KFMG Podcast S02 Episode 15: Zara Phythian

Posted in Podcasts by - May 29, 2017
KFMG Podcast S02 Episode 15: Zara Phythian

“As a young child growing up, I was very quiet and reserved. I needed an outlet to express myself, and martial arts was my way of doing that.”

What a pleasure it was to meet up and chat with world-champion martial artist, actor and instructor Zara Phythian, who has been kicking ass ever since her first karate lesson at the age of seven. Now, she is a role model and inspiration to hundreds of young martial artists, who flock to her Personal Best Academy in Mansfield, UK, to learn self-defence. Her varied film credits include work with top UK martial artists like Joey Ansah and Mark Strange in Underground (2007), thrillers like The Hike (2011), and fighting Van Damme in Alien Uprising (2012). In 2015, she was cast as the Brunette Zealot in the Marvel superhero adventure Doctor Strange (2016), alongside an all-star cast including Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tilda Swinton and Mads Mikkelsen. Her fellow Zealots in the cast included British martial arts stars Scott Adkins and Katrina Durden. Her latest films include Knights of the Damned, which has its London premiere in August 2017, and Cannibals and Carpet Fitters, which will be released in the autumn of 2017. Also in 2017, Zara was named Woman of the Year at the British Martial Arts Awards.

In this episode, you will hear about how the 13-time World Sports Martial Art Champion discovered her passion for martial arts, acquiring her first black belt at the age of 12, running her own classes at 16, and being the first British person to be inducted into the International Karate and Kickboxing Hall of Fame at the age of 21. We discuss the time Van Damme had to jump start her car, what it’s like being a female martial arts instructor in a male-dominated industry, and her top secret Wing Chun film project with Grandmaster Samuel Kwok. All of which is presented from the MCM Comic Con event, which took place at ExCeL London between 26-28 May 2017. To find out more about Zara, visit her official website, or you can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

Zara Phythian and Ben Johnson recording the Kung Fu Movie Guide podcast.

Zara Phythian and Ben Johnson recording the Kung Fu Movie Guide podcast.

Zara Phythian fly-kicks an opponent in the short film, Kung Fu Darling (2016).

Zara Phythian fly-kicks an opponent in the short film, Kung Fu Darling (2016).

A publicity shot of Zara Phythian.

A publicity shot of Zara Phythian.

Mads Mikkelsen and Zara Phythian filming Doctor Strange in New York.

Mads Mikkelsen and Zara Phythian filming Doctor Strange in New York.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Zara Phythian at the premiere of Doctor Strange in October 2016.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Zara Phythian at the premiere of Doctor Strange in October 2016.

This post was written by
Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a keyboard in London, UK.

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