Angela Mao Ying is a Taiwanese actress and martial artist who appeared in many martial arts films in the 1970s.
With her experience in acting and martial arts, Angela quickly began taking leading roles in other action movies in Golden Harvest productions including Hapkido (Lady Kung-fu), Lady Whirlwind, and The Fate of Lee Khan (directed by King Hu). She was also successful in other movies such as The Association, The Himalayans and many others.
Internationally, she found fame for her role as the doomed sister of Bruce Lee's character in 1973's Enter the Dragon. Although Bruce Lee died shortly after the production of the movie, Mao was able to train and develop a friendship with Lee.
One of the most famous martial artist actresses of her time, she is nicknamed "Lady Whirlwind" and "Lady Kung Fu". She was positioned as a female version of Bruce Lee.
Martial Artist | Actor
Honorary Class of 2018 - #397
Chiu Chi Ling is a martial artist and actor who appears mostly in Kung Fu style movies produced in Hong Kong. He also teaches Hung Gar Kung Fu at Chiu Chi Ling Hung Gar Kung Fu Association, a San Francisco-based martial arts school he founded, and at the old Chiu Family Kwoon in Hong Kong.
He has appeared in over 70 movies, both as an actor and stunt man. His abilities as an actor and martial arts practitioner has allowed him to work with most of the top Hong Kong film makers including Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Chow Yun-fat and Stephen Chow.
SHINICHI (SONNY) CHIBA
Martial Artist | Actor
Honorary Class of 2018 - #398
Shinichi Chiba also known as Sonny Chiba, is a Japanese actor, singer, film producer, film director, and martial artist. Chiba was one of the first actors to achieve stardom through his skills in martial arts, initially in Japan and later before an international audience.
Chiba has starred in more than 125 films for Toei Studios and has won numerous awards in Japan for his acting. Chiba established the Japan Action Club, now Japan Action Enterprise (JAE) to develop and raise the level of martial arts techniques and sequences used in Japanese film and television.
RON VAN CLIEF
Martial Artist | Actor
Honorary Class of 2018 - #399
Ron Van Clief (born January 25, 1943 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American martial artist and an actor in Hollywood and Hong Kong action films.Ron van Clief began his martial arts career competing in both full-contact and non-contact karate tournaments in New York then internationally, going on to win several national tournaments and world championships.
Ron Van Clief's first acting job came when he was selected to star in the 1974 Hong Kong film The Black Dragon (aka Super Dragon) opposite Jason Pai Piao. Some of his film roles during the 1970s were Blaxploitation films which capitalized on the then-novelty of an African-American martial artist, following in the tradition of Jim Kelly's role in Enter the Dragon.
Martial Artist | Father of American TaeKwonDo
Jhoon Goo Rhee (January 7, 1932 – April 30, 2018), commonly known as Jhoon Rhee or Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee, was a South Korean master of taekwondo who was widely recognized as the 'Father of American Taekwondo' for introducing this martial art to the United States of America since arriving in the 1950s. He was ranked 10th dan. He began training in the martial arts at the age of 13 (1945), without his father's knowledge. Rhee received martial art training under Nam Tae Hi and graduated from the Chung Do Kwan.
Rhee opened his first U.S. based studio in 1962 in Washington, DC, and over time expanded to 11 studios in the DC Metro area. In 1973, Rhee made his only martial arts movie, titled When Taekwondo Strikes. In 2000, Rhee was the only Korean-American named amongst the 203 most recognized immigrants to the country by the National Immigrant Forum and the Immigration and Naturalization Services. Rhee was inducted into the Taekwondo Hall of Fame in 2007, in which he is he is listed as both the 'Pioneer of American Taekwondo' and the 'Pioneer of Taekwon-Do in Russia'. Rhee is listed as a pioneer in the USA (1950s, 1960s, and 1970s) in Chang Keun Choi's list of taekwondo pioneers. Rhee died on April 30, 2018 in Arlington, Virginia at the age of 86.
