Martial Arts News

Aug 5, 2018 | in Martial Arts News

George Kirby
The Black Belt staff completed a photo shoot with jujitsu icon George Kirby. The images will be used to illustrate his new book, which is in production now • The staff also conducted a photo shoot with legendary grappler Gokor Chivichyan of the Hayastan MMA Academy. Chivichyan, 55, talked about his efforts to learn the rules of Brazilian jiu-jitsu for an upcoming BJJ world championship • The talk of the town in Hollywood is a plan to remake Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon. David Leitch of Deadpool 2 might direct • Ronda Rousey swam with the sharks for an episode of Discovery’s Shark Week.
 
Black Belt Hall of Famer Tim Kennedy is making the rounds to promote his new series Hard to Kill • Various news outlets are reporting that the UFC is expanding into Russia • According to Donnie Yen’s Instagram feed, the action star has finished filming Ip Man 4 • Forbes.com called One Championship fighter Angela Lee one of the most influential martial artists in the world • Daniele Bolelli released a two-part episode of his History on Fire podcast titled “The 47 Ronin” • Iko Uwais will star in a Netflix martial arts series called Wu Assassins •

Jul 19, 2018 | in Martial Arts News

crouching tiger hidden dragon sequel picA sequel to Ang Lee’s acclaimed 2000 Kung-Fu fantasy epic, CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, is slated to begin production in May, The Weinstein Company have confirmed. A script from John Fusco currently has FREDDY VS JASON and BRIDE OF CHUCKY director Ronny Yu in talks to helm. Despite those ‘unique’ Hollywood horror sequels on his resume, Hong Kong native Yu does have plenty experience in the martial arts genre with the likes of Jet Li’s FEARLESS and THE BRIDE WITH WHITE HAIR.

 

Lee’s Oscar-winning film was based on the fourth book in Wang Du Lu’s Crane-Iron series, it is expected the as-yet-untitled follow-up will continue with the fifth book, Silver Vase, Iron Knight, which continues the adventures of Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh’s character in Lee’s film). This announcement suggests Yeoh will be returning but is yet to be confirmed.

Jul 16, 2018 | in Martial Arts News

sabate practitioner high kickMost martial artists know that savate is the official fighting art of France, but beyond that, they would probably be hard-pressed to recite any details about the style. That’s unfortunate because it possesses a long and distinguished history that makes it a valuable addition to the world of martial arts. The following is an easy-to-digest list of facts and is designed to enlighten all martial artists about the history, rules and techniques of this dynamic form of fighting. If it inspires a few to sign up for lessons, so much the better.

A Brief History of Savate

  • The roots of savate are unclear, but some scholars believe they can be traced all the way back to the legendary Greek fighting art of pankration.
  • More recent records indicate that it sprouted from various street-fighting systems used in France during the late 17th century.
  • Boxe francaise, an alternative name for savate, was founded in 1838 by Charles Lecour.
  • Before that, two fighting arts were popular in France: la savate and le chausson. The former was a system of street fighting that used all parts of the body for striking, while the latter was regarded as a milder system and the ancestor of the sport of boxe francaise. Both taught self-defense techniques.
  • After losing a friendly sparring match with English boxer Owen Swift, Charles Lecour was inspired to combine le chausson with English boxing.
  • Charles Lecour’s loss led to tremendous technical changes in savate that spanned decades. It was finally codified as a ring sport in Joseph Charlemont’s L’Art de la Boxe Fra Francaise.
  • Although the teachings of Joseph Charlemont have remained definitive, they are still open to modification. All changes must be approved by the executive committee of the French and International Federation of Boxe Francaise Savate and Related Disciplines...
Jul 16, 2018 | in Martial Arts News

To be a well-rounded fighter, you must possess the ability to strike and grapple. Using punching to complement your grappling and ground-fighting skills is very important. In fact, it is necessary to have a background in striking if you wish to excel in MMA fighting events.

For instance, if you’re a grappler and you want to be able to close the distance between yourself and your opponent, you must understand how to strike. A good sense of timing is especially important for you to develop. You must be able to judge the potential danger of the movements of your opponent. Knowing the right time to block a technique and avoid taking punishment from your opponent’s blows is also a product of good timing.

two fighters grappling
(Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructor Rickson Gracie, above left)

If you are competing in a wrestling match, you might not need to have this type of understanding of timing, especially while you and your opponent are on your feet. But to succeed in MMA competition, you absolutely must have mastered this element of fighting. That will enable you to shoot in for a takedown and totally avoid the punishment your striking opponent will try to inflict as he struggles to avoid being taken to the ground...

