Magazine Artcles

Some time ago I was working on a project called The Kenpo Journal.  It was an accumulation of information on Ed Parker and American Kenpo.  During the process, I accumulated a fair number of articles that were written by, or about Ed Parker.

 

As you read these articles, you can't help but see how determined Mr. Parker was, in regard to his art of American Kenpo. He once told me he was a "Visionary" and he knew everything he would accomplish in a day, a week, a month - in his life!

 

Note: There are a fair number of typos in these articles. I purposefully left those from the original text and accidentally left some of my own. 

 

Word count for the below articles has reached 78,843 words - Enjoy

Kenpo Karate: Is Self-Defense Really Necessary? / Iron Man / Oct. 1958 / V-18 No. 3 / Ed Parker


Self-defense is indeed necessary. The old theory that it can never happen to me is little comfort when it really does happen. No sensible person can assume that all trouble happens to just certain persons or just a certain group of persons. It can happen any time without warning. If not today, perhaps tomorrow, if not tomorrow it will surely take place in one's lifetime. Kenpo Karate prepares one for such a crisis. Regardless of the seriousness of the situation, knowledge of Kenpo Karate will truly prove invaluable. Only a few weeks ago a friend of one my students came to my school and expressed that ever-so-common phrase, "trouble will never come my way so why should I take any self-defense course?" A week after our first meeting he came to me again, only this time with determination to acquire defensive training. The same night of our first meeting he was attacked by two hoods who had no reason for their actions. While bending over to open his briefcase one of the hoods approached from the side and caught him on the jab with a staggering right punch. Stunned he turned to see who struck him; at that moment the other assailant kicked him in the groin. Dropping with pain, he watched as his attackers casually walked away. There have been many like incidents lately and attacks of this nature are on the increase. We read about them daily in the local newspapers. To the average citizen these incidents mean nothing since they do not concern them. We would feel sorry if that were to happen to our friends, but we would chalk it up as a "bad break" and possibly say, "poor guy, he was unlucky." Not until it actually happens to us do we try to prepare ourselves. Although this modern world that we live in is eliminating many of our old problems it is creating new ones. The strength, endurance, and hardy physique we were once dependent upon to protect our country, or families and ourselves is being lost in our new easy going way of life. Transportation by buses, cars, elevators, escalators, etc., all save countless hours of effort during our day. They have become a necessity, but something else is now needed to compensate for the lessened physical activity and the great amount of time on our hand s. Not knowing what to do with this enormous amount of free time, many of our young people are seeking outlets. Some are frequenting reputable organizations such as the YMCA, commercial gyms and athletic clubs. Unfortunately, there are others who misuse their time and do things that are not constructive. Because of idleness and boredom, some of their activities are steered toward stealing, street fighting and other vices. Present day fighting has changed somewhat from the old days when men fought one man at a time, regardless of number. To find this type of ethics in present day fighting is rate. The size of a person is no barrier to those who collect in great numbers. Big or small, heavy or light, the odds are increased proportionately. Even age and sex mean nothing to those who seek what they term entertainment. Kenpo Karate is the answer in combating this unethical way of fighting. It teaches one how to fell an opponent through the manipulation of the hands, feet, knees and elbows. Each blow is delivered swiftly and precisely so that very little time is spent on one man. The coordination developed is such that three opponents can receive a blow at exactly the same precise moment. Using the many parts of the body as weapons, combined with the knowledge of maneuverability, a person with knowledge of Kenpo Karate can be equivalent to five or more men. Aside from elaborating on the necessity of self-defense, the purpose of this article is also to show in photographic series how one can easily escape from a common hammer lock. This picture series depicts one of the more effective means of countering such a hold. I is hoped that through these articles the art of Kenpo Karate will become known and appreciated throughout the United States. More articles and lessons will follow, not only showing how to combat one opponent, but several opponents at the same time. So as the old adage goes, “don’t miss the next exciting episode”. Countering the Hammer Lock When first learning, go through your moves very slowly. Be conscious of your footwork before even doing the arm movements. When sure of your movements do not hesitate to increase your speed. Picture 1 shows opponent applying a hammer lock. 1a – Step back to the right (on a 45 degree angle) with your left foot. Simultaneously start your left elbow into motion. (Make sure that your left hand is clenched and palm facing the ground. Doing this contributes to your power.) 1b – As your left foot is planted make contact with your left elbow to nerve center on left side of opponent’s jaw (at end of jaw, directly under ear lobes). 1c & 1d – show left arm circling counter clockwise around opponent’s right arm after striking with your left elbow. 1e – with your right hand still grasping your opponent’s right wrist, (holding wrist stationary), strike against opponent’s left elbow with the bend of your left arm (Using the inside portion of your left elbow). Strike with your left arm as you would a left uppercut. CAUTION – Be sure not to use too much pressure when working with a partner. 1f – while still applying pressure against opponent’s left elbow with your left arm, have your right foot sweep clockwise and back, (a quarter of a turn): dropping your left shoulder slightly during the process. 1g – release your right hand (so that your movements will not be restricted) and use your right knee to strike opponent’s face. FINAL STEP (no picture). Release opponent entirely, step back with your right foot and take cover. Do this in anticipation of further trouble. Picture shows Ed Parker and Dan Vafiadis (student). Photos take by Ben Otake. Note: This may be a couple of the earliest typos in Mr. Parker’s writing of our techniques as in step 1e, he says to apply pressure against opponent’s “LEFT” elbow and in step 1f, he says “while still applying pressure against opponent’s LEFT elbow. Whereas the photos clearly show Mr. Parker applying pressure to the opponent’s RIGHT elbow. RH




Violent Repose / Time Magazine / March 1961 / V-77 No. 10 / Editors


Violent Repose Friday, Mar. 03, 1961 Rarely had Hollywood, which knows something about such things, witnessed such a spectacle of eye gouging, groin kicking and neck chopping. To a lavishly mirrored studio on Los Angeles' South La Cienega Boulevard last week came a pack of TV and film stars to watch an exhibition of the latest fad in craze-crazy filmland: karate. A more violent cousin of jujitsu and judo, Japanese-imported karate (pronounced kah-rah-tay) aims at delivering a fatal or merely maiming blow with hand, finger, elbow or foot, adopts the defensive philosophy that an attacker deserves something more memorable than a flip over the shoulder. Karate is now taught in more than 50 schools across the U.S., has an estimated 50,000 practitioners. But nowhere has it caught on more solidly than in Hollywood, where disciples seek tranquility in its rigid discipline and authority. Better Board than Head. Karate has won the allegiance of such as Actors Rory Calhoun, Macdonald Carey, Nick (The Rebel) Adams and TV Detectives Frank Lovejoy, Darren McGavin, and Rick (Dangerous Robin) Jason. Elvis Presley, who learned the sport in Germany as a G.I., now spars with two sidekicks during moviemaking lulls, and even Film Composer Bronislaw Kaper has taken to the loose white gi suit worn for karate lessons. Says Hollywood Columnist Joe Hyams: "We all work in an environment that's fraught with hostility. It's great to bust a board instead of a head." Board busting with the naked hand is a spectacular but comparatively recent demonstration of karate (literally, empty hands). Legend holds that the sport was started in the 6th century by an Indian Buddhist monk named Daruma Taishi, who taught it to Chinese monks. It was refined on Okinawa after 1600, introduced in the 1920s to Japan, where it quickly shared popularity with the gentle art of jujitsu and its systematized variation, judo. But where their aim is to use an opponent's own weight to throw him to the floor without necessarily injuring him, karate aims at increasing its user's own strength to kill or injure an adversary by striking him at any of 26 vital points—chiefly with the toughened edge of the hand or the clenched fist. Although used by Japanese troops during World War II, karate is considered too ferocious for the U.S. armed forces. Nor do municipal police forces take regular karate training. "In no court," said one police official, "would karate be called 'reasonable force' in subduing a prisoner." Karate King. The high priest of Hollywood's fast-growing karate sect, and host at last week's exhibition, is a black-maned, 6-ft., 210-lb. devout Mormon named Ed Parker, who, he says, learned the deadly, lightning-fast ballet in his native Honolulu in order to avoid getting into fights with friends who taunted him because he did not drink or smoke. After serving a Coast Guard hitch during the Korean War and graduating from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, he moved to Pasadena, opened his first karate studio four years ago, started a second in January. He frowns upon any ostentatious use of karate, prefers to ram his fist through ten corrugated roof tiles in the privacy of his studio. ___________________________________________________ As a side not to this article. My friend, Gregory Satterfield‎, forwarded the article to Chuck Sullivan and this was his response. Greg, I remember the demo Ed put on for these guys. I was there at the La Cienega Studio that night. It was quite an event. I'm pretty sure that's the night Nick Adams showed up late. He came directly from the studio where he was filming "The Rebel". He showed up in full wardrobe, buckskin shirt and pants, boots and six guns included. Too bad, because by the time he showed up, almost everyone had left. He was quite a sight. Pass this back to Rich if you can. Chuck I responded to Greg that it was amazing how Chuck lived the history of Kenpo right along side Mr. Parker.




Ed Parker, The Blackbelted Mormon / Black Belt / April 1961 / V-1 No. 1 / By William E. Slove


Ed Parker is a youthful, six foot, slightly over two hundred pound Hawaiian who owns and operates two Kenpo Karate schools in the Los Angeles area. He is a calm, amiable man whose manner is strangely incongruous when his potentiality for violence is considered. Perhaps it is this incongruity that best explains this devout Mormon and his calling. For, in a sense, to explain Ed Parker is to explain Karate itself. He was born and raised in Honolulu where as a youth, somewhat retiring and self-conscious, he first learned of the art from the large Oriental population on the islands. His desire to attain some means of self-confidence led to his decision to investigate this paradoxical mixture of violence and gracious humility. He placed himself in the hands of William K. S. Chow, a Karate Master in Honolulu, under whose tutorship he soon realized that he had found the answer to his problem. The advent of the Korean conflict, which found him serving a hitch in the Coast Guard, did not dull his enthusiasm for the sport. When, subsequently, he attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Here he received a degree in sociology, he also became a Karate instructor. Nick Adams, star of "Rebel", blocks a punch thrown by his instructor, Ed Parker. (Photo) These first lessons were given to some Hawaiian students who, because of their diminutiveness, showed an interest in this form of self-defense. Although his abilities as an instructor soon made themselves evident this was also where he became aware of the problems he was to face. It was shortly after his class had given a demonstration during a basketball game between Brigham Young and UCLA that he was asked to give a similar exhibition before some seventy members of the local city police, Sheriff's Department and the Utah Highway Patrol. They were so impressed that as a result he was soon instructing lawmen from all parts of the state. Selecting a group of more advanced students he toured the state giving many exhibitions. However, after these initial successes, Ed Parker has been unable to sell Karate to other law enforcement agencies. In California lawmen have been duly impressed but have refused to acknowledge Karate as acceptable to their work. They declare that it is too vicious and contrary to the legal viewpoint which regards violence as abhorrent. This attitude exposes the general publics ignorance concerning the subject and is of particular annoyance to Ed Parker. He argues that they are not aware of its mental and philosophical factors. Although the outward impression given by Karate is that of savage brutality this is only the visible product of intense mental conditioning. A student of the art must adhere to a rigid code which by its very nature subdues the petty instincts of man. As a student progresses and his knowledge of Karate increases so does his respect for it: as self confidence grows so does his respect f or the rights of others. Ed Parker's contention soon manifests itself as one watches one of his classes in action. They are conducted in an atmosphere of austere solemnity and dedication. He is a calmly forceful instructor. You soon realize that you are witnessing techniques which demand both mental and physical exertion. You begin to understand that here both the body and the mind are learning new strength. It is unfortunate that these aspects of the art were not previously made known to the public. When Karate first became known, television, uninformed and desperate for something new and exciting, showed episodes where a Karateist, his hands heavily calloused and malformed, his features contorted brutally and cast always as villain, used his knowledge indiscriminately for evil purposes. Ed Parker recoils at this characterization and is quick to retort that a Karateist, more than any other individual, will turn his back and walk away from trouble, secure and confident in the knowledge that it is not necessary to prove his might or manhood. A trained Karateist possesses an abundance of self-restraint and assurance. It is a matter of record that most Karateists have gone through life without ever having to resort to its use. Notwithstanding, Ed Parker now has reason to regard the future of Karate in this country with optimism. This drawing is a copy of an ancient Chinese painting depicting a karate-like form of unharmed self-defense. His ability, his adamant refusal to deviate from its strict tenets and philosophies and his forthright teaching of the science have won him acclamation and the respect of people in all walks of life. Today his mirrored studio is the scene of classes which include lawyers, doctors and other professional men who are aware of the value of the art. Some of Hollywood's best known personalities, MacDonald Carey, Nick Adams, Rick Jason, Darren McGavin, among others, attend his sessions regularly. His advice and knowledge are sought by film studios now becoming aware of Karate's true meaning. Unlike some instructors who profess to be experts Parker minimizes the sensational and melodramatic aspects of Kempo Karate. Where others, in order to appeal to some pugnacious facets of human nature, declare that they teach "the art of killing" or "make you a master of anyone," he concerns himself with the truisms of Karate. His goal is to enable his students to reap the benefits it endows. Karate is a skill that requires time and thought. One who intends to use it aggressively is only disillusioning himself. He declares that the end product of his training has always been respect towards others obedience to the laws of the land humility and self-restraint. Parker states that the ability to shatter bricks, stones or boards is merely the manifestation of the truth of Karate. It is not the ability to do these things that counts, it is the amalgamation of mind-arc body it represents that is important. If one were interested only in shattering bricks then a sledge-hammer would accomplish the job. Karate, as it was originally set forth by its founder, Daruma Taishi, sought to strengthen the minds and wills of weak, dispirited peoples. Its immediate evidences of physical power might have been what first impressed them but unknown to them it was also creating an inner strength that was of greater importance. It evolved within them a store of self-assurance which helped them immeasurably in everyday life. It aided them in eliminating the pettiness which is born of weakness and insecurity. It enabled them to regard their fellowmen in a different light, with more respect and understanding. A strong man, both physically and mentally, refuses to pay tribute to demonstrations of human failing and frailty. Problems, formerly distorted and ballooned disproportionately, now become more readily solvable. As you watch Parker put his class through its paces, moving from man to man and making certain that his instructions are being correctly followed, your eyes light on a plaque hanging on the wall and in view of all the students, The Karate Creed: "I come to you with only 'Karate'—Empty Hands. I have no weapons. But should I be forced to defend myself, my principles or my honor; should it be a matter of life or death, or right or wrong; then here are my weapons-'Karate'-My Empty Hands." You suddenly have a new understanding of Karate. You shake hands with Ed Parker, remarkably smooth and uncalloused hands which seem strangely out of place here, and then you leave. As you do you have a feeling that here you have met a man.




