Make your own free website on

History of my Art...By James Ibrao  
 I was born November 3, 1937 in Hawaii in a city called Waialua. In  Waialua, every element of our lives was based around a sugar plantation which  meant that everyone worked with one another, knew one another and respected one another. For seventeen years I had the advantage of having an extended family of nearly three thousand people.  Can you imagine the opportunity that existed for growth and sharing in such a community?

     I believe that this element has given me an incredibly strong base and advantage in dealing with people because I came from such a strong foundation of respect for so many people. In addition, the positive development of the person came from the positive  development of the entire group and so, common goals and traditional values were of the utmost importance.

For instance, the development of the ego came from the development of the ego of the entire community not just any one individual. Perhaps this is why I have been able to exceed and excel in the learning and much more importantly, the teaching of the martial arts to so many people. I  have always judged myself by the number of people I have been able to assist and  not on my own "personal achievements". During this time I became very active in athletics and I was able to make my mark in every sport I played. Strangely enough, out of all the sports I tried, basketball was my favorite. In fact, many of you may find this difficult to  believe, but at 5' 9" I was able to slam dunk!

Introduction Into Kenpo

     At seventeen I had the tremendous opportunity to go to school in Boise,  Idaho. I found the climate to be too cold for me and I decided to go  to Los  Angeles. From there, I tried my luck at Brigham Young University, but again I  found the climate was not to my liking. I returned once again to Los Angeles where my life would change forever. After being so active in sports, I found I needed a release. A friend of mine, Bob Sarno, had an acquaintance named Ed Parker who was involved in the teaching of a new martial arts called Kenpo  Karate.

     On the island, martial arts instructors had to be registered to teach  and the only art I had been able to study was a little judo. You can imagine my  excitement at being exposed to the power, quickness, and innovative moves of Ed Parker who was literally a giant. It was more than just his stature, he had an aura of power and what many would call fearlessness. The very next day, I joined Mr. Ed Parker and his four students, on their journey into the experience called Kenpo Karate. Iím not sure whether it was natural ability or pure desire to learn, but I never found the "intensive workouts" to be too difficult. I was always trying to see and figure out what the next move would be. I always looked for the next logical step in the beautiful and deadly art taught by this dynamic  and charismatic individual. Within weeks, I noticed that my already athletic build was beginning to grow and change. Almost instantly, I gained weight and watched as my muscle structure began to change. 

     I developed power and strength in my legs, arms and back and was amazed at how
my shoulders widened. Of all this, perhaps the most important change came in my level
of confidence. The power I felt was tremendous. There was nothing that I couldn't do.
All this came  from my complete and total immersion into this new art. I lived, ate and
slept  Kenpo Karate. The year was 1956.

Click Here to Continue With The History