Anybody living in the ’80s had to hear of the fitness phenomenon called Tae-Bo.
The part boxing, part martial arts and part fitness routine that had everybody and their mama jumping, kicking and sweating with its creator, Billy Blanks.
Blanks, who at 64 still wakes at 4:30 a.m. to train and teach his new Tae Bo-inspired multilevel fitness program, Billy’s BoomBoxing. “We’re talking to people about nutrition and exercise—and how to find a good workout because the workout has to fit your personality.
Everybody wants to be healthier and stronger, and feel good about themselves.”
Blanks began his study of the martial arts at the age of eleven, attending karate and tae kwon do classes.
He was born with an anomaly in his hip joints that impaired his movement.
The resulting clumsiness caused taunts from Blanks’ siblings and led his instructors to believe that he would never accomplish much.
Blanks found the answer to these challenges in karate. When he saw Bruce Lee on TV, he decided he wanted to be a world martial-arts champion.
Starting out as a bodyguard for lead actress Catherine Bach during the filming of 1988’s Driving Force, Blanks was in Manila while the actress was filming.
Blanks impressed the producers so much that he was written into the script in a supporting role. This led to Blanks’ work in several martial arts films, including King of the Kickboxers and Bloodfist.
Blanks also appeared in the opening scene of Tony Scott’s The Last Boy Scout, where he plays a doomed pro-football player. Blanks played Ashley Judd’s kickboxing instructor in Kiss the Girls (1997).
Blanks developed the Tae Bo workout while