December 15 is a special day in the Kenpo karate community. On that day in 1990 Senior Grandmaster Ed Parker, founder of American Kenpo, passed away. He could be (is) considered one of the fathers are American martial arts. His contribution to the modern karate community is unquestioned.
Never having the pleasure to meet Mr. Parker, I soak up the stories from those who did have a chance to know and train with him like a sponge. By all accounts, he was quite a character. 21 years removed, he is still a revered icon in many of the circles I travel. Though, Mr Parker doesn’t know me, he’s given me one of the best gifts I’ve ever received: time.
Time spent as a boy training in Kenpo alongside my dad.
Time practicing, sweating, and bleeding with old friends and new.
Most importantly, time spent with my daughters walking the path of Kenpo together.
I can never repay this gift Mr. Parker has given to me. My only hope is to pass it along to others as graciously has he did to me.
One day I will meet Mr. Parker and when I do, he’ll get a full salute and a big hug.