How many people can say that they climbed to the top of Mt. Rushmore with America's Most Wanted host John Walsh? Brian Gates can. That is just a small part of a fascinating life that the former Altoona businessman has lived.
Gates has been involved with the Martial Arts for over 45 years. It all started when he was a young kid watching The Green Hornet at his Uncle Clarence Gates' house. He saw KATO (over 15 years later, finding out that the part was actually played by the legendary Bruce Lee.), "I thought that it would be so cool to learn this stuff. That was my inspiration", he remembers.
Martial Arts/ Kickboxing was in fact the training to take him into the right mindset and to take him to the levels of mental and physical condition that you need to do stunt work and Executive Protection aka bodyguard work. "It is kind of interesting how martial arts gave me that foundation along with my parents' guidance starting as a young child...earn by working, being honest, never quitting and you can do anything you want! That foundation has made an impact in my life and has taken me all over the world."
Gates, who is a member of The International Karate/Kickbxing Hall of Fame, explains his venture into stunt work. He says that he had been looking for a tattoo artist for about seven or eight years and finally found one based in Arizona. He was tattooing a guy who was in the stunt business with The Chitwood Thrill Shows and he was a motorcycle jumper. That young man, Cory Scott (RIP), after being recommended to train with him, Gates gave him private lessons in kickboxing. This kid ended up doing a motorcylce world-record net jump. He got killed doing it about three years after they had worked togethr. He asked Gates to go along with him and be on his team to be the safety guy and do security with him. While doing that, Brian met his stunt coordinator, world famous Spanky Spangler.
Visit Brian's Facebook pages: BriGates and Brian Lee Gates
His websites: and mbgprotection.com
For Brian's complete interview, please check out our upcoming book release They Casme From blair County due out by the end of the year.
**Information for this article was obtained through a phone interview with Brian Gates**
**All photos are from the personal collection of Brian Gates**