Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Black History Collection of Combat Sportsmen

February is Black History Month. It first began as "Negro History Week," by Dr. Carter G. Woodson in 1926. It is a time set aside to remember and recognize the people, places, and events significant to people of African descent.

People of African descent have made immeasurable contributions to the world of martial arts and combative sports. It should be noted that Black History Month, often referred to as African American History Month, is not limited to those American born African descendents, encompassing all of those throughout the African Diaspora. The list below is comprised of just a few names of those who have made such contributions.

Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali
A heavyweight boxing champion. Muhammad Ali is one of the greatest boxers of all time. Ali has inspired generations of athletes with his athletic prowess and electrifying charisma.

Lloyd Irvin
Lloyd Irvin
A mixed martial arts legend. Lloyd Irvin is probably most well known for his popular instructional DVD's. Lloyd holds black belts in Judo, Combat Sombo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He is the first African American to receive his BJJ black belt in Brazil. Lloyd has also won several Sombo and Judo national championships.

Kenny Monday
Kenny Monday
Wrestling extraordinaire. Kenny Monday was the first African American to win an Olympic gold medal in freestyle wrestling.


Anderson Silva
Anderson Silva
Brazil's Finest. Anderson "Spider" Silva is the reigning UFC middleweight champion. A feared striker known for his tenacious Muy Thai style, Silva is currently undefeated in UFC competition, having won eleven bouts with the promotion. Silva holds black belts in Judo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Tae Kwon Do.


Jack Johnson
Jack Johnson
World-class boxer. Jack Johnson was the first black world heavyweight champion.

Maurice Smith
Maurice "Mo" Smith
A real "Ultimate Fighter." Maurice Smith was second to hold the UFC heavyweight title following his defeat of Mark Coleman at UFC 14. Mo was also winner of UFC tournaments 10 and 11. Smith is known for his effective use of the sprawl to counter wrestlers and grapplers who were dominating MMA at the time.

Simon Roberts
Simon Roberts
Wrestling's First. Simon Roberts was the first African American NCAA Wrestling All-American. Wrestling for the University of Iowa, Roberts won a championship title in the 147 lb. weight class in 1957.

Rhadi Ferguson
Rhadi Ferguson
Judo Master. Rhadi Ferguson is a Judo black belt. He has competed in many national and international tournaments, winning four National Judoka championships. Mr. Ferguson was as a member of the 2004 US Olympic Judo team. Rhadi also holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and has a Ph.D. in Education.

Shaka Zulu
Shaka Zulu
Zulu Warrior. Shaka lead the Zulu Kingdom during the early 19th century. He is known for his superior leadership abilities which brought about the unification of the separate Zulu tribes. Shaka introduced new, effective leadership and hand-to-hand combat and military strategies that are continually admired by combative experts and historians.

Sifu Dwight Woods (right)
Sifu Dwight Woods
Modern Day Bruce Lee. Sifu Dwight Woods is one of the primary forces behind the art form created by Bruce Lee, Jeet Kune Do. Woods holds belts and certifications in multiple disciplines. He has conducted seminars with some of the greatest in the martial arts world. Sifu Woods brings well over thirty years of experience to the game. Sifu Woods is head instructor of the Unified Martial Arts Academy in Miami, Florida.

Emmanuel Yarborough
Emmanuel Yarborough
Super-sized Sumo. Manny Yarbrough is an accomplished Sumo wrestler, having competed in several international and national Sumo competitions. Yarborough won the World Amateur Sumo Championships in 1985. He has competed in the Pride and UFC mixed martial arts promotions, and was a Division I and II All American while wrestling for Morgan State University in the 1980's.


Leon Tabbs
Leon Tabbs
Critical Cutman. Leon Tabbs prepares warriors for battle. The 79 year-old Philadelphia resident is one of the most popular cut and cornermen of boxing and MMA. He is a Korean War veteran who has patched up some of the biggest names in the UFC. Many fighters attribute their sucess in the Octagon to Tabbs' wealthy knowledge of wrapping and cornering.

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for the history described here.Am looking forward to catching the fights!!!
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  2. Where is Rick Minter's picture? Lloyd Irvin may have been the ''first African American to receive his BJJ black belt IN BRAZIL'' but RICK MINTER WAS THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN TO RECEIVE A BJJ BLACK BELT!

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