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CONTACT: Kenpo

Kenpo Karate - Other Black Belts

by
Will Tracy
3/8/97
(revised 1/11/98)
(second revision 9/7/99)


Some of Ed Parker's later black belts have complained that they are not mentioned on this site. But this is kenpokarate.com, and none of those later students were awarded Shodan in Kenpo Karate. They were Ed Parker black belts after Ed Parker changed Kenpo Karate into his own systems of Kenpo. However, there is no black belt rank in Kenpo Karate. Kenpo Karate only awards Dan ranks with Shodan being the first Dan rank.
Some of these men have openly rejected the order in which Ed Parker promoted his first black belts and have set themselves up ahead of those who were actually promoted before them. Some put Rich Montgomery before James Ibrao. This is a small matter, but none of the redactors of Kenpo history was present at the time, and their arguments are based on what others who were not there say.
Some leave Ed Tibayan (mispelled Tibian), All Tracy or Jim Tracy off the order of promotion. Unfortunately for those critics, all of Ed Parker's original Shodans are still alive and all agree with the belt order on this site.
On black belt claims he was promoted to black belt in the fall of 1962 and has a picture of me (Will Tracy) at his promotion. The problem is, I was not in Los Angeles at any time between June 1962 and February 1963 - but I am indeed in the picture. He is not wrong about the promotion, but he is wrong on the date. In 1966 his profile appeared in Black Belt Magazine, which states, "He was promoted to 1st Degree in Karate in 1963 and is now the assistant instructor at the Hq. of the International Kenpo Karate Ass'n., 1713 E. Walnut St. Pasadena, Calif."
There is no reason to mention any of these people, as this site is dedicated to Kenpo Karate, and is not designed to promote any particular offshoot of Ed Parker's various systems after Traditional Kenpo, and there is no accurate record of when most were promoted after John McSweeney in the fall of 1962.
The order given on this site is the actual order in which Ed Parker promoted black belts in the Kenpo Karate Association of America.
James Ibrao
Rich Montgomery
Ralph Castro
Rick Flores
Ed Tibayan (mispelled Tibian)
All Tracy
James Tracy
John McSweeney
All of these men are listed in Ed Parkers 1982 list of black belts as having received their Shodan ranks directly from Ed Parker. Rich Montgomery, Rick Flores and Ed Tibayan (mispelled Tibian) all left Ed Parker in 1961. James Ibrao left sometime after that, although he states that he never really left Ed, he just continued training under James Wing Woo, and never returned to Ed.
Ed Parker never awarded any other Shodan rank during this period; and, it is impossible for anyone claiming promotion in 1962 to have been promoted before these men. Or in other words, anyone claiming promotion by Ed Parker in 1962 would have to have been Ed Parker's eighth (8th) or even less senior black belt.
©1996, 1999, 2006, 2015 by W. Tracy. All rights reserved. No portion may be reproduced without permission. The Law Offices of Michael Tracy.

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