Lang was master martial arts and academic teacher

Boston Lang with actor and martial arts master Chuck Norris. Photo courtesy of the Lang family


by Kevin Cody

In 2009, actor and comedian DH Hughley was invited on CNN to talk about the most influential person in his life. 

During the broadcast, the star of the ABC sitcom “The Hughleys” and “The Original Kings of Comedy” recalled winning an apple at a school fair and bringing it home to his mother.

“She took a bite out of it and said, ‘It’s rotten, just like you.’ We both laughed. I was a gangbanger,” Hughley said

“The next day, I told my teacher what my mother had said. He said to me, ‘You’re not rotten. You’re going to be something.’”

“I was this close to never making it,” Hughley said, tearing up as he spoke.

The teacher was Boston Lang, a lifelong Redondo Beach resident who taught in the Los Angeles Unified School District for over four decades.

Lang sat next to Hughley on the CNN program. 

After Hughley recalled the impression he had made on him, Lang said. “In all my years of teaching, I’ve never received a reward. But knowing I helped this young man become who he is is all the reward I’ll ever need.”

Lang passed away January 3 from a pulmonary aneurysm. He was 72.

Lang’s life was rooted in teaching. His father Jim Boston was the principal at Pier Avenue Junior High in Hermosa Beach and also at Adams Middle School in Redondo Beach. Lang’s wife Jeannette was a founding board member of the Redondo Beach Unified School District.

In addition to teaching in LAUSD, he taught martial arts.

Boston received his first degree black belt in 1972 from Chuck Norris, at the actor and martial arts fighter’s Redondo Beach dojo, and his ninth degree black belt in 2008.

As a member of the full contact professional South Bay Strikers, Lang  earned the nickname “Crash” because of his blitz attacks.

One of the 10 precepts he taught his martial arts students was “Don’t be afraid to get hit. To be in position to score you must open yourself up to being scored upon.” And though he began martial arts in 1966, during what Black Belt magazine called The Golden Era of karate, he foresaw the arrival of mixed martial arts. Another of his 10 precepts was “Along with ‘point karate,’ learn to fight continuously, with full contact. Work out with people from other styles.”

Lang competed throughout his life and was a four time Seniors Division United Fighting Arts Federation Grand Champion.

Upon his passing, UFAF President Ken Gallacher said of his fellow Redondo Union High Sea Hawk, “Boston was always unfailingly loyal and willing to lend his incredible influence whenever called upon. Until we meet on the  Heavenly Matt, my dear friend.”

Lang is survived by his wife, children Brant Boston, and Jessica Boston Avery, and by granddaughter Olivia.

Lang’s ashes will be scattered in the ocean, from the Body Glove boat, on Sunday, Feb. 21. All are invited to a memorial service that afternoon at 3 p.m. at Pacific Crest Cemetery, 2701 182nd St., Redondo Beach. ER




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