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R.i.p. Jim Kelly

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Early life[edit]

Kelly was born in Paris, Kentucky. He began his athletic career in high school, competing in basketball, football, and track and field. He attended the University of Louisville where he played football, but left during his freshman year to begin studying Shorin-ryu karate. Additionally, he trained inOkinawa-te karate under the direction of Gordon Doversola. Kelly won the Huntington Beach Classic and credits Doversola with making him a world class fighter. During this time, other notables such as Joe Lewis would also train in the same martial arts school. After winning the middleweight title at the 1971 Long Beach International Karate Championships in Long Beach, he opened his own dojo. He taught karate to actor Calvin Lockhart for a role in a thriller feature film Melinda; he ended up playing a martial arts instructor in the movie.

All respect due to the late great Jim Kelly.


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