Sports Illustrated

Sports Illustrated, April 1971

Sports Illustrated notes, “Karate, Joe Lewis began to realize, was an art whose skills could never be fully used competitively. The only legal outlets for its blows were the breaking of boards that TV is so crazy about—”show business,” Lewis says derisively—or self-defense, and who was going to pick on Joe Lewis? “I could never understand why we couldn’t put on boxing gloves and just go at it,” he says, so in 1969 he began developing and teaching a brand of super-karate called, not too pithily, Joe Lewis-Style™ Self-Defense. JLSSD differed radically from karate, with its straight punches and limited bare-handed contact. Lewis and his followers not only put on the gloves, they threw all-out hooks and uppercuts plus kicks.”