KFMG Podcast S07 Episode 88: Keith Cooke

Posted in Podcasts by - March 27, 2023
KFMG Podcast S07 Episode 88: Keith Cooke

“I don’t regret the movies at all. I had a blast.”

Keith Cooke is one of action cinema’s all-time greatest kickers. From his explosive triple kicks as Muay Thai instructor Prang in the cult classic, The King of the Kickboxers, to his turns in costume as Reptile and Sub-Zero in the 1990s Mortal Kombat movies, Cooke’s poise, energy and talent marked him out as one of the most engaging breakout martial arts stars of the 1990s. It was a phone call from none other than Enter the Dragon producer Fred Weintraub that transformed Cooke’s fortunes in Hollywood. A karate world champion and three-time ‘Competitor of the Year’, not to mention an expert in a range of martial arts styles, Cooke’s first forays into action movies were small-scale, until Weintraub cast him as Dakota, the high-kicking Native American sidekick to China O’Brien in Cynthia Rothrock‘s USA debut. Co-produced by Golden Harvest in Hong Kong, the film and its sequel became huge hits in the highly lucrative straight-to-video market. Although his fans may know him from his iconic film roles, Cooke’s real passion is teaching. He taught generations of fighters from his Brentwood school for nearly 30 years, until he was forced to close its doors during the Covid-19 pandemic. Now he is launching a new online training programme and product, called The Ring Workout, a system designed to help people maintain strength, definition and fitness by working on the most comprehensive muscle group – the core. Now aged 63, Keith seems as fit now as he ever was – so what’s his secret? And given his extensive fight knowledge, what style does he think is the best? And how does the new Mortal Kombat movie stack up to the original films? Read more about Keith Cooke and The Ring Workout on his website, keithcookefitness.com, and follow Keith on Facebook and Instagram.

Keith Cooke and Loren Avedon in The King of the Kickboxers (1991).

Keith Cooke and Tina Cote in Heatseeker (1995).

Keith Cooke as Sub-Zero in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997).

Keith Cooke, still fighting fit into his 60s.

Find out more about Keith Cooke’s new training programme, The Ring Workout, at keithcookefitness.com.

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 laptop in London, UK.

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