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    Default Elvis Presley 9th? Comments Anyone?

    Seen on auction. Starting bid; $4000




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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 9th? Comments Anyone?

    Wonder who is selling it? Didn't think Presley estate was hurting for money
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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 9th? Comments Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by KirkS View Post
    Wonder who is selling it? Didn't think Presley estate was hurting for money
    From the auction:

    "Elvis Presley's 9th degree black belt certificate from the International Kenpo Karate Association.

    The certificate was presented to Presley on January 8, 1976, his 41st birthday. It was only recently discovered that Presley attained the 9th level degree black belt when this certificate was acquired through Presley's former girlfriend, Ginger Alden.

    Numbered 7330 and signed three times by Presley's instructor, Ed Parker. Accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Alden, who states, "Elvis' passion for the art of karate led him to tell me that he didn't want to try for a tenth degree, he said 'there's no place for me to go after that.' " Housed in a frame.


    20 3/4 by 23 inches, framed"
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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 9th? Comments Anyone?

    Apparently she has a wealth of items. Small sample.

    Attached Images Attached Images
    "Nothing is more dangerous than the conscientiously ignorant, or the sincerely stupid." - Martin Luther King Jr.

    "Knowledge speaks but wisdom listens." - Ed Parker Sr.

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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 9th? Comments Anyone?

    Today, now 40 years later if someone went from 7th to 9th in two years people would rightfully question the promotion even with all the rank inflation that has happened since then, you'd get questions about how much of a McDojo was he in. So Mr. Parker made Elvis the highest ranked guy in kenpo (besides Mr. Parker) by two ranks for what? Being popular? Sort of leads a bad taste in the mouth.
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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 9th? Comments Anyone?

    1 for the money, 2 for the show ......
    A good teacher is a master of simplification and an enemy of simplism. ~ Louis A. Berman

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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 9th? Comments Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by nelson View Post
    I used to get upset over these types of things now I realize that the matter is meaningless. Achieve your own best and never mind what claims are made by others. You might just find that there are those who.look up to you.
    "It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." If Mr. Parker made Elvis a 9th degree in Hunka-Hunka Burnin'-Fu, it has no bearing on anything I do.

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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 9th? Comments Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by kenporider View Post
    "It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." If Mr. Parker made Elvis a 9th degree in Hunka-Hunka Burnin'-Fu, it has no bearing on anything I do.
    If my instructor gave a black belt to the CEO of Starbucks because he got a big financial reward out of it and he didn't deserve it, it has bearing on my opinion of him as a martial arts instructor and his credibilty. Same reason why I don't think much of instructors who give out 40 junior black belts in a year, I think they are exchanging promotions for money.

    Why is this any different? Because it was Mr. Parker? Does it impact me? Nope, not in the slightest, it just degrades my opinion of Mr. Parker which is unfortunate.
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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 9th? Comments Anyone?

    On the other hand, how many 9 th and 10 th degree kenpo guys are out there who are less skillful than Elvis was?
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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 9th? Comments Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blindside View Post
    If my instructor gave a black belt to the CEO of Starbucks because he got a big financial reward out of it and he didn't deserve it, it has bearing on my opinion of him as a martial arts instructor and his credibilty. Same reason why I don't think much of instructors who give out 40 junior black belts in a year, I think they are exchanging promotions for money.

    Why is this any different? Because it was Mr. Parker? Does it impact me? Nope, not in the slightest, it just degrades my opinion of Mr. Parker which is unfortunate.
    Look at it from the other side. Mr. Parker had a business to run. If stroking Elvis' ego helped gain him global market penetration, he'd be a fool not to. I think any of his personal students would readily recognize that and think none the less of him for it.

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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 9th? Comments Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkC View Post
    On the other hand, how many 9 th and 10 th degree kenpo guys are out there who are less skillful than Elvis was?
    Oh sure now it is a joke, today Elvis would be something like the 335th 9th degree in the AK hierarchy, but in '76 he would be the first probably by a long shot. How many 7ths were there in the AK hierarchy at that point? Five?
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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 9th? Comments Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blindside View Post
    Today, now 40 years later if someone went from 7th to 9th in two years people would rightfully question the promotion even with all the rank inflation that has happened since then, you'd get questions about how much of a McDojo was he in. So Mr. Parker made Elvis the highest ranked guy in kenpo (besides Mr. Parker) by two ranks for what? Being popular? Sort of leads a bad taste in the mouth.
    If you could slap your business logo on the guitar of the biggest rock star in the world, you might buy yourself some Binaca.
    Also Mastering Tsing Tao.

