Chicago Karate Giant Dies in Plane Crash

Sensei Post in Profiles
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Ken Knudson 2002Ken Knudson 2003

Ken Knudson started taking Martial Arts classes in 1965 in Chicago’s Northwest Side, it was a perfect fit. By the late 1960s, Knudson quit his job as a toolmaker and established Olympic Karate Studios throughout the Chicago area. He owned 10 studios but sold them in 1974 to concentrate on his hotel chain. In 2003 he was featured in a issue of Martial Arts Digest, the article began: “Ken Knudson was a fighting legend from Chicago.” Ken Knudson, 61, was an athletic man who loved martial arts and was a 5th-degree black belt.

Dr. Greene vs Ken Knudson 1974Ken Knudson founder and owner of Sybaris Clubs International, was killed along with three other men when a twin-engine Cessna 421B plunged into a corporate park Monday near Palwaukee Municipal Airport in Wheeling. Near by security camera caught the final seconds of the horrific plane crash. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Rollie McDonald who worked for Ken Knudson, starting as a janitor and working up to his present position as a hotel property manager described Ken Knudson as “So full of energy, and his presence lit up a room”. “Ken was like a rock,” said his daughter-in-law, Anna Knudson, 36. “He was so solid.” Ken Knudson is survived by his wife, Charlene, and son, Scott.
In related news the widow of one of the passengers filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against all parties associated with the crash.

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