Jul 14, 2018 | in Martial Arts News
kung fu drawing
Hanart TZ Gallery

Hong Kong's Hanart TZ gallery’s Kung Fu in Africa exhibition unveils a rare collection of lively, hand-painted film art from the '80s and '90s depicting everyone from Bruce Lee to Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Hong Kong's film heritage is coming full circle — by way of West Africa.

Currently showing at Hanart TZ, one of Hong Kong's finest galleries dealing in Chinese contemporary art, is "Kung Fu in Africa," an exhibition of 32 colorful, hand-painted martial arts movie posters, which were produced by enterprising artists in Ghana during the 1980s and 1990s. Painted on huge canvas flour sacks, the images are as delightful as they are unlikely. As the exhibition's curator Ernie Wolfe puts it: "These works are a product of globalization in the best possible way."

Wolfe, a longtime dealer in African art via his namesake gallery in Los Angeles, collected the works over dozens of trips to Ghana during the past two decades. A personal friendship with Hanart founder Johnson Chang — the two went to college together — led to the collaboration on the current show...

Jul 14, 2018 | in Martial Arts News
scene from the pink panther
United Artists/Photofest
Peter Sellers and Burt Kwouk in 1975's
'Return of the Pink Panther'

He also appeared in the James Bond films 'Goldfinger' and 'You Only Live Twice.'

LONDON (AP) — Burt Kwouk, an actor who played martial arts expert Cato in the comic Pink Panther films, has died. He was 85.

Kwouk's agent, Jean Diamond, said in a statement that he "passed peacefully" on Tuesday. She didn't give a cause of death.

Born in northwest England in 1930 and raised in Shanghai, Kwouk had his first major film role in 1958's The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, starring Ingrid Bergman.

Jul 14, 2018 | in Martial Arts News
danny chen
Danny Chan

'Matrix' stuntman Tiger Chen will also star in the martial arts/Western mash up from director Jonathan Lim.

Martial arts stars Robin Shou, Danny Chan and Tiger Chen have signed on to star in Kung Fu Cowboy, a martial arts meets western mash-up from Deadwood writer W. Earl Brown and Pali Road director Jonathan Lim.

The feature is set during the anti-Chinese riots in California in the 1880s led by xenophobic politicians like Denis Kearney and his Workingmen’s Party of California. Thousands of immigrant Chinese, who had helped build America's transnational railroad, were faced with rising discrimination and racial tension...

Jul 14, 2018 | in Martial Arts News
pic of the real miyagi
Courtesy of Fantasia Festival

Meet the man behind the Karate Kid's teacher.

In the kind of admiring portrait a student might make of his master, Kevin Derek's The Real Miyagi introduces the Japanese karate sensei who, upon emigrating to the US in the mid-60s, became one of the discipline's key promoters in the West. Fumio Demura's strong connection to The Karate Kid will be the biggest selling point for this informative but unpolished film, drawing attention at fests, but the doc will be seen mostly within the martial arts community, with some small spillover on video to fans of chopsocky cinema.

An opening interview with Steven Seagal assures the uninitiated that Demura is "the real thing" as opposed to the large number of "experts" working in Hollywood who actually have few accomplishments under their black belts. Glancing at the walls of his dojo, we see photos of visitors from Bruce Lee to Hilary Swank and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Not a bad group of admirers for a man who, after a few years of near-success in Japan, moved to the US in 1965 with $300 and slept in a garage, frightened and lonesome.

Jul 10, 2018 | in Martial Arts News
ip man 3 movie shot
Courtesy of Pegasus Motion Pictures
'Ip Man 3'

'Zootopia,' meanwhile, gave Disney Animation its highest China debut ever, pulling in $23.5 million and earning rave local reviews.

Ip Man 3, the latest installment of the hit Hong Kong martial-arts franchise starring Donnie Yen, punched its way to a massive opening weekend in mainland China.

The fight flick, which was produced by Pegasus Motion Pictures and includes the stunt casting of Mike Tyson as a bone-crunching villain, grossed $71.5 million from Friday to Sunday, according to estimates from Beijing-based box-office monitor Ent Group.

