When I started Kenpo Girl I had no idea the level of popularity it would have. My goal was to start and open discussion between all systems of Martial Arts about the passion we have for Martial Arts. I wanted an open dialog going on in the Martial Arts Community.
I discussed this recently with my good friend Debbie Goodman on her TV show, Martial Arts Mania.
Debbie Goodman (Left) Kenpo Girl (Right)
Debbie Goodman goes way back with Martial Arts. She was one of the many children inspired by the TV show “Kung Fu.” It wouldn’t be until her late 20’s that she decided to start taking lessons...
“I started with Shotokan Karate but it just didn’t do it for me. I tried a blended style which taught self-defense moves but there was no philosophy… I finally found John Cho’s Kung Fu school and felt it was a good fit for me."
The goal of the show was to invite Central California martial artists to come on the show and demonstrate their styles and talk about their schools.
In 2013, Debbie was nominated for a "Martial Arts Hall of Fame" award in Newport Beach. On this trip she attended a book signing at the Martial Arts History Museum in Burbank, CA and filmed the event and interviewed some of the martial arts celebrities that attended.
Soon Martial Arts Mania was the talk of Los Angeles but suddenly the show was facing an uncertain future. Martial Arts Mania’s co-producer, Eric Catlapp, in May 2013 was tragically killed.
“The show came to a screeching halt at that point and I wasn’t sure it would continue,” Debbie explained.
The show would go on. Bestina Mounenalath signed on as co-producer and help Debbie pick up the pieces, just in time to get a call from James Wilson. James Wilson is a film producer and wanted Debbie to interview his stars from his upcoming move, “The Martial Arts Kid.”
Debbie saw an opportunity and took it,
“I told him I'd been dying to get an interview with James Lew, and if he could get me an interview with James Lew, I'd come down when he was available, and whichever one of the stars was available on that day, I'd interview them. It turned into a dinner party at James Lew's house, and Don Wilson was the one that was available.”
Debbie been watching these two icons since the '80's. They graced the covers of many Martial Arts magazines at that time. James Lew has been in the film business since the early '70's, starting with the TV series "Kung Fu". Don “The Dragon” Wilson is not just an actor but a 10x World Champion Kickboxer. These two interviews would boost Martial Arts Mania’s popularity and would become Debbie’s most memorable interviews.
Don Wilson (Far Left) Debbie Goodman (Left Center)
Jesalyn Mae Harper
Hello my name is Jesalyn. I'm a divorced single mom and a karate addict...