Kenpo Women’s Symposium
Helping Women Find Community and Grow


Bobby Lawrence was born in Utah, but raised in the Mojave Desert of Southern California, Needles California, to be exact. He used to joke that in the summertime he would drive to Las Vegas to cool down.

Mr. Lawrence began his serious karate studies when he entered college in 1972. His teacher was Richard Callahan, who ran an Ed Parker franchise school in Colton, California. He received his black belt in 1977. From then until 1982, karate training and competition were his favorite hobbies. In 1983, Mr. Lawrence connected directly with Mr. Parker. He loved being a direct student of his. In 1989, Mr. Parker inspired Mr. Lawrence’s wife Charlene to turn their hobby into a business.

In Salt Lake City, Utah, six weeks prior to Mr. Parker’s passing in 1990, Mr. Parker promoted Mr. Lawrence to 4th degree black belt. In 1994, Richard Callahan, the master of his own system recognized him as a master and commissioned him to develop his own style. This Mr. Lawrence did, relying mostly on the American Kenpo system Ed Parker developed. Because of his efforts to do so, he was recognized in Tom Bleecker’s The International Journey, Vol. 2. Since that time, Mr. Lawrence has continued to train, learn, and teach and was promoted to 10th degree black belt in June 2021.

Mr. Lawrence loves that he has many great Kenpo friends, and the ones he gets to see the most are in California: Bob (RIP) and Barbara White, Larry and Lesley Kongaika, and Angelo Collado.