The film's high-flying rollout has been marred by widespread allegations of fraud, however.

Several major media outlets, including the state-backed China Daily, carried reports Monday alleging that Ip Man 3's Chinese distributor, Dayinmu Film Distribution, orchestrated an audacious scheme to enhance the film's perceived performance...

Jul 3, 2018 | in Martial Arts News
Justin Beiber and Selena Gomez
Getty Images
Selena Gomez, left, and Justin Bieber

A man claims the pop star violently attacked him as he tried to snap Bieber's picture.

 

A photographer allegedly assaulted by Justin Bieber last year is suing the pop sensation.

 

A lawsuit brought by Jose Osmin Hernandez Duran alleges that Bieber delivered a “martial arts-type kick” to the photographer’s lower rib cage and punched the right side of his face.

 

The incident is said to have occurred May 27, 2012, as a group of photographers and fans surrounded Bieber’s Mercedes Sprinter van, which was sitting in a parking space at a Calabasas shopping mall. According to the suit, Bieber was in the vehicle with his then-girlfriend Selena Gomez and was attempting to back out of the space, but he was having difficulty doing so because of the vehicle's large size...

Jul 3, 2018 | in Martial Arts News
Chuck Norris Rock Climbing
Everett Collection

"Chuck Norris isn't turning 75. 75 is turning Chuck Norris."

Chuck Norris turns 75 today, and the Internet is celebrating.

In recent years, a mythology has sprung up around the action icon, with tales about his great fetes becoming their own brand of joke and even inspiring a series of books.

See more Senior Superheroes: 19 Action Stars Kicking Butt Past 50

Predictably, the jokes have started pouring in on Norris' birthday. Check out the best (so far), which will be updating throughout the day. First up: one from the man himself.

Jul 2, 2018 | in Martial Arts News
jackie chan
'The Foreigner'

Local comedy 'Never Say Die' outperformed Chan's STX-backed action thriller, which earned $21.9 million on Saturday and Sunday.

Martial arts comedy Never Say Die came out swinging at the Chinese box office over the weekend, opening with $46.2 million on Saturday and Sunday.

The slapstick hit relegated Jackie Chan to a rare second-place finish, as his STX-produced action thriller The Foreigner opened with $21.9 million over the same two days...

 

Jun 30, 2018 | in Martial Arts News
Jet Li
Frederic Nebinger/Getty Images
Jet Li at the 2011 Venice Film Festival

Li revealed in 2013 that he was suffering from hyperthyroidism as well as a heart condition, and a litany of on-set injuries also have affected his health.

Jet Li’s appearance during a recent visit to Tibet has sparked concern for the martial arts legend's health. Pictures of an aged and frail Li shocked his fans online. Many people on social media in China and Hong Kong have been drawing unfavorable comparisons between the 55-year-old  Expendables star and someone 20 or 30 years older, according to a report in Hong Kong’s Apple Daily.

Jun 28, 2018 | in Martial Arts News
group of movie stars
Courtesy of the Shanghai International Film Festival
John Cena, Jackie Chan and Scott Waugh in Shanghai

 

THR joined the martial arts legend and WWE superstar as they met for the first time to discuss their upcoming work together in Scott Waugh's big-budget action adventure set in the Middle East.

WWE champion and rising film star John Cena flew into the Shanghai International Film Festival this week to speak alongside screen legend Jackie Chan about their upcoming action-thriller-comedy Project X.

The big-budget Hong Kong–China co-production led by Chan is entirely Chinese funded, will be filmed all in China using local crews, but with Cena as co-star and Hollywood’s Scott Waugh (Act of Valor, Need for Speed) directing from a script by Arash Amel (Grace of Monaco, Erased, The Titan).

“The highlight of this movie is really simple: we have one of the greatest legends of action working with a talented newcomer in the action genre,” says Waugh. “It’s possibly one of the greatest pairings… in terms of how the movie is stylized, it will hopefully be another level — our action will be extremely exciting.”

Set in the Middle East, the plot follows a retired Chinese military man and now private security contractor (Chan) who is sent to rescue workers from a Chinese-run oil refinery under attack. Cena appears as a former U.S. Marine who ends up helping Chan. Together they fight to defeat the attackers whose real motive — a massive oil heist — is soon revealed.

