Movie Star Martial Artist, what Style and Rank are they?

thardey

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I thought Norris said his first MA was Judo, and he got into TSD after he was injured during a Judo match. Not sure who his Judo instructor would have been.

That's true, I heard him tell the story myself. He left Judo (at least I'm pretty sure it was Judo) after asking his instructor's permission. The type of practice they were doing in TSD gave him time to let his injury heal, and by then he was hooked.

That's not to say he hasn't also studied Tae Kwon Do -- he's studied many other styles.
 

chinto

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William Shatner- Supreme Grand Master of Kirk-Fu. Seriously though, he did study karate for a long time, though I don't know what it was. Same with Robert Conrad, and Robert Culp.


William Shatner got some training specific to the fight sequences and such for the show, in the old Applegate system ( designed and taught by Col. Rex Applegate to the OSS and SOE and later the US army and other military branches of the US military taught it to soldiers and sailors and marines ) that was used in the original Star trek... but my understanding is he has a 1st dan at least in parker system kempo... do not know if he has studied any thing else though.
 

chinto

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O.K., I'm showing my age here but James Cagney and Charles Bronson both studied Judo and, if memory serves, both earned brown belts. Cagney demonstrated his technique in a movie called BLOOD ON THE SUN and Bronson and his son once walked in on a someone burglarizing their home and Bronson bounced him around until the cops showed up. Nice to know Bronson could do it when it counted.
My understanding is that James Cagney had his black belt ( shodan) awarded just before the start of WWII.
 

Danjo

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William Shatner got some training specific to the fight sequences and such for the show, in the old Applegate system ( designed and taught by Col. Rex Applegate to the OSS and SOE and later the US army and other military branches of the US military taught it to soldiers and sailors and marines ) that was used in the original Star trek... but my understanding is he has a 1st dan at least in parker system kempo... do not know if he has studied any thing else though.

I'm not sure that he ever got to black belt, but he did study EPAK. Also, I didn't realize that the "Kirk Fu" in the old Star Trek shows were based on anything like the Applegate system. Was one of Applegate's students the fight coordinator for the show?
 

chinto

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I'm not sure that he ever got to black belt, but he did study EPAK. Also, I didn't realize that the "Kirk Fu" in the old Star Trek shows were based on anything like the Applegate system. Was one of Applegate's students the fight coordinator for the show?


the stuff he was using was directly from the old manuals and applegates book "Kill Or Get Killed". I think the style of combat was actually Gene Rodenberry's doing, and he learned hand to hand combat in the 1950's US military. ( they used the applegate style of hand to hand combat in that time as well. if you watch for instance "doomsday machine" and see the fight between commodore Decker and the security man its pure applegate... same with the fight with Kirk and the guy who hid out on the enterprise pretending to have been killed.. grr.. do not remember the episode name.. and in 'Day of the Dove' when they are fighting the Klingons hand to hand and loose a sword... LOL but any way I understand that Roddenberry is the one who had who ever coriographed the fights do it that way as a realism kinda thing. he knew that the military taught hand to hand that way as it was fast to learn and worked ok often in military situations between soldiers and such.

I can not seem to find any listing for a fight coordinator for Star Trek...I know Gene Roddenberry was very hands on on Star Trek... he was the producer and executive producer listed... and different directors are listed.. even sound man and grip are listed on line.. but no fight coordinator or stunt coordinator..

he knew it was a way that was practical and worked and realistic for teaching a military/ exploration organization. I will have to reserch and see who was the fight coordinator for the original star trek show, and if he had any training in any martial arts, or just did what G. Roddenberry said is how he wanted it done. If you find out who was the stunt coordinator, or the stunt coordinator let me know please.
 

phlaw

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I know this is an old thread, but nobody mentioned John Cusack. He has studies with Benny The Jet for probably over 20 years. He got to show off his skills in the movie "Say Anything" and also "Gross Pointe Blank" where he got to fight Benny The Jet.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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Hi guys,
I need your help in this matter.

I always get asked about curtain Martial Artist/Movie stars.
Mostly they want to know what style and rank.
Here is what I have gathered so far.

If there is anyone out there that knows different please let me know.


Chuck Norris –
6th Degree Black Belt in Tang So Doo
8th Degree Black Belt Grand Master recognition in the Tae Kwon Do system
Founder of Chun Kuk Do ("Universal Way").
Also practiced Judo, Shito-Ryu Karate, and Brazilian Jujutsu


Jean-Claude Van Damme –
1st Degree Black Belt in Shotokan Karate

Jeff Speakman –
6th degree black belt in American Kenpo Karate
7th degree black belt in Goju-ryu Karate

Steven Seagal –
7th Dan in Aikido


Wesley Snipes –
5th Degree Black Belt in Capoeira


Dolph Lungren –
2nd Degree Black Belt in Karate (I don’t know what kind of Karate)


Jet Li –
Shaolin Wushu
Tai Chi

Jackie Chan –
ChinaDramaAcademy


Bruce Lee –
Wing Chun
Jeet Kune Do
My comments have probably been covered in this very lenthy thread, so if I'm repeating information, my apologies.

Lundren is 3rd dan kyokushin.

