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Why did Elvis stop doing karate on stage in 1973?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:08 am

Elvis' 1971 and 1972 concerts were filled with karate. Polk Salad Annie and Suspicious Minds were the two songs in which Elvis did the most karate. The karate demonstrations got so intense that Elvis needed a minute to get his breath back and often got TCB to play the I'm Coming Home instrumental tune. The karate added so much excitement to his shows and Elvis always looked impressive when doing it. I've never heard of any fans not liking the karate.

Elvis stopped doing karate in his shows either in November 1972 or January 1973. It would not return again until August 1974 when he began performing If You Talk In Your Sleep. Many fans including me often complain about Elvis' lack of movement in the Aloha shows; he just strolls around the stage. Surely karate would have made the Aloha special so much more exciting.

So why did Elvis stop doing karate in 1973?

Re: Why did Elvis stop doing karate on stage in 1973?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:17 am

He had filed for divorce on his birthday a mere six days before Aloha. That might have had something to do with it.

Re: Why did Elvis stop doing karate on stage in 1973?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:34 am

Are you referring to Elvis flailing his arms and legs around on stage?

This karate-esque guise looked fun when he was healthy and in shape, otherwise...

Why did Elvis stop doing karate on stage in 1973?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:49 am

The lack of karate moves is the only thing keeping Elvis In Concert from being essential viewing, IMO.


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Re: Why did Elvis stop doing karate on stage in 1973?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:42 am

Matthew wrote:Are you referring to Elvis flailing his arms and legs around on stage?

This karate-esque guise looked fun when he was healthy and in shape, otherwise...


Yes. It's true that Elvis probably was no longer able to do karate and his intense movements on stage in 1976 and 1977 but in 1973 Elvis was slim and healthy. Surely he would have had no trouble at all pulling off some of those cool karate moves from the previous year.

Re: Why did Elvis stop doing karate on stage in 1973?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:56 am

charro1971 wrote:Elvis' 1971 and 1972 concerts were filled with karate. Polk Salad Annie and Suspicious Minds were the two songs in which Elvis did the most karate. The karate demonstrations got so intense that Elvis needed a minute to get his breath back and often got TCB to play the I'm Coming Home instrumental tune. The karate added so much excitement to his shows and Elvis always looked impressive when doing it. I've never heard of any fans not liking the karate.

Elvis stopped doing karate in his shows either in November 1972 or January 1973. It would not return again until August 1974 when he began performing If You Talk In Your Sleep. Many fans including me often complain about Elvis' lack of movement in the Aloha shows; he just strolls around the stage. Surely karate would have made the Aloha special so much more exciting.

So why did Elvis stop doing karate in 1973?


Because he didn't feel like it. Or someone let him know it detracted from the music.

Frankly, there is not nearly enough footage from 1971 and 1972 where anyone can credibly state "Elvis' 1971 and 1972 concerts were filled with karate."

Re: Why did Elvis stop doing karate on stage in 1973?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 6:25 am

charro1971 wrote:but in 1973 Elvis was slim and healthy.

That's not quite true, is it?

Elvis crashed dieted prior to Aloha and slimmed down as a result.

Healthy? That's another matter.

And the weight loss didn't last long. One month later and he was well travelled on a downward spiral that would see him almost die before the year was done.

Re: Why did Elvis stop doing karate on stage in 1973?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 6:30 am

Matthew wrote:
charro1971 wrote:but in 1973 Elvis was slim and healthy.

That's not quite true, is it?

Elvis crashed dieted prior to Aloha and slimmed down as a result.

Healthy? That's another matter.

And the weight loss didn't last long. One month later and he was well travelled on a downward spiral that would see him almost die before the year was done.


On at least three known occasions: May, June and October.

Re: Why did Elvis stop doing karate on stage in 1973?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:02 am

To be honest, i thought all that karate stuff he did on stage made him look a bit silly and it's a bit embarrassing to watch, i mean, it didn't even go along with the music or in-time with it, just arms and legs going around like windmills.

As been mentioned on this thread already, he wasn't in the best of shapes after 72 for doing all that sh*t.

