> USA karate story : Chuck Norris - Joe Lewis - Bill Wallace: Tournaments and Promoters

vendredi 18 avril 2008

Tournaments and Promoters

Introduction :

American traditional karate tournaments are held on a regular basis since the 1960's. The promoters decide of the qualifications and participants, mostly Americans. In addition, competitors may come from various styles, as karate and Taekwondo. No federation regulates this sport.

The tournaments were often divided into weight classes (light, medium, medium-heavy and heavy). The winners of each category met for the title of Grand Champion.

Major tournaments and organizers :

Ed Parker :

Born in Hawaii, Ed Parker gets a black belt in judo at the age of 15. In 1953, he received his black belt in Kempo, from William Chow.

In 1956, Ed Parker arrives in California / USA, to teach Kempo. He founded the American Kempo Karate, using various techniques from other martial arts. He also creates the IKKA, International Kempo Karate Association.

He becomes a karate instructor, and develops, like others, a franchise system for his schools.

In 1973 and 1974, the film "New Gladiators" is turned. A team of karatekas (Ron Marchini, Benny Urquidez, Darnell Garcia, Tom Kelly and John Natividad) went to Belgium and England. Ed Parker is at the head of this team. Elvis Presley finances the project. A demonstration by Elvis, September 16, 1974, is included in this film.

Ed Parker Elvis Presley

The most famous student of Ed Parker was Elvis Presley,
Bringing here a beautiful red belt ...

Ed Parker died in 1990, at the age of 59.

Videos demonstrations of Ed Parker are available on You Tube at this address :http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=gFSUPDGvFVM. We also include a video of Elvis Presley, "practicing" karate, http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=hRJP6I7fAqU , with Bill Wallace for a short time.

Elvis Presley would have received an honorary belt in Kempo 8th Dan, for his promotion.

His tournament :

Since 1964, and for 27 years, Ed Parker is organising the "Internationals Karate Championships."

At the first issue in 1964, won by Mike Stone, Bruce Lee presents a demonstration of punch arrested.

In 1973, an amount of USD 2,500 .-- is offered for the title of Grand Champion. John Natividad, a student of Chuck Norris, beats Benny Urquidez by 13 to 12. This battle is considered as one of the best, in light-contact.

In 1974, 6,000 fighters are participating in the tournament. In 1975, an amount of USD 16'250 is scheduled for the championship Pro/Am. The winner of the katas wins about USD 1,000 .--.

Main results :

1964: Mike Stone winner against Harry Keolanui for the Grand Champion
1965: Mike Stone winner of the Grand Champion, beats Art Pelela and Tony Tulleners
1966: Allen Steen beats Chuck Norris and Joe Lewis.
1967: Chuck Norris beats Joe Lewis for the title of Grand Champion.
1968: Chuck Norris beats Steve Sanders for the Grand Champion. Joe Lewis was disqualified for having struck an opponent. He is also sent to the canvas by Jim Harrison.
1969: Joe Lewis wins Grand Champion
1970: Joe Lewis wins Grand Champion
1971: Joe Lewis wins maybe Grand Champion against Steve Sanders
1972: Joe Lewis loses against Darnell Garcia, for the Grand Champion


Allen Steen :

Allen Steen, Texas, practice the Tang Soo Do since 1959. In 1962, he received his black belt from the hands of Jhoon Rhee.

After the Jhoon Rhee's departing for Washington, Allen Steen is teaching Karate in Texas (named Texas Blood and Guts Karate, because of his violence), as well as in franchised schools .

In 1963, Allen Steen eventually gets second place at the World Championships in Chicago. Note that this title is awarded by the organizer of the tournament and has nothing to do with a real title of World Champion.

Allen Steen is the director of the Southwest Black Belt Karate Association, which he founded in 1967. This organization became the American Black Belt Karate Association, in 1972. He also takes care of Texas Karate Institute in Dallas.

In 1966, he won the All American Grand Championship and the International Championships, Grand Champion. He is part of the winning team of US National Karate Team, Hawaii. He withdrew from the competition in 1967.

Allen Steen vs Chuck Norris

Allen Steen (left) vs. Chuck Norris

Steen is one of the few to have beaten Mike Stone, even though he was still brown belt.

