Nicholas Pettas (born January 23, 1973) is a karate-ka, former heavyweight kickboxing champion and tv personality.
He was born in Mykonos, Greece to a Greek father and Danish mother. At the age of 3, his father passed away and his family moved to Denmark. After being beaten up in a street fight, he decided to take up Kyokushin karate, a full contact style of karate, through the recommendation of his older brother's friend at the age of 14. By the time he turned 16, he dropped out of high school in order to save up and travel to Japan.
At the age of 18, he moved to Japan to further pursue his training in Kyokushin Karate, by becoming an uchi-deshi (live-in student) of Mas Oyama, the founder of Kyokushin Karate. The program lasted 1000 days and by the time he turned 21, he completed the intense training program, being the 2nd non Japanese person to complete it and also the final uchi deshi of Mas Oyama, as he passed away shortly afterward.
After his graduation from the program, he participated in numerous karate tournaments, earning many awards and honors, including becoming the champion at the European Heavyweight Karate Championships in 1995 and 10th Shin Karate World Championships in 2000. In 1998, he made the switch to K-1, a Japan-based kickboxing circuit. He was the K-1 Japan Grand Prix 2001 champion and continued to participate in K-1 before retiring in 2008 with a record of 9 wins (8 knockouts) and 10 losses.
Besides acting and hosting television shows, he currently runs a Reebox CrossFit box in Tokyo.
From 2008-2009, he was the host of Samurai Spirit, a show where he would travel around Japan to learn techniques and explore the history and philosophy of various Japanese martial arts, such as karate, kendo and aikido.
Currently, he, along with Chikai Horan, is the current host of Imagine-nation.
In 2011, he wrote a book, Blue Eyed Samurai: 1000 days in the Young Lions Dormitory, which details his experience of being a westerner participating in the uchi-deshi program.