William "Kwai Sun" Chow was a student of James Mitose's but had apparently received much of his original training in Chinese Kenpo from his father. Chow was a street fighter who learned much about what worked and what did not work on the mean streets of Hawaii. Chow was apparently so effective at using lightning quick strikes at vital targets that he earned the nickname "Thunderbolt" Chow. Chow left Mitose in 1949 and formed his own school and style he called "Chinese Kempo of Kara-ho Karate" which is now known as Professor Chow's Chinese Kara- Ho Kempo Karate (which is known for including more of the Chinese Kenpo influence and circular motion and movement than Mitose's Kenpo-Jiujitsu).
Edmund K. Parker began studying Kenpo with William K.S. Chow around 1947 at the age of 16. (Other students of Chow's at the time were Adriano and Joe Emperado who later founded Kajukenbo.) After graduating from Brigham Young University, Ed Parker moved to California and opened a school on the mainland and formed the International Kenpo Karate Association (IKKA). Mr. Parker began to promote martial arts in the movie industry and, in 1964, he organized the first Longbeach International Karate Championship. It was at that tournament, which is still one of the biggest tournaments in the world, that he introduced Bruce Lee (who revolutionized the martial arts with his Jeet Kune Do system and philosophies) to the American public. Parker opened the door for such famous American martial artists as Chuck Norris, Bill Wallace, Joe Lewis, Benny "The Jet" Urquidez, Don "The Dragon" Wilson and many others. As Parker "Americanized" and further developed the Kenpo system, he developed specific requirements for each rank and introduced a systematized belt ranking system for what has become known as American Kenpo or Parker Kenpo. Mr. Parker, who died in 1990, is known by many as "the undisputed father of American Karate."