MONDAY, June 11th, 2007, AT 9:50 PM, PT

IKF Honors Another Great One!
Curtis "The Explosive Thin Man" Bush


Curtis "The Explosive Thin Man" Bush was born May 26, 1962 and is a former 4 time World Champion Kickboxer in 4 weight divisions. His fighting career lasted from 1979-1999 and during that time he fought 22 times outside of the United States. As a professional fighter, he had 54 Wins with 40 KO's including 15 first round knockouts. He was hand-picked by Muhammad Ali in 1984 to box on Ali's Champion Sports Pro Boxing Team in the Cayman Islands after watching him in a kickboxing match on ESPN knocking out his opponent with a head kick. Bush signed a six fight contract with Ali's lawyer, Richard Hirschfeld to box in the Caribbean with a final bout in London, England for a minor title. Bush won his boxing fight by 4th round knockout.

Curtis became the IBF - International Boxing Federation, #1 Intercontinental Jr. Middleweight contender after winning the USBA Jr. Middleweight title with a 10th KO over Lynn Jackson in 1994. Bush appeared on ESPN, ESPN 2 more than 10 times and on Eurosport Television 3 times. He is still to this day often seen on ESPN Classics.

He was owner of the Curtis Bush Karate Club for 8 years and was honored with 'Curtis Bush Day' on April 27,2022 in Virginia Beach, Virginia by Mayor Meyera E. Oberndorf for his work with the D.A.R.E. program as a motivational speaker.

Bush is also an actor. His first film role was playing a deranged poacher in the 1987 Canadian film Dragon Hunt filmed in Toronto, Canada. Bush was killed by the star Michael Mcnamara in a brutal fight scene. He played a "Foot" in the hit films Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze in 1989 and 1990. He starred in the locally produced UPN television series 464 Roadhouse in 1992. The series was based on the film Roadhouse starring Patrick Swayze.

Curtis played Dillon where as Swayze played Dalton. He played a terrorist in the film Major Payne starring Damon Wayons in 1995. He starred in the gory, independent cult film Psycho Kickboxer released by EI Cinema in 1998.

On June 30, 1999, after 75 professional fights, Bush (37) retired from competition. In 2000, Curtis and his wife Bette were chosen to do the motion-capture and face scannings for the characters "Cobra" and "Tsuki" in the X-Box video game: Bruce Lee: Quest of the Dragon (Right) released in 2002. Curtis continues to act and played an Army Sargent in the ABC series LOST in 2006. He currently worked as a Behavior Counselor and lives on the Oahu island in Hawaii.

  • Martial Arts
    • Began Tang Soo Do Karate in 1976 (age 13) with Patrick Frick.
    • Earned Black Belt in 1981
    • Head Instructor at NIMA Karate 1981-1988
    • Co-owner: Karate International 1988-1995
    • Owner: Curtis Bush Karate Club 1995-2003

  • Kickboxing
    • Cornerman Robert Dickason Chief Cornerman George Kelly
    • Began Kickboxing in 1979 (age 17) with George Kelly, Robbie Oliver, Jr. Clay, David James
    • Amateur Kickboxing 1980-1983
    • Amateur Titles: Virginia State Welterweight and Super Welterweight Champion
    • Amateur Record: 15-2 (11 KO's)
    • Pro Kickboxing: 1983-1999
    • Trainers: George Kelly and Tony Ornelas
    • Chief-Cornerman/Cutman: George Kelly
    • Cornermen: Francis Bush, Chris Bush, Robert Dickason, David James, Tony Ornelas, Dr. John Chappell Nutritionist: Dr. John Chappell
    • Sparring Partners: #1 Michael J. Jacobson, George Kelly, Rob Dickason, Luke Marshall, Tony Ornelas, Gerald Pilley, David James, John Willis, David Batten, Robbie Oliver, Jr. Clay, Jim "Bongo" Bailey, Dr. John Chappell
    • Pro Kickboxing Record: 42-10-2 (30 KO's) 2NC

  • Professional Kickboxing Titles
    • ISKA Southeast Welterweight Champion 147lbs KO-3 Alan Watson 29-5 (17 KO's) in Paradise Island, Bahamas
    • FFKA United States Welterweight Champion 147lbs KO-4 Chuck Cypress 15-3 (3 KO's) in Portland, Maine ESPN
    • ISKA North American Welterweight Champion 147lbs KO-2 Robert Visitacion 47-5 (36 KO's) in Lake Tahoe, NV ESPN
    • ISKA North American Super Welterweight Champion 153lbs W-10 Melvin Murray 32-6 (10 KO's) in Toronto, Canada ESPN 2

  • Professional World Kickboxing Titles
    • ISKA World Welterweight Champion 147lbs KO-7 ISKA #1 contender Piotr Falender 47-7 (14 KO's) in Virginia Beach, VA
    • ISKA World Super Welterweight Champion 153lbs W-12 ISKA #1 contender Tom Montgomery 40-8-2 (30 KO's) in Brighton, England
    • ISKA/WKA S. Welterweight Unification Fight KO-8 WKA World Champion Champion Roberto Fatica 65-11-4 (24 KO's) in Belfast, N. Ireland ESPN2/Sky Sports
    • ISKA World Light-Middleweight Champion 156lbs W-12 ISKA #3 contender Emmanuel Essessima 109-10-2 (70 KO's) in Paris, France WKKO World Middleweight Champion 160lbs KO-4
    • WKKO #1 contender Bubba "Blackhawk" Walters 37-5 (31 KO's) in Virginia Beach, VA

  • Boxing Career
    • Began Boxing in 1983 (age 21) with David Miller
    • Pro Boxing: 1984-1999
    • Trainer: David Miller
    • Chief Cornermen: David Miller, George Kelly
    • Cornermen: Gerald Pilley, Tony Ornelas
    • Sparring Partners: Gerald Pilley, David James, George Kelly
    • Member of 'Muhammad Ali's Champion Sports' Pro Boxing Team (1984)
    • #1 IBF Intercontinental Jr. Middleweight contender (1994)
    • #11 NBA World Middleweight contender (1998)
    • Final bout was for the NBA World Middleweight Championship L-TKO9 (1999)
    • Pro Boxing Record: 12-5-2 (10 KO's)

  • Professional Boxing Titles
    • USBA Jr. Middleweight Champion 154lbs KO-10 Lynn Jackson in Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA
    • USBA Middleweight Champion 160lbs W-12 Kevin Hall in Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA

  • Fight locations Bush and his crew traveled and fought many times on the road...
    • Paris, France 3x
    • Audincourt, France
    • Gaillard, France 2x
    • Amsterdam, Holland
    • Ajaccio, Corsica 2x
    • Toronto, Canada 4x
    • Montreal, Canada 5x
    • Hull, Quebec
    • Brighton, England
    • Cambridgeshire, England
    • London, England 2x
    • Belfast, N.Ireland
    • Geneva, Switzerland 3x
    • Grand Cayman Islands
    • Paradise Island, Bahamas
    • Lake Tahoe, Nevada
    • Las Vegas, Nevada
    • Atlantic City, New Jersey 2x
    • And 30+ cities across America!

Curtis With Tony Ornelas filming their training video - Virginia Beach, Virginia, 1992

1987: 2nd Round KO Over British and European Champion Trevor Ambrose in Daytona Beach, Florida, USA

ISKA World Super Welterweight Championship 1995, Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA

May 1999. Final kickboxing fight, A decision loss to Tom Kimber for the IKF 165lb Middleweight World Title.
A major noticeable back injury could very well be the reason that cost Bush yet another title.


Curtis Bush: Combinations