KFMG Podcast S04 Episode 38: Don “The Dragon” Wilson

Posted in Podcasts by - May 06, 2019
KFMG Podcast S04 Episode 38: Don “The Dragon” Wilson

“If you do something in sports, everybody likes you… that’s what I had been looking for as a child – acceptance. So I pushed myself harder.”

When Chuck Norris convinced his martial arts buddy – the 11-time world kickboxing champion, Don “The Dragon” Wilson – to consider a career in the movies, he could never have dreamed how quickly his life would transform. A winning audition for the king of exploitation cinema, Roger Corman, led to a multi-picture deal which would see “The Dragon” become the leading martial arts movie star in the highly lucrative direct-to-video market of the late 1980s and 90s, headlining movies such as the Bloodfist series, Ring of Fire, Red Sun Rising and many others. His closest brush with mainstream stardom arrived in 1995, playing a gang leader in Batman Forever. He’s still busier than ever in front of the camera. His latest movie – the action comedy Paying Mr McGetty – sees him play a hitman, and it is available now on DVD.

Considered one of the best competitive kickboxers of his generation, Don – now in his mid-60s – may have hung up his competitive gloves long ago, but he can still be found training, teaching and passing on his martial arts wisdom at exhibitions around the world. He still believes passionately in the martial arts as a force for good, helping as a tool to teach confidence, respect and self-discipline to kids, as well as a way to stamp out bullying. It’s something he knows only too well. As the son of Japanese and American parents growing up in 1950s America shortly after the second world war, his school years were marred by racial prejudice. In this conversation, Don explains how he turned a negative situation into a positive, becoming one of the greatest and most famous martial artists in the world. Keep up to date with the latest Don “The Dragon” Wilson news via his Facebook page.

Don “The Dragon” Wilson is an 11-time world kickboxing champion.

Don “The Dragon” Wilson and Chuck Norris.

Don Wilson in Red Sun Rising (1994).

Don “The Dragon” Wilson in Batman Forever (1995).

Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Cynthia Rothrock and Olivier Gruner filming Showdown in Manila (2016).

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Hi there. I'm the editor of Kung Fu Movie Guide. Be sure to visit regularly for the latest analysis, interviews, profiles, podcasts and reviews on martial arts movies made around the world.

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