On March 10, 1940, a legend was born. Turning 80 this year, Chuck Norris is still a fitness icon idolized around the world. He is the man who can beat the sun in a staring contest and who has counted to infinity, twice! There are endless joke “facts” that have been made to display what an impact this legend has had on the world- and some of these incredible “facts” may even be true! With his birthday coming up quick, we want to dedicate a piece to the glorious Carlos Ray “Chuck” Norris to honor him and all of his accomplishments. Let us all take a moment and give a Happy Birthday shoutout to this unmatched icon of unbridled masculinity and wish him many more happy years to come.
The Health Fitness Revolution team and its founder Samir Becic wish Chuck Norris, the living legend, the best birthday ever! Thank you for your unmatched impact on our country!
Chuck Norris began studying martial arts while stationed in Korea- as a member of the U.S. Air Force in the 1950s. Shortly after his honorable discharge in 1962, he opened his very own martial arts studio and promoted it by participating in numerous fighting events. Though he lost his first couple of competitions, Norris proved that hard work brings great things. Only a few years later, he won the 1967 Tournament of Karate at the All-American Karate Championship. This led to him opening a successful chain of karate schools that have hosted various celebrities. 1968 was the year that Chuck Norris suffered the last loss of his entire martial arts career. To this day, he has not lost a single fight.
1969 was a year of great success and personal accomplishment for Norris. He won, for the second time, the All-American Karate Championship. Near the end of the year, Norris fought and won to maintain his title of International Karate Champion and won Karate’s Triple Crown for the most tournaments won that year. As a result, he was named Fighter of the Year award by Black Belt magazine. He met Bruce Lee and the two of them became great friends, continually training and working together for many years. Norris continued to fight and improve his martial arts skills: he went on to win the Professional Middleweight Karate tournament every year from 1968 to 1973.
Norris is one of the very few foreigners to receive an 8th-degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do. He maintains a 9th-degree black belt in Tang Soo Do, an 8th-degree black belt in Kyokushin Budokai, a 5th-degree black belt in Karate, a 3rd-degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and a black belt in Judo. He also has a 10th-degree black belt in Chun Kuk Do, which he founded and evolved from his previous study of Tang Soo Do. Chun Kuk Do is a martial art form that is universal and emphasizes self-defense, competitions, fitness, and grappling. He developed a personal code for Chun Kuk Do, which includes these 10 rules:
- I will develop myself to the maximum of my potential in all ways.
- I will forget the mistakes of the past and press on to greater achievements.
- I will continually work at developing love, happiness, and loyalty in my family.
- I will look for the good in all people and make them feel worthwhile.
- If I have nothing good to say about a person, I will say nothing.
- I will always be as enthusiastic about the success of others as I am about my own.
- I will maintain an attitude of open-mindedness.
- I will maintain respect for those in authority and demonstrate this respect at all times.
- I will always remain loyal to my God, my country, family and my friends.
- I will remain highly goal-oriented throughout my life because that positive attitude helps my family, my country and myself.
Following his friendship with Bruce Lee, Norris transitioned into the world of Hollywood and became a star there, as well. Between 1982 and 2017, he received numerous acting awards, including getting his Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1989. Despite some time away from martial arts to pursue acting, he was still earning accolades from his previous endeavors. He accomplished one of his greatest martial arts achievements in the early 2000s. On July 1, 2000, the World Karate Union Hall of Fame presented Norris with the Golden Lifetime Achievement Award. He was also celebrated for his military service, receiving the Veteran of the Year award in 2001, and being made an honorary U.S. Marine in 2007 while visiting with Commandant Gen. James T. Conway in Washington D.C.
One contribution (among the countless) that Chuck Norris has made to the world stands high. In 1990, he founded Kickstart Kids. This was just the beginning of his philanthropy. The Kickstart Kids organization was created to help at-risk youth develop self-esteem and focus. It gives them the tools and support to successfully navigate challenges they confront each day including lack of internal discipline and self-confidence, lack of positive influence, and lack of connection within the school communities. His vision was to teach character through karate to empower middle and high school students with the core values to achieve their greatest potential.
Samir praises the program: “The Kickstart Kids program is one of the most genuine non-profit organizations in America. I have rarely seen a team of individuals work so diligently and passionately towards such a noble cause- our at-risk youth. Through martial arts, they are teaching children discipline, focus, honor, work ethic, moral values, and success, all of which translates to a healthy life. Most of these kids, without the program, could go down a dark path. Instead, they are graduating from some of the top Universities across the country. This program is among Chuck Norris’s greatest legacies!”
Chuck Norris, a martial arts master, famous actor, and loving philanthropist, still takes time each day to keep himself healthy and fit. Living in Texas on a ranch with his lovely wife Gena, he continues to live up to everyone’s iconic views of him. Though we may not all become International Martial Art champions, we can follow the great advice of a legend, “I think setting a goal, getting a visual image of what it is you want. You’ve got to see what it is you want to achieve before you can pursue it.”