Ed Parker's View on Karate in U.S. / Black Belt / July 1964 / V-2 No. 4 / Editors


Edmond Parker, a six-foot, devout Mormon, is one of the pioneers in the expansion of karate in United States. Although he first started to instruct in 1949 in Utah, it was not until 1956 when he came to Los Angeles that he actually put forth his great effort in that movement. Today, he is the most renowned karateist in the U.S., being featured in widely circulated newspapers and magazines and being interviewed frequently on television. Recently one of Black Belt’s reporters interrupted Ed’s training at his Pasadena’s dojo for a candid conversation: Ed, do you think the A.A.U. will ever recognize karate as a sport? I feel that after this coming Olympic in Japan, the AAU will accept karate and will also include it in its program in the following Olympic. I also think it will eventually replace boxing. Speaking of boxing, recently the public has taken an adverse attitude toward it, do you think karate will supersede it? Sure it will, if karate is presented to the public properly. Favoritism in tournaments should be banned and all tournaments should be opened to all clubs. I’m attempting to set a precedent in a coming tournament in Long Beach. What tournament is that? Haven’t you heard? On August 2, a huge tournament is being sponsored at the Long Beach Municipal Auditorium. Participants will come from Japan, Korea, Hawaii, Canada, Africa, Hong Kong, the Armed Forces, and from the various states. I think the tournament will be appreciated and approved in California because there won’t be any form (Kata) contest. It will be strictly freestyle sparing (Kumite). Kata will be only for demonstration. Last year I attended a tournament in Chicago. From the outset I was entirely against the Kata contest because I knew it was going to be difficult to choose the winner. Some of the contestants used Okinawan styles. Their movements, performed with deep breathing, were slow and beautiful. But they we not among the winners because the judges did not now how to grade them since they never seen anything like that before. Unless the participants are from the same school, Kata contest is unfair and causes discontentment among the contestants. Ed, how many karateka do you expect to show up? About 350. We are presenting 19 trophies with a value over $1,000. The grand champion trophy alone will be valued at $200. Do you think the martial arts in this county will ever be as popular as England and France? I know they will! But there exist a false concept that must be eliminated as we grow, and we hope we can work toward it this coming August. Everyone thinks his art is the best. I don’t advertise that mine is the best. I feel that each art has something to offer to one another. In Judo a bigger man has an advantage over a smaller opponent, what about karate? Well . . . er it could be. Sure, a bigger and stronger man will have a definite advantage over a smaller opponent. Is there any possibility of organizing karate into one unit like the Judo Black Belt Federation? It can be done, if the members have confidence in the chosen leaders. Such an affiliation will keep karate on a higher standard, especially in the grading system. Ed, do you think the police in Los Angeles should take up karate? I sincerely believe they should. I have one gripe against them. They do not take the trouble to find out what is karate and they assail that art as a “maiming sport”. What about women, do you think they should practice it? Certainly, it is good exercise and it develops their coordination and tones their bodies. Have you taught well known personalities? Sure, I can’t remember all of them off hand but here’s a few: Nick Adams, MacDonald Carey, Darren McGavin, the late Frank Lovejoy, Frank Sinatra, Danny Key, and Hollywood columnist Joe Hyam. Who taught you karate? Master William Chow of Hawaii. He’s still active and has the largest following in the Islands. Why did you take up karate? Why not some other sports, like boxing? I was in boxing. My dad was a boxing inspector for over 30 years. I took up karate 15 years ago because I felt, and still feel, that karate will be of greater benefit to me, especially in my old age. Karate relies on minimum movements with maximum effect. Ed, when did you first teach karate? In 1949. But I had to take a “break” 1951 when I joined the Coast guard. I resumed teaching in 1953 in Utah to the law enforcement, and to the students and faculties of Brigham Young University. Incidentally, the students were given college credits for their training sessions. Did you finish Brigham Young University? Yeah. I graduated in 1956 with a B.S. in sociology and psychology. I minored in political science. Prior to that I matriculated at Kamehameha High School in Honolulu. Are you married? Yes, I’m married to a Hawaiian girl, name of Leilani. I have four children. Although they are still young, I’ve already initiated them to the fundamental techniques of karate. I know you’ve already written two books, are you planning to write another? Oh Yes, Actually I’ve just completed my third. I’m still debating with my publisher as to its title.




Hawaiians Dominate the First International Karate Championships / Black Belt / Jan. 1965 / V-3 No. 1 / Editors


Hawaiians Dominate the First International Karate Championships “Hawaii!” This magic word has stirred millions of hearts as a paradise to visit; where the palm trees sway, the “hula” girls swing to the rhythm of the ukulele and steel guitars. Nobody works. Everybody just loafs and plays. This is what we’re been led to believe. So when Miss Ruby Paglinawan appeared on the floor of the Long Beach, California, municipal auditorium, the overflow crowd of 5,000 expected her to dance the “hula.” But lo and behold, Miss Paglinawan, dressed in her karate gi (suit), punched and kicked with authority as her reluctant opponent, Ben Otake, kept moving away, wanting no part of her. The crowd cheered her on: “get um!” “kill um!” Otake, furious at the crowd’s reaction, finally decided to stop this nonsense and retaliated. He emerged the winner of the match. In the meantime the Hawaiian karate-men were mowing down their competitors. When the final rounds came about, they found themselves competing against each other. Twenty-two year old Michael Stone defeated fellow Hawaiian, Harry Keolanui, for the grand championship. The match lasted only 41 seconds as the soldier from Makawao, Maui, clinched the title with two front kicks to his opponent’s body. Stone had beaten hobbling Keolanui in the earlier Black Belt match and then had victories over Tony Tullners and Leonard Mau. Stone, an all-around athlete from Lahainaluna High School on Maui, has an impressive record sine taking up karate 16 months ago. He won the national Brown Belt championship in Washington, D.C., last March, the Brown Belt championship in the Southwest Karate Championship in Dallas, Texas, last January, and the Brown Belt championship at the Tulsa Institute of Karate. Demonstrators Impressive Exhibitions by masters from Japan, Korea, China and the Philippines were very impressive. Takayuki Kubota, 7th-Dan Black Belt, awed the crowd with his unbelievable defenses against unrehearsed knife attacks. His attacker, hiding a real knife behind his back, feinted with a left-hand stab and slashed with his right. But Kubota, with lighting fast hands, blocked the knife hand and threw his attacker to the hard floor. After two attempts, the attacker went to the microphone and apologized that it was too dangerous for himself to continue. Then Kubota demonstrated a fantastic feat. He got hold of a sledge hammer and began pounding his hands and shins to prove that one’s body can withstand brutal beatings. Other demonstrations included: Jhoon Rhee, leaping 7 feet into the air and kicking through three ¾” boards. Tsutomu Ohshima, pulverizing two opponents simultaneously. Bruce Lee, demonstrating kung fu, secrete art of the Chinese. Bin Hogusa and his brother, displaying “escrima,” the stick-fighting art of the Philippines. The highly successful event drew 300 strong karate-men from the U.S. and Canada.




Karate Tournament Attracts Sellout Crowd for Second Straight Year / Black Belt / Dec. 1965 / V-3 No. 12 / Editors


The second annual International Karate Tournament held recently in Long Beach, California, packed the municipal Auditorium for the second straight year and drew more than 400 participants. At lease 4000 persons watched Mike Stone of Hawaii capture his second straight grand championship by defeating Tommy Tulleners of Altadena California. Tulleners earned his bid for the grand championship by defeating Al Caraulia in the light-heavyweight black belt match. Winner of the heavyweight black belt division was Art Pelela who Stone eliminated on his way to the grand championship. A complete listing of all the winners follows at the end of this article. Ed Parker, producer of the tournament, interspersed many demonstrations between matches. Demonstrations of systems from Korea, Okinawa, Japan, China, and the Philippines thrilled the spectators. Jhoon Rhee, with his barefoot, split boards held several feet high. Ben Largusa performed the Filipino art of Escrima, twirling and poking sticks with rare and agility. Takayuki Kubota, the man with steel hands and feet, broke three bricks with one blow. Roy Castro, eight years old, and his 11-year-old sister, April, received a warm applause for their karate demonstration. Ark Yuey Wong showed the audience that age is no barrier to the practice of Kung Fu. Fumio Demura demonstrated Sai, an ancient Japanese self-defense art performed with two long knives. Other demonstrations were performed by Chuck Norris, Tsutomu Ohshima, Bill Ryusak's Girls’ Group, Craig Clarke and Steve Willens, Dan Inasanto, and Ed Parker.




Parker Opens New Dojo / Black Belt / July 1966 / V-4 No. 6 / Editors Parker Opens Modern New Dojo


Pasadena, California. - Ed Parker recently moved his international Kenpo karate Association into new headquarters. The Association Center is a modern building rich retains strong Oriental lines. Parker says the building is the only one he knows of in the United States that was built specifically as a karate dojo and office. Other karate clubs usually take over existing facilities, he noted. The air-conditioned building has 1,200 feet of mat area. One wall is covered with full-length mirrors for students to practice their movements, and there is a large dressing room with showers.




The Race for the AAU / Black Belt / July 1966 / V-4 No. 6 / Editors


Ed Parker and Jhoon Rhee are two of the most successful young men in American karate today. In many ways, the two are dissimilar. Parker was born in Honolulu and now heads a string of West Coast dojos. Rhee comes originally from Korea and makes his headquarters at the other end of the continent in Washington, D.C., where he is a dojo operator and recently elected head of the US Korean Tae Kwon Do Association. The one thing the two do have in common. They're both laying their prestige on the line in the riskiest gamble of their careers. In cooperation with a number of other prominent karate men, the pair is preparing to plunge into the treacherous currents of American karate politics to set up a new nationwide karate association. The organization is so new that it still doesn't have an official name yet. Suggested titles are the U.S. Karate Congress or the Karate Black Belt Federation (after the Judo Black Belt Federation). But whatever the name finally selected, the fledgling organization is starting off with some impressive credentials. President of the group will be U.S. Senator Milton Young of North Dakota. Other prominent karate men active in the founding are Henry Cho from New York City, and from the West Coast, Tsutomu Ohshirna, Tac Kubota and Fumio Demura. Plans now call for prominent businessmen to be assigned to the group's board of directors to give the organization financial strength and help in its administration. (One likely candidate: Blake Edwards, prominent Hollywood producer of such films as "Breakfast at Tiffany's," "The Great Race," and "Shot in the Dark.") Courting the AAU Headquarters of the new organization will be Washington, D.C., a site which has several advantages. In the first place, the organization during its formative period will be removed by several thousand miles from the squabbling politics of the West Coast and other Western karate groups. Secondly, location in Washington should give a shot in the arm to the spread and advancement of the art in the both the Eastern and Southeastern sections of the country. The new group is launched with the aim of trying to unify and strengthen the badly split American karate movement. The organization will be open to members of any recognized karate group, both in the U.S. and Canada. The big prize that the new body hopes to get is recognition from the AAU as the official karate organization of the United States. This puts a new federation correctly on a collision course with two other major karate organizations, Robert Trias’ U.S. Karate Association (USKA) and Hidetaka Nishiyama's All-American Karate Association (AAKA), the arm of the Japan Karate Association (JKA) in the United States. Trias and Nishiyama have been courting the AAU to try to land that organizations official blessing. But so far the AAU has been wavering. Both these organizations have certain strengths and glaring weaknesses going for them in their drive to become the official spokesman for U.S. karate. Karate with a Conga Beat Official statistics of any karate group are usually highly suspect. But the US K. A. could be what Trias says it is, the biggest karate organization at present in the country. Trias claims to have 10,000 members, a figure that some knowledgeable observers say can be shown only on paper. However, he is a tireless campaigner and he attracts new dojos to his banner every month. But he has seen a number also drop out each year. Trias’s biggest problem is that he has been unable to bring in the really prestigious groups to his organization. Though his US KA is open to all groups, the Japanese organizations, for instance, have stayed away. So have most of the really important names in the country. Some members in these groups have shied off from what one wag has called the flamboyant Trias’ “karate with the conga beat.” This is partly reference to the kata demonstrations put on by Trias’ attractive daughter, Roberta Trias, where she has been accompanied by a young man slapping out the beat on a conga drum. Roberta has been promoted to second ban by her doting father. The question of issuing rank has been another point at issue with some of the old-line traditionalist groups. Trias’ organization has no official links with any organizations from Japan, or any other Oriental karate countries. He himself issues black belt ranks to his instructors, dojo operators, and others, and he has been lavish and showering them with fifth and sixth dan rankings. Members of the Japanese groups never tire of pointing out that their groups, have been sparing in the issue of rank is in this country, making their students really work to earn their promotions. To this day, for instance, no Caucasian has ever attained higher than a third dan ranking from Nishiyama's group. On a related issue, there is a doubt in many minds about Trias’ own personal rank in karate. Trias has claimed he has been awarded high rank with several major karate organizations, without being too specific about it. Some people say they have seen documentation of his rank. But Trias has never made it public, thus adding to the confusion on the subject. Nishiyama's Big Problems Prestige, on the other hand, is Nishiyama's strong point. The author of a best-selling karate book, Nishiyama's name is well known. Many impartial observers believe that Nishiyama teaches some of the best karate in the United States - a Shotokan style that is authentic, disciplined, and strict. But Nishiyama also has his big problems. Proud and aloof, he has often stood apart from other groups. For instance, in a recent tournament he sponsored in which the leading college champions from Japan took part, Nishiyama restricted participation to a few groups and shut out all others, a tactic hardly likely to endear him to those from other organizations. For his part, Nishiyama has certain definite opinions about karate in the United States. He is known to feel that a number of karate groups are second rate, with inadequately trained instructors. A perfectionist himself, he has shown little patience with those of lesser ability. Operating out of Los Angeles, Nishiyama has several dozen dojos spread around the country that pay loyalty to his AAKA. His approach to American karate might be termed an experiment in Japanese rule. Nishiyama is a Japanese citizen, and his first loyalty is to the JKA. He has therefore, always had to overcome the obstacle of being an "outsider" in a foreign land, a problem that Trias and Parker do not have. To overcome this disadvantage would have called for diplomacy and tact of the highest order. But Nishiyama has stepped on a number of toes, and his aggressive recruiting tactics have alienated some important karate men around the country. Even if it had been otherwise, Nishiyama still would be bucking long odds. The history of the development of the art in every major karate country has shown that, almost invariably, the leadership of the country's karate movement has gone to citizens of that country. A Lesson in Europe This has been a lesson learned to his regret by Tetsuji Murakami, an early Shotokan pioneer in Europe. Murakami refused to cooperate with the native karate organizations in Europe, and has found himself on the outside looking in as the European Karate Union was formed by Europeans without him. The result has been that Murakami, a top-flight instructor, has isolated himself from the mainstream of European karate. And the question that has been asked of the JKA elsewhere was whether it was working for the benefit of the karate movement in the country that was hosting it, or working for the benefit of the JKA in Japan. Recently, however, there has been one sign that the JKA may be shifting from the go-it-alone policy it has often pursued in the past. In the Philippines, the JKA joined with other Japanese, Korean and Okinawan groups to form the Philippine Amateur Karate Organization. (See Black Belt Times.) If the situation was applicable in the United States, Nishiyama would strengthen his case before American karate men. Given Trias’ and Nishiyama's difficulties, Parker, Rhee and the others think they see a spot for a third karate organization in this country. The details of the new group still remain to be worked out, but some of the rough outline can already be seen. In order to bring in as many dojos and organizations as possible, the present plan is to make for a loose federation that will accommodate everyone. Theoretically, no one man or one group is supposed to dominate. Special accommodation will be made for special styles. For instance, if the Shotokan followers want to set up a special section under the general tent of the new organization, that's all right with Parker and Rhee The basic aims of the new federation are to promote and unite karate in the country, to set standard rules for tournament play, and, eventually, to set minimum standards to help elevate the quality of karate taught. Another function would be to act as a central registry for all karate ranks in the United States. "For one thing," Parker says, "it would answer once and for all the question of how many karate men there are in the United States. Nobody really knows now." It would also help end the numbers game played by many karate organizations, and identify specifically how many members are registered with each group. The real organizational structure is to be hammered out in Washington, DC, when the representatives from around the country gather for Rhee's big national spring championship tournament. The organizers are making the tournament a special affair. Political and diplomatic figures are slated to attend. Robert Culp and Bill Cosby, the stars of the television series "I Spy," head the entertainment contingent. The new organization has several advantages going in from the start. Both Parker and Rhee are well-known figures in karate and can command a large following. The two men have proven to be effective showmen. This has caused some wrinkling of noses on the part of some of the more conservative organizations. But there is no denying their success. They produce the two biggest and most successful karate tournaments in the U.S. each year, Rhee's Spring nationals and Parker's fall tournament in Long Beach, California. An initial reception to their plans for a new organization has been enthusiastic from dojo operators across the country. Not All Roses Everything is not all roses for the new federation. It too faces some big tasks before it can be called a success. For one thing, a loose federation with no strong head might cause administration problems. The president of the organization, Senator Young, is a busy man and cannot be expected to devote too much attention to organizing and running the new body. But a fledgling organization usually needs a driving, aggressive, full-time head to make it go. Then there are the geographical problems. Rheee apparently will concentrate on lining up members on the East Coast and in the south where he is strong. Parker's job will be to deliver the troublesome West. Rhee looks to have the easier time of it. Eastern karate clubs have shown more willingness to cooperate among themselves for the greater promotion of all. And Rhee can work within the framework of the numerous Korean karate clubs in the East. Henry Cho is an influential karate figure in New York and can be expected to attract a lot of followers in the big town and surrounding areas. Rhee brings with him high credentials. The son of a Protestant minister, he teaches a top brand of Korean karate. Rhee has just been named president of the US Korean Tae Kwon Do League. Rhee’s federation claims 12,000 members. If he can swing into the new organization anywhere near this number, it would represent a hefty base from which to start. Combined with what Cho can steer in from New York, and Rhee’s strength in the South as well, the new group appears to be off to a running start in these sections of the country. Parker will have it rough for. The Western karate man is of a rugged an individual breed. Totally obsessed with what's happening among themselves, they tend to think that anything east of the Sierras is beyond the pale of true karatedom. And while they have cooperated among themselves on occasion, it is generally been a rather lukewarm sort of cooperation. But of all of the West Coast karate men, Parker has seemed to get the most cooperation out of them. He has been able to turn them out for his tournaments. And interestingly enough, he has been able to work successfully with both Trias and Tsutomu Ohshima, the later a member of the 24 karat inner prestige group. Interestingly enough, Parker's credentials have never been verified. If he has ever received any official rank from a major karate organization, he has never mentioned it. Parker teaches a brand of Kenpo karate said to have a passing familiarity with Chinese Kenpo. But how much is Chinese and how much is the 37-year-old Parker's own contribution is subject to some speculation. Yet this fact has never actually hampered Parker's effectiveness. For one thing, Parker is recognized as one of the early founders of karate in the country and he has worked hard and long at it, a fact that other karate men seem to give him credit for. Federation Lands Ohshima Parker's big job will be to bring in the prestige groups and the Japanese organizations which carries such weight on the West Coast. He has already made a start in this direction by lining up Tak Kubota and Fumio Demura. And he scored his biggest triumphant by bagging Tsutomu Ohshima for the federation. Ohshima could well be one of the keys to success in the new organization. Ohshima might almost be called the grand old man of American karate. He came to the United States in 1956, the first pioneer from Japan to instruct a major brand of karate. He teaches a Shotokan style that is as authentic as Nishiyama’s. Ohshima has only one dojo, in Los Angeles, so it is not sheer numbers that will contribute to the new organization. But it will be something far more valuable. By bringing in a man of his unimpeachable character and prestige, it could swing a lot of the fence straddlers around the country who have been waiting to see just which way to jump. Tak Kubota is a pixie-sized young man who teaches his own style of karate, Gosoku Ryu. Kubota's face is often split with a wide grin that shows his gold teeth, and he seems constantly to be supporting bandages around his wrists and ankles from injuries earned in vigorous kumite lessons. For a little man, Kubota teaches our rough brand of karate. He feels that his students should make contact now and then to learn to take it. Kubota runs his own dojo in Hollywood and is head instructor for the International Karate Federation, a small chain with half a dozen dojos on the West Coast. Fumio Demura is a man on the way up in the karate world. He teaches the Shitoryu style of karate and has trained under Kenei Mabuni, ahead of the school in Japan. Demura is considered one of the best karate stylist in the United States. He left this spring to go to Korea to study the karate styles of that country. This survey of the American karate would not be complete without a word about the Okinawan and Chinese groups. Both groups are small and neither is well-organized. The Chinese groups are just beginning to come out into the open after generations of secrecy. But when they have come out, the Chinese groups have shown a willingness to cooperate. The problem with the Okinawan groups is more complex. What is really needed in this area is a big influx of qualified instructors from Okinawa. Much of the instruction in the United States is uneven - some good and some bad. And there is a woeful lack of knowledge and background on the part of some of the Okinawan groups in this country. For instance, many of the Okinawan styles bar tournament play, and yet some of the people in this country claiming to be followers of the styles do engage in tournament competition. The confusion on this point could stand to be cleared up. If competition is to be allowed, it could help draw Okinawan groups closer into the general fabric of the American karate movement. In Hawaii, for instance, the followers of Okinawan Goju do not enter into tournaments, which is one factor in the confused scheme of Hawaiian karate. The question of issuing ranks is another factor. The Shimabuku school of Okinawan karate, for instance, has been criticized for being too easy on handing out ranks. On the other hand, the Okinawan groups have generally shown a willingness to cooperate with other karate groups in advancing the general welfare of all karate. In fact, this urge to merge it appears to be a worldwide movement. What is happening in the United States is only part of the same movement. One of the three major organizations mentioned USKA., AAKA, or the Parker-Rhee tandem - appears to be the most likely vehicle for organization in the United States. But which one it will be is still anybody's guess. As for now the race is still wide open.




