The Heretic of Kenpo
A man can never have enough tools.
So what is the rationale behind the direction of my life focus?
After my dad was no longer here I began to research alternatives to my dad's system of American Kenpo. In the early days of my research and development I started calling what I was doing “passive kenpo.” It went over like a lead balloon.
I was emotionally tarred and feathered for the suggestion and the direction.
This was when I became known as the “Heretic of Kenpo.”
I was young and naive. I thought my idea would be understood and respected. I was wrong. I was the new Benedict Arnold to my dad’s system, or so they said. Even my siblings felt so. I have pushed forward against the tide of criticism as that is my nature. Reminds of my dad’s nature.
So I took a step back and looked at my idea from a distance macroscopically.
This was my head. My dad embedded within me a need to look for new angles and discover the undiscovered. It was from his head to mine. When my dad was in town, we talked for hours each day about how to present his ideas to his following and we worked together an ungodly amount of hours in his laboratory, searching for the best possible way to present his mindset and vision. He was a perfectionist after all. So am I. Just look at my artwork and that becomes obvious.
It was imperative that I get inside my dad’s head and understand what he envisioned. It was a magical time for me.
In the early 1980’s my dad cut short my personal life quest when he called me in Hawaii and asked me to leave my dream job on the Hollywood set of Magnum PI. He told me that he needed me to document his life work back home in Pasadena, California.
It was my dad's belief that he was going to die.
So I chose to return home and join my dad in his quest. I had nearly a decade working at my dad’s side before he died for which I am forever grateful.
My dad said often,"my son is my right hand, my wife is my left, which foot would you like to be?"
My dad didn’t just listen to me, he had me help him by illustrating, designing, and publishing, along with applying many of the ideas I presented to him in his system.
He called me to his side because of the unique talents and skills that I had developed in my extensive education and training as an illustrator and artist. He mined my thoughts and ideas like a drill sergeant and he knew that I was fluent in the kenpo world language, visuals, and concepts. The unique talents and gifts my dad and I had naturally merged in the last decade of Ed Parker Sr.’s life as he also learned a lot of tools from my trade.
My dad's focus was to go microscopic with the base altercation.
My focus was to go macroscopic with his research because no one else was entertaining that angle.
My dad made me a pioneer because he was a pioneer. Ed Parker Sr. lived and breathed innovations and ideas, then he put them all in categories.
I deeply believe that my dad is proud of me because I followed the path of rebel and innovator that he cut. When I was 19 years old I drew a picture of my dad which sold 50,000 copies and distributed internationally. My dad would be the first to say that I am far more of a mind than someone who just paints pretty pictures.
When my dad was gone I had to walk a solitary and uphill journey. I walked the journey alone but hundreds of my dad's offspring influenced me. After my dad died, I did private and public training with three of my dad’s students; Frank Trejo, Huk Planas, and Ron Chap’el, also known as ‘Doc.’
Doc was one of my greatest influences. He was in law enforcement and the years of our real life training opportunities together is something I will forever cherish.
I was also influenced by the Russian Art Systema as I did training with Vladimir Vasiliev, Martin Wheeler, and Frank Fileti. Martin and Frank were kenpoists at first and they introduced me to Vladimir.
For close to a decade I had a teacher to student, student to teacher training relationship with
Frank Soto in which I will forever be grateful for the lessons shared.
I lived a Forest Gump type lifestyle for three decades in the martial arts world taking the best of each martial art style I was exposed to whether it be the Chinese, Japanese, Filipino arts or many other arts from masters around the world, all in single service private lessons. It was a LOT of information and training for my mind to digest.
Always in the back of my mind was my dad’s voice drilling into my head that discoveries come from something as simple as asking “what if?”
It was my dad who taught me about opposites and reverses. My dad taught me to get my mind out of the box. He taught me not to get caught up in routine. My dad showed me how to expand my mind and point of view.
With my dad gone I was left with one option:
Play off the opposite angle.
So the inevitable happened. I asked myself what is the opposite option for aggressive solutions?
According to the laws of the universe there is direction and redirection, action and reaction.
Passive is not a word that the martial arts world relates to. So what. Pick a word you like.
The science, physics, and kinetics are all there. Let’s just go with the concept of a combative self defense and a non-combative self defense. It is a reasonable quest.
The questions I pondered:
1. How much attention does the free press give self defense in today’s world?
2. What is the opposite of Martial Arts?
3. Where did the name Martial Arts come from?
4. Is there a Roman god of peace?
5. What is the philosophy of martial arts?
6. Can an alternative to the martial arts solution be discovered providing a win/win outcome?
1. Martial arts was played to death in the 1970’s. I don’t see much access to the free press. They have other agendas.
2. Nothing that I found within my research.
3. The god of war, Mars, was the inspiration for the name martial arts.
4. Yes, her name was Pax. She was the Roman Goddess of Peace.
5. The philosophy of martial arts is a win/lose philosophy.
There is plenty of resistance to talk of my creation of the Paxtial Arts. Those outside the martial arts world in areas of education, the medical industry, peacekeepers of all kinds, veterans, and families seeking a peaceable life are just a small list of those excited about this movement.
There are greater numbers of those interested in new and innovative ideas for self defense that is peaceful than those who are not interested. Detractors of great and culture changing ideas have always been there and they always will be, but that never stops a great idea rooted in universal truths.
It was all there in my dad’s notes; discoveries that he did not have time to make. He told me before he died that his category named “other” was there in opposites and reverse. My dad told me that this category was for me to work and find discoveries in.
Well, I did.
The perfect people to learn and teach this system are martial artists, but to train in it one has to adopt the philosophy of a win/win within the training. A win/win outcome is a very difficult challenge to present to a martial artist philosophically although I have seen the exuberance and excitement that is a natural response when those who have experienced the Paxtial Arts training experience first hand that it is a science and it does work. It has been described as an “out of body experience."
This is the natural evolution of the art of self defense.
My dad’s book Infinite Insights Into Kenpo states in the first chapter;
“a mind is like unto a parachute — it only works when it is open”
along with the great Chinese Taoist philosopher Chuan Tzu’s quote;
"Never be like the frog at the bottom of the well who when looking up at the sky thinks that the sky he sees is all there is to heaven.”
In Ed Parker's Infinite Insights Into Kenpo, Mental Stimulation; the closing paragraph of book one, chapter one, page 6 - my dad states:
"Do not discard any subject until you have made an honest, conscientious, and diligent attempt to incorporate it. REPEATED ADVICE - never discard knowledge that is not applicable to you, but store it. The day may come when that knowledge could be taught to someone who can apply it; who knows - that individual may be your own child.”
So to those who quote my dad often, what say you? Can you make an honest conscientious and diligent attempt to look at what Ed Parker’s son discovered during the thousands of hours that I spent looking through the eyes of my dad and recording his vision?
I am not telling you to incorporate it. I am asking you to look at it and consider that it is knowledge with added tools that you can incorporate into your own craft and business. Tools that can bring more revenue into your schools. Tools that can be used so that your children and grandchildren’s future might find balance in the whole coin, considering that there are two sides to this craft of self defense according to the universal laws of physics, anatomy, and science.
There is a solid reason that the public school system in several states is interested in incorporating the Paxtial Arts Formula.
It really is a win/win and martial artists really are the only ones who logically should deliver this culture changing and educational key to evolution and progression of self defense.
So I give you my permission to quote me, Ed Parker Sr.’s only son, the Heretic of Kenpo...
We can never have enough tools.
Ed & Baer Parker