BlackBeltMag.com curates a retrospective honoring the instruction, insight and innovation these men shared with Black Belt magazine, its readers and the martial arts community at large in ways both large and small.

In 2012, the martial arts world lost a number of individuals whose presence, teachings and friendship shaped the martial artistry and professional paths of many a martial arts practitioner — both young and old. Among them were noted figures Jerry Poteet, Joe Lewis, Jesse Glover, tang soo do's Jae Chul Shin, Masayuki Shimabukuro and jeet kune do master Bob Bremer. As we move into November, the month of Thanksgiving, we at Black Belt thought it might be fitting to take a look back at these artists and curate a brief guide to their careers and accomplishments as a "thank you" for the years of instruction, insight and innovation they shared with the magazine, its readers and the martial arts community at large in ways both large and small — starting with two longtime friends of Black Belt: Jerry Poteet and Joe Lewis.


JERRY POTEET

Jerry Poteet taught jeet kune do for more than 40 years. His career began in kenpo, which he studied through the black-belt level under the legendary Ed Parker. Jerry Poteet would eventually meet another legend — the iconic Bruce Lee* — in Oakland, California, in the home of James Yimm Lee, and would later be admitted to Bruce Lee's Chinatown school in Los Angeles, as well as selected for a "closed door" group of five students who trained with Bruce Lee twice weekly. “[Bruce Lee] was interested in the truth,” Jerry Poteet said in an exclusive video interview with Black Belt commemorating his involvement in Tao of Jeet Kune Do: Expanded Edition. “He said, ‘Maybe your truth is different than my truth. But eventually, if we have a meeting of minds, then we can find each other’s truth. And this is the first part of communication. Sometimes communication starts with just self; maybe it comes from a text.’ And without a doubt, [Tao of Jeet Kune Do] is that type of text where you can have a conversation with yourself and it’ll open things to you, being able to look at it from another point of view … rather than [just] words on a piece of paper.”

Download this FREE Guide to modern jeet kune do training:
Dan Inosanto on Bruce Lee, Jeet Kune Do Techniques for Grappling and
New Directions for JKD Training!

This "conversation with self" through physical performance shone through in Jerry Poteet's teaching style, which his website's biography describes as the following:
Whether teaching an individual or a group, [Jerry Poteet] is easy-going, yet intense, truly embodying the principle of yin/yang, or opposites co-existing harmoniously. [Jerry Poteet] is friendly and casual in manner, yet he demands precision in movement and attitude. Laughing and joking, yet all business when it comes to the training results. He wishes to elicit from students only what his teacher demanded from him: their best. It is amazing to see how many surpass not only his expectations, but their own as well.
For the 1993 Bruce Lee biopic Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, Jerry Poteet trained actor Jason Scott Lee to portray Bruce Lee in the title role. According to the Jerry Poteet website, being selected for that project was his "proudest achievement" and served as "the ultimate way to give something back to [his] teacher."

JERRY POTEET: TAO OF JEET KUNE DO INTERVIEW VIDEO
Jeet Kune Do Masters Richard Bustillo, Jerry Poteet, Tim Tackett, Diana Lee Inosanto, Chris Kent and Octavio Quintero Discuss How Bruce Lee’s Martial Arts Philosophy Book “Tao of Jeet Kune Do” Changed Them as Martial Artists

JOE LEWIS

American kickboxer. Point karate fighter. Actor. Icon. Joe Lewis was voted the greatest karate fighter of all time — at least once, maybe twice, depending on the source. His kickboxing record was 16 wins (14 knockouts), 4 losses and 1 draw. He defended his U.S. heavyweight kickboxing title with eight straight knockouts between 1970 and 1971. Joe Lewis was the first kickboxer to be featured in The Ring (boxing magazine) and Sports Illustrated. The Internet Movie Database entry for Joe Lewis describes him as the following:
Blond, muscular, tall, handsome, and the greatest heavyweight point-fighter and kick-boxer of the 1960s and 70s, Joe Lewis coined the phrase, "American Kickboxing." [Joe Lewis] fought in the first kick-boxing heavyweight title fight in 1970. [Joe Lewis] is one of only 5 men to defeat the legendary Chuck Norris. ... Considered one of the top 3 greatest kick-boxing champions in history; some say [Joe Lewis] was the best.
In the December 2012 issue of Black Belt, Executive Editor Robert W. Young wrote in his editorial remembering Joe Lewis:
During the late 1990s and early 2000s, [Joe Lewis] contributed to Black Belt's The Winning Edge column. While editing the essays and interacting with him, I realized just how intelligent [Joe Lewis] was, how deep his thought processes were when it came to combat. He was also one of the most articulate fighters who ever wrote for us.
* BRUCE LEE is a registered trademark of Bruce Lee Enterprises LLC. The Bruce Lee name, image and likeness are intellectual property of Bruce Lee Enterprises LLC. For more information about the life, teachings and legacy of Bruce Lee, visit the official Bruce Lee website at brucelee.com.
SUBSCRIBE TO BLACKBELT MAGAZINE TODAY!
Don't miss a single issue of the world largest magazine of martial arts.

Do you want to maximize your self defense skills? Learn the game of combat chess and most importantly the queen of all moves.

Allow me to intercept those who would object to the title of this article. I'm not claiming that there's a secret move, shortcut or hack that will give you the edge in any fight. Even if there was an ultimate weapon or strategy, you likely would avoid it because you
Keep Reading Show less

In Karate Way, often I've discussed the many Japanese idioms and sayings that refer to the sword. This aspect of colloquial Japanese reminds one of how deeply the sword and the warrior influenced the culture of that country.

Thinking about these figures of speech, I remembered one that I heard as a child: umi no uchi no katana, "the sword behind the smile." This is a curious saying. How should one interpret it? A smile behind the sword would seem obvious in meaning. You are ready, even eager to use the weapon and happy to do so. But the other way around? We associate smiles with politeness and friendliness. The sword hiding behind that seems incompatible.

Keep Reading Show less

Fight 2 Win 142 is lined up with an exciting line up of grappling matches. Main event will feature superstar Gabi Garcia vs Kendall Reusing with co-main event Johnny Tama vs Dante Leon.

Fight 2 Win is back in Dallas this weekend for the fourth straight weekend of fights. This weekend IBJJF Hall of Famer and four time ADCC Champion Gabi Garcia takes on Team USA wrestler Kendall Reusing. This NoGi Women's heavyweight event is guaranteed to put on a great show.

Keep Reading Show less

Kenneth Baillie: TKD has changed over the years. WTF changed to traditional TKD at our school because our chief instructor didn't like the Olympic status. He said the sport detracts from the tradition. We had a certain rivalry even back then with ITF. The two can merge, I believe. There are differences but anything can be achieved. Positives are easy to find here!

Boston George Legaria: I'm not a TKD practitioner but I've been in martial arts for 26 years (kyokushin, muay Thai and krav maga), and from what I can see, a solution is for those two organizations to come together and reform the art so it can stay relevant. In combat sports, a lot of people leave TKD in favor of BJJ or muay Thai, while in self-defense people leave TKD for styles like Russian sambo, krav maga or Keysi Method. As for a business model, they need to leave the black belt mill because even though that gets parents interested so they can show their little one's "progress" on FB, in the long run, TKD loses its credibility when people see a 6 year old "master."

Michael Watson: Follow grandmaster Hee Il Cho's lead — he does both styles and without the negative of the Olympic sport aspect. I studied ITF growing up, but I also researched a lot on grandmaster Cho and I love his way.

Don’t miss a thing Subscribe to Our Newsletter