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Chuck Norris and the Martial Arts

During Chuck Norris' career (1964 to 1974) as a competitive martial artist, he won many of the most prestigious events including the triple crown after winning the All American Open Championships for a second time ('67, '68), and the North American Championships with a win over his close friend Skipper Mullins, another great during that era. On November 24, 1968, Norris won the World Professional Middleweight Karate Champion title and held that title until he retired, a six-time undefeated, in 1974. Norris retired with a karate record of 183–10–2.

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Chuck Norris originally trained in Tang Soo Do, a Korean style known primarily for its kicking techniques. Chuck Norris also trained in various other styles under some of the most respected instructors in the United States. These instructors included Shotokan Karate masters Tsutomu Ohshima and Hidetaka Nishiyama, Shito-Ryu Karate instructor Fumio Demura, American Kenpo Karate founder Ed Parker, Judo expert Gene LeBell, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu legends the Machado family.

Name Rank Instructor
Judo 1st Dan Mr. Ahn
Tang Soo Do 10th Dan Chun Sik Kim, Jae Chul Shin
Tae Kwon Do 8th Dan Choi Hong Hi
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu 1st Dan Machado family
Chun Kuk Do 10th Dan Chuck Norris (creator)

The word "Dan" is the same as "degree black belt". The dan ranks are different throughout the various martial arts. Some arts do not even have ranking systems. Most that do stop at 9th dan or 10th dan, and the only way to acquire a 10th dan is to be promoted by skill to 9th dan, and then found your own school in that art. This is provided that your particular art has a governing world federation.

8 comments

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In relation to Instructor in Taekwon-Do highlighted in yellow. Master Norris was promoted by the founder of Taekwon-Do Gen. Choi Hong Hi.

Thank you for the information! Updated.

I see that you have been ranked by Demura Sensei as a Ju Dan, if I recall correctly Demura Sensei is Ku Dan.

Chuck Norris also has a Black belt in Mauy Thai

The muay thai does not has belts, has only Prajeat and KHAN!! Also Chuck Norris never he has practiced Muay Thai!!

I'm disappointed that Chuck gives little, if any, credit for his success to another one of his 1967-68 "teachers", Bruce Lee. [Joe Lewis also dissed him] Not only does Chuck distance himself, he arrogantly makes the claim of being Bruce's better? After Joe turned down the part in 'Return..', Chuck accepted, and without THAT movie, given Chucks personality, he would have had little, if any chance in the movie industry. Before he was famous I met and spoke with Chuck in the finals at long Beach [I was beat by a guy named Louis Delgado, 1 fight before my chance at Chuck : )] and 'at the time' he seemed down to earth. I doubt this comment will last past the day.

Chuck Norris had a brown belt (Judo) and went to my father James Cardell Sr.(3rd Dan) for his Black Belt practice training and test at the Dojo at Memphis State University (Tennessee). I know because I was practicing for my Judo black belt test at the same time and my father chose me to be Chucks partner. After a long grueling Kata practice session I complained to my father that Chuck Norris was kicking my ass (I never hit the mat so hard) and requested another practice partner. At the time Chuck Norris was well known for his Karate skills, very dedicated to the sport, in great physical condition, and as I remember he had just started training Hollywood types in California. I was told he had passed his Judo Black Belt test.

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