The AKKI Crest

The AKKI Crest






The AKKI Crest has such deep meaning and so many symbolisms that it would take a book on it`s own to describe every feature. Most of the features have multiple meanings, so only a few will be described here. These descriptions are exerpts from the AKKI Yellow and Orange Belt Reference Manuals. Further descriptions will be found in subsequent publications.


The Frame




The basic framework of the AKKI Crest is clearly related to Ed Parker`s Crest. This is to show the roots of our system and the strong influence Ed Parker has on our journey forward into the art. However, it clearly has it`s own distinctive features. It is three dimensional showing that our association has depth. Paul Mills has formed this association with over 30 years of experience in the art, with many of his executives whom also possess decades of experience each. The AKKI was not founded on a whim and is not stamped on paper, but forged from experience, knowledge and skill which gives the association and it`s members great strength.


The Tiger




The Tiger represents Earthly strength and physical prowess. Like a beginning student in Kenpo, he is impressed with his own abilities and is eager to show them. He is strong, fast and ferocious, but lacks the inner strength that can only come with time, experience and humility. He looks up to the Dragon for guidance and reaches to him in the attempt to gain his wisdom and power.


The Dragon




The Dragon represents spiritual strength and wisdom which comes with seasoning. Like an advanced student of Kenpo in his latter years of training, he treasures his knowledge and abilities and is not quick to display them. Humility and Self Restraint are strong characteristics of the Dragon. Time and experience has given him not only knowledge, strength and skill, but wisdom and inner peace. The attitude of the Dragon is always placed above the Earthly strength of the Tiger as shown on the crest, yet he is always in touch with his Tiger as depicted by the tip of his tail touching the Tiger`s paw.


The Key




The Master Key represents the heart of the system. Through the use of the few Master Key movements, the entire art is derived. While the tiger wishes to posses it, it eludes him at every turn. Only the Dragon possesses the wisdom to use the Master Key to unlock the secrets of the universe. At the end of the key, are three rings representing Orbital Summation. The smaller ring represents the Proximal Facilitation, the intermediate ring, the Medial and the larger ring, the Distal. The larger ring also depicts an Elongated Circle as well as a Path of Action. Within that elongated circle are the initials, `MK`, for Master Key.


The Top




The top of the crest is the roof which gives shelter to all who come under it. The association is devoted to giving shelter to those seeking it, and protecting it`s members. Like a stone bridge, it is convexed, giving it great strength to resist negative forces trying to crush or penetrate it.


The Sides




The sides of the Crest are curved conversely like the roof of a Chinese home. Whenever negative or evil forces try to descend upon those protected, they are deflected away and sent back to where they came from. The sides also clearly display the number `3` which represents the many `3-level` concepts we use in our art, such as: Primitive, Mechanical & Spontaneous: Solid, Liquid & Gaseous, etc.


The Bottom




The bottom is in the form of the double axe; the `Inner Axe` and the `Outer Axe`. The Inner Axe is the Internal Power, the type of power that really harms. The Outer Axe is the External Power. This power comes and goes with age. It is like the Tiger as it will surely hurt you, but is not as seasoned as the Inner Axe. The principles are not completely synchronized as they are within the Inner Axe. The Outer Axe also lacks the true synchronization of the conscious, and sub-conscious mind coming together in a fraction of a second.


The Arrowhead




The Arrowhead symbolizes our American heritage, for they were true warriors. It also represents a more Primitive way of battle. It is a honed weapon, chiseled by man to sharpness and strength, like an instructor shaping his student. The arrowhead also represents man made weapons which are an integral part of our art. It is a triangle, the strongest structure known to man. The triangle stands broad side up, as an open end triangle, representing the mind remaining open to all ideas, both new and old, and continues to broaden with knowledge and wisdom as the years go by, instead of closing down and having a narrow mind or way of thinking.


The Lightning Bolts




The Lightning Bolts represent the highest physical application of the art. It appears from nowhere, manifesting suddenly, striking it`s target with tremendous energy, then disappearing as quickly as it arrived. There are two lightning bolts, one representing the warrior, the other the scholar. Both in balance and complete harmony working together. They come from opposite sides striking the same target with Converging and Confluencing Forces. On the Crest, they are striking on a true 45 degree angle, the Groove`, which incorporates height, width and depth for Maximum Action Potential, one of the Master Key Concepts of the Super Powers.


