Edmund K. Parker, Jr.
|Edmund Kealoha Parker, Jr. professionally known as Ed Parker, Jr. was
born on November 15, 1959, in Glendale, California, son of the late Ed
Parker Sr., Sr. Grandmaster and founder of American Kenpo Karate. Some
consider Ed's father to be one of the greatest martial artists who ever
lived and who was named by Black Belt Magazine as the "Father of
American Karate" and was noted for launching the careers of many
Martial Arts motion picture stars, such as Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris.
He was also the personal karate instructor, bodyguard and friend of the
late King of Rock 'n Roll, Elvis Presley. Elvis was so involved with Kenpo
Karate and his instructor Ed Parker Sr. that he put his martial arts logo
on the side of his guitar. This crest is found on the Elvis Presley Guitar
pin found in all Hard Rock Cafe's.
Ed Jr. was raised in Southern California and focused most of his early years studying art and theater, and at that time he received the Bank of America Art Award. At the age of 19 he moved to Arizona to do social work as a missionary on the Indian Reservations. Ed worked for two years with the Navajo, Hope, Zuni, Southern Ute, Havasupai, White Mountain and Jicarilla Apache Tribes. Ed then moved to the Island of Oahu, Hawaii where he obtained a Degree from BYU-Hawaii in Illustration with a minor in Theatrical Arts. During his schooling he studied and made student films' one of which won him an award for the Best Student Film for 1982 in the State of Hawaii Film Festival. He was awarded an internship on the television show "Magnum P. I." He also received 12 University art and theatrical scholarship awards.
After finishing school, Ed returned to California where he did after graduate work at the Art Center College of Design. Completing his training there, he then went into partnership with his father. From 1983 till 1991 Ed produced 9 International Karate Championships, an annual karate tournament that hosts over 6,000 competitors. The "International's" is the largest and was one of the longest running Martial Arts tournament in the world. It ran for over 35 years. He also co-published and designed over 20 Martial Arts books.
In December of 1990, Ed's father passed away. Since then, Ed has continued on within the Martial Arts industry and produced 6 educational Martial Arts videos. In June of 1992 he published "The Encyclopedia of Kenpo" a complete encyclopedia on American Kenpo Karate based on the teachings of his father Ed Parker, Sr.
In March of 1993, Ed produced the 1st Annual Martial Arts Expo. This event drew a crowd of over 8,000 people. The Expo featured the first ever Martial Arts talent star search. Some celebrity support for this event came from actors Wesley Snipes (The Art of War), Steven Ho (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 & 3), Don "The Dragon" Wilson (Ring of Fire), Jeff Speakman (The Perfect Weapon), World Kick boxing Champion Benny "The Jet" Urquidez. Also Producers Aaron Norris (Side Kicks) and Rick Nathanson (Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story). During this same year Ed earned his 1st degree Black Belt.
Ed has also appeared in Seven, "Magnum P.I.", "Jake and the Fat Man", "Inside Edition", "Hello L. A.", The Curse of the Dragonwith Chuck Norris, James Colburn and Kareem Abdul Jabbar and his latest role was in Universal Pictures feature film Dragon: The Life of Bruce Lee where he portrayed the role of his father at the Internationals. The University Times acknowledged Ed with a cameo award for his performance in "Dragon". Most recently, he hosted "The Night of the Golden Master's" a Martial Arts special scheduled for Showtime with many Martial Arts Masters from all over the world including film star Ernie Reyes Jr. He has also just finished the choreography for the movie Deadly Take Over starring martial arts film star Jeff Speakman and veteran actor Ron Silver. This movie is to be released soon as well as Cage II starring Lou Ferregno where Ed served as the Associate Art Director for the film.
During the past 20 years Ed has taught, lectured, produced, published, written, illustrated, designed, choreographed and acted in various Martial Arts related areas and has a Black Belt in American Kenpo karate.
Currently working as Freelance Illustrator and graphic artist. As an artist Ed worked on a numerous design campaigns two of which were for National public radio and Leonard Nimoy for a 2 part series of dramatic audio tapes called "Jewish Stories from the Old World to the New" and "Jewish Short Stories from Eastern Europe and Beyond". He is currently dedicating his talents to drawing a tribute to the legacy of Ed Parker Sr. by doing a series of portraits of prominent martial arts individuals in the MA as well as the Kenpo industry. Ther are over 60 people contacted and 30 portraits already finished. Ed is also on the national lecture circuit teaching martial arts lectures and seminars. In 1999, Ed has traveled around the world teaching over 70 seminars to Europe, Canada, Mexico and over 35 states. He is considered one of the leading martial arts philosophers in American Martial arts. He is scheduled for seminars in Australia, South America and a 7 country tour in Europe in the new millennium. Ed has just published a book on his father and has sold over 10,000 copies to date. the latest book he has released to date is The Journey with Joe Hyams. Ed did the layout and design and artowkr. He has also been featured in 2 consecutive magazine articles in Black Belt Magazine. Those articles are in the November '99 and December '99 issues. He has also been featured in Inside Kung-Fu, Karate/Kung-Fu Illustrated, Budo, Fighters, Kampfkunst (German Magazine), and Full Contact Magazines.
Ed is the proud father of four children, three daughters and one son, Ed Parker III. He is married and lives with his wife Silvia in Pasadena, California.