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mark187

RIP Jim Kelly (1946-2013)

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I met him in 1993 in London at a Martial Club gig.

He signed a picture and a video I had with me at the time.

The thing I remember was a guy asking Kelly, during the Q&A session, about a quote he allegedly made in 1974 which suggested he would become bigger than Bruce Lee. Kelly strongly denied it but the the guy asked him again at the autograph stage.

Kelly got pissed, stood up and looked like he was seconds from laying the guy out.

I asked Jim if Lee was responsible for opening his eyes to other forms of combat, other than Karate, which wasn't a bad question considering I was eighteen years old. He said that he'd always appreciated other styles.

Really upset. Didn't know he had cancer so it's a total shock.

Watching ETD right now!

Thanks for sharing that with us mate, sounds like an awesome day!

Shame Martial Club aren't still around doing these events! I wish I had gone to one of these events!

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UGH.....more terrible news in the world of FU. I had the pleasure to meet Jim Kelly at a local comic book convention 3 years ago and he was an abosulte joy to talk with. I presented him with some posters that myself and Kung Fu Bob drew for him and I cannot tell you how appreciative he was. He had the woman who assisted him at the con look at them and he thanked me 5 different times for the artwork. So to know that affected him so much and to reasure him he's still as much a presence as he was that meeting means even more to me now.

Thank you Jim Kelly for all the awesome films and timeless quotable lines from your movies.

No matter what "He'll be too busy looking good"

RIP Jim Kelly.

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Besides Bob, has anyone ever met him or care to share stories on here about him? And of course Bob should share his too.

I never got to meet Jim. See Gorhama's post above for the details.

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I never got to meet Jim. See Gorhama's post above for the details.

Gotcha. couldn't remember if you told me you personally gave him your art or he saw it thorugh someone else. I just remember you telling me how appreciative he was.

I still am trying to find where he got his black belt from In BJJ. Now this is not me trying to discredit him.....at all. In the BJJ community, they kind of do the whole lineage thing, much like kung fu and others. Of course, now there are alot of people claiming to be black belts that really are not (for business purposes), however, I heard that Kelly was awesome on the mat, and that really impresses me. He was an avid Price/UFC/K-1 follower, and really respected cross training. I just would like to know simply because of the techniques taught by different schools would give me an insight to his foundations in grappling (for example, different schools are known for their specific techniques, approach to fighting, and so on....like one school would be extremely proficient at guard techniques, another would be leg locks...etc). Just to point out, Chuck Norris has incorporated BJJ in his schools ever since he started training with Rorion Gracie and then the Machado brothers. Now he holds a black belt and is very good at grappling.

Before he passed, there were rumors that Kelly was working on an autobiography, telling his story as well as telling about the times he spent with Bruce Lee. According to some, the insight about Lee would be somewhat different than we have already gathered. That to me is highly interesting. Anyone else hear of this?

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I still am trying to find where he got his black belt from In BJJ. Now this is not me trying to discredit him.....at all. In the BJJ community, they kind of do the whole lineage thing, much like kung fu and others. Of course, now there are alot of people claiming to be black belts that really are not (for business purposes), however, I heard that Kelly was awesome on the mat, and that really impresses me. He was an avid Price/UFC/K-1 follower, and really respected cross training. I just would like to know simply because of the techniques taught by different schools would give me an insight to his foundations in grappling (for example, different schools are known for their specific techniques, approach to fighting, and so on....like one school would be extremely proficient at guard techniques, another would be leg locks...etc). Just to point out, Chuck Norris has incorporated BJJ in his schools ever since he started training with Rorion Gracie and then the Machado brothers. Now he holds a black belt and is very good at grappling.

Before he passed, there were rumors that Kelly was working on an autobiography, telling his story as well as telling about the times he spent with Bruce Lee. According to some, the insight about Lee would be somewhat different than we have already gathered. That to me is highly interesting. Anyone else hear of this?

i'm just astonished you felt the need to air these thoughts little more than a day after he's passed.Any reason you didn't air them last saturday/friday/thursday/wednesday blah blah

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i'm just astonished you felt the need to air these thoughts little more than a day after he's passed.Any reason you didn't air them last saturday/friday/thursday/wednesday blah blah

Yeah.......it was just a question. If you read my earlier post you would see that I hold Kelly in high regard for this. I just was wondering what it would be like to train with the man.

