Elvis' Kenpo Karate Decal
Kenpo Decal on guitar
On two of Elvis' guitars he put a Kenpo Karate Decal,
his ebony Dove and his 68
J200. The symbol or "'The Parker Patch' as it is traditionally called, has become the hallmark of American Kenpo."
"The patch (from the original plates) was designed in 1960 by Dick Tercell for the Kenpo Karate Association of America
(KKAA), which was the beginning of American Kenpo.
The KKAA had been founded in 1956 by Ed Parker, the emblem used on the original certificates was a depiction of the "overhead club" technique. The first KKAA black belt certificate that used the Tercell emblem were awarded in January 1961. Ed Parker remained the head of the KKAA until 1964, when the International Kenpo Karate Association
(IKKA) was formed, and the KKAA was turned over to Ed Parker's senior black belts. While Ed loved the design of the KKAA patch, it was not his original design and he could not copyright it."*
Represents earthy strength derived during the early stages of
learning. This is the stage where the individual is impressed with his
own physical prowess.
Represents spiritual strength which comes with seasoning. This mental
attitude is attained during the individual's later years of training.
It is placed above earthly strength (as indicated and observed on the
patch) since the individual at this stage has learned to develop
humility and self-restraint.
The attitude of the Dragon is the ultimate goal of Kenpo. Armed with
this attitude an individual will not be afraid of the opponent but of
what he can do to the opponent. Thus he turns back and walks away from
an unwarranted conflict confident that he could have been the victor.
The circle is symbolic of several things:
The Dividing Lines
- It depicts life itself, a continuous cycle where there is
neither beginning nor end. So is the art of Kenpo, a cycle of
perpetual and unending movement or motion. Techniques follow a
cycle, movements are part of a cycle, physical prowess, humility
and self-restraint are no more than components of a progressive
- All moves evolve from a circle whether they are defensive or
- The circle represents the bond of friendship that should
continuously exist among Kenpo practitioners.
- The circle is the base from which our Alphabet of Motion stems.
The dividing lines in the circle represent:
- The original eighteen hand movements, directions in which the
hands can travel.
- The angles from which you or an opponent can attack or defend.
- The pattern in which the feet can move.
The various colors represent proficiency, achievement and authority.
The circle is Gray, symbolic of the brain (as in "gray
The White background is significant of the many beginners who form the
base of the Art.
Yellow & Orange represent the first level of proficiency, the
mechanical stage; the dangerous stage in learning where the student is
more impressed with the physical, who thinks he knows all of the
Brown, the color of the Tiger's eyes, represents the advance students,
though not great in number. At this level the student becomes more
observant. His eyes, like that of the Tiger, are keen, ever so
watchful and critical, always looking up to the higher levels of proficiency,
striving for perfection, preparing for the day he bears the label of
Black represents the level of expert proficiency.
Red is that of professorship over and above Black. But, as indicated
by the colors of the Dragon, there are still traces of White in the
his eye, Yellow and Orange on the his fins, Brown in the iris of his
eye, and Black in the pupils of his eye. This is to remind the
Professor that he too should always be humble and able to go back to
any level, whatever it might be, and perform the things that he
expects of others at these levels so as never to demand too much of
The Oriental Writing
This is a reminder of the originators of our Art, the Chinese. It is
in respect to them, but not that we serve them.
The lettering on the left it means Spirit of the Dragon and the Tiger,
a constant reminder that we want to attain the spiritual level and and
that the physical level is only a stepping stone or vehicle, that we
used to reach the higher or spiritual level.
The lettering to the right means Kenpo Karate; Law of the Fist and the
The top of the crest of the patch is like a roof which gives shelter
to all who are under it.
The sides are curved conversely because like the roof of a Chinese
home it is to send evil back to where it came from, whenever it tries
The bottom forms the shape of an ax, representing the executioner.
** copied in its entirety from
the Parker Kenpo Patch"