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.