This special martial arts video presentation was designed to celebrate the induction of MIchael Dillard into the 2011 Black Belt Hall of Fame as Man of the Year. This mini-documentary was shown at the 2011 MAIA SuperShow in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 23, 2011, to an audience of hundreds that included many martial arts industry leaders and legendary martial arts practitioners.


BLACK BELT HALL OF FAME VIDEO 2011 Man of the Year: Michael Dillard

CENTURY. Today this name is synonymous with martial art supplies and manufacturing leadership on a global scale. Today it is a company based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, housed in a 650,000 square-foot plant containing its sewing, shipping, receiving operations, administrative office and call center—strategically organized to oversee the production and distribution of more than 2,500 products: uniforms, training gear and accessories for boxing, fitness—and, of course, the martial arts. Thirty-five years ago, however, this operation was but a gleam in the eye of one man… a martial artist with a passion for his sport, and a passion for life... … a man named Michael Dillard. Dillard’s path started early, where more than one run-in with bullies and nefarious characters prompted this Oklahoma native to start training as a wrestler in his early teens. A wrestling buddy introduced him to the Korean martial arts, and at that moment a fire was lit. Dillard immersed himself in traditional martial arts training, exploring taekwondo, jujitsu, Okinawan and Japanese karate, as well as judo. Dillard competed for the first time in 1969 and went on to compete in more than 300 tournaments. Working his way through college, he taught martial arts at Oklahoma State University and then drove to California, where he met Chuck Norris and other great fighters whom he’d read about in the pages of Black Belt magazine.

LEARN MORE ABOUT BLACK BELT MAGAZINE'S EARLY DAYS! Black Belt at 50: Century Martial Arts CEO Mike Dillard and Olympic Judoka Pat Burris Discuss Black Belt Magazine’s Place in Martial Arts History

In the mid-1970s, a trip to Korea for more martial arts training proved to be the turning point in Dillard’s life. He realized that Korean martial arts uniforms were superior in quality and fit compared to American uniforms at the time. Dillard seized the opportunity. Working out of his parents’ home, Dillard imported the superior Korean uniforms for domestic distribution, tailoring them a bit larger to properly fit American martial artists. And so began Century Martial Art Supply... Century’s early ads in Black Belt featured Dillard’s image, but he quickly figured out that having pictures of Chuck Norris and Bill Wallace sold more uniforms. And as Century’s business and reputation for quality grew, so did the talent associated with the company. As the years turned into decades, Century would evolve from selling imported uniforms to manufacturing and distributing a wide array of martial arts training gear used by both traditional martial artists and mixed martial artists.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW! Century Martial Arts Founder Mike Dillard on MMA Training and the Traditional Arts

And as the company evolved, so did the man and his vision. Dillard’s success with Century gave him the resources to give back to his best customers: the schools, the instructors—the very places and people that gave Dillard his start on his martial arts journey. Dillard created the Martial Arts Industry Association, the Martial Arts SuperShow and began publishing maSUCCESS magazine with one goal in mind: to spread the positive impact of martial arts based on his core belief that the martial arts changes lives. Nowhere is the idea of “change” more evident than in the life of Michael Dillard. His has been an amazing life, and it’s far from finished. There are more products to launch, more instructors to train, and more children to energize and inspire. In recognition of all he has accomplished and will accomplish as a leader, luminary and longstanding champion of the martial arts industry… ... for his decades of progressive achievement as a visionary who has shaped the martial arts as a sport, as an enterprise, and as a career path for others in his wake... ... Black Belt is proud to induct Michael Dillard into its Hall of Fame as the 2011 Man of the Year.
SUBSCRIBE TO BLACKBELT MAGAZINE TODAY!
Don't miss a single issue of the world largest magazine of martial arts.

To Master the Supreme Philosophy of Enshin Karate, Look to Musashi's Book of Five Rings for Guidance!

In the martial arts, we voluntarily subject ourselves to conflict in a training environment so we can transcend conflict in the real world. After all, we wouldn't knowingly train in a style that makes us weaker or worsens our position. The irony of all this is that we don't want to fight our opponent. We prefer to work with what an opponent gives us to turn the tide in our favor, to resolve the situation effectively and efficiently.The Japanese have a word for this: sabaki. It means to work with energy efficiently. When we train with the sabaki mindset, we receive our opponent's attack, almost as a gift. Doing so requires less physical effort and frees up our mental operating system so it can determine the most efficient solution to the conflict.In this essay, I will present a brief history of sabaki, as well as break down the sabaki method using Miyamoto Musashi's five elements

Keep Reading Show less

Enter our partner's current Sweepstakes. They are giving away a Grand Prize 'FKB Wardrobe'.

TAKE NOTICE!

FIVE KNUCKLE BULLET 'Wardrobe' Sweepstakes

Feeling Lucky? Enter our current Sweepstakes Now! We are giving away a Grand Prize 'FKB Wardrobe' which consists of our most popular sportswear items. Prize includes the following:

Keep Reading Show less

Osu!

Osu! I occasionally greet people with, "Ehh, howzit?" Those people are my age or younger, people I know well and who have some conversance in Hawaiian pidgin

Now, suppose someone, particularly someone for whom English is not a native language, hears me say, "Ehh, howzit?" to a friend and decides it is the way a reasonably well-educated, upper-middle-class person greets others. After all, they heard me say it, and I make my living using words. Therefore, it must be correct.

Keep Reading Show less

Turn the clock back to 2005 and check out this legendary performance by Steve Terada.

This is the sixth installment of a series that features old school sport karate videos to keep the history of the sport alive. Steve Terada was a member of the prestigious Team Paul Mitchell Karate and gained his reputation as a top competitor with his innovative extreme forms. He is one of the pioneers of martial arts tricking, having contributed to the creation of several tricks including the snapuswipe (an inverted 540 kick with an extra rotation before the landing). He was also the first to land many of these tricks in competition.

Keep Reading Show less
Free Bruce Lee Guide
Have you ever wondered how Bruce Lee’s boxing influenced his jeet kune do techniques? Read all about it in this free guide.
Don’t miss a thing Subscribe to Our Newsletter