The Kenpo Patch

The Kenpo Patch and Elvis


The Elvis Presley Connection

Photo of Elvis Presley and his guitar 


Look closely at Elvis Presley's Ebony Gibson guitar and you will see a strange multicolored decal on it. Elvis had one other guitar with this same decal. Why was this decal important enough to the "King" to be affixed to his treasured guitars? The answer lies in Elvis' passion for kenpo karate and his respect for his kenpo instructor, Ed Parker.

The Origin of the Patch

Martial artists in in American Kenpo karate system are often identified by a distictive patch on their uniform ("gi"). This patch was designed by a student of Ed Parker, the now-deceased great grandmaster of American Kenpo. This decal on Elvis' guitar is modeled after the uniform patch. Here's a photo of Elvis and Ed Parker; they both have kenpo patches on their uniforms.

Elvis and Ed Parker 

Symbolism of the Patch

Try to guess what the various features of the patch mean, then roll the move the cursor over the different parts to see the actual meaning.

Kenpo Patch Place the mouse over the patch


The Tiger Dragon Chinese writing on left side Chinese writing on the right side of the patch The K The Axe Edge Top of the patch Universal Circle Pattern