This page features the creeds and pledges of American Kenpo Karate written by Grandmaster Edmund. K. Parker. Now, due to the current trends of this new millenium, Universal Kenpo Karate Dojos has slightly altered these creeds and pledges to reflect a couple things: gender neutrality and removal of God from the pledges. First off, we have female students in today's classroom much more so than in the past. It's encouraged more today. Secondly, we don't want to push religious issues in the martial arts classroom. We understand that these pledges speak to our morality side, and while we all don't believe in a higher being, we more than likely have a sense of morals. And the changes are pretty miniscule, anyway. Also included on this page are students' papers on the pledges as some schools make them write essays about what the pledge means.

The Creed itself is the first of the belt pledges, and every other pledge that follows is somehow split off from the ideas and doctrines surrounding the Creed.

The 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, of right or wrong; then here are my weapons - "Karate" - my empty hands.

Orange Belt Pledge

I understand that I am but a beginner in a new and fascinating art which will direct me to greater obligations and responsibilities. To honor my obligations and responsibilities, I pledge to myself to serve my instructor, fellow students, and fellow people.

Purple Belt Pledge

I hold the art of Kenpo sacred and freely take upon myself the obligation and responsibility that I shall never misuse my skill to hurt or make afraid. I shall fight only if forced to defend myself and shall be slow to anger, loath to take offense, quick to forgive, and to forget personal affront.

Chris Clinesmith

Blue Belt Pledge

I shall never let pride rule my passions and will defend, with all the skill I possess, the weak, the helpless, and the oppressed. I pledge an unswerving loyalty to my art, my fellow students, and my instructor. In addition, I pledge an unending effort to earn the self-same loyalty from those who look to me for training.

Green Belt Pledge

I pledge a continued effort to sharpen my skills, to increase my knowledge, and to broaden my horizons. I shall obligate myself under the direction of my instructor to learn the skills of a teacher, which will enable me to teach my skills in the prescribed manner outlined within our Kenpo system.

3rd Degree Brown Belt Pledge

I pledge that as my skill as a teacher progresses I will never condemn, ridicule, embarass, or shame any student or fellow instructor in the presence of a class or group. All grievances or disputes shall be conducted in a private away from group observation.

2nd Degree Brown Belt Pledge

I understand that like a doctor, the private affairs of students and fellow instructors that come to my attention during the exercising of my responsibilities are priviledged communications and must never be discussed with any living soul. I vow that I will never violate this pledge nor any other for the sake of personal benefit.

1st Degree Brown Belt Pledge

I honor and hold sacred the right of all men to protect themselves. I further hold that as a trained Martial Artist in Kenpo, I will take upon myself all obligations and responsibilities deemed sacred to my personal beliefs, my family, my country, and my art.

1st Degree Black Belt Pledge

I hold that my time and my skill are the assets of my profession, assets which will grow in value as I progress in the Art until I stand as a fully qualified instructor. It shall also be my responsibility to protect any student from ravenous individuals who would try to take advantage of personal weaknesses, to divest the gullible into unprofitable gains, to preserve the sacred things, personal beliefs, family, and the art of Kenpo, I pledge my all.