michael jai white

It's hard to say too much about Michael Jai White, whether you're talking about his talents (seven black belts, dozens of major acting roles, and even more television roles), or him as a person (former special education teacher, also just plain nice).

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"I think anything that I've accomplished can be attributed to the discipline I learned through martial arts."

That's an impressive statement coming from anyone. When it comes from someone with as many accomplishments as Michael Jai White, though, it is doubly powerful. White holds black belts in seven different martial arts styles, including Shotokan, taewkondo, Goju Rye, and wushu. He is one of the first Black actors to portray a mainstream comic book superhero in a major motion picture (Spawn, 1997). And, that's only one of his leading film roles!

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Alvin Toffler, in his 1970 book Future Shock, talked about the rapid rate of change in the modern world, how people were having trouble keeping up and how that rate would only increase in years to come. The martial arts entertainment world — and the martial arts in general, for that matter — may be proving Toffler correct.

Take, for example, the recent Urban Action Showcase & Expo, held at the AMC Empire 25 Theaters in New York City, where old met new both on the big screen and in the exhibition hall.A two-day event sponsored by HBO and Cinemax, the UAS was part action-film festival, part martial arts trade show and part photo op for fans looking to mingle with legends like kickboxing-champion-turned-actor Don "The Dragon" Wilson. "Events like this are getting bigger, and unlike the past, you're now seeing more people showing up who have never done martial arts — they're just fans who want to meet us," Wilson said.


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In this exclusive interview filmed during his cover shoot for the October/November 2014 issue of Black Belt magazine, the martial arts movie star talks about discipline, development and training with the late Joe Lewis.

A role model to millions, film star Michael Jai White has studied the martial arts for 30 years and is far from finished! An observant fan once referred to Michael Jai White as "Denzel Van Schwarzenegger." The nickname is as accurate as it is hilarious — an amalgam that creates the perfect triad to describe Michael Jai White: actor, martial artist, fitness icon. Plenty of celebrities have ascended to superstar status by standing atop just one of the three pillars that support Michael Jai White's career. Years of rugged training have produced a work ethic that enables him to nurture all three sides of himself. The lifestyle is possible, Michael Jai White says, only because of the discipline he learned in the dojo.

MICHAEL JAI WHITE VIDEO How Black Belt Magazine, Traditional Martial Arts Discipline and Working With Teachers Such as Joe Lewis Led Him to Success in His Life and Career

"I'm not one to spoil myself," Michael Jai White says. "I'm living the life of a professional actor, but I train like a professional fitness person, and I do martial arts like a professional martial artist. I don't have an assistant. And people who don't do a quarter of the work I do have an assistant — sometimes two. People say, 'How do you have the time?' It's all about discipline."

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

Click here for an inside look at the October/November 2014 issue — and be sure to pick it up today for more from Michael Jai White in his cover story, including his takes on:

... and much more!

Related Martial Arts Books, E-Books,
DVDs and Video Downloads

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

Go inside the upcoming issue of Black Belt magazine for a special preview of its contents! (Bonus: Two archival videos featuring Michael Jai White!)


The October/November 2014 issue ofBlack Belt is scheduled to hit newsstand and bookstore shelves — as well as our third-party digital-issue providers— on September 23, 2014. Well ... that's three weeks away! Why wait that long when you can get a sneak peek of the issue's contents right here? Why wait that long when you can get a sneak peek of the issue's contents right here? From our cover story with martial artist and actor — and now theBlack BeltHall of Fame's 2014 Man of the Year — Michael Jai White (Watch him in action at his dojo in Burbank, CA!) … … to a firsthand look at Filipino martial arts … … and from an account of hapkido legend Bong Soo Han's final years ... ... to an analysis of two karate interpretations … … this is an issue chock-full of traditional martial arts techniques, history, commentary and hard-hitting tips for improving your self-defense arsenal and your martial arts training overall!

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