Billy Blanks was born the fourth of fifteen children to a hard working but poor African-American couple in Erie PA, Isaac and Mabeline Blanks. Despite dyslexia and a problem with his joints, Billy became one of the greatest martial artists of all time, star of martial arts and feature films, and the most sought after trainer and fitness consultant to world-class athletes and Hollywood stars.
Billy‘s domination of the sport of karate was virtually complete: After winning scores of local, state and national competitions, in 1975 he became the first Amateur Athletic Union Champion, a title he would win five times in all. A seventh degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, the dominant Korean form of karate, Billy holds black belts in five other forms of martial arts. A seven time world karate champion, he captained the U.S. Karate team and won 36 gold medals in international competition. Billy also captained the 1980 U.S. Olympic Karate team. He was Nationally ranked by Karate Illustrated from 1982 through 1989 and has been in the Karate Hall of Fame since 1982.
Billy won the 1984 Massachusetts Golden Gloves champion in the light-heavy weight class and Tri-State Golden Gloves Champion of Champions.
„The Last Boy Scout“, „Blood Fist“, „Lion Heart“, „Talons of the Eagle“, „Back in Action“, „Stand Alone“, „King of the Kick Boxers“, „Showdown“, „TC 2000“, „Expect No Mercy“, „Tough and Deadly“, „Kiss the Girls“, „Balance of Power“, „Assault on Devil‘s Island“, „Mardi Gras Moon“
„Suddenly Susan“, „Soldier of Fortune“, „Shadow Warriors“, „Street Justice“, „Spencer For Hire“, „Good Morning America“, „Hard Copy“, „E! Entertainment“, „Melrose Place“, „Extra“
„People Magazine“, „Elle“, „Self Magazine“, „Sports For Women“, „Allure“, „Cosmopolitan“, „In Style“, „Men‘s Fitness“, „Esquire“, „Entertainment Weekly“, „Heart & Soul“
While training in his home, Billy began to combine dance music with his Tae Kwon Do moves which evolved into TAE BO®. Billy soon saw what TAE BO® did for himself and his family, so in 1989 he opened the Billy Blanks World Training Center in Sherman oaks, CA. Word of mouth brought the early clients, but when singer-dancer Paula Abdul came through the door and quickly showed the dramatic benefits of TAE BO®, the business took off. Today, Rebecca de Mornay, Jack Scalia, Connie Selleca, Farrah Fawcett, Ryan O‘neal, Sinbad, Valerie Bertinelli, Lisa Rinna, Justine Batemen, Shannon Tweed, Goldie Hawn, Lela Rochon, Neve Campbell, Gail O‘Grady, Emmanuel Lewis, Rae Dawn Chong, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O‘Neal, Pamela Anderson, and Bruce Jenner could be counted among those TAE BO® and Billy Blanks helped get and keep in shape.