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Elvis The Martial Artist

Updated on December 9, 2014

Elvis The King of Rock n Roll Promoted Martial Arts

Elvis was very serious about Martial Arts. If you watch his performance videos or if you ever saw Elvis live, you might notice the Martial Arts influence. He was always promoting Martial Arts during his shows. Elvis became a Martial Arts student when he was in the army, in 1959. He said he was doing it every day of his life ever since..."for at least two or six hours a day."

On this page I have included information about Elvis the Martial Artist along with gifts for the Elvis fan and collector.

Image Credits Elvis Presley Gladiators:
The 1974 Elvis Karate Legacy Project Courtesy of Amazon

Do you know Elvis as The King of Rock 'n Roll or as Tiger, the Martial Artist?

"Elvis was perhaps one of biggest promoters of the martial arts during their big rise in the United States. Through his fight scenes in his movies, or his on-stage kata-inspired dance routines, Elvis introduced millions to the martial arts. Unlike many celebrities who got into the martial arts for movie roles, or because it was the "in" thing to do, Elvis truly believed in the martial arts and the benefits of martial arts study." ~~James Hom

Elvis Presley Gladiators: The 1974 Elvis Karate Legacy Project

Elvis Presley Gladiators: The 1974 Elvis Karate Legacy Project
Elvis Presley Gladiators: The 1974 Elvis Karate Legacy Project

If you're an Elvis fan you should own a copy of this DVD. The documentary features some of the best martial artists from the era. This is described as a "more or less a home movie of Elvis, his bodyguards,and several martial artists,including Bill Wallace, giving a demo at a Tennesee dojo." The CD has a commentary by Wayne Carman, an illustrated booklet about Elvis'involvement with karate and picture postcards with Elvis in his custom-made gis.

There are also outtakes from the famed '68 Comeback Special with Elvis rehearsing a martial arts routine.

If you're an Elvis collector, you will want to add this to your collection.

 

Elvis Presley - Karate 8

Karate Elvis

Karate Elvis Presley By X-Toys/EP Enterprises
Karate Elvis Presley By X-Toys/EP Enterprises

This Karate Elvis figure will make a great gift for any Elvis fan or collector.

 

Elvis Promoter of Martial Arts

You can see it in his films, you can see when he performs onstage. He's always promoting his martial arts training.

"It's not just self defense, it's about...self control, body discipline, and mind discipline...and breath techniques. It involves yoga. It involves meditation. It's an art, not a sport." ~~Elvis Presley

Elvis gave the following explanation of karate during one of his Vegas shows,"August of 1974:

"There are a lot of people who know that I have been involved in the art of Karate for some time.

Kung Fu and Karate are the same thing. There's no difference, it's just ah, the Chinese terminology is Kung Fu and Japanese is Ka-ra-te. Kara means open, The means hand,...Ka-ra-ate.

See, I've been doing this for 16 years. I started when I was in the army, in 1959. I've been doing it every day of my life ever since...for at least two or six hours a day."

Elvis The Black Belt

He started karate in West Germany, earning a 1st degree black belt there. By the time he had come under the tutelage of Master Rhee, Elvis already had a 4th degree black belt.

The KING was a Kenpo practitioner! Elvis had the Kenpo crest on his guitar, and used Kenpo in many of his films (like when he knocked the leopard out in Harem Scareum?)

Elvis' Passion for Martial Arts

'Tiger' was Elvis' Pasa Ryu karate nickname, the name Kang Rhee had given him (famous golfer Tiger Woods is named in honor of Elvis' karate name).

ElvisThe Lost Performances

'Tiger'

was Elvis' Pasa Ryu karate nickname, the name Kang Rhee had given him (famous golfer Tiger Woods is named in honor of Elvis' karate name).

