During his “reign”, practically everyone on the planet knew about “The King” Elvis Presley. Given his big name, he was given the choice to simply enlist as part of the Special Services rather than serve as a regular soldier when he was drafted in the military in 1958. Presley rejected the offer and chose to become a regular soldier, a decision that brought him to discover two of his greatest passions in life – martial arts and amphetamines.

Elvis the Blackbelt

Elvis can be seen performing in karate outfits but not many people know that it was not merely for a show, as The King was completely taken by the art of self-defense, particularly karate. His short stint in the military introduced him to karate, eventually studying the art seriously under the guidance of Jurgen Seydel who was considered the father of karate in Germany.

Elvis was so enamored by karate that he continued taking regular classes even after completing his military service. He slowly advanced through the years until he received his 7th-degree black belt. The King even founded his own karate school in Tennessee known as the Tennessee Karate Institute which is still existing today.

Elvis the amphetamine believer

Elvis appeared completely in control and almost invincible on stage but her personal doctor George Nichopoulos (Dr. Nick) shared that he was not the same in real life. The King apparently suffered from disrupted sleep, sleepwalking and nightmares ever since he was a child. All these things became even more serious after getting drafted into the military and when her mother suddenly died.

Amphetamines were legally available as appetite suppressants in the United States (until 1965) and Elvis became completely hooked. He promoted its “many benefits”, saying that it kept him going through his performances and even helped keep his weight in check. It was said that Elvis also encouraged his fellow soldiers to rely on amphetamines while he was still in the military.