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Article 1----The Association:

Section 1--The name of this organization is the United States Kenpo Karate Association, hereafter designated as the USKKA.

Section 2--The Headquarters of the USKKA is located at the President's place of business, or elsewhere, as the President may so indicate.

Article 2----Objective of the USKKA:

Section 1--This Association aims to promote and preserve the authentic Ed Parker System of Kenpo Karate as practiced in its member schools in the United States and abroad.

Section 2--This Association intends to insure high standards in this ART by providing systematic guidelines for practice of Kenpo in member schools. It will also provide guidelines for the conduct of its members.

The USKKA will:

  • Provide competent instruction for members in the art of Kenpo Karate.
  • Develop training programs for students and instructors alike.
  • Improve the Kenpo standards of members with previous Kenpo training.
  • Award KYU and DAN grade ranking where earned by members.
  • Provide for title recognition and appointments where earned by worth and merit.
  • Adjucate in any conflicts between member schools.
  • Organize methods of training and communications between member schools.
  • Assist schools in class curriculum, obtaining students, training methods, etc.

Article 3----Organization of the USKKA:

Section 1--The USKKA shall have a President, Senior Executive Vice President, Eastern U.S. Vice President, Western U.S. Vice President, Two Chief Training & Standards Instructrs, Black Belt Advisory Board, National Representative, Regional Representatives, State Representatives, and a Recorder. Together, these officers make up the governing body of the USKKA.

Section 2--All appointments in the USKKA shall be made by the President from the membership at large. Such appointments will be made by the President only.

Section 3--An appointed Officer of the USKKA may hold more than one position.

Section 4--The Position of President only, is a life-time position. Reasons for the vacancy of the position of President are as follows:

  • Voluntary retirement.
  • Medical disability to the point where the President cannot fulfill his/her duties.
  • Death of the President.

Section 5--In the event the Office of President should become vacant, the Senior Vice President shall assume the duties of the Director or appoint someone else to the Office.

Section 6--All positions in the USKKA are appointed and held by the will of the President. Office Holders can be removed from their position by the President only, for any cause and at any time. Barring such, the Office Holder shall serve until such time as he/she is incapacitated or until he/she resigns.

Reasons For Dismissal From Appointed Positions:

  • Failure to abide by USKKA policies and guidelines.
  • Failure to satisfactorily perform official duties of the appointed office.
  • Insubordination to USKKA Officers of Senior position.
  • Verbal abuse of USKKA members of any rank or grade or pratitioners of other styles/systems.
  • Serious legal or moral infractions.
  • Drug or alcohol abuse.


Article 4----Duties Of Officers:

Section 1--All Officers of the USKKA shall abide by the rules and policies as set forth by the President.

Section 2--The President:

The President is the ultimate leader, arbitrator, and representative of the USKKA. He/she is responsible for its administration, policies, and it's Officers. It is his/her task to see that theUSKKA policies are set forth and maintained. He/she is also the Chief Public Relations Officer for the USKKA.

The President alone will appoint the Senior Executive Vice President, Eastern U.S. Vice President, Western U.S. Vice President, Chief Training & Standards Instructrs, National Representative, and make other appointments as he/she sees fit.

USKKA members can submit, for recommendation, names to fill the Black Belt Advisory Board, Regional Representatives, State Representatives, and Recorder, but is the President's final decision as to who will fill the positions.

The President has the right to delegate his/her duties.

Section 3--The Senior Executive Vice President:

The Senior Executive Vice President is to support the President and more specifically, insure that all of the policies as set forth by the President are performed by all other officers and members ofthe USKKA.

The Senior Executive Vice President shall be the immediate successor to the President in the event of the President's incapacity or death.

The Senior Executive Vice President shall be the Chairman of the Black Belt Advisory board.

The Senior Executive Vice President shall also advise the President to the filling of positions from the membership at large for Offices within the USKKA.

The Senior Executive Vice President shall give his recommendations for all appointments andtitular recommendations for USKKA members.

The Senior Executive Vice President may delegate his/her duties, with the knowledge of the President.

Section 4--Eastern and Western U.S. Vice Presidents:

The Eastern and Western U.S. Vice Presidents shall hold a minimal rank of 4th degree blackbelt, preferably 5th degree black belt.

The senior or highest rank/grade of the Eastern and Western U.S. Vice Presidents shall be the immediate successor to the President and Senior Executive Vice President in the event both of them are incapacitated or in case of an untimely demise.

The Eastern and Western U.S. Vice Presidents shall insure that all of the policies, in their respective regions, as set forth by the President are performed by all other officers and members of the USKKA within their respective region. These Vice Presidents will also act as USKKA public Relations Officers within their area, and should also work to recruit new members into the USKKA.