Bad Refereeing Makes a Botch of America''s Top Karate Tournament / Black Belt / Nov. 1966 / V-4 No. 11 / Editors


Bad Refereeing Makes A Botch Of America's Top Karate Tournament "The only thing wrong with U.S. karate today is that the students are becoming better than a lot of the instructors who teach it and the big shots who run it." This tongue-in-cheek observation of one of the country's top karatmen was made at the conclusion of Ed Parker's annual extravaganza the international karate championships. This year's championship, the major karate event of the term season, was distinguished by two factors: the increasing skill of American karate students, and the diminishing ability of their senseis to provide the officiating to keep up with better play. In previous years, it might have been easier to get away with sloppy refereeing. But with American youngsters rapidly picking up proficiency in the art, this is no longer possible. The refereeing officials, supposedly top experts in the art, is now becoming the glaring weakness in U.S. karate. Parker's tournament this year was no exception. The upshot was a championship title was won by the most controversial decision yet in the tournament that has produced controversial winners for three straight years. But you have to give Parker credit for one thing. He knows how to stage a tournament that pulls in the crowds. It was standing room only as more than 5000 fans jammed the old municipal Auditorium in Long Beach, Calif., to witness the big bash. And still Parker had to turn them away. In numbers of contestants entered, Parker also set a new US record of more than 600, eclipsing the records held briefly earlier this year by his two new partners in US karate Congress Jhoon Rhee of Washington, DC and Alan Steen of Dallas, Texas. The tournament was a crowd pleaser all the way. It was stage with all the hoopla of a Hollywood spectacular, which is somewhat understandable in view of Parker's close connection with the entertainment industry. The tournament featured show business personalities, a scantily clad tournament queen, and a big brass band. The matches were an all-day affair, with the final playoffs held at night. Parker didn't try to strain the crowd's attention with too much karate at the playoffs, but supplied the paying customers within the evenings entertainment. It apparently was what the crowd wanted. They oohed and aahed at the demonstrations of various styles, the defenses against knife attacks and mass attacks, and the performances of a troop of girl karateists who were dressed in tight black panties and stockings instead of traditional gi bottoms. While vastly entertaining, there were those in the crowd who wondered what it all had to do with Oriental martial arts and with the picking of a national karate champion. Some of the more serious minded karate-men who fail to see anything entertaining about their art spoke darkly about giving the American public the wrong idea about karate through such shows. This is an old question that has been gone over many times in karate. In Parker's behalf, a case can be made that demonstrations which are both instructive and enjoyable bringing crowds and promote interest in karate. For those in attendance who wanted their karate straight and in quantity, they're always the afternoon matches. But concurrent with providing good entertainment was a responsibility to provide technical quality of a high order. Certainly, Parker can't be faulted for the quality of the players this year. Some of the brightest term stars in the country showed up in Long Beach to compete for the title. But while individual play at the tournament was high, the refereeing was not. The officiating was totally, hopelessly inadequate for the occasion. And it was on this grave technical shortcoming that the entire tournament was to founder. Parker himself had to shoulder the blame for the inadequacy of the officiating. Five officials judged the crucial evening matches - the refereeing and four judges, one judge for each side of the mat. All four side judges were representatives of the Kenpo style of karate, the same style but Parker teaches. Kenpo students, with the grace and speed which characterize their soft style, had not been faring well in recent tournaments in which the refereeing was handled by representatives of the harder Japanese styles. For his own tournament then, Parker loaded the judges’ panel with Kenpo men. The results were predictable. The Kenpo students had referees who understood their styles, and the Kenpo students dominated the winners list in the white belt and brown belt divisions. In the Black belt divisions, it was contestants of the widely established Japanese and Korean styles who continue to hold undisputed sway. The fault of the refereeing was not that it was handled by Kenpo men, but that it was inept, generally, and some of the Kenpo students suffered right along with the rest. The afternoon matches were characterized by numerous injuries, caused in large part by the lack of control being displayed. Contact was often, and it was hard. Yet not once was a contestant warned, much less disqualified for lack of control. But it was in the important final evening matches that the weakness of the refereeing became most apparent. The officials at the beginning seemed almost too eager to issue a point, and later they were paralyzed by indecision. The antics of the side judges quickly earn them the title of the "Fumbling Foursome" by those at ringside. The white belt matches started slowly and in general continue to proceed that way. Jhoon Rhee, head of the Korean Tae Kwon Do Association, was the center referee for these bouts, and he proved that lack of skill in refereeing was not confined to Kenpo people only. After a rugged round robin series of matches, attired Larry Moore won the white belt crown. For the brown belt finals, the center referee was Tsutomu Ohshima, father of Shotokan karate in the United States and one of the country's top referees. He provided the only excellence in officiating in the whole evening. He is a no-nonsense referee, and he keeps a matches moving along. In Ohshima, the four side judges found the leader they had been looking for all day. Ohshima was in close on top of every action, and alone of the center referee's never hesitated in calling his decision. Ohshima didn't deign to look at the four side judges for confirmation in signaling his decision. There is no need to. He was like a puppet master. He would signal a decision, and automatically the hands of all four judges would go up in unison, signaling their agreement. There was no doubt in anyone's mind who the winner of the heavyweight division when Ohshima signalled Arnold Uriguidez as the man. But though Ohshima was the tournaments official chief referee, he had nothing to do with judging the Black belt finals. It was Parker himself, tired after a long day's activity, who took over the refereeing as a ceremonial function. There were a number of top-flight players injured in the Black belt division, and they deserve the best in the way of refereeing. But Parker, who had turned in a credible job of refereeing at another tournament several months earlier, proved to be slow and indecisive when faced with officiating for this array of fine talent. Parker was consistently finessed out of position by the speed and deception of the brilliant young stars so representative of the new generation of American karate men now coming into prominence. Time and time again, Parker found himself hopelessly stranded and away from the center of action. Unable to come up with fast decisions, he was forced to rely heavily on the side judges, who were little help at all. In the lightweight division, the three finalists were Algene Caraulia of Chicago, a former national tournament winner and now head man for the US karate Association of the Midwest, and to rising young West Coast players Carlos Bunda to and Joe Black. The best Caraulia could do this year was to finish third. After a close match, Bunda took the measure of Black to win the lightweight crown. The middleweight division boasted Chuck Norris, one of the West Coast finest tournament players, and two young players of extraordinary promise. These later two were "Skipper" Mullins and Ron Marchini, who were both brown belts until recently but were promoted following impressive series of tournament victories. Marchini is a West coaster, Mullins is fresh out of the Marine Corps and a winner at Jhoon Rhee's big Washington, DC tournament this spring. Mullins was one of the astonishing trio of karate men trained by Jhoon Rhee who finished high up in this tournament. Norris, who operates a Tang Soo Do Academy in Redondo Beach, Calif., was the eventual winner in this division. Mullins took the runner-up spot and Marchini was third. The heavyweight division was really loaded with talent. Jhoon Rhee's other two entries competed in this division. One was Alan Steen, Rhee's most famous pupil and now head of his sensei's Tae Kwon Do branch in Dallas, Texas. The other Rhee graduate was Joe Lewis, who this year was grand champion a Rhee's tournament. The third member of this fast Company with Tony Tulleners, California State Karate Champion and protégé of Tak Kubota. Tulleners, along with Norris, had been a heavy favorite to win the tournament. But the long-legged blonde broke his foot in an afternoon doubt and he had to settle for third. Rhee's great pair, Steen and Lewis, finished one-two in that order. The grand championship was to be determined in the round robin match among the champions of each division. Before they began, friends and advisers of the three champions were able to give some last-minute advice. Kubota had his arm around Norris and kept saying, "defense punch, defense punch." Kubota holds strongly that the easiest technique to defend against is the kick and he was advising Norris to counterpunch against the kicking offenses which seemed to be the mainstay of most at this tournament. But Kubota needn't have bothered. Norris lately has developed some effective punching techniques, which is unusual for Korean karate stylist with their heavy emphasis on foot techniques. The hands usually are used mainly for blocking. But Norris' opponents have a healthy respect for his kicking prowess and have stayed far out of range, forcing him to adopt new tactics. "Recently, I noticed that everyone I compete against seems to be watching my feet instead of my eyes," Norris says. "I virtually was forced to learn some punching techniques as a result." The punch now has become one of his most effective point getters in competition, and he used it to dispose easily of Carlos Bunda in the first of the round robin matches. Twice Bunda tried his luck with the kicking technique. But what Norris doesn't know about kicks isn't worth knowing, and he is brilliant at countering against them. With easy grace, Norris backed off from the kicks, then reversed and moved in with great speed. Both times, he came in behind Bunda's outstretched kicking leg and drilled a fast punch to the kidney. The match was over in little more than a minute. The next match pitted Bunda against Steen. This proved to be a much closer fight, and Steen had great difficulty with the lightweight. Bunda scored first with the beautifully executed kick early in the match. But Steen is a foxy fighter, and the Korean style of karate uses extremely tricky and clever footwork. The text and completely faked out Bunda on one exchange. Maneuvering with his head down and looking away, Steen appeared to be only trying to circle around Bunda to try to get to the other side of the mat. Suddenly he let fly with a bullet kicked in the face. Bunda didn't even come close to blocking it. After this, both men proved much more cautious. Several more kicks were tried by both before Steen scored on a roundhouse kick to take the match. It was to be Norris and Steen, a pair of Korean-style fighters, battling it out for the grand championship. Norris might be called the Arnold Palmer of West Coast karate. Quiet-spoken and self-effacing, he is easily the most popular tournament player in that section of the country. Blond-haired and good looking, Norris has a smooth style and grace that attracts attention. He had his own army in the galleries, and the crowd was strongly rooting for him during the final bout. Norris is also a top-flight instructor, and his white belt and brown belt students consistently score well in tournaments. The 26-year-old Norris hasn't been around long enough to turn out top-flight black belts yet on the scale that Jhoon Rhee does, but he is working his way up in that direction. His students won the team trophy for the most wins at Parker's attorney, but the effort was to cost Norris. It had been a long day for him, serving as coach to his students and competing himself. And while he should have been resting in the evening, he was putting on with his students a long and highly interesting demonstration that including Hapkido-style techniques or throwing assailants who attack with a knife. It was to be a weary Norris who went up against Steen in that final match. Steen is a tall Texan who speaks with a soft Southern drawl. Ambitious and hard-working, he has in a few short years built up his own tournament where it is one of the biggest in the country. Steen is now an important southern cornerstone in the new national karate federation, the US Karate Congress, that Parker and Rhee are promoting. Steen is a strong fighter and he has been active in the tournament circuit a few years. He will never win any medals for form, but he is big and he is fast - deceptively fast for a man his size. And he conserved his strength during the evening hours so that he appeared to be fresher going into the final match. Parker looked haggard as he entered the ring for the final matches. The strain of the past few months in preparing the tournament and the hectic pace of the day's activities were telling on him. He hardly had a chance to get set up for the action exploded. Norris and Steen tried a pair of kicks, neither breaking through for the point. They circled each other cautiously for an instant, and in Norris made his move. He faked a kick and then followed through with a reverse punch to the stomach. It was a clean below and was good for a point. At this point, Norris could have won by shifting to defense and running out of time. But instead he wanted to win fighting, and so he continued to attack. After further sparring, Norris moved in to try for another punch. But he got careless and virtually handed a point to Steen by running into a standing sidekick. It was now tie score, and the next point would be sudden death. This time, the two eyed each other warily. Norris played defensively, trying to bait Steen into an attack. The tall Texan responded and went once again with a sweeping roundhouse kick, his best technique and the one that he had relied on all day. It was a move that Norris had been waiting for. He deftly eluded the kick and moved in swiftly to counter as he had done successfully to win crucial points in earlier matches. Steen was in the worst position that a karate man can find himself, off-balance with his back to his opponent and in bad position to counter or defend. He was wide open and Norris drilled too hard, fast punches to the kidney. Those seated on the west and north side of the rain had a clear shot of the action, and there were yelps of delight from Norris's fans. The flags shot up from two side referees closest to the action. Norris stepped back and looked at Parker, expecting to see him raise his hand for the point. Instead, Parker only stared back. Parker had been pulled out of position in the fast exchange, and was on the south side of the mat and toward the east. It was an agonizing moment for both men. They were frozen in a tableau that seemed to last for an endless minute, though actually only a few seconds elapsed. There was a hush of anticipation that fell over the crowd in the sweaty, smoke-filled hall. In the center of the ring, Norris looked at Parker expectantly, waiting to be crowned the new champ. Parker stood rooted to his spot, his mouth slightly agspe, with indecision written all over his face. Parker finally broke off the stare and turned slowly to the side judges. It was now their turn to stare at Parker. By this time, the flags that had shot up so bravely had drooped to half-mast, and the judges seemed uncomfortable that they would have to make a decision. Parker turned to each of the four judges. The others didn't signal a point. But they didn't signal "no point," either. Everyone by this time seemed transfixed and confused on what to do. Parker turned back to face Norris with downcast eyes. "No point," he said softly. Norris was obviously shaken by the call, and he sagged and shook his head. He walked listlessly back to the starting position. But Norris wasn't through yet. He had still other tricks in his bag, and he employed them now. If he couldn't win with another counterpunch, he would try an offense of kick. Setting Steen in position, Norris then moved in and went up with a roundhouse kick. It was a perfect kick as any at the tournament, and Norris executed it with beautiful precision and control. He stopped the kick with only a sliver of daylight showing through between his foot and Steen’s face. There couldn't have been a half-inch distance. Steen had been faked completely out of position, and was nowhere near blocking the kick. In fact, both of Steen's hands were below his belt. Again Norris turned Parker. And again he got no response. He had no choice but to keep fighting, because the action couldn't be stopped except by the referee. And Parker was not going to award him the point. By this time, Norris was a study in sheer frustration. He decided to go back to a counterpunch. Again he tried to entice Steen into going with his roundhouse kick, and again Steen complied. The two met in a clash in the center of the ring. Norris delivered a well-controlled punch to the kidney, stopped just a fraction away from contact. Steen delivered a powerful roundhouse kick that Norris saw coming. Norris blocked it with his hand. But Steen had put the steam behind the kick and it sent his foot and Norris' hand smashing into Norris' face. There was no control to the kick and if Norris hadn't blocked he could have been in trouble. The judge nearest the action signaled that Norris had scored his punch before Steen had landed his kick, and he awarded the point to Norris. But Parker and the other judge who were on the far side of the action failed to see Norris’ scoring punch. But they couldn't miss seeing Norris' head snap back as Steen's foot crashed into it. At this point in the tournament, Parker and the other officials were not going to quibble over control. And Parker showed no indecision this time. For one of the few times that night, he didn't check with the side judges first but raised his hand and signaled the point. Steen was the new champ. Steen leapt for joy and rushed over to embrace Norris, relaxing into a soft smile from the stern expression he had worn throughout the match. Steen proved to be a modest new champion. He had told Parker before the tournament that he had planned to retire from competition. But now he promised to allow others a further crack at him. "I'll keep going as long as there's a kick left in me," he said. Even in the flush of victory and surrounded by well-wishers, he remembered an article this magazine had printed about his tournament and he thanked us for it. Norris was disappointed, of course, by the outcome. But he managed a wry smile. "At least my students won the team trophy," he said. "That's really the important thing." Asked if he would keep competing, Norris said "Oh, sure. Can't stop now. I'll just try to beat Steen next year." There were bound to be repercussions from the decision. Parker had boxed himself into an impossible situation again this year. Last year, his refereeing a had drawn fire for the controversial decisions awarding the championship to Mike Stone, who was Parker's new business partner in a dojo operation. Stone also had received favored treatment in the 1965 tourney by not having to compete in the long and grueling elimination matches but went fresh directly into the finals. Parker's explanation at the time was that Stone didn't have to compete along with every other contestant because he had won (also controversially) the 1964 tournament, which automatically entitled him to a spot in the finals to defend his title. (There were those at the time who noted that if this type of reasoning were applied to baseball, for instance, would automatically ensure that the winner of the World Series one year would not have to play any of the 162 games during the regular season of the following year but would go directly to the series again.) Now once again, a new partner of Parker had been awarded a controversial win by him. The situation was bound to raise suspicion all over again. Yet someone who had seen the anguish in Parker's face at the crucial moment during the Norris-Steen bout would have little doubt that the man was undecided. Furthermore, Parker is decidedly fond of Norris, and had impetuously thrown his arms around him when announcing his win as middleweight champ. Yet Parker's predicament was totally unnecessary. Ohshima was listed as chief referee and could have handled the officiating chores ably. Yet Ohshima, as well as a number of other high ranking dans, sat on their hands in the audience, shouted to the sidelines as spectators during the final matches. But Ohshima himself was inclined to be charitable toward Parker. "I don't think anyone should be too critical of Parker's decision in the match. After all, anyone can make a mistake. If you expect 100-percent accuracy in refereeing, you'd never be able to find a referee for a match." On the other hand, Ohshima, was strongly insistent on the need to upgrade the refereeing in the United States. "You know," he said, "you can lose a lot of students or alienate many from continuing if they get to the point where they're becoming good and then get poor treatment at the hands of bad referees." It could also be added that the reputation for bad refereeing could be harmful to Parker's tournament and alienate top players from competing. This has already begun to happen. For instance, Harry Kealanui: a top-flight competitor, refused to enter Parker's tournament again this year. Complained Kealanui: "How can you win with that type of refereeing?" Dan Ivan, who studied under Fumio Demura, became so upset with the officiating during the afternoon matches this year that he pulled every one of his students out and vowed never to come back. There were also charges that tempo contestants were never pitted against each other in the early matches, thus increasing the chances of more students of this style for reaching the finals. However, students of the other styles were being pitted against players from their own dojos to thin out their numbers quickly. The final unsettling note was the fact that Parker was an able again this year to get a number of really competent Japanese instructors to send their students to compete in his tournament. The example set by this year's refereeing seemed to put off even further the day when these senseis, with their unimpeachable credentials, would agree to end their boycott. In the meantime, the real losers in this split in karate ranks were the players themselves. For one thing, a wider exposure to different styles could only be again for all students. And who is to argue that the students of some top Japanese instructors wouldn't benefit from the interchange with, for instance, some of the superb Korean-style contestants at this tourney, and vice versa. But in view of this lack of confrontation, the public was left to guess for at least another year over who were truly the nation's best players.




