Black Belt (magazine)

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Black Belt
Cover art from the first issue of Black Belt magazine depicting two judoka performing a throw.
The cover of Black Belt magazine's first issue
CategoriesMartial Arts
FrequencyDigital Daily
PublisherGeorge Chung
FounderMitoshi Uyehara
Founded1961; 63 years ago (1961)
First issueApril 1961 (1961-April)
CompanyJungo TV
CountryUnited States
Based inLos Angeles, California

Black Belt is an American magazine covering martial arts and combat sports. The magazine is based in Valencia, California, and is one of the oldest titles dedicated to martial arts in the United States.[1][2]

History and profile[edit]

The magazine was founded in 1961[3] by Mitoshi Uyehara. It was published by Uyehara under the company "Black Belt, Inc." based in Los Angeles until 1973. Although the publication went mainstream in 1961, the first magazine was produced and sold for ten cents and was put together on the kitchen floor of Uyehara's home in 1958. By the first year of producing a full publication in 1961, Uyehara was in debt for $30,000. This story has been one that he has shared with his children and grandchild to believe in oneself and fight against the odds. Bruce Lee contributed many articles to the publication during the 1960s. Uyehara, a martial artist in his own right, was a key personage in arranging Lee's material for publication.[4] Uyehara is a 3rd Dan in Aikido but studied many other arts. He is the student of Tohei Sensei, an Aikido master.

Uyehara founded "Rainbow Publications" in 1974 (based in Los Angeles, later Burbank, CA and Santa Clarita, CA), where he acted as president, but he ceased acting as an editor from this time. Uyehara moved to Honolulu in 1980, from where he continued to act as a publisher until 1998. Uyehara was originally from Lahaina, Maui, and saw the value of returning home to be close to his family. During this transitional period, the magazine underwent a frequent change in editorship (Bob MacLaughlin 1974, Rick Shively 1976, Richard Zimmerman 1978, John R. Corbett 1980, John Steward 1980, John Hanson 1981, James Nail 1982–83) until Jim Coleman became executive editor in 1984, serving until 1997. Robert W. Young succeeded Coleman in 1997/8, shortly before the acquisition of the magazine by Sabot Publishing, and remains executive editor as of 2016.

Rainbow Publications was acquired by Sabot Publishing, a publisher of "special interest publications", in 1999. Sabot Publishing was in turn acquired by Active Interest Media in 2003,[5] from which time the magazine has been under the supervision of "Group Publisher" (responsible for strategic development) Cheryl Angelheart.[6] Active Interest Media no longer owns Black Belt.

Black Belt Publications was then acquired by Century Martial Arts. Black Belt Magazine started a YouTube account in 2008 and uploads martial arts and action movies, videos demonstrating martial art techniques and weapons from classical to modern styles and interviews with known martial artists, experts, and martial art news.[7]

Black Belt Magazine also added a podcast series to its existing multimedia offerings. The magazine launched its first podcast on December 23, 2021, featuring discussions, interviews, and perspectives on various martial arts disciplines and combat sports.[8]

In July 2023, JungoTV, LLC acquired Black Belt Magazine.[9] Jungo TV is a global media company based in Los Angeles co-founded by former world Karate Champion George Chung. George Chung will function as the publisher of Black Belt Magazine and its properties.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Black Belt". Active Interest Media. Archived from the original on June 19, 2017. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
  2. ^ Parviz Iskenderov (24 May 2017). "Emilien De Falco: Martial Artist acting out of the dreams". Fightmag. Archived from the original on 19 June 2021. notable magazine, equivalent to Black Belt in the US
  3. ^ Loren Franck (1985). 25 Years of Black Belt Magazine (Magazine). Vol. 23. Active Interest Media, Inc. Retrieved December 14, 2011.
  4. ^ Bruce Lee (1978). Bruce Lee's Fighting Method. Ohara Publications Inc. p. Introduction. ISBN 0-89750-062-8.
  5. ^ Sabot Publishing ( press release: "Richmond, VA, October 14, 2003—Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc., announced the acquisition of the assets of Richmond, Va.- based Sabot Publishing, Inc., publisher since 1999 of leading including Black Belt, Vegetarian Times, Better Nutrition, Southwest Art, Log Home Design Ideas, and the Garlinghouse Company, publisher and supplier of home plan magazines and home plans. Cruz Bay Publishing, a subsidiary of newly created Active Interest Media (AIM), is headed by Efrem 'Skip' Zimbalist III, former Chief Executive Officer of Times Mirror Magazines from 1995 to 2000." C.f. also: "Late in 2003, our parent company, Sabot Publishing Inc., was purchased by Active Interest Media Inc." editorial, April 2004 edition.
  6. ^ Active Interest Media: Black Belt (c. 2009). Retrieved on December 14, 2011. "Black Belt staff". Cruz Bay Publishing Inc. 2010. Archived from the original on January 29, 2018. Retrieved December 14, 2011.
  7. ^ "Black Belt Magazine - YouTube". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2019-04-20. Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  8. ^ "Podcast". Black Belt Magazine. Retrieved 2024-03-04.
  9. ^ "A New Era of Black Belt Magazine: Merging Past, Present, And Future". Black Belt Magazine. 2023-10-19. Retrieved 2024-03-12.

External links[edit]