The Auction at Graceland•Elvis Week•August 13, 2019
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/13/2019

Karate was an important part of Elvis Presley’s life in the early ‘70s and Ed Parker was an instrumental friend and teacher to Elvis in this art. Ed Parker founded American Kenpo karate based on the original art that he learned in Hawaii. The art is primarily a form of combat self-defense maneuvers, typically using circular motions, that results in a never-ending series of strikes to your opponent. After Ed Parker’s students began teaching his version of Kenpo in other countries, the International Kenpo Karate Association was formed. The offered gold-colored metal membership card, dated “Sept. 5, 1974,” certifies that Elvis Presley is a member of the International Kenpo Karate Association and is entitled with the rank of “8th A.M.A.” A.M.A. stands for Associate Master of the Art. The card has the enameled Kenpo Karate logo in the lower left corner and a raised gold signature of Ed Parker as President in the lower right corner. Elvis’ 8th degree black belt gold certification card was acquired from Ed Parker by Sandi Pichon who was the brave 11-year-old girl who in 1956 knocked on Elvis’ back door, starting a long friendship that would have Sandi attending over 150 Elvis concerts and being accepted as a friend in Elvis’ inner circle. Sandi later wrote a book about how Elvis changed her life entitled Raised on ELVIS! ELVIS! ELVIS! This early chain of provenance is impeccable. The certification card comes with a letter from Sandi Pichon that states, “This is to authenticate the Elvis Presley 1974 Karate metal card from Ed Parker. This is my personal metal card and is from my collection. I acquired it from Ed Parker thru Sean Kelley. The card reads as follows. This is to Certify that Elvis Presley is a member of the International Kenpo Karate Association and is entitled to the rank of 8th A.M.A. / Date Sept 5, 1974 / By Ed Parker / Chairman of the Board.” 

Elvis was so proud and excited by his achievement in reaching this goal of 8th Associate Master of the Art that 100 gold certification cards were created at that time for Elvis to hand out to friends, family and fans. Elvis achieved the 9th rank the following year and was awarded his certificate for his 9th degree black belt on his 41st birthday, January 8, 1976 giving him only a short period in which to distribute his gold certificate cards for his 8th degree black belt. Elvis was passionate about the art and had achieved his 6th and 7th degree black belts in 1973. Karate provided Elvis with spiritual contentment and he integrated its skills and teachings into all areas of his life. This very special membership and rank card exemplifies the level of adoration felt by the King for this art. The card measures 2 1/4 by 3 1/2 inches (5.71 x 8.89 cm) and is accompanied by a letter from Jimmy Velvet and a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.

The gold identification card has minor surface soiling on the reverse and is in excellent condition overall.
Elvis Presley International Kenpo Karate Association 8th Degree Black Gold ID Certification Card Acquired from Ed Parker by Sandy Pichon
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $1,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $1,500.00
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Number Bids: 4
Auction closed on Tuesday, August 13, 2019.
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