I have meant a few martial artist that are known rather well in their particular style but the martial artists and/or fighters that I have meant that most would know are Marvin Haggler, Fumio Demura and Yang Jwing Ming Sorry but I never meant Chuck Norris
Well known Martial artists and / or Actors I have met even if just briefly:
Don "the Dragon" Wilson
Bill "Superfoot" Wallace (actually got to uke for him alot at one seminar since he remembered me from a past seminar and we had shared some stories)
Famous People outside of martial arts:
Chris Cox (grammy nominee for his dance remixes)
Plus I said hello to many more in a 4 day period than I can remember when I was in LA working the booth for Pioneer ProDJ in 2003.
Rene Latosa- Stayed with him for a while
Remy Presas- He stayed with me to establish his Michigan Group
GM Leo Gaje- He stayed with me- very intense
Fred Degerberg- what a big man and moves so well
Eric Lee- we did a camp together
Bill Wallace- thought he was a jerk
Jackie Chan in Tokyo at a stand bar- gave him my seat - nice guy
Ron Balicki- Very Nice guy
Dan Inosanto- many times- what a humble man
Pendekar Paul DeThouars- a very funny man
Chai Sirisiute- He has a funny laugh and is quite the IMP
Tim Tackett- very knowledgable man
Larry Hartsell- a Bull in a china shop
Edgar Sulite- so much energy
Mike Bernardo- was into himself
Cynthia Rothrock- we climbed a motel wall together when she was 17
Kieth Harabyashi- very motivated but no time for small talk
Sifu Francis Fong- smiling all the time and a ball of energy- learned a lot from him
Richard Plowden- a co competitor in the Michigan Karate circuit- good guy with a good heart
Graciela Casillas- at a camp in NC she was very friendly and laughing- but was a good teacher
GM Bobby Tabaoda- a funnny man with such a big heart
In the MA World:
The fine fine folks here at MT (ok, ok mebbe not in person but I think it counts!)
Did sign language interpreting for Yip Sing (his son/grandson? did the Chinese to English interpretation and I did the English to Sign Language interpreting) for a Wing Chun Seminar in Utah. Even got hands on instruction from him on how to do Sticky Hands between his talks. Pretty neat and damn, that old man was F-A-S-T whenever I tried to hit him. When it was done for the day he came up to me personally and thank me for my work. Needless to say I was deeply honored. When it came time to sign t-shirts he stood up and bowed to me again. Didn't know what to say to that so I bowed back, lower.
Also interpreted for Ed Parker Jr at a seminar he did in Utah, got to sit down and chat a wee bit just prior to starting. From what I heard about his Dad, Jr. is a chip off the ole' block... a really nice easy going guy.
Non-MA-ist include, Lou Ferrigno, Vito Scotti, Larry Hagman (in Dallas of all places), Gary Wright (Dream Weaver).
Ed Parker Jr
Richard "Huk" Planas
All at seminars at my school.
Toby Keith, who bought me a corndog at the Fresno Fair a few years ago.
I was working at the fair, keeping people away from the back stage area, when he and another guy walked out. He said "We'll be right back, we're with the band." When he came back a few minutes later, he brought me a corndog.
I used a urinal next to The Undertaker. Several years ago there was a professional wrestling event in St. Louis. I was at a night club that evening and I guess after the show alot of the wrestlers decided to go to this same night club. I used the restroom and The Undertaker and a few more pro wrestlers (who I don't know) followed in after me. As I was finishing my business I heard the undertaker say to the others that they should do something really disgusting to the rear end of the next guy who walked in the door. Needless to say, I was so freaked out and scared I about crapped my pants. I high tailed out as fast as I could. Those guys were scary huge.
No one meets Chuck Norris. Chuck Norris meets you - once...lol
As for brushes with "Martial Arts Greatness" - I really don't equate fame with greatness - more like luck, but off the top of my head I can only say that I have been fortunate enough to train with Dr. Gyi and Sifu Innosanto more than once. Other truly great Martial Artists I have trained with aren't "famous", but they clearly qualified as great.
I met a few "famous" folks in MA.
Marek Piotrowski-who beat the 3 above.
Bridgett Riley-good friend
Having started MA in the 80's, the folks in kickboxing were like icons to me. These are the ones that I've met that I've liked. The ones I didn't like will go unnamed.
Lets see, when I graduated bootcamp from San Diego, (USMC) I went to Culver City for the night. A guy I know lives there. Anyway, I met the Gracies. They were cordial. I have met Dan Gable, Mike Swain, a number of Pro Bodybuilders, Franco Columbo being my favorite.
At our conventions I met Brad Waller, Jason Hon, and Bill "Superfoot" Wallace. I have met Kurt Angle in Atlanta, etc.
One of the greatest martial art "Rock stars" I personally know and have for a long time is GGM Bong Yul Shin. He is one of the premiere Judoka on the planet. Old school to say the least and a very humble man. The late GGM Lee H. Park was just amazing to watch. My pop is my all time fav. I am in no way shape or form biased at all .
But I have always said "The true best are the ones that are least publicized."