Ed Parker Defends His Tournament / Black Belt / Feb. 1967 / V-5 No. 2 / Ed Parker


This magazine has expressed itself quite strongly on what it felt was the poor quality of refereeing displayed at the two top martial arts tournaments in the United States the past year - the national AAU judo championships and the Ed Parker's Karate Tournament. Last month, we were pleased to make space available for a retort by Mr. Thomas Dalton, Director of the Judo Championship. This month, we're happy to afford the same opportunity to Mr. Parker. - Ed. I wish to thank you for the eight page story and review of the 1966 International Karate Championships. It was terrific recognition of an outstanding event, and the more than a dozen photographs graphically illustrated some of the highlights of the event. Karate in the past has been limited to the chosen few, who are either dedicated to the art or to those who have dedicated themselves to the art of physically controlled powers. It has been a great satisfaction to me that during the past three years, the International Karate Championships have brought about great interest and understanding by the public, which, in turn, has substantially increased the status and integrity of our profession, regardless of incidents that are bound to occur when this many contestants gather to do battle. The reader interest by the subscribers of your magazine is indicated by your willingness to devote eight pages and 13 pictures to the event, and I salute you. I agree that those of "us", with a serious mind to the traditions of karate, are somewhat apprehensive about attracting thousands of people to see a championship, but it is about the only way for a mass education to create interest in the things that you and I believe in. It is true that there will always be those in the audience who are skilled in the art, and the "exhibitions" staged between a serious "events" of the contest may be dull and kids stuff to them. But this could be said of the "Hokum" and fillers and jokes and some of the advertising of your magazine which many times is obviously staged and of selected sequences to illustrate a point in your stories and features. There were over 600 contestants. The event is still new in scope with only three years’ experience, and if mistakes are made, it is unfortunate it was necessary for you to take half of the eight pages to tell about your opinion of the mistakes. By and large, however, you added many favorable comments, and I think the article in its length, size, scope and illustrations was most commendable, even though I "violently" disagree with some of your criticisms. May I inquire if you are aware that all contestants the day before the contest attended a three-hour briefing session. The officials and the contestants conferred, and changes were made in the rules by public discussion of conflicts. Special exhibitions were given before the entire group, with officials present to explain what was expected and the procedures that would be used during the tournament. These and many other sessions took place to help solve the dilemma of competing by devotees of different styles or systems. Incidentally, it was interesting for you to observe in one paragraph a criticism of the failure to conform to the harder Japanese styles, and in the following paragraph emphasized a criticism that contact was "often" and it was "hard." Also, in the afternoon session, there were a number of warnings and many disqualifications for lack of control and contestants disqualified. There were no contestants injured beyond superficial problems that could readily occur in any activity where 600 contestants are involved in body contact sports, with the exception of the talented and potential champion Tony Tulleners, who broke his foot, and that did not occur from any laxness in officiating. I'm wondering if your reporter was actually there, or Joe's wrote what someone told him. In that regard, I am sure that among 600 contestants or their friends, that someone would be unhappy about some incident of the event. Regardless of the comments made on officiating, I enjoyed your comments about the champion to the effect that he was from out of state and not a local preferential contestant, that he was ambitious, hard-working, and a strong fighter, big and fast, deceptive for a man his size and was smart enough to conserve his strength for the finals. These comments would somewhat soft-pedal your criticism of the officiating. This would particularly be true in the top championship, where your reporter belittled the referee because he looked to the four judges who were there for that purpose "to be sure." With a protégé directly or indirectly in the finals, each of the top judges and officials in the tournament were in an equally precarious position of integrity, and my position as the referee for the finals was at the insistence of the head official. I was left no choice, and I did not put myself in this position because I was the Executive Producer. In conclusion, it would appear from your eight page story that the tournament and championship event was a capacity, crowd pleasing, and outstanding three-year success. (Except for some of the officiating?) As to the crowd, the in between bout activities, the contestants, and the judging and your reporter, we owed some consideration to the people who bought tickets to make it possible for 600 athletes to appear and perform their art and ability and have people there to appreciate their prowess. It was synonymously appear to me after reading your article that the tournament was only equaled by the literary style of your story, which apparently was written either to please your readers, insight circulation and sale of your magazine so more people would know about karate, or create a controversy that never existed. I can't criticize an editor for trying to accomplish either one or all of these objectives. In fact, I thank you for the eight pages and 13 pictures and many favorable comments directed to The Third Annual International Karate Championships, and I hope the various styles and systems may work closer together in the future for the greater integrity and acceptance of karate in all its forms and abilities. Ed Parker international Kenpo Karate Pasadena, California




Judo and Karate Stars Primp for Hollywood 's Cameras / Black Belt / June 1967 / V-5 No. 6 / Anthony DeLeonardis


Hollywood finally got around to producing a show in judo and karate. It was a one-hour documentary television special. And as might have been predicted, the show had plenty of stars. But at the end, one was left wondering about Howard could have been improved. The documentary was produced by independent Hollywood television station KCOP, and hosted by actor Nick Adams. Copies of it are being made available to some stations in other parts of the country. A total of approximately 75 people participated in the show, most of them students of Bill Ryusaki's North Hollywood Judo-Karate Dojo. Also appearing for the karatemen were such others as Ed Parker, Tak Kubota, Chuck Norris, Dan Guzman, and Scott Loring. The judo demonstrations were ably handled by 1965 US champion Hayward Nishioka, assisted by big Gene Mauro. The judo demonstrations were crisp and efficient, in contrast to some of the more disorganized karate presentations given earlier in the show. While attention was supposed to be centered on what was being filmed, there was more interest being shown by the judo men and women on what was happening behind the cameras. It was something of an historic moment, for instance, to watch such rugged competitors as Nishioka and Norris being powdered and primped for their appearance by makeup lady Timmie Roe. "I've made them all up. Actors, the mayor, politicians, businessmen. And now, even karatemen in judomen," she said, unimpressed, as she daubed Kubota's nose with a makeup brush. Some of the Budomen and women from different areas took the opportunity of the get together to start showing each other new techniques and keep up with the latest on what's going on in their respective arts. The occasion turned out in some ways to be more of a social success than a technical one. The program was aimed primarily at a general audience, not a group of martial arts experts, and it seldom got above the fundamental level. Trying to keep heard on a large group of judo and karate people, and numerous friends who showed up, all of whom were moving around behind the cameras, tripping over television wires and peering at sets, proved to be a job for program director David Schwartz. Schwartz got the idea for putting on the documentary from his 13-year-old son, Steve, who is taking judo lessons from Ryusaki. "The kid never was coordinated or good athletics, and it was bothering him," says Schwartz. "Finally, in desperation, I took him to Ryusaki’s studio. Bill had plenty of trouble with him at first, too, getting him to tumble. Finally, he just pushed Steve down and over to get him to take the falls. And he kept shoving him head over heels. "After awhile, Steve got the idea. You should see him go now. It's made a new boy out of him, giving him new confidence. I couldn't be happier. So to try to tell others about judo and karate, I thought I'd get the station to put this on the air. I'm also thinking of taking up karate myself. I think I'm getting too old for judo," he said, looking wistfully down at his punch. The show opened with a shot of the tatami-full of students crammed together demonstrating kicks and punches. ("To give the impression of all the great numbers of people taking a judo and karate," said Schwartz.) Actually, with all the jam-up in front of the cameras, it looked more like a mob scene or rumble than a well disciplined dojo. Nick Adams, who holds a brown belt in karate from Ed Parker, showed up dressed for the program in what could only be called Hollywood modern. He wore a judogi jacket over blue jeans, which were stuffed into hightop hunting boots. The camera focused mainly on Adams from the waist up. But occasionally the cameramen slipped and got a full-length shot of the well-known star of The Rebel television series, showing him in his boots, which later brought some anguished howls of protest from some of the viewing audience of Budomen the night the show was actually beamed in Los Angeles. (See letters to the editor.) On the other hand, it should be pointed out that Adams had rushed over from an afternoon he was spending outdoors with his two children to devote four hours of his time to the show. And he, like everyone else appearing, donated his time to help publicize the martial arts. He was never called onto to demonstrate, but only to act as a host-narrator. Credit should also be given to Schwartz, not only for trying to do something for the martial arts, but for attempting to lift the documentary out of the standard format these things usually fall into. To give a wider view, he had Adams interview various authorities in their field. Dr. Robert T. Lewis, a psychologist from California State College, gave an interesting talk on the psychological benefits of the martial arts. An officer Bob Jarvis of the Los Angeles Police Department told what was going on in the judo training given police officers. "We can't refer to it as martial arts training. Too many bad connotations still hang over from World War II," he said. "We just call it self-defense training." The program actually took on more specific interest for the general practitioner during the last 20 minutes when the senseis were left to themselves to do what they wanted. The program had run short, and there was the last segment to be filled in. Adams had left, and Schwartz had turned to straightening out some technical details when Parker and the other senseis stepped in front of the cameras, without any direction, to ad lib the last part. Parker, who takes occasional bit parts on such television shows as "I Spy" and "Run For Your Life" to portray heavies, was perfectly relaxed and entertaining. He sounded as if he were giving a class to a group of his students or repeating one of the guest lectures he has given countless times before to other groups. Without the straitjacket of the script, the other senseis, also all experience in teaching and talking before groups, likewise came through well as they showed some of their techniques. It only made one wish they had been given more time on their own.




