The History of Fighting Masters

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"If size mattered, the elephant would be king of the jungle".

~ Rickson Gracie ~

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 Boxing Masters

Sam Langford

Sam Langford is one of the greatest boxers never to be crowned World Champion. Boxing in the early half of the 20 century, he was a victim of the ‘colour line’ and not given his chance because of the colour of his skin despite the fact that the champion at the time, Jack Johnson, was an African American.....Read Article
Five Little Known Facts About Muhammad Ali

As one of the most charismatic figures in sports, most people are aware that Muhammad Ali was one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. However as a man who has led an interesting and varied life, there are many facts about him that are less well known, but interesting none the less.....
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The Reign of Don King

Amidst numerous accusations of corruption, Don King has had a major influence on boxing since becoming a promoter in the 1970s. He staged some of the biggest fights in history, increased the prize money earned by fighters and considerably raised public interest in the sport, all in his own charismatic and outspoken style......Read Article

Capoeira Masters

Manduca da Praia 

Mestre Manduca da Praia, known as ‘The Elegant Capoeira Fighter’ was a notorious Brazilian martial artist in the 19th century. Not only was he known for being a ferocious warrior, but he also managed to maintain his standing as a respectable business man with in his community.....Read Article
Jose Antonio do Nascimento

Jose Antonio do Nascimento was one of the best fighters of 19th century Brazil. His capoeira skills earned him a fearsome reputation and his size and prowess earned him the nickname Nascimento Grande (Big Birth).....Read Article
Besouro Manganga 

Besouro Manganga was so nimble that it was said he could turn into a beetle and had the ability to dodge bullets. He was an advocate of justice for his people even if this meant he had to break the law and was no stranger to violent run-ins with authorities.....Read Article
Mestre Bimba

Mestre Bimba introduced to Capoeira a code of ethics, set training methods and many of its characteristic flamboyant moves. However his main contribution was to change it from a form of street fighting, to an iconic cultural pastime practiced by people from all walks of life.....Read Article
Mestre Pastinha

As the inventor of the Angola style, Mestre Pastinha is an instrumental figure in capoeira history. His system took the art back to its roots, moving away from set training methods and favouring a more personalised style of fighting for each capoeirista.....Read Article

Jujitsu Masters

Edith Garrud - The Suffragette Jujitsu Teacher

Edith Garrud was a pioneer in the art of jujitsu becoming one of the first women to teach martial arts in the West. She used her skills to help the suffragettes in their fight for votes for women, not only by protecting the movement’s leaders but also by training others to do so......Read Article

Karate Masters

Anko Itosu 

Legendary master Anko Itosu was an instrumental figure in karate history. He popularised many aspects of the art that are still practiced today and by introducing it into the Okinawan school system, he took karate out of obscurity dramatically increasing its practitioners.....Read Article
Gichin Funakoshi 

Sensei Gichin Funakoshi’s influence on karate cannot be overstated. He redeveloped many of the kata to make them more relevant to the modern karateka and by introducing the art to Japan in the 1920s, he laid the foundations for karate to be spread all over the world.....Read Article
Hienori Otsuka - Founder of Wado-Ryu Karate

By the age of 28, Hienori Otsuka was a renowned master at jujitsu before becoming a student of Gichin Funakoshi. He excelled at karate, quickly rising through the ranks to become an assistant instructor and helping to develop training techniques in Shotokan karate. Later, he broke away to form his own style of karate, Wado-Ryu......Read Article
The Real Mr Miyagi 

The Real Mr Miyagi sensei Chojun Miyagi was an early karate master who developed the style known as Goju Ryu. He studied martial arts in both China and his homeland Okinawa and used his knowledge to mix soft (or internal) and hard (external) techniques.....Read Article
Mas Oyama 

Mas Oyama, founder of kyokushin karate was one of the best karate masters of all time. He developed his body, mind and techniques through rigorous training and fought and won hundreds of full contact battles against fighters from many different martial arts styles.....Read Article

Kung Fu Masters

Bodhidharma 

Bodhidharma  (Ta Mo in Chinese) is a legendary figure who is believed to have visited the Shaolin Temple in the sixth century. While there, he taught the monks a series of exercises that some believe developed over time into modern day kung fu.....Read Article
Zhang Sanfeng

Zhang Sanfeng who, according to legend, was the founder of an internal Chinese martial art known as Mien Chuen that would evolve into Tai Chi Chuan. After spending many years training in the Shaolin Temple, he made his way to the Wu Tang Mountains where he developed his new style after watching a fight between a snake and a crane.....Read Article
Pak Mei – A Kung Fu Legend 

Pak Mei kung fu is believed to originate from the 17th century after the infamous burning of the Shaolin Temple. Thought by some to be a traitor and others a hero, Pak Mei’s style was so ruthless that even to this day, it is only taught in its truest form to the most elite of martial artists.....Read Article
Ving Tsun Kung Fu 

When Yim Ving Tsun was being bullied by a local man, she found help from Ng Mui, one of the Five Elders from the Shaolin Temple. From there, the Ving Tsun (wing Chun) style developed and was handed down from student to master before being popularised by Bruce Lee.....Read Article

 Samurai Masters

Tomoe Gozen

Tomoe Gozen, a rare example of a female Samurai warrior, is believed to have taken part in the Genpei Wars (1180 – 1185). She fought alongside her Master, Minamoto Yoshinaka though it is unclear how much of her story is merely martial arts legend.....Read Article
Yoshitsune Minamoto 

Yoshitsune Minamoto was an instrumental figure, helping his brother Yoritomo overthrow the ruling Taira Clan with several decisive victories on the battlefield. However after the war, Yoritomo turned on him and hunted him down like a common criminal.....Read Article
Tsukahara Bokuden

Tsukahara Bokuden was a 16th century Japanese warrior who exemplified what a samurai should be. He was known as one of the fiercest warriors around however in later life, Bokuden would take on a more pacifist philosophical standpoint.....Read Article
Miyamoto Musashi  

Miyamoto Musashi is one of the most acclaimed samurai that ever lived. While undertaking a warrior’s pilgrimage in the 17th century, he fought in over 60 duels dispatching the best swordsmen in a given area, often in fights to the death.....Read Article

 Fighting Systems


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