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FutureStarrA Jim Kelly Martial Artist
Jim Kelly is a top-notch martial artist with a passion for teaching. He’s been teaching for over 10 years and went on to found his own martial arts school. If you want to learn more about the martial arts, instructor tactics, or the latest gear, Jim’s a great person to speak with.
With his funky Afro hairstyle, super cool attitude and superb karate skills, Jim Kelly was instantly identifiable, and one of the top martial arts film stars of the early 1970s. After appearing in a minor film role, Kelly’s second screen effort was as one of the invited guests to the deadly Han’s Island in Enter the Dragon (1973). Kelly quickly cropped up in several more martial arts influenced “blaxploitation” films including Three the Hard Way (1974), Golden Needles (1974) and Black Belt Jones (1974), with its interesting fight finale in a soap filled car wash! He then appeared in several other action films of the late seventies, however since 1980, Kelly has only cropped up in two minor roles. A talented athlete, winning ranked titles both in tennis and karate, Jim Kelly was an integral part of the African-American & martial arts cinematic explosion of the 1970s.
Jim Kelly was an American martial artist, athlete, and actor. He was one of the most popular African–American faces in the martial arts movies of Hollywood. Kelly is most remembered for his role in the movie ‘Enter the Dragon,’ in which he co-starred with Bruce Lee. Since his school days, Kelly was athletically inclined. Though he was actively involved in football and basketball, Kelly did not pursue any of them, as he developed an interest in karate. In those days, it was not a popular game among African–Americans. Kelly won several world karate championships. He opened his “dojo,” which was frequented by several celebrities from Hollywood. A chance to provide martial arts training to actor Calvin Lockhart proved to be the turning point in his career. Kelly trained Lockhart for the movie ‘Melinda.’ His impressive performance secured him a role in the movie, marking his entry into the film industry. Kelly became the first African–American martial arts film star. Later, he was offered a part in the martial arts movie ‘Enter the Dragon,’ in which he co-starred with Bruce Lee. Kelly was offered roles in several “blaxploitation” movies, which had African-–Americans playing major roles. Some of them were ‘Black Belt Jones,’ ‘Three the Hard Way,’ and ‘Hot Potato.’ With his “Afro” hairstyle and superb karate skills, Kelly won many hearts. He died of cancer at the age of 67. (Source: www.thefamouspeople.com)