Fred Wren was an early Texas Karate champion who earned the nickname “Whirlwind Fred” because he came after opponents like a unstoppable tornado. He was equally skilled with both punches and kicks and he would fight ferociously until the referee pulled him off his opponent. He was the winner of multiple tournaments in the 1960s and it was Fred Wren who helped to establish Texas, and the American Karate Black Belt Association, as a hot-bed for sport Karate. One of his greatest championship wins was his second win over Jim Harrison, this win at the 1968 U.S. Karate Championships. Wren went after Harrison with a defensive side kick as Harrison charged him in desperation and the fight ended.
Fred Wren was one of the original Black Belt’s of Allen Steen, and he became the head instructor at the famed East Dallas location of Steen’s Texas Karate Institute. Upon entering Fred’s martial arts school you could see his sign at the back of the dojo that proclaimed “House of Wren.” The sign was a warning to all who entered. He was truly one of the great fighters who helped put Texas on the map of Karate.
Fred Wren later settled in St Louis, Missouri, where he ran a successful martial arts school as well as a martial arts supply business.