"People always ask me the latest news; I tell em to check my website.

It's ALWAYS up-to-date... my web guy is terrified of me."

- Gene LeBell

News

February 3, 2012 - Don't Miss Rousey Fight!

The American Beauty, Rowdy Ronda Rousey, will face current Strikeforce bantamweight champion Miesha Tate March 3rd in Columbus, Ohio. The matchup will headline the event airing on Showtime and Tate will put her title on the line.

Showtime 7pmPT
Saturday 3/3/12
Ronda is known as the "Arm-Bar Assassin" ending her last fight in :39 arm-bar submission.

Here we are representing Stunts Unlimited!
geneandronda14

December 17-18, 2011 - Where's Gene?

If you're looking for Gene this weekend you'll find him judging fights in San Diego at the Strikeforce event, on Saturday the 17th. If you see him there, be sure to say hello. He always loves to make new friends... and choke them!

If you're really lucky, maybe you've been invited to the Stunts Unlimited Christmas Party, in Los Angeles, on Sunday the 18th. Gene will be attending the event with a few close friends, and hopefully he won't bust the place up! Stunts Unlimited is the most exclusive stunt association in Hollywood. It's comprised of a very short list of the most impressive stuntmen in the business. All of us here, at the Gene LeBell Dream Team, would like to wish them a Very Merry Christmas, and a Very Prosperous New Year!

December 2011 - Rousey & Gene at MMA Awards

ronda_gene_worldmma_awards_1World MMA Awards:
to be televisied December 11 on Fox Sports.

Gene spent some time at the World MMA Awards in Las Vegas with the lovely (and brutal) Rowdy Ronda Rousey. Since Ronda was a little girl, Gene has been a mentor, and friend of the family. If you're a big fight fan, then you might already know a few things about Ronda's family -  her own mother was a world champion judoka!

At the big award show Ronda was both a presenter, and up for the Female Fighter Of The Year. We won't tell you all the results, but the event will be televised on December 11, 2011 on the Fox Sports Network.

We hear that Gene had some funny moments on the red carpet.
We don't know if that will make it into the broadcast or not, but it will be a lot of fun to watch and see.

November 2011 - Gene in Rousey Corner

 

Ronda Rousey, Olympic medalist, has been tearing them up in the MMA Cage.

Here she beats Julia Budd in 39 seconds of the first round, and Gene makes a comical appearance with
his stopwatch at the end of the video.

Go Ronda!

January 2009 Schedule

Gene will be judging MMA events

1-04-09 in Long Beach.

1-25-09 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

1-29-09 in El Monte.

Keep an eye out for him. If you can provide us pictures we might be able to use them on this website and give you credit.

10/1/08 Gene gets Immortalized... and puts it on a keychain

Gene LeBell's cauliflower ears are now available in the store. While they're still not quite as handsome as Gene's real ears, you can show off your grappling pride with either a pin, necklace, or key chain. These are definite attention grabbers and a great way to start a story.

Keychain

Pin

Necklace

09/24/06 Gene makes front page of LA Daily News

Grappling guru Gene Lebell, trainer of Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris, isn't slowing after years of combat -- Brent Hopkins, Staff writer

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Toughest Man Alive: Gene LeBell

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Sherman Oaks. The phone rings and a mysterious voice rasps through the receiver. The Toughest Man Alive beckons.

"I'm calling on behalf of Gene LeBell," the voice growls. "Be at his house at 11 a.m."

The line goes dead.

This evokes a shadowy, covert meeting at the stronghold of an underworld mastermind, mad scientist or some sort of superhero. LeBell's Sherman Oaks townhouse does not. But although plain on the exterior, within the brown stucco building lurks a 74-year-old man who cracks necks for a living, jumps off waterfalls, crashes motorcycles and beats people up.

This man reputedly once fought a death match with his good friend Chuck Norris. He showed Bruce Lee how to choke a man unconscious. He pulled a gun on Jackie Chan and didn't suffer a thing.

Up the stairs, past the movie posters, down the hall, is his headquarters. Here sits Gene LeBell, judo champion, stuntman, animal lover, sensei, welder, artist, actor and grandfather. After years of training the flashiest guys in Hollywood, he recently relocated his dojo to the San Fernando Valley, making it a mecca for iron-jawed stuntmen and regular dudes off the street alike.

Not far from his home, in an old bakery on Burbank Boulevard, LeBell and his prot g Gokor "The Armenian Assassin" hold court on how to twist arms and pop knees. At the Hayastan Mixed Martial Arts Academy, they teach the meek to grow strong and the tough to get tougher.

Inside, it's kind of like those James Bond movies where the super-spy wanders through the training center and all the wannabe agents are beating on each other. All around the room, kids no taller than a man's waist are tackling each other as intimidating men with tattoos stretch their legs. Bodies fly through the air and slam into the mat.