Re: Why did Elvis stop doing karate on stage in 1973?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:10 am

mysterytrainrideson wrote:To be honest, i thought all that karate stuff he did on stage made him look a bit silly and it's a bit embarrassing to watch, i mean, it didn't even go along with the music or in-time with it, just arms and legs going around like windmills.

As been mentioned on this thread already, he wasn't in the best of shapes after 72 for doing all that sh*t.


What you find embarrassing many other fans find fascinating, there was life for Elvis after 1958 you know. I distinctly get the impression you don't find much interesting about Elvis in the Seventies am I right?

Re: Why did Elvis stop doing karate on stage in 1973?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:57 am

1973 :D


phpBB [video]

Re: Why did Elvis stop doing karate on stage in 1973?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:04 am

Why didn't he stop the dive bomb routine? :roll:

Re: Why did Elvis stop doing karate on stage in 1973?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 1:33 pm

The thing is if Elvis had never done all the HONG KONG PHOOEY stuff and even dive bomb malarky we just wouldnt be able to talk about it ! its now just part of the Elvis legacy, must admit though even as he looked amazing in Aloha, poss the best since 68 and he neverlooked that good again post 73, i was disappointed in the lack of movement in SMs in the Aloha show, he hardly moved !

Re: Why did Elvis stop doing karate on stage in 1973?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:14 pm

mysterytrainrideson wrote:To be honest, i thought all that karate stuff he did on stage made him look a bit silly and it's a bit embarrassing to watch, i mean, it didn't even go along with the music or in-time with it, just arms and legs going around like windmills.

As been mentioned on this thread already, he wasn't in the best of shapes after 72 for doing all that sh*t.

Elvis was a God gifted Singer - Bruce Lee was a God gifted Martial Artist.

The real experts must have been laughing their asses off at times seeing these distractions during the performances.

The shows would have been just fine and satisfying without all the embarrassing karate dialogues and demonstrations.

If he practiced magic would it have been ok to pull rabbits out of hats for half a show? :roll:

Re: Why did Elvis stop doing karate on stage in 1973?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:21 pm

mysterytrainrideson wrote:To be honest, i thought all that karate stuff he did on stage made him look a bit silly and it's a bit embarrassing to watch, i mean, it didn't even go along with the music or in-time with it, just arms and legs going around like windmills.

As been mentioned on this thread already, he wasn't in the best of shapes after 72 for doing all that sh*t.


I do agree. Always looks awkward.

Like someone mentioned above, he was just flailing around.

Re: Why did Elvis stop doing karate on stage in 1973?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:42 pm

I thought there was some karate in Aug 74 during if you talk in your sleep

Re: Why did Elvis stop doing karate on stage in 1973?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:07 pm

robbie wrote:1973 :D


phpBB [video]



Ah, nice find. So Elvis did do karate in some shows in 1973 but not in Aloha. Anyone know what song Elvis could be doing karate for in this video?

The Aloha special was the ideal opportunity for Elvis to show off his karate. It would have made the show more impressive visually. Still can't understand why he didn't do it.
Last edited by charro1971 on Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Why did Elvis stop doing karate on stage in 1973?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:47 pm

Simon1 wrote:
mysterytrainrideson wrote:To be honest, i thought all that karate stuff he did on stage made him look a bit silly and it's a bit embarrassing to watch, i mean, it didn't even go along with the music or in-time with it, just arms and legs going around like windmills.

As been mentioned on this thread already, he wasn't in the best of shapes after 72 for doing all that sh*t.


What you find embarrassing many other fans find fascinating, there was life for Elvis after 1958 you know. I distinctly get the impression you don't find much interesting about Elvis in the Seventies am I right?

Yes, you are right. There's probably about 20 songs i like from the 70's. Elvis wasn't the same man as he was in the 50's, early 60's and 68/69/70. And that's not just my opinion, thats a fact.

Re: Why did Elvis stop doing karate on stage in 1973?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:04 pm

promiseland wrote:
mysterytrainrideson wrote:To be honest, i thought all that karate stuff he did on stage made him look a bit silly and it's a bit embarrassing to watch, i mean, it didn't even go along with the music or in-time with it, just arms and legs going around like windmills.

