Chojun Miyagi

April 25, 1888—October 8, 1953

Chojun Miyagi was born in Naha, Okinawa and was the adopted son of a wealthy businessman. Miyagi began his study in karate at the age of nine (or eleven). He first learned martial arts from Ryuko Aragaki, who then introduced him to Naha-te Master Kanryo Higashionna when Miyagi was 14.

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Jet Li

Born April 26, 1963

Better known by his stage name Jet Li, is a Chinese martial artist (Kung Fu), actor, Wushu champion, and international film star.

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General Hong Hi Choi

Founder: Tae Kwon Do

General Choi started to study Taek Kyon, an ancient Korean method of fighting with the feet, at the age of 12. Later, when he was studying in Japan, he met a Karate teacher who helped him earn his first degree Black Belt in less than two years. He then intensified his training, striving to earn his second degree. Around the same time, he started teaching.

Conscripted into the Japanese army during World War II, he was posted to Pyongyang where he was imprisoned. Wanting to maintain his good physical and mental health during his imprisonment, he practiced karate, alone at first, then by teaching it to the staff of the prison and the other prisoners.

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Bruce Lee

November 27, 1940 – July 20, 1973

Was an American-born martial artist, philosopher, instructor, martial arts actor and the founder of the Jeet Kune Do combat form. He is widely regarded as the most influential martial artist of the twentieth century and a cultural icon. He was also the father of actor Brandon Lee and of actress Shannon Lee.

Lee was born in San Francisco, California and raised in Hong Kong. His Hong Kong and Hollywood-produced films elevated the traditional Hong Kong martial arts film to a new level of popularity and acclaim, and sparked the first major surge of interest in Chinese martial arts in the West. The direction and tone of his films changed and influenced martial arts and martial arts films in Hong Kong and the rest of the world as well. Lee became an iconic figure particularly to the Chinese, as he portrayed Chinese national pride and Chinese nationalism in his movies. He primarily practiced Chinese martial arts (Kung Fu).

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Jigoro Kano

Founder: Judo

Oct 28, 1860 - May 4, 1938

Jigoro Kano was born in 1860 in Kobe, Japan into a wealthy family. In 1877, as a college student he studied Tenshin-Shinyo Jujitsu under Hachinosuke Fukuda and Masatomo Iso. Fukuda gave Jigoro Kano a heavy iron rod which Kano used to practice bojitsu techniques (stick fighting). After very hard workouts Kano massaged his aching body with a strong foul smelling liniment which he prepared himself. The other students in the dojo referred to him as “Kano the Odoriferous”. Fukuda died in 1880 at 52 years of age. Jigoro Kano, his student, tried to keep his dojo open, but realized he needed more training.

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