Who was or is the best American MA?

Joab

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When I took American Combato, the teacher, Professor Bradley J. Steiner 10th degree black belt had a picture of Jim Bowie with the caption "Best American Martial Artist". To read more about Bowie, follow the link www.americancombato.com and click on to the May issue. In that issue he doesn't write Bowie was the best, but he gives examples of his fighting prowess that makes a good read. The question is, who do you think is the best American MA of all time? Perhaps some will regard this as a politically incorrect question in this forum, yet I think it might make for an interesting discussion. It's certainly an unknowable question, because you would have to have all of them fight each other to determine it, still I value your opinions. And opinions is all I'm asking for. If you don't, feel free to skip this post.
 

shihansmurf

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This is a tough question to provide an honest answer for, given the natural modesty that is encouraged in the upbringing in all smurfs and all......

;)

Seriously though, I'm not sure that there is a way to answer this question since given the parameters, its pretty broad. I do agree with the point that the author is making about proper mindset and fighting by using Bowie as an example.

Best American martial artist? Hmm?

Ed Parker. His ability to translate physical concepts into verbage added to the technical body of knowledge of the martial arts world in ways that is hard to calculate. The commercialization model that he used has influenced, I would say, the overwhelming majority of martial art organizations. Americanizing terminology and altering the art to fit the culture of the U.S., is certainly a Parker legacy. His studens read like a who's who of the martial art world, even his detractors use his names to legitimize themselves in many cases. Many large system/styles were founded as off shoots from his lineage.

Now there have been better fighters to be sure, and I personall think that some of his senior students have taken his art beyond what he knew,a fact that I think he would have been proud of, but overall based on knowledge, ability, and impact in the martial art world I say the best American Martial Artist was Ed Parker.

Mark
 

MA-Caver

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Who was or is the best American MA?

I'm the best American MA-ist... everyone else is the DEVIL!

This is a god-awful loaded question. You're going to get different opinions based on different styles/arts. There is never going to be ONE right general consensus answer on that one.

My thought is why is that important? Does it matter? What standards are they being judged by? WHO is doing the judging and what makes THEM so qualified to do so?

Some people are better at some things than others. Life is that simple. Besides if whomever is chosen is a real MA-ist... they'll most likely be humble enough to deny or refuse any such accolades of being "the best!"
 

Bill Mattocks

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Hank Slomanski, IMHO.

http://www.tracyskarate.com/Stories/was_elvis_really_a_black_belt.htm

The man was a legend - and history has not given him his due.

But back to Hank Slomanski in Japan. Hank had set aside two days of his hard-earned leave for the karate tournament. He lined up and waited his turn to fight.

What happened next was the destruction of a Japanese martial arts myth: "size does not matter -- superior technique and spirit will prevail!"

After Slomanski bowed in for his first match he systematically vanquished first one, then another, then another of the opponents lining up against him. There were no half-points -- all full points, many by knock-out many because an unlucky 130 pound body become the target of the fist or foot of 230 pounds of superbly conditioned fighter.

At the end of the first day Hank was undefeated. That represented between 4-5 hours of straight fighting: bow in; defeat one opponent -- each one fresh -- bow out; bow in; -- defeat another opponent ... each new, fully rested opponent coming at you with his best technique!

Overnight the tournament organizers worked to bring in and schedule their biggest and most accomplished karate-ka against the relentless G.I.

When the dust had settled at the end of the next day, there were no fighters left; Hank Slomanski remained unbeaten. And he had defeated 119 consecutive opponents. Recent addition: Most of the fights never lasted more that 7 seconds and he battled with 6 broken ribs!
 

Brian R. VanCise

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There are and were a whole bunch of people that could probably deserve that honor.
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Some people that I and others think are great might not be the same as everyone else. There are also a great number of people who are thought a lot of that well really there skill was not so good. Very loaded question!
 

RRepster

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When I took American Combato, the teacher, Professor Bradley J. Steiner 10th degree black belt had a picture of Jim Bowie with the caption "Best American Martial Artist". To read more about Bowie, follow the link www.americancombato.com and click on to the May issue. In that issue he doesn't write Bowie was the best, but he gives examples of his fighting prowess that makes a good read. The question is, who do you think is the best American MA of all time? Perhaps some will regard this as a politically incorrect question in this forum, yet I think it might make for an interesting discussion. It's certainly an unknowable question, because you would have to have all of them fight each other to determine it, still I value your opinions. And opinions is all I'm asking for. If you don't, feel free to skip this post.

My Great Uncle Bert who fought in WW2 and his two brothers who gave their all and bodies now rest in Italy.
 

terryl965

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This question is not loaded, why would anybody believe this :BSmeter:, the one thing that is common is we all our great fighter in our minds. The greatest fighters are those that gave there lifes in actual war because they where the fighters for freedom and the ones that have made America as great as it is even with all our problems. Those service men and woman deserve that title and anybody that dis-agrees with this please go and join and give your life for us.

