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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Martial Arts Cards - 1: Sumo

Just because I have them, I figured I might as well show you. What's the point of collecting stuff if you can't show your friends, right?

Some time in either the late 1970s or very early 1980s, a company called Dunkin put out a series of 88 Martial Arts cards. A link to the wrapper is HERE.

While utilizing art similar to what one might expect to see from China or Japan, what was striking about the 10-cent a pack of eight cards was the shape of them.

While similar in size to the standard hockey and baseball cards of the day, the images were framed by a curved tori (gateway), and came with a rounded top - as you can obviously tell from the images here.

The cards came with three languages on the reverse of the card: English, French and German - that provided a brief description of the image on the front.

By the time these cards had come out, I was no longer doing judo, concentrating more on soccer and the accordion, clarinet and piano (and a host of other brass, woodwind and keyboard instruments). Perhaps I should have stuck with judo longer to protect myself better from those in high school who loved to beat up little kids (I was 5-feet tall until I was 17, wore glasses, was a visible minority  (still am) and was a nerd).

Still... I had a fine appreciation for martial arts.

This card series - of which I can find very little information in the Internet (like none!) - provided me with information on Judo, Karate, Kung-Fu, Akido, Tae Kwon Do (I tore my meniscus two years ago doing this) and much more.

I have about 58 of the full 88-card set (it was tough to find - I think I bought all that was on sale at the local convenience store in Etobicoke), and never saw them again. I did see that someone on E-bay was sell 34 cards (in a bit better shape than mine - but a load of doubles and triples - for $150 US.

Anyhow... from time to time, I shall present one of these cards as they relate to Japanese martial arts.

First up, obviously, is card 11 - Sumo.

If anyone has more information on these cards, or wants to get rid of some they have to help me fill out a collection, feel free to e-mail me.

I bow deeply to show my respect before I kick your ass in combat.

Andrew Joseph

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