Rich Hale - Founder OKKA
Mr. Hale credits his life-long devotion to Kenpo to be a result of his 48-year friendship with Rich Callahan. No other person has had such a profound effect on his martial arts. Mr. Callahan was his first Kenpo teacher and to this day a great example of what a martial artist, teacher, and friend should be.
He also gives credit to Roger Thomas, who was a close friend and training partner, during their early years with Mr. Callahan and at the Alaska Martial Arts Center, in Anchorage, Alaska. Mr. Hale and Mr. Thomas were later joined at the AMAC by AC Rainey, Dale Eberwein, and Art Copeland. All three of these men were instrumental in their progression as martial artists.
The day AC Rainey walked into the Alaska Martial Arts Center and introduced himself as a black belt in Ed Parker's Kenpo, Rich Hale and Roger Thomas began a whole new journey in the art of Kenpo. Under the guidance of Mr. Rainey, both me were awarded their black belts on July 11, 1981. Just under forty years later, on January 2, 2020, AC promoted Mr. Hale to 9th-degree black as he continues to extend his instruction, friendship, leadership to Mr. Hale and the Ohana Kenpo Karate Association.
In the early and mid-eighties, Mr. Hale was fortunate enough to have become a personal student of Edmund Parker, the founder of American Kenpo and president of the International Kenpo Karate Association.
Privileged to take private lessons at Mr. Parker's home in Pasadena, Mr. Hale remembers SMA Parker as more than someone with knowledge. He was someone who inspired you to continue learning after he was gone.
Mr. Parker sighed Mr. Hales certificates for 1st and 2nd Degree Black Belt, in the IKKA, as his personal instructor.
Mohamad Tabatabai awarded Mr. Hale his 5th-degree black belt in 2007. Friends and classmates from the time they were colored belts, Mr. Hale considers Mr. Tabatabai as one of his closest friends in and out of the art.
Master of the Art, Tony Martinez Sr. awarded Mr. Hale his 7th Degree Black Belt in 2010. In doing so he gave Mr. Hale his personal belt which he had worn as a 5th through 7th. Mr. Martinez has been actively and consistently teaching Ed Parker's Kenpo for almost sixty years.
Mr. Hale was also awarded a 7th Degree Black Belt from Master of the Art, Rick Hughes. Mr. Hughes is President of the American Silver Tiger Kenpo Association and currently one of Mr. Hales's personal instructors.