Martial Artist | Actress Martial Arts Instructor
Cynthia Ann Christine Rothrock (born March 8, 1957) is an American martial artist and actress specializing in martial arts films. Rothrock holds black belt rankings in seven styles of martial arts and was a high level competitor in martial arts before becoming an actress. Rothrock was a five times World Champion in forms and weapons between 1981 and 1985. She took first place in forms 32 times and first place in weapons 12 times in her first 38 tournaments. She was "Grand Master" of five tournaments and came in first place in 4 out of 5 fighting events. In 1983, Rothrock was inducted into the Black Belt Magazine Hall of Fame as "Female Competitor of the Year". She was the first woman to appear on the cover of a martial arts magazine, and in 1986 co-authored a book with George Chung titled, Advanced Dynamic Kicks. In 2014, she was honored with the Legacy Award at the Urban Action Showcase & Expo at HBO She was an inspiration for the video game character Sonya Blade from the Mortal Kombat series and lent her voice on the animated series Eek the Cat. She made an appearance in the television series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, playing Hera's second Enforcer in the 1996 episode "Not Fade Away". After starring in the 2004 film Xtreme Fighter (a.k.a. Sci-Fighter), where she played Sally Kirk / The White Dragon, she retired from acting to teach private martial arts lessons at her martial arts studio in Studio City, California.
Martial Artist | Actor
Hwang Jung-Lee (born December 21, 1944), is a Japanese-born Korean martial artist and film actor. Hwang is perhaps best known for his role as "Thunderleg" in 1978's Drunken Master, "Sheng Kuan" in 1978's Snake in the Eagle's Shadow and Wong Chin in 1981's Hitman in the Hand of Buddha. Hwang took Taekwondo lessons from age 14 and achieved his 7th dan (rank) black belt. In 1965 at age 21, Hwang became a martial arts instructor for the Korean and South Vietnamese Armies, specializing in taekwondo. In January 2003, Hwang received his 9th dan black belt in taekwondo. In addition, he currently holds a 9th dan rank with the World Tang Soo Do General Federation. Hwang still actively teaches martial arts. He is currently an instructor with the World Tang Soo Do General Federation and serves as Technical Advisor.
Hwang began his acting career in Korean movies. Hwang took the lead in many martial arts movies, usually playing a villain. The Secret Rivals was the first film where Hwang appeared as the "Silver Fox". Hwang's nicknames, "King of the Legfighters" and "Thunderleg" relate to his style of martial arts performance where he uses his legs in a particular way. In the mid 1970s, Hwang performed in two Jackie Chan movies Snake in the Eagle's Shadow and Drunken Master. as "Sheng Kuan" and "Thunderfoot" ("Thunderleg").
In July 1996, Hwang retired from acting at the age of 51.After a long absence from acting, Hwang appeared in the TV Series The Return of Iljimae. Hwang featured in the documentary film, "The Anonymous King" in which Jon James Hodson examines Hwang's personal life in Seoul, Korea and Hong Kong.
Martial Artist | Actor | Fitness Guru
Billy Wayne Blanks (born September 1, 1955), is an American fitness guru, martial artist, actor, and the creator of the Tae Bo exercise program. Blanks began his study of the martial arts at the age of eleven, attending Karate and Taekwondo classes. He was born with an anomaly in his hip joints that impaired his movement. The resulting clumsiness caused taunts from Blanks' siblings and led his instructors to believe that he would never accomplish much. Blanks found the answer to these challenges in karate. When he saw Bruce Lee on TV, he decided he wanted to be a world martial-arts champion. Blanks was hired as a bodyguard for lead actress Catherine Bach during the filming of 1988's Driving Force, which was filmed in Manila during a time of political unrest. Blanks impressed the producers and was written into the script in a supporting role. This led to Blanks' work in several martial arts films, including King of the Kickboxers and Bloodfist. Blanks also appeared in the opening scene of Tony Scott's The Last Boy Scout, where he plays a doomed pro-football player. Blanks played Ashley Judd's kickboxing instructor in Kiss the Girls (1997). In the late 1980s, Blanks developed the Tae Bo workout, while running a karate studio in Quincy, Massachusetts. He used components of his martial arts and Boxing training. The name is a portmanteau of "tae" (as in taekwondo) and "bo" (as in boxing). Blanks opened a fitness center in Los Angeles to teach his new workout. He later attracted celebrity clients such as Paula Abdul, and the popularity of the workout quickly grew, becoming a pop culture phenomenon after Blanks began releasing mass-marketed videos. He sold over 1.5 million VHS tapes in his first year, and is reported to have grossed between $80 million and $130 million in sales.
