Black Belt magazine turned 50 this year. What became the world's leading martial arts magazine started in 1961 as a small black-and-white publication with a stapled spine. Today, Black Belt is a full-color magazine, an ever-expanding book library and an instructional-DVD archive -- and a website featuring hundreds of articles from the magazine's 50-year treasure trove of martial arts knowledge, hundreds of martial arts technique videos, video profiles of notable martial arts figures, interviews with martial arts luminaries, excerpts from exciting martial arts DVDs, and much more. To cap off 2011 -- and another year of progress in this new frontier of digital-media presentation -- the Black Belt editors took a look at blackbeltmag.com's cache of martial arts videos from "the year that was" and selected their favorites in a variety of categories.
BEST BRUCE LEE VIDEO
LINDA LEE CADWELL: THE ORIGINAL EDITION OF TAO OF JEET KUNE DO VS. THE NEW EXPANDED EDITION
Bruce Lee's widow, Linda Lee Cadwell, talks With Black Belt about the history of her late husband's famous martial arts book Tao of Jeet Kune Do and the genesis of 2011's Tao of Jeet Kune Do: Expanded Edition.
BEST TRADITIONAL MARTIAL ARTS TECHNIQUE VIDEO
KAYLA HARRISON: JUDO'S OUCHI GARI (MAJOR INNER REAPING THROW) TECHNIQUE
Judo expert Kayla Harrison brought home the United States’ fourth world-championship judo gold medal in September 2010. She was the first female American world judo champion in more than a quarter-century! In this video, she shows you a winning judo technique called ouchi gari.
BEST MARTIAL ARTS DVD TRAILER
KENJI YAMAKI: FULL-CONTACT KARATE! 2-DVD SET
Kenji Yamaki survived Japan's 100-man karate combat challenge with a total of 83 wins! As production continues on his upcoming two-DVD set, Full-Contact Karate! — Advanced Sparring Techniques / Hard-Core Physical Conditioning, Black Belt proudly presents this exciting preview montage!
BEST SAMURAI VIDEO
SAMURAI SWORD CUTTING WITH MASAYUKI SHIMABUKURO!
Samurai sword masters Masayuki Shimabukuro and Carl E. Long detail and demonstrate a variety of samurai sword techniques in this exclusive DVD preview from their 2011 DVD release Advanced Samurai Swordsmanship. In introducing Shimabukuro’s cutting demonstration, or suemono giri, Long explains: “We’re going to explore the more advanced section of test-cutting. The first one we’re going to do is called inazuma. Inazuma means ‘lightning strike,’ and so it’s key that the cuts never truly stop moving." And it's plain to see what he means as samurai sword master Shimabukuro quickly, elegantly and seemingly effortlessly slices a rolled tatami to pieces.
BEST VIDEO FEATURING A KNOWN BADASS
KELLY McCANN: HOW TO USE LIVE PARTNERS IN COMBATIVES TRAINING
Please excuse our use of the term "badass," but when talking about combatives expert Kelly McCann, there really is no other term that properly describes this guy. While he may not be punishing his combatives-training partner Jack Stradley quite as much as he usually might in this particular video, no list of this nature would be complete without one entry from this former U.S. Marine special-missions officer and author of the no-holds-barred self-defense multimedia juggernaut Combatives for Street Survival: Hard-Core Countermeasures for High-Risk Situations.
BEST MIXED-MARTIAL ARTS TECHNIQUE VIDEO
JEAN JACQUES MACHADO: SHOULDER LOCK FROM INSIDE CLOSED GUARD
Jean Jacques Machado has been popular on blackbeltmag.com this year -- and with good reason! This Brazilian jiu-jitsu legend was awarded the red-and-black-striped belt by Rickson Gracie and released his new book The Grappler’s Handbook Vol. 2: Tactics for Defense. As if that weren't enough, he also put out the highly anticipated three-disc companion-DVD set for his first book, The Grappler's Handbook Vol. 1: Gi and No-Gi Techniques. This video not only features a cool technique from the mixed-martial arts section of DVD 3 in that set, but it also highlights the top-notch production quality of this new set -- a fitting martial arts multimedia companion for the top-notch book on which it's based!
BEST MARTIAL ARTS EVENT-COVERAGE VIDEO
PAUL VUNAK: CONTEMPORARY JEET KUNE DO AT 2011 "BRUCE LEE BASH AT THE BEACH"
“[‘Bruce Lee Bash at the Beach’] was an event that was meant to show people the metamorphosis of Bruce Lee when he first landed in America all the way up until the day he passed away,” Paul Vunak explains. “My goal to Dan Inosanto, [who] was Bruce Lee’s protégé, was that I would help continue the growth of Bruce Lee’s art." And in this exclusive event-coverage video shot on location by Black Belt's executive editor, it's clear that all this and more is in full swing!