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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 9th? Comments Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blindside View Post
    If my instructor gave a black belt to the CEO of Starbucks because he got a big financial reward out of it and he didn't deserve it, it has bearing on my opinion of him as a martial arts instructor and his credibilty. Same reason why I don't think much of instructors who give out 40 junior black belts in a year, I think they are exchanging promotions for money.

    Why is this any different? Because it was Mr. Parker? Does it impact me? Nope, not in the slightest, it just degrades my opinion of Mr. Parker which is unfortunate.
    From what I understand, Elvis earned a legitimate blackbelt from Hank Slamanski (sp?) As to his 9th degree, I guess it all matters in the context of how it was given. For example, many colleges/universities bestow "Honorary Doctorates" on famous alumni or large donors/beneficiaries to recognize them. No one mistakes the honorary degree and starts calling them a "doctor". I think if the 9th degree is given in the same manner as an honorary belt and that is how it is presented, then I have no issues with it.

    That being said, I know of MANY arts (including many traditional arts) that would jump mucho rank when sending an instructor to the US. It isn't just kenpo that has given higher ranks to it's instructors for spreading the art in it's early days.
    "For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer."

    Romans 13:4

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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 9th? Comments Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by punisher73 View Post
    From what I understand, Elvis earned a legitimate blackbelt from Hank Slamanski (sp?) As to his 9th degree, I guess it all matters in the context of how it was given. For example, many colleges/universities bestow "Honorary Doctorates" on famous alumni or large donors/beneficiaries to recognize them. No one mistakes the honorary degree and starts calling them a "doctor". I think if the 9th degree is given in the same manner as an honorary belt and that is how it is presented, then I have no issues with it.

    That being said, I know of MANY arts (including many traditional arts) that would jump mucho rank when sending an instructor to the US. It isn't just kenpo that has given higher ranks to it's instructors for spreading the art in it's early days.
    You know, you've really been on my case recently and seem to consistently steal my thunder. Give a guy a break will you please.

    In all seriousness there was a point where I sat where Blindside is. Mr. Parker and I had our disagreements that were significant enough that I stopped sitting on "testing" boards because of it. In short, from the seventies on I never saw anyone fail no matter how bad they were. Kenpo became consumed by "commercialism" on one level and it was literally out-of-control and couldn't be reigned in without throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The original concept was sound, but was clearly rooted in the commercialism that demands compromise and promotion to remain viable. Obviously this impacts quality significantly.

    In the Tony Martinez Test Video floating around posted on the Kenpo History Channel, Mr. Parker took a moment to single me out sitting on the panel and tell the testers, "When I sit on on Mr. Chapél's test, his student really earn it." Then he went on to take responsibility for not being more definitive in what is required for testers, passed everyone, and then said, "From now on testing is going to be more strict." This was in part because of an ongoing conversation and dialog Mr. Parker and I were having about the quality of the product being produced.

    At the end of the day, as I've gotten in trouble for saying before, It is what it is. Kenpo Karate is a commercial product designed by Mr. Parker. That doesn't mean that there aren't some really good people out there, but most of them have experience in other arts that makes their "kenpo" experience work. Kenpo Karate does what it is supposed to do when teachers do their job. When they don't, you know what you get. But up front, its a business and business requires "promotion" in many forms.

    In the end I made peace with Mr. Parker because he explained what he was doing and, and why he did what he did. He was right and in the end I was always on the outside looking in from a different perspective. I didn't teach "Kenpo Karate" as others did, and never have. I wanted the strict protocols of learning that I started with and Mr. Parker knew what they were, but it just wasn't possible. I loved the man dearly but he had a business to run and a family to feed. I've heard people criticize Mr. Parker who would never have heard of kenpo Karate if not for him, so at the end of the day, what he did was a good thing. What others have done with it, is another story.

    As for the Elvis question, I don't denigrate his diploma because it looks just like mine, given to him by my teacher. Whom and I to question his motives? And while Elvis helped promote and spread Kenpo Karate, no one could ever say Elvis promoted one lousy black belt.
    Last edited by Doc; 04-23-2015 at 09:15 PM.
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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 9th? Comments Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc View Post
    You know, you've really been on my case recently and seem to consistently steal my thunder. Give a guy a break will you please.

