As an actor and expert martial artist, Shô Kosugi has made a lasting impression in his fields. The Tokyo native got started in martial arts as a child, studying judo, kendo, ninjutsu, and various other styles until reaching the title of All Japan Karate Champion at age 18. The very next year, Kosugi left his home city for the bright lights of Los Angeles, studying economics at California State University and Pasadena City College before opening his own karate schools. In the 1970s, Kosugi decided to try out acting, which he (very gradually) did--starting with bit parts and minor roles in films like "The Godfather Part II" and "The Bad News Bears Go to Japan." But none of those meaningless background parts could have prepared Kosugi for his big break as Hasegawa in the 1981 film "Enter the Ninja." His role in that project was initially intended to be a minor background part, but when the film's producers took notice of Kosugi's technical martial arts skills, they requested his part be re-written and expanded. In the sequel, "Revenge of the Ninja," he landed the starring role. Kosugi's peak period was the 1980s, appearing in countless ninja movies, with top billing in 1984's "Ninja III: The Domination" and 1988's "Black Eagle." In the '90s, Kosugi slowed his acting pace, starting a taiko group and opening the Sho Kosugi Institute (a martial arts acting school). But in 2009, he returned to the big screen with a supporting role in "Ninja Assassin."