Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Top Five Legends of Karate

With his dominant UFC 98 performance and stunning knockout of TUF 2 winner Rashad Evans, karate black belt Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida not only secured himself the UFC's light-heavyweight crown, he earned himself a spot amongst the venerable "Legends of Karate" - a group of highly-regarded practitioners of the "Empty-Handed Way" forever entrenched within our culture as heroes. Who else shares in this legendary status? MMA Journalist has compiled a list. They are, in no particular order:
  • Walker, Texas Ranger - A law enforcement officer who worked in the Dallas/Fort Worth region, Cordell Walker utilized a two-fisted, gritty form of karate to solve crimes and bring criminals to justice.
  • Daniel LaRusso - From his early roots in New Jersey's YMCA karate scene to his growth as a karateka under the tutelage of Sensei Miyagi in California, LaRusso employed a deceptively effective style to that enabled him to fell opponents despite barely even touching them. After winning the All Valley Karate Tournament, he went overseas to compete in unsanctioned challenge matches in Japan.
  • Bruce Leroy - Labeled as "The Last Dragon", Leroy was a New York City native on a quest to attain "The Final Level" in a ranking system that bathed its most skilled and accomplished in "The Glow". Leroy was eventually successful in achieving the Final Level, with the resulting Glow enabling him to handily defeat Sho'Nuff, a.k.a. the Shogun of Harlem, in an underground bout.
  • Ryu, the Street Fighter - With techniques such as the "Hurricane Kick", the "Psycho Fire" and the "Dragon Punch", Ryu swept through an international martial arts tournament, defeating representatives from the United States, China and even Thailand. Ryu shared a rivalry with fellow tournament competitor Ken.
  • Oddjob - A personal bodyguard and henchman to Auric Goldfinger, the physically imposing Oddjob was a master of karate who often employed a razor-edged hat as a missile weapon. After dominating British Secret Intelligence Service agent James Bond in unarmed combat, he was inadvertently electrocuted by a loose electrical wire.

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