Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Top 10 Covers of Inside Karate Magazine: #4: Michele "Mouse" Krasnoo

In the early 1980s, there existed a magazine called Kick Illustrated. It was the world's premier source for photos of kicks. But its editors weren't satisfied. They dared to ask the question, "What if?" What if there was a magazine that pulled back the veil not just on kicks, but on punches. On grapples. On open-fist palm strikes. On throat chops. And so was Inside Karate magazine born.

Inside Karate, or "Karate Inside Karate," as its own covers seem to call it, combined all the over-earnest badassery of late-20th century martial arts with the zazzy, breezy coverlines of a city magazine. That combination, much like a combination of strikes followed by a triangle choke, turned Inside Karate into this world's preeminent printed publication and earned it a stranglehold on the martial arts community's reading circles until its untimely demise in 1999. Did readership really dwindle? Or was the new century simply unprepared to coexist with such a kickass periodical?

Don't be fooled by copycats like Professional Karate or Karate Illustrated. They have neither the high-quality karate action photography nor the deep-diving karate action features to compete with the marketplace leader. Join us as we count down the best magazine covers in karate action history.

Sometimes we think Inside Karate should be renamed Inside the Patronization of Karate Women. As you can see, the tradition of doing cover shoots with women in their silk pajamas continues in this issue.

Many an adept karate master has been killed because they got into a karate fight on the street, where they weren't adequately dressed for deadly combat. That's why it's important to wear your dojo uniform at all times, or barring that, read this issue's guide to protecting yourself from a surprise assault from the likes of Mark Glazier.

Also: we still haven't figured out what the placement of the quotation marks is supposed to mean in "'How Hapkido' Saved My Career." But figuring out this cover's punctuation-fu is far more rewarding than trying to remember the career(?) of L.A. Dodgers slowballer Jim Gott. Though we would have killed to see Gott utilize the traditional hapkido nunchaku on the mound.

Becoming an Instructor: Are You Bad Enough? If only that was the headline, this cover would have grabbed the coveted #1 spot on our countdown. As it is, the Michele "Mouse" Krasnoo's slumber party pictorial can only squeak this cover into fourth place.

Think you can do better? Study the cover archive here and show us your moves!


  1. I think How Hapkido is a person. Like saying "Cousin Bruddy" saved my career

  2. Good point, I never considered that. So "How Hapkido" would be a nickname, thus the quotation marks.