Billy Blanks – Back In the 80s
At 11 years old, Billy Blanks started studying martial arts, including Karate and Taekwondo. Legend has it that when he became a big fan of Bruce Lee, he became inspired and decided he wanted to become a martial arts expert. His career ambitions didn’t exactly pan out yet, but something amazing did happen. He got a job as a bodyguard, and for one client, American actress Catherine Bach, he flew to Manila for the gig.
At the time, in 1988, the Philipines were in a state of social and political upheaval, which is the reason why the production crew of Driving Force insisted on security for the cast. The crew was so impressed with Blanks that they wrote him a part in the film. After gaining some show biz traction in more movies, he developed the Tae Bo workout and became a fitness legend.
Billy Blanks – Today
In 2009, Billy Blanks separated from his wife of 33 years after she filed for divorce, citing “irreconcilable differences.” A couple of years prior, Blanks met Tomoko Sato, as she worked as his Japanese interpreter. A few years later, the pair linked up again, fell in love, got married, and Blanks relocated to Japan for a few years.
In terms of his professional life, since his big break in the 80s, Blanks has been killin’ it non-stop. Throughout the last few decades, he has produced a steady stream of workout videos and martial arts techniques. He has also traveled to some volatile places, such as Iraq and Afghanistan, to teach his martial arts and fitness techniques to American military personnel.