Martial Arts Coordinator


Hollywood action films typically were mostly cowboy flicks or World War II themed movies. John Wayne, James Coburn, Klaus Kinski and Henry Fonda were then regarded as the most sought after action stars but it was John Wayne who was the most notable of all, starring in both cowboys and World War II movies alike. Then came Bruce Lee, a Martial Arts expert who wowed the world with his crafty moves and his signature battle cry and action movies were never the same.

The transformation of the action genre has then been continually evolving and movie goers are more than ever hungry for much complex action sequences. Because of the clamor for complicated fight scenes, movie producers are now tapping martial arts experts as Martial Arts Coordinators to draw out action-packed, breath-taking action scenes while at same time staying realistically possible. Movie goers are now very discerning and usually would know if some scenes are unbelievably impossible in real life. Movies that make unrealistic scenes were usually heavily criticized because the scenes were not properly thought out. Movie outfits realized that action movies are not like any other genre where you put someone like Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise in the cast and the movie is expected to do well.

In the movie “Matrix,” although the movie is fictional and the setting is virtual reality, the audience were awed and literally taken off their seats because the fight scenes were managed so well to remain believable plus enhanced by the use of slow-motion spinning camera effects while dodging bullets. The directors of the movie made it a point to get leading Martial Arts Coordinators to help develop the film’s fight scene sequences. The fight scenes contributed to the total appeal of the movie even though Keanu Reeves is not an actual martial artist to speak of and the result was that the movie became one of the top-grossing thrillers of all time during that time. Because of the success of the film, other movie outfits soon followed suit and suddenly Martial Arts Coordinators are being sought after to become fight scenes directors, coordinators or consultants. Box office hits like “The Transporter,” “Aeon Flux,” “Resident Evil” and “300” to name a few were all movies that made use of the services of professional martial artists for their spectacular fight action sequences. Without the fight scenes, these movies would not have been as successful as they had been.

The Martial Arts Coordinators contacted by big Hollywood productions were not contacted because they have friends in the studio but rather they worked hard for their reputations to get known. Probably, these experts are holders of numerous professional competition titles themselves or run Martial Arts schools that have produced several champions in their stable. With mixed Martial Arts currently gaining momentum as the next big contact sports, Martial Arts schools have never been busier. During a mixed Martial Arts competition like UFC or Affliction, the Martial Arts schools or dojos of the fighters are also mentioned because a victory of the fighter is a victory of the school too.

A little bit of trivia about the movie “Bloodsport,” which starred by Jean-Claude Van Damme based on a true story, the Martial Arts Coordinator of the fight scenes was the actual character Van Damme was portraying.