Steve Terada Sport Karate

Turn the clock back to 2005 and check out this legendary performance by Steve Terada.

This is the sixth installment of a series that features old school sport karate videos to keep the history of the sport alive. Steve Terada was a member of the prestigious Team Paul Mitchell Karate and gained his reputation as a top competitor with his innovative extreme forms. He is one of the pioneers of martial arts tricking, having contributed to the creation of several tricks including the snapuswipe (an inverted 540 kick with an extra rotation before the landing). He was also the first to land many of these tricks in competition.


Terada, a Tang Soo Do black belt, would use his experience and reputation in the sport karate world to create other opportunities in the dance and film industries. He is a member of the hip hop dancing team Quest Crew, which won the popular television show America's Best Dance Crew in Season 8. His film credits include impressive blockbusters like 22 Jumpstreet starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, as well as cult-classic The Art of Self-Defense. When he isn't dancing or on set, Terada has also trained in Kung Fu and Tae Kwon Do under Master Simon Rhee.

His featured performance in this article was at the 2005 French Open. This tournament is a gem for sport karate history because of the ridiculous amount of incredible performances that went occurred there. According to other athletes of the time, the promoter of the event would fly top American competitors to France just to compete. Without the stress of chasing points on American circuits or trying to claim world championships, competitors often genuinely had fun with their performances and threw all of their most difficult techniques. This remained true for Terada, who performs a unique tornado-side kick combination at 0:29 and his signature triple flash kick at 0:44.

French Open 5 - Steve Terada www.youtube.com

The speed, athleticism, and difficulty exhibited in this routine would earn thirty world championships for Terada over the course of his career. This form is just one of many innovative performances that cemented Terada's legacy as one of the greatest extreme martial artists of all time.

If you enjoyed this edition of Sport Karate Throwback Thursdays, click here to read our last piece about a legendary point fighting match between Kevin Thompson and Pedro Xavier.

This video is courtesy of Jan Sykora on YouTube, thank you for preserving the history of sport karate.

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