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Sigung Richard Bustillo Has Passed Away

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posted on Apr, 3 2017 @ 09:38 AM
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I'm uncertain as to how many of you follow Jeet Kun Do (Bruce Lee's martial art) or martial arts in general, but Sigung Richard Bustillo, one of Bruce Lee's friends and original students of his JKD, passed away on March 30 due to stage-4 liver cancer.


Sigung Richard was a big proponent of Filipino martial arts, and between him and Danny Inosanto (also a friend and student of Bruce Lee), helped introduce the Filipino arts to the U.S., and eventually, the world. He was a wonderful human being and beloved by nearly every person that met him and trained with/under him (I only say "nearly" because I can't speak for everyone, just what I see and hear). Here is a bit of information about him from his page on the IMB Academy's web site:


IMB’s founder and chief instructor, Richard S. Bustillo, is best known as an original student under the late Bruce Lee and as a high-ranking sigung in Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do. He completed the Coaches College at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Spring, CO and United State Amateur Boxing Clinic at the OTC as a coach, official, and referee. He has the distinction of being certified as a law enforcement defensive tactics instructor by the FBI, LASD, and LAPD. Mr. Bustillo is a recipient of various martial arts Hall of Fame awards: Black Belt Instructor of the Year, Martial Arts History Museum Pioneer, and the Filipino Martial Arts Life Time Achievement Award, just to name a few. The award-winning instructor is a Kru in Muay Thai, a Grandmaster in Doce Pares Eskrima, and a Sensei in traditional and non-traditional jiujitsu and wrestling.

With 45 years of teaching experience and features on over 30 front cover martial arts publications, Mr. Bustillo is one of the world’s most sought after martial artists for seminars, law enforcement defensive tactics training, self-defense programs, and competition training.


My martial arts school feels the loss quite heavily--my instructor and his family we very close, to the point that his daughter called him 'Grandpa Richard' from the time she was a little girl, and my instructor saw him as the second father figure in his life. We train directly under Sigung Richard and what/the way he taught martial arts, everything from JKD to the Doce Pares Eskrima system to Jujitsu.

I could go on and on, but I'll just post a few links for anyone interested in learning more about this great man:

Wiki (a very lacking entry)

IMB Academy homepage, with info about his passing and legacy and celebration of life on April 10 (open to the public)

World Black Belt Magazine

I will leave it there, as a Google search will find you these and many, many others.

Rest in Peace, Sigung Richard, and thank you for everything.





posted on Apr, 3 2017 @ 01:06 PM
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a reply to: SlapMonkey

RIP..from the videos I've seen he had an encyclopedic knowledge of martial arts, an open mind and a cool way of teaching.



posted on Apr, 3 2017 @ 01:54 PM
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a reply to: MagnaCarta2015
Yes, he did. I'm just glad that, in my area, I happened upon and am able to train under one of his friends and students of many, many years.

His lack of political correctness coupled with a lot of smartass humor during the one training seminar of his that I went to was refreshing, and I learned so much in those 10 hours...well, was introduced to so much in those 10 hours. He taught and moved extremely quickly. I was really looking forward to another seminar this year--it sucks.

The seminar was a Sat/Sun thing, five hours each. The night before, he put on a free two-hour self-defense class for women only. My wife was fortunate enough to attend that and have trained under him for a short while as well.

Cool fact--the "Iron Dragon" motorcycle that you see him on about three times in that video in the OP is sitting in the entry to my martial arts academy.

It's sad to realize that that, in that picture of Sigung Richard and me, he was suffering from cancer--that was only last year.



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