CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq (Army News Service, Oct. 11, 2006) - Billy Blanks - fitness guru, martial artist, actor and creator of Tae Bo - stopped here at the 4th Infantry Division Field House last week to work out with Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldiers and teach them to blend mental and physical fitness to meet their personal goals.

Most Soldiers said they enjoyed the exercise session and motivational talk.

"It was outstanding because I've been a fan (of Blanks) since 1999, and I've been working out by using his DVDs since then," said Master Sgt. Gema Winston, communications security specialist, Division Troop Company, Special Troops Battalion, 4th Infantry Division. "Him being here in person brings it all together."

"It was great to work out with him in person," added Staff Sgt. Corinne Peterson, automated logistical specialist, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, STB, 4th Inf. Div. "He inspired me to keep going, and he made sure we did the exercises correctly. It's a different workout than regular physical training."

Blanks thanked the Soldiers for their efforts and accomplishments over the course of their deployment before beginning his motivational talk.

"It's been an honor to be in your presence. I appreciate what you do and all the hardships you go through being away from your families," said Blanks.

Physical and spiritual fitness is essentially the same for everyone, regardless of their station or situation in life, said Blanks.

"Everybody wants the same results; everyone wants to be happy," said Blanks, adding that physical fitness is a key component for people "who want to get their lives in order. How can you control something else in your life when you can't control your own body'

A lot of people only work out for their body and not their mind. That's why they don't get results."

He encouraged everyone to keep up their fitness regimen even if they don't see immediate results.

"Once your inside (mind) feels good, keep holding on and eventually your outside (appearance) will look good as well," he said. "Your five senses are your 'landmines' in fitness. After 20 minutes, if your mind gives in to your senses, you'll give up."

Blanks also signed autographs and had his picture taken with fans.