Martial Artist | Actor | Fight Choreographer | Stuntman
Art Camacho (born 1960), is an award-winning action film Director/Fight choreographer/stunt performer. He began his career as an actor and gravitated towards stunts and Directing. His studio releases include Sony Pictures "Half Past Dead 2", "Assassin X" and Lionsgate's "Confessions of a Pit fighter". His background in martial arts and fighting helped him make the transition to Fight choreography in martial arts action films. With over 35 action films under his belt as a fight choreographer he was dubbed "The Fight Master" in the early 90's by the leading martial arts publications. Camacho has directed episodes of "LA Heat"; a buddy cop action series and "Reyes y Rey", for Sony Pictures. Most recently Camacho has been Stunt Coordinating feature films in between Directing Features, commercials and Music videos. He just completed an auto-biographical book "A Filmmaker's Journey", in addition to designing his own brand of T shirts. He has been featured in numerous international magazines and books throughout the world including "Black Belt magazine", "Inside Kung Fu", "Karate International", and "Cinturon Negro", "Masters and Styles, "Secrets of the Masters", "Martial Arts Illustrated", "Who's Who in Entertainment" "Encyclopedia of Martial Arts" and most recently graced the cover of Canada's "Martial arts experts" . L.A.'s largest Spanish Language Newspaper "La Opinion" has done several stories on Camacho and dubbed him "One of Latino Hollywood's best action directors" Proclaiming that with the right project Camacho will break through. He was also featured on "Hola Los Angeles", "Cinemax" Mexico's channel 12, "Despierta America" and "Control". Camacho was most recently featured on Latin Nation and he was the first recipient of the "The Outstanding Director of the Year" award from the Action on film, film festival 2005/2006, 8 Awards from the Action on Film festival including the Icon award; The Golden and Bronze halo awards from the Hollywood motion picture counsel, and he was knighted by the Sacred Order of Saint Michael Arch Angel. Camacho was also recipient of an award from the World Martial arts Association that was presented to him on behalf of Alan Horn (CEO of The Walt Disney Company) and Michael Klausman (President of CBS studios).
Bill "Superfoot" Wallace
Bill Wallace (born December 1, 1945), is an American martial artist who was a Professional Karate Association world full-contact karate champion. He was the Professional Karate Association (PKA) Middleweight Champion kickboxer for almost six years. Wallace was born in Portland, Indiana, and trained in wrestling during his high school years. He began his study of Judo in 1966 and was forced to discontinue his Judo related activities because of an injury he suffered to his right knee during practice. He then began to study Shōrin-ryū Karate under Michael Gneck in February 1967 while serving in the U.S. Air Force. After entering the point fighting tournament scene and achieving success there, he switched to full-contact competition. With the coaching help of veteran fighter Jim 'Ronin' Harrison, Wallace won 23 consecutive professional fights between 1974 and 1980, becoming the Professional Karate Association middleweight world full-contact karate champion and retiring undefeated. He was known for his fast left leg kicks, especially his roundhouse kick and his hook kick, which was clocked at about 60 mph. He focused on his left leg because of the Judo-related injury to his right knee, using the right leg primarily as a base. A year later, Wallace turned professional and captured the PKA middleweight karate championship with a second-round knockout. He relinquished the crown in 1980, undefeated. The PKA promoted the sport of full-contact karate. Full-contact karate differed from kickboxing in that leg kicks were allowed in kickboxing and forbidden in full-contact karate. It was PKA President, Don Quine, who coined the phrase "Superfoot" to describe Wallace after witnessing his fight first with Mark Georgantas and then with Jem Echollas. Wallace has taught karate, judo, wrestling and weight lifting at Memphis State University. Wallace administers an organization of karate schools under his "Superfoot" system. He was elected to Black Belt Magazine's Hall of Fame in 1973 as "Tournament Karate Fighter of the Year" and again in 1978 as "Man of the Year." His film credits include A Force of One with Chuck Norris; Killpoint, with Cameron Mitchell; Continental Divide and Neighbors, with John Belushi; The Protector, with Jackie Chan; Los Bravos with Hector Echavarria; A Prayer for the Dying, with Mickey Rourke; Ninja Turf; and Sword of Heaven.
