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Celebrity Martial Artists
Part 1: Gung fu on the gridiron.
 More of this Feature
• Part 1: Gung Fu on the Gridiron
• Part 2: Torts and Taekwondo
• Part 3: This Skater Ain't No Sissy

When we think of celebrity martial artists, we usually think of the people we see in the movies: Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Jet Li, Steven Seagal, and Cynthia Rothrock, among others. All were exceptionally competent martial artists prior to embarking onto careers as movie stars. And then there's martial artists that are celebrities in their own right--just because of their martial prowess: Bill Wallace, Mike Stone, Benny "The Jet" Urquidez, Ed Parker, Mario Sperry, and Royce Gracie come to mind.

But what about folks who are in the public eye, but aren't really known for being martial artists? How about people like NFL football players, members of the U.S. Congress, or a guy named Elvis?

Martial Artists on the Football Field

Football requires explosive quickness and hard-hitting power. So does many martial arts. Thus it's no surprise that many professional football players turn to the martial arts to enhance their game. For example, many members of the San Francisco 49ers football team train with tae kwon do champion George Chung. Ronnie Lott, famous for his crushing tackles on opposing receivers, was one student who definitely exhibited hard-hitting explosive power. Current NFL players/martial artists include Cincinnati Bengal Carl Pickens, 49er Andre Carter, and Baltimore Raven Rod Woodson.

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