The Martial Arts has many talented people who have been successful at both a career as a Martial Artist and as an Actor. Perhaps one of the most famous people who have had success in both is Chuck Norris.
Carolos Ray Norris was born on March 10, 1940 in Oklahoma, United States. It was during this time while serving in the United States Air Force, that he was given the name ‘Chuck’. As a child he was very shy and introverted and was also the eldest of two other children. He began studying Tang Soo Do while stationed in South Korea. Upon coming back to the United States, Norris decided he was going to continue his training in the martial arts. In fact, he opened up a chain of very successful martial arts schools. Among teaching, he also became a fierce competitor in the tournament circuit and was named the Triple Crown winner for the most tournament wins of the year and named Fighter of the year by Black Belt Magazine. Many of Chuck’s students were celebrities, one of which was Steve McQueen. It was at McQueen’s suggestion that Norris try acting.
His film debut was in 1969 and was titled, “The Wrecking Crew’. However the film that launched him into stardom, was “Way of the Dragon” with Bruce Lee. After a successful string of other martial arts, action type movies, Norris made his transition into television with his own show called” Walker, Texas Ranger.” Norris did not forget his Martial Arts roots and became quite the accomplished martial artist. He has achieved Black Belt ranks in Chun Kuk Do, Tang Soo Do, TaeKwondo, Karate, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo.
Aside from his career, Chuck has found time to raise a family and is a devout Christian. He has become an author of books on Christianity, and motivational - inspirational type books. Known for his caring, polite and calm manner, Chuck has always remembered to give back. He is a strong supporter of various charities such as Funds for Kids, U.S. Veteran’s Administration, United Way and Kickstart Kids, just to name several.
It is easy to see why Chuck Norris is so likable. His accomplishments as a Martial Artist, Instructor, Actor, Author and Philanthropist have touched and inspired many people over the years. He is another example of how when someone chooses a lifestyle in the Martial Arts, its influence and lessons can have many positive ripple affects in your life and those around you.
By Tracy Warrener