Meet Billy

Billy Blanks

Billy Blanks is the creator of Tae Bo® Fitness, the revolutionary total body fitness system that has helped millions of people around the world get in shape and feel great! Aside from Tae Bo® Fitness, Billy has devoted a great deal of his life toward helping other people through the Billy Blanks Foundation and by traveling around the world to train groups, such as the U.S. Armed Forces in places such as Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, Sarajevo, Greece, Africa, Germany and Italy. In addition, Billy continues to earn acclaim through his extraordinary achievements as a world Karate Champion, actor, author, motivator, philanthropist and humanitarian.

Billy’s rise to success seems all the more astonishing when seen through the prism of his childhood. Born the fourth of 15 children to Isaac and Mabeline Blanks, he had few opportunities on the streets of Erie, Pennsylvania. His young life was further complicated by undiagnosed Dyslexia, while also suffering from a severe issue in his hip joints that he was born with. Billy’s hip issues impaired his movement so much, resulting in a clumsiness that his coaches believed he would not be able to overcome. Against all odds, Billy took his first Martial Arts class at age 11 and soon began to gain a mastery of the sport. Billy became the first Amateur Athletic Union Champion in 1975, a title he would go on to earn five times. Billy ascended to become an eighth-degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and also gained Black Belts in five other forms of Martial Arts, eventually becoming a Grand Master, but he didn’t stop there. He became a seven-time world Karate Champion, Captained the U.S. Karate Team, won 36 Gold Medals in international competitions and earned admission to the Karate Hall of Fame in 1982. Not only did he grow to achieve his goals as a Martial Artist, Billy Blanks went on to train in Boxing and became the 1984 Massachusetts Golden Gloves Champion and the Tri-State Golden Gloves Champion of Champions.

The Tae Bo® Fitness Creator moved his family to Boston as an adult and opened his first Karate studio there, moving to sunny Los Angeles, CA in 1989. Billy continued teaching Tae Bo® Fitness classes from his home garage until opening the Billy Blanks World Training Center in Sherman Oaks, CA.

Word of mouth spreads quick and when singer-dancer Paula Abdul came through the door, the benefits of Tae Bo® Fitness became dramatically apparent. Celebrities like Charlotte Ross of “NYPD Blue”, Melissa Reeves of “Days of our Lives”, actress Alicia Coppola, actor and country star Scott Reeves, Stephanie La Grossa of “Survivor”. Kendra Todd of “The Apprentice”, actor Lou Diamon Phillips, Trista and Ryan Sutter from “The Bachelorette”, and former Philadelphia Eagles star Randal Cunningham are a few amongst the crowd who have reaped the benefits of Tae Bo® Fitness and Billy’s Bootcamp™. Lou Diamond Phillips said he hasn’t seen faster results than through Tae Bo® Fitness or Billy’s Bootcamp™. Countless other celebrities are believers as well, including, Pamela Anderson, Justine Bateman, Catherine Bell, Valerie Bertinelli, Neve Campbell, Rae Dawn Chong, Rebecca De Mornay, Farrah Fawcett, Viveca Fox, Goldie Hawn, Queen Latifah, Emmanuel Lewis, Ryan O’Neal, Lisa Rinna, Lela Rochon, Jack Scalia, Connie Sellica, Brooke Shields, Sinbad and Shannon Tweed. Then there are Athletes such as Wayne Gretzky, Bruce Jenner, Magic Johnson and Shaquille O’Neal who flock to Tae Bo® Fitness as a means to help them stay in top physical shape. Concurrent with his rise as a fitness expert and personal trainer to the stars, Billy has also built an impressive resume as an actor. He has appeared in many movies, some of which include Jack and Jill, Kiss the Girls, The Last Boy Scout, and Lionheart. On television, Billy can be found in certain episodes of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch”, “The Parkers”, “Suddenly Susan”, “E.R.” and “Melrose Place”.

Regardless of the project he may be working on, Billy has always made helping others a top priority in his life. The most vibrant example is through the Billy Blanks Foundation. Established in 1999 by Billy and former wife Gayle Blanks, the Foundation was dedicated to equipping high-risk individuals with life skills that allow them to achieve their full potential. He frequently travels with Elite Tae Bo® Fitness Instructors, including his daughter Shellie who is the only Master Tae Bo® Fitness Instructor, thus helping to integrate cross-gender, generational and racial messages into their appearances at Certification Camps and Tae Bo® Fitness Classes worldwide.

For more information regarding Billy Blanks’ whereabouts or how you can bring him out to participate in an event that you are preparing, click the link below!

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