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raalt.gif (1140 bytes)     The Tracy System of Kenpo  

Guide to American Kenpo
Al Tracy


I do not teach American Kenpo - but I can put you in contact with the best instructors who do. I have nothing to gain one way or the other. I consider my decisions to be based upon facts and my own personal knowledge of those claiming to teach American Kenpo! Many of them came out of the "Tracy System"!

I am outside of the "Politics" of American Kenpo! I was there, I knew to whom Ed was personally teaching his new system.

This page is just a guide to help find authentic studios - instructors & Personal Trainers - teaching "True" American Kenpo!

It's not the intent of this page to get into any controversy over which is "The Best System" : Traditional Kenpo or American Kenpo, but to explain exactly what American Kenpo is and is Not!

Now the controversy starts: Over 90% of the schools claiming to teach American Kenpo are not teaching American Kenpo as taught by Ed Parker as described and laid out in his five volume set; Infinite Insights Into Kenpo!

Click here for "The good, the bad and the ugly": The politics of American Kenpo!

I am assuming that you want American Kenpo as developed and taught by Great Grand Master Edmund K. Parker! The same American Kenpo he wrote about in his five volume set Infinite Insights Into Kenpo - between 1982-1987! Volume 5 is critical because in Volume 5 - Ed Parker laid out the minimum requirements for each belt level: Yellow belt thru 3rd Black!

For the price of buying one book: Volume 5 - You will know if the instructor is teaching Ed Parker's American Kenpo as he taught it! If the instructor is not teaching the full 24 self defense techniques for each belt (except for yellow -10), your are only being taught part of the system.

PARKER5.jpg (39685 bytes) Ed Parker's Volume V (5) is a must! This is the last book Ed Parker put out before he died December 15, 1990. He wanted to make sure that everyone had access to this book - so they knew what he wanted taught at each level (Yellow belt through 3rd Black belt)! This is American Kenpo as Ed Parker taught it! Its very simple - buy this book so you know exactly what is required for American Kenpo.
Buy the Book Today!    The Amazon site does not have a picture of the cover!

click here to take you to all five volumes of Ed Parkers Infiniti Insights into Kenpo

The first question to ask: Why? Ed Packer established this as the Minimum requirements for each belt! Each American Kenpo instructor usually has a list of the self defense techniques required for each belt! Compare his list against that in Volume V! If it is not the exact 24 Ed Parkers specified then it is not Ed Parkers American Kenpo!

Ed Parker knew that after his death all kinds of claims would be made as to who would be his successor and what was to be taught:

Ed left no successor - but he did leave the "Minimum" standards for American Kenpo as he had taught and developed it.

While Ed did not leave a successor he did leave behind protégés that had helped him develop the entire system from 1966 onward! Because of politics (I'm not going to get into that) they each went their own separate ways!

Ed make one fatal mistake that has caused all the confusion about was is and what is not Kenpo - he did not put any of the Self Defense or Katas on video tape - for the world to have as a reference!

Two years before his death I pleaded with Ed to put everything on video!  He talked about a series of over 40 videos he would make! Only two were ever completed and Ed did not appear in any of them! At that same time I also asked Ed who he would pass the system onto. He confided to me: "NO ONE"! His wife, reaffirmed this at Ed funeral!

Many of the new "wannabe's" self proclaimed "Kenpo Masters" see it as a sign of disrespect to call him Ed. When we first stared studying with Ed Parker back in 1957 we asked him this same question. What title or name would be proper to which he replied: ED. To those of us that call him Ed is a sign of respect. Just as in the Navy the top admiral is affectedly refereed to as the "old man"! Ed did not want to be called Mr., Parker - that made him feel old.

As Ed got older he reluctantly would accept the title of Mr. Parker; then Master Parker, and eventually Great Grand Master Parker! Ed and I would joke about this and Ed  remarked "life was so much simpler when I was just Ed"!

Those of us "old timers" who still call him Ed have earned that right! But unless you are over 50 we will consider it a sign of disrespect for the "old man" - a term used by the next generation after us. Many of this group were Viet Nam vets and "old man" was their affectionate reference to Ed Parker. "Old Man", never used in his presence, was once again an "earned" honor!

BUT ALL IS NOT LOST! The man that Ed Parker had originally "anointed" as his successor did what Ed Parker did not - He put the self defense techniques and katas on video tape, and preserved them for history! Click here to take you to the page on videos

In addition, he had another student, a college professor teaching physics, who has written the most complete and detailed written manuals on the entire system. Next week I will put up a link to his site.

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©1999 Al Tracy  - all rights reserved!