October 6, 2022


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Black Belt World Champion Eddie Thomas Has Ties To The Alleghany Highlands

After establishing American Freestyle Karate in Salem 40 years in the past, Eddie Thomas has gained greater than 500 karate trophies, together with his 5 for profitable world championships.

Thomas opened a satellite tv for pc dojo the place he served because the black belt teacher in Clifton Forge throughout the mid-Nineteen Nineties within the constructing at present named the Clifton Forge Vintage Mall at 528 Predominant Avenue.

Clay Johnson, one in every of his college students from Clifton Forge, turned a black belt below Thomas’ steerage, and Johnson now operates an American Freestyle Karate dojo in Covington.

Along with profitable karate tournaments, Thomas, additionally an actor, has carried out in 12 motion pictures. Thomas remarked, “I’m often solid as an murderer.”

His first lead function, nonetheless, was Talos, the protagonist, within the karate movie that he produced. Presently, Thomas is producing the sequel titled “Talos: The Darkish Lords of Xibalba,” and his son, Gabriel Thomas, who’s eight, will likely be portraying Talos as a baby.

Gabriel is following in his father’s footsteps as a karate pupil and as an actor. He will likely be making his movie debut.

Eddie revealed, “I used to be an additional in “Soiled Dancing” that was filmed at Mountain Lake in Pulaski,” and I’ve been solid as an murderer in most of my different roles in movies.”

He started taking classes in Shotokan karate on the Salem Parks and Recreation whereas he was a pupil at Andrew Lewis Excessive Faculty in 1975, and after graduating from ALHS, he enrolled at Virginia Western Neighborhood School the place he earned his affiliate’s diploma in business artwork.

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Eddie recalled, “As a substitute of pursuing business artwork, I opened my dojo in Salem, and though I’ve had three or 4 totally different addresses through the years, the title has all the time been American Freestyle Karate.”

The martial arts disciplines that American Freestyle Karate incorporates are boxing, Shotokan (Japanese karate) Tae Kwon Do (Korean karate), and Thai kickboxing. Since opening his dojo in Salem, he has supplied instruction to greater than 10,000 college students.

He noticed, “Proper now we’re focusing our consideration on finishing the movie.”

Three worldwide movie distributors are negotiating with Eddie to distribute “Talos: The Darkish Lords of Xibalba.”

Eddie mentioned, “We’re speaking to a few worldwide movie firms which might be within the distribution of our sequel, and we try to determine which one will provide us the most effective deal.”

As an impartial filmmaker, Eddie wants to lift $85,000 to finish the challenge, and he’s looking for assist from his former college students and others who want to assist his filmmaking endeavor.

Eddie remarked, “If anybody needs to study extra in regards to the movie or to assist us in our effort, I will be contacted at American Freestyle Karate, (540) 815-4863, or anybody can write to me at 1780 Apperson Drive, Salem, VA 14153.”

“We’re utilizing pc graphics within the filmmaking course of, and the movie will likely be positioned on as many mainstreaming venues as attainable,” Eddie concluded.

Eddie was born in Roanoke in June of 1959, and he has remained within the space his total life. At his dojo in Salem, Eddie has hosted such world-famous karate champions as Mike Stone, the middleweight black belt world champion from Maui who gained 96 straight black belt matches throughout the Sixties and Seventies.

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