On the Wikipedia page for Karate Kid it says that Karate Kid (Val Armorr) used something called "super-karate" to briefly hold his own against Superboy. The pages for the comic scene are in order below:

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Is there any record of what "super-karate" is in the DC Universe?

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    Yes, but what is "Super-Karate?" I know that Val used it to hold his own against Superboy, but what is it?
    – Perason84
    Apr 21, 2021 at 20:29
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    Welcome to the site, while we have you please do have a look at the help center and take the tour. Does Valorum's link help at all?
    – AncientSwordRage
    Apr 21, 2021 at 20:30
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    I do appreciate the link, but unfortunately it does not provide any information that I do not already have.
    – Perason84
    Apr 21, 2021 at 20:31
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    It appears to be something of his own invention, based on martial arts from around the timelines.
    – Valorum
    Apr 21, 2021 at 20:31

1 Answer 1


There seems to be conflicting info on this, at least in regard to who created super-karate.

Val's official bio in Who's Who in the Legion of Super-Heroes #3 suggests that super-karate is an expanded form of karate, which he developed himself some time after he was initially taught martial arts by Sensei.

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Val, named for his mother, Valentina, who died shortly after he was born, was the only son of Kirau Nezumi, a Japanese super-villain also known as the Black Dragon. Japan's "super-hero", The Sensei, killed Black Dragon, then promised to raise the villain's son as his own, teaching him not only the martial arts but also an appreciation for more peaceful pastimes such as sculpting and painting.

Val grew up in Japan, later moving to Metropolis to join the Legion. He viewed it as a challenge: how to make himself, a non-powered human, into a Legionnaire. By that time, he had established a proficiency in all forms of hand-to-hand combat and hand weaponry, with a special talent for karate. Focusing on this self-created super-karate, he tried out for the Legion on the eve of the Khund invasion and was accepted along with Princess Projectra, Ferro Lad and Nemesis Kid.

Val learned from childhood every known form of unarmed combat and mastered most of them, making himself a "living weapon" specializing in his self-created "super-karate". He also studied the fighting techniques of every new world he encountered, devising defenses and attacks to use against them. He even adapted several moves for specific use with a Legion flight ring. Despite having no real super-power, he proved his worth by single-handedly fighting foes such as the Fatal Five. He trained many of his fellow Legionnaires in various types of hand-to-hand combat.

However, in Superboy Vol 1 #210, Sensei stated that he trained Val in super-karate.

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SENSEI: Welcome... to the lair of the Black Dragon!

KARATE KID: It--It... can't be you! Sensei!?

SENSEI: Yes... the teacher who raised you from infancy and trained you in super-karate!

Val's most notable battle with Superboy occurred in Karate Kid #12. During this battle, he didn't use the term "super-karate", but he did mention utilising "modified judo", an "arm-rifle technique" he learned on the planet, Falkone-IV, and a grappling hold he learned on Loback-III.

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Assuming he still considers this super-karate, then it would appear that super-karate is a mixed martial art, incorporating techniques from various planets, and possibly using karate as a base style onto which other techniques are grafted.

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    Just a side note: Traditional Okinawan karate includes almost all aspects of fighting (except basic wrestling, since traditionally, that's what people would already know from childhood days and was taken as a given). It is only "modern" shotokan, founded by Funakoshi in 1920, and its derivatives which are very stylised and focused on striking only ;) So in a sense, one could say it is karate...but magically better... like... super... super-karate! Apr 22, 2021 at 9:22
  • @Perason84 - If you're satisfied with this answer, please mark it as accepted by clicking on the check mark beneath the voting buttons. Thanks. Apr 30, 2021 at 13:04

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