me, or another accredited instructor in the Ohana Kenpo Karate Association.  In my case these students may be local or live at a distance.  Local students certainly have the advantage of training with me on a more regular basis, but those students living at a distance often seem to take better advantage of our time together.  In either case personal students qualify to be considered for promotions above their current rank.

     

    Accepting rank in more than one association seems to be a matter of some controversy.   Personally, I don't understand what the problem is, but I've heard of people seeking certificates from multiple instructors/organizations as instructor hopping, rank collecting, and so on.

     

    I look at it this way; if I were in need of an attorney I'd like to know his credentials.  If I were to ask an attorney where he received his law degree and he said Harvard, I'd be impressed.  If he said Yale, I'd be impressed.  But if he were to say he had law degrees from both Harvard and Yale, I'd be very impressed.

     

    If someone would like to receive rank recognition from more than one legitimate organization, then more power to them.  Most likely, these individuals already have valid certificates for their existing rank and photographs with their original instructor (sometimes while being promoted).  They can likely provide names of friends, family and classmates who were there when they got promoted. They may have a list of all the instructors who sat on the board.  It's possible they may even have photos, or a video of their promotion.  The bottom line is every legitimate black belt walks away from their promotion with more than a new belt and a piece of paper.

     

    If one of these individuals would like to apply for rank recognition with the Ohana Kenpo Karate Association, they're welcome to do so.  But here's what must be understood.  Receiving rank or rank recognition from our association means that you know and understand the art of Kenpo from our point of view.  It doesn't mean that you agree with everything we do, or how we do it, but there must be more common ground than not.

     

    By the way, we're not interested in people that join one organization after another claiming higher and higher rank with every application.  It may be a common practice for some organizations to accept any rank a new member claims and to provide them a certificate, validating that rank, with no questions asked.   But, you must understand that no amount of money will insure recognition in our association.  Any rank earned or recognized within our association must be earned.

     

    That being said, any member of our association who chooses to accept rank from an association who cannot provide proof of their own rank and lineage will no longer be welcome in our Ohana.

  • Recognition of Rank: Recognition of Rank may be awarded to those individuals who come into our association with . . .

    Recognition of Rank may be awarded to those individuals who come into our association with previously earned rank.  In most cases these individuals are highly advanced in their own right, but would like to be recognized in our association as well.  Once an individual has received recognition of rank, they possess the same rights and privileges as someone who has been awarded the same rank.  In other words they can promote their students to within one belt level of their recognized rank and register this rank with the association.  Association certificates of rank will also be available to them upon request.

     

    What must be understood is under no circumstances will anyone have their rank recognized sight-unseen.   In some cases I can spend as little as a six or eight hours (on and off the mat) with an individual and duly recognize their rank.  These individuals may share a common lineage with my own, or they may come from a different lineage with a similar understanding of the art.  In other cases, there may be several areas of understanding that I want the individual to become better acquainted with and therefore their rank will not be immediately recognized.  These individuals can either continue to study the art for later consideration, or they may consider asking the association to recognize them at a rank lower than their current rank.  This is often the best course of action when they're crossing over from a different Kenpo system or curriculum.

     

    Accepting a rank lower than one's current rank may be humbling, but it shouldn't be considered an insult.  I was awarded my 2nd degree black belt, from Ed Parker, in 1983.  Yet it wasn't until 1992 that I was awarded my 2nd degree black belt from Richard Callahan.  Mr. Callahan didn't have higher standards than Mr. Parker; they were just different standards that required me to see more of the art through the eyes of Rich Callahan.  I personally consider each belt I receive a stand-alone achievement.

     

    Furthermore, anyone in our association is welcome to accept rank from other legitimate organizations.  Accepting rank from another organization in no way affects their relationship with us.  As a note of clarification, we don't consider your right to study with other instructors, or your right to accept rank from other legitimate organizations, as a privilege; it's a right you already have that nobody should be taking away.

  • Considerations: Keep these thoughts in mind;  I can only consider recognizing the rank of those who . . .

    Keep these thoughts in mind;  I can only consider recognizing the rank of those who study the Ed Parker system of American Kenpo.  I won't pretend to be qualified to promote or recognize rank in other systems.  I'm not looking to make money off selling certificates.  I'm providing an opportunity for legitimate men and women, who study the art of American Kenpo, to have their rank recognized.  Aside from this, anyone who would like to have their rank recognized by the Ohana Kenpo Karate Association should've read most of the information on this web site and agree with the majority of our perspective.  By asking to have your rank recognized in our association you're saying that you know who we are, what we stand for, and feel much the same way yourself.

     

    Earlier I said, "Every legitimate black belt walks away from their promotion with more than new belt and a piece of paper."  This is true, but in reality, sometimes, the piece of paper and maybe even the belt goes missing.  My own instructor, Rich Callahan, told me about someone stealing his black belt, which remained missing for several years, until he saw the guy wearing it at a tournament – at which time he took it back.  He was lucky, but how many belts and certificates do you think may have been lost in hurricane Katrina and other natural and unnatural disasters?  On occasion someone may actually be in need of a legitimate replacement certificate – but they really don't want to buy one on eBay.

     

    Sometimes a student's instructor may have quit teaching.  Eventually it dawns on them that they've been a 1st degree black belt for twenty years and although they've been learning, teaching and training the whole time, they're going nowhere fast.

     

    There are also cases of legitimate students training under illegitimate instructors.  In other words, their instructor can't even document their own black belt.  Or in some cases their instructor can document their 1st degree black belt, but everything between 1st and their current 9th or 10th degrees seem to be missing.

     

    In some cases those seeking rank recognition have crossed over from a different branch of Kenpo.  In the last fifty years of American Kenpo there have been many branches spring from the Ed Parker family tree.  Sometimes, contrary to the popular expression, apples may have dropped quite far from the tree.

     

    It's also not unusual for a student who's continued to study Kenpo, under the same instructor for many years, to have their advancement put on hold due to their own instructors lack of advancement.

     

    In other cases those seeking rank recognition don't fit into any of the above scenarios, but would simply consider it an honor to have their rank certified by an instructor/association for whom they have respect.

     

    All-in-all there's many reasons why someone may want to apply for rank recognition.  The reasons why are certainly something that can be discussed after we receive the application for rank certification, but regardless of the reason the applicant must understand that although we'll do everything we can to honor their request, there are no guarantees and the one million dollar fee is non refundable.  (Okay I made up the part about the fee being a million dollars.  I just wanted to see if anyone would actually read this far.)

  • Resigning Membership: Members of the association are welcome to resign from the association at any time for any reason . . .

    Members of the association are welcome to resign from the association at any time for any reason, without fear of retribution from the association.  If a member chooses to leave an association that charges twenty-four dollars a year for their services, then we have to assume the services provided weren't worth twenty -four dollars.

     

    In the event a member  leaves the association, they’re certainly welcome to attend association sponsored events.  They're also welcome invite our members to attend their events. In general, they're welcome to continue with friendships as usual.