The K




The K is more than the initial for Kenpo. It also represents, atop the more primitive, our modern methods of defense. It is in the `rickshaw` font to show the Asian influence on the art. The `K`, combined with the arrowhead and the lightning, depicts our Natural Weapons, through the use of the empty hand, Man-Made weapons, and the Forces of Nature. It is on the white background, representing total awareness as in the `Black Dot Focus` theory.


Kenpo Karate




The words Kenpo Karate are written across the crest. The word Kenpo means `Fist Law` (Ken -`Fist` / Po - `Law`) and the word Karate means `Empty Hand` (Kara - Empty / Te - Hand). Therefor the phrase `Kenpo Karate` means `Law of the Fist and the Empty Hand`. It is written in the Rickshaw font showing the Asian heritage of the art. Our art has grown to the more proper term of `American Kenpo`, depicted by the words Kenpo Karate angling down, feeding into the Arrowhead which shows the American influence, and brings the art of Kenpo Karate to the cutting edge as honed and taught by the AKKI.


The Frame




Within the bright Red Outer Frame of the AKKI crest, is an inner frame. The Black Inner Frame is in depiction of the Black Outer Frame of Ed Parker`s crest. This is to show that the AKKI was born from Ed Parker`s American Kenpo, yet builds upon it. The black inner frame gives strength to the outer red frame which brings the inner frame to it`s cutting edge. The Master Key principles, taught by Ed Parker, remain intact within the AKKI and are expressed with our unique and exclusive style of application.


The Tiger




The Tiger is the Warrior. He is strong, proud and eager. His right paw is raised in his representation in our salutation, the right fist being the warrior. He is our physical strength, our might, our instinct to fight. His colors are White, Yellow and Orange, the earliest colors of rank in our system of Kenpo. He has black stripes on his back, showing his aspirations of attaining the expert level of his fighting skill. His tail bares eight black stripes, the number of ranks in Kenpo before the expert level of black belt. His head is raised high above his shoulders, as he is very proud of his abilities and quick to accept any challenge. He has only three paws exposed, as any warrior will never reveal all of his weapons.


The Dragon




The Dragon is the Scholar. He not only has physical strength, but mental and spiritual strength as well. His left hand is raised, in his representation in our salutation, the left hand being the scholar. He is our intellect, our wisdom and our ability to reason. It is the dragon, with his left hand, that holds the Master Key as he knows that it is knowledge and wisdom that are the key to unlocking the secrets of the universe. He stands upon the Universal Design, as it is his knowledge of the Universal Principles that lift him to his Mastery. His colors are Red, the color of mastery in the arts, with traces of white, yellow, orange and black, showing that he continues to be a student and is always willing to learn more. His tail bares ten fins, the number of black belt ranks in our system. His flank fins have ten points that burn like flames, beautiful but deadly. They bare the early colors of yellow and orange showing that it is the mastery of the most basic principles and movements that create a Master. His head is bowed below his shoulders as he is humble, has humility and practices self restraint. Yet behind his head is a powerful body that has absorbed many years of training and holds the deadliest of skills. If his wisdom and reasoning fail to solve his conflict and it diminishes to a physical battle, his fighting skills have been honed to the highest degree. He also has one weapon hidden from view, never exposing his strategies to his adversaries. Yet, he holds for all to see, the Master Key - the truth, if it will only be accepted by those that seek the skills, knowledge and wisdom of the Dragon. Yet all too commonly, they look for the hidden weapon instead of accepting what has been freely offered to them.


The Tiger & Dragon




It is a great misconception that the Tiger and Dragon are faced off as if in battle with each other. They both reside within each of us. They should work in harmony, complimenting each other, as they are positioned on our crest in the yin and yang positions. They may seem to oppose each other, but they rely on each other. They are not dependent on the other, and they are not independent from the other, but are interdependent, helping each other to fill their personal voids. As the Dragon holds the wisdom, he is wise enough to keep a Tiger watching his back, and the tiger is proud enough to defend the Dragon. While the tiger is busy watching his own back, as depicted in the crest, he forgets to watch in front and grasp the simple things that lay before him. The Dragon, knowing of the Tiger`s youthfulness and eagerness, continues to be watchful for the Tiger, leading him in a positive direction, as depicted on the crest with the Dragon using his tail to guide the Tiger forward and to protect him from the unseen dangers. If it is that the Dragon and the Tiger battle, it is an internal struggle that we all face between the instincts of the body and the reasoning of the mind. The dragon is always placed above the tiger, as it is our intellect and ability to reason that should govern the actions of our physical instincts.


