*His Tae Bo fitness system has helped millions of people around the world get in shape and feel great.

According to the BCNN.com, in 1975 he became the first Amateur Athletic Union champion, a title he won five times. The AAU is a multi-sport organization that is dedicated to the promotion and development of amateur sports and physical fitness programs.

By age 16, he had earned a black belt in karate and went on to earn a spot on the U.S. Karate team which won 36 gold medals in international competition. He became the captain of that karate team in 1980. A seventh-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, the dominant Korean version of karate, he holds black belts in five other forms of martial arts. He also became the 1984 Massachusetts Golden Gloves Champion and the Tri-State Golden Gloves Champion of Champions.

In 1988 and 1989, while pursuing a career in acting he felt that something was missing in his life. As he continued to become more successful, he said “I was always searching” for something else.

One day a friend suddenly invited him to church. They went together and he was so impacted by the Lord that he “received Jesus the same day.” When his wife, Gayle, saw the change in him over a period of months, she gave her life to Christ, too and their children soon followed. When people ask him his secret to success, he says that it was when he dedicated his life to the Lord that his career took off. His name is Billy Blanks.

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