Michael Jai White is one of the most legendary action stars that has graced the big and small screens over the last 3 decades. As a 25-year-old, White portrayed Mike Tyson in a breakout TV movie role that would see him put well and truly on the radar for greatness. Sure enough, the ears of Hollywood Directors pricked up and White was offered the prestigious and historic role of Spawn, being the first African American to star in the title role of a comic book superhero movie.
From there, White gained huge critical acclaim both on screen as an actor, as well as behind the scenes in directing, producing and writing roles. The man is an absolute talent and has helped shaped the industry that so many know and love. But there is another element to Michael Jai White that has escaped many. His physical prowess isn’t just for show!
You see on the side, White is a hugely accomplished martial artist. Brought into the world of karate by his best friend, initially, White was not allowed to go by his mother. He said when interviewed:
“I wasn’t allowed to go because my mom thought it was too dangerous. So when they came back from class I’d have them teach me everything they learned.”
White was also part of a bad crowd in his teenage years and was even shot twice, which he has brushed off. We know he is a tough guy! His talent as a martial artist saw him master not only karate, but a multitude of other disciplines including Shōtōkan, Goju-Ryu, Taekwondo, Kobudō, Tang Soo Do, Wushu, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Kyokushin. His BJJ belt is his most recent, having been awarded the honour in 2018. Check out the footage below of a young Michael Jai White getting started on his long road to success.