Bill Packer
1946 - 2005

Bill Packer

Before studying Kenpo Karate, Mr. Bill Packer had martial arts experience in Okinawan-Te, Wing Chun, Tai Chi and Boxing. His most extensive prior training was in Boxing. From 1964-1968, Mr. Packer was a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Boxing Team. During this time, Mr. Packer was undefeated with a record of over 30 wins. At a very early stage in his career, Mr. Packer had already mastered a variety of principles common to all martial arts (mind set, pressing an opponent, pushing down, skill enhancement techniques, physical training, etc.). After completing his tour with the Coast Guard, Mr. Packer immediately began full-time training in American Kenpo under Mr. Tom Connor. By 1971, Mr. Packer's skill, enthusiasm, and drive had earned him the position of Southwest Regional Director for TRACO International. As the Regional Director, he was interacting with a great number of schools, instructors, and students; Mr. Packer noticed that a large void existed in American Kenpo. Although the physical element of American Kenpo was superior, the philosophy, the tradition, and internal development was missing. In 1972, the Southwest region was reorganized, and renamed as the "American Kenpo Karate Association, Ltd. (AKKA)". Under the guidance and direction of Mr. Packer, his style of American Kenpo began to come full circle back to the roots of Chinese Ch'uan Fa.

Mr. Packer started by researching the history, philosophy and meaning of the animals, elements, and colors associated with Kenpo. He incorporated the various icons, according to belt, into the system. To insure the incorporation of traditional Chinese ideas, Mr. Packer had a renowned professor of Chinese philosophy teach martial arts philosophy classes to instructors. These new additions to the system eventually expanded to include elements of internal martial arts of "Qi Gong".

Parallel with the mental and spiritual advancement of the system, was the explosion of AKKA kickboxing. After observing the first World Karate Association (WKA) Championships, Mr. Packer knew that with his knowledge of mental conditioning, physical training, and fighting techniques, trained AKKA kickboxers could excel in world competition. Since 1974, AKKA kickboxing has been a dominant force in world competition. The following is a list of accomplishments under Mr. Packer:

  • 128 World Ranked Fighters
  • 15 World Titles
  • 8 North American Titles
  • 8 U.S. Titles
  • 3 Intercontinental Muay Thai Titles
  • Regional Karate Champion for 7 years (Mr. Packer)
  • Premier Inductee to Martial Arts Hall of Fame
  • 1982 Kickboxing "Trainer of the Year"

In 1978, the AKKA and TRACO systems were unified and again expanded. Mr. Packer and Mr. Connor agreed that the system could still be improved by integrating more Chinese Wushu elements (circular movements, continual motion, etc.). The two felt that the Hawaiian element (or Japanese influence) in Kenpo was still too strong. Mr. Packer and Mr. Connor used their combined knowledge to improve the system. Many previously taught self-defense techniques were reanalyzed and either abandoned or changed. New and advanced katas were added to the system (Stalking Panther, Tiger Hunt, Monkey, Leopard, Advanced Staff, Whispering Winds, Enter The Temple, etc.).

Since the death of Mr. Connor in 1989, all the TRACO and AKKA schools have strengthened their interconnection by unanimously adopting the AKKA name and world famous "Dragonman" logo. Mr. Packer is the sole remaining authority on the unique AKKA style of Kenpo Karate. As president of AKKA, Ltd., Mr. Packer continues to research, develop, and improve system of the American Kenpo Karate Association.

Mr. Packer passed away on Aug. 19, 2005. The AKKA organization is still operating. For more information, visit the organization's website, the AKKA.