El Paso Martial Artists Honor Late Police Chief

Greg Allen
On Friday, El Paso, Texas police chief Greg Allen was laid to rest following a Thursday ceremony that honored not just his contributions to law enforcement but his lifelong career in martial arts. Allen, who died on January 17 at the age of 71 following a medical procedure, had been a police officer since 1978 and took over as El Paso's first African American police chief in 2008. But well before that, he was a respected name in the Texas martial arts community taking up karate in the 1960s after reading about it in Black Belt Magazine.

Allen earned his black belt in shotokan karate in 1970 and would go on to study judo, aikido, boxing and Bahala Na arnis, becoming a noted instructor in the latter style. Bahala Na teacher Kirk McCune drove all the way from California to perform a memorial sword demonstration and attend a "bowing out" ceremony at the Thursday service, which was attended by many in El Paso's martial arts community. Allen, who taught martial arts at several locations, including the University of Texas at El Paso, was inducted into the El Paso Boxing and Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 1995.

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