Billy Blanks is best known for his skill in whipping people into shape with Taebo [2], his combination of tae kwon do and boxing. He is also known for his iconic roles in several action films. What’s less known about Blanks is that he always struggled with reading due to his undiagnosed dyslexia.

Blanks, unable to perform well in school, turned to martial arts, where he excelled. After earning six black belts and becoming a seven-time world karate champion, Blanks was offered roles in action films such as The Last Boy Scout [3] and Showdown [4]. While Blanks enjoyed performing in these movies, he needed his wife to read his scripts aloud so he could memorize them, being unable to read them himself. Eventually, his wife discovered that he had a learning disability, and at age 37, Blanks was diagnosed with dyslexia.

After arming himself with knowledge about what was preventing him from reading, Blanks was able to get help from a reading center for dyslexics. He is now not only a renowned marital artist, but also a very successful reader.

You can read more about Blanks’ inspirational tale over at CNN [5].

The famed Taebo expert discovered his dyslexia late in life, but is still a successful body-shaping sensation.