Mr. Elvis Presley met Mr. Ed Parker after a demonstration at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. At the time of the demonstration, he had already earned rank in Shotokan karate and had also earned a black belt in Chito-Ryu Karate as well as having spent time in the military. Mr. Presley instantly appreciated the difference between his rigid training and the fluid rapid-fire system he was seeing at the demonstration.
Mr. Presley also began to surround himself with karate trained bodyguards, such as Red West and his cousin Delbert "Sonny" West. Mr. Dave Hebler also became one of Mr. Presley's personal bodyguards. Mr. Presley also began to use his karate in movies, like 1961's Blue Hawaii and Roustabout where he used karate techniques as opposed to the popular haymaker punches seen in other movies at the time.
During 1968, Mr. Presley watched the 1st Hawaii vs. Mainland Team Tournament and began taking private lessons from Mr. Parker at the West Los Angeles school. He began to formulate his TCB philosophy; or "Take Care of Business; in a Flash." He also financed the opening of a karate school in Memphis, under the instruction of Red West; a school called Tennessee Karate Institute. Also at this school were fighters like Joe Lewis and Bill Wallace. The TCB patch featured a TCB / lightning bolt over a red circle. The words "Faith, Spirit, Discipline" surrounded the circle along with seven stars. The TKI school closed when Red West stopped working for Mr. Presley. Currently, Mr. Dave Stanley, Mr. Presley's step-brother, a 3rd Degree Black Belt teaches Kenpo and promotes the TCB motto and philosophy of instruction.
Mr. Presley was also one of the largest rock n roll stars and used his concerts as a venue to do martial arts moves on stage as well as have the IKKA Parker Crest emblazoned on his black Gibson guitar. He did 31 movies, many featuring the martial arts. He also had 131 gold and platinum records. In a single 1973 broadcast, he exposed American Kenpo to 1.5 billion people.
Most people know all about Mr. Presley's muscial prowess, but few know much about his love for the martial arts, which is why he was one of those who promoted Kenpo the most.