5 Years Old
As a young kid from Brooklyn, New York, Michael Jai White had all the odds stacked against him.
He lived a rough childhood and suffered from bullying at school.
Mike was raised by a single mother who was a teacher.
15 Years Old
White started training in martial arts at a very young age.
He started training Jujutsu at the age of 7.
PS: Don’t confuse Jujutsu with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Although they both belong to the same family, Jujutsu is an older Japanese form of the modern Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
17 Years Old
He later switched to Shotokan Karate which is a style of Karate that relies extremely on explosiveness, flexible and quick kicks.
Shotokan Karate is the main reason why Michael Jai White has built his fast-twitch muscle fibers at a very young age.
During high school, White moved with his mother to Bridgeport, Connecticut.
19 Years Old
By the age of 19, Michael became a veteran in several martial arts.
He became a legitimate competitor in the Karate scene and won several prizes in national competitions.
20 Years Old
21 Years Old
Mike went to Yale University to study acting.
He also studied acting in the HB Studio.
22 Years old
23 Years old
Michael knew exactly what he wanted from a very young age.
His dream was to become a movie star, so he shaped all his training for that purpose.
His training was focused on sharpening cinematic type skills, like spinning kicks, jump kicks, tornado kicks, etc.
24 Years old
At this age, Michael was struggling to make a career in acting.
He started with minor roles in small movies, acting agencies told him that he was too big and too muscular for acting.
He auditioned for many roles but he faced a lot of rejection.
He said in an interview that rejection started to have a toll on his mental health, so he channeled all his bad energy into martial arts.
25 Years old
At this age, Michael Jai White’s acting career didn’t take off yet.
Meanwhile, he was collecting black belts left and right in different martial arts.
He ended up having 7 black belts in 7 different martial arts:
- Tang soo do
26 Years old
Michael was also a teacher for students with special needs and students who have behavioral problems.
In one of his interviews, Michael expressed his negative stance against Hip Hop lyrics.
His past experience with special needs students taught him that they can’t make the difference between what is real what’s not in hip hop lyrics.
28 Years old
At the age of 28, Michael Jai White’s career finally took off after a long struggle.
He finally made it and got the opportunity to portray the character of heavyweight legendary boxer Mike Tyson in the HBO film ‘Tyson’.
Michael seized the opportunity and showed exceptional talent in his acting.
His acting drew the attention of directors and the film industry, offers started coming from different production companies, and that was the real beginning of Michael Jai White’s career.
30 Years old
He also starred in Spawn, a major superhero film.
Michael Jai White was one of the first African Americans who portrayed a major comic book superhero in a superhero blockbuster.
His acting performance in Spawn earned him a nomination to the Blockbuster Entertainment Award.
31 Years old
Michael started getting featured in movies alongside big boys like Jean-Claude Van Damme in Universal Soldier: The Return.
When Van Damme was asked about Michael Jai White, he said that he was amazed by Michael Jai White’s martial arts abilities.
Jean-Claude Van Damme was not the only star who was amazed by Michael Jai White’s fighting skills, Scott Adkins also expressed the same amazement.
At this age, Michael Jai White was dating his future wife Courtney Chatham.
They got married later in 2005 and together they have a daughter named Morgan.
32 Years old
33 Years old
34 Years old
White also appeared in a music video alongside Busta Rhymes and Mariah Carey.
He later appeared with Nicki Minaj in her music video ‘Your Love’.
35 Years old
By the age of 35, Michael Jai White got featured in major movies such as Undisputed II: Last Man Standing.
He portrayed the character of a former boxer George “Iceman” Chambers, who faced Yuri Boyka, a Russian prisoner portrayed by Scott Adkins.
Scott Adkins said in an interview that Michael Jai White was the best martial artist he worked with.
38 Years Old
39 Years Old
Michael married his long-time girlfriend Courtney Chatham.
40 Years old
41 Years old
42 Years old
White has over 20 titles in martial arts competitions including:
- US Open
- North American Open
- New England Grand Champion
- Shotokan Grand Prix
- Tang Soo Do Night Of Champions
43 Years Old
After a long struggle in his marriage, Michael Jai White announced his divorce.
After his divorce, Michael decided to take a hiatus from relationships. He channeled all his energy into acting.
In this period, he decided to make his debut as a film director and made the famous MMA movie Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown.
44 Years old
45 Years old
46 Years old
47 Years old
48 Years old
After dating for 2 years, Michael Jai White married fellow actress Gillian Iliana Waters.
The couple later revealed their weird marriage story.
The couple has already dated 2 decades ago, they stayed together for less than a year and then split up, but they remained friends.
The friendship continued for 2 decades, the attraction was there, but they both had their separate lives and they both had their marriages.
Long story short, Michael confessed in an interview that one day he was feeling sick, he took a pill to sleep, but his body reacted badly to the pill which made his situation worse.
He thought that he was going to die, so he decided to call his loved ones, and Gillian Iliana Waters was amongst the people he called.
During that call, White confessed his love for Waters, and it was the beginning of their new relationship.
49 Years old
After one year of his marriage to Gillian Iliana Waters, Michael Jai White wrote a long letter and posted it on Facebook entitled “Apologies to My Ex’s”.
In this letter, White expressed his gratitude to his wife Gillian Iliana Waters and gave her the credits for her positive influence over him.
He said that she was the reason why he became the best version of himself.