My Personal Experience with Fight Scene Training

My Personal Experience with Fight Scene Training

(Me and Daniel Pesina during filming of MK II)

I wrote
yesterday’s blog about how freerunning is an ideal hobby for people wanting to
pursue a career as a stunt person or action star. The entertainment industry
requires a wide range of specific skills for action scenes.  But if fight scene choreography peaks
your interest or live action performance, martial arts or gymnastic skills are
not enough.


I was first
exposed to martial arts for fight scene choreography in 1993.  I played
the roll of Kitana, Meleena and Jade in the Midway video game Mortal Kombat II.
 It was produced here in Chicago and created by Ed Boon and John Tobias.
 The funny thing about this gig was that one of my brothers (Alex Zamiar,
now a Creative  Art Director
at DDB) got me the role.  He was 12 at
the time.  He was a super fan of Mortal Kombat.   My brother
introduced me to the creators and some of the other actors.  They saw me training and they asked if
I would play the part of a female ninja they were beginning to develop.  


Daniel Pesina (he played Johnny Cage) befriended me
immediately and got me up to speed on the technique required when filming live
action movements on a blue screen.  It was completely revolutionary at the
time.  It was at this time I was
introduced to wushu and kungfu. 
Most of the martial artists in the group studied that style and were
very accomplished. 
Tony Marquez (Owner of Extreme Kung Fu, Kung Lao) and Ho Sung Pak
(played Lui Kang) were successful competitors on the National martial arts
scene and were leaders in the American wushu community.  Naturally I began to train in wushu and
kung fu.  While most of the guys,
Pesina, Marquez and Pak pursued their careers, I trained alongside them in wushu
and kung fu.  Most of the training
was fight scene training.  The
insertion of acrobatic kung fu kicks and stylized reactions and counters from
wushu became our new form of practice. 
It was apropos at the time because fight scene movie magic was using the
same style.

Ho Sung Pak went on to a successful career in martial arts
action films and projects.  It was
his wushu skills and the acrobatic nature of the movements that made them
perfect for the screen.  This
became apparent as Jackie Chan and Jet Li films became popular and took over
the box office.  But today that
style of the martial arts action is overdone.  Films like the Matrix and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon gave
it too much exposure.  Although these films and many others presented wushu at the highest level, today it is passé
to see a current release using this sole technique in the martial art action scene.

Of course if fight scene choreography was my aspiration today,
freerunning would be where I would spend my time.   MMA training is
better for reality based goals, but martial arts with a parkour flare is where
I would spend my time to pursue video game acting, live action and movie magic .

If you are interested in pursuing training in freerunning check out the following academy in California.

Leave a comment