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The cover of Black Belt magazine's first issue
|Exec. Editor||Robert W. Young|
|Categories||Martial arts and combat sports|
|First issue||April 1961|
|Company||Black Belt LLC|
|Based in||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma|
Black Belt is an American magazine covering martial arts and combat sports. The magazine is based in Valencia, California, and is one of the oldest titles dedicated to martial arts in the United States.
The magazine was founded in 1961by Mitoshi Uyehara. It was published by Uyehara under the company "Black Belt, Inc." based in Los Angeles until 1973. Although the publication went mainstream in 1961, the first magazine was produced and sold for ten cents and was put together on the kitchen floor of Uyehara's home in 1958. By the first year of producing a full publication in 1961, Uyehara was in debt for $30,000. This story has been one that he has shared with his children and grandchild to believe in oneself and fight against the odds. Bruce Lee contributed many articles to the publication during the 1960s. Uyehara, a martial artist in his own right, was a key personage in arranging Lee's material for publication. Uyehara is a 3rd Dan in Aikido but studied many other arts. He is the student of Tohei Sensei, an Aikido master. Uyehara believed that Americans could benefit from the discipline of martial arts, and his love for the art is what led to turning a hobby into a living. What began as a humble endeavor of opening the first Aikido dojo in Los Angeles, grew into a magazine, and sports exhibition. His relationship with Bruce Lee was mutual. While Uyehara immediately saw Lee's talent and featured him in his publications, Lee reciprocated by his loyalty in only providing direct interviews to Uyehara once he reached stardom. The two men knew they were both minorities in an art that was not embraced by Americans at the time. The two remained close friends until Lee's death. Uyehara has never had another best friend since the death of Lee. Uyehara, in his own humble way, and because he recognized the value of Lee's talent, continued to perpetuate Lee's art through his own children and grandson, currently a cadet at the United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.
Uyehara founded "Rainbow Publications" in 1974 (based in Los Angeles, later Burbank, CA and Santa Clarita, CA), where he acted as president, but he ceased acting as an editor from this time. Uyehara moved to Honolulu in 1980, from where he continued to act as a publisher until 1998. Uyehara was originally from Lahaina, Maui, and saw the value of returning home to be close to his family. During this transitional period, the magazine underwent a frequent change in editorship (Bob MacLaughlin 1974, Rick Shively 1976, Richard Zimmerman 1978, John R. Corbett 1980, John Steward 1980, John Hanson 1981, James Nail 1982-83) until Jim Coleman became executive editor in 1984, serving until 1997. Robert W. Young succeeded Coleman in 1997/8, shortly before the acquisition of the magazine by Sabot Publishing, and remains executive editor as of 2016.
Rainbow Publications was acquired by Sabot Publishing, a publisher of "special interest publications", in 1999. Sabot Publishing was in turn acquired by Active Interest Media in 2003,from which time the magazine has been under the supervision of "Group Publisher" (responsible for strategic development) Cheryl Angelheart. Black Belt magazine started a YouTube account in 2008 and uploads videos demonstrating martial art techniques and weapons from classical to modern styles and interviews with known martial artists, experts, and martial art news.
Enter the Dragon is a 1973 martial arts film directed by Robert Clouse. The film stars Bruce Lee, John Saxon and Jim Kelly. It would be Lee's final completed film appearance before his death on 20 July 1973 at age 32. An American and Hong Kong co-production, it premiered in Los Angeles on 19 August 1973, one month after Lee's death. The film went on to gross an estimated US$350 million worldwide, against a budget of $850,000. Having earned over 400 times its budget, it is one of the most profitable films of all time.
Lee Jun-fan, commonly known as Bruce Lee, was a Chinese, Hong Kong American actor, director, martial artist, martial arts instructor and philosopher. He was the founder of Jeet Kune Do, a hybrid martial arts philosophy drawing from different combat disciplines that is often credited with paving the way for modern mixed martial arts (MMA). Lee is considered by commentators, critics, media, and other martial artists to be the most influential martial artist of all time and a pop culture icon of the 20th century, who bridged the gap between East and West. He is credited with helping to change the way Asians were presented in American films.
Kajukenbo is a hybrid martial art from Hawaii. The name Kajukenbo is a combination of the various arts from which its style is derived: KA for Karate, JU for Judo and Jujutsu, KEN for Kenpo and BO for Boxing (Kajukenbo).
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to martial arts:
Count Juan Raphael Dante was an American martial artist figure during the 1960s and 1970s who claimed he could do extraordinary feats such as Dim Mak.
Ted Wong was a martial arts practitioner best known for studying under Bruce Lee.
Minoru Mochizuki was a Japanese martial artist who founded the dojo Yoseikan. He was a 10th dan in Aikido, 9th dan in jujutsu, 8th dan in iaido, 8th dan in judo, 8th dan in kobudo, 5th dan in kendo, 5th dan in karate, and a 5th dan in jojutsu.
