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Inosanto teaches The Art and Philosophy of Jeet Kune Do, Filipino Martial Arts, Shoot Wrestling, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, Silat, Mixed Martial Arts and other arts at his Marina del Rey, California school, the Inosanto Academy of Martial Arts. He was an instructor for Ed Parker in American Kenpo Karate before becoming a student of Bruce Lee. Inosanto is one of three people allowed by Bruce Lee to teach his Martial Arts style, and the only one to be given Instructorship in Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do. Inosanto also studied with dozens of martial art masters elsewhere in the United States, Southeast Asia, and Europe. After Bruce Lee's death, he has become the principal spokesperson for Jeet Kune Do. He has had minor roles in a number of movies, including the Game of Death (1973).
Always a student himself, he continues to train with many highly regarded martial artists. Consequently, he holds Instructor or Black Belt level ranks in numerous, different martial arts. In addition, he is well known for promoting the Filipino Martial Arts. He is responsible for bringing several obscure forms of the Filipino Martial Arts into the public eye and saving them from extinction. He has recently acquired his black belt in the Machado Family style of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Inosanto continues to teach and conduct seminars worldwide. He has been directly responsible for introducing many prominent martial artists, including Pendekar Paul de Thouars, Edgar Sulite, Leo Gaje, Maung Gyi, and Rick Faye to the general martial arts community.
Other notable students include Ted lucaylucay, Tim Tackett,Chris Kent, Ernie Franco, Erik Paulson, Larry Hartsell, Brandon Lee (Bruce's son), Jeff Imada, Cass Magda, Greg Nelson, Burton Richardson, Paul Vunak, Kevin Seaman, Nick Sacoulas, Steve Grody, Rick Faye, Bob Breen, Terry Gibson, Don Garon, Pat Finley, Steve Braun, Pat Tray, Frank Cucci, Clay Johnson(highest ranking physically disabled person under Guro Dan Inosanto),Mateo De Los Reyes, Dwight Woods, Ron Balicki and Dan Inosanto's daughter, Diana Lee Inosanto. The full contact stick fighting organization known as "The Dog Brothers" emerged from the Inosanto Academy...
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Who was the most influential person in Guru Dans life besides Bruce Lee? Amos Alonzo Stagg. Not a karate man he was a football player. The father of modern football. The most winningest coach in American football. He was really inspirational. Didnt know who he was or understand how much until Guru Dan was out of college, out of the military and had been teaching for a number of years.
What people dont realize is that Guru Dan was responsible for kicking off the controversial, but most important training program working with the Dallas Cowboys in the 70s. Dr. Bob Ward brought martial art training into professional football. He was a genius. He took the sensitivity drills and stick drills to the Dallas Cowboys and realized how important it was for the football players. He was the one who pushed it. Dr. Bob Ward gives credit to Guru Dan and Tom Landry talked about Coach Stagg being his inspiration. It all comes full circle. Guru Dan being part of the first program in the NFL utilizing martial arts in the football training. The NFL wouldnt have seen the value of martial arts in football if not for Bob Ward and Guru Dan. Training attributes are important. Dr. Bob Ward brought in jugglers to teach the players how to juggle a football. Anything that helps build strength, speed, stamina, skill, strategy, spirit, suppleness that is whats important. All these are basic attributes you can give a football player or any athlete. Anything that will enhance training is beneficial.
Part 5/6 - Dan Inosanto and Diana Lee Inosanto Interview
The relationship of aging. Bruce Lees biggest fear was of growing old. Its a common fear in the martial arts world and one most people dont like to talk about. The key is to learn how to train for every decade. Each decade, one must adapt the intensity, the duration and rest and rehab is a must. Without rest and rehab, the body wont sustain the drive. Our toughest opponent is age. Train within the boundaries of the decade. How you train in your 40s is not how you train in your 60s. If you train for an hour, rehab for an hour. Massage, foam roller, stretching, stability ball, any kind of body work, even water therapy is beneficial. Everyone is your teacher.
Guru Dans father lived to almost 101 years of age. He practiced yoga, but it wasnt something Guru Dan recognized at that time. He thought that the downward dog and cobra positions were just poor push-up positions. His father was way ahead of the game as Guru Dan now can attest.
Part 4/6 - Dan Inosanto and Diana Lee Inosanto Interview
Steve McQueen wrote Guru Dan a letter years after Bruce Lee died, when he had cancer. Steve told Guru Dan in the letter to please continue to pursue teaching and how JKD needs you and this is what Bruce would want for you. It was a letter of encouragement for Guru Dan to keep on teaching.
