Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Joe Lewis - learn from the legend

John Zimmer of My Self-Defense Blog dropped me a line mentioning a couple of upcoming seminars featuring the legendary Joe Lewis, and MMA/BJJ fighter Dean Lister. Unless I'm going to attend, I usually won't plug a seminar or event, but I decided to do so this time.

Joe Lewis at 60 years of age!

I consider Joe Lewis to be a living treasure, a modern master of martial arts concepts as well as technique. His understanding of sparring and fighting tactics and psychology may be unparalleled.

Lewis was known as the most dominant point fighter during the early years of open competition, then became the first heavyweight world champion of American Full-Contact Karate, an experiment pitting Karate fighters against one another with full contact allowed. Joe Lewis was the equivalent of an early Mike Tyson in that era, so intimidating that many of his opponents were already defeated before the start of a match. After dominating the point and full contact competitive arena, Lewis moved on to television and film acting, appearing in several films as an actor and stuntman. The IMDB, in fact, lists Vietnam vet (USMC) Lewis as an uncredited stuntman in John Wayne's The Green Berets (I didn't know that one)!

Lewis traded punches and kicks with the best his era had to offer, and was voted "the greatest karate fighter of all time" by his peers. His rocky relationship with Bruce Lee is the stuff of lore today. Lee apparently wanted to train with the best champion at the time, and Lewis accepted the offer. At some point, both men earned the respect of the other. I don't really know who learned more from the other, but, having attended a couple of seminars of Mr. Lewis in the 80s and 90s, I quickly grew to respect both his ability and his deep knowledge of the principles and concepts of unarmed fighting.

Check out this link to learn more about the upcoming Lewis and Lister seminars, or the Karate College 2008 to be held in June at Radford University in Virginia (I may be attending).

The bottom line is, that if you want to learn from one of the best authorities in historical and innovative martial arts knowledge, attend a Joe Lewis seminar while he still deigns to teach them to us lesser mortals.

For more:

TDA Joe Lewis sparring footage
TDA The fastest technique
TDA Joe Lewis on the myth of the "street fighter"
TDA Defend the Thai Clinch
Joe Lewis' film and TV career
Joe Lewis Wikipedia entry
Karate College 2008
Nice bio www.ikfkickboxing.com


Rick Fryer said...

A highly recommended seminar.

Joe Lewis has been a huge kickboxing influence for me. Through his video tapes, I was first introduced to ring strategy. I later attended a couple of his seminars in Illinois.

Lewis breaks down the fight game into easy to understand principles that can be applied to help anyone practicing combat sports. Whether your interested in full contact competition or just want to improve your study of the martial arts, Lewis is a great resource for learning.

If you want to be the best, you need to train with the best... and in that respect, Lewis certainly qualifies.



Nathan Teodoro said...

Rick, I have to agree on recommending attendance at a Joe Lewis seminar. I learned more concepts from him in a short time than I've ever done in my life - things I actually use! Many seminars are not that way, and you come away with a concept or idea that you quickly discard. Not so with Lewis.