Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris, Fumio Demura and Ed Parker Sound Off on Problems and Solutions

BLACK BELT: With the growth of interest in competition, there has been a lot of criticism about how tournaments are set up. What are the basic problems?

Parker: Uppermost is the fact that there are no uniform rules from one tourney to another. This is really a problem — a man could win in one tournament through one way and lose out in another.

Norris: It's getting better, but it needs improvement.

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When Black Belt asked me to draw up this list, I decided to do it right. I immediately composed a checklist of the qualities on which the TV series would be judged: creative fight choreography, stunt work and how well the two complemented each other.

To even be considered, a show needed at least one main character who regularly performed martial arts. Furthermore, it must have appeared on nationwide television and have been significant in the martial arts community when it aired.

The 12 finalists, presented here in chronological order, don't necessarily contain the best fights in TV history; it's their overall contribution to the martial arts subculture that matters.

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Join us as we pay tribute to David Carradine on the 8th anniversary of his death. He inspired the masses with two "Kung Fu" TV series and multiple movies, including "Lone Wolf McQuade" and "Kill Bill."

December 8, 1936 – June 3, 2009 Today marks the eighth year since David Carradine, the actor who left his imprint on martial arts history when he starred in ABC’s Kung Fu television series, passed away. Countless senior practitioners in dojo across the country received their first exposure to the martial arts because of Carradine, who portrayed wandering Shaolin priest Kwai Chang Caine from 1972 to 1975, and many of us were inspired to take up training because of the character’s weekly exploits in the American West.

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You probably can guess some of the names on Superfoot's list — Joe Lewis, Chuck Norris, Mike Stone — but we doubt you can guess them all. Journey back in time to the era of karate tough!

In the early 1980s, I was asked to name the top 10 karate fighters of the 20th century. Here's my list again — for the benefit of all the martial artists who never saw it when it ran and for those who are too young to have lived through those early years of martial arts in America. No. 1 on my list of the top 10 karate fighters was Joe Lewis. I picked him because I have never met anybody who said he enjoyed sparring with Joe Lewis. I sparred with him several times and learned a lot, but I didn't enjoy it — it hurt!

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Black Belt's resident reviewer delves into one fantastic fight that takes place in the Colin Firth feature film Kingsman: The Secret Service.

In last week's blog, I thundered on about the Matthew Vaughn-directed Kingsman: The Secret Service and how Colin Firth's performance makes his debut as an action hero a most engaging experience. Playing the character Harry Hart, Firth delivers in one fantastic scene a pugilistic storm of spins, strikes and blustering ballistics while the guitars of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Free Bird howl in the background. It serves as an exhilarating illustration of how to take a star who's already 54 — a man who knows nothing about action, fights or firearms — and have him cinematically challenge the likes of Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris and Steven Seagal with just one fight. Enter the Aussie Much of the credit for that accomplishment goes to Brad Allan, an Australian martial artist and action choreographer who worked with Vaughn on Kick-Ass (2010). Allan makes Kingsman … kick arse. As Kingsman’s stunt coordinator, Allan has Hart go psychotic in the climactic fight, which is set inside a church. Although Hart takes out the entire congregation in the presence of a lot of pews, the fight doesn't stink. In fact, it rocks. And here's the kicker: That two-minute scene was captured in one take! If you see Kingsman (again), note how Firth has no time to gather himself between opponents in that melee.

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