Our School

Yours For Life!®

American Kenpo Karate students are everyday people like you! Our goal is to give our students the martial arts tools to defend themselves and their families, while building a fit and healthy community! Whether it’s to become a Kenpo Karate Black Belt, to protect yourself, or simply to get in shape, what you will learn is yours for life! Women participate in all of our classes, plus the Kenpo Girls women’s only self-defense classes provide an extra empowering space for women, tweens, and older girls so that they will be Safe for Life!®

With over a dozen instructors, our Little Dragons preschool karate classes and Kids Karate classes focus on discipline, respect, and confidence, while teaching self-defense strategies they will have for life. Each class has between 2-3 instructors who are personally trained and certified martial arts instructors by Master Rick Jeffcoat through the Internship program.

In the martial arts business for 19 years, and situated in Pasadena’s famous Playhouse District, American Kenpo Karate is centrally located, just minutes from Old Town Pasadena and freeway exits. There is plenty of free parking available and we are steps away from public transportation.

The studio is equipped with heavy bags, the best training equipment, and easy-to-clean Swain non-slip tatami mats. His & hers changing rooms with showers offer students the convenience of being able to work out before or after work. For your comfort, we provide heating, air conditioning and Free Wi-Fi!

Rick Jeffcoat at American Kenpo Karate after belt test, passing it down.

Our goal is to provide fun, safe and positive martial arts training for students from 4 years to adult. We offer a family-oriented, friendly environment, dedicated to the ageless martial arts disciplines of self control, physical fitness, and self-defense. Our karate classes will condition your body and give you new skills, plus teach you how defend yourself and your family from a real-life violent assault. And that knowledge will be yours for life!®


Our adult and teen martial arts program has beginning and advanced levels, both aimed at learning America Kenpo Karate while having fun and getting fit! The beginning level for adult karate (ages 14 and up) builds agility, strength, and coordination, while cultivating the age-old martial arts principles of focus, discipline, and perseverance.

For White through Black Belts, Adult Karate Classes focus on self-defense strategies and karate fundamentals, all the while providing a great workout. Adult karate classes build basic karate skills such as stances, foot maneuvers, blocks, kicks, and strikes, in a fun and energizing environment! Adult karate classes help to develop and maintain fitness, speed, balance, strength and agility. Instructors individualize instruction to different belt levels so that students can work at their own pace.

The advanced adult kenpo karate program, emphasizes speed, recognition, control, power, and automaticity. Advanced level students learn variations of techniques that allow them to improvise and formulate effective self-defense martial arts strategies for real-life attacks!

Advanced Karate Adult Classes, for the accomplished martial artists of rank 3rd Brown Belt and above, focus on a rigorous and challenging curriculum with advanced level execution of techniques and katas. Adults in the advanced karate training class learn: to adapt the curriculum to real-life scenarios, as well as how to execute advanced combinations and sparring strategies.


Our Kids Karate program has two levels of martial arts classes: beginning and advanced. Beginning levels emphasize the physical attributes of agility, strength, and stamina, all while learning karate basics and self-defense techinques. The advanced level kids karate program develops speed, power, and control as the curriculum increases in complexity.  Throughout both levels, the children learn the ancient martial arts principles of respect, focus and discipline!

In the journey from white belt to junior black belt and through adult black belt, the kids karate classes offer children the opportunity to advance in rank several times each year. Promotions are celebratory events where the children demonstrate to friends and family just how much they have learned while having the time of their life! The confidence and sense of accomplishment is invaluable.

Designed for students between the ages 6-15, Kenpo Kids classes are both fun and challenging. Kenpo Kids classes aim to develop martial arts principles of self-discipline, respect, and confidence, all while improving fitness, strength, and coordination. It is recommended that children get 60 minutes of exercise every day to maintain a healthy lifestyle! Through age-appropriate activities within the 60-minute class, Kenpo Kids learn: karate fundamentals, self-defense techniques and sparring strategies. All belt levels are welcome!

Introductory Programs*

*Self Defense Introductory Programs for First-Time Customers


Sick Policy

To keep our teachers and members healthy, please do not come to lessons with a cold or a fever.  To report a cancellation due to illness, please call 626-793-8575 or email: americankenpoist@gmail.com.  Makeup lessons will be available for same-day cancellations and will count towards the allotted cancellations per contract period.

