WTF: Elvis Presley was not a Karate King

You probably heard that Elvis was a martial arts fan, but have you actually seen him training?

By: Victor Rodriguez | 2 months ago
WTF: Elvis Presley was not a Karate King

Welcome back, kids. How was your weekend? It was rather eventful despite the Big Two in MMA taking some time off. All you have to do is look. But that’s fine, we’ve got the larger orgs back in action this week. And to hold you over until that happens, we’re gonna look at a Son of the South, Elvis Presley.

He was many things, I guess. Primarily, one of the most widely successful musicians and performers of all time. Elvis was also an avid martial arts fan, which is something that gets discussed here and there. But what doesn’t get discussed is exactly what that looks like in practice. And lemme tell you, kids… it don’t look great. So let’s do with a little less conversation and jump right in.

Elvis Presley’s Karate: Graceless in Graceland

We need to preface this by pointing out what should have been clear from the outset: Elvis is looking rough. My man was not in his heartthrob days anymore and had his patented paunch with the most garish outfit I’ve ever had the displeasure to see in a Karate environment.

Elvis’ gi still has his initials, which is something I actually respect. Check out this front kick that barely goes above the training partner’s waist. Hands down, too.

Elvis Presley doing Karate

This was… something.

Elvis Presley doing Karate
Elvis Presley doing Karate

Or this block to the throat jab.

Elvis Presley doing Karate

It’s actually kind of adorable, because the technique is kinda there. He’s trying, and he’s got the motions mostly right while employing that trademark Elvis flair and energy. Behold his Iron Gut technique, where he just stands there and takes a punch. He’s protected from damage by God, prescription meds and peanut butter fortifying his insides.

Elvis Presley doing Karate

I’m gonna give you all a little piece of advice I dish out often: If you go to a martial arts school and see some nonsense like this, leave. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, just pick up your stuff and do the Irish Goodbye™. No school should be teaching you to get punched like this.

Then he stops about a half a foot from the dude’s face. Why? I dunno. I thought I understood the basics of martial arts and then I came across those Turkish dudes. But that’s not all! Here’s Elvis innovating in Karate Dancing™ on stage as well. Karate Dancing™: the refuge of the guy that officially ran out of dance moves.

Second only to doing pushups on the dance floor, Karate Dancing™ will certainly get you out of some embarrassment by causing another new and more intriguing form of embarrassment: the kind where people are scared to even engage with you, lest you kick them in the chest like Leonidas.

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Nah, let’s keep that in the dojo, king. In fact, yes. Let’s go back to the dojo.

Elvis Presley doing Karate
Elvis Presley doing Karate

Got all that? Ugly kick to the midsection, get behind the dude and pull them back to then hit them with a modified version of the Von Erich Claw. Then there’s Elvis giving some Mississippi Shiatsu for some reason, just running your elbow down a dude’s spine. Back nuggies, if you will.

Elvis Presley doing Karate

Then Elvis bows with this shades on indoors, because of course. Say what you will about Mark Zuckerberg, he’s training with actual pros and showing progress. This is just awful. It might seem cruel to beat up on the form of a guy that died decades ago like this, but it just goes to show you that celebrities being hustled by conmen isn’t new. Same goes for really poorly taught and executed martial arts.

Also, here’s the full vid if you’re interested.

And as a bonus, here is more of him doing some goofy katas on stage.

“That all you got?”

This week, something completely different. African Warriors Fighting Championship offers this gem, where a competitor has his opponent dead to rights. They’re clinched up, and he’s hammering away with punches… except they’re not doing much to his opponent. After a brief moment of realization, a momentary show of camaraderie as the crowd goes wild.

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“Where you having lunch after this, my guy?”

SAMBO Pan-Ams roll on

SAMBOFIAS gives us more from their Pan-American championships in the Dominican Republic. First up, local talent Audrey Puello taking on Brazil’s Jhenifer Silva. The hometown girl gets a big takedown and establishes control.

Next up, Venezuela vs USA in a combat SAMBO match:

Kosen Judo!

YouTube user Chadi is back again, this time discussing Kosen Judo and what he deems to be the biggest problems with it. He continues to do interesting work, breaking down what makes it good but also what makes it potentially unappealing. Imagine Elvis doing this with that flashy gi he had.

Stay down, kid

Lethwei Japan has some classics in the vault. Check out this great fight that ends in a hellacious knockout out of nowhere.

Happy birthday, Scott Coker

It’s Scott Coker’s birthday this week, and we’ve got a fun little item to share. Before he was the head honcho over at Strikeforce and Bellator, he was part of the West Coast Demo Team, mentored by Ernie Reyes Sr.

Having lived part of his life in South Korea in his younger years, he put down roots in California and thanks to the efforts of Reyes, made it to a few bit parts in Hollywood. Having been a performer in the Sega vehicle Surf Ninjas as well as the Berry Gordy classic The Last Dragon, his acting career was short-lived as he made his way to other adventures.

So here’s to Scott Coker, a man that’s had some unexpected impacts in the martial arts world and a very wild ride. Check out one of his fight scenes right here:

That’s it for this week, kids. Join me in rejoicing in the Hollywood return of cinematic master John Woo, as the trailer for his new film just dropped. And remember: you might think you can fight, but there are many guys like you all over the world.

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About the author
Victor Rodriguez
Victor Rodriguez

Victor Rodriguez has been a writer and podcaster for Bloody Elbow since 2015. He started his way as a lowly commenter and moderator to become the miscreant he is now. He often does weekly bits on fringe martial arts items across the globe, oddball street combat pieces, previews, analysis, and some behind-the-scenes support. He has trained in wrestling, Karate, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and the occasional Muay Thai and Judo lesson here and there. Victor has also been involved with acting and audio editing projects. He lives in Pennsylvania where he plays way too many video games and is an S-rank dad.

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