11 Things You Didn't Know About Jeet Kune Do Expert Dan Inosanto

Here are some fun facts about the acclaimed Filipino-American martial artist, who was a student of both Ed Parker and Bruce Lee.

Most modern martial artists know Dan Inosanto as a first-generation student of Bruce Lee and one of the world's premier jeet kune do instructors. What many don't know is that Inosanto has been an integral part of other corners of the martial arts community and a key player in martial arts history for more than four decades. Presented below are 11 little-known facts about the master's involvement in our universe.


1. Dan Inosanto has a famous daughter.

Her name is Diana Lee Inosanto, and in addition to being a skilled martial artist (and a member of the Black Belt Hall of Fame), she's an accomplished filmmaker. Among her movies is The Sensei (2008).

2. Dan Inosanto's youngest black belt is Khayman Amir McDaniels, who's now 17.

“I never would have thought I would be awarding a black belt to anyone under 21," Inosanto said. “But Khayman earned it, deserved it and continued his training." (Read about Khayman in the April/May 2015 issue of Black Belt.)

3. When Bruce Lee died in 1973, Dan Inosanto — along with Bruce Lee's brother Robert Lee and close friends James Coburn and Steve McQueen — served as a pallbearer.

4. Dan Inosanto has an authorized biography.

Titled Dan Inosanto: The Man, the Teacher, the Artist, it's written by Perry William Kelly, who also contributes to Black Belt.

5. In 1975 Dan Inosanto, Richard Bustillo and Jerry Poteet collaborated to create a jeet june do technique poster.

The same year, Inosanto released a Super 8 film that covered angles of attack, trapping and use of the short staff.

6. In 1986 Dan Inosanto identified the Degerberg Academy, operated in Illinois by Fred Degerberg, as "probably one of the best schools in the U.S."

7. Dan Inosanto has acted in numerous films in addition to Game of Death (1978) and has done stunts and choreography for many more.

As recently as 2008, he played the jiu-jitsu master of one of the main characters in David Mamet's Redbelt.

8. Dan Inosanto is regarded as one of the United States' foremost krabi krabong experts.

He studied under, among others, Col. Nattapong Buayam, a former Thai special-forces instructor.

9. Dan Inosanto's interpretation of kali made the list of the top-10 self-defense arts.

According to Black Belt contributing editor Dr. Mark Cheng: “The Filipino system taught by Dan Inosanto is far more than just the sticks and knives that the casual observer sees. Including every possible weapon and range of combat, Inosanto's system is one of the most sought-after and imitated arts in the world when it comes to practical self-defense."

10. Dan Inosanto is a four-time Black Belt Hall of Fame inductee:

  • 1977 — Special Recognition Award
  • 1983 — Instructor of the Year
  • 1988 — Weapons Instructor of the Year
  • 1996 — Man of the Year

That puts him in the same category as Chuck Norris, the only other martial artist who's been inducted four times.

11. Dan Inosanto has been a fixture in Black Belt since 1975.

His most recent cover appearance was on the January 2013 issue.

(Photos by Rick Hustead)

Related Martial Arts Books, E-Books, DVDs and Video Downloads

Bruce Lee: The Evolution of a Martial Artist Black Belt Magazine: The Bruce Lee Collection Chinese Gung Fu: The Philosophical Art of Self-Defense — Revised and Updated
SUBSCRIBE TO BLACKBELT MAGAZINE TODAY!
Don't miss a single issue of the world largest magazine of martial arts.
Yahoo! Sports

Dustin Poirier has knocked out Conor McGregor in the second round at the UFC 257 Main Event. This spoils McGregor's long-awaited UFC return after his win over Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone last January. Poirier hinted after the match that he would be open to another bout against McGregor, as this fight brings their rivalry to a 1-1 record. The impressive wins of Poirier and Michael Chandler on Saturday night set the UFC's lightweight division up for a very exciting future.

The Legendary Black Belt Magazine Hall of Fame has never before been documented in a single location. Now, you can learn about all the icons that have achieved one of the greatest honors in all of martial arts.

Black Belt Magazine is proud to announce the NEW Member Profiles feature for the Hall of Fame. At the time of this article, the online records account for every inductee from the inaugural year of 1968 all the way through 1990 (upwards of 200 martial artists). The page will be updated continuously and will include every inductee through 2020 in the near future. For now, you can enjoy images and facts about the legendary members for each induction they received before 1991. Take advantage of this never-before-seen opportunity to learn about many of the martial artists who contributed to the lifestyle, culture, and community that every martial artist experiences today.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE BLACK BELT HALL OF FAME

Black Belt Magazine Subscriptions

The UFC returned to American network television for the first time in more than two years Saturday on ABC while former featherweight champion Max Holloway returned to his winning ways following two straight losses, earning a unanimous decision over Calvin Kattar in Abu Dhabi. Holloway showed he still has plenty left as a fighter dominating Kattar from the opening bell of the main event with a mix of punches and low kicks.

It appeared as if the former champion might stop his opponent in the fourth round landing a series of vicious body blows followed by hard elbows to the head as a bloodied Kattar sagged against the fence. But Kattar somehow survived managing to keep himself upright through the fifth stanza as well, only to lose a lopsided decision. After dropping his title to Alexander Volkanovski and then losing a controversial rematch, Holloway may have put himself in position for one more crack at the championship following Saturday's impressive performance.

SportMartialArts.Com

Jessie Wray's Virtual Fight Tour brought the heat in their fifth promotion with a call-out match, massive "Draft Edition" team fight, and a surprise bonus bout to bring sport karate fans an action-packed event.

The call-out match featured the Canadian veteran Ben Stewart as he challenged Black Belt Magazine's #3-ranked point fighting heavyweight in the world, Anthony Merricks of Team Next Level. After a new Virtual Fight Tour record was set in that bout, the action just kept getting more intense as Team Jadi Tention took on Team Richard Plowden in twelve total rounds of team fighting. Even after a thrilling team fight with numerous momentum shifts, promoter Jessie Wray still brought out one last fight to keep the fans happy. Keep reading to find out how it all went down at Virtual Fight Tour V: Draft Edition.
Keep Reading Show less
Sign up for our weekly newsletter!
Stay up to date in the martial arts community with news from around the world, techniques of all styles and all around guiding you in your martial arts journey
Don’t miss a thing Subscribe to Our Newsletter