Home #Hwoodtimes 42nd Annual USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame

42nd Annual USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame

From left to right: Awardees Sifu and comic Mark Hoadley, multi award-winning filmmaker Thomas J. Churchill, multi award-winning actress Vida Ghaffari, Master Lori Hallmark, multi award-winning actors Laurene Landon, Mel Novak and Dawna Lee Heising. Photo courtesy of Dan Kennedy

By Valerie Milano

Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 5/23/18 – On Saturday, May 19th, many celebrities and luminaries in the martial arts world were inducted into the prestigious USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame at their gala at the Doubletree Hilton in Los Angeles. Celebrities awarded at the gala were legendary actor and master Stephen Lang (Avatar), legendary action star Mel Novak (Bruce Lee’s Game of Death, Steve McQueen: American Icon opposite Mel Gibson), legendary action star Laurene Landon (Maniac Cop 1 and 2, Sky opposite Norman Reedus), multi award-winning actress, model and martial artist Dawna Lee Heising (Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance opposite Tommy Wiseau, Nemesis 5: The New Model), multi award-winning filmmaker Thomas J. Churchill (Check Point, Nation’s Fire) and multi award- winning actress and martial artist Vida Ghaffari (The Mindy Project, Jimmy Kimmel Live), former five time world kickboxing champion and former four time sport karate champion and filmmaker Robert Parham, five time world karate kick champion and action star Kathy Long, filmmaker and martial Art Camacho, grandmaster Eric Lee, master and action hero Dan Southworth (The Scorpion King), actress Joycelyne Lew (The Big Brawl), master Brian Kula Fung, martial artist and performer Alan Koa, martial artist and dancer Michelle Manu, Dr. Robert Goldman who will receive the Living Legend Award, special guest of honor and creator of the TV series Kung Fu, Ed Spielman and martial artist and stand-up comic Mark Hoadley. Sifu Hoadley is a 3 time Hall of Fame inductee and last year’s Alliance inductee. Mark frequently performs at The World Famous Comedy Store, The Ice House and the Clown House.

Awardee and multi award-winning actress Vida Ghaffari in a Mathilde Badji Couture gown on the red carpet. Photo courtesy of Dan Kennedy

This renowned Hall of Fame was founded by Grandmaster Jim Thomas, Ph.D./D.Sc./Ma.Dsc. Dr. Thomas is a 10th degree grand master and is recognized as one of 20 worldwide. He has been active in the martial arts for over half a century. In addition to serving as the head coach for Team USA, he was inducted into 6 various martial arts ‘Hall of Fame’ institutions and listed in ‘Who’s – Who’ in the world of Martial Arts. Grandmaster Thomas has won over 200 awards and trophies and served in the U.S. Air Force for 7 years during the Vietnam Evacuation Era. He was a former athlete for the USA World Class Competition Team and has appeared in over 8 Martial Arts Motions pictures.

The U.S.A. Martial Arts ‘Hall of Fame’ “Hall of Heroes” was originally created in 1976 by Grand Master Robert Trias, the first man to open a martial arts school in the U.S. In its beginning it was very small in nature and was done spontaneously at various Martial Arts functions. Grandmaster Thomas and Mike Day were called upon to orchestrate this function into what it is today. Even with the passing of Grandmaster Trias and Day, Thomas has kept this event alive himself and includes new exciting things each and every year! This event actually spans three days from May 19th to May 21st with seminars and classes and the gala being on the 19th.

Awardee and multi award-winning actress Laurene Landon. Photo courtesy of David Edwards/DailyCeleb

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