The Eastern and Western U.S. Vice Presidents shall keep both the President and Senior Executive Vice President apprised of the current status of USKKA member schools, training programs, seminars, scheduled meetings, rank advancements, and other pertinent items as related to the growth and sustaining of the USKKA and its interests in their respective regions.

The Eastern and Western U.S. Vice Presidents shall arbitrate any disputes arising in member schools within their regions and shall advise the President as to the nature of the dispute and its solution. If the dispute cannot be successfully arbitrated by the Regional Vice President, it shall be forwarded to the President.

The Eastern and Western U.S. Vice Presidents shall submit a list of at least 5 names from each of their respective regions, from the membership at large within the region, for consideration of appointment to the Black Board Advisory Board (see Article 4, Section 6) also, they shall make recommendations for Chief Training and Standards Instructors in their respective regions.

The Eastern and Western U.S. Vice Presidents shall give his/her recommendations for all appointments and title recommendations for USKKA members within their respective regions.

The Eastern and Western U.S. Vice Presidents may delegate his/her duties, with the knowledge of the President and Senior Executive Vice President.

Section 5--Chief Training & Standards Instructrs:

The Chief Training & Standards Instructrs shall be at least 3rd degree black belt in rank, preferably 4th degree black belt.

The Chief Training Instructor shall assume the duties of the Regional Vice President in the event of his/her incapacity or death, subject to the approval of the President.

The Chief Training Instructors shall monitor all the standards of Kenpo Karate of member schools, review curriculum, and council the President, Senior Executive and Regional Vice Presidents.

Chief Training Instructors shall receive their commissions by appointment from the President and designated as Standards Officers for the Ed Parker Kenpo System. They will maintain and regulate requirements within their regions of both individual practitioners and member schools to insure the highest quality instruction by member schools and thus, the highest quality Martial Artists.. They will present full details to, and advise the President.

Chief Training Instructors may appoint assistants and upon notifying the President of the USKKA, the said appointed assistant will receive a charter of appointment. These individuals will work directly with their Chief Training Instructors accordingly. Such individuals may receive title recognitions as Senior Training Instructors by written request of their Chief Training Instructor to the USKKA President, provided they have rank requirements for same.

Section 6--Black Belt Advisory Board:

The Black Belt Advisory Board shall consist of members who hold at least the rank of 2nd degree black belt in Kenpo Karate. Appointment to the Board shall be made by the President from recommendation of the Senior Executive Vice President, Regional Vice Presidents, and Chief Training & Standards Instructrs.

The Board shall have at least 7, but not more than 11 members.

The Board is the voting and advisory board to the President of the USKKA. Its duties are to decide policies, to regulate member schools, and to advise the President on issues for his/her final decision. The Board is also a tribunal for settling major internal disputes, and for adjucating grievances.

Members of the Board are to support the Kenpo Schools in their region. They may also be given permission for Black Belt testing as designated by the President.

Section 7--National Representative:

The National Representative shall travel to various regions and states, meet with both member schools and prospective member schools and advise them of current USKKA policy and guidelines.

The National Representative shall correspond with all interested individuals who wish to learn Kenpo Karate and give them guidance on how to join the USKKA, obtain training curriculum,and refer individuals and member schools to the appropriate officer in their region for other pertinent information.

The National Representative shall foster good will among all Martial Artists of all styles and systems. Additionally, this officer shall be appointed by the President.

Section 8--Regional and State Representatives:

These representatives shall have the same duties as the Regional Vice Presidents, except that these duties will only pertain to their specific geographically appointed region within the United States and abroad. These representatives shall have a rank of at least 1st degree black belt. If circumstances prevail which will not allow this rank due to distance from a qualified instructor,new geographic region wishing to affiliate with the USKKA, etc., the President may appoint said representative without the required rank.

These representatives shall answer directly to the Regional Vice President, but shall keep the President advised of their activities.

These representatives will strive to foster high spirits and good will among member schools and shall adhere to the policies and guidelines set forth by the USKKA.

The Regional and State Representatives shall be recommended for appointment by the Regional Vice President and by the Chief Training Instructor.

These representatives will act as USKKA public Relations Officers within their area, and should also work to recruit new members into the USKKA.

Section 9--The Recorder:

The Recorder shall be appointed by the President and will in charge of taking minutes at scheduled meetings and distributing those notes to all officers of the USKKA down to the Stateand Regional Representatives.


Article 5----Membership:

Section 1--Membership into the USKKA is achieved via guidelines as set forth in the General Handbook.

Section 2--All members of the USKKA are expected to support this organization by attending and sponsoring functions for participation by the membership at large.

