Was Jim Kelly competing?

4:21:00 PM Tkd kwan 1 Comments


Our guest today is an American actor known by Jim Kelly and who appeared in a Bruce Lee's movie Enter the Dragon that was filmed in 1973.
Most people in martial arts community know him for that role more than his other films.
Jim Kelly worked in about 16 films and did one work for the television but the role in Enter Dragon was his best for sure.
James Milton Kelly was born in 1946, Kentucky in the united states of America.
He began his martial arts journey by practicing the Shorin-Ryu Karate under master Parker Shelton, Nate Patton, and Gordon Doversola.
What most fans do not know is that Jim Kelly was also competing in Karate Championships, and that he had won many titles at the time.
Jim won four prestigious karate titles in 1971 including the World Middleweight Karate title in long beach international Karate  championships.
This tournament was first held by the kempo grand master Ed Parker, and it is interesting to know that many stars that we do well have competed in that championships including Chuck Norris, Tony Martinez Sr., Mike Stone, Joe Lewis, Benny "The Jet" Urquidez, Billy Blanks, Jerry Piddington, and "Super-foot" Bill Wallace.
It was also the tournament where Bruce Lee was introduced to the martial arts community, and it was his first opportunity to demonstrate his style to the world (his one-inch punch and two-finger push-ups).
The role that Jim Kelly played in Enter Dragon was planned for another actor named Rockne Tarkington, but Jim got it after the other actor dropped out before  shooting in Hong Kong.
At the time Kelly was teaching in his Karate studio, and he had the chance to be with Bruce Lee in Enter Dragon after the producer Fred Weintraub visited his studio.
We came across a very rare video of Jim Kelly when he was competing, and even before he met Bruce Lee for the Enter Dragon.
If you have any footage about Jim Kelly, We would be glad if you share it with us.
Enjoy this small footage of Jim Kelly when he was sparring in a championship.


1 comment:

  1. The Black Superman of the martial arts wa no joke in competition. In an old karate magazine that I lost ,Benny Urquidez said Jim Kelly was very tough (They fought to a draw) RIP Jim "Dragon" Kelly