Makeup Policy

Cancelled group classes must be rescheduled WITHIN two weeks of the canceled class.  For private lessons, members are allotted six make-up classes per year, three make up classes per 6 months, and one makeup class per two months.  These makeups include sick cancellations.  See sick policy above. Make-ups must be arranged through email 24 hours in advance of the canceled lesson by emailing americankenpoist@gmail.com.  There is a $15 rescheduling fee. Make-up private lessons must be scheduled within two weeks of cancellation. Please do not contact the teachers individually if you are going to be absent.  If a teacher is absent, a make-up lesson will be offered at a mutually convenient time within the contract period.  If a student misses a make-up lesson, there will be no second make up opportunity.

Holiday Policy

For holidays that fall on group class days, please make up those group classes within the membership period.  Private lesson memberships have allotted for holidays.  Four holidays are allotted for 12-month memberships, and two holidays are allotted for 6-month memberships.  Private lessons that fall on holidays are not offered make-up lessons, unless they exceed the allotment in the private lesson membership.

Freezable Memberships

Annual Memberships are allotted a 2-week freeze on the membership and 6 month memberships are allotted at 1-week freeze. To freeze a contract for longer than 2 weeks and up to 1 another month, a $35 processing fee must be paid on the day that the freeze is requested.

American Kenpo Karate Heritage

American Kenpo Heritage Tree

The martial arts began over a thousand years ago. By the beginning of the seventeenth century, the knowledge of Kenpo Karate had reached Japan from China. During World War II, James Mitose brought the art of Kosho-Ryu Kenpo from Japan to Hawaii, passing it down to William K.S. Chow, who taught it to Edmund K. Parker, now known as the father of American Kenpo Karate. 

Associate Master Rick Jeffcoat

8th Degree Black Belt

Rick Jeffcoat began training in Ed Parker’s Kenpo Karate in 1984, opening his Kenpo Karate Martial Arts studio in 1995, where he and his staff honor and pass on the legacy of the martial art, American Kenpo Karate. The Heritage Tree above symbolizes the long lineage that has lead Mr. Rick Jeffcoat to be one of the top ranking martial arts experts.

Rick Jeffcoat

Mr. Jeffcoat’s grew up studying many martial arts as a child in New York.  However, it wasn’t until he was a young adult in California that he began learning American Kenpo Karate.  His first kenpo karate teachers were John Corrigan and Tony Martin, from Ed Parker’s West Los Angeles studio. When Rick became a more advanced belt, he studied with Larry Tatum and Ed Parker.

He began teaching for Ed Parker when he was an orange belt and by brown belt he was teaching his own class in the West Los Angeles studio. Teaching martial arts classes was transformative to his karate training.  Ed Parker described teaching best when he said, “I could just do Karate myself.  I don’t have to teach anybody.  Through the course of teaching others, however, I end up learning.”  So for Rick, teaching was not only an altruistic act of ‘passing it down,’ as we say, but also, a way of improving and deepening his own American Kenpo knowledge.

In 1990, he began running karate classes in his garage, starting with a few students, including, Laird McIntosh, Crystal Heatherly, and his first black belt, Scott Gonzalez.  When Larry Tatum opened his Kenpo studio on Green Street, he taught and managed the school for him.  There, he assisted Larry Tatum to produce the famous technique videos. The videos demonstrated the art visually and gave Kenpo practitioners another way to learn the art.

In 1995, at the encouragement of his students, he opened his first school in Pasadena, California, just a few miles from Ed Parker’s original Pasadena school, opened in 1956. His own school has produced many accomplished Kenpo black belts, such as Jamie Bertchume, Garry Regier, and Steve Baca. To this day, he continues to build on Ed Parker’s legacy by safeguarding the traditional Kenpo principles of practicality, eclecticism, and evolution.  He continues to share the art of Kenpo with students far and near. Now with newer technologies, such as websites and YouTube, which facilitate the exchange of information, the art of American Kenpo Karate can continue to grow at an unprecedented rate.

He has been featured as a notable kenpoist in the published book, Kenpo Continuum and in 2013, Mr. Jeffcoat was inducted into the National Kenpo Hall of Fame, an elite group of 300 of the most accomplished kenpoists nationally.

Whether you are a beginning martial artist or a high ranking Black Belt with your own studio, joining Mr. Jeffcoat’s Scholar and Warrior Kenpo Karate Association (S.W.K.K.A.), will provide you access to materials and support not available to the general public.



