SOO, PARK JONG (1941-2021) Korean-born tae kwon do instructor, a pioneer of Canadian tae kwon do, Soo was […]
The first protective gear for martial arts sparring. It revolutionized tournament karate and created fullcontact fighting. Jhoon Rhee was the inventor.
The Lost Interview: Joe Lewis on the Origin of Full-Contact Martial Arts A candid conversation with the late […]
American Paul Maslak created the first independent world kickboxing ranking system based on a computer algorithm. Here is the story behind STAR.
The founder of Taekwondo.
Isshin Ryu Karate was founded by one of the great karate masters, Tatsuo Shimabuku, and is derived from […]
The World Series of Martial Arts Championships (WSMAC) was a fullcontact fighting promotion organized by American Tommy Lee. […]
The early history of American kickboxing saw a split between American and International rules. The WKA was created by a former PKA promoter to take the sport to Japan and Europe. Leg kicks were added to the rule set.
The karate master who went from forms and spectacular breaking to teaching pressure points in martial arts.
In 1973 Jhoon Rhee launched his first set of protective sparring gear that changed the face of martial arts worldwide.
Goju-ryu grandmaster Gogen Yamaguchi is widely known as “The Cat”, the most important person in recent history of Karate-Do.
Mas Oyama is known for being one of the strongest karateka in recent history being the founder of Kyokushin Kai karate.
Minobu Miki, one of the top forms competitors during the 1970ies in the US explains the way of the sword.
Thai boxing was never seen outside Thailand (then known as Siam) until 1926, when Chua Chakshuraksha and Wanlop […]
American fullcontact legends stage an exhibition fight in Germany.
It probably could be a pretty soft life in the foam-rubber world of Jhoon Rhee, the man who […]
Robert Wall of Tang So Do dies at age 82. He was famous for the parts he played in Bruce Lee movies.
They called him “Nasty” because he was the best American point fighter of all times.
Windy is to Muay Thai in Thailand what Everlast represents in American boxing. The iconic Thai brand produces […]
A boxing organization empowers industries that exploit and torture animals.
An interesting talk with the founder of Escrima in America, the late and most secretive Grandmaster.
This video of the first fullcontact kickboxing World Championships is a rare document showing the final fights of the night.
In 1966 Filipino Angel Cabales opened his first martial arts dojo in the USA. His new home in Stockton, CA as an immigrant from The Philippines was the base for the slow spread of Serrada Escrima to the west. Cabales tought the Filipino martial arts only to those applicants who he deemed worthy. It was more of a family dojo for him. He refused to teach FMA to Ernie Reyes for example, but found others who were following his instructions to the letter such as Anthony Davis. Angel Cabales is often called the “father of Escrima in America.” He was born in 1917 and died in 1991.
The first defense of a professional fullcontact karate world title was held during the 1975 Battle of Atlanta. Champion Bill Wallace performed against Joe Corley.
George was a pioneer of martial arts who was unparalleled in his skills and devotion. His roots date back to the 50ies when he started training self defense based on JuJutsu, a European version of Jiu Jitsu. Driven by curiosity he observed US-American soldiers stationed in occupied West Germany training Taekwondo and Karate. He started learning this new, modern way of Oriental combat. One of the best known American instructors was Mike Anderson. George heard about Anderson’s exceptional skills and traveled to Garmisch Partenkirchen – around 700 Km south of West Berlin – every weekend to learn the art of Taekwondo. Both became friends and partners who were instrumental in changing the landscape of martial arts in Europe.
A few years back I asked my friend John Corcoran to research and write an article about the early history of Sport Karate in America. An article describing how Americans adopted traditional Asian martial arts like Karate, Tae Kwon Do or Hap Ki Do and turned them in to a competitive fighting sport, first known as: Sport Karate. This later became known as Fullcontact fighting and kickboxing as we know it today. John, who is one of the best martial arts editors and historians I know, wrote an outstanding piece of paper about this and I am happy to have found the original English language copy to post below. This is the first of 2 parts.