Founded by Mr. Chuck Sullivan and Mr. Vic LeRoux, the International Karate Connection Association serves as a central point of camaraderie, standardization and documentation for those studying the Karate Connection system of Chinese Kenpo.
Chuck Sullivan began studying the art of Kenpo in 1959 with Mr. Edmund K. Parker, Sr., founder of the system known today as American Kenpo, and was the fifth person promoted to Black Belt by Mr. Parker. Mr. Sullivan has studied and taught the art of Kenpo exclusively for 58 years. Nearly all senior practitioners in American Kenpo and Kenpo in general have either studied under or been influenced by the teachings of Mr. Sullivan.
Mr. Sullivan’s chief student is Vic LeRoux, who has studied with him since he was 14 years old. Mr. LeRoux was a personal student of Mr. Parker as well. Unlike Mr. Sullivan, Mr. LeRoux has formally studied other martial arts, including Jeet Kune Do where he is a Certified Instructor under the late Jerry Poteet.
On October 27, 1981 Mr. Parker promoted Mr. Sullivan to 7th degree Black Belt and Mr. LeRoux to 5th degree Black Belt in the art of American Kenpo. Over the years Mr. Sullivan and Mr. LeRoux became two of Mr. Parker’s most respected and trusted instructors in American Kenpo. They remained close associates and friends of Mr. Parker until his untimely passing in 1991.
By the late 1980’s the curriculum of American Kenpo had grown into a system that Mr. Sullivan felt had become impractical. Over a two year period, Mr. Sullivan and Mr. LeRoux looked hard at the American Kenpo system, evaluating all techniques and forms. With Mr. Parker’s consent and support they developed and implemented a new curriculum of Kenpo that refined the system they had learned back down to its most effective elements. Though the amount of material was reduced, it still incorporates all Kenpo principles and concepts. In the end the new curriculum resembled the original teachings of Mr. Parker from the early 1960’s, with the benefit of keeping the best of how Kenpo had evolved over the years. The result became the school of Kenpo known as the KARATE CONNECTION
How the IKCA system of Chinese Kenpo relates to Ed Parker’s American Kenpo is probably best summed up by Mr. LeRoux in an excerpt from the best selling book THE JOURNEY:
“If one’s definition of the whole system includes the entirety of all the moves and sets and forms and techniques and all their extensions dating back to Year One, then today I neither teach nor practice the whole system of Ed Parker’s American Kenpo. Alternatively, what I do teach through the Karate Connection is the whole system of Ed Parker’s American Kenpo as defined by its simplistic complete structure that includes all the basic stances, strikes and footwork, as well as the principles and concepts.”
© Triangle Kenpo Institute 2017