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Thread: Elvis Presley 8th Dan under Parker?

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    nelson is offline
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    Default Elvis Presley 8th Dan under Parker?

    Dear Kenpo brothers and sisters:

    I've heard the story of Ed Parker's connection with Elvis for years.
    I've also heard that Parker promoted Elvis to a high rank. In a book that I'm reading called "Bruce Lee, Fighting Spirit" the author Bruce Thomas claimed that EP promoted Elvis to 8th Dan! He also claimed that EP got 50 grand and a new cadilac for the promotion! In fairness to EP Elvis was also reported to have "purchased" a 7th Dan in TKD for about the same amount.

    How much of this story is true? Did anyone ever question the old man as to why he would do such a thing? How badly did this incident damage EP's credibility and standing in the arts? Was Elvis a "honorary" BB or the real thing?

    Back to the book, the book seems to portray Bruce Lee's life quite accurately for what I've been able to determine so far. Has anyone else read this account of BL's life? Are their any other biographies out there worth reading?

    One interesting note, supposedly Elvis's wife Priscilla was trained by Bob Wall and Chuck Norris. She was promoted to Green belt and was reportably able to kick Elvis's fat behind up one side of the block and down the other. Has amyone else heard or read about this?

    Nelson

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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 8th Dan under Parker?

    Greetings.

    In several martial arts styles, 8th dan is given to "important" people to the art regardless of skill.

    It is known that Elvis Presley had some skills and earned a black belt.

    Thisngs to consider.

    Juan M. Mercado

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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 8th Dan under Parker?

    I'm told by one of Mr. Parker's students that Elvis was roughly a very good 1st degree. Take it for what its worth.

    Cheers,

    Steven Brown
    UKF

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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 8th Dan under Parker?

    Dear Kenpo brothers and sisters:

    I did not start this thread to "diss" Mr. Parker. To be honest I was disappointed to learn of this promotion by Elvis. I realize that EP was far from being a saint although there are some on this forum which appear to
    have shrines built in their homes and dojo's.

    Is this part of the bad vibes that came about when EP "went Hollywood?"

    Is there a EP lineage that could clear up the actual promotional status of Elvis? Was EP ever asked about this matter?

    Nelson

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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 8th Dan under Parker?

    I believe Kang Rhee was his 1st instructor and Elvis found SGM Parker after hearing about a "Karate" demo near where he was preforming. He went to see it and it was SGM Parker. At that time they became friends and shortly after SGM Parker became head of security for Elvis.

    There are many times that some of the high rank belts are political ... example: what you have done for the art.

    Elvis by his house hold name and putting the IKKA Crest on his guitar did bring more interest into our system.

    Thanks. I am sure others know much more of this to fill in.
    PARKER - HERMAN - SECK

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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 8th Dan under Parker?

    Every time this topic comes up......nevermind....

    In Memories of Ed Parker (you know that book about his life written by Mrs. Parker ) Mr. Parker is quoted and specifically states (I'm paraphrasing as I don't have my copy right in front of me) "Elvis was a very good black belt, it was NOT honorary".

    That's enough for me...
    James Hawkins III, SI
    Hawkins Martial Arts
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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 8th Dan under Parker?

    Quote Originally Posted by KenpoJuJitsu3 View Post
    Every time this topic comes up......nevermind....

    In Memories of Ed Parker (you know that book about his life written by Mrs. Parker ) Mr. Parker is quoted and specifically states (I'm paraphrasing as I don't have my copy right in front of me) "Elvis was a very good black belt, it was NOT honorary".

    That's enough for me...
    Every time this topic comes up it makes SGM Parker look bad. It should. Its like a Wesley Snipes getting a pop to 5th because he puts on a martial arts demo as part of his PR campgaign for his Blade movies. Of course its honorary, do you really think Elvis was better than any of the 7ths Parker promoted? Same thing as a University giving an honorary Ph.Ds (which I think is stupid) to a politician or celebrity, I guess a big thank you card just isn't enough.

    Lamont
    Pekiti Tirsia Kali and Kenpo Karate
    www.blackbirdmartialarts.com

    “He, who will not reason, is a bigot; he, who cannot, is a fool; and he, who dares not, is a slave.”
    ~William Drummond

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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 8th Dan under Parker?