Benny "The Jet" Urquidez
Martial Artist | Actor Fight Choreographer
Benny Urquidez (born June 20, 1952), is an American kickboxer, martial arts choreographer and actor. Urquidez was a non-contact karate competitor who later pioneered full-contact fighting in the United States. Benny began competing in 1958, at the age of five, in "peewee" boxing and wrestling in Los Angeles. His martial arts instruction started when he was seven years old; his first formal teacher was Bill Ryusaki. Urquidez received his black belt at the age of 14, a highly unusual feat in the 1960s. He made the transition from point to full-contact karate in 1974 – the year of its inception in the U.S., frequently fighting in bouts where the rules were ambiguous and contrasts in styles were dramatic. Urquidez is also known for once holding the rare achievement of six world titles in five different weight divisions and remained largely undefeated in his 27-year career. Between 1974 and 1993, he amassed a documented professional record of 49–1–1 (win-loss-draw) with 35 knockouts and two controversial no-contests, although he is also supposed to have an additional record of 10–0–1 (10 KOs) in undocumented professional fights, making a total of 59–1–2–2 (45 KOs). Black Belt magazine voted Urquidez "Competitor of the Year" in 1978.He has also appeared in occasional acting roles, mostly in action films during the 1980s and 1990s, notably the Jackie Chan movies Wheels on Meals (1984) and Dragons Forever (1988).
Don "The Dragon" Wilson
Martial Artist | Actor
Donald Glen Wilson (born September 10, 1954), is an American martial artist and actor. An 11-time professional kickboxing world champion who scored 47 knockouts in four decades, he has been called by the STAR System Ratings as "Perhaps the greatest kickboxer in American history. He has disposed of more quality competition than anyone we've ever ranked". He is an entrant into the European Martial Arts Hall of Fame. After high school, Wilson he was accepted into the prestigious Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut in the fall of 1972. Wilson has stated that his brother challenged him to friendly sparring, which he imagined he would dominate since Wilson was more physically imposing and athletic than his brother. To his surprise, he was easily knocked around by his brother's martial arts ability. He credits this experience as making a believer out of him, after which he would pursue martial arts. He began studying Goju-ryu Karate with Sensei Chuck Merriman for two hours a week for one year. Don's nickname, "The Dragon" was used in his first professional kickboxing match in Orlando. Wilson won a total of 11 World Titles with several sanctioning bodies that included the IKF, WKA, KICK, ISKA, STAR and the PKO. He won his IKF (www.IKFKickboxing.com) FCR Cruiserweight World Title on May 15, 1999 in Lowell, Massachusetts, USA, when he defeated Dick Kimber. Having never been challenged for his title, Wilson voluntarily retired it to move down to the Light Heavyweight Division, where he eventually retired from fighting a few years later. Wilson was fairly notable thanks to his unique fighting style as used in the ring. He was ambidextrous, being able to switch stance on a whim, attack powerfully with either side, a particularly devastating lead side kick, and was known to perform single-leg multiple kicks in rapid succession. Despite his focus on kicks, most of his K.O's came through his punching, and he was particularly good with his lead (right) hook punch. As a kung fu practitioner, he has claimed numerous times that he entered sport fighting because in the 70's the notion was that kung fu stylists couldn't fight, and he set out to disprove that myth.
Martial Artist | Actor | Director | Producer | Stuntman | Singer
Chan Kong-sang (born 7 April 1954), known professionally as Jackie Chan, is a Hong Kongese martial artist, actor, film director, producer, stuntman, and singer. He is known for his acrobatic fighting style, comic timing, use of improvised weapons, and innovative stunts, which he typically performs himself, in the cinematic world. He has trained in various styles including wushu or kung fu and hapkido, and has been acting since the 1960s, appearing in over 150 films.
