Ed Parker’s Karate Creed

“I come to you  with only Karate,  empty hands. 
I have no weapons, but should I be forced 
to defend myself, my principles or my honour; 
should it be a matter of life or death, 
of right or wrong; 
Then here are my weapons, 
Karate, my empty hands.”
– Ed Parker

The above Creed has become an accepted Code for many Martial Artists.  Authored by Ed Parker in March of 1957, it denotes the Martial Artist’s way of life in today’s environment.  Time inevitably alters attitudes and convictions.  Therefore, in reanalyzing the Creed, the use of the words right or wrong leaves no margin for clemency, but to defend one’s self.  A matter of life or death means strict adherence to survival in protecting loved ones or self even if it means death to the adversary should no alternative be left.  Principles must be upheld or protected, for without them the very core and soul of man is valueless.  Honor motivates a Martial Artist to action because it gives him dignity.  Empty hands (as well as other body weapons) are the substitutes that a Martial Artist uses in place of man made weapons to sustain his honor.  Discipline developed through training without weapons implants justice and discretion when applying the Martial Arts.  Thus the above Creed acts as a regulatory guide in aiding the Martial Artists in developing a keen sense of justice.

Ed Parker – Infinite Insights Into Kenpo, Volume 1 page iv