Nicholas Pettas (born January 23, 1973 in Mykonos) is a Greek-Danish karateka, former heavyweight kickboxer and actor, who fought out of Team Sprit AE in Tokyo, Japan. Pettas mainly competed in the promotion K-1 between 1998 and 2007, and was the winner of the K-1 Japan Grand Prix 2001. Pettas was born in Mykonos, Greece to a Greek father and Danish mother. Following the death of his father, he moved to Denmark with his mother at the age of three.
After being beaten up in a street fight when he was fourteen, he decided to join a karate school to learn to defend himself. Not knowing which styles there were, he was introduced to Kyokushin by Michael Mattheson, a friend of his brother Tony. He found himself a new following and needed no more schooling, and so at the age of sixteen decided to leave high school in order to save up money to go to Japan and study with Masutatsu Oyama, the founder of Kyokushin. After getting permission to join the uchi-deshi program, a live-in training of 1000 days, he moved to Japan from Denmark at the age of eighteen. At the age of twenty-one, he completed the vigorous training course to become the only the second non-Japanese ever to finalize the program. He was last uchi-deshi of Master Oyama, who died soon after Pettas’ graduation.
After his graduation of the programme, he competed in several tournaments and achieved many significant titles and honours such as reaching the title in European Karate Championships and placing 5th and 3rd place in the World Championships, respectively in 1995 and 1997.
The following documentaries show Nicholas exploring other Karate Styles in Okinawa and then differences between western and Japanese Judo. There are plenty of other videos on youtube with Nicholas showing him exploring different Japanese martial arts.
Samurai Spirit: Karate
Samurai Spirit: Judo