JACKSON, HOWARD (1951-2006) American karate champion. Jackson began martial arts in 1968 under Harold Williams of Detroit, Mich. In 1970 he received a black belt from Hwang Kee in the Korean style of tang soo do. After moving to southern California and gaining some notoriety as a fast-rising regional point fighter, Jackson trained with senior members of the Chuck Norris Studios and also with world heavyweight champion Joe Lewis, who had a profound influence on Jackson. In 1973, when Mike Anderson introduced semicontact fighting at his Top 10 Nationals in St. Louis, Jackson won the grand championship and the first $1,000 purse in semicontact competition. Black Belt and Professional Karate magazines rated him the number-1 U.S. karate fighter of 1973: he was inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame as “Fighter of the Year,” the first black fighter to be ranked number-one in the history of the sport. He is also the only two-time grand champion of the prestigious Battle of Atlanta (1973 and 1974). A severe knee injury destroyed Jackson’s chances of winning an inaugural world championship title at the World Professional Karate Championships of 1974, the event at which full-contact karate was spawned. He limped through a one-legged performance and retired bitter and frustrated shortly afterward. After two years of surgery and therapy, Jackson launched a comeback in 1976, competing in professional boxing, karate, and kick-boxing. On January 26, 1980, Jackson, now with a record of 15-1 in full-contact karate and 21 wins in pro boxing. won a unanimous nine-round decision over Japan’s Yoshimitsu Tamashiro to capture the WKA full-contact welterweight title. And in January 1981 he won against Miyaso Chiba in Tokyo to become the world junior welterweight champion of the World Kick-Boxing Association.