Among the student of Steen are included Mike Anderson, Pat Burleson, Skipper Mullins, Fred Weren, Demetrius Havanas, Jim Butin and Roy Kurban.

In 1980, Allen Steen is announced as the 10th Dan black belt.

His tournament :

In 1963, Steen created the "Southwest Karate Championships", which became in 1964 the United States Karate Championships. " According to some sources, Mike Stone, still brown belt, won the black belts tournament and Allen Steen won the Grand Champion. This championship is held for 25 years the second weekend of February and cared by Allen Steen.

In 1964, there are 133 fighters from 32 schools and 2'100 spectators.

In 1965, the tournament is renamed the "US Karate Championships."

In 1973, 1'047 competitors are present, as 8,000 spectators.

Main results :

Grand Champion :
1963: Allen Steen beats Mac Coy
1964: Keith See beats Allen Steen
1965: David Moon beats Corselio. According to other sources, the runner-up was AlGene Caraulia
1966: David Moon def Pat Burleson
1967: David Moon beats Terry Conver
1968: Joe Lewis vs. Chuck Norris
1969: Fred Wren beats Jim Harrison
1970: Fred Wren def Bill Watson
1971: Bill Wallace beats Skipper Mullins
1972: Bob Dunek beats Roy Kurban
1973: Bill Wallace beats Roy Kurban
1974: Bill Wallace beats Flem Evans


Jhoon Rhee :

A section is devoted in this blog to Jhoon Rhee and his invention of the protections, which need not be repeated here.

Jhoon Rhee arrives in the USA in 1956, and teaches the Taekwondo in Texas , then named Tang Soo Do. Among his students, is included Allen Steen.

Jhoon Rhee moved to Washington in 1962. He opens many schools around the world, organizes a variety of demonstrations, including a famous American politicians tournament between seniors.

Jhoon Rhee Jhoon Rhee in action

In full-contact time, Jhoon Rhee created the Black Belt World League/WBBL.

Among his students, we can cite Jeff Smith and Mike Anderson.

On You Tube can be find videos from various Jhoon Rhee : http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=lUYReyqgh1w.

His tournament :

Jhoon Rhee organizes in 1964, the "US National Karate Championships," in Washington. This is the first tournament filmed by television for the program Wide World of Sports. In 1964, he organizes also the First Southwest Karate Championships in Dallas, Keith See is the winner, facing Allen Steen.

Main results :

1964: Pat Burleson wins the first title, vs Herbert Peters.
1965: Mike Stone def Walt Worthy?, Grand Champion
1966: Joe Lewis wins the title against LaPuppet and wins the katas.
1967: Joe Lewis beats Frank Hargrowe
1968: Joe Lewis wins
1969: Joe Lewis wins
1970: Pat Worley wins the title of Grand Champion.


Henry Cho :

Henry Cho is the 9th dan black belt in taekwondo. The Korean arrived in the USA as a student. He opened a school in New York in 1961 and participated in numerous demonstrations.

In 1974, he founded the branch of Taekwondo in the Amateur Athletic Union, AAU. Thereafter, it will become the USTU, becoming a full member of the US Olympic Committee.

Henri Cho

Henry Cho

His tournament :

Since 1965, he administers the "All American Open Taekwondo/Karate/Kung Fu Championships Tournament." Henry Cho products it during 23 years, at the Madison Square Garden.

Main results :

The winners :
1965: LaPuppet
1966: Julio La Salle
1967: Chuck Norris
1968: Chuck Norris
1969: Mitchell Bobrow
1970: William Swift
1971: Yu Byong Youg
1972: Mike Warren
1973: Albert Cheeks
1974: Michael Warren
1975: George Thanos
1976: Donnie Collins
1977: Michael Warren
1978: Gerard Robbins
1979: Michael Warren


Robert Trias :

With Robert Trias, born in 1923, we encounter one of the US Karate pioneers. He learned this art while serving during World War II in the Solomon Islands. He also practiced boxing and judo. He teaches in the USA, and creates the United States Karate Association / USKA.

Robert Trias

Robert Trias

Among his students, we mention Scott Ross and Victor Moore.

