Blood sport movie

11 Ultimate Facts About Jean-Claude Van Damme's Bloodsport

Recently a friend, David Abdullah Muhammad aka Brotha Newz, https://youtu.be/o0FNaWDqB1U started posting vintage martial arts movie posters for an upcoming album release and reminiscing about movies that I watched as a young adult. Most of these are not what you would typically think of like Enter the Dragon. Most of them were from the 80's which I consider to be the golden age of the martial arts movie genre. You had movies like A Force of One with Chuck Norris and Bill Wallace, Blood Sport with Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Above the Law with Steven Seagal. These movies had some of the biggest martial arts stars of the time and really pushed an explosion of martial arts related movies into the next decade.
David Abdullah Muhammad

David Abdullah Muhammad

Today's movies feature action stars with huge stunts, but they are generally far more related to car stunts or explosions than pure martial arts as it was in the 80's. There are still many martial arts fight scenes in certain movies but unless you were alive in the 80's or 90's you probably don't realize the number of films in the genre that were being produced at that time. I love all of the old Bruce Lee films, but what Bruce started was then expounded on by the stars of the 80's. Its not just the actors you know that were the giant stars of the time but cult classics like The Last Dragon, Best of the Best, and even Big Trouble in Little China that captured the essence of martial arts movies of the time. The reason I bring this up is that I feel like many young martial artists have started to lose touch with the people that paved the way for them not only in movies but also on the tournament side. Many young martial artists know Richard Plowden as being Avery or Morgans Dad, or the USA head of WKC, but when I was a young martial artist Richard was one of the top fighters on the planet at the time. I remember reading Sport Karate Illustrated and seeing Richard, Billy Blanks, or Steve "Nasty" Anderson being talked about all the time and wanting to emulate them. Its not just previous generations of martial artists that don't get their due at times. I had a student years ago that was talking to some others in class about a new band that she had discovered, when I finally heard the song she was talking about I had to laugh. The song was "Rock and Roll all Nite" by Kiss, when I told her that it wasn't exactly a new band and that the song was from the mid 1970's the puzzled look she gave me was classic.

The reason I think this is important is because as the Maya Angelou quote says, "you can't really know where you are going until you know where you have been". One of my many influencers and mentors over the years was Mike Stone. Mike was a legend in the early days of karate in the United States and won many of the tournaments in the 1960's. Although Mike was known by many for his days in the ring, he was probably even more famous for the company around him that included Ed Parker, Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee, and Priscilla Presley. During this time-period Mike wrote some of the screen plays and acted in several of the movies of the era including Enter the Ninja and the American Ninja series to name a few. While many martial artists from my generation know who Mike is and what he has done I hope to get the younger generations of martial artists to reach back into the time vault and explore some of the roots from which they have sprung. I know that some of the younger martial artist on the circuit today do watch some old footage from previous years such as Jackson Rudolph who constantly impresses me with his knowledge of martial arts history. I was even shocked a few years ago in Tulsa, OK when I introduced myself to Bailey Murphy, who many consider one of the best point fighters today, and he actually said he felt like he already knew me from watching old NBL Super Grand videos of fights I refereed, so some of today's fighters do still study history and watch old videos.

With the explosion of the Cobra Kai on Netflix I hope that it reinvigorates the interest in movies from that era and people learn a bit more about the martial artist that paved the way for them today. So, what is your favorite martial arts movie that maybe people will know or maybe you can turn them on too?

David Clifton has refereed over 1,500 MMA, Kickboxing, and boxing matches. He has also been the center official and training official for WAKO USA, NBL Super Grands, World Sport Karate Federation, World Karate Commission (WKC), and many Naska national events.

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

Two-Time Black Belt Hall of Famer Hayward Nishioka has been campaigning for judo in the United States to harvest more shodans (1st degree black belts) Shodan literally means student. It's analogous to being a freshman in college. It's not the end but the beginning according to Jigoro Kano, the Founder of Judo.

A very dear friend and sensei of mine the late Allen Johnson, may he rest in peace made a home at Emerald City Judo. In Redmond, Washington.

Keep Reading Show less
Competitive Edge Karate
Photo Courtesy: Jackson Rudolph

Team Competitive Edge, coached by Jackson Rudolph, Reid Presley, and Cole Presley, has become one of the premier teams in the sport in recent years. The team consistently takes home individual overall grand championships and they are the reigning U.S. Open ISKA Team Demonstration World Champions. Moving into the 2022 tournament season, they have made a huge move to deepen their roster and add seven junior competitors to the team. The new additions range from proven champions bringing their talents to the squad, some skilled workhorses who have previously joined the team for the Team Demo division, and some promising young stars who will be making their debut in the black belt division this year. Keep reading to learn more about each of the new additions (ordered alphabetically).