LeBell wanders around in his signature pink uniform, a flamboyant touch that almost dares opponents to make rude remarks. His hands are as big as canned hams, his arms still thick and powerful. He has ears lumpy from years of brawling and flaming red hair that has thinned a bit. The Godfather of Grappling has not slowed down.

"Now I'm a little blind, so I've got to go on sound these days," he said, gesturing to show the proper way to crank a man's head around. "I like to hear vertebrae crack."

`Toughest man alive'

LeBell grew up as a proud jock, son of Aileen Eaton, the promoter at the Olympic Auditorium. He was, he recalls, a bit of a pain in the butt, so she sent him off to the Los Angeles Athletic Club. At the age of 7, he began training under Ed "Strangler" Lewis, learning martial arts at a time few had ever heard of them.

As he got older, he learned how to knock a man to the ground, grab hold and manipulate his body until the opponent gave up. He took up judo and studied how to fend off an attack with a knife or a club. LeBell fought as many men as he could and made sure word got out that he was no slouch in the ring.

"I traveled around with all the tough guys and worked out with them," he said. "A lot of them called me the toughest man alive. They were stupid knuckleheads. I wasn't the toughest. I was the best-looking."

In 1954, he won the national judo championship, besting Pan American champion Johnny Osako with the aid of an unintentional neck-lock.

Training the stars -- LeBell calls it luck today, but he followed up the next year with another heavyweight championship. Soon his talents would lead him into movie stunt work and a dojo of his own.

That's how he met Norris and Lee, who were relative unknowns when they stepped onto the mat with him. He worked with George Reeves on the old "Superman" show, playing Mr. Kryptonite and teaching the star how to fight before his untimely death. He traded moves with Elvis.

Along the way, he developed beyond just a master tactician into a figure cloaked in legend. When his white gi came back from the laundry dyed pink by an errant red sock, he adopted the color. He became known as a master of the chokehold, able to put a man to sleep with a lightning-fast arm around the neck.

He became so good at the choke, in fact, that he supposedly once had a run-in with a pudgy, ponytailed martial arts actor on the set of a film. LeBell refuses to discuss the incident, but as the story goes, their encounter twice left the far-younger actor unconscious on the floor, the latter time with soiled underwear.

"Guys used to come up to him and try to start a fight and he'd just shrink and say `No, don't hurt me, please don't hurt me,"' said Midge-o The Mean Mistress of Mayhem, LeBell's wife and verbal sparring partner. "He told me, `That way, I save on lawyer fees, doctor fees, and he feels like a real tough guy. Better for everyone that way."'

And though he worked with the legends of the martial arts world, LeBell didn't sequester himself in a pricey dojo for the stars. In the 1970s, well after he'd made a name for himself, he taught a judo class at Los Angeles City College.

Master and student -- He planned on doing it for a year, but ended up teaching for 17. And it was there that he met a young Armenian immigrant named Gokor Chivichyan.

"I didn't even speak English so my cousin translated for me," Gokor recalled. "I said, `I can do judo, jujitsu, sambo, a little wrestling.' He says, `Can you fight my guys here?' `Sure.' So he lines up 30 guys and I fought every one and beat them all."

Just 16 years old and generally known just by his first name, Gokor was already good at judo. LeBell made him better, adopting him as his personal student and teaching him moves not sanctioned in tournaments. The young student already had a nickname, "The Armenian Lion," but LeBell decided "The Armenian Assassin" was much more menacing.

And that's how the master employed his young student. If guys ran their mouths and LeBell didn't like it, he'd bring in Gokor to challenge and embarrass them in the ring. If they hurt students or showed disrespect, Gokor would humiliate them.

Just like "Judo Gene," Gokor would slide an arm around a thick neck and squeeze until the man passed out. The "Assassin," who's quite pleasant in conversation, once put a man's head through a wall when the opponent cheated in a fight and tried to blind him. That was at LeBell's birthday party.

Over their years together, Gokor, now 43, became a champion fighter in his own right and today runs the daily operations of the North Hollywood dojo. He oversees 500 students in mixed martial arts and has raised his sons Arthur and Gary to continue in his judo legacy.

Loving the rough life -- LeBell says he'd like to retire but hasn't really gotten around to it yet. The calls keep coming for stunt work, and the Ultimate Fighting Championship guys keep showing up at the dojo. He hawks his Web site, GeneLeBell.com, and still pulls the occasional gig as a stuntman or actor.

As much as he tries to settle down, he can't seem to give up the rough life he loves.