Elvis Presley Tiger Man

"An again confident Elvis really cuts loose here, launching into scorching versions of early classics. "That's All Right," "Heartbreak Hotel" (where he has to stop to catch his breath and remember the lyrics), and "Blue Suede Shoes" have all the fire that first made him such an arresting phenomenon. But it's the title cut, which was spliced into the TV special's second showing in August 1969, that is the showstopper. This disc instantly becomes one of the cornerstones of any Elvis collection." --Robert Baird

Top Elvis Pick

Collector's Edition Boxed Set Elvis '68 Special
Collector's Edition Boxed Set Elvis '68 Special

The "sit down" segment of Elvis Presley's '68 comeback special was by far his most powerful appearance on television. It was seen as both a career milestone for the "King" and a watershed moment in Tv history, reminding the world why Elvis was the indisputable "King of Rock 'N Roll."

This 6" Elvis figure with chair, guitar and microphone, was re-released to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the passing of one of history's greatest recording artists.

 
Tiger Man
Tiger Man

A heavily recommended album for hardcore Elvis lovers, or anyone who gets off on stripped-down acoustic rock and blues.

This seminal rock & roll moment featured Elvis on stage with his guitar, surrounded by Scotty Moore and DJ Fontana, and a sold-out audience.

 

Elvis's 1968 Comeback Special

"An again confident Elvis really cuts loose here, launching into scorching versions of early classics. "That's All Right," "Heartbreak Hotel" (where he has to stop to catch his breath and remember the lyrics), and "Blue Suede Shoes" have all the fire that first made him such an arresting phenomenon." --Robert Baird

Elvis Presley - Heartbreak Hotel (1968 HILARIOUS PERFORMANCE)

Men's Aloha Elvis Adult Costume - White,Medium

Aloha Elvis Adult Costume,White,Medium
Aloha Elvis Adult Costume,White,Medium

Be the star of the show this Halloween or anytime with this Elvis costume.

 

Post your comments and stories about Elvis here.

To leave a comment about this lens or just say hello, scroll down to the end of the page.

Do You Have A Story About Elvis & Martial Arts? - Please post it here

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    • profile image

      aquarian_insight 5 years ago

      I never knew about Elvis the martial artist!

    • profile image

      aquarian_insight 5 years ago

      I never knew about Elvis the martial artist!

    • card lady 2 profile image
      Author

      Pat 5 years ago from Midwest, USA

      @anonymous: Michael, I wish you had told more of your story!

    • TapIn2U profile image

      TapIn2U 5 years ago

      He really did love karate! Amazing lens! Sundae ;-)

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      Elvis gave me a t.c.b. bear hug after shooting harrum scarrum.

    • card lady 2 profile image
      Author

      Pat 8 years ago from Midwest, USA

      The acronym TCB

      Presley and his friends and employees also adopted the acronym TCB which meant "Taking Care of Business". Presley officially named his band the TCB Band, had the tail of his private jet painted with the initials "TCB" and a lightning bolt and gave away TCB gold chain necklaces as gifts.[6]

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      I was Elvis Driver From London Town Limo Sev first I started working for Elvis As A Driver In St.Louis Thru Jed's Limo Sevice around oct,10 1969

      and was with him Till he passed away in 1977.Elvis Gave Me A T.C.B.

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      anonymous 9 years ago

      I did Karate with Elvis Presley,thru the sherman oaks Karate stuido owned by chuch Norris : Elvis ,Davis Stanley & Sonny West We all did Karate,Bill Waiiace,,,,,,Ed Parker, Dave Helber

      Elvis Gave me a T.L.C. Karatepat that's what he called ME !

    • greggers lm profile image

      greggers lm 9 years ago

      Martial Arts was one of Elvis' passions, and he did more to bring it to the attention of Americans than he usually gets credit for. Very cool! Nice job!

      Greggers

      http://www.squidoo.com/elvissongs_index

    ...'thank you, thank you very much!

    © 2014 Pat

    What Are Your Thoughts About Elvis Or This Lens? - I Want To Hear From You

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      • card lady 2 profile image
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        Pat 5 years ago from Midwest, USA

        @aquarian_insight: Thanks, aquarian_insight

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        aquarian_insight 5 years ago

        A side of Elvis we don't really think about a lot - great lens.

      • profile image

        aquarian_insight 5 years ago

        A side of Elvis we don't really think about a lot - great lens.

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        Joan4 9 years ago

        Nice lens! I well-remember that "waist-up only" Ed Sullivan show! Thanks for memory-lane. Elvis was an amazing talent!