Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Full-contact pioneer dead at 68.
August 31, 2012 11:15 AM   Subscribe

Karateka Joe Lewis passed away this morning. In the '60s, he broke with convention at a time when martial arts tradition was rarely questioned, getting outside perspectives and training from the likes of Sugar Ray Robinson and Bruce Lee. In 1969, Lewis pushed for and fought in the United States Karate Championships' first ever full-contact karate match. Full-contact martial arts have exploded in the years since then.
posted by ignignokt (8 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
.
posted by Smart Dalek at 11:21 AM on August 31, 2012


Wow. Thanks for this. I guess the closest we see to him in today's UFC is probably Lyoto Machida.

.
posted by mph at 11:39 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


.
.
posted by mule98J at 12:09 PM on August 31, 2012


Not to take away from the guy's unbelievable accomplishments, but whoever made the video should not have kept insisting that this match was the seminal full contact martial arts match and implying a connection between it and the eventual founding of the UFC. There are some people from Brazil that might disagree.

Lots of fighters now, like Machida, are looking to karate to get an edge. Lyoto Machida, John Makdessi, Stephen 'Wonderboy' Thompson, and quite a few others are proving emphatically that karate has a place in MMA, and I would imagine they all know Joe Lewis' work very well. Any strike from any angle, and with no shortage of KO power. It's a nightmare to defend and counter against guys like this. Awesome post and video, thanks.
posted by TheRedArmy at 12:31 PM on August 31, 2012


whoever made the video should not have kept insisting that this match was the seminal full contact martial arts match and implying a connection between it and the eventual founding of the UFC. There are some people from Brazil that might disagree.

That's a good point. I didn't catch that the video said that, but yeah, full contact fighting - involving karate even - had been going on long before that throughout the world. It just wasn't done in the US, though, and Joe chipped out a pretty big chunk of progress. So, I think there is a connection between his work and the establishment of MMA today - just not a solid line one.
posted by ignignokt at 1:04 PM on August 31, 2012


Yeah I agree. Also, that fight in the video looks basically like what K-1 is today. Probably another thing that wouldn't exist or be quite the same without Lewis.
posted by TheRedArmy at 8:14 PM on August 31, 2012


It's a nightmare to defend and counter against guys like this.

Shogun basically laid down the blueprint* in their first encounter, but otherwise you are correct. And even then, know what to do is just the basics when it comes to combat; you've, you know, got to be able to do it.

* best explained in Jack Slack's analysis of Shogun's striking, found here; specifically in the kicks section.
posted by Dark Messiah at 8:40 PM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


But, why is Eeyore the narrator in the first film?
posted by qinn at 1:45 AM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


« Older Kubrick - One-Point Perspective (vimeo)...  |  The Osmonds' 1974 Fiddler on t... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments