The Chronogical Table of the 1st Martial Arts Boom

A comic story "Karate Baka Ichidai" started on the Weekly Boys Magazine. The story was based on the biography of Masutatsu Oyama, the founder of the Kyokushin Karate, which instantly became famous.


The movie"Enter the Dragon" by Bruce Lee became a big hit. Along with the comic "Karate Baka Ichidai", this lead to an incredible boom of karate.


Feb. A New York newspaper had an article about world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, who said "I'll accept challenge by any Oriental fighter". Inoki was angered by this.
Mar. Inoki sent a challenge to Ali
Jun. Inoki directly gave a challenge to Ali, who stopped in Japan on the way to a match in Malaysia.
Kintaro Ohki challenged Masutatsu Oyama, but the match did not take place.
Dec. Katsuaki Saito wins "The 1st (full contact) World Championship" by Kyokushin Kaikan. Willie Williams was also on the tournament.


Jan. Willem Ruska, a judo gold medalist in the Olympic Games in Munich, challenges Inoki.
Feb. Inoki defeats Ruska by TKO in "World's Top Martial Artist Deciding Match"
After defending the title in Belgium, Ali accepts Inoki's challenge.
Mar. Terry Funk defeats Smith, 4th in the world ranking of the heavyweight boxing, by pinfall.
Inoki and Ali sign for the match at the Plaza Hotel in New York. It was announced that the open rules are used.
Apr. All Japan Boxing Association requests the commissioner to cancel the Inoki vs. Ali match.
May After defeating Richard Dunn by KO in the 7th consecutive title defense, Ali invited The Sheik to train in pro-wrestling.
Jun. Kuniaki Shibata announces that he would challenge Inoki if Ali is loses.
Ali came to Japan and has a press conference. Inoki sends a crutch to Ali.
Inoki and Ali had a public sparring. After seeing Inoki's sparring, Ali's side suddently started asking for the rule changes; otherwise, they would boycott the whole match. This leads to the infamous unfair rules
The "World's Top Martial Artist Deciding Match" between Inoki and Ali end as a 15-rounds time limit draw.
Aug. In Brazil, Willem Ruska defeats the vale tudo champion Ivan Gomez, who has never lost in nine years.
Dec. Inoki wrestles a national hero Akrum Pelwan in Pakistan. Inoki breaks Akrum's arm for the victory.


Feb. Inoki appeals for the rematch against Ali on the New York Times.
Apr. Andre the Giant challenges Ali.
Jun. Inoki and Ali agreed on a rematch with conditions by Ali:
1. Inoki has to fight the world super heavyweight martial arts champion "The Monster Man" Everett Eddie
2. Inoki has to submit a video tape of a match he is to have against a heavyweight boxer in October.
The world light heavyweight martial arts champion Benny Urquidez announces that he would accept challenge by Japanese fighters.
Jul. Kunimitsu Kunio, a kickboxer of Mejiro Gym, challenges Urquidez.
Aug. Inoki defeats The Monster Man by KO. On the same card, Urquidez defeats a substitue challenger Katsuyuki Suzuki by KO and becomes famous.
George Foreman, former world heavyweight boxing champion, was informally designated as Inoki's opponent.
World Martial Arts Association (original idea of the W.M.A.) is founded. As a star candidate, Satoru Sayama (the original Tiger Mask) starts training at the Mejiro Gym.
Sep. Allen J. Coage (Badnews Allen), a bronze medalist in the Montreal Olymics, becomes a pro and is informally designated to fight Seiji Sakaguchi.
Oct. With Foreman unable to fight because of the contract problem, Inoki defeats Chuck Wepner. On the same card, Sakaguchi defeats Allen in a judo jacket match.
Nov. On the opening card of the World Martial Arts Association, All Japan Kickboxing defeat the All-America Martial Arts. On this card, Sayama fights Mark Costello but loses by judge because of tough diet and kickboxing rules.
Dec. Willie Williams of the New York branch of Kyokushin Kaikan officially challenges Inoki by saying "I'll beat Inoki in 30 seconds."
Ruska defeats Allen in "Martial Art Professional Judo World Championship"


Feb. Anton Heesink, the gold medalist in the Tokyo Olympics, becomes a pro and fights Jumbo Tsuruta of All Japan Pro-Wrestling. Tsuruta wins by disqualification.
Ali loses the world title to Leon Spinks. The rematch against Inoki is cancelled.
Toshio Fujiwara becomes the first Japanese to win the muay thai champion in Thailand.
Apr. In the "Martial Arts Olympics" in Philadelphia, Strong Kobayashi defeats Badnews Allen. Seiji Sakaguchi is KO'd by Monster Man. Inoki defeats The Lumberjack by KO.
Inoki announces the idea of world pro-wrestling unification. As the beginning of the plan, he announces his match against Roland Bock, the "emperor of Europe."
Jun. Inoki defeats Monster Man in rematch. On the same card, Sakaguchi defeats The Lumberjack by KO.
Shigeru Oyama, the North American branch boss of Kyokushin Kaikan, comes back to Japan to officially announce Willie Williams' challenge to Inoki.
Aug. The undefeated Benny Urquidez is defeated by a muay thai figher Plaiyut Seesongpop by judge.
Sep. Ali defeats Spinks in rematch to become the champion for the third time. This leads to a talk of the possiblet rematch against Inoki.
Because of a high fever, Urquidez cancels the match against Toshio Fujiwara and disappointed the fans.
Nov. In a joint press conference with Inoki, Ikki Kajiwara (author of "Karate Baka Ichidai" and "Tiger Mask"), and Kenji Kurosaki, they announce the Inoki vs. Willie match in the "Martial Arts Pre-Olympics" at the Kourakuen Stadium in April.
Inoki participates the "Europe World Championship Series" tour organized by Roland Bock.
Dec. Inoki is presented the "World Martial Arts Heavyweight Championship" by W.W.F. in New York.


Jan. Inoki announces a mixed match against President Amin of Uganda.
Feb. Because of a coup in Uganda, the Amin dynasty falls, and the match does not happen.
Inoki fights the masked karateka Mr. X, who became famous in the movie "Squared Jungle." Because of the way Mr. X fought, there was a rumor that he was not the real one.
Apr. Inoki defeats Lefthook Dayton of kung fu and body building by TKO in the 6th round.
Toshio Fujiwara challenges Gutz Ishimatsu, a world boxing champion who made fun of kickboxing by saying "kick(boxing) is only a cock fighting."
May Willie Williams arrives and starts training at the Kurosaki Dojo.
Jun. It is announced the Inoki vs. Willie match takes place at Nippon Budokan on October 15th.
Inoki draws with Jubel Pelwan, a newphew of Akrum, in Pakistan.
Aug. Inoki and Willie announce in the joint press cofenrence that the match is to take place in Feburary.
Oct. Masao Mizutani, a karateka who kept challenging Inoki, reaches to a reconciliation. Mizutani and Inoki forms a new karate group Kansuiryu.
Nov. Willie Williams loses to Keizo Mikabe in the semi-final of the 2nd World Karate Championship by Kyokushin Kaikan.
Dec. Inoki defeats a karateka Kim Klokeid with the first-ever shown enzuigiri. The Sakaguchi vs. Ruska judo match ended as a draw.


Jan. On the "Goro" magazine, the Kyokushin executives make fun of Inoki saying things like "Willie's punch is gonna kill Inoki," "Inoki is getting old," "Inoki's Ali kick, compared to Kyokushin's, is for kids." New Japan was angered by this and treatened Kyokushin that they might cancel the Inoki vs. Willie match or the Kyokushin world champion Makoto Nakamura to fight Yoshiaki Fujiwara, Makoto Arakawa, or Kotetsu Yamamoto from New Japan. They reach to a reconciliation after all, but this leads the Inoki vs. Willie match become more like a match between New Japan and Kyokushin.
Feb. Because of Inoki vs. Willie match, Kyokushin Kaikan suspended the North American branch boss Shigeru Oyama and expelled Willie Williams.
Finally the match between Inoki and Willie takes place. With Inoki's broken rib and Willie's broken left arm, the match was stopped by doctor and ended as draw.

As Inoki finishes the series of the mixed matches, the 1st Martial Arts Boom also ended.