World Black Belt Founding Members

Joe Corley

"I am pleased to be part of this worthwhile and timely mission, simultaneously offering a menu of unparalleled opportunities to every member of the martial arts world and utilizing state of the art systems for a worthy cause to bring the energy, focus and synergy into the WorldBlackBelt family."

Joe Corley was the first challenger to participate in a full-contact karate world-title fight. On May 3rd, 1975, Corley met world middleweight champion Bill “Superfoot” Wallace in nine rounds of furious exchanges and lost by a ninth round TKO.

Among other titles, he won the National Karate Grand Championships (1969, 1971, and 1972), the 1967 Southeast Grand Championship, and the 1969 Southern U.S. Open.

Corley, a black belt in Tang Soo Do opened Atlanta’s first karate studio in 1967 then in 1972 formed his own curriculum, and created Joe Corley’s American karate system. Corley soon expanded his operation and eventually had the largest chain of martial arts schools in the Southeast. Now a 9th degree black belt in American Karate, Corley has taught more than 25,000 students in his chain of Atlanta based studios.

In 1970 Corley founded now considered the largest and most prestigious open karate tournament in the world. Recognized, as one of the pioneers in the promotion of martial arts Corley also became a noted commentator for American Karate on national television for numerous shows and documentaries on the sport. Corley has also worked as analyst and host for PKA Karate world championships on network, cable and pay per view.

In addition to his numerous accomplishments, Corley is also a co-founder of the South East Karate Association (SEKA).This is an organization that is developing the Martial Arts in a positive way. Corleys goodwill never stops and with a little help from his friends from SEKA, Corley exposed a group of con men who advertised for karate instructors with no experience necessary.

For all his accomplishments, Joe Corley has been inducted into the black belt hall of fame in 1998 as "Man of the Year".

If you would like to contact Joe Corley you can reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit his website at Joe Corley.

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