As been mentioned on this thread already, he wasn't in the best of shapes after 72 for doing all that sh*t.

Elvis was a God gifted Singer - Bruce Lee was a God gifted Martial Artist.

The real experts must have been laughing their asses off at times seeing these distractions during the performances.

The shows would have been just fine and satisfying without all the embarrassing karate dialogues and demonstrations.

If he practiced magic would it have been ok to pull rabbits out of hats for half a show? :roll:

He would have been better off doing, yoga - almost does on the "Aloha Show".

Re: Why did Elvis stop doing karate on stage in 1973?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:13 pm

charro1971 wrote:The Aloha special was the ideal opportunity for Elvis to show off his karate. It would have made the show more impressive visually. Still can't understand why he didn't do it.


In all honesty, Aloha was to be transmitted to millions and millions - Elvis' "karate" would make a lot of folks (who know the stuff) laugh their assess off.

I'm sorry, I love Elvis but his so-called "knowledge of karate" wasn't really great. It would make Aloha look foolish, not impressive, IMO. Possibly Elvis was aware of it and that's why he chose not to "show off" (he was already nervous and the last thing he needed was to make a fool out of himself). His usual "karate" routine live was already enough.

PS.: I know there's the whole "Gladiators" material, but it really doesn't help the cause...

Re: Why did Elvis stop doing karate on stage in 1973?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:39 pm

A 8th degree black belt without much knowledge..?? Quite a statement ......

Re: Why did Elvis stop doing karate on stage in 1973?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:48 pm

Hans wrote:A 8th degree black belt without much knowledge..?? Quite a statement ......


And I do wonder how much of that 8th degree black belt was actually earned by Elvis Presley and not gave as a "gift" by the ass-kissers around him.

You also must think that it's a beautiful act of humbleness to have a student around your dojo with his own, exclusive karategi and doing what he wants, including a film of his own about the martial art that he's supposed to be learning. Imposing yourself at the top of the game isn't how martial arts are supposed to work. A serious sensei is aware of that but it seems that Kang Rhee was busy being fascinated by his important student.
Last edited by billyblues on Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Why did Elvis stop doing karate on stage in 1973?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:50 pm

The huge screams and excitement when he did the karate in concert go against the idea that it looked silly. And karate was popular in the 70's. But the anti 70's Elvis gang will think differently. They wanted him in jeans singing You're so square baby i don't care. :roll:

Re: Why did Elvis stop doing karate on stage in 1973?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:53 pm

DEH wrote:The huge screams and excitement when he did the karate in concert go against the idea that it looked silly. And karate was popular in the 70's. But the anti 70's Elvis gang will think differently. They wanted him in jeans singing You're so square baby i don't care. :roll:


And of course anyone who doesn't agree with this is part of that "gang", right? Because the fact that I f'n love Elvis is not enough.

You know what's the sad thing about it? Some of you sound just like the certain anti-70's folks around here when you impose that someone should agree with a certain opinion to be contrary to them. You sound just like them. It's like there's no in-between.

By the way, the huge screams and excitement when Elvis was basically dying on stage also means that it wasn't bad, right? Loving a person is one thing; turning a blind eye to the problems involving such person is another. I love Elvis - 50's, 60's and 70's. But to turn a blind eye to all the legend around him? No, thanks. I love him exactly like he was: an human being, not a god. I just wish he would have noticed too that he was human before it was too late.
Last edited by billyblues on Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:01 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Re: Why did Elvis stop doing karate on stage in 1973?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:56 pm

I doubt Elvis cared what other people thought of his karate, he loved doing it and fans enjoyed it.

I'd say he just didn't feel like doing any karate and the Aloha Special either. Elvis did Elvis: That's the Way It Is '70, a follow-up was another musical documentary, Elvis on Tour '72 and I think he would've wanted to tour overseas instead of doing a special to be broadcast live around the world. Probably knowing he would be back in Vegas didn't help him feel any better either.

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