Ma'ist now there is only a few million that I can personnally believe deserve this title as well, come to think of it I agree with Brian and others it is loaded. Can I have extra sour cream and bacon bits please. :angel:
 

Omar B

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Best by what standard? Best fighter? Teacher? Innovator? It's hard to qualify "best" in the case of arts. Just like music or painting it's subjective, one might think someone is the best because of great form, another might think it comes down to just how hard someone punches.
 

searcher

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Hank Slomanski, IMHO.

http://www.tracyskarate.com/Stories/was_elvis_really_a_black_belt.htm

The man was a legend - and history has not given him his due.


Not to mention that Hank trained in Chito-ryu.:ultracool He was a stud and he did have an impact on some MAists in America, but I don't know how we would decide on him being the best. Especially when you have guys like Dan Inosanto, Adriano Emperado, Ed Parker, Skipper Mullins, Chuck Norris, Jim Harrison, Pat Burrelson, Gene LeBell, etc that have been and still are impacting the American MAs.

As has already been stated, it depends on the criteria. Please understand that I am not disagreeing with you Bill. I am just not sure how we could make a ranking.
 
OP
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Joab

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The question was not loaded. I was merely asking in your opinion who was or is the best martial artist. And I meant by that the best fighter, who would prevail against all others in a fight. Of course this is impossible to know unless you had all of them fighting each other, but conjecture can be fun, and I'm pro fun. Bowie is as good a bet as any, there were Jim Bowie knife fighting schools way back than. I'd put him up against anyone when it comes to knife fighting to be sure. He even wrestled alligators or crocodiles, that is quite impressive indeed! Never lost a limb from it...
 

Bill Mattocks

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Not to mention that Hank trained in Chito-ryu.:ultracool He was a stud and he did have an impact on some MAists in America, but I don't know how we would decide on him being the best. Especially when you have guys like Dan Inosanto, Adriano Emperado, Ed Parker, Skipper Mullins, Chuck Norris, Jim Harrison, Pat Burrelson, Gene LeBell, etc that have been and still are impacting the American MAs.

None of them had combat jumps into Vietnam.

None of them defeated 119 opponents in one day in a sanctioned Japanese Karate tournament, winning on the second day with 6 broken ribs, the first American to win a Japanese Karate tournament.

And Dan Inosanto was his student at one point.

As has already been stated, it depends on the criteria. Please understand that I am not disagreeing with you Bill. I am just not sure how we could make a ranking.

Yeah, you're right. I'm just mightily impressed by Slomanski, and I think his name belongs among those you listed above. Not only was he a legend in MA'ists, not only did he train some who have themselves become legend, but he did it while serving our nation in wartime. And to take it further, when he retired from the US Army, he became an Orthodox Priest, living the rest of his life devoted to God as a man of peace, earning a law degree and a doctorate in divinity along the way.

His accomplishments were just monstrous. And he did not seek the spotlight, in the fashion of true heroes, IMHO. He didn't make much of himself. He just blows me away.

The 'best'? Yes, you're right, that's entirely too vague and subjective. Along the lines of 'who was the best boxer of all time?' We'll never know, and it doesn't really matter.

But I just thought Slomanski's named belonged out there in the list of names people think of when they think of the greats.
 

sgtmac_46

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'best American MA?'.......kind of vague.........TMA? Fighters? Warriors? Deadliest combatants?

I'll pick deadliest combatants as A category, and fill in some suggestions.....in no particular order

1) Nathan Bedford Forrest
2) Wild Bill Hickok
3) Jim Bowie

Forrest, in particular, for the lethal combination of physical prowess, skill at arms and a truly keen tactical mind........at 6'2" 210lbs of hard worked muscle, as lethal in single combat as leading a group of men.......last man wounded at the Battle of Shiloh, where he was was shot in the hip. He grabbed the Union soldier that shot him with one arm, threw him up on to his horse, and road off using his body as a shield from the flurry of gunfire that followed him.

Not a martial artist in the TMA sense, but a true martial artist in the truer sense.......that of a martial mind applying the human mind creatively in conflict........Forrest's innovations in tactics were far ahead of their time, and have been studied ever since........he represents the only truly innovative generals of the Civil war. His reputation would have been far greater had it not been tarnished by the specter of his involvement in the founding of the original Klu Klux Klan (a fact even Forrest regreted).
 

still learning

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Hello, Maybe "Benny" and his jets....Chuck Norris... Bill Wallace, Joe lewis are a few for American made martial artist. Is Bruce Lee consider a American martial artist?

Dan insanto, and list goes on and on...

Is " still learning on the list" I know? I can't find it either? ....UM?

Aloha,
 

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