Saturday, March 5, 2022 | Arnold Sports Festival, Columbus, Ohio

Grand Master Ron Van Clief – 5X World Karate Champion

GM Ron “The Black Dragon” Van Clief is a martial arts legend who started martial arts training in his early teens. Ron Van Clief served in the U.S. Marines from 1960 to 1965 with a tour in the Vietnam War in the year 1965. Following his military service, he became a New York City Transit Police Officer.

Ron went on to become 5X Karate and Kungfu World Champion and a 15X All-American Champion. He has competed in both full-contact and non-contact karate tournaments in New York and several national tournaments.

His martial arts training began in the mid-1950s, where he later trained alongside Bruce Lee in Hong Kong and was nicknamed, “The Black Dragon”. Van Clief was a student of Goju-Ryu Masters Peter Urban, Frank Ruiz, and Moses Powell, as well as WingTsun founder Leung Ting Modern Arnis (Remy Presas) Brazilian jiu-jitsu (Joe Moreira).

On December 16, 1994, he competed in the 4th Ultimate Fighting Championship at age 51 against Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion Royce Gracie.

Van Clief is an author and creator of several instructional books and video recordings, as well as a film choreographer and actor appearing in several films. Ron continues to conduct seminars and attend training with his son in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and is still actively competing in champions as he approaches 80 yrs.