Jun 26, 2018 | in Martial Arts News
man training with speed bag
Photographed by Adam Amengual
The speed bag is part of Peter Berg's morning routine at his gym, Wild Card West. "For a certain type of individual, sparring is a very active form of meditation," says Berg, photo­graphed on June 5 in Santa Monica.

Box-office bombs? Pummel away mounting industry anxiety as everyone from Rihanna to Peter Berg moves from Pilates to punching and kicking. Says one martial arts trainer: "I've never been so booked in my life."

Under the gaze of a caramel-mottled pit bull named Dempsey, Peter Berg is slugging his way — literally — through his morning ritual. After a warm-up of stretching and working the bags, the Patriot's Day director is sparring with Julian Chua, a former Golden Glove champion and taekwondo black belt. Chua works as a trainer at Berg's Wild Card West Boxing Club in Santa Monica, which counts some of the biggest names in Hollywood as regulars. Padded in protective gear, Berg, 53, ducks and crouches his way around the ring, throwing a pattern of jabs, hooks and crosses at the much younger Chua. It is a surprisingly friendly affair, considering that these two men are trying to make contact with each other's face.

It's been four years since Berg opened Wild Card West with the late Garry Shandling as his partner, and he currently finds himself with an enviable problem. After years of hemorrhaging money, the boxing gym is on a serious roll. "It's going great, it's going too great," Berg tells THR. "We don't have enough parking."

Apr 16, 2018 | in Martial Arts News

Hi there,

I trust your 2nd quarter of 2018 is going way better than just good!
We've been sorting through content like a New York Times editor on a 5pm deadline getting our first book closer to complete.
So far it's got some compelling stories and content that isn't being talked about enough in leadership circles, so we're pretty excited to share this with the world.
What's the title?
Glad you asked...it's not finalized yet but it's in this direction:
 
BECOMING AN INVINCIBLE LEADER
Conquering Adversity, Inertia & Negativity to Lead an Extraordinary Life
 
It will be our first definitive work on what we call the Science of Protection of achievement and progress. 
 
It includes the latest understanding of leadership brain functioning and laws, nature's laws, to help ensure a leader is able to protect their and their teams achievement and progress.
 
Any feedback on the title most welcome!
 
Isn't being invincible impossible?...
Mar 15, 2018 | in Martial Arts News

martial artist with his opponent in a wrist lockRelson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy/YouTube
Robin Gieseler of the Relson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy shows a defensive move to the Trump-style handshake.

"I promise, if I meet the president, I probably won't wristlock him," the black-belt instructor for the Relson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy says.

By now, most people have seen video of President Donald Trump forcefully shaking hands with politicians and dignitaries. 

The internet has had a field day...

 

Mar 10, 2018 | in Martial Arts News

warriors grappling

A mixed martial arts training session at Brian Beury Jiu Jitsu in Colonie, N.Y. | AP Photo/Mike Groll

ALBANY — A bill to legalize mixed martial arts in New York easily cleared a state Senate committee on Tuesday, the first step toward a floor vote that could come next month.

The bill passed the chamber's committee on cultural affairs, tourism and parks 10-2. State Sen. Joe Griffo, a Utica Republican who sponsored the bill, said he hoped it would clear the chamber for the seventh time before the Legislature breaks for winter recess on Feb. 9...

 

Mar 3, 2018 | in Martial Arts News

Jeff Unay's documentary profiles an aging mixed martial arts fighter struggling with personal and physical issues.

 

cage fighter movie coverIf The Cage Fighter were a fiction film rather than a documentary, it would feel awfully familiar. This portrait of an aging amateur mixed martial arts fighter uncannily echoes Hollywood movies such as The Champ, Rocky, The Wrestler, Raging Bull and countless others. That the real-life figure at its center seems hellbent on following a trajectory similar to those films' fictional characters gives the documentary its emotional power.

Marking the directorial debut of Jeff Unay (a visual effects veteran whose credits include Avatar and Peter Jackson's King Kong), the documentary revolves around Joe Carman, who's facing a tough time as he turns 40. Based in Washington state, Joe toils in the boiler room of a ferry...

 

Mar 3, 2018 | in Martial Arts News

scene from movie shadow

Courtesy of Village Roadshow Asia
'Shadow'

The Village Roadshow Asia and Le Vision Pictures' period film will be Zhang's first film since 'The Great Wall.'