To this list, I would add Elvis Presley; studied various karate under a number of famous masters, was awarded his first dan karate by Hank Slomanski (not sure what style Slomanski taught, but he taught it to the US armed forces), who tested him on behalf of Ed Parker, whom Presley studied kenpo under, and presumably was awarded a first dan in that as well. Presley earned succeeding ranks, culminating a 7th dan from Kang Rhee and an eighth dan from Ed Parker. Not sure about second or third, I believe that Presley was skipped over fourth to fifth by Parker, and in my opinion, this, and his succeeding ranks were honorary, his seventh and eighth openly stated by Rhee and Parker to be honorary.

I'd consider his first dan legit and have no information at all regarding his second or third dan, thus I'll refrain from opining. Aside from Presley being known to be able to fight and defend himself, probably accomplished before he ever got to Parker, I believe that Parker and Rhee benefited much more from the association with Presley, particularly financially, than Presley did from them.

Daniel

Edit: I know that Seagal holds grades in kendo and, possibly, iaito as well, though I am not sure what grades those would be.
 
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Big Don

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David Lee Roth studied Kenpo under Frank Trejo. I have no idea what rank he reached, but, Mr Trejo told me he taught Roth Short Three so he could have something to do on stage...
 

bostonbomber

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Gordon Liu (early Shaw's Bro flicks and more recently Kill Bill Vol 1 & 2) studied Hung Ga in Hong Kong. (I didn't read all the posts so forgive me if this has already been mentioned.)
 

Ninebird8

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This may have been mentioned, but Jet Li was the 6 time all around champion of Wushu from the Beijing wushu team. At age 11, he appeared in front of Richard Nixon at the White House as part of the reapproachment with China. Also, Jackie was the junior student to Sammo Hung and I believe Yuen Biao. Sammo use to beat up on Jackie all the time in he Opera and kept him in line. Jet has also studied some traditional kung fu as well. Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't Dolph Lundgren the European kickboxing champion for awhile? I thought Wesley Snipes was a high ranking black belt in Shotokon from childhood and took up the Brazilian art as an adult....ostensibly, he said in an interview before Blade came out that it was a quasi demo tape to fulfill his dream of being in a Jackie Chan movie.

One other thing....with respect, someone made the comment here that Bruce Lee learned his kicks from tae kwon do examples. That may be true, but tae kwon do kick foundations originally came from Northern Shaolin kicks and those kicks, and their methodologies, predate tae kwon do by centuries. Also, the way a tae kwon do kick is taught and used in Korea and Asia, from what I saw when I trained in CMA for 2 years in Hong Kong, was quite different from how it is taught here, with more turn of the waist and hip involvemnt, and no real wide swings as the back leg comes to the front. Just my observations. Korena tae kwon do taught over there, and this is a Chinese stylist saying this, has incredible kicks.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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Ninebird, I had heard that Lundgren was the European kickboxing champ as well, but there is no mention of it on his website or in anything else I have found relating to him.

Regarding Bruce Lee and taekwondo kicks, it would be more accuate to say that he learned kicks from Jhoon Rhee, who also from what I understand, learned some techniques from Lee, a bit of note comparing and skill trading.

I've never heard that the foundations of taekwondo kicks originally came from Northern Shaolin kicks and those kicks, and their methodologies, predate tae kwon do by centuries. But that wouldn't surprise me either.:)

Daniel
 

CDKJudoka

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Brandon Lee - JKD, Muay Thai, Yee Chuen Tao

Jean Claude Van Damme - TKD, Muay Thai as well as his Shodan in Shotokan

Sly Stallone - Western Boxing
 

Ninebird8

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Forgive my confusion as a Chinese martial artist: Is not hapkido analagous to Aikido and Suia chiao, as well as judo, in that it is a throwing and reactionary art, not a kicking art. In Korea, I believe hapkido and tae kwon do are taught simultaneously, and thus the confusion, but over here in the States it is separated. Please correct me if I am wrong.

In actuality, I do not believe Bruce Lee was ever given a high wing chun rank from Yip Man, and learned most of his weapons from his student Dan Inasanto, and learned parts of fencing, kempo, etc. from many disparate people.

Jet Li was the 6 time national champion of wushu back in the day where there was still some martial aspect to it. I know he currently is deep into his Buddhism, and trains ba gua and hsing i since introduced to them during The One.

I thought Snipes' first style was Shotakon karate, then hapkido, and finally caporeria? May be wrong here.

Van Damme: No comment, he is terrible no matter what style...LOL!

Seagal: Found out his legitimate 7th dan ranking confirmed when I lived in Dallas, my hometown, and years later, by Master of Aikido Bill Sosa, who owned Texas Martial Arts Supply,and was one of the best martial artists, and aikido masters, I ever saw! He trained with Seagal for awhile both in Japan and in the States. May Bill rest his kind soul in peace.

Jeff Speakman: Wish he had made more movies.
 

dancingalone

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Seagal: Found out his legitimate 7th dan ranking confirmed when I lived in Dallas, my hometown, and years later, by Master of Aikido Bill Sosa, who owned Texas Martial Arts Supply,and was one of the best martial artists, and aikido masters, I ever saw! He trained with Seagal for awhile both in Japan and in the States. May Bill rest his kind soul in peace.

If you search on Youtube, you can find footage of Seagal performing randori during one of his dan tests. No doubt, he's a legitimate aikidoist.
 

Bill Mattocks

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James Coburn was a lifelong martial arts enthusiast, who trained under Bruce Lee. I do not know what rank he held, if any.
 
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