Biography

Grandmaster Jim McMurtrie

I believe I was born with a lot of God given talent. From the time I can remember I loved competition  and enjoyed street fighting at the age of 5. By 7 years old I had a reputation on the streets and had no fear of anyone.

My grandfather took me to a YMCA where I meet Mickey Ballard the boxing instructor that would be with me for the next 23 years. During that 23 year period I was a 4 year high school wrestler, a Go-No-Sen fighter, a points Karate fighter, and a pro black belt Kickboxer.

In 1959 I meet a small Asian man who enjoyed coming to my boxing matches. He asked me if I would like to come and watch one of his Martian Arts classes. I was amazed at his speed and the aggressive style he had. His name was Steven Mitsu and held the rank of 8th. Degree black belt or Grand Master. I joined his school and became a member of the Go-No-Sen style of fighting.

In 1964 I was awarded a 1st Degree black belt. I was his first American he had given this honor to. In 1964 I was invited to fight in the Go-No-Sen matches in Okinawa. I won the title that year and became the fist American to ever win these matches. In 1965 I returned to Okinawa and defended my title. Making me the only person to have back to back wins in this event.

Now I want to point out some facts so there is no confusion between the sanctioned Go-No-Sen matches I fought in and the underground invitation only matches that were held 10 years later and were called the Kumite. These were matches held over a year after the Go-No-Sen fights were last fought. These under ground matches fought by some great fighters as John Keehan and Frank Dux. These matches were brought to light by the movie Blood Sport which was modeled after Frank Dux. 

In 1966 I entered Ed Parkers Karate tournament in San Francisco. These were points matches and for 3 years I competed. In 1969 I retired from amateur boxing and was tired of points Karate. I spent 20 months in Vietnam coming home in late 1970. By this time I started to compete in pro kick boxing where I went undefeated.

I retired from all combat sports in 1975 at the age of 30. From that point till now I have trained Boxers, Go-No-Sen fighters, and in 2002 I brought Mixed Martial Arts to Kentucky and became the first MMA promoter and longest running promoter. In my 58 years of combat sports, 52 of them in Martial Arts I have been blessed with a lifetime of friends and a family that understands that I never disliked anyone I competed against and to the day I die I will always treasure my life’s work in promotion my sports and the friends it has brought me.

My life speaks for itself. My accomplishments are the rewards that I hold close to my heart. My God, My Country, My Family, My Friends and My Martial Arts. I know my bio should include my fight record but I would like my record to just say I fought in 5 different styles and I never lost. I hold the rank of 8th Degree black belt and have earned the title “Grandmaster Undefeated”