Countdown to Inosanto: On the Silver Screen

Dan Inosanto seminar at Kombat Arts, April 9-10It’s finally time — Guro Dan Inosanto will be at Kombat Arts tomorrow and Sunday for a two-day seminar! Please remember that all weekend classes except for Konditioning on Saturday are cancelled as a result.

Although the seminar starts promptly at 9:30 a.m. please show up at least half an hour early to fill out forms and do a proper warm up. As a reminder, no video or audio recording will be allowed. Kali sticks, training blades and other equipment will be available for sale.

For this last Countdown installment, I thought it would be fun to take a look at Guro Dan’s appearances in popular culture. Guro Dan never dove into Hollywood with the same earnest as his friend Bruce Lee had, which makes it even more of a pleasant surprise whenever he does pop up on screen or in a film’s credits. Here’s the best of Guro Dan at the movies.

(**Warning: Some of these clips are rated R for language and violence)

Game of Death (1978)
This scene is actually from the Special Edition of Bruce Lee’s final film, which includes more fight footage and better editing than the clumsy original release. Guro Dan’s character represents a type of martial artist that relies too strictly on fixed forms and patterns. Bruce Lee uses the broken rhythm of Jeet Kune Do to bring him down.

Bruce Li The Chinese Stuntman (1981)
One of the many interchangeable “Brucesploitation” films that came out after Bruce Lee’s death, The Chinese Stuntman was notable for actually featuring Guro Dan in the cast.

Out for Justice (1991)
Guro Dan vs. Steven Seagal! In a pool hall! With pool sticks!

Big Stan (2007)
Rob Schneider exercises the 1/4 of his genes that are Filipino by busting out some serviceable Kali skills for slapstick purposes. Guro Dan has a random and hilarious cameo at the end.

Redbelt (2008)
Written and directed by David Mamet (one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed screenwriters and also a BJJ practitioner), Redbelt featured Guro Dan as a respected master who all the other characters look up to. He also choreographed the knife fight scene.

The Book of Eli (2010)
Guro Dan served as martial arts trainer to star Denzel Washington months before filming began. In this behind-the-scenes feature Guro Dan says he was “very impressed” with Washington’s skill. The film’s fight sequences were choreographed by one of Guro Dan’s most prominent students, Jeff Imada.

A couple of miscellaneous items:

StarHub (commercial)
Guro Dan talks about Bruce Lee and delivers a subtle anti-bullying message.

The Bourne Identity (2002)
Although Guro Dan didn’t work directly on the Bourne films, I thought I should include them anyway; Jeff Imada was the fight choreographer for these films, and I think they are the best cinematic representation of what Guro Dan’s fighting style looks like — lots of street-effective Jun Fan and empty hand Kali techniques, with an emphasis on efficiency over flashiness. Nobody had seen Filipino martial arts on the big screen like this before.

The Sensei (2008)
Guro Dan’s daughter Diana Lee Inosanto wrote, directed and starred The Sensei, a different kind of martial arts film that tackled a number of progressive topics with a story featuring a female instructor, a gay male student, and a plot about the effects of bullying.

The Kombat Arts Training Academy is proud to host Sifu/Guro Dan Inosanto for a two-day seminar this weekend!

Click to view large

Saturday/Sunday April 9-10, 2011
9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (with one hour break)

Kombat Arts Training Academy1110 Kamato Road, Units 7-11Mississauga, ON.

$250 for entire weekend$125 for one day

Previously in the Countdown:
“Way of the Warrior” on Jeet Kune Do
“Way of the Warrior” on Eskrima
Black Belt interview, 1995
Always a student
Interview with the Michigan Project
Smithsonian Institute demonstrations

Thanks again to GAMMA and the Toronto DBMA Group!

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