Joe Lewis

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Joe Lewis

Happy Birthday to Joe Lewis!

Joe Lewis

Born March 7, 1944.

Dubbed “Muhammad Ali” of Sport Karate + Kickboxing

Joined Marines. Studied shorin-ryu Karate when stationed in Okinawa. Studied under: Eizo Shimabukuro, Seiyu Ogata, Chisaku Kinjo, and John Korab; receiving a black belt in 7 months. Later in life he would study under Bruce Lee and Sugar Ray Robinson.  Joe Lewis was the first to hold the World Professional Full-Contact Karate Championship title. Joe was also the United States’ Heavyweight kickboxing champion.

Other accomplishments include:

  • 2012 Recipient of MAIA’s Lifetime Achieve Award
  • US National Blackbelt Champion
  • ” Greatest Karate Fighter of All Time,” – Karate Illustrated (1983)
  • Black Belt Hall fame for
    • Fighter of the year
    • instructor of the year
    • Player of the year
  • Recognition as Father of American Kickboxing
    • 1st world champion to be awarded a 10th Degree Grand Master ranking
  • In 4 Movies
    • Jaguar Lives!
    • Force Five
    • Death Cage
    • Mr. X
  • Taught hand to hand combat in Vietnam to an American Combat unit
    • One of the first people to do this
  • Released 25 Instructional Videos and several books
  • Created his own fighting System Called,” Joe Lewis’ Fight Strategies and Combat Sequences
    • Joe Lewis later handed over the torch to his two longest Standing Students: John and Jim Graden
      • Jim Graden Carries Lewis’ System in his dojo in Florida. His school’s website blog still mentions experiences with Joe Lewis as well as words of wisdom from Joe. (school is called World Champion Martial Arts”
  • Street Fighter’s Ken was based on Joe Lewis’ story they are both Americans who Trained in Japan and returned to the U.S. to win the U.S. Championship

Joe won $1 in the first World Professional Karate Championship at Jim Harrison’s dojo in Kansas City.

He also fought in Ed Parker’s 1972 International Karate Championships. Joe trained with Bruce lee in 1967 and with Joe Orbillo, a former heavy weight boxing contender. Joe Lewis was considered fast and Powerful, known for his side kick and hook in full- contact Karate and his lead side, Side kick and fast back fist in Point Karate. He was known for his low kicks in kickboxing.

Joe Lewis was known to grab an opponent’s dogi and punch his opponent’s face until the fight was stopped. (Personally, I find that sort of behavior unsportsman like and disgusting and that’s my opinion and you don’t have to agree with it – Masa)

Joe Lewis has studied:

  • Shorin-ryu Karate
  • sho bayashi
  • Matsubayashi
  • Okinawan Kenpo
  • Judo
  • Jeet Kune Do
  • Boxing
  • Taichi

 Joe Lewis has also been inducted to Black Belt’s Hall of Fame as Player of the year.

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