When you talk about movies like Rush Hour, Armageddon, Lethal Weapon 4, The Bourne Ultimatum, Gone In Sixty Seconds, The Last Samurai, The Fight Club, just to mention a few, I am sure the action-filled scenes are the first thing that come to mind.
And when you think about it, some of the most popular movies became box-office successes due to the spectacular stunts and fight scenes displayed on the Big Screen.
Without the stunt and fight professionals, who by the way usually aren’t household names like those of the celebrities on the Red Carpet, many movie productions would never turn out the way they do.
One of these professionals, who deserve more credit for what they do and someone whom I truly admire, is Jeff Imada.
And yes, the movies I listed above were strongly influenced by Jeff Imada. He either did many of the stunts or coordinated them! Man, this guy must have been in hundreds of great movie productions. It’s absolutely mind-boggling!
Beyond Tinseltown, Jeff Imada is highly recognized and revered on the martial arts circuit for his mastery of Jeet Kune Do (JKD) and Filipino Martial Arts (FMA).
Born in 1955 in Southern California, Jeff Imada started studying martial arts at the age of 15. So, let’s see, that would have been 1970.
That makes it already 40 years of solid martial arts training experience and what I haven’t mentioned so far in this post:
Jeff Imada is a master student/protege of the world-famous, Guro Dan Inosanto. Remember him?
Jeff was also a very good friend of Brandon Lee, back in the day. Later on, he was the primary fight choreographer in Brandon Lee’s successful movie, ‘The Crow’.
He has been a stuntman, stunt coordinator and fight choreographer in countless movie productions that have become financial box-office hits, also because of his ingenuity and professionalism.
I was reminded of him just some time ago after I heard about ‘The Book Of Eli’ starring Denzel Washington and Mila Kunis.
In one of the many interviews promoting this movie, Denzel mentioned Dan Inosanto (remember him?) and Jeff Imada in connection with training for the fight scenes.
He’s bringing it, so you better be ready!