    In all seriousness there was a point where I sat where Blindside is. Mr. Parker and I had our disagreements that were significant enough that I stopped sitting on "testing" boards because of it. In short, from the seventies on I never saw anyone fail no matter how bad they were. Kenpo became consumed by "commercialism" on one level and it was literally out-of-control and couldn't be reigned in without throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The original concept was sound, but was clearly rooted in the commercialism that demands compromise and promotion to remain viable. Obviously this impacts quality significantly.

    In the Tony Martinez Test Video floating around posted on the Kenpo History Channel, Mr. Parker took a moment to single me out sitting on the panel and tell the testers, "When I sit on on Mr. Chapél's test, his student really earn it." Then he went on to take responsibility for not being more definitive in what is required for testers, passed everyone, and then said, "From now on testing is going to be more strict." This was in part because of an ongoing conversation and dialog Mr. Parker and I were having about the quality of the product being produced.

    At the end of the day, as I've gotten in trouble for saying before, It is what it is. Kenpo Karate is a commercial product designed by Mr. Parker. That doesn't mean that there aren't some really good people out there, but most of them have experience in other arts that makes their "kenpo" experience work. Kenpo Karate does what it is supposed to do when teachers do their job. When they don't, you know what you get. But up front, its a business and business requires "promotion" in many forms.

    In the end I made peace with Mr. Parker because he explained what he was doing and, and why he did what he did. He was right and in the end I was always on the outside looking in from a different perspective. I didn't teach "Kenpo Karate" as others did, and never have. I wanted the strict protocols of learning that I started with and Mr. Parker knew what they were, but it just wasn't possible. I loved the man dearly but he had a business to run and a family to feed. I've heard people criticize Mr. Parker who would never have heard of kenpo Karate if not for him, so at the end of the day, what he did was a good thing. What others have done with it, is another story.

    As for the Elvis question, I don't denigrate his diploma because it looks just like mine, given to him by my teacher. Whom and I to question his motives? And while Elvis helped promote and spread Kenpo Karate, no one could ever say Elvis promoted one lousy black belt.
    Sorry, I'll have to try to post something really historically inaccurate so you will have to come on and give the true history of it.
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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 9th? Comments Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by punisher73 View Post
    Sorry, I'll have to try to post something really historically inaccurate so you will have to come on and give the true history of it.
    I would appreciate it sir.
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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 9th? Comments Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc View Post
    I would appreciate it sir.
    I got this one.

    So, DOC, what you're saying is that though you were promoted just as Elvis was, then there was in fact no discrimination of belt promotion with space aliens? Everyone knows Elvis was an alien and the 9th degree belt was nothing more than an intergalactic treaty peace offering orchestrated by Mr. Parker.

    Think about it... Elvis in the spangly outfit.... Crash at Rosswell..... Coincidence? I THINK NOT!!!!!!

    OK DOC... spin your way out of this one!!!!!!

    sigh... yep... conference day two...

    buNny, thE
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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 9th? Comments Anyone?

    "Elvis isn't dead, he just went home."
    Be careful what you say, some may take it the wrong way.

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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 9th? Comments Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrBunny View Post
    I got this one.

    So, DOC, what you're saying is that though you were promoted just as Elvis was, then there was in fact no discrimination of belt promotion with space aliens? Everyone knows Elvis was an alien and the 9th degree belt was nothing more than an intergalactic treaty peace offering orchestrated by Mr. Parker.

    Think about it... Elvis in the spangly outfit.... Crash at Rosswell..... Coincidence? I THINK NOT!!!!!!

    OK DOC... spin your way out of this one!!!!!!

    sigh... yep... conference day two...

    buNny, thE
    I had no idea the extent of just how bored you really are - until now.
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    Default Re: Elvis Presley 9th? Comments Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by kenporider View Post
    Look at it from the other side. Mr. Parker had a business to run. If stroking Elvis' ego helped gain him global market penetration, he'd be a fool not to. I think any of his personal students would readily recognize that and think none the less of him for it.
    While you have a valid point here, if you accept this then you must also accept it in every other case, every other instructor who gives out questionable promotions in order to keep the business afloat. Suddenly there are no mcdojos anymore, if it is a business decision then it's ok to do. If you make an exception for Mr Parker in his promotion of Elvis you need to be willing to make the same exception for anyone and everyone else who does the same thing.
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