Skipper Mullins (right) vs. Thomas LaPuppet

Lewis "Skipper" Mullins, one of the great, early tournament champions of American karate, passed away yesterday. Known as an innovator of flashy kicking techniques, Mullins was widely regarded as the premier lightweight tournament fighter of the 1960s.

Mullins began his martial arts training in 1963 under American taekwondo pioneer Allen Steen. Within a year he was scoring victories at major martial arts events like Ed Parker's International Karate Championships. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1965 but continued to train and compete developing a famed rivalry with Chuck Norris.



Though a taekwondo stylist, most taekwondo of that era in the United States was closer to Japanese karate than what we now think of as the modern, high kicking Korean approach to martial arts. However, Mullins was among the first Korean martial arts practitioners to introduce unique kicking methods to the American tournament scene.

Fellow Texas martial arts pioneer Ed Daniels said, "Skipper was the greatest kicker I've ever seen."

Mullins combined the quickness of a lightweight with a lanky, long limbed physique that enabled him to develop an array of then little known kicks. His contemporary, the late American karate expert Jim Harrison, credited Mullins with introducing him to the hook kick and the spinning hook kick, two kicks which were virtually unknown in the martial arts world of the mid-1960s.


Skipper Mullins (right) vs. Bob Engle


Perhaps his primary contribution to martial arts was the development of "chain kicks" the ability to throw multiple kicks with the same leg without placing that foot on the ground, something that would become standard among karate fighters in later years.

As Mullins told Martial Arts World Report in an interview last year, "That was something I came up with entirely on my own. I was so limber I could kick and then bring it back and kick again. I just spent a lot of time working on it in the school. I could do it and I was winning with it in tournaments."

Besides his contributions to the martial arts, Mullins worked for years in the Dallas Fire Department holding the rank of captain.

Source: https://maworldreport.com/index.php/2020/05/16/skipper-mullins-1945-2020/

SUBSCRIBE TO BLACKBELT MAGAZINE TODAY!
Don't miss a single issue of the world largest magazine of martial arts.

Do you want to maximize your self defense skills? Learn the game of combat chess and most importantly the queen of all moves.

Allow me to intercept those who would object to the title of this article. I'm not claiming that there's a secret move, shortcut or hack that will give you the edge in any fight. Even if there was an ultimate weapon or strategy, you likely would avoid it because you
Keep Reading Show less

Training in Hapkido, Watching Billy Jack and becoming a sheepdog

On the East Coast and West Coast, schools had been emerging and multiplying since the mid-1960s, but those of us who lived in "flyover country" had few opportunities to broaden our understanding of arts like karate, kung fu, judo and taekwondo.

At Union University in my hometown of Jackson, Tennessee, I'd been fortunate to train from 1969 to 1970 in the then little-known art of hapkido. In a field-house basement, a Korean student and former captain in the ROK Army known only as Mr. Suh organized and taught the system to a small group of dedicated students. Suh ran a no-nonsense traditional class, and for 10 months, we couldn't get enough of his instruction. Despite the bruises and the blood, we always looked forward to our next session.

Keep Reading Show less

Learn the mechanics and do the drills, then unleash the beast that is your round kick!

Because of its versatility and power, the round kick — known to some martial artists as the turning kick, the saber kick or the roundhouse kick — is one of the most common leg techniques in our world. No matter your particular interpretation, the basics are the same: You swing your leg along an arc until your foot or shin strikes the target.

Keep Reading Show less

How it stacks up agains 3 other go-to responses to an attack

In hand-to-hand combat, you face a constant and undeniable danger. Among other injuries, you can sustain broken bones, torn cartilage and ruptured organs. You also can be knocked unconscious or killed.Over the millennia, various cultures have developed their own techniques and strategies for dealing with such threats. One of the most pervasive is punching. That's the case because in most unarmed encounters, a properly thrown punch is the most efficient and effective tool a martial artist can use.

Keep Reading Show less
Don’t miss a thing Subscribe to Our Newsletter