Official Program featuring Bruce Lee's Karate Debut at the International Karate Championships, Municipal Auditorium, Long Beach, Los Angles, 1964, - with - the 1965 program -
a master of Gung Fu from Hong Kong, China, will demonstrate his remarkable skills…
Extremely rare 1964 ‘Official Program’ of the inaugural International Karate Championship, where 23 year-old Bruce Lee’s was first introduced to the world with an 8½ -minute demonstration, together with the 1965 ‘Official Program’. Both in fine condition.
This 1964 martial arts tournament, with 850 competing contenders, was the first of an annual event still in existence, it was held by Kenpo Grandmaster Ed Parker at a time when, perhaps because of the mass media spy craze, there was growing general interest in Karate outside of military and aficionado circles.
The 1964 program includes congratulatory ads by movie stars Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon and “Pink Panther” film director Blake Edwards. The 21st item on the 1964 program was “Demonstration by Bruce Lee”. There is also a photograph of him on the Demonstrations page, captioned “a master of Gung Fu from Hong Kong, China, will demonstrate his remarkable skills…” (including two-finger push-ups).
Lee did not appear at the 1965 event, but a photograph of his 1964 appearance was included in the photo-montage on the verso of the 1965 title-page. These programs, sold only at the tournaments, are even more rare than Lee’s 1963 book, Chinese Gung-Fu, The Philosophical Art of Self-Defense, published in Oakland in a limited edition of 500 copies.