1949 - 2004
Bob Burbidge was born in East Hartford, Connecticut. When he was 19,
he signed up for martial arts training at the Sherman Oaks,
California studio owned by Chuck Norris and Bob Wall. Master Pat
Johnson was the chief instructor.
In his early years, he
learned from some of the most notorious martial arts fighters in the
world - legends such as middle-weight world champion Chuck Norris,
heavyweight world champion Joe Lewis, light heavyweight world champion
Mike Stone, lightweight world champion Benny "The Jet" Urquidez,
welterweight champion Howard Jackson, international grand champion John Natividad, and Ralph Alegria also international champion. He received
his Black Belt from Chuck Norris and was considered by Master Norris to
be in his top ten list of
best Black Belts he ever had.
He was rated as one of the top fighters in
the U.S. by Karate Illustrated, Professional Karate Magazine, and
Official Karate Magazine. Mr. Burbidge was a member of the first
Professional Karate Organization and a member of the USA All Star Team
headed by world champ, Mike Stone.
He has also won the
world famous Internationals three times, the National Western U.S.
Championship, the Colorado State Championship and the Four Season
Championship among others.
While working with Chuck Norris at his studio, he also trained many
celebrities such as Steve McQueen, Priscilla Presley, Neil Diamond,
and Olivia Newton John. He appeared in the T.V. series Room 222, the
movie short The New Gladiators, and in many radio interviews.
Since his retirement from competition Mr. Burbidge focused his attention to the training of young children across
the U.S, three of whom won International competitions. Considered a
consummate professional, Mr. Burbidge views all aspects of karate
important, and introduced videotape playback as a training aid.
Mr. Burbidge passed away on Thanksgiving
Day, November 24, 2004. He was honored posthumously that same year with
The Black Belt Hall of Fame Honorary Award.