Modern Kung fu

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Ed Parker’s Kenpo VS Modern Kung Fu

Ed Parker (March 19, 1931–December 15, 1990) was an American martial artist and teacher. He is perhaps most famous as the founder of American Kenpo.

Parker was born in Hawaii and raised a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He began his training in the martial arts at a young age in judo and later boxing. Some time in the 1940s, Ed Parker was first introduced to Kenpo by Frank Chow. After some time Frank Chow introduced Ed Parker to William K. S. Chow. Mr. Parker trained with William Chow, while serving in the Coast Guard and attending Brigham Young University. In 1953 that he was promoted to the rank of black belt by William K.S. Chow.

By 1956, Mr. Parker opened his Dojo in Pasadena, California. His first black belt student was Charles Beeder. The other black belts in chronological order up to 1962 were: James Ibrao, Rich Montgomery, Rick Flores, Al and Jim Tracy of Tracy Kenpo, Chuck Sullivan, John McSweeney, and Dave Hebler. In 1962 one of Mr. Parker’s black belts, John McSweeney, opened a school in Ireland, which enabled Mr. Parker to create the International Kenpo Karate Association.

Devin And Ed Parker

Devin And Ed Parker

Devin Willis was raised in South Pasadena and Pasadena, California. a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mr.Willis’s Family and The Parker family have known each other for years, starting as a little boy and then gowing into a man. He knew Mr Parker , simply as Brother Parker and had the fortune of discussing the martial arts and self defense. Mr Willis knew Ed Parker Jr and Sister Parker and loved the family.

One of the reasons I had to leave Devin because of his religion of Mormonism, His Instructor Don Neal was a Lay Pastor and my current instructor is also a Christian(what is a Christian?.)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


May 20, 2007 - Posted by | American Kenpo., devin willis, ed parker, History of Modern kung fu, Mormon, systems used | , , ,


  1. Did you find in your reserch all the MKF instructors to be Mormons?

    Comment by PhilJ | June 12, 2007 | Reply

  2. I am currently a Gracie Jiu Jitsu Black Belt . I first met DEvin Willis in a challenge match with set up by my cousin who was also,progressing in BJJ . I was a Blue Belt at the time. We had already beat one of his instructors although I heard gorge? was not a good one or was not an Instructor..

    Anyhow we started out I could not apply the moves that I thought I would get, he seemed to throw “the timing” off . Devin somehow clinched, took me down I immediately went for a rear naked choke, but he turns into and dumps me down to the ground I hit my head and the next thing I know my,arms pinned hard under knees,looking up helpless at Devin I felt so humiliated and helpless … But He stopped and helped me up and said how empressed he had been. I will always remember that as the best and worst day of my life

    Comment by Raul Garcia | June 20, 2007 | Reply

  3. When I was training in america in about 1985 . I met Devin Willis at the Mormon Church In Pasadena . I did train with him and this kid was amazing, but my love was Kenpo and I was training at the Parker school in Pasadena.

    I know Devin would be at the Parker home visting sheri Parker and Mr Parker would talk from time to time. I also, heard Devin took Kenpo from one of Brother Parkers Black belts and was very good Kenpo practitioner .

    I AM a 4th Degree Black Belt in American Kenpo, and is primarily affiliated with the WKKA. living now in London and wanted to say interesting blog

    Comment by Kenpo Man | July 28, 2007 | Reply

  4. I new Sister and Bro. Parker. And yes the Willis and the Parkers kenew each other for many years!

    Comment by Mitch | July 14, 2008 | Reply

  5. Brother Parker was a good man!

    Comment by Mitch | July 14, 2008 | Reply


    Someone e-maied me andsaid Devin now works for a company named prosper learning I want to train with him Please anyone help

    E-mail me

    Comment by Mitch | July 14, 2008 | Reply

  7. Never mind I found him on -

    Comment by Mitch | July 14, 2008 | Reply

  8. Ethan Willis E-strengths assessment can help with becominga better teacher as well

    Comment by MKF KING | July 26, 2008 | Reply

  9. Devin Willis seems like a cool dude!

    Comment by kenpo Joe | October 20, 2008 | Reply

  10. Devin willis and Ed Parker both were Mormon. Both Modern Kung Fu and Kenpo became Mormon Arts

    Comment by Mormon Martial Arts | October 20, 2008 | Reply

  11. If you’ve read the Infinite Insights books that Ed Parker wrote you can see the influence his faith had on his practice of the art. (You can still find copies on ebay.)

    I have read those books at Devin’s suggestion. I found parallels from the books Mormonism staggering it made me sick ! Devin Willis’ teachings of Modern Kung Fu has many of the same principals as American Kenpo.
    For more check outMormon Martial Arts :The Ed Parker Story from Utah Gothic. The fact is that Mr Willis was a devout Mormon and that his religion shaped the image of his teachings forced me to leave and find a MKF Instructor that was Christian



    Comment by Chris | August 5, 2009 | Reply

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