Richard Norton is a martial arts icon, bodyguard to the rich and famous, and international movie star. His experience and expertise on the movie screen in reality is dwarfed by his prowess and knowledge as a martial artist, exercise science practitioner, communication master and sports psychology expert. His training experience in the martial arts goes back over 55 years now.
Richard first gained notoriety as a martial artist in the seventies when he worked along side his lifelong friend Soke Bob Jones in the development of the world famous Zen Do Kai system of karate. It was during this period that earned Richard an introduction to world famous martial artist and movie actor Mr. Chuck Norris; an introduction that would change his life for the years to come. During his time with the Zen Do Kai organisation, Richard worked as a personal bodyguard for top celebrities such as David Bowie, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, the Rolling Stones, Stevie Nicks and the late John Belushi.
Most young men would be happy to leave it at that, however not one to rest on his laurels, Richard continued to train in a variety of other arts over the years and in true Richard Norton form has gone on to achieve the following list of impressive martial arts credentials; 9th Dan Zen Do Kai, 5th Dan Shihan International Goju Karate under Hanshi Tino Ceberano, 8th Degree Black Belt and Master’s rank personally awarded to him by Chuck Norris in Chun Kuk Do, and a 5th Degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under the Machado brothers.
Richard has trained in numerous countries with some of the worlds greatest Martial Artists from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Brazil, Karate in Japan and numerous Martial Arts systems in the USA with training partners such as Chuck Norris, Benny “the Jet” Urquidez, Bill Wallace, Fumio Demura, Tadashi Yamashita and Pete ‘Sugar Foot’ Cunningham and the legendary Machado Brothers.
Richard’s friendship with Chuck Norris continued over the years and Chuck, impressed by Richard’s physical presence, offered Richard an opportunity to enter the movie industry Cast as a villain in Norris’ The Octagon (1980), Richard’s reputation grew quickly and he found other work as the popularity of the martial arts film industry began to grow in the USA.
During the mid 1980’s, there was a trend of including fighters of all different styles and looks into Hong Kong action movies in order to increase the international audience. Richard Norton’s tough persona and background in stunt work (which he had learned on the sets of his US movies) made him a perfect fit into this mold. Richard made his Hong Kong debut with the all-star Jackie Chan/Sammo Hung collaboration Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Stars (1985) and appeared in other Hong Kong movies, including Magic Crystal (1986) and Millionaire’s Express (1986). He went on to star in 3 Hong Kong movies with Jackie and Sammo.
Eventually Richard returned to the United States, where the rise in popularity of home video had created a need for product to fill the shelves of video stores, and martial arts movies were quickly becoming a favorite of renters.
In 1992, he returned to Hong Kong to take a dream job — playing the villain in Jackie Chan’s City Hunter. The proceeds from the movie allowed Richard Norton to step into the realm of producer with Honor and Glory.
Stepping away from films for a while, Richard turned his attention to television; in 1993, and began working as a fight coordinator for his friend Chuck Norris on his show ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’, where he also appeared 15 different in guest-starring roles. He also appeared in one of the first interactive movies, Shadow Warrior, which filmed its footage at the famous Shaw Bros. studio’s “Shaw Town” back lot.
His most visible role for Hong Kong film fans has been as the villain in another Jackie Chan movie (1997), Mr. Nice Guy.
After 45 years in the movie Industry, Richard Norton continues to be a solid worker in the industry. Lately he has turned his talents to working behind the camera as a Fight Coordinator on such films as ‘Mad Max, Fury Road’, ‘Suicide Squad’, ‘Ghost In The Shell’ and the latest X Men movie, recently shot in Montreal.
To date Richard has over 70 Motion Pictures to his credit.
With a vast knowledge of BJJ, Reality Based Self defence tactics and his own highly popular Black Belt Complexes, Richard is in constant demand for seminars in Australia and internationally, and is highly regarded as one of the world’s most dynamic martial artists and seminar presenters.