"I can't tell you the last time we went to a restaurant and someone didn't come up and say, `Oh, my goodness, you're the famous Gene LeBell!"' said Midge, who seems to be the only one who stands up to her husband. "And he starts signing, he's shaking hands, then he's going from table to table. Soon, he's got cold food! Because of who he is, he eats cold food!"

He eats cold food, he works long hours, he still uses his much-abused body to make a living. At an age when many contemporaries consider a fishing trip to be good exercise and two shuffleboard games to be a hard day's work, LeBell has lost none of his drive or his flair.

He plans to live at least to the age of 125, he said. And he doesn't take disagreement lightly.

"Last week, I killed three men," he said. "Two were on purpose. The other one, I cooked him dinner."

08/01/06 Gene LeBell & Gokor Academy moves to New location

Moving to bigger and better location. Gene LeBell and Gokor are moving the academy to a bigger and better location in the San Fernando Valley. New address is

11044-C Burbank Blvd.

North Hollywood, CA 91601-2430

Academy telephone number 818 - 985-4656

02/26/06 Promotion to 9th Degree

Gene LeBell has made a tremendous contribution to the martial arts community, and though he will stoutly deny it, he is admired and appreciated by nearly all of the greatest fighters alive today. In 2000, Chairman Gene LeBell was promoted to the rank of 9th Degree Black Belt in US JU-JITSU and US TAIHO JUTSU by the United States Ju-Jitsu Federation (USJJF), The National Governing Body for Ju-Jitsu in the United States of America.

On February 26, 2005, the USJJF's Central Technical Committee (CTC) through its National Program of USA TRADITIONAL KODOKAN JUDO (USA-TKJ), officially announced the Recognition of Life-Time of Achievements, Outstanding Leadership & Original Contributions to Traditional Judo by Gene LeBell and his Promotion to the Traditional Kodokan Judo Dan Grade of Kudan, 9th Degree Black Belt.

Congratulations for this Most Well-Deserved Recognition & Promotions.

Respectfully, Lt.Col. Bruce R. Bethers, (US ARMY Ret.), President, USJJF

06/20/05 New Contact Information

Dear Friends, Fans, and Family.

Gene LeBells' website is going through some changes.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us at 1-800-508-0825, Tuesdays to Saturdays, from 10 am to 6 pm Pacific Standard Time.

Thank you for your patience during this transition to better serve your needs.

Our address to better serve you:

Valley Martial Arts Supply
5638 Lankershim Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601

800-508-0825

Martial Arts History Museum

In what may be the last gathering of the cast and primary crew of the film "Enter the Dragon," hundreds kept flashing the cameras to capture this historic moment.

Giving of their time to support the Museum and being honored on stage were stars John Saxon, Ahna Capri, producers Paul Heller, Fred Weintraub, and via video, composer Lalo Schifrin.

David Ortiz, host of Latino Nation, MC'd the event expertly, whilst 400 guests and press kept the historical stars of martial arts cinema on stage as long as possible, in order to capture the key players in what some are calling the greatest martial arts film of all time.

In recognition of their history making film, each member of the team received a custom-made media statue.

The Museum Ceremony raised the bar as this "oscar style" event, MC'd by David Ortiz, honored such notables as Eric Lee, Al Dacascos, Blinky Rodriguez, Edmund Parker, Carrie Ogawa-Wong, Ted Lucaylucay, Joe Hyams, Tadashi Yamashita, Ralph Castro, Steve Sanders Muhammad, S. Henry Cho, Allen Steen, and more. (If I forgot someone please forgive me and let me know)

04/12/03 Gene LeBell Roast

Tough Talent is proud to present the 22nd Annual

Roasting of Gene LeBell!!!

Master of Ceremonies: Bob Wall
Confirmed Roasters:
Chuck Norris
Perry King
Rowdy Roddy Piper
Terry Leonard
Bill McKinney
Bobby Hoy
Branscombe Richmond
Bruce Buffer
Chris CasaMassa
Eddy Donno
Gary Davis
Hank Garrett
James Lew
Loren Janes
Vince Deadrick Sr.

There will also be some hilarious Surprise Roasters who plan to really make Gene squirm!

When: Saturday April 12th, 2003
6:00 PM - Doors Open to Roast ticket holders
10:30'ish PM - "After the Roast" Party begins & continues 'til the wee hours of the mornin'

Where: Anoush Restaurant
1320 Glenoaks Boulevard
Glendale, CA 91201

Why?: Because we love Gene! (The goal is to give Gene the best time he's ever had with his clothes on)

Cost: We have two options!