Section 3--All members are expected to uphold the highest standards of training andconduct as expected by the USKKA.

Section 4--Termination of Membership:

Head instructors and their schools who fail to abide by USKKA policy, or who fail to keep their membership active may be terminated from membership in the USKKA.

Individual membership may be terminated by the governing body or head instructor for the following reasons; drug abuse, alcohol abuse, crimes of severe legal nature, insubordination and disrespect to USKKA Officers or other appointed delegates, verbal abuse of fellow students orother Martial Arts disciplines, and/or other infractions.

Individuals who demonstrate a lack of Martial Art Attitude with their Seniors or their Peers can similarly be cut-off from the USKKA.

Terminations of individual membership shall be forwarded to the President so that he/she may make record of same. Representatives and Senior USKKA Officers are expected to make fair hearing prior to terminating any membership.

Officers may be dismissed and cut-off from the USKKA for failure to abide by policies as listed in this document and the General Handbook, or for other violations as previously described. Officers shall be given a fair hearing the Black Belt Advisory Board prior to final decision by the President.

Officers who elect to resign their positions, or head instructors who voluntarily end their membership are expected to notify the President of the USKKA via certified mail of their intentions.


Article 6----Privileges of Membership:

Section 1--All members in good standing with the USKKA shall enjoy the full instructional resources and services of the USKKA.

Section 2--The USKKA shall provide a full chain-of-command for members for instruction, advice, redress of grievances, and other Association matters.

Section 3--The USKKA shall provide for full certification of all members, belt ranking, and title recognitions that shall be recognized in the United States and abroad.

Section 4--The USKKA shall provide qualified advisors for its member schools.

Section 5--All member services shall be maintained at reasonable cost to achieve one of the goals of the USKKA, which is to make Kenpo Karate available to all.


Article 7----Meetings:

Section 1--The USKKA shall hold both general and Black Belt Advisory Boardmeetings:

Section 2--General Meetings:

General meetings may be held locally or regionally by appointed Representatives for each regional area. Provisions must be made for voting for members who cannot attend. Also, meetings will be held in different locations each time to encourage membership participation fromall and so that members will have equal chance to attend each year.

A secretary will be appointed by the Regional Representative to keep the minutes of each meeting. A copy of the minutes will be forwarded to the President.

Meetings can be held for communication and to discuss issues that affect the USKKA. While decisions made at meetings do not reflect upon the membership of the USKKA at large, recommendations are to be sent to the President for his/her consideration. The President may choose to make such decisions binding if they are in the best interest of the USKKA at large.

Section 3--Black Belt Advisory Board Meetings:

The Black Belt Advisory Board shall be convened once per annum at a time and place as decided by the Board Chairman (Senior Executive Vice President). The location shall change each calendar year for fairness to all.

All matters that are to be considered shall be issued to Board members at least 4 weeks priorto the meeting. No issue may be brought up that has not previously been mentioned in writing unless it is of extreme urgency.

No issue or policy of the USKKA can be recommended for change without a two-thirds majority vote in favor of the policy change. Voting may be made by proxy if the member cannot attend.

The President retains full veto policy over any decisions made by the Board and may attend the Board meeting is he/she chooses.

The President shall issue all minutes of the meeting to USKKA member schools at large. A secretary shall be appointed to keep minutes of the meeting. Appointment of the secretary is the responsibility of the Board Chairman.


Article 8----Amendments and Special Authorities:

Section 1--Any article or section of these By-laws may be recommended for changeby a two-thirds majority of the voting Black Belt Advisory board with final approval made by thePresident.

Section 2--The President only has the final authority to change these By-laws without the approval of the USKKA Officers.

Section 3--Chain of Command in the USKKA:

  • USKKA President
  • USKKA Senior Executive Vice President
  • USKKA Eastern and Western U.S. Vice Presidents
  • USKKA Chief Training & Standards Instructrs
  • USKKA Black Belt Advisory Board
  • USKKA Regional Representative
  • USKKA State Representative
  • USKKA Head Instructors of Schools


Article 9----Promotions in the USKKA:

Section 1--Black Belt Rank

Black belts who have Kenpo Karate ranking from other organizations may be allowed to retain their rank as set forth in these by-laws. However, advancement to another, usually higher, rank depends upon the satisfactory fulfillment of rank requirements. Additionally, the studentmust: 1) verify time-in-grade by certificate date, necessary for retention of rank and 2) be amember of the USKKA for one year's duration to obtain promotion to the next grade. Retainment of current rank does not guarantee the same rank in the Ed Parker Kenpo System taught by the USKKA. This usually means the student can wear a belt signifying rank in the previous system while attending or instructing a class (this depends on the schools head instructor). All rank advancements in the USKKA, regardless of grade, is dependent on demonstration of one's current skill.

