Martial Arts World Says Goodbye to "Judo" Gene LeBell

"Judo" Gene LeBell
Two months after he passed away, the martial arts world said a final farewell to legendary Black Belt hall of famer "Judo" Gene LeBell with a memorial service given by his longtime student, Gokor Chivichyan, Sunday. Held at the Hayastan MMA Academy in North Hollywood, Calif., the two hour service came on what would have been LeBell's 90th birthday.

The memorial saw a who's who of fighting greats turn out, a tribute to how popular LeBell was within the martial arts community and how far reaching his influence. Among the nearly 700 people in attendance were UFC legends Ronda Rousey, Josh Barnett and Bas Rutten, as well as noted trainer Erik Paulson.

"Gene had wanted the service limited to just family, close friends and students but we didn't want to turn anybody away," said Chivichyan. "It shows how much love everyone who knew him had for him, that so many people wanted to come here for this. He was really one of the greatest men I ever met."

Introducing Martial Arts School Listings on Black Belt Mag!
Sign Up Now To Be One Of The First School Listed In Our Database.
Don't miss a single issue of the worlds largest magazine of martial arts.