HISTORY OF TKI
WHAT TKI USED TO BE
40+ years ago Elvis Presley wanted to own the best karate school with the greatest martial artists that the world had to offer. Together with Elvis Presley, Red West, Bill Wallace, and Patrick Wrenn, TKI was born. TKI was a place where the best trained to be the best. Sadly, after a little more than four years, Elvis passed away, Bill Wallace continued to travel the world and become the World Champion of Kickboxing, and in 1974 Patrick Wrenn broke his back at the Dallas Nationals.... TKI closed its doors.
GRANDMASTER PATRICK "THE VIPER" WRENN
Grandmaster Patrick Wrenn, of Memphis Tennessee, has had a black belt career that has spanned over 50 years. Having studied with GM Kang Rhee (Elvis' teacher), earning a 7th dan, Joe Lewis earning a 4th dan, Al Holcolmb, Bill Wallace, Mack Dickinson, Pat Burleson and numerous others resulting in a 10th dan awarded in 2003 in the American Combative Arts System.
Wrenn owns 6 World Records for breaking things with his hands. These world records have been honored by the Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum System, as well as being included in the Smithsonian Institution Science of Sports Exhibit.
Wrenn was a fighter, trainer of world champions, and world-class judge in the PKA. He is in the Karate Kickboxing Hall of Fame, the Who's Who Legends Hall of Fame, and The Joe Lewis Eternal Warrior Hall of Fame. Wrenn was a member of the NFL Players Association. Wrenn worked for the Department of Defense as a Navy Contractor where he trained Navy Operators, as well as Army Special Forces Operators.
Wrenn is most proud to have been a partner with Elvis Presley, Bill Wallace, and Red West in the Tennessee Karate Institute (TKI). Elvis is remembered here, in the place where the film "The new Centurians" was made. He loved karate and wanted to contribute to the art that had helped him so much over the years. Elvis supplied the gis for the first American World Champion Kickboxing team (Joe Lewis, Bill Wallace, Jeff Smith, and others). There are many photographs of him and artifacts of his time at TKI. TKI continues today, a place that honors the contributions of Elvis, Superfoot, Wrenn, Chuck Norris, Joe Lewis, Aaron Pryor (2-time world champion), and so many other champions that trained here.
WHAT TKI IS TODAY
Wrenn currently offers classes in the original TKI location, which is now a part museum honoring the past, and an active karate school creating martial artists for the future.