A crowd filled the auditorium of OpenDoor Church in Burleson on Wednesday to commemorate Grand Grasp James Pat Burleson, who handed away Sunday at the age of 85.
Burleson was an unstoppable power in open up match fighting, according to Black Belt Magazine, and was a pioneer in the popularization of martial arts in The united states.
“It was said he was substantially additional than martial arts, but I see these days martial arts,” Jamie Cashion explained as he opened the assistance.
The viewers was loaded with learners who had educated below Burleson, lots of of whom have grow to be masters themselves.
“I want to thank all people for coming here and displaying so much really like for Pat and it is quick to do for him,” Burleson’s spouse, Annie, said. “That’s why it was quick to treatment for him all these decades. It was these a satisfaction and a pleasure. I’m standing up listed here with the toughness of Jesus because there is no other way I could be carrying out this.
“I want you guys to know that even in the course of this complicated time I managed to locate joy and peace with the full approach, which is incredible. And that only advised me that Jesus was right in this article in just all of us. Which is actually an great factor.”
Pat Burleson gained the very first U.S. Karate Championship in 1964, and he also grew to become the Texas Point out Champion in battling. He was aptly nicknamed the “father of all karate championships.”
He was the next maximum ranked belt in Tae Kwon Do at the rear of Terrific Grand Master Jhoon Rhee, who brought and popularized Tae Kwon Do to the United States. Burleson first skilled Tang Soo Do in Japan in the 1950s.
“The term ‘icon’ is around-applied in today’s lexicon but is ideal and appropriate when used to Learn Burleson,” mentioned Grand Grasp John Worley, co-founder of The Countrywide Karate Academy of Martial Arts. “He was a correct American martial arts pioneer and icon.
“He, along with his lifetime-time friend and fellow pioneer, Allen Steen, established martial arts requirements in Texas that are however getting noticed currently. My extended-time lover in the Nationwide Karate school corporation, Larry Carnahan and I, along with Pat Worley and Gordon Franks have been honored to have been promoted in rank by Learn Burleson.”
OpenDoor Church Pastor Troy Brewer spoke of Burleson’s faith that acquired him as a result of the past few of yrs.
“I bear in mind heading, ‘Wow, I can not think I’m meeting this male,’” he reported. “I type of enthusiast boy from time to time and just getting in the room with him was pretty impressive to me. Just like someone who gave a testimony before, I understood a lot of his exploits. I understood a ton of issues he’d carried out. I know what a great big difference he’s produced and how he’s literally impacted the planet Earth.
“And then he was a sweet male. When he was all over me, all he wanted to discuss about was King Jesus. I have experienced terrific privilege of praying with Mr. Burleson in excess of and above yet again.”
Burleson’s achievements in martial arts led him to the movie business in which he had appeared as a stunt actor in a lot of episodes of “Walker Texas Ranger” alongside Chuck Norris.
Norris shared his condolences by way of a video during the provider.
“Dear Annie and family, Gina and I ship our enjoy and prayers to you all in the course of this complicated time with the passing of Pat,” he mentioned. “I have so numerous fond reminiscences of Pat that we produced above the many years. Not only was he 1 of the world’s finest martial artists, but just one of the best gentlemen I’ve at any time known. He experienced a coronary heart as massive as Texas and cared for everybody he knew. Pat will be skipped and in no way overlooked. And Annie, Gina and I really like you and your family. Consider treatment and God bless you.”
Burleson went on to open a person of the to start with Karate schools in America — J. Pat Burleson Martial Arts in Saginaw.
Cleburne resident Man James is an ninth-degree black belt and properly trained less than Burleson, who promoted him final in 2019.
“It’s an honor to be part of Mr. Burleson’s honor guard today,” James mentioned Wednesday morning. “He is a legend and a legacy leader and a friend to folks all in excess of the world. There’s no telling how a lot of martial artists he’s affected or the variety of black belts beneath his lineage.”
Burleson resident Kenny Rebstock also skilled less than Burleson.
In 2002, Burleson was inducted into the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame.
“The United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame mourns the passing of GM Pat Burleson,” reads a post on the USMA Hall of Fame Fb site. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones and the amazing variety of faculty homeowners, instructors and learners he affected more than a long and distinguished job as a martial arts influencer. We honor his lineage and his legacy, and we remember him with wonderful regard and difference.”
Grand Master George Minshew completed the ceremony with the presentation of an eternal black belt memorial flag to Burleson’s wife, Annie.
“I confirmed this prototype to Pat two a long time in the past,” Minshew claimed. “And alongside came this pandemic that frightened every person and we could not do this. This banner is manufactured out of 100 % authentic martial art uniform content. Of course the black belt goes all the way close to and the iconic American flag. Pat Burleson is the 1st recipient of it. I wished him to be the last but it did not function out.”
Burleson was born April 27, 1936. He is survived by his wife, Anna Jerez Burleson his small children, Terry Burleson, Shelia Burleson, Tasha Estrada, Robert Opportunity Burleson, Matthew Luis Killen, Luke Richard Killen and Chad Lawrence Killen 12 grandchildren and three wonderful-grandchildren.