The recent passing of Jim Kelly had me more bitter than sad. He should have been a superstar of martial arts films. Tennis should have only been a hobby.

At my local grind house theater I got to see “Tattoo Connection”. That was the movie that made me a fan. Jim Kelly was seen as the local hero so everyone would cheer for him when he was fighting. I joined them in cheering for him.

Since the movie was from ’78 I had some uncomfortable moments watching it today. The racial moments were not the only bad parts. The non-love making scene with race car stills was rough to watch.

When you are scouting him, the first thing on the check list is his crescent kick. The kick looks so effortless. The force of the blow has the opponent spinning in circles. I forgot how well he can put his combinations together. Four punches to the chest and body. Back fist to the face. The opponent recoils back which creates distance between him and Jim. The added distance puts him in range of a side kick. The use of knees stood out to me due to seeing the same technique in MMA.

When he walks onto a scene, the camera had no problem finding him. He lights up the place. He is always at his fighting weight. The footwork he uses during combat is also used in entertaining a lady. I would try the same thing but she might see the footwork and think I am ready to fight her. I end up getting beat up. The glued on side burns wouldn’t help anyway.

Billy Jack classic face kick whopping scene

What I wouldn’t give to have a crescent kick like that…