Wrenn operated Tennessee Karate Institute, from 1972 until he was injured in 1974, and the school continued to operate until mid-1976, when it closed during Wrenns absence following back surgery. Wrenn is a five-time record holder for his ability to break the highest number of single boards in the shortest time. Two years ago, Wrenn broke 5,412 boards in 47 minutes and 14 seconds. The boards would equal more than a mile if the one-inch pieces of wood were lined up end to end and would be as tall as a 44-story building if stacked. To demonstrate his board-breaking skills, Wrenn rents highway barricades and places one piece of wood on each stand. His goal in setting the records, he said, is to help others realize they can overcome obstacles, too. Wrenn, who also has acted as a body guard for Sylvester Stallone, said determination and faith in God has been the key to his success. "My goal in life is to be consistent and not fall down, or if I fall down, not to stay down," he said. Bio Bits: name: Patrick Joseph Wrenn date of birth: Oct. 27, 1947 place of birth: Springfield, Mass. education: William & Mary B.A., English marital status: single children: Cosmos, 26, and Patrick, 13 hobbies: scrimshaw achievements: World Martial Arts Hall of Fame inductee, 1992; International Karate-Kickboxing Hall of Fame inductee, 1995; five world records in breaking boards with his bare hand; seventh degree black belt.
Patrick Wrenn, who once co-owned the Tennessee Karate Institute with Bill Wallace and former Presley security guard Red West, said the tournament began as a memorial to Elvis in 1981 and was held for nine years before it was discontinued. "This year, since it's the 25th anniversary year, we decided to do it again," says Wrenn.