    From what I remember Doc Chapel telling me, and have read elsewhere, I believe Elvis earned a 5th. EARNED. Later was awarded an honorary 8th.

    Elvis had previously studied karate in the Army and I think might have also been a BB under a notoriously hard-core instructor from Tennessee, someone he met in the Army. (However I only read that on the internet, I'm sure you can find that too if you google it enough)

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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 8th Dan under Parker?

    David I believe the hardcore instructor you're referring to was Hank Slomanski (Slomansky?) .
    ~ Steve Zalazowski
    Continuing Student of the Arts.

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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 8th Dan under Parker?

    Elvis studied Karate while in the Army. Elvis studied with and was friends wth Ed Parker. Elvis dedicated time and money amongst other things promoting Kenpo specifically. Regardless of skill, he definately contributed much to promoting the art(s). 'nuff said.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 8th Dan under Parker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler View Post
    Elvis studied Karate while in the Army. Elvis studied with and was friends wth Ed Parker. Elvis dedicated time and money amongst other things promoting Kenpo specifically. Regardless of skill, he definately contributed much to promoting the art(s). 'nuff said.
    Keep Preaching. People obviously don't know the history and meaning of the various degrees of rank historically. It has very LITTLE to do with skill after a certain point. But some will just never get it...
    James Hawkins III, SI
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    http://www.youtube.com/user/kenpojujitsu3

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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 8th Dan under Parker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blindside View Post
    Every time this topic comes up it makes SGM Parker look bad. It should. Its like a Wesley Snipes getting a pop to 5th because he puts on a martial arts demo as part of his PR campgaign for his Blade movies. Of course its honorary, do you really think Elvis was better than any of the 7ths Parker promoted? Same thing as a University giving an honorary Ph.Ds (which I think is stupid) to a politician or celebrity, I guess a big thank you card just isn't enough.

    Lamont

    I implore you to look up the history of the "degree" system with regards to rank. Hint: It was not skill based. It may change your perception, or it may not.

    Besides the man said it himself "it was NOT honorary". If you think he lied about that, how much in his Kenpo is one big lie or joke then?
    James Hawkins III, SI
    Hawkins Martial Arts
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    http://www.youtube.com/user/kenpojujitsu3

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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 8th Dan under Parker?

    Quote Originally Posted by profesormental View Post
    In several martial arts styles, 8th dan is given to "important" people to the art regardless of skill.


    Juan M. Mercado
    I'm not doubting you, and I am not referring to Elvis, but the above is utterly rediculous don't you think?
    I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
    (Phillipians 4:13)


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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 8th Dan under Parker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blindside View Post
    Of course its honorary, do you really think Elvis was better than any of the 7ths Parker promoted? Lamont
    Nope.
    I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
    (Phillipians 4:13)


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    Ray
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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 8th Dan under Parker?

    Quote Originally Posted by nelson View Post
    To be honest I was disappointed to learn of this promotion by Elvis.
    Why were you disappointed? What do you know personally about the man? I don't know nothing about him either, but I'm not disappointed that he was promoted...kind of makes me feel good.

    And did you know Parker, whether he was a saint or not? And what do you suppose a saint is? Can we talk about Peter the Apostle, some think he's a saint yet he denied his Lord and Savior 3 times.

    For me, the evaluation of others (who aren't my students) is best left to those who are exactly in the place to evaluate.

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    nelson is offline
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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 8th Dan under Parker?

    Dear Kenpo brothers and sisters:

    I expected my questions would set off a bit of a fuss but not quite a firestorm!

    I was asked about "political" promotions and I am happy to answer that question. I think that it is bs pure and simple. Politcal promotions lower the standards of the arts for everyone and cast disrespect on us all.
    I don't care what insigna a rock star wears on his guitar by the way.

    Do I believe that Elvis EARNED a 5th Dan under EP? No way! I think the idea in itself it totally absurd! Elvis was gobbling cheesburgers and Demerol's at that time of his life and certainly could not possibly have meet the stringent requirements for a 5th Dan. We have some legit EP and Tracy 5th Dans on this site. I wonder what there feelings are on this issue?

    I know what EP's wife was reported to have said is in EP's biography.
    What do you expect her to say by the way? You don't look for the truth by asking the wife of the person in question.

    Nelson Kari

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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 8th Dan under Parker?

