I am deeply pained to hear the death of legendary martial artist of 60s, Mr Jim Kelly, who starred with another legendary martial artist, Bruce Lee, in the eternal 1973 Hollywood block buster martial arts action film – “ENTER THE DRAGON.”
James Milton “Jim” “the Dragon” Kelly born on May 5, 1946 in Millersburg, Kentucky was an American athlete, actor and martial artist who rose to fame in the early 1970s. He was best known for his performance as Williams in the 1973 film “ENTER THE DRAGON” that shook the world by storm.
Kelly studied Shorin-ryu Karate and Okinawa Karate. Parker Shelton and Gordon Doversola were among others under whose guidances he studied Karate. During the early 1970’s, Jim Kelly became one of the most decorated world karate champions in the sport. In 1971, Kelly won four prestigious championships that same year, most notably, the World Middleweight Karate title at the 1971 Long Beach International Karate Championships.
“ENTER THE DRAGON” was his second film and first starring with Bruce Lee. He was so impressed and thrilled in working with Bruce Lee in the “ENTER THE DRAGON.” He said, “’Bruce was just incredible, absolutely fantastic. I learned so much from working with him. I probably enjoyed working with Bruce more than anyone else I’d ever worked with in movies because we were both martial artists. And he was a great, great martial artist. It was very good.”
Kelly died of cancer on June 29, 2013.
The death of this iconic and legendary martial artist has brought a void in the world of martial arts and that will be difficult to fill in years to come.
I, on behalf of the Muaythai Federation of India (MFI) and my own behalf, conveyed the profound condolence to the bereaved family members of this Legend.
Oken Jeet Sandham
Muayathai Federation of India (MFI)
Vice Chairman: IFMA International development Commission, World HQs, Bangkok, Thailand.