American Kenpo Karate, S.W.K.K.A. Headquarters

California, USA

Association page Desert Dragons school crest

Desert Dragons Kenpo Karate

Peoria, Arizona

Mauricio Schirp Kenpo Karate School

Yucatan, Mexico

Association page Legacy Kenpo school crest-1

Legacy Kenpo Academy

California, USA

Association page Kenpo Evolution school crest

Kenpo Evolution

California, USA


Escuela Kenpo Karate Laraquete

Laraquete, Chile


Web Sight Association Icon big-COLOR

Individual Association Memberships


  • S.W.K.K.A.  Membership Card


  • S.W.K.K.A.  Membership Card
  • S.W.K.K.A.  Association Certificate
  • S.W.K.K.A. Patches [crest/universal/school (available for purchase)
  • 10% Discount on Books and Journals


  • S.W.K.K.A.  Membership Card
  • S.W.K.K.A.  Association Certificate
  • S.W.K.K.A. Patches [crest/universal/school] (available for purchase)
  • 10% Discount on Books and Journals
  • Access to S.W.K.K.A. Curriculum for current & past belt rank


  • S.W.K.K.A. Headquarters Promotions/Evaluations and S.W.K.K.A. Belt Certificate by Associate Master 8th Degree Black Belt Rick Jeffcoat  $100/test
  • 30-minute phone consultations $50

School Association Memberships

To signify membership, Association Member Schools are required to wear the S.W.K.K.A. patch on the left chest of the karate uniform.  Association member schools authorized to grant promotions  must confer rank to their students using the S.W.K.K.A. certificates signed by Mr. Jeffcoat.


  • S.W.K.KA. Association Certificate
  • S.W.K.K.A. Rank Certificates (available for purchase)
  • S.W.K.K.A. Association Patches (available for purchase)
  • Discount on books, journals, manuals, and instructor handbooks for your school.


    • S.W.K.K.A. Association Certificate
    • S.W.K.K.A. Rank Certificates (available for purchase)
    • S.W.K.K.A. Association Patches (available for purchase)
    • Approved icon link to the S.W.K.K.A. curriculum page [ white belt through 3rd black belt] for your school’s webpage. (see example below)
  • Discount on books, journals, manuals, and instructor handbooks for your school.
  • All students receive a Basic membership to the S.W.K.K.A. website. Plus access to American Kenpo Karate technique manuals, Kenpo Karate forms & sets manuals, and Kenpo Karate kata maps.


    • S.W.K.K.A. Association Certificate
    • S.W.K.K.A. Rank Certificates (available for purchase)
    • S.W.K.K.A. association patches (available for purchase)
    • Approved icon link to the S.W.K.K.A. curriculum page [white belt through 3rd black belt] for your school’s webpage. (see example below)
  • Discount on books, journals, manuals, and instructor handbooks for your school.
  • Turn Key Kenpo Karate Business Management & Teaching System (eg. Forms, letters & emails, brochures & business cards, intro cards & technique cards, payment plans with invoice letters, calendars, notices. Plus group class & private lesson teaching system, etc.)
  • American Kenpo Karate Marketing Plans (e.g. Buddy Days, Birthday packages, seminar planning, mailers, flyers, school signs and promotional materials etc…) plus business consultation support.
  • Instructors receive a Platinum membership to the SWKKA website. Plus access to American Kenpo Karate technique manuals, Kenpo Karate forms & sets manuals, and Kenpo Karate kata maps.  As well as American Kenpo Karate Instructor handbooks, and manuals.
  • All students receive a Basic membership to the SWKKA website. Plus access to American Kenpo Karate technique manuals, Kenpo Karate forms & sets manuals, and Kenpo Karate kata maps


  • Homepage web designed by R&M designs for your school with an icon link to the S.W.K.K.A. curriculum page, white belt through 3rd black belt. $750
  • Approved icon link to the S.W.K.K.A. curriculum page [white belt through 3rd black belt] for your schools’ webpage. $100/year
  • Discounted S.W.K.K.A. seminars events, designed for your school with 8th degree black belt Associate Master Rick Jeffcoat.
  • S.W.K.K.A. Association rank promotions for your students with Associate Master Rick Jeffcoat
  • 30-minute phone consultations $50

For More Information, call S.W.K.K.A. Headquarters at 626-793-8575.

*Prices do not include production costs and postage

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