What's Wrong with Karate Tournaments? / Black Belt / May 1968 / V-6 No. 5 / D. David Dreis


More more karate tournaments are being scheduled. Some are very good and others missed the mark. Black Belt invited three active karatekas was who are also producers of karate tournaments to discuss some of the problems. Participating are Ed Parker, one of the foremost tournament operators and a sensei of several dojos; Chuck Norris, the national champion and a dojo and tournament operator, and Fumio Demura, a sensei at the University of California, Irvine, who established his first tournament in 1967. Representing the magazine was managing editor D. David Dreis. Black Belt: With the growth of interest and tournament competitions, there has been quite a lot of criticism about how these tourneys are set up. What is one of the basic problems? Parker: I think uppermost is the fact that there are no uniform rules from one tourney to another. This is really a problem, a man can win in one tournament through one way and lose out in another. Norris: It's getting better, though, that it needs improvement. Parker: Well, like what I mean, see, is that in one tournament the karateka making contact by accident, mind you, will be disqualified while in another tournament, he will just get a warning. Black Belt: You mean the karate participant must know how to control his punches in order to score with the judges. Parker: If the man is good, skilled participant, he will have control of his weapon. Now, I can understand when the Brown, or, no, I won't understand it there . . . Let's say, in the green and white belt tournaments, there’s an accidental contact, well that's understandable, but in the black and brown belt divisions, there shouldn't be contact, but they often have it. After all, they are the newcomers and they don't have as much control as the black and brown belters. Norris: Well, I think the fighters ought to be disqualified because the lack of control resulting in contact means that the participant isn't qualified. It takes plenty of training before a man is ready to participate in a tournament and this control is more difficult to develop than lack of control. Black Belt: I would imagine that this lack of contact makes for pretty difficult training methods. But doesn't this discourage the participant? After all, the karate teaching is supposed to teach you how to arm yourself against an opponent on the outside and if you learn to check yourself, to pull your punches, isn't it defeating your ability to strike? I mean, couldn't your tournament training deter you from striking fast and hard when you don't need to pull your punches? Norris: First, let me say that when a fellow gets a broken nose and a tournament, or even in practice, he's liable to have a sour taste in his mouth. He might quit participating because of it. I know that when I go to tourney I like to believe that I'm going to come out of it at least somewhat unscathed by it. Parker: Well, there are accidents . . . Norris: Sure, but he's talking about intentional strikes . . . Look, when a man is pulling his punches, as you said it, he's not just pulling his punch. He's got an explosive thrust there and you know just by looking at it that he could follow through with it. It's that mark of control, not following through, though you could which distinguishes the better man. Demura: We must remember that karate as it is practiced in a tournament is a sport. Control is basic to the practice. I remember in one tournament I was in, in Japan, I was hit accidentally and got two black eyes. Accidents happen there and I've seen many men get bloody mouths and broken teeth, but this is an accident, an example of the lack of control. Black Belt: But doesn't this control factor make the tournament pretty dull to the American viewer who wants to see bloodshed . . .? Parker: Well, of course, if he's that guy who goes to the boxing matches and yells "Kill him!" But to the person who knows karate and understands about the lack of contact, and the full control, it's part of the rules. Demura: I know whenever I am a referee in a tournament I do not hesitate to score against a man who makes contact because that is simply port technique. Black Belt: How do you actually train for control? I mean, when you're working with a bag, you've got to hit it . . . Norris: There are practice sessions with an opponent, too. A partner can help you practice your control . . . Demura: I believe that most of the injuries, at least half of them, are the judges’ fault. When he sees that blows are getting too close, he should warn the man. Norris: Sure, I know a man who had to pay $600 to fix his nose and there was just no reason for that happening had the opponent been in control. Parker: You know, we have to be aware of the entertainment value of the spectator, for sure, but this comes in part with education of the spectator. I think with this in mind, we also have to talk about the lengths of the tournaments. They're just too long. Demura: This is what I think is a very difficult problem of the tournaments, at least in this country, where the spectator can't wait around for one match and then another . . . Norris: I think all of this waiting also takes its toll on the participants of the matches. Demura: Well, the players get tired and by the time of the last match, they're too tired to perform as they might have performed earlier. Parker: This is why I'm going to a Hawaii tournament with only 10 men. They'll be 10 of my men against 10 of theirs. This tournament should last no more than two or three hours, at the most. I've seen battles where, well, Chuck here, has gone on so late that in one match he won, not taking anything away from his technique, but he won on stamina. Norris: But stamina is part of a man's technique. This is part of his conditioning and this waiting, the tension of planning on participating is pretty difficult though. Parker: Well, you can train a man to fight karate but that waiting is terrible. Black Belt: How many months does it take before a man is ready to take part in a karate tournament? Norris: That depends. Some fellows really come up fast, learn the techniques and are advanced over their fellow students. Parker: I would say about a year for most of them. Norris: Some guys make it in nine months. Parker: Well, you start them in, but it's about another three months before you teach them how to free fight. Norris: Yes, I suppose so. Demura: Now, I believe in basic sparring techniques before their green belt competition, then after they have earned their green belt, they can go on with free sparring. I mean, if you advance them too fast, you find they're pushing and shoving and it's not right. Black Belt: Who makes the decisions about who should enter the tournaments? Parker: Well, naturally the sensei since he knows which students are ready. Oh, there are many schools, many dojos, where every student they have are thrown into competition. That's ridiculous. I choose the best to represent my dojos. Black Belt: What are some other things you consider about tournaments? I mean, all of you have set up tournaments and you know the rules, perhaps through trial and error, but you know. What are some of the other things to consider, to improve? Parker: You've got to consider the environment of the tournament. You've got to know who is sponsoring the tournament and the rules of the sponsors. You want to know who the judges will be. Norris: Especially if they're from a certain school and they have certain training. Frankly, I enjoy going up against a person from another school with different training methods. This is where we are all really pitted against each other and I try things which my students may know, but which my opponent may not. Parker: Well, let's face it, that's where the fun is. Competition is wonderful and every player wants to get in. The tournament is important because, well, the first piece of incentive is the belt classification, but that soon loses its appeal. The tournament is the thing. Demura: This last year was my first year for the tournament under the sponsorship of the University of California at Irvine and it was really well supported. The students loved it and so do the spectators. Parker: Well, going on the mat and facing your opponent, really trying to figure him out, out guess him, that's the beauty of it. Norris: And there’s sportsmanship there. Parker: Now, we used to have the players come out and meet each other cold, but now we have them meeting each other before the match, when we’re selecting the competitors, and it's really quite nice. When the point is scored against them they'll say, "Oh, you lucky dog!" or "Good shot!" And that's really what it's all about. Black Belt: Fine, I'll accept that, but is the tournament really helping the participant since he may not get a chance to know his opponent, may not get a chance to get in a lucky punch. Isn't it better not to know your opponent and then when you get on the mat, you go all out? Norris: Oh, the meetings and the friendliness have nothing to do with their effort on the mat. When they go to work, it's all business. Demura: End of karate determines our sport, then you must have sportsmanship. Black Belt: I notice that there just isn't enough publicity about karate. What's the reason? Parker: Again, it's education. Education of the sports writers of the daily papers is very important. They won't write about things that they don't know about. Television had a great deal to do with hurting the sport with all that gouging, kicking and free fighting they did . . . in the old days there was the traditional karate man who was the killer, never the hero. Demura: Did you see that Japanese film, "Judo Versus Karate?" In that the karate man was out to kill the hero, the judo man. It was pretty funny. Black Belt: Maybe there is a lack of showmanship at the tournaments. Parker: That's for sure. Showmanship techniques are needed. Norris: To some extent you need showmanship, but you've got to admit that the interest in these tournaments is growing and since I came into the field, I think the interest has grown at least 10 times to what it was then. And this is without any special showmanship. Parker: Well, I know what he means. He means like in boxing or in football - things like that. The thing that it needs is something I plan to introduce, a sports announcer to tell the audience what is going on. Norris: Sounds like a good idea. Parker: You know, if you have a man calling the shots like a blow-by-blow announcer on radio, you know, tell the audience why the fellow got this point, somebody who can speak fast enough to describe it, I think that's pretty good. Demura: I think much of the showmanship as you call it actually is in Japan where they have one major tournament which everybody looks forward to and where they have local eliminations. In this one tournament there are as many as 56 different styles all being put in the competition. Black Belt: Wow! But do they have . . . they must have as many as five tournaments going on, I mean, five different contest going on at once. Norris: Sometimes they have as many as 12 contests going on at once. Demura: But you see people are already interested in the martial arts and they know about these tournaments. Parker: That's what I mean about education. I think, though, that we have to bring the martial arts down to the level of what the American spectator is used to seeing. Now, I took some film of the International Competition and I'm going to have four video tape cameras running at my next tournaments and have, like they have in football, a video playback of key plays. You know, and this will tell everyone what happened and the audience will be able to see the penalty and see the score, that kind of thing. Norris: I schedule demonstrations between the matches which have been of interest to the spectators. This might be called showmanship. It's certainly very popular Black Belt: Are there any things which could make the contest more interesting? Norris: Well, one thing, certainly, would be to stop all the running around the opponents do. Parker: And penalize all of the actors in the contests . . . Black Belt: Actors? Norris: That's really something to watch. You know, they pretend that they're hit in a match, but they're not. They just want to disqualify you. Parker: I've seen sometimes that the guy will pretend that he's been hit and will start crying and shouting that he's hurt, but out of the side of his eyes he's watching the judges to see if they've noticed. Norris: One time I saw it where a fellow acted like that and disqualified another player, but as soon as the match was ended, he was back, bouncing around as if nothing had happened. Black Belt: I would imagine that the choice of referees is vitally important, referees who wouldn't fall for all of that. Norris: A selection of qualified referees is important to the match. Too many referees and judges, really, don't have individual opinions. Parker: Look at them and they say one thing and then when another judge says another thing, they change their mind. I seen them raise one flag, look at their fellow judge, and then raise the other flag and try to dismiss their first ruling. A lot of them are just "me tooers." I've also seen it where the judges could not have seen one score and they will score it because one of the judges said he saw it. It's pretty lousy sometimes and I find myself shouting and yelling, but they just don't seem to care. Demura: The one who is referee should be the highest-ranking black belts so that he knows what is going on. Unfortunately, there is too much dissension here, too many judges who don't judge fairly and accurately. Black Belt: Well, is a "hard" judge more respected than and "easy" Judge? I mean, if there is a doubt and he gives in for a point, does that make him appreciated? Norris: Dave, I don't think that's the question here. Really, I think a happy medium is the only answer. Now, too many judges are set in their ways and they won't yield. For example, many judges won't score you on a front kick and reverse punch, but others will and I think they should. One of the things necessary in a useful tournament would be on a set of rules which are abided by at the beginning. I also think that the man who is thinking of setting up a tournament should meet with the dojo sensei's in the area and work out the terms of judging and setting up the tournament. Now, when I set up my tournament I received a lot of advice from Ed, here, and his experience was invaluable to me. I had a feeling of some set pattern of doing things because Ed had done it this way many times. Parker: I think you've got to ask advice and I think advice should be given freely. After all, even though Chuck and I may have different tournaments, I want him to succeed because when he succeeds that increases the interesting karate and tournaments, generally. I know that when Chuck has a tournament, or Fumio, I want to be there and encourage my students to go to. We get together on the dates so that the tournaments don't conflict. Timing is very important in the success of a tournament. You don't want them scheduled to closely because, frankly, the audience and the students couldn't afford to go. Demura: I agree. I know that when I set up my first tournament at the university I found many good answers to my questions, but I did introduce something of my own. I think you should find something which you can contribute. In the lower ranks, the green and white belt competitors, I set up the contest for team play. You know, in football, baseball, other sports, it is the team and certainly in the early stages of the participants competition the team method is very good. Parker: You see, the tournament situation is constantly evolving into something. I plan to have my competitions set up in rounds like boxing. Maybe two rounds per match about three minutes each. Norris: That sounds like a good idea. I take it that a man could win one round and lose the other round and you use the points when it's about even . . . Parker: Right. But whatever system is used, basic rules should be set up so that one man going to many tournaments can train and know what will bring him points and what won't. Too often the guy goes in and then it's all over in a matter of seconds, he's either won or lost and the audience feels cheated, he says, "Hey, it's over, what happened?" The guy who would go with the round situation would know what happened and so would the spectator. Black Belt: Let's say that a man is thinking about setting up a tournament. Now, what would he have to do? How do you measure your market, the perspective number of spectators for the tournament? Norris: I would say that you configure on for people for every participant. Parker: Sure, they bring their friends, the mother, the grandmother to watch them. Norris: That's pretty important. I know the once when I set up a tournament in Las Vegas, I forgot about the fact that the boys wouldn't have their friends there. That's important to the figuring out of what kind of audience you're going to draw. Black Belt: How much do you charge? What are reasonable charges? Parker: I figure the price of the two admissions should be the entry fee of the participant. That means that if the charge is $2.50, it should be $5.00 as an entry fee to cover expenses. Norris: And if they bring four people, that's $10 there and the $15 could cover expenses. Black Belt: We talk about expenses. Should man setting up the tournament start off small? Norris: Well, he should decide based on the number of people he thinks will participate and then come to watch. Frankly, I think that if he rents a high school gymnasium for one night, maybe at $100, that should be sufficient to start off. Parker: Too many guys want to start at the top, at a big arena. That depends, really, on where you're going to have it, I mean, what are you in and how many dojos will be represented from that area. Norris: No matter what size he starts off with, it's a big undertaking. I would rather see an overcrowded gymnasium rather than one big auditorium with few people. Parker: Another thing that's important for each tournament to have a doctor in attendance as well as a registered nurse. You know, when I started my tournaments, there were no tournaments at that time and I needed a lot of publicity and I have a large market to draw from. I spent all of $12,000 my first year. Fortunately I broke even. Norris: You really don't have to spend that much at all these days. I mean, if you're in a large area where they've had tournaments or even in a small area where they’ve never been tournaments. You must count the contestants and then the schools in your area and how many contestants plus the draw of four people. Demura: Fortunately, when I set my tournament up at the University, the expenses were taken care of, the audience were the students and the publicity was the student newspaper. Black Belt: Do you think more tournaments should be set up? Do you think there's sufficient interest for more tournaments? Parker: Definitely. I would encourage anybody to have a tournament provided they set them up with uniform rulings. I also think they should invest in valuable trophies and prizes. I know that Henry Cho presented individual trophies and that created interest. He also presented a color television set to the winner. This tournament was well planned and well promoted. Norris: I'll tell you how important the setting up and organization is. Last year, at a new tournament, I competed and I won but it was so poorly managed that it left a bad taste in my mouth. Well, this year when it was staged, I didn't even go back to defend my crown. I just passed it up and believe me, I love tournaments. However, I understand from those who were there that the tournament was even worse this year than last. Now, that helps kill a tournament both for the competitors and for the spectators. Parker: Sure, if they go to one tournament, I mean the spectators and they don't like it, they just dismiss all competitions. We who are interested in the support of the people cannot afford to lose one spectator.