The Initials




The stripes on the Tiger`s back reveal three initials:


`EP` - Ed Parker, the founder, creator and Senior Grandmaster of American Kenpo.


`PM` - Paul Mills, the founder and president of our association, and the Master Engineer that is in constant perpetuation and discovery of innovative ways to further our knowledge and skills, and the designer of the crest itself.


`SM` - Steve McDowell, a Kenpo student, co-designer and artist of the AKKI crest. His initials are not only his signature, but reflect the very thing that makes our association so great. The great and many contributions of time, efforts, talents and skills of it`s members to better, further and build the AKKI into the finest and most progressive of martial arts associations.


The Universal Design




In the center of the Crest, is a partial display of the AKKI Universal Pattern, as it is the Universal Principles that lie at the heart of the art as practiced in our association. Within this design, there are many elements.


The `Heart` shape indicates sincerity and honesty. It is a symbol of our love and commitment to the association as this crest is worn over our heart. It also depicts circular to linear movement, as well as linear to circular. Also displayed within the heart are mirrored sides, showing opposite, mirrored, reverse and return motion. The heart has two lines that meet at a central point. This not only represents Opposing Forces and Confluencing Forces, but also Surface Concentration. These two lines, coming from different sources and meeting at the same point, also depicts the element of Teamwork that makes our association so deep and strong - Many people working together toward a common goal.


The Diamond represents the student - cut, shaped and polished by the instructor. Like a Master Diamond Cutter, the Teacher brings his/her student from a rough and crude state, and expertly crafts him/her into a brilliant diamond. Beautiful to the eye, but strong enough to cut through the hardest obstacles.
The Four Fins, pointing four directions identifies our reach to the North, South, East and West in an effort to include all that desire to belong to our association. These fins are in the shape of teardrops, representing the powerful action that can be derived from this type of movement. They are arranged in a Spiraling pattern indicating Three Dimensional Movement and the Super Powers that can be derived from it. These spiraling fins also reflect the motion of the universe as seen in our own galaxy, indicating that within each of us rests the Universal Principles of the entire universe. Like a hologram that has been shattered, each individual piece holds the entire image.


The Circle encompasses the Universal Design, as it is our goal to understand and harness the Universal Principles. This circle is elongated and tilted to an angle as the Earth also spins on a Diagonal axis. This again, depicts our association as being an `International` one. The circle has no beginning and no end. It is continuous and constant, as is life itself. Pertaining to the value of life, the Tiger may run care free, while the Dragon will cherish it and protect it with his own life.
The Center holds a black hole. Many practitioners will look and see the Universal Principles, but it is the Dragon who will venture inside. This hole is located at the heart and can only be unlocked by the Master Key, which is possessed only by the Dragon. This circular black center also represents the `Black Dot Focus` theory, as it rests on a white background. It is elongated, as are our movements in Kenpo.


The Colors



The colors of the frame, from inside out, are White, Black then Red. This represents the journey of a student.

The White Background depicts the many beginning students that form the foundation of the evolution of the art. Through the extent of this part of their training, they become sharper and more skilled, as the white background on the crest has semi sharp edges.


The Black Inner Edge depicts the black belt stage, where the student has become an expert in the art. He is a Teacher himself, and a Teacher of himself. He has students below him that push him and inspire him to attain greater knowledge and skill. He has his Teacher above him, pulling him and guiding him to greater levels of the art. His skills are sharper then they were in the White stage, as the edges of the Black area in the crest are sharper than those of the white.


The Red Outer Frame depicts a level even higher than that of the black. There comes a time in a student`s personal evolution when he/she becomes a Teacher of all. As his/her teacher passes on, this lifelong student assumes the responsibility to guide, direct and teach all those that come after him. He has the sharpest of skills and the greatest of knowledge, yet he is always reaching to learn more, as depicted by the sharp points of the outer edges of the Red frame, reaching outwardly. While he/she may not have a physical instructor at the highest point of his training, he knows that there is still much to learn and is always learning, supported and lifted by those beneath him. He is a Teacher of Teachers and a Master of the Art.



Additional Patches



The patches shown below are required on all kenpo uniforms. However, some patches are only allowed because of special reasons. Click on each patch to learn about placement and special requirements.








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