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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