Joe Corley is an American karate and kickboxing competitor, instructor, broadcaster and promoter who helped achieve the success of the Professional Karate Association and the early establishment of professional in the United States.
Joe Corley began studying Tang Soo Do at age 16. At 19 he earned his black belt and opened his first martial arts studio.He won the National Karate Grand Championship in 1969, 1971, 1972; the Southeast Grand Championship in 1967; and the Southern US Open in 1971 and 1972. Corley opened Atlanta’s first karate studio in 1967 and founded Joe Corley’s American Karate System in 1972.
With Chris McLoughlin, Corley founded the annual Battle of Atlanta karate event in 1970. In 1977 the first televised Full Contact Karate matches of the PKA made its way onto television and were covered by Sports Illustrated. In 1979 Mr. Corley became a partner in the Professional Karate Association (PKA), which was a martial arts organization instrumental in establishing professional kickboxing as a sport in the United States.Corley also became a commentator for American Karate on national television, along with Chuck Norris and Pat Morita, appearing on ESPN Sports Channel America Prime Network and Fox Sports South.
- 1985 Appeared in the Joe Lewis film Force Five
- 1990 Man of the Decade by Official Karate magazine
- 1998 Black Belt Magazine Hall of Fame as Man of the Year
- 1998 Mystic Origins of the Martial Arts
- 2002 Appeared in the documentary films Modern Warriors
- 2013 Presented the Joe Lewis Eternal Warrior Award
- 2016 Promoted to the rank of 10th Degree Black Belt, Grand Master
- 2017 Featured on the cover of Who’s Who in the Martial Arts Legends Edition
In early 2018, Corley was seeking financing for the new era of PKA Kickboxing and organizing broadcasts for these events. In April, 2018, Combat Go, a new 24/7 Martial Arts channel announced a partnership with PKA Kickboxing to provide programming for its new channel.
He serves as Master Instructor at Atlanta Extreme Warrior, founded in 2010, which includes Joe Corley Karate in its curriculum. And serves as the International Liaison for the Professional Karate Commission