TIM TACKETT

IN­STRUC­TOR OF THE YEAR

Black Belt - - SCREEN SHOTS -

C on­fes­sion time! We’re not sure how Tim Tackett could have been over­looked for so long by the Black Belt Hall of Fame se­lec­tion panel. He’s one of the most prom­i­nent in­struc­tors in the jeet kune do com­mu­nity and has a mar­tial arts re­sume that stretches way back.

Tackett got his �irst taste of the Asian arts back in 1962 when Un­cle Sam sent him to Tai­wan as part of the . . Air Force. is ini­tial foray into self­de­fense in­cluded tai chi, hs­ing-i and sev­eral forms of kung fu. When he sep­a­rated from the mil­i­tary, Tackett opened a kung fu school in Cal­i­for­nia, at the time an up­hill bat­tle for a non-Chi­nese.

Like so many oth­ers who would go on to be­come mar­tial arts movers and shak­ers, Tackett was in­spired by a 1967 sight­ing of Bruce Lee at the Long Beach In­ter­na­tional Karate Cham­pi­onships.

e was suf�iciently im­pressed with the “it­tle Dragon” that he re­fo­cused his at­ten­tion on JKD.

In some re­spects, fate was not on Tim Tackett’s side be­cause he didn’t �ind his way to ee’s Chi­na­town JKD school un­til af­ter it had shut down. That meant be­ing a �irst-gen­er­a­tion JKD stu­dent was not in the cards for him. Nev­er­the­less, Tackett was on a mis­sion to learn Lee’s art, so he hooked up with Dan Inosanto for back­yard train­ing. He started in 1971 and con­tin­ued for four years.

Inosanto gave Tackett per­mis­sion to teach jeet kune do pri­vately, which prompted him to or­ga­nize the Wed­nes­day Night Group, a cadre that con­gre­gated once a week in Tackett’s garage in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia. It still meets in the same set­ting.

Over the en­su­ing decades, Tackett fur­thered his and his stu­dents’ un­der­stand­ing of Bruce Lee’s art by col­lab­o­rat­ing ex­ten­sively with two �irst­gen stu­dents: Bob Bre­mer and Jim Sewell. Be­fore their deaths, both men would teach the WNG when­ever their sched­ules per­mit­ted. Tackett also teamed up with Bre­mer to cre­ate two books — Chi­na­town Jeet Kune Do: Es­sen­tial El­e­ments of Bruce Lee’s Mar­tial Art and Chi­na­town Jeet Kune Do, Vol­ume 2: Train­ing Meth­ods of Bruce Lee’s Mar­tial Art, as well as a DVD set that bears the same Chi­na­town JKD name.

“Dan Inosanto told me back in the 1980s that Tim Tackett is among the most elo­quent speak­ers in the cur­rent JKD clan,” said Black Belt Hall of Famer Dr. Jerry Beasley. “I have found that to be true. Sifu Tim has en­joyed an un­ques­tion­ably suc­cess­ful ca­reer both as a public-school teacher and as a premier writer and lec­turer in the prac­tice of JKD. In re­cent years, his sem­i­nars have had a pro­found im­pact on the state of the Jun Fan arts world­wide.”

JKD au­thor­ity amar M. Davis II con­curs. “Tim Tackett is eas­ily one of the most knowl­edge­able prac­ti­tion­ers of jeet kune do in the world,” he said. “Of the sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion in­struc­tors, Tim has done more than his part to help keep Bruce Lee’s [art] alive.”

Re­cently, Tackett down­shifted from his pre­vi­ously hec­tic sched­ule as a pre­lude to re­tire­ment. “In ovem­ber, I did my last uro­pean sem­i­nar in

icily,” he said. “In July, I will be teach­ing my last U.S. sem­i­nar in Kansas. I had my re­tire­ment din­ner with my stu­dents two weeks ago. Jeremy Lynch and Den­nis Blue will take over the op­er­a­tion of the Wed­nes­day Night Group. I’m 76, and it’s time to just kick back. I’m start­ing to write my �inal book, and think I have a pub­lisher in­ter­ested in it.”

For his on­go­ing ef­forts to spread Bruce Lee’s art, not to men­tion all he’s done for the mar­tial arts com­mu­nity dur­ing the past �ive decades, Black Belt is pleased to name Tim Tackett its 2017 In­struc­tor of the Year.

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