Ed Parker's Plan to Save the Tournaments / Official Karate / Dec. 1970 / V-2 No. 10 / Ed Parker


One of the nation's top sensei's and promoters suggest a plan of action that could be the solution to the problems plaguing sport karate today. In reviewing the past history of karate in the United States there have been many triumphs and disappointments. In its embryonic stages, karate showed little or no progress. Many hearing the term karate for the first time thought it was a highly flavored Mexican dish. Some thought it was a stage of graduate work related to judo or jujitsu. No distinction could really be made between judo and karate. It was obvious then that it would be a difficult task to educate the public to differentiate between the two. Even today, many karatemen, when interviewed, have a difficult time in making a distinct and precise comparison. In addition, the true origin of karate has been claimed by many as stemming from their country, confusing the public and in some cases creating a feeling of disgust. Then, too, many claim that their particular brand of karate is undoubtably the best . . . the only pure system, traditionally untainted, highly secretive, so potent that in comparison atomic energy is nothing but child's play. And there are many similar claims. I personally feel that all styles are good, or least have some good in them. Take men like Norris, LaPuppet, Lewis, and the many other champions who have added innovations of their own to the art over and above the original system. With the changing times they were, in many instances, forced to create, borrow, or develop newer methods, since others capitalized on observing them to try to beat them at their own game. Thanks to open tournaments and those open-minded instructors who support them, the talent of competitors has been steadily improving. Of course, not all phases of karate as a sport have been peaches and cream. A definite solution must be devised to standardize officiating at tournaments. There has been some progress made but not enough to upgrade the tournaments to where they should be. As a result, many schools are not attending the many lesser tournaments that have been introduced in recent months. Instead, they have been supporting only the larger tournaments such as Jhoon Rhee's Nationals, Steve Armstrong's Seattle Open, Alan Steen's United States Karate Championships and the Internationals, and other such notable tournaments. These tournaments draw top talent, and because of it, top officiating. There is much we can learn from each other, and there are many thoughts and ideas that can be shared. As I attend the many tournaments throughout the country, I have met many sensei willing to divulge their new innovations to better the art, a tournament, or business practices at the dojo. I believe in such cooperation if karate hopes to survive or to attain the level of acceptance that it undoubtably needs. Perhaps the most important innovation in the 1970s will be the acceptance of professionalism. Skilled professionals whose training, ethics, and income entitles them to the same respect and prestige ass other top professional sportsmen. The schools should be run in a more businesslike manner. A friendlier attitude should prevail. A student or prospective student should feel free to speak to the instructor. Telephone calls for information, the presentation of your program, and the teaching of material on a per lesson basis should be a planned presentation covering all the important parts clearly and honestly. The student can then enter into a contract giving him a certain amount of knowledge in karate for a given fee. He thereby has set a goal for himself. He knows where he is going, how long it will take to attain a particular level, and what it will cost. Schools should have a clean, attractive, "permanent" appearance with fixtures and furnishings that give an air of success and stability. Those are some of the things on which a successful school are based. A school properly conducted following good business principles will stay open to serve the community in which it was founded. Professional tournaments are premature. We are feeding upon ourselves. We are dependent on the people already involved in karate to support the tournaments and make them financially successful, but to present a truly professional tournament we need the support of the general public as spectators to pay the promoter as well as the contestants. Most of the contestants who participate don't even look professional. They are out of shape. They need to work at other jobs to make a living and don't have the time to keep in condition and train as in the other major sports. When television gets involved and gives karate backing, then professional tournaments will undoubtedly improve. Aaron Bank’s pro tournament was possibly the best presentation of a professional karate tournament ever given. The irony of this was that he lost money on it and hasn't promoted another of this caliber since. Publications in the field of karate could do a better job of reporting facts, rather than opinions. They should express their ideas in editorials, not in the articles supposedly stating facts. Constructive criticism is good. The magazines must be careful to present a positive as well as the negative of subjects. A more thorough job should be done in researching rather than spreading hearsay throughout the country. The day is yet to come when we have a congress to consist of leaders of various organizations in karate. Until we have more cooperation from nationalists and they learn not to force issues, but to cooperate and work together, this will only be a dream. The environment needs to be re-created for our particular needs. How soon this will come about I don't know, but it has to be soon. We've had the time of segregated abuse and the time of attempting to get together. Now we must do something. Everybody should realize he is of equal worth. Each of us has something to contribute. If only we would accept this fact. What the future holds is anybody's guess. As it stands now, many are going back to their own shelves, not wanting to become involved. When Benjamin Franklin had to make a decision he always followed the policy of a "Balanced Worksheet". To this sheet he would list all of the reasons why he should do something and on the other side, or on the right hand column, he would write all the reasons why he should not. Upon adding each column he would see which column gave him the answer which he needed to follow. His successes were many just by following this particular policy. Let us now make our own balance sheet to see what the pros and cons are in having tournaments and in deciding what is necessary in making a tournament better. On page 19 is my suggested plan of action in tackling the many problems as I see them. Balance Sheet For the competitor: Why we should have tournaments: 1. Gives one experience. 2. Sharpens one's reflexes, range, etc. 3. Teach us when control and good sportsmanship. 4. Builds competitive spirit. 5. Develops team spirit. 6. Develops the feeling of accomplishment. 7. Forces the practitioner to perfect their katas, especially after seeing good competitors. 8. Allows one to match his skills outside his own element (with other styles, etc.) 9. Gives competitors an opportunity to meet others of higher caliber. 10. Widens the bonds of friendship. 11. Gives a change of pace. 12. Compels many to train harder. 13. Increases one's competitive knowledge by observing what others have to offer. 14. Gives one an added goal over and above attaining a belt rank. 15. Increases family solidarity, especially when parents participate and support participants. For the competitor: Why we should not have tournaments 1. No experience is gained if not properly oriented with basics. 2. Discourages the untrained. 3. Lack of control can cause injury. 4. Bad calls and officiating can have lasting effects. 5. Can be costly if tournaments are held weekly. 6. Disorganize tournaments will discourage many from attending others. 7. Inconsistency of tournament rules can cause much discontent. 8. Can cause lasting enemies. Much more could be listed to the above. But I think this proves there is a definite need for tournaments. There is no doubt the competition is no more than a stimulus to cooperation. Suggested Plan of Action Goal 1. Improve Tournaments Tasks A. Standardize tournament rules 1. Produce a set of rules compiled by major tournament promoters i.e. Alan Steen, Jhoon Rhee, Henry Cho, Aaron Banks, Steve Armstrong, Ed Parker, others. 2. To scribed each rule in detail. 3. Vote on rules. 4. Produce a rule booklet. 5. Encourage all open tournaments to utilize rule booklet and to comply with the same. 6. Commence with rules in the dojo. B. Standardize Tournament Procedures 1. Produce abstract format compiled by major tournament promoters as mentioned above. 2. Described each procedure in detail. 3. Produce a pamphlet on procedures including such topics as; a. Officials meeting (1) How to conduct them b. And where to seek competitors c. When to line up competitors d. How to pair off competitors e. Selecting officials f. Many others 4. Such procedures will greatly enhance a tournament so that it will be organized and run smoothly C. Standardize Fees and Prices of Tickets 1. Produce a standard price structure dependent upon the magnitude of the tournament and the overall expenses, which include advertising, rental of the building, etc. 2. Developer price formula to ascertain same. 3. Produce a suggested price schedule and distributes same. D. Compile Constructive Suggestions 1. Have a central receiving office. 2. Update and distributes same to tournament promoters on a regular basis. 3. Disseminate helpful suggestions to dojo heads etc. a. In the event tournaments are a week apart send a particular group to one and the second group to another so that the expenses will not be burdensome. b. Create projects, dinners, etc. so that dojo can offset expenses. c. Many others. 4. Have dojo heads and competitors criticize but contribute solutions as well.




Karate's Keeper of the Flame: Ed Parker / Official Karate / Oct. 1971 / V-3 No. 15 / Editors


Edmund Kealoha Parker, Karate’s "Keeper of the Flame" is the eighth dan President of the International Kenpo Karate Association. Parker's contributions to the art of karate are tremendous and show no favoritism to any particular style, nationality or association. Testifying to this statement is the award presented to Mr. Parker this year at the United States Karate Championships. The commemorative plaque named him the "Most Outstanding Contributor to Karate" in the past 10 years. This is the same man who borrowed $300 to open his first school in Pasadena and has expanded to the point where he is now selling karate school franchises at a price raging between twenty five and thirty-five thousand dollars . . . all this in just 15 years. Ed Parker is one of the most imitated men on the karate scene. His organization is the most financially successful in the world and he continues to grow. Karate leaders throughout the United States have often said that if you need assistance to open a school or to run a tournament, Ed Parker is the man to contact because he is always ready to help. What has made this man a giant among giants? Why has he succeeded where so many others have failed? Is it the Midas touch . . . the superior intellect . . . and intense, overwhelming drive to succeed . . . enormous talent . . . or combinations of some or all of these factors? We'll let you draw your own conclusions as we take you back to the beginning of this bond between karate and Ed Parker in this exclusive interview. Official: Was there something in particular that first attracted you to karate? Ed Parker: One night, after church, I heard some guy talking about how he and beat up the local bully with whom I was very familiar. When I looked at the skinny guy doing the talking I was very doubtful that he could've done it. After he demonstrated what he had done . . . then I believed him. What I saw was far different from judo, which I was familiar. Official: How old were you at the time? Ed Parker: I was around 15 years old. I had studied judo for three or four years and have my black belt in it. Official: Who was your first instructor? Ed Parker: After seeing karate, this was what I wanted, so I stayed with Frank Chow. When I reached a certain point he redirected me to his brother, Professor William K.S. Chow. I had to go through a special introduction before I was accepted. It was kind of a closed - type thing. I studied with Chow earned my black belt from him. Official: Was this Hawaii? Ed Parker: Yes, this was in Honolulu where I lived with my family. Official: Did Professor Chow consider himself a kung fu or karate instructor? Ed Parker: What's the difference between karate and kung fu? Chow is the founder of his organization. He had learned from his father and swap information with others. At the time Professor Chow was one of the few or perhaps even the only kung fu instructor around. My dad was a boxing instructor for thirty-three years. I used to do a lot of fighting . . . in the ring and on the street. The thing I like best about Professor Chow was that he made sense. He said many of the old things had to be improvised to suit what we find in our community. I listen to him and what he said was logical. I think he was the first man to make a lot of improvisations which I thought were up to date. Even so, I looked at the old kung fu from the standpoint of a boxer and knew darn well I could dump most practitioners on their backs. I think the success enjoyed by these other systems is due to the fact that they knew how to "smoke" you. They knew how to bombard you with mysticism in order to cover their inadequacies. They have this fabulous ability of keeping you mystified. In other words, a lot of the moves they said were very secretive but extremely effective proved to be nothing once displayed. You suddenly found out they were just living on mysticism. After you got to see it, you realized most of it was a lot of hogwash. That's why I stuck with Professor Chow, because it was through him that I got my ideas for innovations. It's like clothes. When you buy a suit of clothes, you buy what fits you, both to your size and tastes. Professor Chow realized that things that were learned had to be adapted to the individual concerned. It was this type of training that made me realize the importance and necessity of flexibility. Official: When did you decided to teach karate as a profession? Ed Parker: At the time I was studying with Professor Chow, I decided that this would be my life. But, I also started talking to Professor Chow and some of the more advanced students of the possibility of coming to the States and opening up schools. I had a vision, more or less, of this being worthwhile in the States and I talked with these guys and felt it was very important that one of us get a college education. From the standpoint of interviews with other people it would be a lot more impressive if one of us had an education rather than being labeled as just a pugilist who is in illiterate. Official: Where you go to college? Ed Parker: I began going to Brigham Young University in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1949. I taught different island kids karate just to keep up with my training. Also, because they were away from home and usually small guys were picked on, they needed the training. Official: Were you ever in the service? Ed Parker: I got caught in the Korean conflict in ‘51 and went into the service. I went into the hooligan Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard. The reason for this was that at this time Hawaii was so close to the war that they shipped a lot of the island kids who are in the reserves out first. Many of my friends were killed. They had joined the reserves to supplement their incomes, but it backfired. They were the first ones to be shipped to Korea and the first ones to get bumped off. Well, once you are qualified they would line you up and say, "everyone to my left is in the Marine Corps and everyone to my right is in the Army." So when I got my draft call for my physical I went back to Hawaii to see about joining the Coast Guard. They wouldn't accept me at first until they found I had two years of college. I thought it was worth serving an extra year in the Coast Guard rather than take a chance on being in the Marines. I was stationed in Hawaii during my stint in the service. One week prior to my discharge I was in church and I mention this fact. The members were shocked to even know that I was in the service because I was home so much of the time. I was a wheeler-dealer then. The "old man", meaning the skipper of the ship, noticed that I was a black belt instructor in karate so he made me master-at-arms aboard the ship. Usually, this was rotated every three months, but he kept me on for two years. That's why I was able to go home so much. Whenever the captain left the ship, I left. The master-at-arms is the guy who took care of the whole ship. He took care of the mess deck, and the inspection of aboard ship. Next in the executive officer, he was in charge. Official: Did you finish the University? Do you have a degree? Ed Parker: I have a Bachelor of Science in Social Psychology and I minored in political science. I have also done a year of graduate work. While I was still in the service in Hawaii I was negotiating with Professor Chow about coming to the States to open schools. After my junior year, though, things started to break up back there so the plans we had originally started to disintegrate. After I finished college I went back to Hawaii, but things had broken up. Professor Chow gave me his good blessings and told me I was on my own. Official: Your wife works with you in the karate activities doesn't she? Ed Parker: My Leilani is my most ardent fan. We were married in 1954. She was my high school sweetheart. We have five children; two girls, a boy and two girls. I come from big families. In my father's family there were fifteen brothers and three sisters. There were seven children in my family. I'll name them in order; Eva, Arthur, Fran, Joseph, then my deceased brother David, myself and my baby brother David. When the first David died the other was born so my mother called the baby David Paul. The other brother had been David Kalani. My great-grandfather owned the Parker Ranch which is presently owned by my cousin Richard. It's the biggest privately owned ranch in the world. Official: When and why did you decide to come to California? Ed Parker: I was asked to come to Pasadena by Vic Tanny's brother-in-law, Bert Goodrich, who wanted to open three or four weightlifting gyms and to introduce karate at the same time as an inducement. When I came in, American Health Studios bought him out and left me out in the cold. That was the best thing that could ever happen to me. That really made me go out on my own. I went out and borrowed $300 from a friend and that's what I got started on. My first location was at 1840 Walnut, just a block and a half from my present location. I put on demonstrations at churches where I got a lot of members. Then I was introduced to a guy named Terry Robinson. Everything I own I owe to this guy, Terry Robinson. At the time Terry was Mario Lanza's physical trainer. He, in turn, introduced me to the Beverly Wilshire Health Club. It was from there I started making contacts among film people. That's where I met producers. Right now Terry is like a father to Mario Lonza's children. Mario died, his wife died and his mother died about a month and a half ago. So now he's taking care of Mario's children and father. He was the one who gave me my start in the movie world and it was my affiliation with movies that really got karate moving. There was an article in Time magazine on me about karate. A lot of these producers saw it and started asking questions and interjecting these things into their scripts. That's how it took off. Official: You have taught numerous movie stars and enacting roles in television and movies. Who are some of the more memorable stars you taught? Ed Parker: I've taught many movie stars. I used to teach Bob Wagner when he was married to Natalie Wood. I've even taught Natalie on several occasions. Robert Culp is a tremendous person. I worked with him in movies, too. To be honest with you, if I don't like someone I won't teach them and there have been a few stars in that category. I refused them because of their attitudes. I've been in the "I Spy " series, "the Wrecking Crew" and have just completed a movie in which I co-star with Cynthia Meyer, the 1970 Mr. December Playmate. It's called "The Devil's Choice" and is scheduled to be released anytime now. Some of the other actors are Robert Fuller and Nick Cravet. I'm also advising a producer on the karate scenes in another movie were working on right now. Official: Among your many activities you have come up with a franchise for karate schools, too? Ed Parker: I have a franchise package to offer, but I'm very particular with whom I want to work. Instead of having a hundred schools with maybe eighty getting by, I want to have fifty schools all doing over a hundred and fifty grand a year. I've just completed a franchise school in the Dallas area. The man will be an asset to the IKKA. He is a pilot and has his own twenty-eight seat plane. Right now he's getting up a group of karate people from that area to come to the internationals this August. The franchises range from twenty-five to thirty-five thousand depending on the school. Official: You still have time to just teach karate now? Ed Parker: I really like to teach. I find pleasure in teaching. The thing I find interesting is that karate does do a lot of good. One day I had a parent come in crying. I thought something bad had happened or we had done something wrong. He was crying and appreciation for what karate had done for his son. The son, for the past 14 years, was a product of a broken home. He visited first one parent and the other on alternate weekends. The boy was so introverted that he couldn't face his father whenever he was confronted or questioned. He actually stood behind his father's back to answer him. Through his karate training the boy had gained enough self-confidence that he was able to face his father for the first time in 14 years. I like these accomplishments. I have attorneys who come in here because for years they feared a plaintiff would jump up and smash them in the mouth. After learning karate they have become better lawyers because they can put forth a better court case without worrying about being defenseless. Official: You have not attended as many tournaments throughout the nation as you used to, say two years ago. Why? Ed Parker: There are several reasons why I stopped supporting tournaments nationwide. For one thing, I'm tired of the political baloney that goes on. I believe that we should all work together. People must remember that this is America and our concern should be to come out with rules and ideas related to our environment. In other words, if we can borrow anything that is worthwhile from the Japanese, the Korean, the Okinawan, that is fine . . . but if some things are unsuited to what we should do, then we should leave them out. One thing I've noticed about the Orientals is their attitude of superiority. This is fine . . . but on several occasions I've had a couple of guys who were supposed to have rotated from referee to judge. They complained because they felt their status required that they only be called upon to referee. Now if I were at internment and somebody have a problem with a bloody nose and they asked me to get a towel and wipe the blood from that rain, I’d do it. I feel that anybody who has been in karate, whatever level he has achieved, should be big enough to control his ego for the sake of karate. Another reason I don't go to many tournaments is financial. In the past, I spent eight to ten grand a year just traveling. In some of these cases, I couldn't see where I was doing myself in a good . . . or for that matter, doing any good for those presenting the tournament. Very often, those presenting the tournaments had fixed ideas and rules that were not made for the majority of those competing. The rights of the individuals participating were ignored, and this fact angered me. This was particularly true as far as judging was concerned. Personally I call it as I see it. I try not to show favoritism. But I've seen some really unfair . . . even crooked . . . decisions. I have seen some people use their position as an official to try to build their own, or their organizations by calling points for a contestant they favor who is matched against a big name, such as Joe Lewis. They do this to build their own or school's reputation for financial reasons only. That's wrong! They develop rules that will favor their man . . . like giving two points for a kick to the head, but only one for a punch to the same area. This is very one sided. Official: And what do you base your particular style of karate, Kenpo? Ed Parker: Obviously it is based on the Kenpo I learned . . . with my own innovations added I finally came to the realization that a system should not go beyond the outer limits of simplicity or the starting point of complexity. This is Edmund Kealoha Parker . . . a man of many talents and inextinguishable energies. He is truly Karate's Keeper of the Flame.