I love internet blowhards

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I cannot believe it. I'm surprised there's no mention of his death anywhere on the net, just found out from Twitter (Van Damme, Adkins & Jai White Re-tweets). Just terrible week in the fu world. I'm just lost of words. R.I.P JK, thank you for all the great films.

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i'm just astonished you felt the need to air these thoughts little more than a day after he's passed.Any reason you didn't air them last saturday/friday/thursday/wednesday blah blah

Hey Saltysam, I totally understand why you might feel that way, but I assure you- Jiujitsu77 is not that guy that you may have mistaken him for. He's a very cool dude and is definitely NOT taking some sort of back-handed swipe at Jim Kelly or his reputation. We're discussing the man and his movies and skills, JJ77 is a jujutsu man (as am I), and he was simply seeking knowledge about the man's jujutsu training. Makes sense, as Jim's fans, who might have this info, are visiting this thread to pay their respects. So I DO dig you looking out, but it's all good. We're all friends here, I promise. :wink:

Yeah.......it was just a question. If you read my earlier post you would see that I hold Kelly in high regard for this. I just was wondering what it would be like to train with the man.

No problem man. I wish I had that info myself. You know, Gorhama is also a jujutsu man. I wonder if he discussed the subject at all when he met Jim? I'll ask him to post an answer here if he has one.

I cannot believe it. I'm surprised there's no mention of his death anywhere on the net, just found out from Twitter (Van Damme, Adkins & Jai White Re-tweets). Just terrible week in the fu world. I'm just lost of words. R.I.P JK, thank you for all the great films.

Yeah, shocking isn't it?

This morning they finally had an article about his passing on MSN.com's news. Better late than never I suppose. :squigglemouth:

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Thank you for clearing that up, Bob. While I don't know how I really came off as being derogatory in any way, I do appreciate that you at least get what I am saying. In hindsight, I an see why some would get their feathers ruffled by asking about his martial lineage so close after his death....as if to say he was "lying" about it....but I was hoping to word it in a way where it only was to be seen as a query, not a slanderous accusation of some sort.. On my side of the fence, in the jiujitsu world, getting a black belt is a huge milestone in anyone's career. There are alot of people that try to discredit others for various reasons, just as there are alot of people that claim to reach that level only to make money. I know first hand Jim was NEVER any of the above. I simply wanted to know the man's approach to his groundwork. Knowing a bit more about his tutelage under whatever black belt would help me with that. Plus there was just so much I wanted to ask him given the chance. Everyone I know that has met or trained with him said that he was the real deal, and a great person to boot.

I think what I can't stand even more than nay sayers of blackbelts or fraudulent opportunists are people that peck a fight on an internet forum without even looking at the previous posts, just to be "salty".

There needs to be more people like Bob in the world to make things more peaceful.

On a different note, I just NOW discovered Joe Lewis died less than a year ago. Jesus Christ!

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Excerpted from Chasing The Dragon, by Matthew Polly (Jim Kelly references in bold):

WAN CHAI GIRLS

Navigating the tricky terrain of Chinese face required the producers to turn some tricks when it came to hiring Hans harem for the banquet scene. No Chinese actresses were willing to play prostitutes in an American film, so producers were forced to hire the real thing. Responsibility for soliciting the prostitutes fell to Morgan, who knew his way around Hong Kongs nightspots. The difficulty wasnt finding themalong with Bangkok, Hong Kong was an R&R pit stop for American soldiers serving in Vietnamit was convincing them to take part in the movie. Never mind what they did for a living. That stayed between them and their customers. But if you commit it to film, how do you know your mothers and fathers friends are not going to see it? Morgan says. They wanted to be paid more than I wouldve paid them if I wanted to sleep with them. To them, the indignity was far greater. When the stuntmen discovered how much the prostitutes were being paid, they nearly went on strike.

In the scene in which the three heroes are offered their choice of harem girlsa scene that has launched a thousand cultural studies Ph.D. theses the white guy (Saxon) selects the white madam (played by actress Ahna Capri), the black guy (Kelly) selects four prostitutes, while the Asian guy (Lee) picks his fellow undercover agent (Chung) for a chaste discussion of strategy. The Chinese James Bond was a celibate. He was a Shaolin monk, says Allin. He was always meant to be: You have offended my family and you have offended the Shaolin Temple.

Sexual escapades continued off-screen too. Jim Kelly screwed everything that moved in Hong Kong, says Heller. He ended up in the hospital. We had a harness for him to hang over the acid pit for his death scene, but he couldnt wear it, because he was so sore. We had to specially make a cargo net for him.

