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05/23/18

Vida Ghaffari is the First Iranian-American to be inducted in the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame

On Saturday, May 19th, actress Vida Ghaffari (The Mindy Project, Jimmy Kimmel Live) and many celebrities and luminaries in the martial arts world were inducted into the prestigious USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame at their gala at the Doubletree Hilton in Los Angeles. Ghaffari was bestowed with the Trailblazer Award. She is the first person of Iranian descent to be inducted.


Vida Ghaffari with her award on the red carpet in a gown designed by Mathilde Badji

Other celebrities awarded at the gala were legendary actor and master Stephen Lang (Avatar), legendary action star Mel Novak (Bruce Lee's Game of Death, Steve McQueen: American Icon opposite Mel Gibson), legendary action star Laurene Landon (Maniac Cop 1 and 2, Sky opposite Norman Reedus), multi award-winning actress, model and martial artist Dawna Lee Heising (Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance opposite Tommy Wiseau, Nemesis 5: The New Model), multi award-winning filmmaker Thomas J. Churchill (Check Point, Nation's Fire), former five time world kickboxing champion and former four time sport karate champion and filmmaker Robert Parham, five time world karate kick champion and action star Kathy Long, filmmaker and martial Art Camacho, grandmaster Eric Lee, master and action hero Dan Southworth (The Scorpion King), actress Joycelyne Lew (The Big Brawl), master Brian Kula Fung, martial artist and performer Alan Koa, martial artist and dancer Michelle Manu, and Dr. Robert Goldman as well as special guest of honor and creator of the TV series Kung Fu, Ed Spielman and many more.


from left to right

This renowned Hall of Fame was founded by Grandmaster Jim Thomas, Ph.D./D.Sc./Ma.Dsc. Dr. Thomas is a 10th degree grand master and is recognized as one of 20 worldwide. He has been active in the martial arts for over half a century. In addition to serving as the head coach for Team USA, he was inducted into 6 various martial arts 'Hall of Fame' institutions and listed in 'Who's - Who' in the world of Martial Arts. Grandmaster Thomas has won over 200 awards and trophies and served in the U.S. Air Force for 7 years during the Vietnam Evacuation Era. He was a former athlete for the USA World Class Competition Team and has appeared in over 8 Martial Arts Motions pictures.


Vida Ghaffari with fellow awardee and actor Stephen Lang (Avatar)

The U.S.A. Martial Arts 'Hall of Fame' "Hall of Heroes" was originally created in 1976 by Grand Master Robert Trias, the first man to open a martial arts school in the U.S. In its beginning it was very small in nature and was done spontaneously at various Martial Arts functions. Grandmaster Thomas and Mike Day were called upon to orchestrate this function into what it is today. Even with the passing of Grandmaster Trias and Day, Thomas has kept this event alive himself and includes new exciting things each and every year! This event actually spans three days from May 19th to May 21st with seminars and classes and the gala being on the 19th.

Ghaffari has been active on the Tinsel town scene as an award-winning actress and voiceover artist. This comedic powerhouse is best known for her appearances on the television comedies, Mind of Mencia on Comedy Central, Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC and The Mindy Project formerly on FOX. These projects cap off a number of successes for the versatile starlet. She just wrapped a supporting role in Nation's Fire, which will be distributed by Universal opposite two-time Oscar nominee Bruce Dern, Emmy winner Gil Bellows, Laurene Landon and UFC Champion Chuck Liddell. Her other film, the much buzzed about Holy Terror opposite Mel Novak (Bruce Lee's Game of Death, Black Belt Jones) and Kristine DeBell (Meatballs, The Big Brawl). Holy Terror is climbing up the charts and is #11 on Amazon Prime UK. She's gotten local, national and international press from this project and was billed as the Persian Linda Blair from her work in this role. Vida also just shot Hybristophilia with Quinton Aaron (The Blind Side with Sandra Bullock). She has a recurring role in the 3 time Peabody award nominated Suspense Show on XM satellite radio. 

She has been bestowed awards by The City of Los Angeles, The West Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, the World Networks, the Los Angeles Nollywood Film Association, The Universe Multicultural Film Festival, The WIND International Film Festival, and the Lucky Strike Film Festival among others. Ever the fashionista, Vida recently graced the cover of noted fashion magazine FVM Global Magazine twice as well as Shine On Hollywood Magazine and 1st Class Magazine and was quoted about her knowledge of red carpet fashion for the Oscars by US News and World Report. Ghaffari has also studied kickboxing. 


Vida Ghaffari with her awards

More info about Vida Ghaffari at IMDB

More info about the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame at wwww.usamartialartshalloffame.com

All photos courtesy of Dan Kennedy

... Payvand News - 05/23/18 ... --



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