March 19th marks the late Ed Parker’s birthday. The martial arts pioneer would have been 80 years old this year. Although known mostly as a kenpo karate teacher, Senior Grandmaster Parker achieved many significant feats during his career: He taught many Hollywood celebrities who helped contribute to the widespread popularity of the martial arts, including the King himself, Elvis Presley. He initiated the Long Beach Internationals, a competitive event that produced legendary American karate champions Chuck Norris, Joe Lewis and Mike Stone. He introduced Bruce Lee to the western world at his inaugural 1964 Internationals. A native of Oahu, he was acquainted with many Filipino martial artists and featured Ben Largusa at the same 1964 Internationals. He sparked an interest in eskrima in none other than Dan Inosanto (a fact noted on page 9 of Guro Dan’s book, The Filipino Martial Arts). He produced an unprecedented volume of written and video taped material on his techniques and philosophy. Described variously as pioneering, visionary, creative, and insightful, Ed Parker made a giant splash in the martial arts world in which we live. Here’s to his memory!