Ron Van Clief
(Ronnie Van Clief)
Martial Artist, Instructor, Actor
Born: January 25, 1943
Ron Van Clief, the American martial arts master and 5 time world champion, was
the first Westerner to receive top billing in Hong Kong, where he established an
acting career during the height of the 1970's kung fu film explosion.
It was American producer Serafim Keralexis who first brought Van Clief, a former
New York policeman, U.S. Marine, and Hollywood stuntman, to Hong Kong.
Van Clief took on the part of "The Black Dragon" in a series of HK films and worked
Ron Van Clief began studying jiu-jitsu in 1957 with Grandmaster Moses Powell in his
hometown of Brooklyn, New York. During his Marine Corps duty in Okinawa, he learned
Shorin-Ryu karate; he has also studied ninjitsu, Shotokan karate,
Aiki-Jitsu, Wing Chun, and various weaponry.
In 1971 he founded Chinese Goju, a new system which merged aspects of both
Chinese and Japanese martial arts. Over the years Van Clief has authored several
martial arts books, produced a series of instructional training videos where he
demonstrates various fighting techniques, established martial arts schools across
America and 18 other countries, and served as technical advisor to both the
U.S. Army and the Secret Service.
In his professional fighting career, Ron Van Clief competed in over 900 tournaments,
becoming the United States Champion 8 times and the World Champion 5 times.
After decades of competing around the world, Ron stepped into the ring with Brazilian
jiu-jitsu champion Royce Gracie at the 1994 Ultimate Fighting Championships.
He lost to Graycie in the no holds barred event, though at 51, his opponent had the
advantage of being nearly half his age. He was later appointed Commissioner to the
sport, such is his enthusiasm for the martial arts.
Ron Van Clief Filmography
|The Black Dragon|
|The Black Dragon's Revenge 1|
|Black Panther of Shaolin 2|
|Kung Fu Fever|
|Way of the Black Dragon|
1 aka Death of Bruce Lee
2 aka Bamboo Trap
Ron Van Clief -American Films
|1980||Fist of Fear, Touch of Death|
|1985||The Last Dragon *|
* martial arts choreographer
Ron Van Clief - Documentaries
|1975||The Super Weapon|
|1993||Top Fighter *|
* Ron Van Clief is interviewed
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