In Memoriam - World Black Belt

Joe Corley

Joe Corley

The Martial Arts World Lost a Great Friend, By Joe Corley

The martial arts world lost a great friend and leader on Tuesday, January 3, 2006, as Ken Eubanks passed away in Bowling Green, KY.

Sadly, just 27 days later on January 30, 2006, Ken Knudson passed away in a plane crash outside Chicago, IL. Click here for details

The quote on both of their Centurion awards read:

One man has enthusiasm for 30 minutes. 

Another for 30 days. 

But it is the one who spends 30 years in a worthy cause who truly makes a difference.

Master Corley said, "These are sad days, but both of these men brought so much positive energy to everyone around them. Ken Eubanks has been that steadfast beacon of optimism in our NASKA lives for so long, and we will miss him dearly. He was the man who always walked the talk and that you could always count on to do the right things, for the right reasons and for the right principles.

Ken Knudson, one of his mentors, was equally enthusiastic, determined and dedicated. His bright smile and humor would light up the room, and he had a great knack for making the complex simple. Our thoughts and prayers are with both families."

Joe Corley- 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 The Battle Of Atlanta, 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.

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