    From http://www.mararts.org/articles/standards.shtml


    "In Japan in 1963, a leader gave two million dollars to the Kodokan and was immediately made 8th Degree. That rank (Hachidan-8th Degree) is called, "Important person of Judo," and believe me, anyone who gives millions is certainly important, so that rank is very valid."

    From http://www.mararts.org/articles/ranks.shtml

    National Leaders. 8th Degree Black Belts are "National Leaders," or "Important People" of the Martial Arts. They are often called "Hanshi."

    High dan ranks are also awarded for contributions to the art. Note that it says "a leader" on the quote.

    To me ranks higher than 3rd degree (or 5th degree in some systems) that have no set standards are for organizational purposes, since there are no set standard teaching liscences in kenpo, as in jujitsu and karate:

    Teacher is at 5th and 6th degree, and awarded a "Renshi" teaching title. 7th and 8th degrees usually have the "Shihan" title,
    which is the Master Teacher. Higher would be the "Hanshi" title, or Grand Master Teacher. The liscences are not fully dependent on degree. Yet a teacher with his own school should have the "renshi" title at least.

    Not that I agree wholeheartedly with this, yet this is how it is in many Japanese/Okinawan systems, with some variation.

    As for honorary doctorates, they are given to people that have contributed significantly to the field... as you have to do in making a thesis... which would grant you the doctorate anyway. So it is still valid in my eyes.

    Most people know your skill level from seeing you and feeling you execute. The ranks and titles are political positions for organizations that orquestrate the promoting of the arts... or so it should, right?

    The more you contribute, the higher you're regarded, the higher your rank. Again, many times it is independent of your personal martial skill. Yet it is dependent on your promotional, marketing and teaching skills. Or not.

    Guess I just ranted away. Hope my rant contributes to the discussion.

    Juan M. Mercado

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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 8th Dan under Parker?

    "In Japan in 1963, a leader gave two million dollars to the Kodokan and was immediately made 8th Degree. That rank (Hachidan-8th Degree) is called, "Important person of Judo," and believe me, anyone who gives millions is certainly important, so that rank is very valid."
    Oh good, now we can justify selling rank, 'cause Judo did it.

    Quote Originally Posted by profesormental View Post

    As for honorary doctorates, they are given to people that have contributed significantly to the field... as you have to do in making a thesis... which would grant you the doctorate anyway. So it is still valid in my eyes.
    George W. Bush was granted a doctorate of Laws by Yale. Would you say he has contributed significantly to the field of Law?
    Pekiti Tirsia Kali and Kenpo Karate
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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 8th Dan under Parker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blindside View Post
    George W. Bush was granted a doctorate of Laws by Yale. Would you say he has contributed significantly to the field of Law?
    I would say he contributed to something and it wasn't law or politics. LOL.
    "To hear is to doubt. To see is to be deceived. But to feel is to believe." -- SGM Ed Parker

    "Sic vis pacem parabellum - If you want peace, prepare for war." -- "The Punisher"


    "Praying Mantis, very good. . . For catching bugs." --Jackie Chan

    "A horse stance is great for taking a dump" --Jet Li

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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 8th Dan under Parker?

    Greetings.

    "Oh good, now we can justify selling rank, 'cause Judo did it."
    Well, the designation for Important people or National leaders is 8th degree in Judo, so there you go. People have been doing it for quite a while and will continue to do so... and the buyers and sellers are happy... it doesn't affect me or my training, and it never will.

    And yes Dubya Bush has contributed a lot. He and his staff have found so many ways to do as they please with the Laws that many presedents have been recorded. Also, they must've given a lot of money to Yale, which uses it to do research or whatever they need.

    I don't know the details anyway so I can't comment much. Yet there are well deserved Honorary Doctorates... which is the Highest degree and Honor an Education Institution can give...

    Oh.. wait! Aren't martial arts organizations educational institutions... and what degrees do they bestow...? Well, Dan ranks!!

    All in all, when you think about it... it really doesn't affect you, your school or your students... exept if you make it important... while what is really important for me is the training and aquisition of skill. This has been my point in my posts here.

    Anyway, I wasn't there, and they both have passed away. I am argumenting using the information available to me. I'm sure someone that was there can contribute and give more information. Or not.

    Enjoy!

    Juan M. Mercado

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