The Internationals / Professional Karate / April 1974 / V-1 No. 3 / Lou Balint


The Granddaddy of American Karate Tournaments Goes Professional. Thousands of Fighters and Fans Flock to Long Beach for the 10th Consecutive Year. It's a Long Beach Arena, August 5, 1973. Over 8,000 screaming fans are on their feet. It's John "The Giant Killer" Natividad vs. speedy, young Benny Urquidez. Regulation time had ended with the score tied, after three furious rounds, 13-13. The lead has already changed hands six different times. Now the sudden death overtime, where the result of months of training and a day of battle after hard-fought battle would be culminated by the next crucial point. This was the day that saw defending champion Darnell Garcia dethroned by Natividad by the narrowest possible margin; a day that the dynamic Howard Jackson, who many picked to walk away with top honors, was disqualified in the second round. Nationally rated Bob Burbidge, after besting every middleweight on hand, lost out to lightweight champion Urquidez in the battle for the $2,500 grand prize and newly crowned International Heavyweight Champion Ralph Allegria lost to a light heavyweight Natividad in this winner take all battle. The next point was indeed crucial as there was no consolation for second place. It was a prestigious International title plus a purse of $2,500 for the winner and just a memory for the loser. Despite the pressure, Benny Urquidez, one of California's most dynamic and crowd-pleasing fighters, still came out wearing his perpetual smile. He moved from side to side, looking for an avenue of attack. The experienced Natividad, rated fourth in the nation, wasted no time. It was go for broke. He charged forward with the right lunch punch lead. Then, Urquidez blocks the maneuver as if it was the main attack finds only that he has been outsmarted as John Natividad rams the final point home - a left upset punch to the midsection. John Natividad has now carved his name in karate history, amongst the greats of all time. He now takes his place amongst the Giants, Stone, Steen, Norris, Lewis, and Garcia - the champions that have won this great tournament in the past. The International Karate Championships was first hosted in 1964 by its founder and producer, Ed Parker, at the Long Beach Arena. Parker, a descendent of the great Hawaiian King Kamehameha, came to California from Hawaii in 1956 and opened what he claims was the first commercial karate studio on the United States mainland. A man with great foresight, Mr. Parker felt that California, because of its geographic location, would soon become the capital of Karate in the U.S. and to host of tournament here could only prove successful. How right he was, as in years to come some of the world's greatest karate masters and fighters plus scores of some of the world's most prominent motion pictures celebrities would grace its arena. Ed Parker, from the time he arrived on the mainland, was tagged a "rebel." He was one of the first it's not the first American to rebel against the traditional classical methods of teaching and pioneer a few new methods of his own. Being a major in psychology and sociology helped Parker create a more practical method of teaching where classes would be geared to suit the individual's needs rather than satisfy the age-old requirements of the style. Though not going along with throwing away all the old ideas, he feels that many ideas and techniques must be revised to meet modern standards. He shuns the narrowminded approach to karate and preaches: "The mind is like a parachute - it only works when it's open." Parker is also noted for being the "trainer of the stars." He has taught karate to such movie notables as Elvis Presley, Robert Wagner, Dick Martin, Robert Culp, Elke Summer, Natalie Wood, and the late Nick Adams. These stars and many others respected Ed enough to take the time from their busy schedules to make an appearance at the Internationals. One of the most prominent to grace the Internationals’ stage was the great Bruce Lee. He was first introduced to American audiences by Ed Parker at the 1964 Internationals. "When I met Bruce Lee back in 1962-63," says Parker, "I asked him to perform at the Internationals. I felt that his ability with such that people would be very impressed by watching him - especially back then. There weren’t too many people who had witnessed the Chinese version of the martial arts. So that year, 1964, not only did Bruce Lee perform, but I took films of his performance. Bill Dozier was looking forward Oriental, someone who was very good in the martial arts. At that time, Bruce was in Hong Kong due to his father's death. I took the films of Bruce to Bill Dozier, who owned the "Batman" series then and had acquired the rights to the Green Hornet series; after seeing the films, he said, "That's the man I want." And that's how Bruce Lee came back here and started to get in the movie industry." Ed Parker was perhaps the first of martial artist ever to appear in a movie as he was the first engaged in acting in the fifties. He first appeared in a series called the "Dangerous Robin" starring Rick Jason in 1957. He feels that karate motion pictures are great except for one thing - the lack of realism. "A human being can only do so much," he states. "I think karate movies are great for the business, except those that have people jumping over buildings." Ed is currently engaged in the making of three films. "The recent rise in the popularity of karate movies certainly doesn't shock me," says Ed, "five or six years ago I tried to get movie producers and directors to make such films. Right now, because of the social climate we have, where respect for the law has been lost, people feel a need to learn a method of self-defense. They put themselves in the place of the hero in these films." When asked which Internationals was the most memorable to him, Ed replied, "The first Internationals, because it was very, very satisfying to me to see the tremendous number of fighters that came out, the tremendous amount of assistance we had from all the different styles. We had the biggest names at that time. Bruce Lee consented to perform and Ben Lagusa, who is very, very adapt at the Philippine art of Escrima, demonstrated. From what I understand, this was one of the first times this particular art was ever demonstrated in front of an audience. So, to me, the first Internationals was the most memorable. That was in 1964." Ten years have elapsed and each year at the internationals another important page in the history of professional karate is written. Another karate superstar is born. The world of professional karate anxiously awaits what this great tournament and his producer hold in store for a promising future.




Ed Parker: The First Twenty Years / Inside Kung-Fu / May 1974 / V-1 No. 6 / R. Imamura


