Immortal Tiger Kenpo Karate patch:
The name of Immortal Tiger comes from Kata #17 in our system, which my instructor Master Professor Bill Grossman created as a gift for his instructor Senior Grand Master Rick Alemany. Alemany liked the form so much that it was incorporated into our system as key kata #17. I have always liked the imagery of tigers in martial arts, and wanted a way to pay homage to my instructor, so naming our school after Grossman's form was my way of doing this. Additionally, it holds a second meaning to me personally since when I had been studying Tae Kwon Do in Indiana (before my Kenpo journey began) the school there was Tiger Martial Arts. So the tiger here recognizes two instructors who played a large role in my martial arts career.
See Bill Grossman performing the attacks for Immortal Tiger in this 2009 video here on YouTube.
The colors red and black are common kenpo colors, and I chose those for our universal pattern which actually comes from Ed Parker's American Kenpo system. Our system traces back to Shaolin Kenpo (Ralph Castro) so we have borrowed this universal pattern as it is a 2D representation of a three dimensional concept to help understand motion and both linear and circular movements. I highly recommend you google "kenpo universal pattern" after this, or read more about it in Ed Parker's Infinite Insights Into Kenpo Volume 3.
The mountain and river in the background are to signify our "mother" kata. Mountain Meets River is key kata #1 in our system. From it most of the higher level variations and curriculum are derived. That is the beauty of the Shaolin Kenpo katas is that once you've learned all the key katas there are variations upon variations you can learn for them. Four Winds. The Rivers. Etc. That is why they are key katas as they are the keys to unlocking more knowledge.
The river starts from the "Kenpo Karate" and leads you on your way to black belt. It is the symbolic journey of one's martial arts training, a winding river through a river to an eventual goal (which is then guarded by our immortal tiger, who also protects out universal pattern). that path may not be straight but along the way your knowledge grows as does the river.
The black on white at the bottom reminds us of the beginning of our training as white belts and reminds us that we are always learning.
Bill Grossman's School of Kenpo Karate patch:
We wear the patch from my instructors school on our right shoulder as a reminder of our origins.
Master Professor has a great write up for the explanation and history of his patch here:
Universal Pattern patch:
We wear the universal pattern on our left shoulder. It should be worn so that the heart shape is visible at the top. The universal pattern was developed by Ed Parker, the father of American Kenpo. Although we study Shaolin Kenpo Karate we still use the universal pattern to analyze all varieties of movement in the system. The universal pattern realistically should be perceived as a 3D representation, but in patch format is 2D. I think it is best explained by Ed Parker himself:
"To know the complete design is to know every conceivable direction, path, angle, or orbit that the hand or foot may travel whether they are used singularly, simultaneously, or as combinations. It contains straight lines, curved lines, quarter circles, half circles, full circles, circles that touch, overlapping circles, squares, diamonds, rectangles, triangles, crosses, crisscrosses, hearts, figure eights, overlapping figure eights, elongated figure eights, octagons, etc."
Parker, Ed. Ed Parker's Infinite Insights Into Kenpo: Mental & Physical Constituents, Kindle Edition.