World Black Belt Living Legends

Richard Bustillo

Richard Bustillo

Richard S. Bustillo is the Founder and Chief Instructor of the IMB (International Martial arts & Boxing) Academy in Torrance, California. An original student of the legendary Bruce Lee and a founding member of the Bruce Lee Educational Foundation (Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do Nucleus) Board of Directors, he has been honored with induction into The Black Belt Hall of Fame (Instructor of the Year), the Filipino Martial Arts Hall of Fame (Life Time Achievement Award), the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame (Most Distinguish Martial Arts Legend), and the World Martial Arts Hall Fame (Pioneer Award). The former lecturer at California State University has the distinction of being certified as a law enforcement defensive tactics instructor with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and. the Los Angeles Police Department where he functions as a consultant for the LAPD's Civilian Martial Arts Advisory Panel.

Beginning with his training in judo (at age ten) and boxing (age twelve) in his native Hawaii, Mr. Bustillo's martial arts experience has spanned nearly half a century. After competing in junior boxing organizations during these early years, he practiced the Kajukenbo system from age fourteen until his graduation from St. Louis High School, at which time he moved to California to pursue a college education. While a college student at age nineteen, Bustillo competed in Golden Gloves and amateur boxing tournaments for Shaw¹s Boxing Gym in LA. At age twenty-four, he began studying Jeet Kune Do under Bruce Lee at the Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute in L.A.¹s Chinatown.

In 1967, along with training partner Dan Inosanto, Bustillo began to research and study the Filipino martial arts of kali/escrima/arnis. As a result, he and Inosanto have been credited worldwide for reviving and promoting the martial arts of the Philippines. In addition to being recognized as one of the world¹s leading authorities on Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do, Bustillo¹s martial arts resume includes a broad array of instructor credentials. In 1978, he began studying Muay Thai kickboxing and was awarded the title of Kru (instructor) in 1985, a certified USA Olympic Training Center coach and official for U.S. Amateur Boxing of Southern California, a Sensei (instructor) with the Catch-As-Catch-Can Wrestling Association of Japan, a Guro (instructor) in kali/escrima/arnis, and a 9th degree black belt (Grandmaster) under the fame Doce Pares Club of Cebu City, Philippines.

In 1986, after managing the personnel department of a major Los Angeles airline for three years (as the culmination of a twenty-year career), Bustillo elected for early retirement in order to dedicate himself full-time to the martial arts.

Other notable points in Mr. Bustillo¹s career include his tenure as a former columnist for Martial Arts Training Magazine and serving as President of the World Eskrima/Kali/Arnis Federation (WEKAF) from 1994-96. As an adjunct to his rigorous schedule of teaching at the IMB Academy, coaching and officiating boxing and kick-boxing, and conducting martial arts seminars across the country and abroad, Bustillo also serves his community in a number of auxiliary capacities. Mr. Bustillo is an investigator as a Reserve Sergeant with his assigned Major Crimes Detective Bureau of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. He is a member of the California Reserve Peace Officers Association, the National Association of Search and Rescue, the California Association of Force Instructors, the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers, and the Council of Grandmasters of Cebu City, Philippines.

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