Thus, Kelly's Ooiii!!!!, war-cries, were born.

:xd:

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Excerpted from Chasing The Dragon, by Matthew Polly (Jim Kelly references in bold):

WAN CHAI GIRLS

Navigating the tricky terrain of Chinese face required the producers to turn some tricks when it came to hiring Hans harem for the banquet scene. No Chinese actresses were willing to play prostitutes in an American film, so producers were forced to hire the real thing. Responsibility for soliciting the prostitutes fell to Morgan, who knew his way around Hong Kongs nightspots. The difficulty wasnt finding themalong with Bangkok, Hong Kong was an R&R pit stop for American soldiers serving in Vietnamit was convincing them to take part in the movie. Never mind what they did for a living. That stayed between them and their customers. But if you commit it to film, how do you know your mothers and fathers friends are not going to see it? Morgan says. They wanted to be paid more than I wouldve paid them if I wanted to sleep with them. To them, the indignity was far greater. When the stuntmen discovered how much the prostitutes were being paid, they nearly went on strike.

In the scene in which the three heroes are offered their choice of harem girlsa scene that has launched a thousand cultural studies Ph.D. theses the white guy (Saxon) selects the white madam (played by actress Ahna Capri), the black guy (Kelly) selects four prostitutes, while the Asian guy (Lee) picks his fellow undercover agent (Chung) for a chaste discussion of strategy. The Chinese James Bond was a celibate. He was a Shaolin monk, says Allin. He was always meant to be: You have offended my family and you have offended the Shaolin Temple.

Sexual escapades continued off-screen too. Jim Kelly screwed everything that moved in Hong Kong, says Heller. He ended up in the hospital. We had a harness for him to hang over the acid pit for his death scene, but he couldnt wear it, because he was so sore. We had to specially make a cargo net for him.

Thus, Kelly's Ooiii!!!!, war-cries, were born.

:xd:

CRjOB4qy4zo

:xd::xd::xd::xd::xd::xd::xd::xd::xd:

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Could somebody with a vast knowledge in cinema explain to me why Jim Kelly didn't get enough roles in Hollywood? Let me rephrase that, a starring vehicle in a major motion picture the same way Chuck Norris made his way through Hollywood? Jim Kelly had the charisma and cool savviness in him and the athletic ability to carry an action film. Did Hollywood not want that or did he decided he didn't want to break into Hollywood? After Bruce's death it should have been Jim Kelly doing what Chuck Norris is doing and no disrespect to Chuck Norris but damn Hollywood you had a potential in a star and you didn't go though with this?

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After the blaxploitation genre faded, there really weren't high demand for black action leads anymore. All the guys from the 70's and 80's were always second banana to the white star. Carl Weathers, Steve James, Louis Gosset Jr. etc...

Eddie Murphy was really the only one who could carry big movies as a lead back then, but that was more based on his comedy.

Hollywood, despite its liberal image, is notoriously racist, still to this day. Obviously it has gotten somewhat better for blacks and latinos. But try being middle eastern or asian and be cast as more interesting things than terrorist or second badguy from the left.

I think it is quite telling that a fairly recent movie like I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, who was seemingly accepting of homosexuality, albeit a comedy making fun of it at the same time, still had Rob Schneider in yellowface.

Im not easily offended, and probably the least pc person you'll find. But it must be quite vexing for asian actors if they can't even get the asian roles.

I think it is a damn shame that guys like Kelly, Jim Brown, Fred Williamson etc. was more or less deemed "out of style" in the mid to late 70's when they could have been making kickass action flicks ad leads, well into the 80's and 90's.

Ok, didn't mean to sidetrack....

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Just to let you in on this, and im not being smarmy, but Rob Schneider is Filipino. He is credited as the first Asian american to make it on SNL. I don't know if it still counts as "yellowface" any more than what sammo has done in some of his films.

Despite racial boundries, many of the prominent "blaxploitation" actors went through various channels to do things their own way, like make movies independently and abroad ie fred williamson. some trends just waned and they found money elsewhere. Kelly was known not to take acting too seriously, despite the fact that he enjoyed making films. One down, two to go is a good example of that. Kelly just was not prepared to make the film, but felt he had to make the appearance. I have worked with Fred Williamson before. Yes, racism exists, but quite a few of the major black stars at the time had the opportunity to make films by themselves. However, even if you do it yourself, without a MAJOR studio backing you, there is only so much you can do with limited budgets

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