It really wasn't much of a blessing 20 years ago in Provo, Utah, for a sociology student from nearby Brigham Young University who had decided to set up shop. Seemingly just another wild idea ultimately destined for the scrap heap, the opening drew little fanfare . . . and even less attention. Only years later would others realize, or care for that matter, that young Edmond Parker of Hawaii had just established mainland America's first commercial dojo. Two decades later Ed Parker, now the prosperous owner of 18 dojo spanning four nations and the promoter of the world-famous Long Beach International Karate Championships, can smile when he looks back on those strange and unpredictable days of the beginning: "The early years were hard years. For the few of us that were in existence then, especially the first couple of years, there were tremendous number of ‘contests’ - I mean guys walking into the school saying they had never heard of ‘Karate,’ that it was just a name we had made up, and then wanting to fight. Once I even had a guy like that come in who said he was a ‘ju-jitty’ expert!" But that was only the beginning. Twenty years have brought significant changes to both the art and its environment . . . in place of the ‘contests’ and ‘ju-jitty’ experts: hundreds of schools now teach innumerable styles across the country, tournament competitions occupy thousands of practitioners of every level nearly weekly, and martial arts currently saturate a good percentage of America's packaged entertainment. Generally speaking, public acceptance and interests have swelled beyond all previous records. Yet, perhaps most important, the last 20 years have given rise to something unique, something with a promise of permanence: American Karate. Forged from the bewildering amalgam of styles and arts transplanted far beyond the traditional rivalries and secrecies of the respective homelands, American Karate has become the most open path ever followed . . . ‘most open’ as all styles and arts participate equally within the Melting Pot. And throughout this dynamic metamorphosis, Ed Parker's stayed in the vanguard: exploring, experimenting, setting trends and generally pointing the way - his string of 18 dojo being the model for the business end of karate, while the rules and format of his Long Beach Internationals guide other tournament promoters. Inside the dojo, his systematized methods of teaching still haven't been fully appreciated. Such has been the path of the art, developing and growing spontaneously and unlimited like jazz solo. But now, at the end of the first 20 years and the height of the "Kung-Fu craze," perhaps it's time to look back to the beginnings, to see where we've been and how far we've come, and pause to acknowledge Ed Parker, The Father of American Karate. Ed Parker means business. Constantly on the go, moving from appointment to appointment with the seriousness and punctuality he has come to expect in everyone he deals with, there always seems to be something on his mind. Two decades of experience in the martial arts field have taught him the value of keeping abreast of new trends and the possibilities of implementing them . . . you don't, after all, but come The Father of American Karate by being the second in line. "You've got to remember," Parker quickly points out today, "that in the beginning, I had no competition to worry about and I could afford to make mistakes. So I made a lot of mistakes, and I still make mistakes; but now I think my mistakes aren't business know-how, but picking the right people to help out. It's a matter of close scrutiny of character. That's the whole thing. I've learned a lot, any ideas I've had pertain - some principles and concepts remain constant no matter what the endeavor." Universally acknowledged as the man who introduced karate to America some twenty years ago, Parker has been one of the most innovative and successful influences in the development of the art in its new environment. One of the first to establish the franchise concept in the business end, he has also led the way in other areas . . . promoting, publicizing and pushing new ways to further the enhancement of the art. But down through the years, Parker's enthusiasm has occasionally been a sore spot with others. "I was condemned once for being commercial," he recalls with a visible annoyance. "People sometimes feel that once you start charging money, you more or less water down the art. I disagree with this, at least the way I'm doing it. The old Chinese sifus used to be housed by families. They were fed, they were clothed and given expense money. That was their livelihood in some cases. Were they supposed to do it for nothing?" Starting with private lessons for law enforcement officers in the Provo area in 1954, Parker has never, in his opinion, taught a watered-down art merely for the money. "It was in Provo, Utah, when I was going to college - that's when I first opened. It was the first accredited course in college for this type of thing. We had night classes with 72 officers. Then a guy named Roy Woodward and I had the first school in Provo. Again we kind of restricted who came in and everything else, because at that time, I was still more involved with law enforcement than anything else." Parker's first school was almost primarily concerned with the improvement of law enforcement capabilities of police officers. "Another thing I did, from the students I formed an exhibition team of Highway Patrol, That, and Sheriff's Deputies, and we made it a policy to contact the various Chamber of Commerce so we could put on demonstrations in the various cities. And when we did, it had a tremendous effect on the public from the standpoint that they became a lot more respectful because most people feel that an officer depends on a gun to do his bidding. When they saw how effective the officer was minus the use of a gun, it made them think twice. The rate of arrests then went down considerably in the areas that we performed. "After that, the same individual who enticed me to open the school in Provo felt that we should come to L.A. and offer the same thing. So I offered my services to law enforcement agencies here, and they turned me down . . . So then I got hooked up with this guy named Bert Goodrich, who is Vic Tanny's his brother-in-law. He had three locations and was in competition at the time with Vic Tanny, and he felt that this (karate) would be an added incentive to come to him, as opposed to going to Vic Tanny's. But before we even got off the ground, a group called American Health Studios came into the picture, bought Goodrich out, and converted all that money which was to be used for karate in the weight training. So that forced me to go out on my own in 1956. I borrowed $300, and knowing nothing about business, opened my own school in Pasadena" Ed Parker is youth in Hawaii was the kind most people dream of - sun, surf and all the other accessories of paradise. Born in Honolulu into the Parker family of Hawaiian history - the legendary king Kamehameha being his great, great grandfather, and his cousin eventually inheriting the fabled Parker Ranch of the Island of Hawaii (Parker Ranch being the second largest Ranch in the world!) - young Parker was able to begin his martial arts training early under top teachers. Studying first under Frank Chow in 1946, Parker received the bulk of his training in Kenpo Karate techniques from the famed Professor William Chow. He studied for nearly 3 years, earning his shodan and more importantly, gaining an early acceptance of the nonexclusive nature of the martial arts. Professor Chow was skilled in the arts of Kenpo and Karate, with knowledge of other arts, and he was not against combining their elements for the sake of expediency. "Professor Chow didn't actually teach me many of the modifications and developments I later came up with, but he started me looking for these other avenues. He gave me some master keys to open my own doors." It was at this time also that Parker began to lay the foundations for bringing his Kenpo Karate to the mainland. "I began to visualize the fact that one day, the social climate of this country would be such that our type of service, which I feel cannot be duplicated by automation, would have potential as a business endeavor. Somewhere in the late 40s there was a group of us at first, anticipating coming up and opening up schools in the United States . . . guys that I was studying with. It was then agreed that one of us should get a college education, so that as we pursued our endeavor we more or less had someone with a college background, whereby we would be listened to more readily, as opposed to not. And that's what started it." So, in time, Parker left for the mainland and Brigham Young University. It was a typical university life there, with the exception of Karate workouts with the other students from the Islands. Working more on a friendly basis, Parker and the other Hawaiians benefited themselves with the training. "I worked out with the Island kids. Coming from one locality, we stuck together quite a bit, regardless of nationality, because that's the way we were brought up. Being outsiders more or less, working out built confidence. We were working out one day in the wrestling room when someone saw us and suggested that we put on a demo." Following a demonstration, stage during the halftime of the UCLA-BYU basketball game, Parker was induced to start his extension program for law enforcement officers. "Well I just felt that I had seen what they had done . . . they had excelled in almost every field such as fingerprinting and the other fields of endeavor related to law enforcement, so what they did in regards to hand-to-hand combat was very bad. And I feel this way," Parker interrupts his story to say, "When I'm fast asleep, I'm counting on them patrolling the streets to protect me. And so that's why I was very concerned. But after that, I had a few police officers come to me on their own accord, as opposed to college activity. And then I noticed that some of them were more concerned with getting credit. The novelty of getting college credit was more appealing to them rather than that which would enhance their job." After his similar offer to the Los Angeles law enforcement agencies was turned down in 1956, Parker's early effort at his newly opened the Pasadena dojo were almost equally frustrating. "I remember when I first opened up in Pasadena, and advertising guy came by and said, "What is this? A Mexican dish?" In spite of this slow beginning, word-of-mouth ultimately proved enough to pull Parker through. He gradually gained more and more stability in his business, until word-of-mouth happened to give him his first big break. Roy Woodward, who had been part of Parker's first dojos in Provo and Los Angeles, had just met Terry Robinson, physical trainer for many of Hollywood's stars at the time. "Roy mentioned to him about me," Parker relates, "and want I was trying to do, and Terry said, ‘Well, I was a kill-or-be-killed’ combat instructor, too. Why do you invite him down?’ "So I got a phone call, and Roy told me, ‘Hey, there's a very interesting guy I want you to meet. He might be of some help to you.’ Then he explained who he was, Mario Lanza's trainer and the trainer of many other movie stars. So I went down there and we struck it off very good. The minute I started demonstrating, he said, ‘Hey, what I learned was kindergarten.’ You know, for a guy to really admit that, I thought it was pretty good. "So then he told me, ‘I'm the Physical Director at the Beverly Wilshire health club. I think if you are to come down there perhaps I might be able to form a class.’ Which is what he did. That's how I began to get introduced to many of the movies celebrities. I met quite a few people down there through Terry, and that's how I got involved." Through the years Parker has taught many of Hollywood's top personalities. Elvis Presley, Robert Culp, Robert Wagner, Dick Martin, Fabian, Elke Sommer, Natalie Wood and the late filmland greats Nick Adams and Audie Murphy, all had varying degrees of instruction under Parker's watchful eye. And it is through these early contacts that Ed Parker interjected his art into television and movies for the first time. "It was through my influence at the time I had Blake Edwards, who is now married to Julie Andrews, as a student that their writers began to put some karate into the movies. But at the time, the thing that intrigued them was not the art, but the fabulous board breaking and brick breaking. They were more interested in the spectacular than in the art itself. I wasn't too happy about it." Nevertheless, Parker knew that any exposure at that time, no matter how superficial, was better than the scanty information available to the public without the media. "Then I got caught up in a series with Rick Jason, who used to play the lieutenant on Combat. He had a series called Dangerous Robin. It was sort of a detective series. It lasted a year, and that was the first time they had a technical advisor for Karate on the set." Believe it or not, the year was 1957. "Of course, at the time I opened in Pasadena, well, in fact, even when we go back to Provo, mine was the first commercial venture that was done with karate. But you have to remember, Kung-Fu is practiced many years before I came." Dating back to early California history in the days following the Gold Rush of the mid-1800’s, Kung-Fu was an integral part of the lifestyle in the Chinese labor camps and mining towns that later came to be known as ‘Chinatown's’. Kept secret and hidden from non-Chinese for over 100 years (opened only, in fact, in 1964 by grandmaster Ark Y. Wong of Los Angeles) Ed Parker was one of the few ‘outsiders’ allowed to penetrate the closed universe. "Kung-Fu had been practiced for many years in San Francisco Chinatown and elsewhere, but it was like a private club," Parker recalls. Perhaps it was because the sifus respected his own formidable skills in the martial arts or that they valued Professor Chow’s initial judgments, but Parker was accepted. "I did become good friends with a lot of them. The reason there was never any exposure with a lot of Kung-Fu professors was simply because many of them were never ever legal residents of the United States. Now a lot of them are dead so I can tell you this: They were brought in during the time of the Tong Wars as hatchet men. They were hit men. And then later, they stayed here and made her livelihood as a secretive group. That's why a lot of them refuse to take pictures. I have some pictures with them they said could only be taken under the condition that I never publicize them. So that's who they were, hit men. They never became citizens of the United States, and whenever money was given to them, they never reported it because they never have a Social Security number." Parker's desire to build up American Karate as an entity in itself has been one of his main goals. While the art originated in the Orient, America is a different environment, demanding different approaches and standards. Through his first twenty years, two major projects - one success and the other failure - were devoted to that end. Today, the world-famous Long Beach Internationals and snuffed hopes that created Action Karate Magazine still invoke strong reactions from the man behind both. After Parker had started the ball rolling with his schools in Provo and Pasadena, "then others came in and it blossomed. Then there were a lot of claims and what have you, and pretty soon, in the first five years, there was a lot of dissension, each system claiming that theirs was the best and everything else. More and more, as we got systems other than Shotokan, you know, like Wado-ryu, Isshin-ryu and stuff like that, I felt a need for bringing all these styles under one roof, and that's why I had the Internationals in 1964." Held for the last ten years in Long Beach, California, the Internationals must stand as one of Parker's crowning achievements. Still the foremost tournament in the nation, and possibly the world, the Internationals exemplifies best the American karate concept of emphasis upon tournament competition. Open to all who could legitimately prove to be practitioners, the accommodating features that have come to characterize the Internationals were much in evidence on that beginning day in 1964. "I was the first guy to get Matsuoka from Canada. I had Ohshima. You name them, I had them - I even invited Bruce Tegner to the tournament, and he came! I got everybody out of the woodwork in California to come under one roof to go to the tournament. This was the first time this has ever done, and I was condemned: ‘Why did you invite this guy? or that guy?’ I said, ‘If they're good, they'll prove themselves; if they're no good, they'll go back into the woodwork.’ And that's exactly what happened. And then it started to build from there. Those were good years, there was a lot of closeness." Unfortunately, things to a certain extent soured for Parker, and the "good years" were lost amidst bickering and bitterness that for years hindered the growth of American Karate. The state of affairs have begun to improve again, but the "good years" and the closeness have so far stayed only cynical memories. "Ohshima and I are still close friends," says Parker of the man who brought Shotokan to Los Angeles only months after his own Pasadena dojo was established, "but there is no great love between me and a lot of other guys, because at one time there was a great movement by the Koreans to take over the country. I felt, ‘Hey, you know, while they have a lot to offer, this is America! Let us put together our own thing.’ In other words, we can all get together and so design rules that will be tailored around our needs and our children and our methods and our environment. And that's the way it should be." Concerning Action Karate, Parker believes that the four issue life of what he hoped to establish as the voice of American Karate wasn't a total failure. "At the time (1968-69), the leading magazine wouldn't even mention me," Parker recalls, "but when Action Karate came out, it forced them to come out with a second magazine, more liberal than the first, to fight us. So although we folded, I think we accomplished in part what we set out to do, since now there was a newer, more liberal magazine on the market." Ed Parker is standing on the stage of one of the many high school auditoriums he has demonstrated out over the years. The demonstration has been a rousing success, and the high schoolers are all pretty impressed. Giving his closing remarks, Parker says to those in the audience: "We're not here to show you how tough we are, that's not our objective. But by the same token, those of you in the audience who are troublemakers, who like to look for trouble, remember what you've seen in here today, because one of these days, you gonna run into one of us." Ed Parker turns, and swiftly walks off-stage. "To me, is just using might for right," says Parker, who is deeply concerned with the many ills that plague society today. "The problem we have today is the philosophy that's on the streets. And you know what that philosophy is? It's this: It's not who's right but who's left that counts. You get in an environment like that, and you just get caught up in this - as much as you want to, like the Lord says, turn the other cheek; after awhile you run out of them, all four of them. I hope we can trigger minds throughout the country to possibly put forth the effort, because there are solutions, but it's going to take a lot of eating up of egos. It's not a matter of who's going to take up leadership, but who's gonna contribute in their own way." However, if the solutions aren't found and implemented, Parker sees a much more important, although tasteful, roll martial arts will play in the future. "I feel this country is in for a big upheaval. Were gonna see things you wouldn't think could happen in the United States. Unfortunately, it's gonna come down to what I just said: the guy who knows (martial arts or some form of fighting) is gonna be the one, in some cases, whether he's right or wrong, as long as he's left. That's all that's going to count. "But we’re in for big trouble. I don't think there is too much respect for our government or the leaders of our government. When that deteriorates . . . were right now at the very threshold that Rome was before it fell. You can't just say all is well. It's not! Like the gas situation - if somebody told you it would happen, you would never have believed him. By our Santa Monica school a guy sliced another guy's throat just for cutting into line for gas." Throughout the many years of Karate teaching and business, Mrs. Parker, Leilani, has stood behind Ed, helping out in every way possible. Married in 1954, just prior to the opening of the first Parker dojo in Provo, the Parker's and their five children - Darlene, 16; Beth, 15; Edmond Jr., 13; Yvonne, 10; and Sherry, 6 - have lived for the past 17 years in Pasadena, California. For the most part, it has been a good life. With the new wave of interest in Kung-Fu, Parker, contrary to many other karate men, sees a general beneficial effect for all martial artists in America. The more publicity, the more exposure, the better it will be for everyone, he reasons. This, basically, was the reason the martial arts world got its first glimpse of Bruce Lee back in 1964. "I talked to him," Parker recalls, "and the thing with Bruce and I, we struck it off very well because he's very broad minded about things. Of course, at that time he was very anti-classical Kung-Fu. He felt that they were no more than robots. And I talked to him and said, ‘You know people feel that their individual styles are the best. Well, I have this big tournament coming up, and I think if you were to come down (Lee at the time, lived in Seattle) and demonstrate, the people would have a better cross-section of what lies in the martial arts world.’ He said he'd be happy to come." Lee debuted to the world that year at the inaugural edition of the Internationals, dazzling the thousands of spectators with his superb skill. On the sidelines, Ed Parker was getting it all down on film. "I had it in color and sound, and I kept it for many years hoping I could use it . . . Then a few years later (1966), I was teaching Jay Sebring - he was a guy killed with Sharon Tate in the Sharon Tate murders. Jay and I were good friends and we were talking about the need for a guy to play Kato, because Jay's friend was Bill Dozier, the producer of Batman. He (Dozier) had bought the rights to the Green Hornet, and he needed a Kato. They needed one who knew the art, so I told them I had just a guy for them. So they made the arrangements to take the film to Bill Dozier, and Bill looked at it and said that's the guy he wanted, Bruce. Then I got hold of Bruce, who was in Hong Kong, and he liked the idea and came back. "I felt if Bruce to get on television, his ability would enhance everyone's situation throughout the country, and it did just that." On a personal level, Parker holds only the highest regard for Bruce Lee. "If any one person could be God-gifted, he was the guy, one in two billion. Pound for pound, like in boxing pound for pound, they say Sugar Ray was the guy; I say in the martial arts world as far as Kung-Fu, pound for pound Bruce was the best, in my estimation." "One day, I had a father knock on the door to my office in Pasadena. He came in and shut the door, and started crying. He said, ‘No, these are tears of joy. My wife and I divorced each other 14 years ago and my son has been relayed between my wife and I all this time and he became an introvert as a result. So much so, that when I talked to him, he'll never faced me face-to-face. Yesterday, because of the confidence he built up from the training, not only did he talk to me face to face for the first time in 14 years, but he challenged my authority. He told me all the training he’d had was worth it.’ "This is the kind of thing I like," says Ed Parker.




Ballet of Death / Fighting Stars / June 1974 / V-1 No. 5 / Steve Rubenstein


ROUGH AND TOUGH Ed Parker is a businessman who makes the "ballet of death," as he calls karate, his business. "These days, business is good, " he says. "and the need for our services hasn't peaked yet. Give it eight or 10 years more to reach that point." Ed Parker, a broad man with a round face under straight, mod-styled, graying hair, sits behind a big desk in his Santa Monica office, and explains: The reason karate is so popular now is the social climate. There's disrespect for others, disrespect of authority. People are sick of getting tossed around. Taxes are too high. It's supposed to be our money, but we don't have any say about how to spend it. So when people see Bruce Lee in a picture, they want to be like Bruce Lee. And they picture their opponent as the tax assessor. It is an outlet for those frustrating feelings of aggression." In Parker's dojo next door, several students shadow-chop their way through the kata practicing their side kicks against imaginary enemies. They refer to the pictures on the wall of people using the right techniques, and a plaque which bears the Parker motto: "Should I be forced to defend myself . . . should it be a matter of life or death, or right or wrong, there here are my weapons, karate, my empty hands." Even in his childhood days in Hawaii, husky Ed Parker was known as a man you didn't mess with. He still isn't. He grew up in the Kalihi slums of Honolulu, where survival was often at the point of a switchblade. "I thank the Lord I was born and raised there," he says. "it gave me the opportunity to fight it out." That's where the karate first came in. "A lot of guys would try to have me pull a job at the local cafe. A verbal refusal wasn't enough. I had to learn to physically refuse." In 1947, Parker came to the mainland. A devout Mormon, he enrolled at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, "where the weather could compel me to do some studying and there wasn't any surf to ride." The Mormon religion is still one of the strongest influences in Parker's daily life. He has taken over 30 karate colleagues into the Mormon Church. He attributes much of his physical stamina to total abstention from the corruption of alcoholic, nicotinic, and caffeinic pacifiers. At BYU, Parker was soon staging karate demonstrations between his teams there and some from UCLA. Several Utah law enforcement agencies asked Parker to give their officers a few pointers. "Utah is much more progressive about these things," he said. Before long, such agencies as the Provo Police Department and the Utah Fish and Game inspectors were routinely reverse punching and roundhouse kicking in the line of duty. According to Parker, crime statistics in that community plummeted. "Karate changed public opinion about law officers. They used to think that without his gun, a policeman has a nothing. But we put on demonstrations, and the people saw that hands are pretty potent. It really had an effect." The success of Parker's karate teaching in Utah, his work with the law enforcement people there, and his innate sense of showmanship prompted him to offer his services in these fields to the motion picture industry in Southern California. His first move was to offer a course to the police. But they turned him down. "They told me 'We've got this old revolver and that's all we need.' " So Parker got together a few Vic Tanny gym people and opened his first karate studio in 1956, while continuing to teach assorted celebrities and movie stars at a Beverly Hills health club. In Hollywood, Parker put his experience staging karate demonstrations to good use. As movies became increasingly more violent during the secret agent craze of the 60's, Parker was called on more and more to stage exotic fight scenes with stuntmen and stars. He even mixed it up a little himself. "In the early days, they thought karate was a Mexican restaurant. One guy challenged me. Maybe they say smite one cheek, turn the other. Well, you run out of cheeks." Parker feels. Then he sat upright and smiled across the table. "I really let that guy have it!" Teaching karate to celebrities often depends upon their availability. Parker set about to establish a string of dojo that now dot the Southern California landscape. Most stars know little about karate and could care less, which often makes staging the scenes difficult, according to Parker. He hates to see people he's working with get injured. "The way to keep people from getting hurt is to do the scenes with guys that know what they're doing. I've seen many a leading actor get it right in the mouth." Parker shook his head. "It's just that they're not martial arts talented or trained," he states. The television stuntmen really have a clique. They always tell me 'Oh yeah, we know karate,' but they really don't. On one episode of 'Run for Your Life,' I spent three hours trying to teach one stuntman a move, and he still couldn't do it. I had to bring in one of my own men." Parker has racked up nearly two decades of experience staging stunts and martial arts fights. His work has titillated a multitude of TV addicts and movie goers around the globe. His list of credits is so long and awesome that he cannot remember the names of the series, let alone the episodes. Only a few film titles still stay with him, and only because he particularly enjoyed working on them. The "I Spy" series and "Run for Your Life" made good use of his choreographic talents. And he speaks of his work in Dean Martin's Matt Helm adventure, "The Wrecking Crew" with happily remembered pleasure. CONTACT COMBAT ADDS REALISM Unlike most stunt shots, Parker's scenes all feature actual contact, although Parker calls it a light, "kissing" touch. In other stunt techniques, he insists, the stand-in will "pull" their punches by up to sex inches, and a slightly misplaced camera can render the entire scene worthless. Parker's main headache is actors who simply cannot master the techniques required for the shot. "The thing you have to do then is find a guy that will make a good double. Then do a phenomenal job on the master shot of the fight with the stuntmen, do a close-up, and keep alternating so the viewers will think it was him all along." Some actors do not have the patience required of the martial arts, and around parker, that can be dangerous. One noted actor "I'm not going to mention names") signed up for a course, and after the third lesson, parker claims the man told him, "That's enough of the basics, now you give me the meat of the thing." Parker smiles when he tells the story. "I told him, 'I don't like you, and since your job is dependent on your face, I'd rather not re-arrange it. Would you mind leaving? He did." PRESLEY'S TEACHER One actor Parker has no problem with is Elvis Presley, whom Parker tutors privately at his home. "Elvis is sincerely interested in looking good," says parker. "Unfortunately, some of these other guys, the role calls for them to do it but they don't have much interest." Other actors Parker worked with include Robert Wagner and "I Spy" star Robert Culp, whose interest in karate outlasted the series. Culp still works out in the studio from time to time. Like capital punishment, Parker believes the role of violence in the films he makes acts as a deterrent. The more true-to-life, the better. "If I show a guy having his arm broken, I want his darn bone to come through this darn skin. Not too much of it, but enough of it. I think that's important. Showing a broken bone in the script is just to make these people in the audience realize 'Hey, one of these days I'm going to meet up with one of them. I better watch it.' If it's used as a deterrent like that, then I'm for it."