Michael Jai White about Steven Seagal and Jean Claude Van Damme


White was born on December 10, 1967 (AGE: 49), in Brooklyn and later moved to Bridgeport, Connecticut, as a pre-teen. Growing up in the 70s and 80s, the six-foot 190 pound White was attracted to fighting, having begun martial arts training at just eight years old. This initially led to trouble, as he often found himself in the P.T. Barnum housing projects in Bridgeport, where street fighters often congregated.

“There were a lot of bad influences around me,” White confessed to CT Post. “But even if they weren’t around me, I still would’ve found the bad influences.”

Wanting to enhance his martial arts capabilities, White often trained and lifted weights at the Ralphola Taylor Community Center YMCA. It was there that instructors noticed his talent, and let him teach his own paid karate class at fourteen. White has since earned a black belt in seven different martial arts styles and has 26 titles, including the U.S. Open, North American Open, and New England Grand Championship.
After graduating from Central High School in 1985, White attended college and has since studied acting at H.B. Studios, Yale and Brown. His first career was not acting, however, and he instead became a junior high school teacher. For three years, he taught emotionally disturbed children in grades five through seven.

It is for this reason that White has often voiced his disapproval of hip hop, citing its destructive nature on the youths with whom he worked. Despite this concern, he has appeared in hip hop music videos, including Nicki Minaj’s ‘Your Love’ and Busta Rhymes and Mariah Carey’s ‘I know what You Want.’


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