Gavin Bodiford

Gavin Bodiford

Photo Courtesy: Kellie Austin Bodiford via Facebook

Bodiford is twelve years old and hails from Lebanon, Tennessee, a product of Premier Martial Arts Lebanon (formerly known as Success Martial Arts Center), where the Competitive Edge coaches have all earned black belts. He has five years of martial arts experience and was the 2020-2021 ProMAC Southern Region Champion in four divisions. He also finished the 2021 NASKA season in the top ten for creative, musical, and extreme forms and weapons. Bodiford is one of the competitors who has stepped up for Competitive Edge in the past, joining the demonstration team to help them secure the 2021 U.S. Open ISKA World Championship.

Riley Claire Carlisle

RC Carlisle

Photo Courtesy: Mallory Parker Carlisle

Carlisle (pictured with coach Sammy Smith) is a 10-year-old rising star from Starkville, Mississippi who has been training for four years. In the underbelt division, she has won grand championships at the Battle of Atlanta and numerous regional events. She holds multiple divisional and grand championship titles from the ProMAC circuit, and has amassed over ninety divisional wins in recent years. She is moving into the black belt division in 2022 and looks to continue her winning ways.

Kodi Molina

Kodi Molina

Photo Courtesy: Priscilla Molina via Facebook

Molina is a 13-year-old world champion from San Antonio, Texas with 10 years of martial arts training under her belt. She has won many grand championship titles on the NASKA circuit, and has claimed world championships from NASKA, ISKA, ATA, and WKC. At the 2021 U.S. Open, she became the reigning ISKA world champion in 13 and under girls creative/musical/extreme weapons. She is a versatile competitor who can win with extreme bo or kama routines, performs beautiful traditional forms, and is a solid point fighter as well. She is an active member of her community and participates in a variety of leadership programs, making her a great role model for younger members of the team.

Michael Molina

Michael Molina

Photo Courtesy: Michael Molina via Instagram

"Super Bomb" is the 9-year-old brother of Kodi, who is a world champion in his own right. In his seven years of experience, he has already won a variety of titles across multiple leagues, including NASKA overall grand championships at the 2021 Battle of Atlanta and AmeriKick Internationals. Since he began training at the age of two, his regimen has included strength, speed, agility, and conditioning training at "Rojo Dojo", where a number of world champions and national contenders gather to train. He is known for his incredible performance ability, always putting on a show when he graces the stage.

Gavin Richmond

Gavin Richmond

Photo Courtesy: Bobby Benavides

Richmond is yet another world champion being added to the Competitive Edge roster. The 13-year-old from San Antonio has been training for five years and has accumulated several grand championship titles, including wins at prestigious events like the Diamond Nationals and U.S. Open. The young star is a well-rounded athlete, not only because he competes in a variety of divisions at sport karate tournaments, but he also finished in 7th place in the pentathlon at the 2021 AAU Junior Olympics which included the high jump, long jump, 100m hurdles, 1500m run, and shot put, resulting in him being named an All-American. He is currently recovering from a knee injury, but his high-flying routines will be back on the mat soon.

Madalynn Wiersma

Madalynn Wiersma

Photo Courtesy: Gabrielle Dunn

Wiersma (pictured with coach Gabrielle Dunn) is another rising star moving up from the underbelt division who is expected to make waves in the black belt division. She first moved up into the black belt ring at the WKC world championships, where she won her first world title. The 9-year-old Georgia native was the 2021 Underbelt Competitor of the Year for ProMAC and she secured underbelt grand championships at the Battle of Atlanta and U.S. Open this past year.

Elijah Williams

Williams is a 16 year old from Lebanon, Tennessee who trains at Premier Martial Arts Lebanon. His eight years of martial arts training has culminated in black belts in Tang Soo Do and Tae Kwon Do. He is on an upward trend as a competitor as he has started breaking into the top four in his divisions, which are some of the most stacked on the NASKA circuit. Williams has been a great asset to Competitive Edge in the past, stepping up to fill in for team demonstration, such as in the world championship effort at the 2021 U.S. Open.

The Competitive Edge coaching staff told Black Belt that they are thrilled to take their roster to another level with these moves. They believe that these new players will create the perfect storm to win more overall grand championships now, strengthen the team demo, and build a great foundation for the future of the program.

Jose Also
cdn.vox-cdn.com Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC
The seemingly ageless Jose Aldo won his third straight fight at bantamweight Saturday claiming unanimous decision over Rob Font in the main event of UFC on ESPN 31. Font started well against the former featherweight champion working behind a strong jab that kept Aldo on his back foot and allowed Font to consistently land sharp punches. But with 30 seconds left in the first round, Aldo threw a stiff left jab and immediately followed with a powerful straight right hand that dropped Font though time ran out before he could do more damage.
Keep Reading Show less