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The History of Kickboxing, Part 1

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The Beginning In September 1974, on ABC’s “Wide World of Entertainment,” what would be known as the very first PKA World Championship was held in front of a sold-out crowd at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. It was a highly rated broadcast, reaching 52% of all people watching television. The broadcast was hosted by Kojak (Telly Savales) and Ryan O’Neil. Stars galore were seated ringside, from David Carradine (Kung Fu) to George Peppard and dozens more. The idea for this first World Championship came from Joe Lewis (RIP). It was Mike Anderson, editor of the Professional Karate Magazine, who made the arrangements for and promoted the first full-contact World Championships

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Grandmaster Joe Corley
Grandmaster Joe Corley
Grandmaster Joe Corley is a 10th degree black belt, a Black Belt Magazine and Taekwondo Hall of Famer, former top 10 national point fighter who retired as Number 1 Middleweight Contender in PKA Kickboxing, founder of the Battle of Atlanta World Karate Championships, executive producer for PKA televised fights on NBC, CBS, ESPN, SHOWTIME, USA Network, was Official Karate’s Man of the Decade, and recipient of the Joe Lewis Eternal Warrior award.

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