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Born William Wayne Blanks, September 1, 1955, in Erie Pennsylvania. Known as Billy Blanks, was the fourth child out of 15 children.

His father Isaac, was a factory worker, and his mother Mabeline, a homemaker. Blanks was born with an anomaly in his hip joints that impaired his movement.

That resulted to taunting from his siblings and led his instructors to believe that he would never accomplish much. Blanks found the answer to those challenges by watching Bruce Lee on TV, and decided he wanted to be a world martial arts champion.

When Blanks and Gayle H. Godfrey met in karate class. They began going out on several dates before getting married in 1974.

Later in the  1980s Blanks developed the Tae Bo workout, while running a karate studio in Quincy, Massachusetts. He used components of his martial arts and boxing training.

Godfrey and Blanks later divorced in 2008. Then in 2009, Blanks married Tomoko Sato. As a father of five children, Blanks did not know how to be a father starting out at the age of 18.

It took a lot of lessons learned, while raising his family. The career for Blanks started his development in 1976, with combining dancing elements from his martial arts and boxing training to form a workout regimen.

Jane Fonda may have kicked off the at-home workout video craze in the 1980s, but later Blanks made it a movement with his iconic Tae Bo routine. Throughout the late 80s and up into 2017, he had been in movies, television and workout videos.

Billy Blanks legacy is still rolling on strong today. He is the first black fitness instructor to combine the art form of kickboxing and dance. He is an American fitness personality, martial artist, actor, and the creator of the Tae Bo exercise program.

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