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Thread: Influential Martial Artists

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    Default Influential Martial Artists

    Hello,

    Martial arts in general, and Japanese Budo in particular are supposed to influence the individual in ways that go beyond their own narrow field. so with that in mind I was wondering who out there, in the non-martial arts world is a serious martial artist that has achieved significant success in other fields. For example Vladimir Putin (no judgement as to his budo influence....I won't be sharing tea or sushi with him any time soon ) William Hague and Sebastian Coe (two Brit politicians)are all judoka. Roger Zelazny, a noted and influential science fiction writer was a serious Aikidoka. So who else is out there. Are there examples we can show of successful people for whom the study of Budo was a facet of their success, as opposed to the pinicle of it.
    The floor is yours.

    Regards
    Paul

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    A few, just off the top of my head.

    Ben Nighthorse Campbell. He was a member of the 1964 Olympic judo team, and is currently a US senator from Colorado.

    Moshe Feldenkrais. (Feldenkrais Method, also one of the senior judoka in Britain during the 1950s and 1960s).

    Gerald Ford. He taught combatives in the US Navy during WWII. (So did Hugh Rodham, Hilary Clinton's father.)

    Jigoro Kano. Although known abroad for judo, in Who's Who in Japan, he's listed for his academic and IOC accomplishments rather than judo.

    Elvis Presley. Hey, he was probably as good as most recreational players. More importantly to US martial art history, it was his money that funded Ed Parker, which in turn led to the rental of the Long Beach venue that put Joe Lewis, Chuck Norris, and Bruce Lee on the map. His money also helped finance Benny "The Jet" Uriquidez.

    Teddy Roosevelt. Roosevelt boxed in the White House, until he got a detached retina from a blow to the eye. After that, he more famously did judo.

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    NOTE: Ben is no longert a Senator as of 2005.

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    Hi,

    Excellent, keep 'em coming.
    Actually Jo with your excellent resources (i love EJMAS) you should have a few more in the middle and bottom of your head .

    Regards
    Paul

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    I forget the names (they probably have more than a dozen syllables) but there are several government ministers in Indonesia who are long-time students of Shorinji Kempo.

    I didn't know about William Hague (current UK Foreign Minister), but I recall Tony Slattery (UK comedy actor) was a judoka. Then again, Hugh Laughrie was in one of the rowing teams for the University Boat Race... so are we actually confirming anything with regard to the OP hypothesis. Probably not, I fear.

    Unless you can come up with a fantastic list of World Leaders, Inventors, Businessmen, Diplomats and successful innovators who all had, or have, a prolonged exposure to Budo... that is better than a similar list of people who had exposure to, for example, golf... then all we will discover is the emptiness of the claim that Budo can make "better" people.

    Does Chess make better people than Golf? Or does soccer produce more creative people than rugby? Perhaps someone out there is working on their research for that right now...

    Meanwhile, I can't help wondering which Budo would have been the art of choice for, say, Gandhi (thinking Shaolin Long Fist)? Or Albert Einstein (Kyudo I think)? or Stephen Hawking (when he was young he enjoyed riding horses)? I reckon Mother Theresa of Calcutta would have made a mean aikidoka.
    David Noble
    Shorinji Kempo (1983 - 1988)
    I'll think of a proper sig when I get a minute...

    For now, I'm just waiting for the smack of the Bo against a hard wooden floor....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tripitaka of AA View Post
    I reckon Mother Theresa of Calcutta would have made a mean aikidoka.
    Hello David,

    Really? Care to elaborate?


    Best wishes,

    PAG
    Peter Goldsbury,
    Forum Administrator,
    Hiroshima, Japan

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    Low centre of gravity, big feet, strong hands and so damn short that any attacker would be leaning right over to get any kind of attack going, therefore already out of balance. I gather she was quite the disciplinarian and fairly harsh with her novices, but her stature would probably preclude her from running a sumo beya. So I thought of Aikido. Oh, and the use of Love to overcome Hate, also guided me toward that suggestion (MMA wasn't high on my list either, for some reason).
    David Noble
    Shorinji Kempo (1983 - 1988)
    I'll think of a proper sig when I get a minute...

    For now, I'm just waiting for the smack of the Bo against a hard wooden floor....

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    Hey, I forgot an important one.

    Benny Hill learned his pratfalls from Dickie Bowen, of the Budokwai.


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    Joe,
    See, I direct link between Jigoro Kano and Benny Hill, that in itself made this thread worthwhile .

    Dave,
    I wasn't moralising, as such, as to martial arts producing 'better' people as measured by their respective success (I'd be hard pushed to justify 'better' when discussing Mr. Putin.....Chechnya, assassination etc), simply thought it would be interesting to see who, if anyone, had acheived major success in a given field whilst training seriously, and perhaps quietly, in martial arts. (preferably not acting though....they all seem to have done some)
    The abscence thereof wouldn't neccesarily make Budos claims hollow, but the evidence would be nice .

    Regards
    Paul

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    Default Benny Hill!!!

    Benny Hill learned some judo ukemi!!! Wow. The guy is an unsung legend!

    Among his many philanthropic endeavors, Elvis also helped complete the Arizona Memorial here in Hawaii, to memorialize and dignify the deaths of the sailors aboard the USS Arizona when it sank in the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The state ran out of funds to build the planned memorial by Alfred Preis. From what I gather, some 442nd RCT veterans contacted Elvis, who staged a benefit televised concert here. The money from the concert went to the memorial fund. Or so I recollect.

    Wayne Muromoto

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    Hi,

    Depending on who we believe, Arthur Skargill was a judo man (in some instances it's claimed that he had attained Shodan) and a boxer; Or, he wasn't! I've never seen any doubt as to his boxing, but the judo has been questioned by a few.

    Regards,
    William
    William Derobec

    Witch hunts often end with burnt fingers....

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    Takahashi judo dojo in Ottawa claims two prime ministers and their families, including Pierre Trudeau.

    http://www.takahashi-dojo.com/Brochure_Sept3_2010.pdf

    Kim.

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    Kenji Ushiro Sensei just recently retired from running a company. He is an electrical engineer who helped develop some of the battery systems that the space station currently uses.

    Marc Abrams
    Dr. Marc Abrams
    www.aasbk.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Svinth View Post
    Elvis Presley. Hey, he was probably as good as most recreational players. More importantly to US martial art history, it was his money that funded Ed Parker, which in turn led to the rental of the Long Beach venue that put Joe Lewis, Chuck Norris, and Bruce Lee on the map. His money also helped finance Benny "The Jet" Uriquidez.
    Elvis also bankrolled Bill "Superfoot" Wallace as he admits in this interview from Professional Karate magazine:
    https://www.backkicks.com/candid-int...-wallace-1975/

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    Perhaps not influential outside the showbiz world, but Ed O'Neill (lead role of Al Bundy in the hugely popular '80s-'90s sitcom, "Married... With Children" and later had a major role in "Modern Family") is a black belt in BJJ, which he was awarded in 2007. He trains under Rorion Gracie.
    Cady Goldfield

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