Mr. Paul Mills has been in American Kenpo training since 1966. Mr. Mills was a direct and private student of Senior Grandmaster Edmund K. Parker, 10th Degree Black Belt, for over 10 years. He received his first through fifth degrees directly from Mr. Parker. Mr. Parker would often take Mr. Mills to other schools to introduce him to different students of his. It was during these trips that Mr. Mills earned the name and reputation as the "Smiling Guillotine".
Sadly, in December of 1990 Mr. Mills' instructor passed away. Many in the Kenpo community were left without a leader, instructor, and friend. As Mr. Mills continued with the I.K.K.A., he had the opportunity to remain close to the Parker family by teaching Mr. Parker's son-in-law, Larry Kongaika up to 2nd Degree Black Belt. He also taught many of the high-ranking black belts in the association at that time.
Mr. Mills was the only person to serve as a member of 1) the I.K.K.A. Systems Council (One of only three members) 2) as the National Testing Director and 3) Regional Representative for a ten state area (region #10), known as the "Paul Mills Family Group", at the same time. He was also one of a handful of Mr. Parker's black belts to teach at the 1991 I.K.K.A. Ed Parker Memorial camp at the Pasadena studio.
Although Mr. Mills is internationally known for his speed, having been a world record holding quick draw artists, he has many other attributes than just this one. Speed was just one of many things that he covered with Mr. Parker in the time they spent together.
Mr. Mills also has more than twenty years experience working security in his nightclub in the cowboy town of Evanston, Wyoming. He worked some of the roughest years in Wyoming's history during the "Boom Years". He had to deal with some of the wildest cowboys who would often square off against each other in his nightclub. Through this, he has learned many valuable lessons first hand with people who didn't want to leave his establishment or those who just knocked out someone on the dance floor. He has hands on experience that has helped guide him as to what is realistic and practical when developing the curriculum for the A.K.K.I.
Mr. Mills has started to redefine the empty hand side of the system as well. He has developed a new curriculum based on his personal experiences in his nightclub, as well as some of what he was taught by Mr. Parker. He was taught how to move differently than how things were written in the belt manuals. In addition, this first hand knowledge helped him formulate the greater majority of the updates to the American Kenpo system.
He has developed a complete and effective club and knife system based on universally true and correct concepts and principles. In this process of developing and expanding these American Kenpo systems, he had to term new concepts and principles that he identified that were not part of the vocabulary of traditional American Kenpoists. What has been developed in the A.K.K.I. incorporates some of the additions that Mr. Parker was making prior to his death. Mr. Mills has carried on the innovation process to develop the greater majority of what is taught in the association today.
In 1997, Mr. Mills left the I.K.K.A. Mr. Mills wanted to innovate and develop the art further as well as pursue other interests. In September of 1997, the American Kenpo Karate International association was officially formed. Today he is the President of the A.K.K.I. and is a 9th Degree Black Belt. There are now over 175 schools and clubs affiliated with his association. He also serves as the Chief Examiner at all international tests and is the Chairman of the A.K.K.I.'s Board of Directors.