You may have seen karate master Kenji Yamaki in the 1989 Dolph Lundgren film The Punisher, in which he portrayed a Yakuza member. You may have seen him on the cover of the May 2011 issue of Black Belt. You may have seen him teaching students at his Yamaki Karate dojo in Torrance, California. Or maybe you haven't seen this 6-foot-1-inch, 230-pound, eighth-dan powerhouse ever before in your life. But that's about to change, as Black Belt wraps production on the new two-disc karate DVD set Full-Contact Karate: Advanced Sparring Techniques and Hard-Core Physical Conditioning. And we've got an exclusive sneak peek of these action-packed instructional DVDs!


KARATE DVD PREVIEW Kenji Yamaki's Upcoming Full-Contact Karate 2-DVD Set Will Feature Hard-Core Sparring Techniques and Physical Conditioning for Advanced Martial Artists (Now In Stock!)

It's been claimed that only 14 people in the world have endured the 100-man kumite, the ultimate test of martial arts mastery devised by Mas Oyama, the legendary founder of kyokushin karate. Kenji Yamaki is one of them. A victim of incessant bullying in junior high school in the late 1970s, the young, tall, thin and anemic Kenji Yamaki was an easy target who found retaliation to be physically out of the question. The bullying Yamaki endured led the young student to the precipice of suicide on more than one occasion. In the early 1980s, Yamaki discovered kyokushin karate and learned it had a reputation as the strongest lineage of karate — so he signed up for lessons and glided up through the ranks. He soon found that kyokushin's techniques in kumite — the hard-core sparring for which the art is known — came easily to him. This discovery led to a concrete abandonment of suicidal thoughts and a decisive redirection toward the world kyokushin championship. After one year of training, the bullying that tormented Yamaki for so long came to a halt. By age 20, he earned his first black belt. From 1985 to 1995, Yamaki would go on to place in the top 10 at the All-Japan Karate Tournament and the World Karate Tournament — every year. In 1995, Yamaki pulled out all the stops and battled his way through the 100-man kumite, a traditional test of combat skill involving empty-hand war against a successive series of opponents. The ordeal took three hours and 27 minutes. Yamaki endures the ultimate test of martial arts mastery and tallies 83 wins, 12 draws and five losses out of 100 matches. Since then, Yamaki has continued training and teaching the art of kyokushin karate (despite having left Kyokushinkaikan, the governing body for the style, in 2002). And the new 2-DVD set Full-Contact Karate: Advanced Sparring Techniques and Hard-Core Physical Conditioning continues that work, documenting an array of techniques and physical-conditioning drills for victory in karate sparring! Topics on this new 2-DVD set will include the following:
  • blocks and counters against front kicks, high kicks and back kicks
  • counters against outside low kicks, inside low kicks, middle kicks
  • counters against straight punches, hook punches and body blows
  • double attacks: punches to kicks
  • double kicks
  • drills for improving front-leg kicking techniques
  • drills for increased variation of front-leg kicks
  • drills for kicking and dodging
  • feinting with kicks
  • feinting with punches
  • front-kick combinations
  • jumping kicks
  • roundhouse-kick drills
  • side-step attacks

Black Belt Magazine has a storied history that dates back all the way to 1961, making 2021 the 60th Anniversary of the world's leading magazine of martial arts. To celebrate six decades of legendary martial arts coverage, take a trip down memory lane by scrolling through some of the most influential covers ever published. From the creators of martial art styles, to karate tournament heroes, to superstars on the silver screen, and everything in between, the iconic covers of Black Belt Magazine act as a time capsule for so many important moments and figures in martial arts history. Keep reading to view the full list of these classic issues.

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