His tournament :

In 1963, Robert Trias organizes the "First World Karate Tournament" in Chicago, primarily to open American fighters, in spite of its name. This tournament becomes the "USKA Nationals" in 1966 and "USKA Grand Nationals" in 1968.

Main results :

1963 : Al Caraulia Gene
1964 : Victor Moore beats the champion from Hawaii. According to other sources, Mike Stone wins over Ray Cooper in the semi-finals and Mill Crenshaw in the finals.
1968 : Victor Moore beats Joe Lewis for the World's Hemisphere Karate Championships, (sometimes called World's Fair) USKA Grand National
1969 : Victor Moore beats Mike Stone, for the World Championships Team
1970 : Victor Moore beats Bill Wallace for the first USKA Professional World Championships
1972 : Bill Wallace beats Joe Lewis
1973 : Bill Wallace beats ?
1974 : Flem Evans beats Bill Wallace
1975 : Flem Evans wins
1976 : Flem Evans wins


Aaron Banks :

Aaron Banks gets his karate black belt in 1962, after having been a student of John Kuhl, practicing Goju Ryu. He opened his own school in New York. Aaron Banks holds his first demonstration in 1963.

Aaron Banks

Aaron Banks

With Al Weiss, he publishes the newspaper Official Karate since 1968, less traditional than Black Belt Magazine. He organizes the Oriental World of Self Defense, itinerant exhibition.

He also takes care of the newspaper World Karate, in the 1970's.

His tournaments :

East Coast vs. West Coast, In 1968, at the Manhattan Center in New York, during a tournament organized by Aaron Banks, the team of the East Coast beats the West Coast team. The winning team, coached by Ed Parker, is represented by Joe Lewis, Steve Sanders, Chuck Norris, and Jerry Taylor. The team from the East, coached by Banks, is represented by Thomas LaPuppet, Joe Hayes, Kazuyoshi Tanaka and Louis Delgado. 3,800 spectators were present at the Manhattan Center. Lewis wins against LaPuppet with a final side-kick and wins also against Louis Delgado. In the same tournament, Delgado beats Norris, Jerry Taylor beats Joseph Hayes, Norris beats LaPuppet, Tanaka beats Sanders and Taylor beat s Tanaka. These could be traditional Karate.

In 1968, Aaron Banks organizes the "Orient vs US" tournament. Joe Lewis lost against N. Tanaka, from Shotokan, and living in the USA. According to the journal "Black Belt" from dec 1968, Joe Lewis was penalized for violent banned blows and had a bad conduct on the canvas. In the same tournament, Joe Hayes beats Bob Chin, a kung-fu man. Dwight "Hawk" Frazier beats Shoen, a Bando style player. Shigeru Numano, Gensei-Ryu style, beats Luis Delgado. Ron Marchini beats Hoy Lee, Bando style. Chuck Norris beats Theodore Wong, Shotokan. US team wins against Orient. The audience had a bad attitude against the Orient Team.

World Professional Karate Championship. The following information is drawn from May 1969 Black Belt issue. This professional karate meeting is organized by Aaron Banks on November 24th 1968. It takes place at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. There is possibly 3 rounds per fights.

David Moon, Texas, def Canadian Wally Slocki, by 39 to 38. The match was tight and the crowd enthusiastic. Kazuyoshi Tanaka of Japan meets Skipper Mullins, for the lightweights world title. Skipper Mullins would have earned the title of the lightweights at the professional championship in Dallas, a few weeks ago. Mullins dominates the Japanese and win by 91 to 66.

Chuck Norris wants to take revenge, facing Louis Delgado, his defeat collected the year before, during the encounter between West Coast and East Coast. Delgado is more than 10 years younger than his opponent. Norris sends Delgado to the canvas, with a punch, in the first round. In the second, Delgado sends his opponent to the canvas, with a kick in the mouth. The fight resumed so fierce and in the end, Chuck Norris wins by 101 to 93. According to other versions, Delgado would have suffered from a broken arm.

Mike Stone dominates widely against Bob Taiani, alias Tara Takayuki. At a certain point, the doctor finds that Mike Stone has broken his ankle. Despite this, the game resumed and Stone wins by 93 to 70.

