The King of Rock n’ Roll’s karate skills

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Elvis Presley, also known as ‘The King of Rock n’ Roll’, was one of the most significant cultural figures of the twentieth century. He reached a completely new level of fame that was never really seen before he came along. He was one of the first real ‘Megastars’. As the old saying goes, women wanted to be with him and men wanted to be him.

However, many people don’t know that the Japanese striking based martial art of karate was one of his main passions in life and a big focus of his during his later years. He eventually even earned the advanced, prestigious rank of seventh degree (seventh dan) black belt.


According to several sources, he was first introduced to karate and martial arts during his time in the military and it remained an important aspect of his life. It’s important to note that at the time martial arts weren’t what they are now in the United States. It wasn’t until Bruce Lee came about that the martial arts craze really started so Elvis is a bit of a pioneer in that regard and one of the early adopters of martial arts in America. He even spent some time training in kenpo karate under Ed Parker who is a big name in that world.

In this YouTube video we see some old footage of ‘The King’ himself training some karate mixed in with some footage of him on stage showing off some of his karate moves which would become an iconic trademark of his.

We see Presley working on a variety of techniques including elbows, back fists, kicks and even a little basic grappling. You even see him sporting his trademark sunglasses while training in the dojo (martial arts training room – highly revered in karate) something only ‘The King’ could get away with.

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