In Memoriam - World Black Belt

Sid Campbell

Sid Campbell

Grandmaster Sid Campbell, founding president of the World Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Karate-Do & Kobudo Association, was the first American to open a Shorin-Ryu Shorinkan dojo in the United States. This auspicious authorization was granted by grandmaster Shugoro Nakazato in the early part of 1966. Henceforth began a legacy that has earned Campbell an international reputation as being one of the true pioneers to introduce the "art" of karate to the western world. 

In the past 45 years Hanshi Sid Campbell, 10th degree black belt, has taught over 15,000 students and has been either directly or indirectly responsible for black belt rank awards being bestowed on over 850 martial artists who have earned these prestigious honors in the art of Shorin-Ryu (Kobayashi-ryu) karate-do. Hanshi Sid Campbell supervised over 48 schools in the United States and abroad.

Among some of his most notable achievements include being awarded the Presidential Sports Award (by President Jimmy Carter) for instructing the armed forces, listed in Bob Wall's Who's Who in the Martial Arts, contributed to and listed in Who's Who in Karate, inducted into the Professional Black Belt Hall of Fame, registered in the Who's Who in the Martial Arts Elite, featured in The Men of Merit (International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, England), seated on the Board of Advisors for Horizon Publications, dedicated inclusion in the Knights of Heaven Brotherhood of Martial Artist (volume 12), on the Board of Directors of the International Tao of The Fist Martial Arts Fraternity, profiled in Marquis Who's Who in the West, Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in Entertainment, Master Instructor (1993) World Martial Arts Hall of Fame, awarded the CRYSTAL AWARD (comparable to the OSCAR for Martial Arts) in the category of LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT, featured inclusion in Contemporary Authors (volume 116), National Advisor to the United States Defense Tactics Association, retired vice-president of the United States Shorin-Ryu Karate Association, Director of the Pathways to the Orient Sports Academy, past Secretary of the Northern California Referee's Association, featured in Who's Who of American Martial Arts and Martial Arts: Traditions, History and People, Consultant to John Corcoran's "The Martial Arts Source Book", and bestowed with the prestigious Golden Fist Award for Outstanding Okinawan Instructor. He has been a featured guest on Kelly Worden’s Warrior Talk Radio Show and appeared as a special guest of numerous television shows across the United States.

Cinematically, Soke Sid Campbell has been involved with the martial arts motion picture industry for over 20 years. He has written motion picture scripts which include "China Bomb", "Falcon Claw", "Wingless" and Bushwhackers". He has appeared as an actor in Ninja Busters, Weapons of Death, Death Machines and as most recently, The Master Demon starring Eric Lee and Martial Medicine, Chasing the Dragon and Combat Mortal starring Dr. Zee Lo. He has choreographed over 600 action fight scenes that have been seen in various martial arts films. In 1997 he was nominated for inclusion in the prestigious World Head of Family Sokeship Council.

He has also been featured in numerous video instructional tape series including Super Nunchaku (beginner's course), Super Nunchaku (semi-advanced course), Super Nunchaku (advanced course), The Tonfa Police Baton, Boots, Buckles & Blades; Practical Street Fighting Secrets for the Urban Traveler, Fist Load Weaponry; Awesome Tools of Self-Defense and produced Eclectic Escrima for Self-Defense. Rising Sun Production distributes many of his instruction and educational programs. Many of his literary works and video productions are presently being converted to CD-ROM. He also wrote, produced and is the host of "Just for Kicks", a cable formatted television program that features martial arts talent and guests. Shortly thereafter he was inducted into the MARTIAL ARTS GALLERY OF FAME. In 2000 (Year of the Dragon) he was a featured inclusion in The WORLD HEAD OF FAMILY SOKESHIP COUNCIL’S book “The WORLD’S MARTIAL ARTS ELITE.”

Grandmaster Sid Campbell was one of the original founders of the World Martial Arts Masters Association Hall of Fame along with Master (Sigung) Mark Gerry, Grandmaster Eric Lee and Master (Sigung) Jimmie Willis. It is an organization that honors the true Great and Great Grandmasters from around the World. This elite cadre if inductees include legendary martial arts Grandmasters Al Novak, Ralph Castro, Adriano Emperado, Bob Wall, Dan Tosh, Ming Lum. Emil Bautista, Steve Spry, Dr. T.R. Crimi, Max Pallen, Carlos Navarro, Gene LeBell, Bob Maschmeier, Rob Castro, Ron Lew, Clarence Lee, Ciriaco “Cacoy” Canete, Dr. Jay-El Hinojosa, Dr. Alex Feng among others.

He was also a Founding Member of, a prestigious organization that represents a broad spectrum of career martial artists from around the world. Its distinguished members feature such renowned martial artists as Chuck Norris, Bob Wall, Eric Lee, Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Al Dacascos, Gene LeBell, David Krapes, Joe Corley, Jim Harrison, Fumio Demura, Alan Goldberg, Solomon Kaihewalu, Kathy Long, Chuck Merriman, Cung Le, Cynthia Rothrock, Jeff Smith, Frank Trejo, Ted Tabura, Bill Ryusaki, Bill “Superfoot” Wallace , Karen Sheperd, Frank Sanchez, Bob White, Bart Vale, and Douglas Wong among others.

Recently, he was nominated and accepted on the Board of Directors of the International Moy-Ryu Karate-Do Federation - founded by renowned martial arts pioneers as Tomishuro/Tomigushku Sensei Robert Johnson Sensei and Hanshi Barry Moyer.

As an artist, Sid Campbell has painted over 100 works of fine art that are featured in several his latest books. His love for Hawai and its beauty is represented in his art that is featured in several of his latest works including The Cultural Weapons and Warrior Arts of Ancient Hawai, In Search of the Golden Dragon in the Lost Temple of the Sun and his soon to be published coffee table book titled The Warriors of Ancient Hawai before the Arrival Captain James Cook.

Master Mark Gerry, Grandmasters Dan Tosh and Bob Maschmeier said, "We've lost one of our best friends and true martial arts original." Bob wall said, "Sid Campbell was a wonderful man, an outstanding martial artist, who honored his birth state, Alabama and all of the martial arts world will miss him greatly.

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