It’s rare to find a movie star who teaches regularly at a karate dojo. Then again, Michael Jai White isn’t your average movie star. He’s the owner of seven black belts. Visit the school where he spends off time in this exclusive video!

Kyokushin karate — the fighting art founded by Mas Oyama, a man who battled live bulls, occasionally lopping off their horns with his knifehand strike — has a reputation for toughness, including full-contact sparring with minimal safety gear. But that never scared off Michael Jai White, a lifelong martial artist and actor who’s part of the Victory Dojo & Fitness family. In fact, Michael Jai White has always enjoyed the physicality and discipline of the art, calling it his “savior.” “I had a lot of angst growing up, and martial arts just felt natural to me,” said Michael Jai White, who holds black belts in seven styles. “I enjoyed fighting when I was a kid. I used every excuse I could to fight.” He began studying shotokan karate at age 7, then switched to kyokushin under Shigeru Oyama. The latter was the art in which he received his first black belt while still a teenager. He hopes Victory Dojo — located in Burbank, California — will do for today’s youth what his kyokushin dojo did for him. To that end, when he's in town during breaks from his busy schedule, he’s helping mold it into a school that emphasizes character development as well as physical skills. And this month, Victory Dojo celebrates the 50th anniversary of its headquarters' founding.

VICTORY DOJO: THE KYOKUSHIN KARATE HOME OF MICHAEL JAI WHITE Michael Jai White Takes You Inside the Kyokushin Karate School He Calls Home When He's Not Working in Film and TV

Learn about the genesis of brutal tests such as
the 100-man kumite in this FREE download!
History of Karate: Inside Mas Oyama’s
Hard-Core Kyokushin Karate Conditioning Program


“Our school is very basic and very traditional — the way we train is the way they’ve trained in Japan for the past 50 years,” said Michael Jai White, who joined the venture as a “spiritual partner” with his teacher, Brian Bastien. The headquarters dojo was founded in 1964, according to Robert Christophe, head instructor at Victory Dojo. Brian Bastien opened his Victory Dojo branch at the Burbank YMCA, but he was forced to move because the staff wanted to eliminate sparring from his classes. “We’re a fighting style,” Brian Bastien said, “so without fighting, it’s just like dancing.” When Michael Jai White isn’t acting, directing or writing screenplays, he’s at the school teaching clinics in techniques and weapons. His message is simple: The discipline required to succeed in the martial arts transfers directly to the world outside the dojo. “Discipline has helped me in all facets of my life,” he said. “You can pretty much do anything if you have discipline. When you push yourself, you realize you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.” After hopping from career to career, what Michael Jai White set his mind to was acting. He worked with Jean-Claude Van Damme on Universal Soldier in 1992, then starred in Tyson, Spawn, Black Dynamite and both Why Did I Get Married? movies. Among the newest notches on his belt are an appearance in The Dark Knight and the role of leading man and director for Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown. But like a true karate master, Michael Jai White downplays his fame. “I’m not a celebrity in my school,” Michael Jai White said. “That quickly goes out the window when you’re sweating together. It’s more about the fact that I’m a 230-pound guy who hits hard. I think that supersedes celebrity.” White obviously takes his martial arts seriously, which is precisely what he conveys to his students. “If you’re trying your best, if you’re pushing yourself, I don’t care if you’re athletically gifted or not — it’s the effort you put out,” he said. “As long as you do that, I have respect for you.”

Related Martial Arts Books, E-Books,
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Full-Contact Karate: Advanced Sparring Techniques and Hard-Core Physical Conditioning

Shotokan’s Secret: The Hidden Truth Behind Karate’s Fighting Origins — Expanded Edition

Dojo Dynamics: Essential Marketing Principles for Martial Arts Schools

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The UFC returned to American network television for the first time in more than two years Saturday on ABC while former featherweight champion Max Holloway returned to his winning ways following two straight losses, earning a unanimous decision over Calvin Kattar in Abu Dhabi. Holloway showed he still has plenty left as a fighter dominating Kattar from the opening bell of the main event with a mix of punches and low kicks.

It appeared as if the former champion might stop his opponent in the fourth round landing a series of vicious body blows followed by hard elbows to the head as a bloodied Kattar sagged against the fence. But Kattar somehow survived managing to keep himself upright through the fifth stanza as well, only to lose a lopsided decision. After dropping his title to Alexander Volkanovski and then losing a controversial rematch, Holloway may have put himself in position for one more crack at the championship following Saturday's impressive performance.

The Legendary Black Belt Magazine Hall of Fame has never before been documented in a single location. Now, you can learn about all the icons that have achieved one of the greatest honors in all of martial arts.

Black Belt Magazine is proud to announce the NEW Member Profiles feature for the Hall of Fame. At the time of this article, the online records account for every inductee from the inaugural year of 1968 all the way through 1990 (upwards of 200 martial artists). The page will be updated continuously and will include every inductee through 2020 in the near future. For now, you can enjoy images and facts about the legendary members for each induction they received before 1991. Take advantage of this never-before-seen opportunity to learn about many of the martial artists who contributed to the lifestyle, culture, and community that every martial artist experiences today.

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Martial arts legend Bruce Lee is one of the most influential cultural figures of the 20th century. To commemorate Lee's 80th birthday, CASETiFY created an exclusive collection that captures the spirit of the action star's signature moves, nuggets of wisdom, and even his iconic tracksuit.

Bruce Lee is one of the martial arts' most iconic legends, and now you can pay respects to him with your phone case! This new collection from CASETiFY, a popular phone case and accessory brand, provides a stylish take on classic Bruce Lee images and graphics.

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UFC pioneer Paul Varelans passed away Saturday in Atlanta, Ga at the age of 51 after battling Covid-19 for more than a month. Varelans had been diagnosed with the virus in December and as his condition worsened he had to be placed on a ventilator in a medically induced coma.

Known as "The Polar Bear" the 6-foot-8-inch 300-pound Varelans debuted back at UFC 6 in 1995. During his career he fought a host of notables including Dan Severn, Mark Kerr and David "Tank" Abbott. Perhaps his most memorable performance came at UFC 7 where he made the finals of an eight-man tournament only to lose to Marco Ruas in a bout that lasted more than 13 straight minutes, one of the longest tournament battles the promotion had ever seen.

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