The Auction at Graceland•January 7, 2017
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 1/7/2017

From the collection of “Rockin’” Robin Rosaaen.

Karate was an important part of Elvis Presley’s life in the early ’70s and provided him with spiritual contentment. He embraced it with open arms by practicing its skills and teachings in all aspects of his life. The offered group of documents centers around Elvis achieving his 4th Degree Black Belt in 1971, and they were originally offered in the 1999 Graceland Archives auction. The “membership” card, sent with the letter, is signed on the reverse by Ed Parker and his wife Leilani Parker. Below their signatures, the card reads “Dated this 18th day of February in the year 1971 / Being at Pasadena / In the sovereign state of Calif. / School code: 4-11-54-EPAP-01.” The left side features a black-and-white photo of Elvis. The front of the card features the International Kenpo Karate Association logo and states that it “hereby confers upon ELVIS PRESLEY The rank of 4TH DEGREE BLACK As outlined by the Board of Regents in the constitution, for proficiency in the Art of KARATE.”

The March 26, 1971, letter signed by Ed Parker on International Kenpo Karate Association letterhead reads in part, “Dear Elvis, Just a short note to say it was nice talking with you and pray that you will have a rapid recovery. Enclosed please find your membership card indicating your new rank. I have dated it the night I witnessed your performance. Please attach a wallet sized photo of yourself in the space marked with an ‘X’. I will be sending your certificate, plaque, constitution, etc. in the next few days. God bless you.” The ailment to which Ed is referring is the bout of iritis Elvis suffered while in Nashville during a recording session a week earlier, which put Elvis in the hospital for several days. Coincidentally, just days after this letter and card arrive from Ed Parker, Elvis first meets Master Kang Rhee (at Parker’s recommendation) at Rhee’s studio on Poplar Avenue in Memphis. He is awarded his 4th Degree Black Belt (again!) from Rhee on that day. Also included with the lot is Elvis’ personal copy of the International Kenpo Karate Association Handbook. This is an amazing group of artifacts relating to the strongest of Elvis’ many passions. The card measures 2 by 3 5/8 inches (5.08 x 9.20 cm) and is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.

The card with the black and white image of Elvis on the reverse exhibits slight wear to the edges. The letter shows moderate wear with minor wrinkling, a small stain and original mailing folds. Overall excellent condition.
1971 Elvis Presley 4th Degree Black Belt Card with Letter from Ed Parker and Elvis’ Kenpo Karate Handbook - Emanating from Graceland*
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $1,500.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $3,375.00
Estimate: $3,000 - $4,000
Number Bids: 14
Auction closed on Saturday, January 7, 2017.
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