After Bruce Lee died, Guru Dan did'nt feel like teaching any more. He was despondent and had never felt so bad. It was so difficult to lose such a close friend and never a day goes by without thinking of him. He remembers crying all the way from Seattle to Sacramento. He spoke with Larry Hartsell and they both said that a day never passed without thinking of Bruce in some way. It was a huge loss.
Diana remembers her mom not wanting her to be the first one to tell her dad that Uncle Bruce had passed away. She recalls her parents speaking in the bedroom behind closed doors and then her father running to the phone and start calling people trying to get verification that the news was accurate and real. It was the first time she saw her father cry which is upsetting for any child. And upset she wasnt allowed to go to the funeral.
Part 3/6 - Dan Inosanto and Diana Lee Inosanto Interview
In Hollywood back in the 60s and 70s there were not a lot of minorities or martial artists. Most stunt people were either rodeo people, acrobats or gymnasts with no martial arts skills on the screen. Bruce Lee paved the way. Many attribute Bruce as a guide, not only for martial arts, but inspirational regardless of the field they were in. He paved the way for people to bring people together. Steven Seagal has said he wouldnt be where he is today without Bruce Lee. So grateful. Chuck Norris, Jean Claude Van-Damme a lot of people used Bruce as a guide to see what could be done and continue to pave the way.
Diana remembers some of the people in her life as a young girl including Kareem Abdul-Jabar who at that time was known as Lew Alcindor, a freshman at UCLA. Bruce was training Lew but had no idea who he was. Guru Dan knew who he was and explained to Bruce that he was a highly touted basketball player and asked if he could come watch him train. He remembers Kareem picking up Diana as a young girl and placing her on the roof of Bruces house and then gently setting her down. Because of Bruce Lee, Guru Dan had the opportunity to meet other well- known stars, such as Steve McQueen, James Coburn; people he wouldnt have met if not for Bruce Lee.
Part 2/6 - Dan Inosanto and Diana Lee Inosanto Interview
Diana recalls being a young actress and witnessing a lot of sexual harassment toward women in Hollywood. When people found out who she was, that harassment toward her stopped immediately. She says reputation of family is strong and how she was raised to be a strong woman with many strong influences in her life. Her grandmother, Guru Dans mother, was a very strong influence. Graduated high school at the age of 16 as valedictorian and was awarded a scholarship to Stanford, when they only allowed five females in at the time.
Guru Dans father, Dianas grandfather, was forced by circumstances to become a political activist. He established a Farmers Union back before Cesar Chavez. Spent four years with no support, and while it never manifested, he planted the seeds for the future. Upon his death, Cesar Chavez sent representatives to pay their respects.
That generation had to work hard to be accepted into mainstream America. Guru Dans Aunt Flora was first Filipino graduate at UCLA. Went to school with Jackie Robinson who was first African-American to break into baseball and Kenny Washington, first African-American to break into professional football. These are the people that set the tone and who he admires. Aunt Flora became one of the first Filipino teachers in Stockton and probably in California.
Part 1/6 - Dan Inosanto and Diana Lee Inosanto Interview
One of the questions that always gets asked is how Diana got her name Diana Lee Inosanto. Guru Dan Inosanto explains that Diana got her name Diana Lee from his closet friend at the time, and instructor, Bruce Lee. Guru Dan stated, I was in awe of him (Bruce Lee) and named Diana after him because he was my favorite person at that time and thought it would be pretty cool to be named after Bruce Lee! When asked about Bruces reaction, he said that Bruce was pretty thrilled and said it was quite an honor. Bruce was Guru Dans favorite person and closest friend at that time in his life.
Back in 1964 when Bruce Lee was in Los Angeles for about a month and half for demonstrations, he didnt have his partner Taky Kimura with him and asked if Guru Dan would be his fall guy for his Kung Fu demonstrations. Guru Dan explains he fell in love with Bruce Lees teachings and was amazed at how progressive he was.
A great conversation between Sensei Benny Urquidez and Guru Dan Inosanto
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Guro Inosanto - Filipino Martial Arts Demo at the Smithsonian
Tracing the Legacy - From Ip Man to Bruce Lee
The gathering of the martial art legends on the set of Underdogs Part 5 of 5
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Friends and Relationships
My Teachers Bruce Lee
My Student Ron Balicki
My Student Diana Inosanto
Last 2 photos added
Martial Arts Chronology
Guro Dan achieved his 3rd Degree Black Belt from Professor Jean-Jacques Machado.
Dan Inosanto's Birthday