~~ Option 1: Roast Event and "After the Roast" Party ~~ $75.00 per person ($100.00 at the door per person if any tickets remain) includes all you can eat, all you can drink, "After the Roast" Party and your name printed in the Roast program

~~ Option 2: "After the Roast" Party ~~ $35.00 per person ($40.00 at the door per person) Just Want to Party? The "After the Roast" Party begins at 10:30'ish PM Come on in for Open Bar and Party till the wee hours of the morning! Purchase your Ticket by March 31 and your name will be printed in the Roast program

~~ Please make checks payable to: ~~ 'Tough Talent' with 'Gene LeBell Roast' on memo line. Tough Talent's address is: 1506 10th Street, Suite 215, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Dress: Your Favorite Party Duds!

Note: Must be over 21 to attend, this is an "adults only" event

Seating is limited so book your spot for the party of the year ASAP!

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Visa, M/C, Amex & Discover Welcome

 

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~ Proud Sponsors ~

S & S Stunt Equipment
Valley Martial Arts Supply
Ryukyu.com
Stuntplayers.com
International Martial Arts and Boxing Academy
Missy's Answering Service - Official Roast Answering Service
Thorsoft Corporation - Gene LeBell's Official Web Developer
Stuntmen's Association of Motion Pictures
CFW Enterprises
Stunts Unlimited
Stuntwomen's Association of Motion Pictures
International Stunt Association
United Stuntwomen's Association
Brand X Action Specialists
Up Time
Leavittation
Day in the Dirt
Retired Boxers Foundation
All Martial Arts Supplies
JulieMichaels.com

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~ Roast Program Tribute Ads ~
Show Gene what you think of him by putting a message in the Roast Program - Give Gene a personal tribute or tease the heck outta him (teasing preferred ... this IS a roast after all)! or place an ad for your product or service. This is your chance to "insult" Gene without getting choked out or harmed in any way! (he'll know your tease is all in good fun). This is also your chance to show him how much you care in a quality, collectible glossy program.
Program Pages sold as follows:
Sponsorship ----> Full Page (8 . 5" X 11"): $1,000.
Sponsorship comes with purchase of Full Page Tribute Ad Only Includes 4 Preferred Seat Tickets to Roast.

1/2 Page: $500. - Includes 2 Tickets to Roast.

1/4 Page: $250.00 - Includes 1 Ticket to Roast.

Business Card Ad (Standard Biz Card Size) - $100.

Any profit after cost will be donated to Gene's favorite charity.

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~ Travel and Lodging Arrangements ~

Group Four
Altour International
11661 San Vicente Boulevard Suite 900
Los Angeles, California 90049
Phone: 310-571-0336
Fax: 310-207-5724

Laura Branigan Lykins
Rae Ellen Valade
Karen Pappas Bosten

Independent Travel Consultants: Group Four is the official travel agent for this upcoming event. Group Four has set up a block of rooms at a hotel directly across the street from the event. If you're interested in booking a room for the evening please call the hotel directly and be sure to mention that you are part of the Gene LeBell group to receive the discounts listed below.

The rates are as follows:
$69.99 - 1 Queen bed - Maximum 2 people
$74.99 - 2 Queen beds - Maximum 4 people
$79.99 - 1 king and sofa bed - Maximum 4 people

Homestead Glendale Burbank
1377 Glenoaks Boulevard
Glendale, California 91201
818-956-6665
Group Four would be glad to handle your airline reservations as well but be advised that they do charge a service fee of $35.00 per ticket. If you're looking for service and competitive prices from all airlines with only one phone call then Group Four is well worth their fee.

03/05/03 Gene on the set of 'The Guardian'

March 5, 2003 - From left to right is Stunt Coordinator of this episode Gene LeBell, Boxer #1, Benny "The Jet," Boxer #2 and Steve Kim.

guardian

01/20/03 The Toughest Man Alive

Bob Calhoun and George Foon are helping Judo Gene put together his epic autobiography entitled "The Godfather of Grappling" which will be coming out later this year. We are only a little over a third of the way through with the book and it has already contains gripping accounts of the spectacular Milo Savage fight, Gene's harrowing battles in the 1954 & '55 Judo Nationals, and learning submission holds from wrestling legend Lou Thesz. The book also includes an extensive chapter on his mother Aileen Eaton who promoted boxing in Southern California out of the Olympic Auditorium during the 1940s through the 80s as well as the day that Gene laced up the boxing gloves and sparred "Sugar" Ray Robinson at the famous Main St. Gym in Los Angeles.

Before we are done with the book, its pages will include stories about Elvis Presley, Muhammad Ali, Bruce Lee, George "Superman" Reeves, Andre the Giant, The Rock, Chuck Norris, James Garner, Hulk Hogan and Clint Eastwood just to name a few. This book is told with Gene LeBell's unique candor and humor and is a must buy for anybody interested in the history of martial arts, professional wrestling, boxing, or movie stunts.

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