American Kenpo Karate


“Quan Fa” is Chinese for “Fist Law” it is a direct translation of “Kempo” in Japanese.

“Kempo” is Japanese for “Fist Law”

“Kenpo” is an American translation for “Kempo”. There is no difference between the two.

“Gi” is Japanese for uniform

“Dojo” is Japanese for “training hall”

Karate is two Japanese word “Kara” means “Empty” & “Te” means “hand” translation “Empty Hand”


The Bow

The bow is to show a sign of respect, and also to acknowledge and thank someone for teaching, showing, or working with you. Bowing in and out of the Dojo is just a sign of respect for your place of training. You would often see an entire class bow when the teacher/instructor would enter the dojo as a way of acknowledging their presences.

Belt Ranking System

There are many different belt ranking systems according to what style you are training in. The American Kenpo System Ranks are as followed:


  • Novice Levels
    • White
    • Yellow
    • Orange
  • Intermediate Level
    • Purple
    • Blue
    • Green
  • Advanced Level
    • 1st Degree Brown
    • 2nd Degree Brown
    • 3rd Degree Brown
  • Expert Level
    • 1st Degree Black (Junior Instructor)
    • 2nd Degree Black (Associate Instructor)
    • 3rd Degree Black (Head Instructor)
    • 4th Degree Black (Senior Instructor)
    • 5th Degree Black (Associate Professor)
    • 6th Degree Black (Professor)
    • 7th Degree Black (Senior Professor)
    • 8th Degree Black (Associate Master)
    • 9th Degree Black (Master)
    • 10th Degree Black (Senior Master of the Arts-reserved for the founder of Kenpo Ed Parker)

One could spend an entire lifetime trying to achieve 10th degree black belt


Founder of American Kenpo Karate – Ed Parker known as the “Father of American Kenpo”