Black Belt Jones is a 1974 American blaxploitation martial arts film directed by Robert Clouse and starring Jim Kelly and Gloria Hendry. The film is a spiritual successor to Clouse's prior film Enter the Dragon, in which Kelly had a supporting role. Here, Kelly features in his first starring role as the eponymous character; is a local hero who fights the Mafia and a local drug dealer threatening his friend’s dojo.
William Cheung or Cheung Cheuk Hing, born October, 1940, is a Hong Kong Wing Chun kung fu practitioner and currently the Grandmaster of his lineage of Wing Chun, entitled Traditional Wing Chun (TWC). He also heads the sanctioning body of TWC, the Global Traditional Wing Chun Kung Fu Association (GTWCKFA). Cheung is responsible for introducing Bruce Lee to his master Ip Man when they were teenagers in Hong Kong.
Joe Lewis was an American kickboxer, point karate fighter and actor. As a fighter, Lewis gained fame for his matches in the 1960s and 1970s. He has twice been voted the greatest fighter in karate history, having won innumerable karate tournaments, and has attained the titles of "United States Heavyweight Kickboxing Champion," "World Heavyweight Full Contact Karate Champion," and "United States National Black Belt Kata Champion." Bruce Lee also considered him "The Greatest Karate Fighter Of All Time" and even The Iron Sheik assented that "Joe Lewis was no jabroni." and "The Greatest Fighter Of His Time". He was also named by the STAR System Records as the "STAR Historic Undisputed Heavyweight World Champion" and is credited on their site as the "Father of Modern Kickboxing".
Bruce Lee's Fighting Method is a book of volumes covering Bruce Lee's martial arts abilities of the Jeet Kune Do movement. The book is available as a single hardcover volume or a series of four paperback volumes. The text describes Bruce Lee's Kung Fu fighting techniques, philosophy and training methods. This book was originally written in 1966 by Bruce Lee. However, Lee decided not to publish this work as he feared that instructors would use the fighting knowledge in this text to promote themselves. In 1978, after Bruce Lee's death, his widow Linda Lee Cadwell decided to make available the information on her husband's work. Lee's death changed the perspective of releasing the information that Bruce Lee himself had vacillated about. The book was published with the help of Mitoshi Uyehara. Uyehara was the founder and owner of Black Belt Magazine. During the early years of the publication, Uyehara served as the publisher. Bruce Lee contributed many articles to the publication during the 1960s and a friendship ensued between the two men. Uyehara, a martial artist in his own right, was a key personage in arranging Lee's material for publication.
Tae Kwon Do Times is a magazine devoted to the martial art of taekwondo, and is published in the United States of America. While the title suggests that it focuses on taekwondo exclusively, the magazine also covers other Korean martial arts. Tae Kwon Do Times has published articles by a wide range of authors, including He-Young Kimm, Thomas Kurz, Scott Shaw, and Mark Van Schuyver.
Adriano Directo Emperado was one of five martial artists who developed the kajukenbo self-defense system.
Kokusai Budoin, International Martial Arts Federation (IMAF) is the oldest continuously operating Japanese organization promoting international Budō. The organization, founded in 1952, has headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.
Takayuki Kubota is a Japanese American master of karate. He founded the Gosoku-ryu style of karate, and is the founder and president of the International Karate Association. Kubota holds the title of Sōke for his development of the Gosoku-ryū style of karate. He is also the inventor and holder of the trademark of the Kubotan self-defense key chain.
James Yimm Lee was an American martial arts pioneer, teacher, author, and publisher. James Lee is known for being a mentor, teacher and friend of Bruce Lee.
Aaron Banks was a martial artist born in Bronx, New York. He brought Chinese Kung Fu, Korean Moo Duk Kwan, Japanese and Okinawan Goju-Ryu karate, judo and boxing under the same roof in his New York Karate Academy. During his life, he promoted 352 karate tournaments, conducted more than 1,000 demonstrations, and organized over 250 martial arts shows. His karate influence can be seen through his karate school which he operated for 30 years and the 200,000 or more students he taught. Aaron Banks also brought martial arts to the public with his "Oriental World of Self-Defense" shows that played in Madison Square Garden for over 20 years via ABC-Wide World of Sports, NBC Sports world, CBS sports, and HBO sports, where millions of viewers watched.
Active Interest Media (AIM) is a publisher specialized on "niche enthusiast magazines".
"My kung fu is stronger than yours" is a popular cultural trope and catchphrase, originally referring to the clichéd plots of martial arts films. The trope was popularized during the pursuit of computer hacker Kevin Mitnick in 1994. The phrase is also rendered as "My kung fu is better than yours", "My kung fu is stronger than your kung fu", "My kung fu is the best", etc.
Karate was first introduced to American service men after World War II by Japanese karate masters.