Joe Lewis, presented as the "Bad-Boy from Karate" in the journal Black Belt, meets Victor Moore. Both fighters, dressed in black, use many kicks. Joe Lewis is cut above the eye. In the end, the crowd applauds the fighters and Lewis wins by 84 to 66. Each winner would have earned U.S. $ 600 .--. Only Chuck Norris would have defended his title the following year, against an unknown opponent.

Something is surprising. In this article, the name "World Championships" is used only once, and it concerns only the battle between Tanaka and Mullins. A question remains. When this tournament became a World Championship for all participants, as seems to show the various current enrolment in records.

We should not confuse this tournament with the "World Professional Karate Championships WPKC ", organized in February 1968, in Kansas City, by Jim Harrison.

At the full-contact time, Aaron Banks creates the "World Professional Karate Organization / WPKO" and organizes on May 10, 1975, an evening with 4 World Championships, Joe Hess in the heavyweights, Fred Miller in the light heavyweights, Kasim Dubur (Dubar) in the middleweights and Benny Urquidez in the lightweights. In this blog, a special article is about this tournament.


Mike Anderson :

Born in the USA, he practices various sports, including Taekwondo since 1961. he was a student of Jhoon Rhee.

Mike Anderson is studying in Germany, where he teaches his art. He teaches the Taekwondo to Georg Brückner, head of the Brückner Institut in Berlin, fighting sports pioneer in Germany.

Mike Anderson
Mike Anderson

Mike Anderson participates in various tournaments in Europe, before returning to the USA. He publishes the newspaper "Professional Karate" .

We have already spoken about Mike Anderson in the article about the Sept. 17, 1974 in Los-Angeles and the creation of the PKA, two weeks after.

He leaves PKA, which he created, before founding WMAA. This federation becomes the WAKO, with Anderson as President for many years. Brückner is in charge of the development of the WAKO in Europe.

Thereafter, Anderson will organize various competitions in full-contact, as the evening in Paris in 1976, with the USA team against Europe (mentioned in another article).

His tournament :

Mike Anderson is organizing the tournament named Top-Ten National or Top-Ten Grand National. In 1973, Jhoon Rhee protections are used for the first (or second) time in history, in his tournament. In 1974, the tournament becomes the Top-Ten National Professional Karate and includes a competition of professional Katas.

Main results :

1972: Chuck Loven wins a title and Bill Wallace wins another title
1973: Howard Jackson wins the title of Grand Champion
1974: No title of Grand Champion
Gordon Franks beats Cecil Peoples for the lightweights
Bill Wallace beats Flem Evans for the middleweights
Jim Butin beats Jeff Smith for the light heavyweights
Eddy "Monster Man" Everett beats Joe Lewis for the heavyweights


Joe Corley :

He starts with Tang Soo Do in 1963 and receives his black belt in 1966. He opens his first school in 1967, at age 21.

Joe Corley vs Bill Superfoot Wallace

Joe Corley Wallace met Bill in 1975,
For the world title means PKA in full-contact.

Currently, Joe Corley still teaches karate.

His tournament :

Joe Corley has organized in Atlanta the "Battle of Atlanta"since 1970. At the time, only two weight classes exist, heavyweights and lightweights. The Battle of Atlanta was first organized in traditional karate, and after in professional before introducing the full-contact.

In 1973, 800 fighters took part in the competition. Since then, the tournament has not ceased to grow and be the subject of numerous TV reports.

The name of the tournament is also a famous battle during the Civil War.

Main results :

1970: Joe Lewis beats Mitchell Bobrow for the heavyweights and Joe Hayes for the Grand Championship.
1973: Howard Jackson wins the title.
1974: Howard Jackson wins the title, beating Fred Wren by 8-5 and Jeff Smith by 4-3 . In the final, he beats Mike Warren. For the 3rd place, Jeff Smith beats Eddy Everett 3-2.
In 1975, Joe Corley meets Bill Wallace, for the middleweights title in full-contact, in front of 12,000 spectators. Bill Wallace wins by tko in the 9th rounds.
In 1977, Ross Scott beats Jerry Rhome by ko, in full-contact.


Conclusion :

The success of tournaments corresponded with the emergence of outstanding champions, as Joe or Bill Lewis Wallace, among others. In addition, media coverage has been ensured, surfing with the incredible success of the martial arts, during this time.

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