Chan is one of the most recognizable and influential cinematic personalities in the world, gaining a widespread following in both the Eastern and Western hemispheres, and has received stars on the Hong Kong Avenue of Stars, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He has been referenced in various pop songs, cartoons, and video games. He is an operatically trained vocalist and is also a Cantopop and Mandopop star, having released a number of albums and sung many of the theme songs for the films in which he has starred. He is also a globally known philanthropist, and has been named as one of the top 10 most charitable celebrities by Forbes magazine. In 2004, film scholar Andrew Willis stated that Chan was "perhaps" the "most recognized star in the world".
Martial Artist | Actor |
Oso Tayari Casel is the founder and director of the Tayari Casel Martial Arts Academy, Inc.; an institution that researches, demonstrates and spreads the contribution that Africa and China have given to the international martial arts community, while simultaneously furthering the appreciation of contemporary and traditional African and Chinese culture. Oso Tayari Casel’s martial arts experience in and out of competition has helped him develop the awareness that martial arts and culture must be applied as vehicles for physical, mental and spiritual transformation. During his prestigious tournament career Oso Tayari Casel ranked in the “Top Ten Black Belts in the USA” for over a decade. Oso Tayari Casel was one of the first to popularize ground fighting in competition. In 1975 he was the only non-Karate practitioner chosen by Chuck Norris to represent the USA in team fights. Recognition of his fighting and technical artistry garnered appearances on the covers of international martial arts publications including: Official Karate, Black Sports, Martial Arts Tradition, History and People, Inside Kung Fu, Defense Combat, Men of Steel Discipline, Black Heroes of the Martial Arts and The Official History of Karate in America: The Golden Age: 1968-1986. He was featured in two recent martial arts documentaries: Urban Dragons: Black and Latino Masters in the Chinese Martial Arts and The Black Kung Fu Experience for Public Broadcast Systems (PBS). He is inducted in the Action Martial Arts Magazine’s Hall of Honors & Spirits Awards: Golden Pioneer, World Professional Martial Arts Hall of Fame: Legend Kung Fu Fighter, United States Karate Hall of Fame: Grand Master, Golden Eagle Awards, Howard University Washington, DC, Chicago Martial Arts Lifetime Achievement Award, and many more. After retiring from competition, he successfully co-founded and promoted the Triple “AAA” rated US Capitol Classics Martial Arts Tournament for seven years in the nation’s capital. Oso Tayari Casel has appeared in various martial arts films and is a frequent guest on local television and radio programs. He teaches and lectures throughout the country and internationally, and is the Master Teacher at Tayari Casel Martial Arts Academy in Silver Spring, Md.
Ji Han-Jae was born in Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea in 1936. He is one of the highest ranking hapkido instructors in the world and founder of Sin Moo Hapkido as well as acting in the movie the Game of Death with Kung-Fu master Bruce Lee. He began his martial arts training in 1949 under t, and was Dan No 14 under Choi. Ji trained with Choi Yong-Sool until 1956 when he moved to Seoul in order to open a school of self-defense in the nation's capital. In 1959 Ji Han-Jae combined all of his martial arts knowledge together and began to teach hapkido. he founded the Sung Moo Kwan which would become an influential kwan, or school of hapkido, producing many of the important teachers of the art. It was around this time that Ji began to use the name hapkido to promote the art, shortened from the original "Hap Ki Yu Kwon Sool " name employed at the first school run by Choi Yong-Sool and Seo Bok-Seob in Daegu in 1951. In 1984 Ji Han-Jae moved to the United States and founded Sin Moo Hapkido . Before he left Korea, Myung Jae-Nam, a close friend of Ji and the head of the International H.K.D Federation, awarded Ji Han-Jae a 10th Dan. The proper title for master Ji now is DoJu Ji. Doju, implies founder as Ji is the founder of Sin Moo hapkido, if not hapkido itself.