Black belts who have credentials from other organizations and who wish the same grade withthe USKKA certification must be a member of the USKKA for one year's duration and alsodemonstrate that they are willing to teach and/or are currently teaching the USKKA system intheir member school as well as demonstrate their proficiency in the Ed Parker Kenpo System.

Section 3--Testing for Black Belt and Other Ratings:

The President of the USKKA may promote up to and including his/her own grade.

The Senior Executive Vice President of the USKKA may promote up to his/her own rank. This will require written permission if this officer has lower grade than that of the President. Currently, Mr. Snelson is 7th degree black thus, this does not apply.

Regional Vice Presidents may promote up to the rank of 3rd Dan. Final approval of all ranking remains with the President.

Chief Training & Standards Instructrs may promote up to the 2 grades below their own. Promotion is subject to approval by the President.

All other officers and head instructors of schools may promote up to 2 grades below their current rank. A video tape of all such tests will be sent to the President who has final approval for promotion. The video may be waived if the President attends the test.

Section 4-- Black Belt Testing Eligibility:

Black Belt aspirants who seek to test for Shodan or higher grades should have their names submitted in writing 120 days prior to the test date to their regional Chief Training & Standards Instructrs. The application must be made the students head instructor.

Black Belt aspirants who seek higher grades of rank beyond Godan may be recommended by the Regional Vice Presidents and other Senior USKKA Officers. Such recommendations must be made in writing.

Black Belts who seek ranking higher than that of the current highest ranking member in theUSKKA (unless 10th degree black belt) must perform a proficiency test in front of the Black BeltAdvisory Board, all Senior USKKA Officers listed in the chain-of-command, and three invited Grand Masters from similar systems. Promotion to 10th degree black belt requires a unanimousdecision by all present, including invited Grand Masters. Additionally, all other requirements mustbe fulfilled as listed in the General Handbook.


Article 10----Uniform Code for the USKKA:

All USKKA members are required to wear a full and complete karate gi (traditional style) consisting of pants, top and appropriate belt. Ranks up to purple belt are required to wear allwhite. Once the student has achieved the rank of purple they may wear black pants with a whitetop. At the green belt level and higher, students may wear all black or a combination of black andwhite; pants or top can be either color (black or white). All uniforms are to be kept clean and ingood condition. Tattered belts or belts which are shredded should be replaced with new one.

The patches which should be worn are the USKKA crest on the left breast, Universal pattern on left upper sleeve (one inch below the shoulder seam), flame patch on right breast (requires that student has competed in at least one tournament--not a club tournament, but a locally held event),and the Parker crest (in honor of Grandmaster Ed Parker) on the right upper sleeve (one inchbelow the shoulder seam). Garish, flamboyant, or colored uniforms (blue, red, etc.) covered with patches, multicolors, flags, etc. are not allowed. Large emblems which cover the back of the uniform top are allowed only in tournament use and public demonstrations for school recognition purposes; they are not allowed for general practice in the school.

Belts should be worn at all times and should be of the appropriate rank/grade. Names of the individual should not be embroidered on the belt, it should remain plain except for Kyu and Dan signification.


Article 11----General Summary and Review:

Section 1--The United States Kenpo Karate Association is an organization that has been established for the preservation of the Ed Parker Kenpo System and to provide members with thorough and competent instruction in this system.

Section 2--The USKKA is not affiliated with the IKKA or any other Kenpo Systems. However, it is our desire to promote good will among same.

Section 3--The designated Officers of the USKKA shall endeavor to "choose the right" and promote good will among all members and fellow Martial Artists from all styles.

Section 4--All Officer positions of the USKKA shall be eligible for appointment by the President from the membership at large. All such appointments shall be earned by merit and hard work.

Section 5--All head instructors are required to submit bi-annual reports to the President as established by USKKA policy.

Section 6--It shall be USKKA policy that no student shall be allowed to test for Shodan unless they have attended two (2) seminars as attended by the USKKA President, theSenior Executive Vice President, or one of the Regional Vice Presidents.

Section 7--Obligations of the USKKA President and Senior Officers:

  • To instruct members in a thorough and competent manner.
  • To promote members and to make appointments in a fair and impartial manner using methods that are uniform and unbiased.
  • To provide for bulletins to head instructors as deemed necessary.
  • To insure for uniformity in training requirements and to make it mandatory that all promotion and rank requirements are standard and unbiased.
  • To deliver all materials to head instructors in a prompt and efficient manner.
  • To insure that all USKKA fees are maintained in a fair and reasonable fashion to reduce cost to individual and schools.
  • To arrive "on time" for all member school sponsored events.


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