After the costly, and ultimately disappointing, monster-packed Hollywood tentpole The Great Wall, Chinese cinema legend Zhang Yimou appears to be returning to more tried and tested material — beautifully crafted martial arts period drama.

Village Roadshow Pictures Asia offered Asian film fans a sneak peek of Zhang's much anticipated next project, Shadow, at the Shanghai International Film Festival on Monday...

Jan 30, 2018 | in Martial Arts News

Rousey

Trailblazing UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey has agreed to terms with WWE to perform for the company as a full-time professional wrestler.

Rousey made a surprise appearance at the WWE's Royal Rumble pay-per-view in Philadelphia on Sunday night. After the conclusion of the first-ever women's Royal Rumble match, Rousey emerged and shocked the crowd.

Jan 27, 2018 | in Martial Arts News

two men shaking handsThe Japanese envoy, Takayuki Miyashita, and the Rwanda Karate Federation president, Theogene Uwayo, signed the deal on Friday. (James Karuhanga)

The Japanese envoy to Rwanda, Takayuki Miyashita, and the Rwanda Karate Federation (FERWAKA) president, Theogene Uwayo, on Friday signed a grant agreement under which the latter will receive Karate equipment.

Under the deal, signed at the embassy, Japan committed to provide US$67,372 (about Rwf57million) to purchase Karate equipment, especially 400 karate tatami mats, three scoreboards and 30 flags for local referees.

 

Jan 19, 2018 | in Martial Arts News

mcgregor mma photo UFC fighter Conor McGregor's only fight in 2017 was a lucrative boxing bout against the undefeated Floyd Mayweather, which he lost.

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - UFC president Dana White has said that the organization's lightweight title will be put up for grabs in a showdown between interim holder Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov, casting doubts over the reign of current champion Conor McGregor.

Jan 17, 2018 | in Martial Arts News

The Bottom Line
"One of the strangest martial arts dramas ever made."

Actor-director Chapman To steps away from comedy for his sophomore foray behind the camera, anchored by Stephy Tang’s career-best performance.

man on phoneA woman dead set on securing ownership of the other half of her father’s apartment experiences a personal epiphany, if not much in the way of redemption, in The Empty Hands, a willfully oddball martial arts drama that rises above its modest station thanks to star Stephy Tang's lead performance.

 

Dec 1, 2017 | in Martial Arts News

Geoff Ho was protecting a bouncer when he was stabbed

A martial arts expert journalist was stabbed in the throat after intervening to help a bouncer who was wounded in the London Bridge terror attack .

Defiant Geoff Ho, a business editor with the Sunday Express, wrote on Facebook: "Don't know whether it was stupid or noble to jump in and break up the fight outside the Southwark Tavern, but two a***s trying to do over the lone bouncer on the door isn't happening on my watch."

 

 

Nov 25, 2017 | in Martial Arts News

Actress Meryl Streep accepts the Cecil B. DeMille Award during the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday. (Paul Drinkwater/Courtesy of NBC)

As a red-blooded American male — the sort of uber-masculine guy who spends his days watching glitzy and glamorous Hollywood shindigs to discover if the musical he enjoyed will take home any major awards — it wasn’t Meryl Streep’s attack against Donald Trump that got my dander up Sunday night. Rather, it was the moment in her acceptance speech at the Golden Globes during which she, for some reason, decided to attack forms of entertainment she doesn’t care for.

 

 

 

Nov 14, 2017 | in Martial Arts News

Empty Top reality producer Mark Burnett has teamed with mixed martial arts company ProElite Inc. to develop a primetime reality series involving the combat sport.

Nov 14, 2017 | in Martial Arts News

Courtesy of Village Roadshow Asia - 'Shadow'

The Village Roadshow Asia and Le Vision Pictures' period film will be Zhang's first film since 'The Great Wall.'

After the costly, and ultimately disappointing, monster-packed Hollywood tentpole The Great Wall, Chinese cinema legend Zhang Yimou appears to be returning to more tried and tested material — beautifully crafted martial arts period drama.

Village Roadshow Pictures Asia offered Asian film fans a sneak peek of Zhang's much anticipated next project, Shadow, at the Shanghai International Film Festival on Monday.

 

Nov 21, 2016 | in Martial Arts News
by Jack M. Sabat
Jul 12, 2016 | in Martial Arts News
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