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AL-Mu’assis Karriem ABdAllah

AL-Mu’assis Karriem ABdAllah is the 1st Black man in the history of the United States of America to create his own system of karate. Born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, AL-Mu’assis Karriem ABdAllah has been a major force to be reckoned with in the karate world. He began karate February 1962 at the age of 17 under the guidance of his only teacher Sensei James Cheatham. He was taught by Sensei James Cheatham for three years until his untimely death in a plane crash May 30, 1966. His teacher’s passing was a serious setback and he withdrew from the art for one year. Following constant pleads from youngsters that wanted to be taught, Karriem returned to karate.


He started teaching for free in the Felix Fuld Court projects in the summer of 1967. As his popularity grew and demand grew, it was necessary to open a school. By November 1967 through the generosity of three friends, Timmy Miller, Garfield Davis and Tony “Chink” Shipley. Karriem opened his first karate dojo. This was the beginning of the creation and development of the KA System of Karate. At first it was difficult for the karate world to accept the KA System, but as time passed and the fighters kept winning the KA System was recognized like all other styles of karate these battles took place during the strong years of karate tournament 1967-1975. Without a doubt AL-Mu’assis Karriem ABdAllah is the first black man and Muslim in the history of America to have created a karate system.


The system consist of 7 styles and 18 in between styles which total 25 styles of fighting. From 1967-1977 over 15,000 people were trained in the KA System of Karate. In 1977 Karriem retired from karate. For the next 10 years (1977-1987) he traveled the circuit as a trainer in kick boxing, amateur and professional boxing. However in 1987 he was persuaded by two friends Mudarris Nashid Abdul Wasi and AL-Hajj Idris Muhammad to return to karate. He then went to his desk to complete his first book. The K.A. System of Karate “The Freestyle Crouch” which was released January 1988. AL-Mu’assis Karriem ABdAllah credits his success and endeavors to his beloved Mother Lucille Lillian Durant, his only sister Hayat his religion Islam and discipline and sacrifice. He loves what he does and he does what he loves and that is teaching.


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