Biography


Professor Gary Lee

KYOSHI GARY LEE- Born in Honolulu, Hawaii

Kyoshi Gary Lee is an international karate champion, master karate teacher, a writer for many martial arts publications, a Black Belt Hall Of Fame inductee, and a historian of sport karate. He was also a professional stuntman for many of Hollywood’s favorite martial arts films. He now devotes his intention to Black Belt TV, a martial arts network he helped create in 2005.

Professor Gary Lee 9th Dan, Founder of The Museum of Sport Karate Masters, has graciously accepted ‘The Life Time Membership Award’ from The Traditional Okinawan Kobujutsu Association and Martial Arts Federation. for the tireless work he has undertaken on forming the Museum of Sport Karate Masters in Preserving the History of Martial Arts in America, The Award is presented for long and dedicated service to preserving the history of Martial Arts, the accolades of his fellow American Martial Artists say it all.

Gary Lee began studying karate in 1963 in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was only six years old. He earned his Black Belt in 1969 and moved to San Francisco, California on the mainland. At the age of fourteen, he began a journey that would take him all over the United States, meeting and training with the pioneers and legends of the martial arts. In the early days, training and competing was different than it is today. Karate was mysterious and unexplained and, as a real Black Belt with a no nonsense attitude about his art, Gary walked into a karate school assuming all karate instruction was alike. He learned early that this is not so and that not all  instruction or instructors were alike.

Some of the incredible Black Belts who have been part of  Gary’s journey and who have signed his Black Belt Diplomas beginning in 1969 are a who’s who of the martial arts. These include:

Sensei Torio Kishi, Andrew Tamper, Sam Chapman, Mako, Sid Campbell, Jack Farr, Rick Fowler, Dan Anderson, John Townsly, Chuck Vito, Tokey Hill, Ken Knudson, Bob Wall, Jim Harrison, Allen Steen, George Minshew, John Chung, Daryl Stewart, Ed Daniel, Ronnie Al, Dennis Brown, Steve Muhammed Sanders, Wesley Snipes, Michael Depasquale Sr., Michael Depasquale Jr., Don “The Dragon” Wilson, James Toney, Royce Young, Ishmael Robles, Tim Kirby, Matsbushi Ward, Dr. Maung Gyi, Benard Braverman, J. Pat Burleson, William Ping Hi, Harry Young, Ming Lum, Dale Kirby,  Joesph St. Ives, Tim Vought, Bill Wallace, Seung Au, Jim Butin, Jose Santa Maria, Linda Denley, to name a few of the Masters and teachers who have touched Gary Lee’s life. The first Karate teachers who promoted Gary Lee and who would be considered his most current instructors are Andrew Tamper (passed), Sid Campbell (passed), Sam Chapman, Jack Farr, Bob Wall, Al Hippert, Mako (passed), George Minshew, Matsbushi Ward, Dr. Maung Gyi and the Hawaiian Black Belt Society.

From 1969 until 1999 Gary Lee traveled all over the United States competing then retired from open competition. He had an incredible career with many, many wins. In 2006, he donated five hundred trophies and awards from his collection to the Make a Wish Foundation, and donated his Tenth Degree Black Belt Certificate for auction. He has been inducted into Masters Hall of Fame, The AOK Hall of Fame as Competitor of the Year, The  National Black Belt League Hall of Fame as Texas Competitor of the Year, Kumite Nationals, a $1000.00 scholarship is given in his name, National Black League World Breaking Champion, Black Belt Kata, and Weapons and fighting Titles. In 1993 Gary was the Bushiban Hall of Fame Man of the Year. In 1997 he won the Texas “Golden Greek” Award. He has been rated in the Top Ten Ratings in fighting, weapons, kata, and breaking for many groups and organizations such as S.E.K.A, A.O.K, NBL, S.O.C.K, USAF, SKI, and TNT.

A 9th Degree Black Belt, he received his Professorship of the Martial Arts in Hawaii in 2002. 

Professor Gary Lee has always been very innovative in creating martial art projects though out his career:

*The Kids Expo, a project to introduce children to the martial arts.

*1984 – Created first Karate show for Six Flags Amusement Parks called The Texas Karate *All-Stars performing 5,000 Live shows in front of millions of spectators until his retirement in 1997.

*Star performer at the Hollywood Stunt Show at Astroworld theme park.

*Produced the Living Legends Black Belt Nationals.

*Co-producer and Co-founder of Black Belt TV Martial Art Exclusive, the first Internet martial arts channel.

*Produced 17 Living Legends Celebrity Roasts of the Pioneers of Martial Arts

*Founder of the Museum of Sport Karate

*Founder of the Top Texas Ten Black Belt Rating System

Currently Professor Lee devotes his time to the Museum of Sport Karate, a non-profit organization created to preserve sport karate history and pioneers of the American golden years from 1946, when the first sport karate studio opened, to 1999, when the first Living Legends were born. He also writes the “Kabuki Warrior Tales” for USADOJO.COM and many other martial arts entities and is a Sport Martial Arts adviser for WorldWideDojo.com. He is the representative for http://www.samuraisupply.com/ a Japanese sword company and performs sword shows all over the world. He is the associate producer for the Martial Art Masters of Texas Live Radio Show. He is on the Board of Advisors for the Karate Masters Hall of Fame and the Masters Black Belt Hall of Fame.

Currently Professor Lee devotes his time to the Museum of Sport Karate, a non-profit organization created to preserve sport karate history and pioneers of the American golden years from 1946, when the first sport karate studio opened, to 1999, when the first Living Legends were born.