Ed Parker’s American Kenpo Curriculum


Here you will find the American Kenpo curriculum exactly as Ed Parker left it.  The requirements were laid out by Senior Grandmaster Parker in  a very specific order.  To ensure there was no doubt about the requirements for rank in American Kenpo, Ed Parker preserved them in Infinite Insights into Kenpo Volume 5, pages 77-87.


  • Techniques found in the earlier books published by Ed Parker which became techniques we know.
  • Original Yellow Belt Techniques which are still taught in some circles.
  • Older Forms and Sets, some of which predate the entire system.
  • Extra Forms and Sets that never made it into the final written system but still taught in some circles.
  • Curriculum Evolutionary Timeline.

How it is laid out

Ed Parker laid out his system in a fashion that was meant to not only cover a variety of attacks but in a way that was meant to grow the student and continually build upon what he learned before. Just like a baby crawls before walking American Kenpo teaches you what you need to take your first steps and then get you running at full speed.

Yellow Belt aside, the techniques are laid out in three sets of 8 per belt level. The first set reviews what you have already learned and introduces you to the foundation of the new level.  The second set of 8, introduces the core concepts and principles for the level. The third set is designed to reinforce what you just learned as well as prepare you for the next rank.  The 8 per set are based on the 8 categories of attacks which, according to Infinite Insights, are “prioritized according to the degree of difficulty in handling the attack“.

Finally, you will notice that the system ends at 3rd Black.  Material requirements for Ed Parker’s American Kenpo end after 3rd Black Belt.  Ranks above 3rd degree are based on time in rank and contribution to the art.  While there is still much more to learn after 3rd degree you are not ‘required’ to learn any new material past 3rd degree although there is still plenty to learn.