From the Archive Vol. 18, No. 8, $1.50

The 200th issue of Black Belt was dated August 1980. It was 76 pages long and featured 40-year-old Chuck Norris on the cover.

Chuck Norris on cross-training: "The Korean style (tang soo do) was good, but there is a lot more to learn than just that. So I started training with a Japanese stylist, and I got my hand techniques down a lot better. Then I started working a lot with the Chinese systems and learning the mobility of the Chinese systems. Plus I studied judo for five years, and so I started incorporating judo — the sweeping punch — and then I started studying aikido. I was just trying to absorb knowledge."


- Likely the most expensive item featured in an ad in this issue of Black Belt: a full-size replica of samurai armor, $2,995.

- The U.S. National Karate Team flies to France to compete in the WUKO World Championships. Chuck Merriman and Alex Sternberg are the coaches. Among the American athletes is Billy Blanks.

- "The theory of 'no first attack' had no place in jujitsu," Alan Kitay writes. "It is because of the flexibility and adaptability of all the techniques — which can be offensive or defensive — that this is so. To merely parry and defend, as would be taught in an aikido school, has one major drawback: It allows your opponent more than one shot at you."

- On the subject of con men in the martial arts, Fred Hamilton of Jamaica, New York, sounds off: "What amazes me is that the kids are an incredible barometer for seeing through phonies. Every person that a kid has warned me about has always turned out to be a lemon. As a rule, [kids] have a good sense for people."

- "The reason that this art has survived, then, is not because of its importance as a means of espionage but because it got back to the original purpose of enlightenment and personal development." So says Stephen K. Hayes on the history of ninjutsu.

- A one-year subscription to Black Belt is on sale for $10.

- In perhaps the first instance of the word "combat" being used to describe a supposedly more street-realistic interpretation of a martial art, it's noted that 35 years ago, Col. Rex Applegate referred to his style as "combat judo."

- "The people who've called me since my TV appearances almost always preface their questions by demanding that I tell them my 'secret,'" says breaking sensation Richie Barathy. "I don't have one. There's nothing I do that is the least bit different from the mental training that can be gained through adhering to the requirements of any genuine martial arts training program."

- The featured fighters in Century's new ad for Pro Pants and Sport Tops are Mike Genova, John Longstreet and Keith Vitali.§ "Everyone has a handicap," says blind judoka Jesse Pope, 25. "It's just that it doesn't always show on the outside."

- After outing a person who submitted faked photos, the editor of Black Belt reveals one way bogus breaking pix are concocted: "Pre-cut the ice, then use salt to join the block back together. The block then breaks very easily when hit." (You can guess what I'll be doing this weekend.)
(Note: Back issues are not for sale.)

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Photo Courtesy: Dawson Holt via Instagram

The 2021 Diamond Nationals took place on October 8th and 9th, the first time the prestigious event has been hosted since 2019. World class competitors gathered in Minneapolis, Minnesota to test their skills in forms, weapons, point sparring, and more.

In the early 2010's, Ken Warner (otherwise known as ZenInc on YouTube) always shared his "Top Five" on Facebook after major sport karate events. Reflecting on these posts has inspired me to write a top five article of my own for the Diamond Nationals, and I plan to continue writing these articles after each tournament I attend. Special thanks to Ken Warner for his contributions to documenting sport karate history. Without further ado, here is Jackson's Five for the Diamond Nationals.

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