BEST MARTIAL ARTS INTERVIEW VIDEO
SHANNON LEE: RE-IMAGINING BRUCE LEE'S CLASSIC MARTIAL ARTS TEXT, TAO OF JEET KUNE DO
Shannon Lee kindly granted Black Belt an exclusive interview regarding the production of the highly anticipated Tao of Jeet Kune Do: Expanded Edition. In this conversational segment filmed at Bruce Lee Enterprises in Santa Monica, California, the daughter of martial arts icon and jeet kune do founder Bruce Lee touched on what went into the book's new layout and how it was modernized while retaining the martial arts and philosophy content that made the original edition such a classic.
BEST MARTIAL ARTS HISTORY VIDEO
BLACK BELT MAGAZINE TURNS 50!
In this brief but informative retrospective, Century Martial Arts CEO / Chairman Mike Dillard and two-time Black Belt Hall of Fame inductee Pat Burris remember the early days of their favorite martial arts magazine and the parallel paths of influence Black Belt and Century Martial Arts have had on the world of traditional and mixed martial arts since their respective inceptions. This very special video features a host of Black Belt covers from decades passed, as well as archival photography and "retro" article spreads. This piece is a must-see for fans of this magazine -- and magazines in general!
BEST MARTIAL ARTS PHOTO-SHOOT VIDEO
MAN VS. STEEL
In this popular entry from a string of videos demonstrating incredible feats of strength and endurance, Mike Gillette explains to the Black Belt audience the mechanics and martial power involved in bending a steel bar. He and his demonstration partner Scott Bolan have, over the last couple years, broken arrows with their necks, gotten sledgehammered and rolled skillets with their bare hands. Don't believe us? Check out their other martial-power demonstration videos and see for yourself!
BEST MARTIAL ARTS TRAVEL VIDEO
ANTONIO GRACEFFO TRAVELS TO THE PHILIPPINES!
Black Belt columnist Antonio Graceffo checks in from another exotic destination with this video documenting his travels to the Philippines, where he explores a variety of martial arts and gives an overview of the fighting and training scene in this island nation. Included are his experiences training in arnis, kuntaw, yaw yan and hybrid yaw yan.
BEST SELF-DEFENSE TRAINING VIDEO
EYAL YANILOV: KRAV MAGA KNIFE DEFENSE ON THE GROUND
Krav maga expert Eyal Yanilov brings his tactical knowledge to the Black Belt studios in this straight-forward self-defense technique video. In-house, we liked this one because it takes viewers into the self-defense action right away. It proved to be one of our more popular videos of 2011, so it looks like our instincts were on the money!
BEST MARTIAL ARTS WEAPONS VIDEO
JULIUS MELEGRITO: 10 BASIC KNIFE STRIKES IN PHILIPPINE MARTIAL ARTS
If you've ever had the opportunity to train with Julius Melegrito, you know he's a jolly fellow. However, we recommend not mistaking his friendly demeanor for lack of fighting ability or technical proficiency. In this excerpt from his Philippine Fighting Arts 3-DVD Set, Melegrito shows a little of both. He may be smiling, but we wouldn't want to get into a knife battle with him. Someone would get hurt -- and it probably wouldn't be us.
BEST MARTIAL ARTS PHILOSOPHY VIDEO
WHAT IS TAO OF JEET KUNE DO? - PART 1
Diana Lee Inosanto (daughter of Dan Inosanto and goddaughter of Bruce Lee), Octavio Quintero (jeet kune do student under Bruce Lee disciple Jerry Poteet) and Richard Bustillo (student of Bruce Lee) reflect on the nature of Bruce Lee's martial art and the classic text that encapsulated his collected thoughts on life, martial arts and the mechanics of jeet kune do itself.
BEST MARTIAL ARTS PROFILE VIDEO
MIKE DILLARD: 2011 BLACK BELT HALL OF FAME MAN OF THE YEAR
This special video presentation was designed to celebrate the induction of Mike Dillard into the 2011 Black Belt Hall of Fame as Man of the Year. Featuring archival video and photos spanning the Century Martial Arts founder's life, this piece was shown to a live audience at the 2011 MAIA SuperShow in Las Vegas, on July 23, 2011.