Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Top 10 Covers of Inside Karate Magazine: #3: Togetherness Training

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.

Finally, the secret of JCVD's martial arts training is revealed! Over the past few decades, many in the martial arts and filmmaking communities and have questioned Van Damme's asskicking bonafides. "He doesn't actually know karate," some have claimed. "He's just a glorified gymnast!"

Well, this cover sets the record straight once and for all. JCVD is a black belt in the ancient art of Togetherness. Clearly, that's also the secret he learned before breaking into martial arts films, considering that he's never been hurt.

We also like to think that the windmill technique Jean-Claude is demonstrating with his arms on this cover is the key to blowing away his opponent's kicks. Now if only he could brush up on the fine art of hinting so as to let Gladys down easy in regards to the questionable fashion value of her combination jumpsuit-overalls workout apparel.

That's what makes this the #3 Inside Karate cover––everything ties together so beautifully.

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

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